When women see men, they think of sex. You could equally well say that men think the same thing when they see women. But the reasons are very different. When men see women, they become aroused and so they think of having sex. But women are not aroused by men. A woman knows various men may want to have sex with her. But she only enjoys emotional pleasure when she is admired by a man she is attracted to. She knows that if a man finds her attractive, he might invest effort in knowing her. That is a woman’s emotional power of being sexually desired that men never experience. For gay men, their responsiveness is likely to drown out more emotional rewards.
Most women realise that men appreciate women who present themselves in a sexy manner. Men have more difficulty understanding that women also want men to behave in a certain way to satisfy their needs. A woman accepts a man as a lover when she considers him a worthy mate and companion. She feels loving towards him when he responds to her desire to care for him. Women’s nurturing instincts mean they want a man to be sensitive to the social and emotional aspects of relationships that are important to women. Women do this when they care about a man. A woman stops doing this when a man has repeatedly rejected her attempts to care about his welfare.
Men like to assume that by offering sex, they are pleasing a woman. It never strikes them as a strange coincidence that sex is exactly what they themselves are looking for. Women need to obtain some kind of emotional reward for offering men an opportunity for penetrative sex. Considering their interest in sex, men don’t make much effort to bring variety to sex. Men’s sexual needs tend to be very simply satisfied through intercourse but this does not make a woman feel loved and appreciated. Men need to make themselves more socially amenable and to take a share of the investment in a couple’s sex life if they are to interest a woman in having sex over the longer-term.
Men’s needs are obvious. Women’s emotional needs are much less obvious. A woman sees sex as a demonstration of male admiration. If a man is not devoted to her from day-to-day then it’s not flattering. It’s just a man’s sexual need. Over time most women tire of providing male pleasure even through intercourse. Many women become exasperated with men’s seemingly insatiable sexual needs. If she is financially independent, it may not be worth a woman’s while to remain in a relationship if a man is not companionable.
Most women are fairly indifferent to sex. It’s a small price to pay for all the benefits that men bring. To begin with at least. Over years and decades the sexual burden increases as sex becomes increasingly meaningless in emotional and romantic terms. Intercourse does little for a woman but it is the easiest way to satisfy a man. By accepting quickies or sex in unusual places (not always as a routine in bed before sleeping) a man allows a woman to be the object of his desire without her needing to make so much effort.
A woman feels sexy when she feels attractive. Marriage and motherhood do not cause women to feel sexy because a woman feels exhausted, unappreciated and unattractive. Being free of children and dressing up for a romantic dinner may help. When a woman is aware of a man’s admiration for her, this can increase anticipation and create a more passionate act. When sex becomes expected or mundane, resentment and boredom set in. A man should try to communicate his sexual appreciation in a way that a woman appreciates by complimenting her and talking of his sexual desires.
Some women enhance their own (and a lover’s) apparent sexual prowess by faking orgasm to meet expectations from pornography. Other men complain that their partners make no effort to make sex exciting for them. Men never articulate why women should do this because it highlights women’s lack of arousal. It is clear that women do not naturally provide the turn-ons that men ideally hope for. At the beginning of a relationship, a woman may take pleasure in her man’s erection and the fact that he wants intercourse with her. She may enjoy pleasuring him and engaging in loving and affectionate foreplay. Intercourse provides an opportunity for kissing and caressing. But since women are clearly not aroused, men become more focused on their own delight in intercourse over time and just focus on their own satisfaction.
Many men are disgruntled that their wives do not offer more explicit genital stimulation. Before men expect more, they should ask their partners: “What can I do for you (outside the bedroom) to repay you for the pleasure that you give me?”. When it comes to more explicit sexual pleasuring additional compensation is needed. Some women will not provide oral sex no matter what the compensation. Men need to understand that, for a woman, sex is equivalent to a man having to talk about feelings. It is almost impossible. If a woman is just offering her body, sex becomes crude and humiliating.
Romance is associated with the time before a couple has a sexual relationship when each person is still investing in the other. But over time and with the security of marriage, they take each other for granted. Men become self-absorbed in their own importance as the breadwinner. Then they wonder why women don’t want to engage in lovemaking with them. Men resent women who are not tuned into the eroticism of sexual activity. Women resent men for expecting regular intercourse without any appreciation that a woman is not aroused by sexual activity with a lover. Naturally there are also men with low sex drives, who may cause a woman to feel unappreciated.
We’ve got this generation of boys growing up thinking that, you know, women practically faint at the sight of an erection, that women orgasm through penetrative sex, that threesomes are normal. (Tracey Cox)
Excerpt from Learn About Sexuality (ISBN 978-0956-894748)