Young women cannot possibly imagine the challenge of a sexual relationship spanning decades. They experience sex through spontaneous and romantic interludes. Long-term relationships take effort on both sides. They are not a whirlwind of sexual passion from beginning to end. A man enjoys sexual activity most with a lover who assumes a proactive role in sex. A man doesn’t like to feel guilty about the selfish nature of sexual pleasure but he also enjoys the turn-on of believing that women are proactive due to their own arousal. But prostitutes (and other women who invest in their sex life) have to make conscious effort to offer explicit genital stimulation.
Men are easily tempted by promiscuity. The male is driven to engage in penetrative sex and if his mate does not oblige him, he is likely to be tempted to seek intercourse elsewhere. [i] This is why women work so hard to be attractive to men. When she has a family, a woman offers a man intercourse so he is not tempted to divert his resources to another woman. Female orgasm has no role in relationships but male sexuality is doubly useful. Not only is male orgasm linked to reproduction but also male sex drive (which is higher than that needed for reproduction) drives the emotional bonding that motivates men to support a family. Male sex drive plus men’s need for a loving response creates the durability of relationships.
Women respond affectionately to intercourse when they feel emotionally content but they have to make much more effort to appear to be responding erotically. For men, sex is effortless because they are easily aroused. Men mistakenly assume that women are driven by the same sexual urges as they are. Consequently, men rarely acknowledge the conscious effort a woman makes: to present herself attractively, to play along with male sexual fantasies and to respond lovingly and erotically to intercourse. Women complement men’s sexuality not by having a similar focus on their own arousal but by playing to male fantasies that assist with male arousal and orgasm.
Other mammals use rear entry (man penetrates from behind) but humans use the missionary position, which creates a sense of lovemaking. A couple can combine intercourse with upper body sensual interaction, such as caressing and kissing, to demonstrate their affection for each other. The missionary position also causes the woman’s mental engagement (or lack of engagement) to be more evident to her partner. The need for a woman to appear to be aroused or pleasured by intercourse contributes to the more sophisticated emotional bonding that humans have evolved over time.
[i] Among all peoples, everywhere in the world, it is understood that the male is more likely than the female to desire sexual relations with a variety of partners. … it seems probable that these characteristics depend upon the fact that the female is less often aroused, as the average male is aroused, by the idea of promiscuity. (Alfred Kinsey)
Excerpt from Women’s Sexual Behaviours & Responses (ISBN 978-0956-894717)