In the early days of a relationship, a couple may explore different approaches to pleasure. Given the sexual passivity of women, it is typically the man who takes the sexual initiative. A man is motivated to explore a lover’s body because he is turned on by doing so. A woman is not. Men typically try different approaches to sexual pleasure within limits set by a woman’s objections. Over time, instead of this random, quiet approach, a couple may want to invest in more open communication about their sex life. A woman might suggest, outside of the bedroom, activities that she would like to try or how she would like to be stimulated by a lover. Women should be more proactive with a lover. If a woman has read erotic literature or watched pornographic movies, she may identify with the role of giving pleasure.
Looking good is much less important to many straight men. Your main concern in a sexual relationship is your ability to enjoy your erection. But a woman approaches sex with a focus on her whole body. She assumes that a man can appreciate her skin, her breasts, and his genitals. She feels exposed to some extent and that her attractiveness is a vital part of a couple’s sex life. So if he feels out of shape, he may be less willing to offer sex.
A woman accepts intercourse because of the inherent authority that comes with the sexual drive of men. The male sexual drive provides a certain security to a man’s commitment. Women don’t need men to act, but they come to expect it. A woman worries (if a man doesn’t love her anymore) that she loves someone else. In romantic fiction, a woman is carried away by the sexual passion of a man. A man makes love to a woman to show her sexual admiration for him. Thus, for example, a man does not make love with a prostitute. We never talk about a woman making love to a man. Men want sex, not make love.
Some men may settle for the sexual services of a prostitute. Women don’t turn to male prostitutes in the same way because they want sex within an emotionally meaningful relationship, usually with a loving partner. A woman can feel loved because a man needs her sexually. Many men also do not want to have sex with a stranger. But a man can enjoy his arousal and orgasm without the need for a relationship. Women engage in casual sex for ego, but they don’t get physical gratification like men do.
Humans have sex far more than is needed for reproduction. So even men are not motivated by a purely biological drive. Our minds are aroused by the opportunity to have sex with different sexual partners or in different settings. Few men would walk away from a relationship where they have regular and varied sex with an enthusiastic and adventurous partner. Men seek a variety of partners because marital sex bores them.
Older women may complain that their husbands no longer want to make love to them. Sex is a demonstration of a man’s love and sexual admiration for a woman. A woman may miss sex but this has nothing to do with orgasm. If she wanted an orgasm, she could masturbate. The person who is most sexually motivated should make the effort. Instead of complaining about what her partner is not doing, a woman should offer him pleasure.
Some women are much more proactive as lovers than others. This is related to personality, culture, and how much a woman identifies with women in erotic fiction. Men like to assume that a woman is proactive because she is turned on herself. This fantasy assures the man that a woman will be willing to have regular sex. Women who invest in their sex lives do so by making a conscious effort to please a lover (just as prostitutes do).
Sex is like a conversation and no one enjoys talking to themselves. A man appreciates a lover who occasionally takes the sexual initiative. He also appreciates a mistress who gives him permission to explore her body. A woman can enjoy this scenario because she abdicates any need for effort. She can just lie there and enjoy the sensations of being stimulated by a lover even if the feelings don’t culminate in a climax.
If men just wanted an orgasm, they could masturbate. Men enjoy penetrating and ejaculating in the body of a lover. Men like to have the lights on, use mirrors and a lover who shows herself provocatively. Male arousals are raw, graphic, and obvious. They enjoy a woman who makes sexual invitations, such as spreading her legs or keeping her buttocks open.
Women assume that men are automatically turned on. Men need specific erotic stimuli such as female genitalia or sexual activity. A woman can buy sexy nightwear or pornographic videos to watch them together naked. A woman needs to project her appreciation for her lover. She can make encouraging comments about her excitement at the prospect of being penetrated by him. Sometimes a woman needs to offer herself some proactive pleasure.
The most common reason men gave for having sex outside of marriage was sexual rejection by their wives, or the boring nature of repeated sex with the same person in marriage. (Shere Hite 1993)