Learn About Sexuality

Why women feel inadequate about their bodies

Humans are inclined to get competitive when one person is compared with another. The tendency is to conclude that more is better than less and that big is better than small. But a man is not sexier just because he is more responsive than average. Nor does having a bigger penis than average make him a better lover. Similarly, a woman is not sexier just because she is more attractive than average.

Finding a partner has much more to do with matching personalities than one or both people being stunningly attractive. Attractiveness is defined primarily in terms of the fashion of the age and is not absolute. People who are attractive may make less effort towards others in general as well as in sex. They get used to having special attention and special treatment just for their looks. But there are no fixed rules. We can all choose to behave well or badly whatever our looks. There is someone out there for each of us. We cannot all be blessed with amazing looks but, hopefully, we have other qualities that compensate.

We need to appreciate that even the most beautiful people are loved only by a very few people, perhaps only one person. We are attractive to someone not just because of how we look but also because of who we are. Many beautiful people are a nightmare. Anyone can have negative personality traits or have emotional problems. It’s about appreciating what we value in another person and about valuing the love that another person feels for us. What other people think is their own business.

The objective in life is not to focus on what we were born with but to focus on being happy. To be happy we have to accept ourselves for what we are. We need to find someone who likes us for who we are. We often feel most rewarded emotionally when we focus on others rather than ourselves. If we can invest in making a partner happy then we are likely to be happier ourselves. It is mentally unhealthy to become too self-obsessed.

While a woman values a man who can provide for her, a man values a woman who looks good. A man is proud to be with an attractive lover because he knows that other men are also attracted to her. So women grow up knowing that their looks are vital to how others (both women and men) value them. In terms of sex, male performance is crucial to intercourse. A woman’s performance relies on providing male turn-ons to assist with male orgasm, including faking her arousal and orgasm. Her behaviour as a lover also defines her as an attractive woman.

A woman’s top concern on having sex for the first time is not her own orgasm but that she should matter to a man; that he should care about her as a person. This is why she is motivated to please him sexually. This is probably because a man represents both a threat and a protector to women depending on a man’s motivations. In general men ignore women, so when a man notices her, a woman may feel complimented especially if he is an important or successful person.

Women’s ‘responses’ with a lover are driven by social attitudes. For example, in the past women were often expected not to respond to intercourse. Men considered it unseemly for a woman to cooperate with intercourse. The behaviour was associated with mistresses not wives. Also the idea that a woman might be getting something from the activity put pressure on a man to continue intercourse for longer than he could. This is yet more evidence that women’s responses with a lover involve conscious behaviours rather than spontaneous sexual responses. No one can easily suppress their natural responsiveness.

Anyone who is unresponsive rarely initiates sexual activity either alone or with a lover. They are more interested in sensual pleasures over genital stimulation techniques and they hope a lover will provide the more romantic (emotional and companionable) aspects of relationships. Women may flirt by making sexual references thereby indicating their amenability to a man they admire. But this is not an indication of arousal.

A woman’s breasts are larger than is needed for reproductive purposes. Presumably men have preferred large breasted women over time. In societies where women routinely show their breasts, men are not aroused by them. It is only when men associate nudity (including breasts) with sexual activity that they are aroused on seeing them. A woman who is flat-chested may feel insecure just as a man who has a small penis. But someone who loves us, loves the whole person not just a body part.

According to some estimates, over 40 million women have some problem with sexual desire and excitement. But if there are tens of millions of women complaining that their libidos aren’t up to snuff, who are the normal ones? (Joan Sewell 2010)

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