Advice: Men vs. Women

Gender differences: Men want sex and women want to talk.

By Hara Estroff Marano, published on July 1, 2003 - last reviewed on November 20, 2015

What bewilders me, and maybe others, is differences between men and
women. It seems to me, that most often men's driving force (conscious or
unconcious) is sex but a woman's driving force is emotional exchange.
Women want to receive things like recognition, validation, feeling needed
and wanted and of course, to be loved. When do a man's emotions come into
play beyond sexual desire? What makes the crossover from sexual desire to
something more?

Sad but true, some men don't know how to emotionally connect with
anyone, including women. Unfortunately, some also were raised according
to such a double standard that they can't countenance sex and affection
in the same package. Many men want to emotionally connect with a woman,
and to connect with their own children, but it's also true that many
don't know how to be vulnerable, which is what intimacy demands. They're
often caught in a bind, wanting more emotional depth to their lives but
not knowing how to get it because boys are taught from a young age that
emotional stuff is girls' stuff. Truth is, emotional stuff is human being
stuff. What's a poor woman to do? First and most important—choose
the right guy. Someone with whom you establish a conversation and rapport

before you jump into bed. And then recognize that men
often do express affection through sex. Further, the closeness they feel
after sex presents a great opportunity for conversation that contains the
"emotional exchange" so satisfying to women (and to men,
too). But women sometimes demand too much emotional talk from men. Women
need to recognize that men often express affection best through actions
(changing a light bulb, fixing the VCR) rather than words.