Humans (and other primates) have sex much more than is required purely for the purposes of reproduction. So, even men are not motivated by a purely biological drive. There are intellectual and emotional factors. Our minds are aroused to varying degrees by the opportunity to have sex with different sexual partners or in different scenarios.
Women assume that men are aroused ‘automatically’ or that they are aroused simply by the outline of the female form. Men need more than vague suggestions to get aroused. They need to see or to imagine the detail of the female genitalia or explicit sexual activity. They need to feel appreciated as a lover. They enjoy a lover who is sexually provocative. A woman can suggest the sexual scenarios that she would enjoy.
Leading up to intercourse, a man becomes increasingly aroused:
- He has regular erections and masturbates;
- He is aroused by a lover and thinking about sex;
- He is aroused by close body contact and kissing;
- He is aroused by touching and undressing a lover;
- He is aroused by stimulating a lover and by being stimulated.
When a man and a woman are attracted to each other, intercourse feels a very natural act. Men’s sex drive ensures that they want intercourse with a woman. But it also feels natural to a woman. Not because she achieves orgasm through intercourse. Women’s lack of responsiveness with a lover means that they are more ready to accept the lovemaking that men offer. All of this is obviously no coincidence. Nature makes sure that intercourse is the most natural act because that’s how reproduction works.
Men do not have sex because they want to have an orgasm. If they wanted orgasm, they would masturbate. Men masturbate to orgasm more quickly than they orgasm through intercourse because the physical stimulation is more explicit. But men generally prefer intercourse because of the emotional significance of penetrating and ejaculating into a lover’s body. Orgasm ends men’s ability to engage in sexual activity that is focused on their arousal (and orgasm) especially penetrative sex.
Even the most highly responsive men need some help to keep sex arousing enough for a man’s sex life to be sustainable over the longer term. Over time a man starts to become more aware of his lover’s engagement. He hopes that a lover will offer more variety of response such as being willing to try new positions for intercourse or to explore foreplay.
Women of a certain age complain that their husbands no longer want to make love to them. If a man is impotent a woman misses sex as a means of feeling loved in a physical sense and found attractive. This has nothing to do with orgasm. If she wanted an orgasm, she could masturbate. Logically it makes sense that the person who is most motivated makes the lion’s share of the effort. Instead of complaining about what your partner is not doing for you, you need to offer to pleasure the other person.
A woman can easily provide some male turn-ons. She can invest in some sexy nightwear or some pornographic videos to watch together naked. If a man has impotency issues, then she should ensure that sex doesn’t focus on whether he has an erection or not. A woman can offer oral sex or massage. She also needs to ensure that she does not undermine her lover or make him feel that she is expecting him to do something for her.
Some women are relatively engaged as lovers and others are much more passive. This may be related to personality and culture. But it is also undoubtedly a question of how much erotic fiction a woman has read and how much she has identified with the role of the concubine. Men accept what women can offer. Men are often too embarrassed to ask for more. They also accept that women have little appreciation of men’s sexual needs just as men find it difficult to understand women’s emotional needs. Each partner protects the other in an emotional bond of intimacy.
In general, ‘lovemaking’ is a word used by women to emphasise the more romantic aspects of sex. Conceptually lovemaking focuses on the efforts a man makes to demonstrate his sexual admiration for a woman he loves. For example, a man does not ‘make love’ to a prostitute.
Romantic fiction is not helpful. The implication is that a woman is swept off her feet by a man’s sexual passion and carried away to a romantic heaven. The man does all the work by making love to her and she needs to do nothing but bask in the glory of his sex drive.
On the other hand, in the later years of marriage, many of the females had expressed the wish that they could have coitus more frequently than their husbands were then desiring it. (Alfred Kinsey 1953)