Men are turned on as a direct consequence of their drive to penetrate (a female) and thrust until ejaculation. A woman lacks this drive. Women are not naturally aroused by either sexual activity or genitalia [i] as men are. A woman aged 29 said she couldn’t understand why a 70-year-old man would still want to chase women. She said “surely by that age enough is enough!” Women rarely appreciate the strength of some men’s sex drive.
The fact that BDSM can be used for arousal is a reflection of our fascination with the idea of control (of ‘doing something’ to someone else). For a woman to respond positively to eroticism she has to emphathise with the male perspective somehow. Women’s fantasies are surreal because female arousal (that leads to orgasm) relies on the indirect mechanism of thinking through the consequences for women that arise from men’s sex drive.
Women are turned on more by words than images. Books involve using your imagination but also they provide insights into people’s minds: “As she bent over he caught a glimpse of … and he imagined what it would be like to be ….” Images do not have the same psychological significance. One issue may be control. A man typically has control in sexual scenarios and of his own stimulation through intercourse. The mechanism of using fantasy seems to give a woman the opportunity to control the plot and manipulate the participants to create the turn-ons she needs to reach orgasm.
My fantasies focus on abstract concepts of thinking about a man’s desire to penetrate and of his penis thrusting until ejaculation. My fantasies always involve fictional men. As soon as I imagine a man I know in real life, the realities of how I see him as a social (rather than erotic) being take over. Intercourse in the context of a relationship has never been erotic enough to work as a fantasy. There is no taboo, suspense or sexual tension. Thinking about fellatio is a turn-on because the activity is highly explicit.
Once my mind tunes into an explicit fantasy I can orgasm within less than a minute or two. My fantasies develop in stages. There is the initial build-up or scene-setting where I determine whether my mind is responding to the anticipation of sexual excitement. Then I home in on the aspects of sex that I know from past experience are most likely to arouse me sufficiently.
Once I feel the tension start to build, my mental focus (which blocks out all awareness of my physical surroundings) is on the fantasy until I reach orgasm. It’s difficult to say where the sensations of orgasm come from. The process is much less predictable with a lover when I don’t use fantasy.
[i] Females… are much less often attracted by observing the male partner, his genitalia, or other objects associated with the sexual performance. (p664 Kinsey 1953)
Excerpt from Jane’s book Sexuality & Sexual Techniques (2015)