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. They just know that men are intent on sex. A woman accepts that men notice her. But the real pleasure is getting the attention of a man she admires. She knows that if he finds her attractive then he will invest effort in knowing her. That is a woman’s emotional power of being desired that men don’t experience. For gay men, it’s likely their sex drive drowns out any similar emotional rewards.
Romance is associated with the time before a couple has a sexual relationship. During this period 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 bread-winner. Then they wonder why women don’t want to have sex with them.
Most women realise that men appreciate women who present themselves in a sexy manner. Men have more difficulty understanding that women want them 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 cause them to want a man to be sensitive to the social and emotional aspects of relationships that matter 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.
Women do not think of sex in terms of the explicit erotic turn-ons and genital stimulation as men do. Women think of sex most typically in terms of a man’s sexual passion and in romantic scenarios. A man’s desire is communicated in his sense of purpose, the firmness of his kiss and his touch on her body. His desire to possess her and penetrate her can be evident.
Especially at the beginning of a sexual relationship, a woman can take a pleasure in her man’s erection and the fact that he wants intercourse with her. She can enjoy giving him pleasure and engaging in loving and affectionate foreplay. Intercourse itself is an opportunity for kissing and caressing. She may be motivated to engage on explicit genital stimulation.
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. They never articulate why a woman should do this. But it is clear that women do not naturally provide the turn-ons that men ideally hope for.
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. Men approach sex already highly aroused, so they focus on genital stimulation. But women need to feel some kind of emotional reward for offering men an opportunity for penetrative sex. 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 with them. 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.
Most women don’t especially want sex but 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. A woman knows with experience that whatever sex play a couple engages in as a warm-up, sexual activity with a man always ends with intercourse. 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.
Marriage and motherhood do not cause women to feel sexy because a woman feels exhausted, unappreciated and unattractive. A woman feels sexy when she knows that she is attractive to men. So being free of children and dressing up for a romantic dinner may help. Thinking about having sex when a woman is aware of a man’s attention to her over dinner, can increase the anticipation and create a more passionate act. When a man admires her, a woman feels more amenable to sex because it feels more appropriate. When sex becomes expected or mundane, resentment and boredom set in.
Men’s quest to understand how female pleasure is achieved is not entirely selfless. If it was, men would be happy to know that women orgasm through masturbation alone. A man is motivated to try and pleasure a woman so that she will remain amenable to offering him opportunities for intercourse. Women’s lack of enthusiasm for sex is a constant worry for men in case they lose their source of sexual pleasure and relief. A man is also motivated to please a woman so he doesn’t feel guilty that sexual pleasure is one-sided.
Men are simple… We fall in love with your tits and your ass! And we stick around because of what you are willing to do with them. So if you want to win a man over you don’t need ten steps you need one … it’s called a blow-job! (‘The Ugly Truth’ film 2009)