Primer on recent article written by Daniel Bergner for the NYTimes magazine, “What Do Women Want?”
My comment regarding article:
While conducting focus groups for my dissertation several years ago, it became apparent that women were seeking a quick fix for their self-diagnosed low libidos. When I recommended erotica (often porn by another name) some women were pleased by the ‘permission’ I gave them with this suggestion. Other women cried fowl – ‘anti-feminist’ planting the seed for my Erotic Literary Salon. The space affords all sexes the opportunity to speak their inner sexual voice, with no judgment from the audience. Often women share fantasies that are anything but sweet and men express their softer side. Perhaps it is society’s expectations that even restrict our fantasies, often creating shame and limiting our true sexual turn-ons. It is ultimately our libido’s that suffer and we want to reach for a quick fix.
The short answer: Who the &*%$ knows. Science-wise, the study of women’s sexuality is still at the baking soda and vinegar volcano stage. The field is underfunded and plagued by the idea that it’s a little pervy. It’s politically volatile and upsetting findings are assailed by both the right and left, and, not to rat out the sisters, but women are confusing. Our sexuality is a confusing morass of still-poorly understood biological reactions, psychology and societal expectations. Only recently scientists have discovered and mapped the extensive internal parts of the clitoris, there’s no agreement on whether or not the G-spot even exists, and some women can just think their way to orgasm. However…
Researchers hooked men and women up to genital arousal monitoring devices and showed them a variety of porn—a man masturbating, a man and woman having sex, even a pair of bonobo apes getting it on. The heterosexual men reported being most turned on by scenes of women with women, women alone, and men with women. (Homosexual men, same deal but with the orientations reversed.) Women, however, were actually turned on by it all, even the monkey sex. Did the women really not know what was going on with their bodies, or where they just embarrassed to admit that they were more turned on by bonobo hard-ons than a strolling naked man? Keep in mind that the women in this study were liberated enough to watch porn in a lab with wires hooked up to their groins.
After one to four years of monogamy, a woman’s desire for her partner drops far more dramatically than a man’s. (This effect is markedly reduced if the couple lives apart.) The once white-hot passion of early love often turns into muted, dutiful sex or trying to avoid sex altogether. One woman in the book described marital sex thus: “My body would respond, but the pleasure was like the pleasure of returning library books.”
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