Sex may not be the only reason men seek relationships with women, but it is the key reason. Men’s sex drive focuses them on obtaining opportunities for intercourse. Given married men’s complaints about low intercourse frequencies over the longer-term, sex is clearly much less important to women. The romantic and emotional factors that naturally motivate a woman to offer sex, only operate at the beginning of relationships when men are devoted. Foremost, women offer sex because they know it is expected. Women feel obliged to offer sex in exchange for a man supporting a family.
Men’s goal when engaging in sexual activity is simple. Men want to enjoy their own arousal by close contact with a lover’s body and enjoy various forms of penile stimulation. Ultimately their goal is to obtain the sexual release of ejaculating into a lover’s body. A man is acutely aware of his sexual needs (and his frustration when those needs are not met). The strength of male sex drive makes men selfish in obtaining what they want and oblivious to women’s perspective. Marriage provides the most reliable source of regular intercourse because most wives know that their husbands need sex.
Women send out mixed signals that are very confusing for a man. They display their bodies in ways that arouse men. But their behaviours are also timid and reluctant. So men often have no idea whether a sexual advance will be accepted or not. If he gets it wrong, he gets a slap across the face. If he gets it right, a woman returns his kiss. So the first kiss is a test. After that, a man has to find out what a woman’s morals are. Some women may be happy to proceed directly to sex. Others may want to spend more time continuing with a platonic but affectionate relationship that falls short of sex.
Mothers have difficulty controlling their sons from a young age. Boys grow up knowing that women can be persuaded and coerced. A man admires a woman’s docility, her sensitivity and her compassion. Even though heterosexual activity is clearly motivated by male arousal, men ensure that sex is always promoted as a universal and mutual pleasure. Men don’t want to admit that sex is one-sided in case they lose out on sexual opportunities.
A dog chases a ball because the ball represents a small animal. A dog is a carnivore and has natural instincts to chase animals to eat. Similarly a man is attracted to a woman because of the way she looks or moves. His sex drive (urge to penetrate) motivates him to want to mate with her. But what does a woman want to catch, overpower and dominate? Women are clearly not aroused by nudity of a potential lover or by sexual opportunities as men are.
When a carnivore lines up its prey you can see the tension. A bird flutters and rustles. The cat is mesmerised by the sight and sound of its prey. The predator sways on its haunches as it stares with fixed concentration at its prey. It’s thinking about how it can succeed in catching the bird. Then the cat tenses in anticipation. It springs forward and pounces on its prey, holding it down grasping the throat and clamping tight until it has subdued or killed it.
It’s not that men are incapable of platonic love. But men’s sex drive puts penetrative sex at the centre of their adult life. A man feels loved when his sexual needs are satisfied. Their sex drive causes men to prey on women. A man is attracted by a specific woman who catches his attention. His other senses shut down as his mind focuses on the intense arousal that he feels from observing her. He imagines her naked and what intercourse would feel like. He decides on a strategy to approach her and try to charm her into bed. Men assume that women are sexually motivated even though they also accept that their role is to be the initiator and driver of sexual activity with a lover.
A man has to initiate his sexual advances against the background of women’s social natures. It isn’t easy. Risk of rejection is high but (depending on his sex drive) a man is compelled to try. Most men need some kind of invitation before they risk rejection. A man may wait for a woman to indicate her amenability or he may hint and wait for a reaction. Men mistakenly assume that women use the same criteria as men for their relationships. Men assume women are looking for sexual satisfaction. For a woman, sex is a social experience that can be (at its best) sensual and emotional. For these factors to operate, a woman needs a lover who appreciates the romantic aspects of relationships. A woman hopes for a lover who is companionable and charming. Foremost, women are looking for men who are good providers.
The male dilemma is how to negotiate sexual opportunities. This relies on a partner’s amenability. Women have the opposite dilemma. They feel constantly under pressure to provide the regular sex a man wants. Marriage involves a man agreeing to limit his sexual opportunities elsewhere in exchange for regular sex with his wife. Relationships are primarily for a woman’s benefit since they are a requirement for family life. A woman needs to offer intercourse to keep a man committed to supporting her family goals.
Biologically speaking, men are fancy free. They can live their lives quite happily without ever needing to take responsibility for their children. Some men avoid relationships with women by relying on casual sex, especially in their younger years. Young men accept the overhead of supporting a woman because of their desire for regular sex with the same partner. Men are rarely motivated to take on the daily care of the children that result from their desire for regular intercourse. If a man leaves his wife for another (often younger) woman, he rarely takes his children with him. Men focus on their own goals and prefer to engage in active pursuits rather than care for others.
The frequencies of marital intercourse are two or three times as high as the intercourse of the single male. (Alfred Kinsey)