Home Sexual response Differences Only men are aroused in anticipation of sexual activity

Only men are aroused in anticipation of sexual activity

Only men are aroused in anticipation of sexual activity

Off the coast of France, at Cannes, there is an island where people are permitted to bathe nude. Nude bathing is popular in France, particularly along the south coast and there are many nudist beaches. My partner and I went there (not for that reason!) and walked around the island by the coast path. Knowing that I fantasise about homosexual erotica, my partner suggested that I might want to watch a couple of guys he spotted having sex on one of the secluded beaches. I was embarrassed and mortified. The idea of watching them horrified me. I felt that it would be wrong to intrude on their privacy. But what is difficult for a man to understand, is that my turn-ons are conceptual and not related to the reality of sexual action at all.

The reality of sexual activity for me is just what it is. The facts. There is no particular eroticism to it. Sure, it is portraying sexual activity. But it is too close to the reality, which is not arousing at all. Looking at genitals for me is just the same as looking at feet (and I don’t have a foot fetish!). Sexual activity is similar but it focuses on two (or more) people’s genitals interacting with each other. So what? This is just like people playing footsie under the table. It can be arousing for a man because he interprets this female behaviour as a sexual invitation. But for a woman footsie under the table is just a teasing game to arouse a man. It is not at all arousing. [i]

I enjoy reading about anal intercourse and fellatio but seeing two gay men in reality would not be remotely arousing for me. It would be excruciatingly embarrassing. My enjoyment of these activities comes from thinking about the mind of the penetrator and the idea of doing something to another person. My fantasies do not focus on close-up images of genitals. I can also masturbate while reading a book. When we read, we do not imagine focused images. We view the scene in fuzzy images. We concentrate on the feelings and thoughts of the participants. We see the scene from the perspective of one of the participants, particularly the penetrating male. We imagine how the receiver responds to a man’s desire for penetration.

In my fantasies, the receiver is reluctant (in an accepting rather than a rejecting way). The penetrator is persuading the receiver to allow him to push his engorged penis into an orifice. My arousal comes from the idea that the receiver accepts fairly willingly an action that is done to them. This is different to the usual definition of rape. The scene is not violent or hateful. It is one that focuses on the penetrator’s satisfaction in obtaining penetration regardless of the receiver’s desire for it. This can be a disturbing concept for a woman who is always the receiver of intercourse in reality.

[i] Because males are so readily stimulated by thinking of past sexual experiences, … the average young male is constantly being aroused. The average female is not so often aroused. (Alfred Kinsey)

Excerpt from Understanding Sexual Response (ISBN 978-0956-894762)