Love Without Limits

Reports from the relationship frontier

5 Myths About Men's Sexuality

When socialization and cultural expectations are stripped away, men and women may want more of the same things in bed than we ever imagined possible. Read More

Wow gotta say, great post!

Wow gotta say, great post! Lotsa different takes.

The female monogamy part is interesting. I'm a woman and as I 'mature' I'm finding a completely unsuspected part of me. As you wrote about a lover who is sensitive and such ... add in empty nest and being 'single' again and it can be explosive; as in blowing me open to an underlying part of myself that's been dormant and/or suppressed all through the marriage/kids/house-in-the-burbs-soccer-mom years.

Now I'm largely a soccer-grandma with, as already mentioned, an unsuspected part of me. There's no prior script for this and I'm grateful for that right now. I'm aware of writing my own future. It's a feeling of being 'ahead' of my life somehow. But I also feel more in the midddle of it than ever. But that's pretty much life I guess!

No 1--- sounds like an excuse

No 1--- sounds like an excuse for a gangbang (BTW: multitasking is a myth in itself)

No2- Meh

No3-- How is that possible? -- doesn't sound too satisfying

No4-- Yeah, but not much

No 5-- enough about penis size.

Yeah but #1 is obviously a

Yeah but #1 is obviously a myth, not an excuse myth. Every time a man is nonmanogomous, a woman is with the man doing the same. It's exactly the same total.

Correct, #3 is still true for most men. Same for #4.

What #1 misses is that women

What #1 misses is that women are far more open to bisexuality than men and that's why it works to have one man with multiple women.

In my experience, women are more turned on by FFM than MMF. They play with each other. Of course, if I had to do all the work, that would be a challenge after 2 or 3 women, but we all help each other.

Agree to some degree

Well, I don't agree with everything here but I really enjoyed the read. As a male, I find it very difficult to believe that women are as interested in sex as men. As proof, I would submit the fact that men can have sex regardless of how horrible the relationship or fight might be. You could call me a stupid white man with a small penis but I still would like sex. I am sure I could say that is true for women. The point is that the male drive for sex is greater than almost anything. But maybe I have issues.

I do agree that men and women are equally suited for multiple partners but that is different question than sex drive.

Thanks.

Not true. I'm a man and if

Not true. I'm a man and if I'm in a horrible relationship I'm not gonna wanna have sex cause I'm gonna be more annoyed and obsessing how to either fix it or get out of it. Typically when I'm in that mindset I'd rather masturbate than touch her especially since I'm annoyed.

I've seen many women who have a high desire for sex. The doc is right, if she isn't horny or interested something is up and it's as complex as sending a space shuttle into space and def hurtful. It could just be the quality of the relationship too.

I'd say the author is right on this one

I think you guys are just pointing out INDIVIDUAL differences. I'd say the variability is greater among women. Sure there are women who aren't much interested in sex and have trouble having orgasms. But they are balanced out by women who can have orgasms that leave any man in the dust.

I also agree that many women have sexual potential that they don't discover and explore as easily as men do theirs.

Buncha BS

then there must be a helluva lot of angry women in america because
d!ck size and height bashing has become a socially acceptable,national past time for alot of women in the western world...yet when a dude is just the least bit critical of a woman's appearence/weight/age he's a patriarchal,sexist pig that doesn't deserve a woman or he needs to 'get the hell over himself'.Dangerous hypocrisy indeed!

total BS

I don't hear this at all, and I listen and read a lot. Of course, if you tune into some particular niche on the Internet, perhaps this is all concentrated there.

My advice to you, get out of your hole and get a life.

and you are full of

and you are full of crap,learn to use a search button fool! They've done it all over this site in many forms ad nauseum for years as well as ALL OVER THE NET.Huffington Compost does it all the time and about a gazillion other sites who claim to be legit.

my advice to you is to go see an eye doctor cause you're blind.

of course you can find ANYTHING with google search

Of course you can find anything you want by searching for your super special niche peeve. But that doesn't mean it's common and something people run into when they are not looking for it.

As for penis size, no, it is not done on this site. In fact, it is not done in this article either. This article says that penis size does not matter. So how is that all over this site? The writers on this site wouldn't be stupid enough to claim that penis size is something that matters to most women, because anyone with half a brain knows that's not true.

Yes, there is stuff on the Internet about penis size, and it's all those fake pills. Stop reading stupid ads. Nobody who's smart believes any of that, so stop worrying about it.

As for height, yes it is something many women prefer, but not all. But how is that different from men who prefer women who are young and have very particular body proportions? Looks matter more to most guys than the other way around, so you have no comparative grounds for complaining whatsoever.

Stop whining and man up!

not me, thanks

I'm a woman, and I do not have any attraction to large penises. In fact, if I was interested in a man and then found out he had a very over-sized penis, it might be a deal-breaker. I like sex that's fun, not uncomfortable or painful. There are lots of women like me.

I can't count the number of

I can't count the number of converstaions I've had with my boyfriend about size and how actually I'm not at all interested in a larger one. (I'm 4'10" and yet you insist you know what I prefer - the more you talk, the more stupid you sound)

It has more to do with men attaching value to their size than it is men concerned about whether women care or not. If it actually had to do with what women really wanted and not what men have decided are markers of manhood, they would shut up about it, but they try to convince you that it does matter to you...

It's annoying...

pretty much anything a man does "for a woman" is actually being done to gain approval/value/worth from other men.... it actually has NOTHING to do with the woman. they are a means to an end for men's true love.... other men.

not in my experience

I don't completely agree with you, because I do believe that many, many men care very much about pleasing a woman.

But I do think that penis size has more to do with a male-male dominance signal than anything about women. I've also seen the comments sections of quite a few articles about penis size, where you'll have some women saying they like large ones, some women saying they don't care, and some women saying they do NOT want large ones. The male commenters seem not to be able to "hear" the comments from women who state that they find large penises uncomfortable or painful and that they do not desire them. It's very interesting.

Re: I can't count the number of

You speak as if all men are obsessed with penis size. Totally wrong. There are plenty of men who have never worried about their penis size. I think you just had some bad luck that your boyfriend happened not to be one of them.

And no, I don't do much for the approval of other men, and I certainly don't do things with women for the approval of men.

You're making your boyfriend sound like a neanderthal. Seriously! Maybe you should find another one!

When women gained

When women gained independence they started to gain the privileges of those who had already had their independence, men, one being the privilege of having a preference for physical attributes.

When you have everything to offer someone and that person has nothing to offer you (since it is illegal for them to have anything to offer except for their servitute) All that is going to matter is how they look. Men cared about how women looked because that was really all they had to offer.

A woman didn't look for attractiveness in a man because she was too concerned with finding a roof over her head (which was illegal for her to do independently) and food in her stomach (again, when it is illegal for you to own money, land, business, or education - you don't get the privilege of being picky about the attractivenss of your suitor)

Now that women are considered full citizens in the eye of the law and can now be indepentent of men, they can also have to privilege of being picky about the attractiveness of their suitor

What you see as women being mean is actually women just taking advantage of the same privileges that men take for granted and have been doing to women for known history.

wow, the author really has a PHD?

She could add the myth that either sexes sexuality can only be understood in comparison to the others. It appears here that neither the myths nor the authors take upon them are actually very relevant to the facts, yet we guide ourselves by the myths far more often than the facts. This article is about changes in perception and the conversion to 'new' myths rather than actually revealing any underlying truths in regards to sexuality.

Great article, and I am

Great article, and I am totally agree with this part of this article "Men are more interested in sex than women".. well this is totally true and its 100% common in men. I think this is really very helpful for the women. So thank you so much for write this.!!

Really?

This site should be "Superficial Pop-Psychology Today."

So what?

If you want learned, peer-reviewed articles, go to the psychology department reading room at your local university.

the myths

Yes, myth #1 doesn't make sense. If women are more monogamous than men, just who are the men having their non-monogomous sex with???

#3, sure, orgasm without ejaculation works for me, but not by holding back ejaculation. Rather it would happen if I have a another orgasm after a short time, and there is nothing new to ejaculate. I think of it as a dry orgasm.

Not sure what is meant by "magnetically attracting interested partners". I think women are attracted to men who pay attention to their arousal, not so much how a man can maintain his own arousal.

#5, sure, as a man I can enjoy erotic massage and touching and it can be very exciting, even without an erection. Just like I can enjoy chocolate cake without an erection. But let's not kid ourselves, I would never consider it a substitute for an erection and an orgasm.

Entitled to own opinion, but not own facts

Fact: Men more interested in sex than women (in general), and gap gets bigger as people age.

Source: British Medical Journal

http://www.bmj.com/content/340/bmj.c810

right

I agree with much of this article. But the idea that women have a sex drive equal to men's is just false. That's why it's universal that women can sell sex to men, but men cannot sell sex to women. Men can sell sex to other men, but male-to-female prostitution is virtually non-existent.

sure, if you define the rules of the game, you're right

Selling and buying sex without any context is a very typical man's view of it. If you let a woman define sex drive, you might come up with a very different answer.

You might say that men's more frequent viewing of porn is a strong indication of men's higher sex drive. So then what do you say to a woman who would claim that the fact that far more women than men buy romance novels is a strong indication that women have a higher sex drives than men? Certainly it sounds idiotic to claim that women buy more romance novels because men have higher sex drives!!

Take the example of Fifty Shades of Gray, which in UK Amazon sales even beat Harry Potter! Most of those sales were to women and girls. That's pretty explicit erotic literature, with BDSM and all. And let me guess, women bought those books in huge numbers because, uh, men have higher sex drives???

So when you get to choose the yardstick you prefer, of course you're going to show a stronger preference for what you prefer. Duh. Talk about circular argument and thinking inside the box.

sex drive

You seem to think I'm a man. I'm not. I'm a woman who has always had a very high sex drive. So, when I say this, I'm not referring to myself. I'm referring to the average man and average woman. Of course there are men with lower sex drives than some women, and women with lower sex drives that some men.

You're correct that sex drive is somewhat difficult to measure, because it is the URGE to engage in sex. Having an urge does not always translate to behaviour, even if the urge is strong. The person might not have an opportunity to act on the urge, or might have other motivations or values that cause him/her to consciously choose not to act. We can't measure urges directly, so we have to measure them through behaviour, which is positively correlated, but not perfectly so.

The best we can do in measuring sex drive is frequency of masturbation, because masturbation doesn't depend on finding a willing partner. Men masturbate far more frequently than women.

Another way of measuring sex drive is by looking at who initiates partnered sex. Men initiate more frequently.

Also, my original statement is still valid. Men will pay for sex, either with straight-up money, or with more indirect goodies (often within a relationship, such as marriage), but women will (almost) never pay for sex.

I'm not sure what to make of your example of the romance novels. As I mentioned, I'm a woman, but I don't read them so I don't have a lot of expertise on that. My understanding is that romance novels focus on the developing love relationship between the characters. Some romances are explicitly sexual, and some are not, but all are centered around the relationship. I don't see how this speaks to women's sex drive, but I'm open to being corrected since I don't know that much about it.

sex drive measures are problematic

The problem with these measures of sex drive is that they objectively measure only the measurement, and it is only assumed that they are true indirect measures of something we hazily think of as "sex drive", which itself has no accurate scientific definition.

For example, if you applied these kinds of measures to "drive to eat" my dog would measure a much higher "drive to eat" than I would because if you put a steak in front of him, he uncontrollably leaps forward and gobbles as much as he can, instantly, always. I would not. And so does my dog really have a bigger drive to eat than I do? Not necessarily, because I know food is coming, so I might ignore a steak that was put in front of me when it's not a meal time. So I need a context for eating my steak. My dog doesn't. In this case, I think the simple measure leaves a lot to be desired.

And masturbation has the same shortcoming. Some women never masturbate, but they still have a strong sex drive with their man -- so wouldn't that completely contradict your statement? Certainly in that particular case, the urge to masturbate is certainly far from being a "best" measure of her urge. Not saying you're totally wrong, but urge to masturbate is also more of a measure to have sex without a certain context which more women insist on than men. So what are you really measuring here -- the need for context, or the sex drive? Or a little of both? How much of each... not entirely clear.

As for prostitution, that's kind of like the masturbation thing, where to some degree it shows that men are more interested in sex outside of a richer context. The problem with that argument is, if you take a woman who is very horny and ready for sex, but has no partner available at the moment, she will, on average, be less inclined to jump in the sack with an anonymous gigolo who is offering the service for free than a man in the same situation faced with a female escort who is offering her services for free. But is that really a measure of sex drive??? I think a lot of women would say NO!

And consider the fact that I would never even consider picking up a female prostitute on the street, no matter how attractive she was, and even if she was free. In fact, even if she paid me $100, I wouldn't do it!!! But does that mean I have a low sex drive? I can assure you in the most emphatic way possible that I have a high sex drive. I suspect a lot of women share my view on that. But the fact that a lot of men probably wouldn't be as reluctant about the prostitute as I would be... well, I don't really see that that has as much to do with sex drive as the contexts we want. Which is my point about how these measures leave a lot to be desired.

By the way, the research paper another poster linked here is a review of many other studies, and it points out that the prostitute argument is dubious for many reasons, even though it is commonly used as a sure-fire proof in casual discussions.

repeating what I said

Dude, you're just re-iterating what I said about the difficulties of measuring motivational states. Yes, all measure are indirect and imperfect. I stated that. Thus, we have to gather evidence in several different ways. I listed 3 indicators that men have higher sex drives than women. You have not listed any evidence that women and men's sex drives are equal.

It's not accurate to state that "sex drive" has no scientific definition. Motivations and drives are studied by psychological scientists. There are plenty of challenges to studying motivation, so scientists have to be creative in doing so, and realize that no single measure or single study is definition. The weight of evidence from multiple sources has to be considered.

I also want to clarify that when I say men are ON AVERAGE willing to pay for sex, I am not equating that with anonymous sex with prostitutes. That is one way. Another way is by financially supporting a long-term mistress. Or a wife.

Dude, you're not reading with comprehension

What I said was that the measurements listed tend to emphasize sex drive without context. My only objection is that it seems somewhat misdirected if the goal is to understand sex drive within a context of a relationship. In fact, because of this emphasis on how a men are more highly motivated to masturbate, have sex with prostitutes, think about sex when the wife is not around, etc., -- a lot of that points to sex out of context of a relationship. And if you then applied that to get insight into sex drives within a relationship, one might reasonably that men don't need sex as much in a relationship, because, unlike women, perhaps men could be more easily satisfied with masturbation than a woman could in the same situation. On average, women appear to be sexual in the context of a relationship, and I don't see that effect addressed by any of the measures.

As for supporting a long-term mistress, that's a shaky argument too because traditionally, that's in a scenario of where only men earn the money. So what else would you expect? And then there's the all-too-common scenario of where the woman earns the money and is no longer sexually turned on by her non-working husband because she's stressed out and doesn't see the man in the traditional "provider role". Again pointing out that women's sex drives are more context dependent. Some would argue that many women are turned on only when a man is a provider, which sort of screws up the simple measurement.

If the goal is simply to say that in the absence of a relationship context, men are more likely to go out and have just pure sex and pay for it, well, duh, then asking about prostitutes is indeed a direct measure because that's exactly the question you're asking. But if the goal is to understand what is happening within a marriage or relationship, I'm not sure it provides a lot of insight, or if it's even relevant. I don't think that is a controversial statement and it seems pretty clear.

Also, I'm not sure the statement really applies to all ages. As I did state several times, Barry McCarthy has quoted studies which show that in sexless marriages over 60, of which the number is significant, it is the man who has unilaterally ended the sex in 90% of the cases due to lack of confidence in his own sexual functioning or similar reasons.

Likewise, many books have pointed out that by middle age, the sexes "meet" in terms of desire for sex, and so forth.

So when I hear that a study shows that at all ages, men have a higher level of sex drive, I think it's reasonable to question it, just like I've questioned other studies which appear to flatly contradict this statement for some age groups, and which measures sex drive mostly outside the context of a relationship -- the very kind of difference that matters a lot to women.

As for "no scientific definition" I'll have to admit to my bias, coming from the hard sciences of mathematics, physics, and engineering. We're talking about a "soft science", which many in the hard sciences don't really think of as a real science, and certainly not one free of subjective definitions, which in my opinion this is one.

not a science

If you've already made up your mind that psychology isn't a science, then we all get to believe whatever we want. There's no point in discussing research evidence.

If you want to make up your own definitions, there's no way we can have a meaningful conversation about anything. I'm using the accepted definition for "drive," which is an urge, impulse, or desire.

I have not seen any evidence that women desire sex more in relationships than men. In fact, I have read that, for couples who are suffering with a disparity in desire for sex, in 2/3 of these the man is the higher-desire partner and in 1/3 the woman is the higher-desire partner. This supports my claim that, both within and outside committed relationships, men have a higher drive for sex.

I agree

I agree with your statements about sex drive AS IT'S defined here. You need to read what I wrote with some better comprehension, please.

I did not say that psychology is not a science. I said in explanation that I'm biased, meaning I even know that it is a science, but that I do recognize the fact that it is not a hard science. Likewise, you surely recognize that psychology is difficult as a science because it is not as "exact" in many ways. But that doesn't make the effort useless. But it does open it to more discussion and disagreement about the methods, which is exactly what I'm participating in here.

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Deborah Taj Anapol, Ph.D., is the author of Polyamory in the 21st Century and other books.

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