Sex occurs much more easily in the early stages of a relationship because being affectionate with each other provides the most natural lead-in to sex. First a woman offers some affectionate interaction by touching or kissing her lover. Her lover communicates his sexual need by kissing back with passion, by touching the woman with an increased focus on the erogenous zones and by indicating his own sexual arousal by pressing his groin against her body.
A man makes love to a woman to demonstrate his sexual admiration for her. A man does not make love to a prostitute. Neither do we talk about a woman making love to a man. Men want sex, not lovemaking. Women engage in casual sex for ego rather than the physical gratification men enjoy. Women don’t use male prostitutes in the same way because they hope for a loving relationship and sex comes as a consequence. Many men also don’t want sex with a stranger. But a man can enjoy sex without any need for a relationship.
In the early days of a relationship, a couple may explore different approaches to pleasuring. Given women’s sexual passivity, it is typically the man who takes the sexual initiative. A man has the motivation to explore a lover’s body because he is aroused by doing so. A woman is not. Female orgasm has become a token of women’s appreciation of men’s attempts to arouse them. This is because most women only engage in sexual activity by responding to a man’s motivation rather than their own. Men try different approaches to sexual pleasuring within the boundaries set by a woman’s objections. Over time instead of this random and silent approach, a couple may want to invest in more open communication about their sexual pleasuring. A woman could suggest, outside the bedroom, the activities she would like to try or how she would like a lover to stimulate her. If a woman has read erotic literature or watched porn movies, she may identify with the role of giving pleasure.
In a long-term relationship, a woman accepts intercourse because of the inherent authority that comes with a man’s sex drive. Male sex drive provides some reassurance of a man’s commitment to the relationship and of his sexual loyalty. A woman may feel loved because a man needs her sexually. In romantic fiction a woman is swept off her feet by a man’s sexual passion. Women don’t need men to perform sexually but they come to expect it. A woman worries that (if a man no longer wants her) perhaps he loves another.
Older women may complain that their husbands no longer want to make love to them. A woman may miss sex but this has nothing to do with orgasm. If she wanted an orgasm, she could masturbate. Instead of complaining about her partner, a woman should offer some proactive pleasuring herself. The person who is most motivated should make the effort. Typically it is the man who is hassling for sex. Anyone who has a less than enthusiastic partner, needs to ensure that they contribute the lion’s share of the effort.
Some women are much more proactive as lovers than others. This is related to personality, culture and how much a woman identifies with the female role in erotic fiction. Men like to assume that a woman is proactive because she is herself aroused. This fantasy reassures a man that a woman will be amenable to regular intercourse. Women who invest in their sex life, do so by making conscious effort to please a lover (just as prostitutes do).
A man wants intercourse regardless of a woman’s lack of arousal. So women look for information to help them understand how they could enjoy an act that men insist on. This is not about a desire to have an orgasm or enjoy sexual pleasure. This is about women’s role in providing male gratification.
If men only wanted an orgasm, they could masturbate. Men enjoy penetrating and ejaculating into a lover’s body. Men like having the lights on, using mirrors and a lover who displays herself provocatively. Male turn-ons are crude, graphic and obvious. They can appreciate obvious sexual invitations such as a woman spreading her legs or holding her buttocks apart. Most women are so disgusted by genitals (even their own) and the practical realities of sexual activity that they have no idea what a man responds to.
Women assume that men are automatically aroused. Men need specific erotic stimuli such as female genitalia or sexual activity. A woman can buy sexy nightwear or pornographic videos to watch together naked. A woman needs to project her appreciation of her lover. She can make encouraging comments about her excitement at the prospect of being penetrated by him.
Sex is like a conversation and no one enjoys talking to themselves. A man appreciates a lover who occasionally takes the sexual initiative. He also hopes for an adventurous lover who gives him permission to explore her body. A woman can enjoy this scenario because she abdicates herself from any need to make effort. She can just lie there and enjoy the sensations of being stimulated by a lover even though the feelings do not culminate in a climax.
Humans have sex much more than is needed for reproduction. So, even men are not motivated by a purely biological drive. Our minds are aroused by the opportunity to have sex with different sexual partners or in different scenarios. Few men would walk away from a relationship where they are having regular and varied sex with an enthusiastic and adventurous partner. Men look for a variety of partners because they are bored by marital sex.
The most frequent reason men gave for having sex outside their marriages was sexual rejection by their wives, or the boring nature of repeated sex with the same person in marriage. (Shere Hite)
Excerpt from Learn About Sexuality (ISBN 978-0956-894748)