When living in an environment devoid of sexual stimuli (such as one without women) most men cease all forms of sexual activity. For example, the arousal cycle of men who are locked up in prison with no access to any kind of visual media (magazines, television and internet) grinds to a halt. [i] This illustrates an interesting relationship between arousal and sex drive. A man’s sex drive may be triggered by his physical proximity to a woman.
Men’s responsiveness decreases with age because male orgasm depends on the physical process of maintaining an erection. Masturbation is the first major outlet to disappear from men’s sexual histories, which indicates that male arousal stems foremost from sexual activity with a lover. Men who leave their wives for younger lovers feel younger (and more virile!) because of the ease with which they are aroused by a young woman’s body.
Imagine growing up alone on a desert island without any contact with other people. As a female I am confident that I would have no reason to discover orgasm. My only source of arousal is the awareness that men are turned on by my body. My fantasies focus on male responses, male sex drive and the idea of penetration. In other words, without men I have nothing to fantasise about. Of course the same is true for a boy growing up on a desert island. Very few boys (0.81%) experience ‘spontaneous ejaculation’. Both masturbation and sex dreams depend on a person’s use of creative imagination either by remembering or embellishing an experience with a real-life lover.
My own sexual awareness stemmed from when men first noticed my breasts. The function of the female breast is clear: to suckle a babe. But breasts also represent the anatomy that most clearly distinguishes women from men. Women’s bodies are ‘sensual’ because they are soft and fleshy (as opposed to hard and muscular). Although they are just as responsive at any age, women are less attractive to men when they no longer look fertile. This explains why young women are more motivated by casual sex. It’s not just that men find young women attractive but that an older woman feels less desirable because of the reduced interest she receives from men.
We talk about love as a selfless emotion but often there are more selfish needs involved. Children love their mother because of the nurturing and protection she offers. A woman loves a man who is willing to defend and support her. Her willingness to offer him intercourse, ensures her own survival. A man loves a woman who is willing to offer him regular intercourse. By protecting her, he is also safeguarding his prime sexual outlet. We tend to love those people who provide for our emotional needs.
[i] In a short-term prison, the majority of the men … may go for long periods of months, or for a year or more, without ejaculation. … most of them live comfortably enough, apparently because there is little erotic arousal which needs to be relieved by orgasm. (p210 Kinsey 1948)
Excerpt from Jane’s book Sexuality & Sexual Techniques (2015)