Learn About Sexuality

Platonic love is just as powerful as sexual love

Men think they’re sexual because they have an arousal cycle that ends with grunts and ejaculation. But they miss the enjoyment of sensuality, the emotional pleasure, the needing and the loving, touching and feeling. It’s all over in a flash; until the next time. A man hopes that a woman has sex for her own gratification. Men dream that women become aroused as they do and that women have a drive to orgasm through penetrative sex just as men do. But unfortunately women’s responsiveness doesn’t work like this.

Women do not get the same emotional payback that men do from sexual activity. They get emotional payback in other (non-sexual) ways. When a man falls in love he feels not only a sexual reward but a desire to protect his lover. For women, the sense of emotional connection, the love and caring about someone else are achieved differently. A women’s prime emotional driver is her children. She loves a man in a similar way through a capacity to care. This is quite different to sexual love.

A woman is not aroused by the body of the person she loves. There are two main drivers behind women’s decision to have intercourse with a man. The first is all about personal gain and has nothing to do with the man or the women’s feelings for the man. This is essentially why women are called whores. They are women who have sex without any emotional attachment. They usually have sex for financial gain directly or indirectly.

The second is an emotional connection that occurs when a woman meets a man she falls in love with or who she comes to care about over time. In this situation a woman offers her lover sex as her gift. She obtains emotional pleasure by pleasuring someone she loves. This emotional payback is her reward so she doesn’t need any other. This is much stronger emotional interplay than simply ‘going along with’ what a man wants. Ironically men and women have complementary rewards of sex. Men obtain the erotic pleasures of arousal and orgasm. Women obtain the emotional rewards of pleasing a lover. So while women may feel deprived of the physical pleasures of sex, men want to be able to please a lover.

The intensity of male sex drive, causes most men to measure adult relationships in terms of erotic phenomena. They think that if a person is not responsive (they don’t orgasm) then they might as well be dead. A more balanced view is that sex does not have to include orgasm to be either enjoyable or valid. Women do not need to experience arousal and orgasm to make an emotional connection.

Women can enjoy sex more because it’s less acute, less functional, less needy. Sex is not just about producing loads of sticky stuff over the sheets. For women, sex is not about functional biology but about feelings and connection. But women’s emotional feelings for a lover can be much stronger than men’s and this is little understood.

A woman wants to be able to admire and respect a man. Not for his looks but for his behaviour. She wants a man who is strong enough to protect her and a man who is competent enough to support her. She also wants an interesting companion who she enjoys spending time with. She has no interest whatsoever in the size of his penis. If a man has a small penis, she is probably no more disappointed than a man might be with a woman having non-existent breasts. These things are nice to have but they are not the most important aspect of finding a person attractive. Men and women who feel deficient in these ways probably suffer more than their partners do.

For men the two experiences of orgasm and being in love can be experienced simultaneously. For women it is crucial to differentiate between emotional and erotic experiences. Women have emotional feelings for a lover but they use erotic fantasies to masturbate to orgasm.

Romantic sensations include a sense of longing, pathos, wanting to be loved, wanted. Possibly unobtainable. Women seldom have sex dreams but if they do such dreams are romantic scenarios based on the prospect of vaginal intercourse. Romantic fantasies are based on real men. Women’s dreams do not focus on their masturbation fantasies or on any explicit genital stimulation within their own sex life.

Given a choice a woman finds the romantic scenario more emotionally rewarding. Orgasm is erotic immediately obtainable pleasure. Physical sensations. Sense of sexual release. Warmth and relaxation. A woman probably feels one hundredth of one thousandth of what a man feels from orgasm – both the physical sensations and the psychological pleasure.

A woman’s happiness derives from elsewhere in the relationship with sex being perhaps the ‘cherry on the cake’. A woman needs to feel emotionally fulfilled before she can enjoy engaging in sex.

Sex is only one way in which people give and receive love, so although it is very important, it is not the only way to develop or express intimacy. (Jonathan Lenbuck 2013)

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