Research indicates that when men are deprived of female company they are aroused much less frequently. Kinsey’s research found this to be true of less educated men, who cannot substitute masturbation for intercourse so easily. He found that when men are imprisoned (without women) most men experience little arousal. Responsiveness is split into two distinct issues. We have a biological capability but also we need an opportunity. If a man lacks a partner or has no access to erotic stimuli, he may not be responsive at all. Men work on ships or oil rigs without sexual arousal so long as no erotic stimuli are available (perhaps unlikely now in the age of the internet!).
A man’s arousal is caused by the presence of an attractive women, especially one who dresses or behaves in a way that is intended to attract male attention. A man is aroused by a sexual partner, their body, genitals and behaviour. As they reach old age, men stop masturbating before they stop engaging in intercourse. The real-world turn-ons of a lover’s body and the pleasure of penetrative sex, cause men to experience much stronger arousal than they do by imagining the same situation during masturbation alone.
Many men travel away from home for their work. They do this willingly because they are less attached to their family relationships. In these circumstances (not prison) a man is exposed to many erotic turn-ons that may arouse him. Some men give into temptation and have extra-marital affairs. But many men remain sexually loyal. So when they have to, men appear to be able to do without sex fairly happily sometimes for weeks at a time. It’s possible that sex drive, rather than being an irresistible sexual urge, depends on the availability of a willing partner. Men expect to have regular sex with their partner. This expectation means they are frustrated when their partner is physically present but not sexually willing. The expectation comes from women’s general amenability and wiliness to defer to male demands. Women are pressured by the acceptance of regular intercourse as a marital duty, attitudes in society that women should provide for the needs of others and, of course, male propaganda that women should enjoy intercourse.
A man is dependent on a woman’s body both for his arousal, for his sexual release and the satisfaction of ejaculating into a vagina. But a man does not fulfil the same role for a woman. Being unaroused means that a woman is merely a bystander. Intercourse is the male equivalent of female masturbation except that a man needs a lover to enjoy his best orgasms. If a man knows that his lover masturbates, he should respect her solitary pleasure. Allowing a responsive woman the space to enjoy orgasm is a way of compensating her for the many times that only the man has an orgasm.
The wonderful thing about sex (compared with artificial highs) is that there are no addictive aspects. But sex does rely on having an amenable partner. This is the issue of consent. A physically stronger man can insist on intercourse with a woman if he catches her alone. This is why young women have only been able to move about safely very recently in our social history.
Even though a man has to seduce or persuade a woman into having sex, he cannot accept that she may see the activity in a different light. This is equivalent to a carnivore assuming that his victims want to be eaten. It is clearly the lot of vegetarians, herbivores and smaller carnivores to be eaten by larger carnivores. But most animals fight for their lives. Likewise, a woman fights off unwanted suitors. She needs to find a man attractive as a mate and be assured of his protection before she wants to mate with him.
Having a good time for a woman involves a nice meal, perhaps a movie and some pleasant companionship. A man can also appreciate such activities but only once he has had the opportunity to release the sexual tension he has accumulated throughout the day or week. A woman doesn’t experience this sexual need or consequent frustration. She doesn’t need orgasm in the way a man does. It’s very evident to most women that men want sex for their own pleasure as well as the relief they obtain from the sexual frustration that builds up when they are frequently aroused without access to penetrative sex. Women see evidence of men’s gratitude in terms of providing support.
Swinging used to be called wife swapping. Men enjoy the opportunity for intercourse with multiple partners. Women enjoy being admired. As with all forms of casual sex, swinging focuses on intercourse and male orgasm. Rich men around the world maintain a wife and a mistress. Some rich men have even maintained hareems. References to women’s sexual role in providing male pleasure are embarrassing for women, especially if they work alongside men professionally. Men are never put in the position of being treated like a sexual commodity. The closest analogy is when a European calls an African ‘boy’. We feel humiliated by being treated as an inferior person by a dominant and arrogant sex or race. When a man sexually appraises a woman’s body, she is frustrated because she cannot retaliate by treating men in the same way. Women (even lesbians) are not aroused by anatomy as men are. Women experience emotional (not sexual) attraction to a lover because they feel a nurturing affection for a lover.
It wasn’t until I actually got married that I realized that, day in day out, this man I was now committed to dating every single day of my life also wanted sex (nearly) every day of his life. (Joan Sewell 2010)