The Flip Side … Men And Sex, Women And Sex

Men and Sex

Men think more about sex. No breaking news there. Studies concluded that a little more than half of adult men up to the age of 60 think about sex at least once a day. Men fantasize twice as much as women, though both fantasize less as they age. Men want sex more often than women. If you were to plot the sex drive of men during the different stages of a relationship — start, middle and many years later — it would be a straight line graphic.

The majority of men are pretty straightforward in their need for sex. It’s simple — right to the point. Most women need the prelude of the emotional connection. For men, sex is the connection, no pun intended. It doesn’t mean they aren’t looking for the same things in a relationship, like intimacy and love. Sex is how they express these desires, it is most men’s language.

When it comes to the act itself, men tend to achieve orgasm faster, and nearly three-quarters always reach fulfillment, while only a fourth of the women do so. Sadly, the men believe their partners are reaching fulfillment almost half the time, rather than the 25 percent of reality reported by women. The average sex session lasts anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes. Considering it takes a woman around 10 minutes and more to reach orgasm … well, do the math.

Some other interesting facts: Some men, but not as many as you’d think, have nicknames for their penises; when asked, about half of the men said they would take a male birth control pill (up from a few years ago — way to go, guys); most guys are all for bedroom toys while 30 percent felt intimidated by the vibrating friend (time to rethink things, anxious guys, and make a new BFF); and the majority of the men out there don’t worry about size (really?), and for those who do, it’s almost always insecurity about being too small, rarely about being too big. After rigorous and dedicated studies to find the average human penis size, the winner is just over 5 inches (and, sorry, guys, 5 inches does not equal a foot).

Then there is the cliché about men and their secretaries. Not so far-fetched when nearly 80 percent of men admit to fantasizing about a female colleague and 43 percent about a female boss. And, according to a Glamour magazine survey, about a third of men don’t believe there can be such a thing as a platonic friendships with women.

Women and Sex

A woman’s sexual inclinations aren’t as straightforward as a man’s. A Northwestern University study found that straight men watching erotic films were aroused by the male-female and female-female sex scenes. Gay men found the male-male sex turned them on. While straight women said they were aroused by the male-female sex, their monitored physical reactions showed they were as turned on by the female-female and male-male sex as well. Just when you thought you had the female gender all figured out, they get even more complicated.

Environmental and cultural factors influence women’s sexual desires. Women who attend church on a regular basis will likely have a less permissive attitude about sex, whereas men do not seem to have this same correlation. Peer groups and level of education can also affect a woman’s feelings about sex.

Women are less interested in casual sex than men, and most likely will have fewer sex partners than men in a lifetime. Women do masturbate, but only about 40 percent compared to men at approximately two-thirds. Yet, of that two-thirds, about half the men admit to feeling guilty about it when they do, with no stats on the guilt felt by the women. Men are more rigid in their thinking about who they want to have sex with, whereas women may have the capacity to be more open to same-sex relationships and consider sexual orientation as a matter of choice.

Yes, “not tonight, dear” is an all too common phrase in relationships among men and women. A study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology journal revealed that 40 percent of the women who participated reported some sort of sexual problem, low sexual desire the most common. But out of the 40 percent, only 12 percent said they were distressed about it. In another German study, results showed that only a few years into a marriage, fewer than half of the women wanted regular sex, and 20 years later, only a fifth did.

Yet, in comparison, there are many more cures for a man’s low desire or shrinking libido than for women. Considering the many complicated factors involved in arousing a woman’s sexual desire, some medical and psychiatric professionals question whether drugs are the answer at all. So, at least when it comes to sex, it looks like the mystery as to what women really want remains, and men will just have to keep trying to figure them out. Maybe that is half the fun.