Divorce, Single Parenting, Dating, Sex, & Self-Recovery

Sex and the “Wanna Be With You” Vibe

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sexual desire in women

It’s a culturally accepted concept: That men need sex much more frequently. And I would also assume, from my personal experience, that it would not be hard to get most people to agree that women can go without sex much more easily than men. BUT… The science may be in, showing that women WANT sex as much as men, but the cultural norms keep women from acting on their desires as easily as men do.

That’s what keeps women heading across the street to the convenience store for toy-powering batteries rather than heading out to the clubs to pick up casual sexual partners. Certainly, in our culture, it would be easier for a woman to “bed” a man than the other way around. But this new report shows that it’s not the sexual mechanisms that are so different, it’s the expected behaviors of the sexes that keep men on prowl and women in their home hideouts.

“Female animals don’t just enjoy sex, they are not shy about pursuing it. Bergner’s new book is a reexamination of everything we think we know about sex and female biology. An excerpt in The New York Times Magazine two weeks ago explained how, contrary to long-standing cultural beliefs that women are turned on by stability and emotional intimacy, long-term monogamy actually saps women’s sex drives. A German researcher “shows women and men in new relationships reporting, on average, more or less equal lust for each other. But for women who’ve been with their partners between one and four years, a dive begins — and continues, leaving male desire far higher.” We fundamentally misunderstand women’s lust, says Bergner. And not just when it comes to married women.” – When Women Pursue Sex, Even Men Don’t Get It – NY Magazine

Wait! What?

“Long-term monogamy actually saps women’s sex drives.”

I read this with some sadness. Wanting to say aloud, “Yeah, I know.”

But it’s not all bad news.

“A University of Michigan researcher found in 2011 that “gender differences are minimized when women feel that they can avoid being stigmatized for their behavior.” Women like having sex. They don’t like being socially punished for it.” – ibid

Another resource for learning about the sexual habits and needs of the sexes comes from a book called Modern Dating: A Field Guide:

“Everyone’s being kind of wishy-washy,” Atik says. “Women want sex, but they don’t want to be seen as forward (or worse, desperate). Men want sex but are intimidated, unconfident, or don’t want to be seen as domineering. We’re not sure who should be the sexual instigators, and then no one really steps up to the plate.”

So the NY Mag article summarizes our problem very simply.

“Here, again, perhaps the animal kingdom can be a source of inspiration. Sex for pleasure: Lady birds do it, lady bees do it, and, I’m sure by dint of their socioeconomic status and feminism 101 classes, even educated lady fleas do it. The sooner we can agree that pleasure is one major motivation to pursue sex — for both men and women — the sooner we can all start instigating it.” – When Women Pursue Sex, Even Men Don’t Get It – NY Magazine

Okay, so the idea here is that we both want sex. Men have been trained to ask and pursue. Women, on the other hand, have been trained to wait for the man to ask, but are reluctant to ask for themselves. A single woman friend the other night texted me, “Would it be okay if I contact him for a date, again?”

“Of course. You will know exactly where you stand by his response. If he’s into you it will be a HUGE turn-on.”

It worked for her. She sent him a casual “hey” text and he immediately asked her out on the next date. In chatting with her later she said, he reported that he was waiting to see if she made any indications about wanting to go out again.

So… He was waiting for some “sign.” And when she provided the come-on, he responded with the next adventure, potentially amorous. In thinking about my only “woman with potential” I wonder, is she just unable to figure out how to let me know she’s interested in more? Or in our case, since we’ve known each other for so long, and appear to have rich and full lives independent of one another…

Fuck. When does it get to the next stage? When is it okay to lean into the deep hug and go for the full-on kiss? My instinct is, not until the indicators are there, the angle and receptiveness are aligned. In other words, she will let me know.

Today, I’m okay with that. I’ll keep checking OKCupid, but I’m okay with that. And certainly, she knows how much I am putting out the “wanna be with you” vibe.


The Off Parent

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