Men are from Mars and women are from Venus or so the saying goes. It’s used to describe the huge differences between the genders, especially when it comes to sex. Do these differences really exist? We socially accept that men and women perceive sex in distinctive ways but is this the case?
Sex Drive: Are There Major Differences?
Before moving on to the actual perception of sex and intimacy, let’s first focus on sex drive and whether the proverbial difference between men and women is a fact.
It’s a common belief that men want to have sex all of the time while most women aren’t that keen on it.
Various studies have been carried out to answer the question about the differences in libido. Most researchers have come to the conclusion that the old cliché does hold true. Men tend to have much stronger sex drives than most women and they’re also more straightforward about their desires.
According to University of Chicago professor of psychology Edward O. Laumann, environmental context is much more determining of female libido than of male. Thus, things happening in everyday life and emotional state can either kill or heighten the female libido in a way that it’s not going to impact men.
Researchers have found out that men under the age of 60 think about sex at least one time per day. Only 25 percent of women in the same age group fantasize and think about sex with the same frequency.
Women are also more likely to lose their sex drive because of a wide array of turnoffs. Men are specific about what turns them on. Ladies, on the other hand, are often clueless about the causes of arousal or they have a more complex physiological-emotional mechanism in place.
Is it possible to attribute these differences in libido and arousal to highly specific brain responses in men and women? Researchers seem to believe so.
Scientific literature has reached a consensus about the power of visuals when it comes to getting guys turned on. This is why seeing a beautiful woman or a partner in some minimalist lacy lingerie will do the trick for most guys.
As soon as the visual is interpreted by the male brain, a guy will get turned on. Men’s brains are hard-wired to activating a part of the brain that’s responsible for triggering an erection, Psychology Today reported.
Another interesting study was presented in the International Journal of Impotence Research. Researchers used audio-visual stimulation to see which parts of the brain will get activated in both men and women. The study involved 10 heterosexual men and 10 heterosexual women.
There were two types of audio-visual stimuli being used – erotic video clips that were sensual and had a plot and physical-type videos that put emphasis on genitals rather than the emotional aspect of sex.
As predicted, men preferred and were turned on by the physical depiction of sex. Women were more aroused by the emotional audio-visual stimuli that involved some acting and a plotline.
Intimacy And Sex?
When it comes to the basic response to sexual stimuli and libido, men and women are different. Sex in humans, however, is much more than a simple physiological act. It involves emotions, intimacy and bonding.
In terms of showing affection, requiring intimacy and a bond with a partner, men and women don’t seem to be that very different.
A study was presented in 2012 in the Personality and Social Physiology Bulletin. In the study, researchers found out that men are as likely as women to be openly affectionate towards a partner.
The study followed 168 couples for a period of 13 years. In a complete opposition to stereotypes, the study found out that men in love were open and willing to be affectionate with their partners. These men were highly likely to do things together with a partner, bonding with each other in a non-sexual way.
Men in love were also more likely to initiate sex and intimate sessions than the ones who weren’t that fond of their significant others.
Researchers concluded that gender differences are getting too much attention. When in love, both men and women tend to respond in pretty much the same ways. While libido differences are a fact, they don’t have such a determining impact on sexuality, frequency of sexual experiences and satisfaction.
So, when it comes to intimacy and having a genuine connection with another human being, guys and girls are pretty much the same. This is probably the most important lesson and conclusion to take out of the article.
Love And Sex Aren’t The Same Thing
When it comes to attitudes about sex, these may be somewhat affected by biological differences and societal expectations. This is the main reason why guys tend to be straightforward about their desires. At the same time, many women adopt a more passive approach towards pursuing sexual gratification.
In terms of love, however, both genders act and respond in the pretty much same way. Studies involving couples who self-reported to be passionately in love with each other suggested that men and women had the same type of brain activity.
Going for the men from Mars and women from Venus stereotype is easy. Stereotypes feel comfortable because they put everything in neat, little boxes. Real life, however, is a bit more colorful and diversified than that. Human sexuality is the proof that generalizations don’t really work when something so complex is being examined.