In western culture there is still such a thing as double moral standards form male and female sexuality. It is more accepted for men to have multiple partners than it is for women. The double standard shows that women are supposed to dress sexy but not go into the initiatives of men too much. Men are mostly judged by the amount of sexual encounters that they have.
This double moral standard has consequences for how men and women perceive relationships. Women are more directed towards intimacy with a partner in the relationship, while men are more geared towards physical sensations, individual arousal and sexual encounters as a form of relaxation. Women see sexuality more as a part of the relationship and to share intimacy. Men can see both sexuality and a relationship as two different things. Off course intimacy can be a part of sexuality, but for men it is more separate than for women. This makes that casual sex is more accepted for men than for women. Men think more often about sex, feel more often aroused, have more sexual fantasies, masturbate more often and have generally more sexual partners than women. Men also try to find a replacement for not having a partner, like watching pornography, visiting strip clubs, using sexual toys or visit prostitutes. Consequence to this is that men have more sexual desires, because they also feed it more. This is normally not seen as a problem in society, because society accepts too much desires in sex for men, compared to lacking interest in sex. However both can be a problem in a relationship, as women generally have less desire for sex as a recreative activity. Women talk more difficult about masturbation and admit it less than men, while men are acting overconfident about their individual sexuality.
Men remember visual sexual fantasies and sexual events better than women. Women are more interested in the meaning of sexuality and the roll it plays in a relationship. They are normally more interested or remembering romantic details, foreplay, and what happened after the sex. Most consistent difference is that men are more seen as sexually aggressive compared to women.
Also an interesting difference that research shows is that women are more erotically changeable and flexible (erotic plasticity) than men, while men are more consistent in their sexual wishes and behavior. Women are more transforming in their sexual behavior, according to the tendencies in society, social environment, personal or cultural circumstances. There is more diversity needed for women than for men and women have more different wishes that even can change over time in the course of a relationship or their life. Women generally also switch more from gender preference, having more bisexual experiences than men. This is less genetic but more influenced by social changes, and social environment. Women are more open to experiment with other women when they perceive themselves as heterosexual, than that heterosexual men are open to experiment with other men. This is called hetero flexibility.
The erotic plasticity of women can also lead towards a difference between thinking about sex and the actual sexual act. According to research it is shown that women in history must have been more adaptable with their sexuality, because they had to find a suitable mate that they could fit themselves for in the search of stability, power and safety. In that sense the woman is more adaptable than the man.
Female sexuality is flexible, and fluctuates more according to hormones and the menstrual cycle, while male sexuality is more constant and strongly driven. The sexual activity of women is biggest around the time of ovulation and lowest around menstruation. Because female sexuality fluctuates, there are more different needs and erotic plasticity has more room in the life of a woman than in the life of a man. Sexual drive of men and women might be the same, just the female sexual drive fluctuates and is therefore less constant. It depends on the phase of her cycle the women is in.
According to history it is shown that normally women decide when sexual activity happens, as the women are the guardians of their gate (vagina). Women decide more with whom they share the bed with, while men are evolutionary more proactive in hunting for a woman. The underlying reason is that physically and emotionally women invest more in the raising or bearing of a child, also because they carry the baby for nine months in their belly. For men the investment is just the delivering of the sperm in first instance. Men are build to donate the sperm, women are build to carry a baby for nine months, that is how evolutionary nature has designed the plan of sexual intercourse. It doesn’t however mean socially that men should be less caring or less emotionally involved in a relationship, but physically there is a difference when a man and a woman decide to have sexual intercourse.
According to research women in a lot of countries choose a man according to money, effort and ambition, next to appearance and genetic features. Men however choose a woman based on sexual attractiveness and chances for offspring (fertility). This is also a reason why men in their fifties start a new relationship or have a younger lover.
It is a stereotype that men love hardcore sex and women like soft cuddly sex. In a lot of cases it is actually the other way around, where men like romance and sexuality mixed together and where the woman actually likes a more distant or even aggressive sexual style. It can also happen that in a relationship the man who is in a loving relationship actually appreciates more the romantic and loving sexual intercourse instead of the rough aggressive sex.
The biggest differences between men and women are:
– sex with or without a relationship
– frequency of masturbation
– searching sexual stimuli (pornography)
– sexual aggression and victim of sexual aggression
– difference of sexual problems (not frequency)
Compared to gays and lesbians, lesbian couples normally have had more heterosexual encounters than gays had. This is because of the erotic plasticity of women, while men are more constant, this also counts for gays and lesbians. Because men are more consistent and strict in their sexual pleasures, we see that men generally can get excited from certain conditions, whereas women can get excited from more different and broader ideas. This is shown in forensics where paraphilia play a role. Paraphilia are sexual deviant behaviors that can lead to obsession, or arousal of different attributes that are for the person connected to sexuality. However not only men are prone to having paraphilia, but they are a greater group of it than women are. Also, not every paraphilia leads to delinquent behavior, though it can lead to deviant behavior.
There is also a difference in how lesbians and gays choose their sexual preference. For lesbians it is more often a choice, while for gays it is more often a fact. Lesbians are more flexible while gays are more constant and direct in their approach towards their sexuality. Also there would be more lesbian couples that are open towards heterosexual experimentation than that gay couples are open towards heterosexual experimentation. Lesbians also look more for intimacy than sex, while gays are more sexually active and relatively have more different sexual encounters/partners. The relationships are more short and they are more open towards sexuality.
Also there is a difference between the looking at pornography for women or men. Men get aroused by sexual female nudity, while women get more aroused from a story. Also, women are less aware of genital arousal when watching pornography than men are.
Men are definitely more prone to sexual addiction than women. For women it can be a creative force if they know how to channel it, and for men it can end up being devastating or obsessive or even obsessional religious or fanatic about certain politics or ideas about women, because it goes together with a certain kind of dis balance or mistreatment towards the own sexual needs or unfulfilled needs. Someone who is addicted mostly feels a torture towards unfulfilled sexual desire or fantasies. There is a constant need to search for a gratification that doesn’t really find a sane outlet. In some kind of sense it mostly becomes a problem when it messes with day to day life and general healthy activities or when it disrupts sleep patterns because of sexual fantasies, dreams or subconscious triggers. A sexual addiction can play out in all kinds of different ways, because the primal force in nature is sexual. So a sexual force that is misguided or not honored and placed in a healthy balance, can erupt in different or deviant areas. That is why a healthy sexual relationship is important in the long term.
If you have questions about your own sexual identity or how to deal with certain sexual issues, you can contact me for intimacy counselling.