Despite living in overly sexualized culture where we are bombarded with “sex sells”, women remain largely suppressed and out of touch with their sexuality.
The common conception that men want more sex with lots of different partners and to “spread their seed” and that women are designed to be monogamous couldn’t be further from the truth according to the latest research.
An investigation into female desire has found that women want sex just as much as men do, they are just less likely to be honest about it.
“One of our most comforting assumptions,” states Daniel Bergner, author of What do Women Want? Adventures in the Science of Female Desire, is that “female eros is much better made for monogamy than the male libido, is scarcely more than a fairytale.”
Bergner states that this long time myth that women are better suited to monogamy than men has absolutely no credence and instead has been “evolutionally scripted”.
“There is nothing to suggest there is any difference between the innate selves of men and women, their sexual desires, their promiscuous desires or their visualization desires,” continued Berger.
Culturally, over the years we have held men and women to different sexual values to the point where many women are not even able to recognize their own sexual feelings.
In numerous studies, women and men were attached to a sensor known as a plethysmograph which would measure the flow of blood in both the vagina and the penis. The men and women were then instructed to watch a series of pornographic clips and then rate how turned on they were.
Time and time again, the results found that even though physical arousal was occurring, women mentally underrated how they were feeling, leading to a gross mismatch of their physical and mental responses.
“There was a very consistent difference between what women say turns them on, and what their bodies say turns them on,”stated Meredith Chivers, a Canadian psychologist who conducted the study.
With the men however, their “physical and mental responses matched” every single time.
“We human beings are infinite in our erotic variations but, in general, women seem more disconnected from desire than men. Even though we live in a sexually unrestrained, a sexual infatuated society, there is still a slut shaming culture to some degree for women, (whereas) there is no corresponding shaming for men,” exclaimed Berger.
In society, women grow up with a stigma of being labelled a “slut” if they are found to be too promiscuous, whereas men are celebrated for doing exactly the same thing.
In fact, through interviewing several sexologists, scientists and women, Berger discovered that women actually lose interest in their long term partners quicker than men, and are most likely than men to want to receive sexual pleasure than to give it. They also found that women were eight times more turned on by a strangers than by a known lover, the only issue was that women were less likely to own up to their true desires because they live in a “cultural cage.”
“This is so comforting for men and society in general, to think half the human species is naturally made to be a stabilizing force. It’s particularly comforting for men to think the woman they’re with is not thinking about other sex partners as much as they are,” stated Berger.
Men are much more encouraged to think sexually than women and more often than not, women are the ones being depicted in a sexual nature in advertising and the media, further supporting the idea that it is acceptable for men to lust after women and that in order for women to be desirable, she need to ‘service’ the needs of their man.
This distorted view of female sexuality has resulted in millions of women losing touch with their sexual selves, and forgetting that they hold great power, especially in the bedroom.
Another misconception that Berger has debunked is the idea that men need sex to feel intimate whereas women need intimacy to feel sexual desire. In psychological studies, scientists actually found that women crave being “erotically worshipped” and that most women had more pleasure from sex when they focused on themselves.
The American drug companies have also got their hands on this latest research and are currently in the process of developing a female viagra. This pill has the potential to be worth more than $4 billion in the US alone.
“The buyers,” stated Berger, “wont be women going out on a third or fifth or seventh date, there is no shortage of desire early on. The problems come with time, because biologically, genetically, there is no evidence that when it comes to lust, women are any better suited to monogamy than men are.”
There is definitely a growing awareness over the rise of female sexuality and as more women become in-tune with their bodies and own their sexual power eventually the societal notions over female desire and the double standards between men and women can shift.
Offering his final advice, Berger states, “Men, hold on to the sides of your chair and even if you need to ask five times before getting a candid response about your partner’s sexual desires and wishes, have a candid conversation that might actually lead to sexual electricity.”
(Image by Andrew Gonzalez)