Mammals have hair or fur, which changes the way an animal looks. We find other mammals more appealing than other animals because they can be soft and cuddly. Mammals use grooming to connect socially with others. They also snuggle up together for warmth or for comfort. Regardless of any eroticism or responsiveness, there is a comfort in the proximity of another person’s body. The gentle rise and fall of their abdomen, the warmth and softness of their skin are reassuring. Affectionate companionship (emotional intimacy) is just as important to most women as sex (physical intimacy) is to men.
Women enjoy romantic stories, full of charming men who are chatty and amusing, but they are not so comfortable with explicitly erotic scenarios. Women do not evaluate men as sex objects. They simply find some more attractive or more decent than others. Women can be attracted to aggressive or even dangerous men. Women look for male protection but accept that they have to pay in terms of responding to male sexual demands. When a woman is in love, she has romantic admiration for a man.
Women feel a yearning to be desired, wanted or just important. This is not arousal or even feeling turned-on. That special attention parents (especially mothers) give their children is characteristic of platonic love. Women’s feelings for a lover are different because of their willingness to please a man through sex and obtain his approval. A woman can admire a man as much as she wants. But ultimately if a man is not attracted to her then she is wasting her time. Men need to be aroused by a lover. Men’s love is sexual because it includes sexual arousal. Sex is the motivation for entering the relationship and the incentive for remaining in the relationship.
A man feels loved because a woman is willing to stimulate his genitals (even if only though intercourse). A woman feels loved because a man admires her (non-genital) beauty. Intercourse is an act where a man worships a woman’s body. When a man is with a female lover, he starts by demonstrating affection. He kisses her and caresses her. This is what we call ‘lovemaking’. Seduction involves convincing her of his devotion and persuading her to engage in intercourse. He specifically does not display his penis or expect her to stimulate it for him. Once a liberated couple know each other well a woman may offer or a man may ask his partner to stimulate him orally or manually before having penetrative sex.
Two adults may touch each other in neutral body zones (such as on the shoulder or arm) without any implication of intimacy. They can also kiss on the cheek as a show of friendship. When a couple engages in mouth-to-mouth kissing it is generally taken to be a precursor to sexual activity or to occur between couples already in a sexual relationship. There may have been some cursory touching of more intimate body parts as a lead in to ‘test the water’ so to speak. This is especially true where couples dance.
Sex occurs much more easily in the early stages of a relationship because being affectionate with each other provides the most natural lead-in to sex. First a woman offers some affectionate interaction by touching or kissing her lover. Her lover communicates his desire by kissing back with passion, by touching the woman with an increased focus on the erogenous zones and by indicating his own arousal by pressing his groin against her body.
Women do not associate affection with sexual activity as directly as men do. Women associate affection primarily with caring for others through platonic relationships such as those with their children. Affection is a positive emotional response we have for those we love. Some people demonstrate affection by touching, hugging and kissing more than others. We need to differentiate between the feelings we may have and our inclination to demonstrate those feelings.
Women’s sexuality only seems complex when you start trying to interpret women’s conscious behaviours and emotional responses as a true erotic responsiveness. Women care about people they love. It’s that simple. When a woman cares about a man or a child she is motivated to please them (as far as she feels able). There are times when a woman positively enjoys sex! She wants to feel loved or she wants to have a baby. Others like the ego trip of a man wanting them or they want money.
A woman doesn’t want her children to bring friends of the opposite sex into their bedrooms (gay children have the advantage here!) nor does she like the idea of them having sex in the house. The idea of sexual activity is offensive to her unless it is linked to a serious relationship. She wants to protect her children (especially girls) from the risks that sex brings. She expects sexual activity to have the protection of marriage and a strong emotional connection (love) and commitment.
Tell her she’s important to you. For a woman to feel the desire for sex, she needs to feel loved, adored and significant. (Allan & Barbara Pease 1999)