The Truth About Male Sexuality

Margie Nichols, Ph.D.By Margie Nichols, Ph.D.

MARS AND VENUS? REALLY?

The answer is – yes and no.   John Gray’s ‘Mar/Venus’ books maintain that men and women are so intrinsically different that they might as well be from different planets.  Critics of Gray point out – truthfully – that the differences between men as a group and women as a group, in general, aresmaller than the differences that exist within each group.

But that misses the point.  As a woman, my sexuality isn’t much like the sexuality described by people like Rosemary Basson when they describe a female desire cycle quite unlike that of men.  On the other hand, as a sex therapist and human observer I know that I’m an outlier, that Basson has nailed it for an awful lot of women..

So I guess the answer is yes with a three caveats.  I’m going to describe some of the most well-documented differences between men and women.  But please understand that the traits and behaviors I’m describing apply to about 2/3 of men and women.  That’s a majority – but a hefty 1/3 of each gender fall outside the stereotype.  You can’t use the generalities I’m going to make about male and female sexuality to predict anything about a particular individual.  The second caveat is that all the differences I describe below seem to reverse or even out as people age.  In other words, men and women get more similar in their sexuality as they age. A”nd the third is that you be aware that stereotyping has a serious downside, too – many a man has been shamed because he doesn’t fit the stereotype reflected in Billy Crystal’s line “Women need a reason to have sex, men just need a place.”

Given these caveats, here are some differences that many sex therapists and researchers agree upon:

1)  Men are more sexual – period.  They are sexual earlier, have more sex, want more sex, masturbate more, have more partners.  Women are catching up, but men are still out in front.  Men, whether it be by biological disposition or cultural conditioning, are a lot more into sex than women.  But it’s not just sex.  Some studies have shown that while men think about sex more than women, they also think about food and sleep more – they just seem more focused cognitively on primal needs.

2) Men separate sex and love better than women.  You can decry or applaud this, but it’s true.  As a rule, men are more into sport fucking, recreational sex, whatever you want to call it – because they can have sex with someone they know nothing about and don’t care about. Research on motivations for affairs reveal that men who cheat report being happy in their primary relationships, women don’t.  The female desire for sex is often a desire for romance, while men frequently want sex just for fun.

3) In general men have a rapid response – they can ‘shift gears’ from, say work mode to sex mode, pretty quickly and their arousal curve is pretty steep, compared to women’s.  And for most men, ejaculation pretty much always follows arousal.

4) Men’s sexual response cycle seems simpler than women’s.  It goes like this:  desire, usually experienced in a physical way, arousal (getting turned on and hard), plateau (that aroused place before orgasm) and orgasm.  All happen fairly rapidly, and often in a routine way that can occur hundreds of times without the guy getting bored.

( COMING NEXT: HOW WOMEN ARE DIFFERENT)

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