Women display their bodies to gain approval from others. This behaviour is misunderstood by men who assume that a woman’s conscious behaviour (to present herself in a provocative manner) reflects a subconscious response[i] (of being aroused and motivated to engage in intercourse).
Men are the ‘birds and the bees’ and women the flowers (honey pot) that draw them in. But in a symbiotic relationship it is meaningless to ascribe more importance to either role because reproduction depends on both.
So just as the penis is often much larger than is required for the purposes of impregnating a female, the breasts are often much larger than is needed to sustain an infant. The breasts, as the key external anatomy that differentiates women from men, have evolved to become more noticeable.
The intense focus on women’s bodies means that girls as young as five aspire to the sexual attributes and wardrobe of a Barbie doll. Teenage girls starve themselves and few women are willing to appear in public without wearing make-up, ‘sexy’ lingerie and without waxing their legs.
There is a reassurance in being admired by a lover. Women enhance their femininity by emphasising their vulnerability so a man will provide for them. Men, on the other hand, enhance their masculinity by projecting an image of competency so that women will look to them for protection.
Assertive individuals do not look to others for confirmation of their personal worth. Men approach sex more interested in what they hope to gain than in how they might entice a lover. A man doesn’t need to dress or behave in a certain way to indicate his willingness to engage in sex because his erection makes his arousal very evident to a sexual partner.
Anyone who has an interest in enjoying their own orgasm is motivated to seek out sources of eroticism to assist with their arousal. Male arousal is so spontaneous that it is much easier for a woman to direct her sexual investment towards providing male turn-ons (by enhancing her looks) to assist with male orgasm than to invest in achieving her own orgasm.
Women do not behave in a sexually provocative way because they have a drive to achieve orgasm nor are they are aroused in a true genital sense.
Such behaviour does nevertheless indicate a ‘reproductive drive’ because it signals that women may be amenable to intercourse. These behaviours are a valid and pleasurable part of the whole picture of human sexuality.
[i] … commercial exhibitions of female nudity … are taken by many of the males in the audience to indicate that the exhibiting females are tremendously aroused. Most of the females … were highly disdainful of males who could so easily be misled … (p657-8 Kinsey 1953)
Excerpt from Jane’s book Women’s Sexual Behaviours & Responses (2013)