Women are morally superior and have little to no concern about sex. Men are sexually hungry, never satisfied, and are morally superior. That’s the stereotypes of sexual desire in both sexes we are used to seeing in media and our culture on a daily basis.
This understanding of sex drive in men and women that we have today is quite recent. Leigh Noren, a sex therapist, says that up until the 18th Century, both men and women were considered equally sexual.
She Writes, “The notion that women’s sexuality is somehow lesser than men’s is actually quite new. Both sexes were viewed as immoral, passionate, and obscene before the 1700s. This meant we believed women and men were equally sexual and that sexual pleasure wasn’t just a male priority.”
The 18th century was the first century when society began to denigrate female sexual pleasure and desire. We now live in the 21st century and struggle to understand sexual desire in men and women.
Before we dive into the discussion on the differences between male and female sex drive, let’s start with understanding the basics of the sex drive first.
Sex Drive vs. Sexual Arousal
Sex drive or libido is a term that’s often used interchangeably with the term sexual arousal. Although they may be similar because they both refer to how we respond to sexual things they are fundamentally different.
Sexual desire or sex drive is more about the psychology of sex, how your mind and brain perceive sexual activity and whether or not you’re into participating in the action.
On the other hand, sexual arousal refers to the physicality of the act. It’s how our body reacts to something sexual and how it responds to it. Noren This explains, “sexual arousal is the physical part – the physical response of lubricating, or getting and sustaining an erection.”
It’s important to know the difference between the two to avoid any misunderstanding about your own sexuality and libido level. Many people believe that sexual desire is necessary for sexual pleasure.
But in reality, it’s not really necessary.
Do you know why sometimes you might feel “in a mood” for some sexy play, yet your body doesn’t seem to share the same feelings? Like, your genitals are just not responding to the call, no matter how “hot and heavy” you’re feeling?
There is a reason. And it’s called arousal non-concordance.
This term is used by sex therapists to describe the phenomenon of your body and mind being stimulated to sexual activity. You might be feeling in the mood for sex, but your genitals might not be ready, and it’s a completely normal occurrence.
Arousal non-concordance is best illustrated by the way your body reacts to unwanted sexual advances. While you may feel physically stimulated, such as vaginal lubrication and erection, your psychological interest in sexual intercourse is not affected.
It is here that verbal consent can be discussed. Just because your body is showing the signs of arousal, it doesn’t mean that you’re consenting to the sexual activities taking place.
The victims of sexual assault can also be helped to get rid of their shame by understanding the differences between sexual arousal, sexual desire, and the concept of non-concordance.
Noren Writes, “a lot of times, people who have been subjected to sexual trauma feel an extra weight of shame because their body became physiologically aroused during the abuse. Understanding that this is just a purely physical reaction to our genitals or bodies being touched can reduce the shame and stigma surrounding this reaction.”
The never-ending conflict of libido between opposite sexes
Researchers found that there is a distinct difference in the sex drives of men and women over many years. This research accounts for the majority of it. According to some, the differences in sex drive between two sexes can be attributed to their different levels of testosterone.
Roy F. Baumeister is a social psychologist who believes men have a higher sexual drive. He spent extensive time studying people in order to prove this theory.
His research was completed in 2010. he determined that “Every marker we could think of pointed to the same conclusion. Men are more likely to think about sex than women. More men have sexual fantasies than women, and they include more acts and different partners. Men masturbate more than women, much more.”
New York Times also appeared around the same moment. Published an article written by Daniel Bergen, which claimed that sex drive in women is way higher than in men and that, in fact, their sexuality is way more fluid than mens’. Bergen believed that women were not suited for monogamy.
With all the conflicting information, you might be wondering — so, which way it is? Are we all on the same sex-drive?
The Newest Research Shows That We’re Not So Different
It is possible that the sexual drive of men and women might be similar. Recent research We know. Researchers suggest that our perceptions and assessments of sexual desire might determine the true level of desire for sex in each gender.
Sex drive is often seen as a sudden, intense sexual desire to have some sex. Our perception of sexual desire is similar to our experience with hunger or thirst.
And while some people might experience sudden and spontaneous sexual desire, it’s not the only way our sex drive operates. There are actually two types of sexual desire.
“There are, in fact, two distinct styles of sexual desire – spontaneous and responsive. The spontaneous libido is the one we’re most used to. It’s a feeling that appears out of the blue, right in the middle of us having dinner or going for a walk,” Noren This explains.
Now, responsive sexual desire is something very different that doesn’t come out of the blue but rather is provoked by certain actions. Noren says, “For responsive desire to take place, it needs to be sparked by something – perhaps a sexual fantasy, a glance from an attractive stranger, or sensual touch.”
She then adds, “Generally speaking, men are more inclined to have a spontaneous desire style, whereas women drift more towards a responsive desire style.”
Spontaneous desire is how we’re used to seeing men experience sexual desire, and it is how, for the longest time, women were expected to experience it as well. Because of the perception that sex drive in women and men starts the same, it’s natural that research in the past deemed women as not as sexually responsive.
The sex drive of women for sex is no less than that of men. It just follows different patterns. Research shows that women’s sexual desire changes depending on their menstrual cycle. When women experience the peak of their sexual arousal during the ovulation period, their sex drive is as strong as men’s.
Researchers previously believed that testosterone, the hormone responsible for male sex drive and sex drive, was also responsible for the sex drive of women. The truth is that the newest research shows that testosterone makes no difference to a woman’s sex drive.
All of the new research shows that men and women view sexual desire in a different way. Instead of comparing sex drive in women to men’s standards, we should focus on broadening our views on how we understand sexual desire in general.
There are many sexual desire triggers for women, but they can be different.
Although the differences in sex drive between men and women are not as large as we thought, they do have a vast difference in what drives them to have sex.
In One study was conducted in 2014.A survey asking participants about their sexual desires and motivations was completed by 406 people. Researchers discovered that women and men are motivated by different things.
Men’s Sexual desire is motivated by the desire to have sexual freedom and orgasm with their partner. Women on the other side are motivated by intimacy and emotional closeness with their partners, as well as feeling sexually coveted by men.
Many women desire to have sex with their partner because they need to be intimate. Noren Writes, “for a lot of women, not all – emotional intimacy is a necessary precursor to sexual intimacy. Emotional intimacy is what triggers sexual desire. For sex to even be on the cards, you need to feel close to your partner or spouse.”
The way women feel about themselves and how they look depends on their sexual drive. A woman who finds herself attractive is more likely to want sex. Women want to be sexy and desire to have sex with others. In fact, it’s one of the most common sexual fantasies woMen have.
Noren shares, “This is showcased in women’s sexual fantasies where a lot of the fantasies are centered around the idea of being desired – sometimes by a lot of people at the same time. This isn’t to say that men and people of other gender identities don’t need this to feel horny. But when it comes to what triggers sexual desire in women – this factor comes up time and time again.”
It is also possible that the difference in what triggers men and women to want sex could be explained by the false belief women have a lower desire to sex than men.
Because women desire different things and have a different sexual response cycle, it’s easy to write women off as “not as sexual as men,” even though it’s not necessarily the truth.
Karolina Wilde works as a writer about sexual wellness. Her work has been published by The Ascent and P.S. She has published work on I Love You and Sexography to over 25,000+ people. She can be found podcasting, reading or creating TikTok videos during her free time.