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S*x Drive: How Do Men and Women Compare?

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Experts say men score higher in libido, while women’s s*x drive is more “fluid.”Birds do it, bees do it, and men do it any old time. But women will only do it if the candles are scented just right — and their partner has done the dishes first. A stereotype, sure, but is it true? Do men really have stronger s*x drives than women?

Well, yes, they do. Study after study shows that men’s s*x drives are not only stronger than women’s, but much more straightforward. The sources of women’s libidos, by contrast, are much harder to pin down.

It’s common wisdom that women place more value on emotional connection as a spark of s*xual desire. But women also appear to be heavily influenced by social and cultural factors as well.

“s*xual desire in women is extremely sensitive to environment and context,” says Edward O. Laumann, PhD. He is a professor of sociology at the University of Chicago and lead author of a major survey of s*xual practices, The Social Organization of se*uality: s*xual Practices in the United States.

Here are seven patterns of men’s and women’s s*x drives that researchers have found. Bear in mind that people may vary from these norms.

1. Men think more about s*x.

The majority of adult men under 60 think about s*x at least once a day, reports Laumann. Only about one-quarter of women say they think about it that frequently. As men and women age, each fantasize less, but men still fantasize about twice as often.

In a survey of studies comparing male and female s*x drives, Roy Baumeister, a social psychologist at Florida State University, found that men reported more spontaneous s*xual arousal and had more frequent and varied fantasies.

2. Men seek s*x more avidly.

“Men want s*x more often than women at the start of a relationship, in the middle of it, and after many years of it,” Baumeister concludes after reviewing several surveys of men and women. This isn’t just true of heterosexuals, he says; gay men also have s*x more often than lesbians at all stages of the relationship. Men also say they want more s*x partners in their lifetime, and are more interested in casual s*x.

Men are more likely to seek s*x even when it’s frowned upon or even outlawed:

About two-thirds say they self service, even though about half also say they feel guilty about it, Laumann says. By contrast, about 40% of women say they self service, and the frequency of self service is smaller among women.
Prostitution is still mostly a phenomenon of men seeking s*x with women, rather than the other way around.
Nuns do a better job of fulfilling their vows of chastity than priests. Baumeister cites a survey of several hundred clergy in which 62% of priests admitted to s*xual activity, compared to 49% of nuns. The men reported more partners on average than the women.
3. Women’s s*xual turn-ons are more complicated than men’s.

What turns women on? Not even women always seem to know. Northwestern University researcher Meredith Chivers and colleagues showed er*tic films to gay and straight men and women. They asked them about their level of s*xual arousal, and also measured their actual level of arousal through devices attached to their private parts.

For men, the results were predictable: Straight men said they were more turned on by depictions of male-female s*x and female-female s*x, and the measuring devices backed up their claims. Gay men said they were turned on by male-male s*x, and again the devices backed them up. For women, the results were more surprising. Straight women, for example, said they were more turned on by male-female s*x. But private partly they showed about the same reaction to male-female, male-male, and female-female s*x.

“Men are very rigid and specific about who they become aroused by, who they want to have s*x with, who they fall in love with,” says J. Michael Bailey. He is a Northwestern University s*x researcher and co-author with Chivers on the study.

By contrast, women may be more open to same-s*x relationships thanks to their less-directed s*x drives, Bailey says. “Women probably have the capacity to become sexually interested in and fall in love with their own s*x more than men do,” Bailey says. “They won’t necessarily do it, but they have the capacity.”

Bailey’s idea is backed up by studies showing that homosexuality is a more fluid state among women than men. In another broad review of studies, Baumeister found many more lesbians reported recent s*x with men, when compared to gay men’s reports of s*x with women. Women were also more likely than men to call themselves bisexual, and to report their s*xual orientation as a matter of choice.

4. Women’s s*x drives are more influenced by social and cultural factors.

In his review, Baumeister found studies showing many ways in which women’s s*xual attitudes, practices, and desires were more influenced by their environment than men:

Women’s attitudes toward (and willingness to perform) various s*xual practices are more likely than men’s to change over time.
Women who regularly attend church are less likely to have permissive attitudes about s*x. Men do not show this connection between church attendance and s*x attitudes.
Women are more influenced by the attitudes of their peer group in their decisions about s*x.
Women with higher education levels were more likely to have performed a wider variety of s*xual practices (such as oral s*x); education made less of a difference with men.
Women were more likely than men to show inconsistency between their expressed values about s*xual activities such as premarital s*x and their actual behavior.
Why are women’s s*x drives seemingly weaker and more vulnerable to influence? Some have theorized it’s related to the greater power of men in society, or differing s*xual expectations of men when compared to women. Laumann prefers an explanation more closely tied to the world of sociobiology.

Men have every incentive to have s*x to pass along their genetic material, Laumann says. By contrast, women may be hard-wired to choose their partners carefully, because they are the ones who can get pregnant and wind up taking care of the baby. They are likely to be more attuned to relationship quality because they want a partner who will stay around to help take care of the child. They’re also more likely to choose a man with resources because of his greater ability to support a child.

5. Women take a less direct route to s*xual satisfaction.

Men and women travel slightly different paths to arrive at s*xual desire. “I hear women say in my office that desire originates much more between the ears than between the legs,” says Esther Perel, a New York City psychotherapist. “For women there is a need for a plot — hence the romance novel. It is more about the anticipation, how you get there; it is the longing that is the fuel for desire,” Perel says.

Women’s desire “is more contextual, more subjective, more layered on a lattice of emotion,” Perel adds. Men, by contrast, don’t need to have nearly as much imagination, Perel says, since s*x is simpler and more straightforward for them.

That doesn’t mean men don’t seek intimacy, love, and connection in a relationship, just as women do. They just view the role of s*x differently. “Women want to talk first, connect first, then have s*x,” Perel explains. “For men, s*x is the connection. s*x is the language men use to express their tender loving vulnerable side,” Perel says. “It is their language of intimacy.”

6. Women experience orgasms differently than men.

Men, on average, take 4 minutes from the point of entry until Release, according to Laumann. Women usually take around 10 to 11 minutes to reach climax — if they do.

That’s another difference between the sexes: how often they have an climax during s*x. Among men who are part of a couple, 75% say they always have an climax, as opposed to 26% of the women. And not only is there a difference in reality, there’s one in perception, too. While the men’s female partners reported their rate of climax accurately, the women’s male partners said they believed their female partners had orgasms 45% of the time.

7. Women’s libidos seem to be less responsive to drugs.

With men’s s*x drives seemingly more directly tied to biology when compared to women, it may be no surprise that low desire may be more easily treated through medication in men. Men have embraced drugs as a cure not only for erectile dysfunction but also for a shrinking libido. With women, though, the search for a drug to boost s*x drive has proved more elusive.

Testosterone has been linked to s*x drive in both men and women. But testosterone works much faster in men with low libidos than women, says Glenn Braunstein, MD. He is past-chair of the department of medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and a leading researcher on testosterone treatments in women. While the treatments are effective, they’re not as effective in women as in men. “There is a hormonal factor in [s*x drive], but it is much more important in men than women,” Braunstein says.

A testosterone patch for women called Intrinsa has been approved in Europe but was rejected by the FDA due to concerns about long-term safety. But the drug has sparked a backlash from some medical and psychiatric professionals who question whether low s*x drive in women should even be considered a condition best treated with drugs. They point to the results of a large survey in which about 40% of women reported some sort of s*xual problem — most commonly low s*xual desire — but only 12% said they felt distressed about it. With all the factors that go into the stew that piques s*xual desire in women, some doctors say a drug should be the last ingredient to consider, rather than the first.

source: Webmd

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