Once a man chooses a mate, he feels emotionally fulfilled because she has accepted him as a lover. He considers his love for her to be special because it is a sexual love. In the days before we had reliable contraception, a man never considered how it might be different for a woman given the inevitable pregnancy that followed. Only a few hundred years ago, married women spent the whole of their married lives either pregnant or breastfeeding (or both). Women had dozens of pregnancies, some of them ending in miscarriages, still births or the mother’s death. Few of these pregnancies resulted in children who survived infancy.
In a civilised world where men and women raise families together, we feel more comfortable presenting intercourse as a lovemaking act. But originally any mating act is clearly one of an assault by the male. No female volunteers for the risks of pregnancy and childbirth without a fight.
If we are to understand sexuality, then we need to ignore the advances in science and technology that have given us reliable contraception. We need to imagine the situation up until 100 years ago when a woman risked pregnancy and child birth every time she engaged in intercourse. This is the reason why women make conscious choices over sex. Men have much less conscious ‘choice’ over whether they want sex or not because of male sex drive.
Women take on the social taboos of an unwanted pregnancy, aborting the unborn child and the responsibility for raising of a child. Women pay for intercourse with their life. Men usually get away scot-free but with modern laws they walk away by paying financial compensation. This leads to women exploiting men by using pregnancy as a means of getting money.
Naturally with reliable contraception more women are willing to have sex for no particular reason other than ego. But generally, in terms of women’s biological drive, a woman is instinctively wary of engaging in intercourse because of the inherent risks of pregnancy and childbirth. Most women need to feel a strong emotional attachment to be willing to have sex with a man. This emotional attachment arises because of her desire to be loved and admired. The mechanism that causes women to feel needed and wanted comes through men’s sex drive.
Women today have grown up quite oblivious to the risks of being female. They assume that the protection of a civilised society is theirs for ever. They never imagine that they will ever be caught in a dark alley or in an secluded place where law and order count for nothing. They assume that the benefits of reliable contraception have fundamentally changed women’s sexual responses so that women enjoy intercourse as much as men do. Yet rape still occurs. Innovations in technology can only change women’s behaviours. They cannot change women’s responses that have evolved over millions of years (since before homo sapiens).
When we are facing danger, it is a disadvantage to have someone else to protect. We are much more likely to survive ourselves if we are alone. It’s a disadvantage for a woman to be pregnant. She is physically incapacitated in that she cannot run as fast or climb (a tree for example) if she needs to escape from danger. She cannot fight or defend herself as well as when she is not pregnant. Likewise, if she is carrying a baby or toddler, she is handicapped. A man is also handicapped emotionally (an enemy can take hostages) if he has family. So men avoid family and emotional relationship. Both are handicapping as well as a financial commitment.
Intercourse provides little physical sensation for a woman. So she can view sex as a ‘love-making’ act. Her focus is not on the lower body activity but on the upper body: kissing, caressing and touching. Women are naturally sheltered from the cruder aspects of sexual activity because the real action of the penis thrusting into the vagina is hidden from their view. The missionary position is especially implicit as the woman typically needs to do very little except lie there until the man has ejaculated.
Women like to talk about ‘down there’ by which they mean anywhere between their clitoris and their anus. Women don’t give their genitals much thought but if they do it tends to be in connection with going to the toilet or their periods. All of this activity is smelly and embarrassing. So women don’t like to dwell on any of it too much. If a man wants to put his penis in a woman’s mouth, she may expect him to wash it first. But if he put his penis in her vagina, she has little interest in his genital hygiene. A woman considers her vagina to be out of sight and ‘dirty’ because it’s located between her other orifices for urinating and defecating. Fellatio also involves her putting her nose close to a penis. The smell of genitals and pubic hair, also the testicles, can be pungent, which is offensive to women.
Most males find it difficult to comprehend why females are not aroused by such graphic representations of sexual action … The wives, on the other hand, are often at a loss to understand why a male who is having satisfactory sexual relations at home should seek additional stimulation in portrayals of sexual action. (Alfred Kinsey 1953)