It’s been widely believed that men get turned on easily and are ready for sex at any time, while women have to be “in the mood.” But is this really true?
Multiple studies involving opposite-sex couples have found that many men and women share the same level of desire. This is a big part of the reason why some people are skeptical about the myth that men have higher libidos than women.
Sexual arousal is the body’s response to sexual stimulation. It begins in the brain (sometimes called the body’s largest sexual organ) and sends signals to the rest of the body, especially the genital area.
Arousal comes from many different sources — seeing something that is sexually arousing, smelling things that are sexually arousing, thinking about people or activities that are sexually arousing — for both men and women. These signals, from the cerebral cortex and other parts of the brain, cause the heart rate to increase and blood flow to the genitals. For males, this leads to an erection. For females, it can lead to swelling of the nipples and vulva.
Research on sexual arousal has shown that both the sophisticated cortical areas of the brain and the more primitive sub-cortical regions are implicated.
Men report more positive emotions toward sexual stimuli than do women, but this is independent of cardiac responses. This indicates that social and cultural factors can modulate the emotional response to sexual stimuli.
One such factor is how the person you’re in a relationship with makes you feel. If you’re comfortable enough to talk openly with your man about how sex makes you feel, it can help him be more willing.
It’s important to be able to communicate how you feel about sex without coming across as accusatory or critical. This requires practice and skill, so if you’re having trouble having these conversations with your partner, it may be worth speaking to a marriage counsellor who can help you work through the issue together.
Men like to be around people who make them feel good. If he feels happy when he’s with you, that’s a big part of what makes him desire you sexually.
If he’s comfortable discussing personal matters with you, that’s another indication that he’s interested in your emotional intimacy. This is the foundation for trust and security in any relationship, including the sexual one.
For most men, sex is an exciting and enjoyable way to fill up their lives with energy and excitement. It’s also a way to show love for their partner. However, when he’s not getting the emotional connection that he needs from you, his desire may start to decline. He may also withdraw emotionally from the relationship. That can lead to problems down the line if you are not careful.
Libido, or sexual desire, is the body’s response to sexual stimulation. It can occur alone or with a partner.
A man may experience several physical changes when he is sexually aroused. These include moistening of the vulva; swelling of the labia and clitoris (the area where the inner and outer lips of the vulva meet); and erecting of the nipples.
It can take minutes or hours to reach the plateau phase and orgasm. The intensity of the pleasure can vary with each person.
It’s important for both men and women to communicate their interest in sex. If you don’t feel like having sex, let your partner know — but do so respectfully. Otherwise, he may interpret your rejection as a lack of interest in the relationship.
The desire response to sexual stimulation occurs in different ways depending on your social situation. For example, some people find sexual activity a satisfying and rewarding activity, even when they are not in a relationship or married.
Physician Rosemary Basson suggests that men respond to sexual stimulation in a different way than women do because their bodies produce more testosterone. In her book Good Loving Great Sex, she describes male sexual desire as being more urgent, focused and goal-directed than female sexual desire.
Philosophers have long debated what exactly is involved in the concept of desire. Some think that desires are like beliefs and that they become true by virtue of the fact that the world as it is conforms to them. Others, like John Pollock, argue that desire is actually a form of wish.