Consent would not be an issue if intercourse caused female orgasm. The idea that women need a loving partner to enjoy sex, is clear evidence that women look for emotional rather than erotic rewards. But the reality is hard for men to accept because it is not their experience. Equally they badly want to believe that women want to engage in sexual activity with a lover just as men as men do. This issue is key to understanding the concept of consent.
Men notice that women do not initiate sex and that they wait for intercourse to finish. Men complain about these female behaviours but they still insist that sex provides an equal pleasure, as a means of justifying sex. It means that men don’t have to be grateful to women. The idea that women are just having sex because men insist on it, kills the fantasies that men use to enjoy sexual pleasure. Even if a woman’s behaviour is less than enthusiastic, a man can still convince himself that she is enjoying some undefined aspect of the activity as long as her very evident disinterest is not openly acknowledged.
We assume that it is a man’s role to provide stimulation. This idea is based on the inherent assumption that women are already aroused (as men typically are on approaching a sexual opportunity). But there is no evidence of men providing any of the equivalent turn-ons that women provide. Nor is there any evidence of the turn-ons that women are motivated to seek out (as men do). This is why no one can name even one female erotic turn-on.
Heterosexual activity is driven by and defined by the man’s sexual arousal. Men’s needs are obvious but also men focus on getting what they want. Men want regular sex and they don’t need a relationship to enjoy it. Men are aroused by a lover’s body and by sexual opportunities. A woman learns that men are obsessed with their penis and that they like observing or stimulating female sexual anatomy. A woman can easily provide male turn-ons, which revolve around anatomy and sexual invitations. Men orgasm from manual stimulation, oral sex and intercourse because all of these involve the penis.
A man does not have the benefit of the same kind of evidence. Women are not aroused by the real-world erotic stimuli that arouse men. So women do not respond to stimulation as men do. Even responsive women only orgasm alone. A woman may accept the stimulation a lover provides whether manual, oral or vaginal but without mental arousal, there is little pleasure. If women knew what turn-ons and stimulation they needed, their lovers would also know. It would be obvious. Women don’t know because they experience sexual activity with a lover as a social (not an erotic) scenario. Being unaroused, women can focus on a lover’s needs and provide turn-ons or stimulation to assist with male orgasm (the reproductive goal).
Men’s all-consuming fascination and self-absorbed obsession with sex, means that few women waste their time trying to explain to a man how they feel about sex. But women do try to talk to men about issues in the wider relationship that women care about. Women assume that men have similar emotional needs to women. Sadly men rarely relate to these aspects of relationships because their sexual needs swamp all other concerns.
Every woman on the planet could wear a sticker on her forehead saying ‘I’m really not that keen on sex’ and men still wouldn’t get it. A woman could hit a man over the head with a brick hammer to convey to him the strength of her conviction that she is not interested in sex. He still wouldn’t get it. Such is the nature of male sex drive. A man assumes a woman wants sex even if she never initiates sex, is never sexually proactive and provides no evidence of arousal. If men didn’t assume this, they would never overcome women’s antipathy and we would be much less successful as a species.
This male trait of ignoring feedback, both subtle and obvious, means that men fail to read the signs women give them, not just on sex, but on all aspects of relationships. Men’s ability to be impervious to any form of feedback handicaps them when it comes to relationships with women.
Men complain that women always want to change them. Men think that if they earn more money and say ‘I love you’ occasionally, a woman should be happy. When a woman asks him to change his behaviour, a man is unwilling to negotiate and feels she is nagging him unreasonably. He cannot accept that women look for emotional (not erotic) rewards from relationships. Equally men want to believe (despite the contrary evidence) that sex satisfies women’s emotional needs just as it does for men.
Men’s prime interest in sexual knowledge focuses on how women can be encouraged to be more enthusiastic about intercourse. Men cannot relate to the emotional drivers women need to enjoy sex. This confusion between arousal (which relies on erotic stimuli) and amenability (which relies on emotional stimuli) is due to ignorance over how orgasm is achieved. If men accepted that women are not capable of orgasm with a lover, maybe they could start focussing on the real issue. Men need to provide some of the emotional factors that make women more willing to provide the sex that men want. Men need to put their fantasies to one side to get what they want.
Studies have shown anywhere from 55% – 80% (If not more) of women fake orgasms. Yet ask any man on the street and they think they are handing out orgasms like a bag of peanuts on an airplane. That math is not adding up people! (Stephan Labossiere 2012)