Home Women's sexuality Emotional bonding Women's Minds Respond to Fewer Erotic Turn-Ons

Women’s Minds Respond to Fewer Erotic Turn-Ons

Male orgasm is most usually associated with erotic stimuli.[i] Yet it is sometimes suggested incorrectly that female orgasm relies on emotional stimuli. This misunderstanding arises because women tend to associate sexual activity with a loving relationship. It is in fact the very different levels of men and women’s sexual responsiveness that cause the sexes to look for different emotional rewards from their sexual relationships.

Misconception #8: Contrary to the male experience, it is assumed that women achieve orgasm without using the equivalent erotic turn-ons that men need for orgasm. This misunderstanding probably arises because women can rarely account for their psychological arousal with a lover.

Men’s sexuality is relatively straightforward. They see an attractive woman, they get an erection and they are enthusiastic about engaging in sex that leads to reproduction. Women’s sexuality is much less intuitive.

Our motivation to engage in sexual activity is evidenced by how often we think or dream about sexual activity and by how much time we invest in enjoying sources of eroticism. Men are more responsive because there are many more aspects of sexual activity that trigger their arousal. Women struggle to list any erotic phenomena that act as female turn-ons.

Intercourse is both physically and conceptually arousing from the perspective of the penetrator. A mating act is much less erotic from a female viewpoint. A woman cannot comprehend why a man finds such mundane action (penis thrusting into a vagina) so mesmerisingly fascinating.

Women would have to be more sexual than men if they could orgasm with fewer equivalent erotic turn-ons than men use for orgasm. Given their lower responsiveness it is likely that women will need to work harder at achieving the kind of mental arousal that is needed for orgasm.

Only a quarter of men are impotent by the age of 70. A man has a mental desire to penetrate even after he has lost the physical ability to back it up.

Men’s responsiveness is limited by the physical (their ability to get an erection). Women’s responsiveness does not depend on any physical process (such as engorgement of the sex organ). Instead women’s responsiveness is limited by the psychological (their ability to get turned-on).

A woman’s fantasies may be limited to only a handful of scenarios. This lack of variety of erotic stimuli is a factor in limiting her responsiveness.

[i] In general, males are more often conditioned by their sexual experience, and by a greater variety of associated factors, than females. (p649 Kinsey 1953)

Excerpt from Jane’s book Women’s Sexual Behaviours & Responses (2013)