HomeSexuality & techniquesFemale sexualityWomen are aroused by fantasy, not real-world turn-ons

Women are aroused by fantasy, not real-world turn-ons

Men are aroused by thinking about sexual activity with someone they find attractive. Only two thirds (69%) of women ever have erotic fantasies. The rest (31%) admit that they have never once been aroused by thinking about eroticism. They are not even aroused by thinking about their own partners. But this makes sense because women’s fantasies typically involve fictional men rather than real men. [i] Given their fantasies do not reflect real life, women are unlikely to find arousal and orgasm easy with a real-life lover.

Personally I need to focus on male genitals, male sexual psychology (a man’s focus on his erection and his urgent need for penetration) and the male satisfaction in ejaculating. His eyes and kindly words just don’t do it for me. These attributes may be romantic but they do not help with orgasm.

We need to differentiate between general turn-ons and the mental focus on explicit aspects of eroticism that enable us to reach orgasm. For example, women’s breasts may cause male arousal but not male orgasm. Otherwise a woman could just show a man her breasts instead of offering intercourse.

Breasts are associated solely with females so they are naturally of interest especially where there are variations between different females. If the only time a man sees a woman’s breasts is when he has sex, then breasts also become associated with sexual opportunities. This fascination with the size, texture and look of a part of the body is something quite unknown to a woman. Women do not have the same fascination with male anatomy.

From a fantasy perspective, a woman can imagine engaging in surreal sexual activity with complete strangers. But in real life a woman does not have a sex drive so she is not aroused by the idea of doing something sexual to someone else but rather the idea of something sexual being done to her. This is a consequence of women’s passivity in real-life sociable scenarios.

A woman’s ability to get aroused relies on her appreciation of a man’s sex drive and the idea that a man is aroused. This less direct arousal mechanism relies on the higher brain function of connecting cause with effect.

Women are slower to arouse with a lover because the more subconscious focus of receiving stimulation (clitoral and penetrative) from a lover is much more subtle (indirect) than the mechanism of using conscious fantasy. The more subtle turn-on of enjoying the idea of penetration by a lover during sexual activity only becomes effective once a woman is mature enough (over the age of thirty-five) to be responsive with a lover (if she also has clitoral erections as she ages this may help facilitate arousal).

[i] The sexual partners in these dreams were usually obscure and unidentifiable – an epitomization of some general type of person; and even the actor in the dream was not always the dreamer, but a person who combined the capacities of an observer and a participant in the activity. (Alfred Kinsey)

Excerpt from Sexuality & Sexual Techniques (ISBN 978-0956-894724)


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