The key difference between male and female responsiveness is that male orgasm is needed for reproduction. When a man is aroused, he has an erection, which makes penetration possible. Male orgasm triggers ejaculation, which transfers genetic material (spermatozoa) from the male to the female during vaginal intercourse. Men’s sexuality is dependent on interaction with another person whereas women experience orgasm alone.
A man engages in sexual activity because he is confident of achieving orgasm. Men don’t need to know anything about a person they are attracted to. This is men’s biological drive that comes from their own body. It has nothing to do with having a relationship. So some men can use a prostitute as a sexual outlet. Also men need to be aroused by a sexual opportunity whereas women can have intercourse without being sexually aroused.
If someone suggested that a man should try a new and obscure activity to see if he was able to have an orgasm, he would almost certainly refuse. A man knows how he achieves orgasm and there is little point in trying something so different compared with what he already knows works. When someone suggests the same thing to a responsive woman, she feels much the same way. If stimulation works, then our instincts motivate us to try that form of stimulation. It occurs naturally. Some women experiment with different positions for intercourse to keep a lover happy or they buy a vibrator to feel that they conform to society’s definition of sexually normal.
Men are aroused beyond their conscious control. Men have the benefit of both a biological arousal and an ability to be aroused by many triggers in their daily lives. Men are consciously aware of their arousal and have a strong sense of wanting to resolve that arousal as orgasm. Men become easily erect when aroused. Women have to make a much more conscious decision to become aroused enough for orgasm. Male fantasies focus on realistic sexual activity with a lover. Female fantasies can be unrealistic because there is no reproductive need for a woman to ever orgasm with a lover. A woman has much less conscious awareness of any physical arousal.
Men are much more flexible in terms of how and when they can orgasm: either alone through masturbation or with a lover through oral sex or intercourse. Men use a variety of positions for masturbation and for sex. They can also orgasm from different forms of penile stimulation such as oral, manual and penetrative sex. Women can only achieve orgasm through masturbation alone. During masturbation alone a woman is much more limited in the position and the kind of stimulation that leads to orgasm.
One of the major differences between the way men and women respond in sexual scenarios is that being touched by a lover, is emotionally and sexually significant to men. A man takes pleasure in stimulating his penis when alone because he is aroused. But his pleasure with a lover is much greater because of the emotional acceptance of having a lover touch his genitals. He may assume that a woman is aroused by the sight of his erect penis. He may assume that a woman shares his pride in being able to achieve an erection.
A woman is not aroused by a lover’s genitals. Neither is being touched by a lover sexually significant to a woman but there may be sensual and emotional pleasure. Having a man suck on her nipples can be embarrassing because of the parallel with suckling a baby. Any manual manipulation of the clitoral glans can be painful or uncomfortable if not well lubricated. Cunnilingus provides very little sensation as does vaginal intercourse. A woman’s lack of arousal means any stimulation by a lover has little effect.
Men and women experience orgasm differently. A man has the turn-on of penetration and domination. A man is very conscious of his need for release. He has the sensation of ejaculating and release from sexual frustration. Even for a woman a release feels best when some time has elapsed since the last orgasm. The focus on eroticism is a fantasy scenario for a woman but could be a turn-on for a man such as a new sexual partner.
A boy’s masturbatory activities are a natural precursor to his adult sexual activity. During masturbation, he imagines a real-world situation that later he is able to realise to some degree. His sex drive focuses his mind on sociable activity with a real-world partner and penetrative sex that can be accounted for on reproductive grounds. Even for male homosexuals, their focus on anal sex is a clear parallel to the reproductive heterosexual act. All male sociable activity centres on stimulation of the penis. The activities of vaginal and intercourse as well as fellatio all involve using the penis to penetrate a lover’s warm and lubricated (to varying degrees) body orifice.
A woman’s masturbatory activities do not relate to sociable activity in the same way. They are quite standalone because she does not experience a sex drive to engage in sociable activity nor is she aroused by real world stimuli. Female masturbation is a very private and personal experience that a woman cannot account for in terms of reproductive activity. She may be disturbed by the nature of her erotic fantasies, which do not correlate with any emotional sensations she experiences when she is attracted to a lover.
The male is aroused at observing his potential sexual partner, as most females are not. (Alfred Kinsey 1953)