Humans (and other mammals) have the ability to remember past events and to form associations with those past events. If the event was particularly significant then we are likely to feel similar emotions the next time we are faced with the same situation.
For example, when we enjoy a particular meal. The next time we smell that meal being cooked we look forward with pleasure to eating it. We remember what the experience was like the previous time. Even before we sit down to eat the meal we can anticipate the pleasure we will enjoy when we do finally eat it.
Men are aroused in anticipation of sex. They are also aroused by objects that remind them of sex or that have sexual connotations. Men find sex so pleasurable that they remember the next time and are aroused even before they get to having sex (they look forward to the event and become aroused in anticipation of the pleasure they expect to enjoy).
Men’s minds often dwell on explicitly sexual thoughts. Men do not decide consciously to indulge in fantasies. Men’s minds tend to dwell on sexual possibilities or to pick up on the slightest hint of nakedness or availability of a woman.
Men are aroused by objects associated with sex (e.g. women’s underwear) and enjoy portrayals of sex. Some men have fetishes. These are objects (e.g. boots or feet) that are not directly connected with sexual activity or with sexual attributes. Many more men are turned on by objects that are associated with sex.
Women do not behave sexually in this way. Women are just as capable as men of getting excited about a future pleasure. They certainly respond to the smell of food in a similar way. The issue is that there are no stimuli connected with sexual activity with a lover that cause a woman’s arousal. The pleasures of sex do not impact on women’s minds (as they do on men’s) because women are not aroused by sexual activity in the first place.
Men enjoy the idea of two women stimulating each other because they are aroused by bodies and physical activities. They do not need a particular emotional context to enjoy nudity and sexual activity. As far as men are concerned any attractive woman (even a lesbian) can be a possible partner. Straight men happily watch lesbian sex play. As long as a woman has all the necessary physical attributes, a man is aroused.
Because highly responsive men are almost constantly aroused, they respond instantly when they are with a lover. There is no issue in arousing younger men because they are often already aroused before they even get their clothes off. Men think about sex much more frequently and explicitly than women do. They also need to focus on a fantasy scenario during masturbation alone. Men can rely purely on imagination but often visual material is more effective. The closer the visual material is to reality the better the turn-on. So movies are better than still images.
When men are with a lover they don’t need to use fantasy because they are aroused by the presence of a lover’s body and by the opportunity for sexual activity with a lover. Men have a much stronger connection between their own arousal and physical with someone they find attractive. So men assume that the ‘real thing’ i.e. intercourse should always be more arousing than fantasy. If a man was offered the opportunity to act out his fantasy for real, he would do it (assuming all social implications were eliminated).
Men are unaware of how female arousal works. Women, even those who appreciate that they use fantasy during masturbation, do not approach sex with an explicitly expressed need for erotic turn-ons. This is intentional because reproduction relies on women being willing to accept intercourse rather than be focused on achieving their own orgasm. It also helps men see women as objects who are differentiated by physical attributes.
When you see sex portrayed in films for general release, there is no foreplay and extended intercourse as there is in porn. Either there is some thrusting and grunting or the camera fades. Intercourse is the key act that is implied or shown. Men are not offended by genitals because they watch porn. So it is women’s dislike of genital stimulation and close-ups of intercourse that causes the censorship of more explicit genital sex play.
A sexual kiss is completely different for a man than for a woman. For a man it is an activity that comes on the path between when he first saw a woman and was aroused by her body and when he finally ejaculates into her vagina. A woman has an emotional (not an erotic) response to kissing a lover. For a woman a kiss is an emotional event that she interprets as a sign that a man is attracted to her and perhaps loves her. She hopes that by demonstrating affection and by cooperating with a man sexually that she will be emotionally significant to him.
Women do not get turned on at the thought of two men together. (BBC blog 2003)