Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Who Enjoys Sex more - or why Women are so Loud in Bed

I just came across Christopher Ryan's blog over at Psychology Today, and I truly enjoyed reading a dozen or so of his posts. Ryan got his Ph.D. in Psychology and is about to publish a book on prehistoric sex lives that he coauthored with his current life epoch partner. He is an evolutionary psychologist, and his blog focuses on how our ancestors' choices impact our lives today. Especially when to comes to sex.

 One of the recurring themes on his blog is the scratching, jerking, moaning, screaming and cursing that characterizes sex for women. He seems to share the curious wonder that scientists sometimes feel when the evidence they gathered blatantly contradicts mainstream belief. In this case, it is the common notion that men are ever horny "pigs" with nothing but sex on their mind versus the naturally coy, inhibited, self restraint women who merely "give" burdensome sex as a present of love to their life time mates.

Ryan rightfully wonders: "If females are so "coy," why do they announce sex to the neighbors?"

He goes on to note that female primates like to get noisy across a wide range of species, with "females of promiscuous primate species emit more complex mating calls than females of monogamous and polygynous species."A finding which makes perfect sense given our knowledge about sperm competition. By letting other males know that she just had sex, a primate female will increase her chances of collecting semen from multiple partners and let each mates sperm fight over the egg in order to ensure insemination from the fittest individual.

While this may be the ultimate reason, the proximate reason surely has more to do with what sex feels like for the two genders. Given a mutually pleasant sexual experience,women usually still are louder in bed than their partners because they cannot keep from doing so. This seems intuitive enough that even the ancient Greeks wrote about it (they even quantified women to have nine times more fun during sex than men). Ryan hypothesizes that the mainstream opinion about female libido differed drastically during those times. in other words, women are not inhibited in their sexuality. Women are inhibited to openly express and talk about their sexuality:
"Before we come to any conclusions about the weakness of female libido, we should consider ... the impact of thousands of years of cultural indoctrination on the free expression of female desire."

Why is that? Don't men and women alike suffer form a distorted public image of female sexual desire?

Yes and no. While women (and men) both profit from realizing the female naughtiness potential when it comes to having sex in the bedroom, there was ample reason to create a society in which bottomless female lust was a well kept secret.

As much as women enjoy men who know hows "what to do" in the bedroom and thereby allows for the guiltless expression of the slutty side that lingers deep inside her, there is even more to gain from a myth of sex being more pleasurable (and therefore of higher value) to men. Only if men believe that they profit more from sex than the women will they be willing to put in an effort and pay for dates - and not ask to get invited for dinner dates instead!

And there is a benefit for men as well. Event though the prevailing myth of the Puritan female soul robes the majority of men from enjoying limitless, wild crazy porn-star sex with their partners ("I am sure she wouldn't like that..."), it is that myth of low libido women which also prevents from realizing the Sword of Damocles above their heads. I will join Ryan by hinting at it using the words of a master:

"Now there you have a sample of man’s 'reasoning powers,' as he calls them. He observes certain facts. For instance, that in all his life he never sees the day that he can satisfy one woman; also, that no woman ever sees the day that she can’t overwork, and defeat, and put out of commission any ten masculine plants that can be put to bed to her. He puts those strikingly suggestive and luminous facts together, and from them draws this astonishing conclusion: The Creator intended the woman to be restricted to one man."
Mark Twain, Letters from the Earth

12 comments:

  1. "prevailing myth of the Puritan female soul"

    Victorian, not Puritan.

    The early American Puritans were highly censorious about extramarital sex of any kind, but encouraged lust between married couples. As well they made sexually serving the spouse in both directions a marital duty - i.e. to kick start things. Lots of children within marriage was a definite goal and encouraging lots of marital sex was part of that program.

    It's the Victorians who treated sex as something that true ladies only accommodate and never lust for.

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  2. It's the Victorians who treated sex as something that true ladies only accommodate and never lust for.
    Interesting. Thanks for the clarification.

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  3. "He goes on to note that female primates like to get noisy across a wide range of species, with "females of promiscuous primate species emit more complex mating calls than females of monogamous and polygynous species."A finding which makes perfect sense given our knowledge about sperm competition. By letting other males know that she just had sex, a primate female will increase her chances of collecting semen from multiple partners and let each mates sperm fight over the egg in order to ensure insemination from the fittest individual."


    Dayum, vaginal bukkake.


    Many women secretely desire to be gangbanged or to participate in orgies. The whole "swinger" phenomenon is driven by female desire more than male desire. Just about every single woman living outside her parent's house has a vibrator or dildo (or cucumber or carrot or the water dripping from the shower's faucet). They like sex at least as much as a man does on average, with only a few cold-birds-with-endocrine/nerve disorders who legitimately are unmoved by it.

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  4. Event though the prevailing myth of the Puritan female soul robes the majority of men from enjoying limitless, wild crazy porn-star sex with their partners ("I am sure she wouldn't like that...")

    Except that you're presuming that women would want to have wild, crazy porn star sex with a beta male.

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  5. Except that you're presuming that women would want to have wild, crazy porn star sex with a beta male.
    Good point.
    This might be what women experience with some betas and indicates that they want hawt sex with them as well. But it is also possible that even some alphas have trouble with that.

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  6. if women have lower libidos, why is their average number of partners is higher? the only reason men and women compare in terms of number of partners is b/c of the small, upper echelon of guys who have had sex with many, many, many women to make up for the tons of guys who have had only a paltry number of partners.

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  7. The Victorians weren't as bad as people think. Just look at the Pre-Raphaelite Movement for example.
    Even today their paintings are essentially photo realistic softcore.

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  8. Does this mean that the 27.2% of women age 18-44 year and 44.6% of women age 45-64 who report sexual dysfunction (most commonly low desire) are that way because they're in a relationship with a beta male?
    http://www.medpagetoday.com/OBGYN/GeneralOBGYN/11574

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  9. I have this urge to write a giant counterpoint essay.

    He's got a good theory, I approve, it's great.

    But there's more than what he stated, and what you elaborated from it.

    We go to Sperm Wars and its thoughts on the female vocalizing pleasure during sex in order to fool the male into ejaculating when she's not as aroused (and, obviously, not orgasming) so she has less of a chance of getting fertilized.

    Or that, as I've personally found, a goodly chunk of men enjoy a responsive woman. They love it when she's screaming into a pillow, makes them feel good about what they're doing. Very ego driven, something to brag about to their friends.

    If we do go with the idea that women physically enjoy sex more, and therefore the social set-up we have in regards towards men being the ones investing in a woman hopefully putting out is incredibly imbalanced, it would certainly not flip things if it was proven that women enjoy and desire sex more than men because of the much loved evo-psych support of women remaining as chaste as possible to remain ideal LTR mates.

    In fact, I'd venture forth that if we were more aware, as a whole, that women were more desirious of sex, and that was socially accepted (but chastity still remained, of course, the most desired quality in a female), women would be much more aware of their sexual drive and needs and more responsible with both.

    It'd also probably lower male infidelity rates.

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  10. They love it when she's screaming into a pillow, makes them feel good about what they're doing. Very ego driven,
    That, or the soothing feeling of reassurance that she is satisfied enough to stay away from other men. Feels more like the latter to me personally, although one could argue that it stems from the same insecurities.

    something to brag about to their friends.
    I have yet to hear guys bragging about a woman's sex noises during "locker talk". Seriously, this is not what we brag about.

    if we were more aware, as a whole, that women were more desirious of sex, and that was socially accepted (but chastity still remained, of course, the most desired quality in a female), women would be much more aware of their sexual drive
    See this:
    "Over fifty years ago, sex researchers Ford and Beach flatly declared that, “In those societies which have no double standard in sexual matters and in which a variety of liaisons are permitted, the women avail themselves as eagerly of their opportunity as do the men."

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  11. "That, or the soothing feeling of reassurance that she is satisfied enough to stay away from other men. Feels more like the latter to me personally, although one could argue that it stems from the same insecurities.

    I like it when you make my arguments for me. Easier that way. Satisfied, satisfying, same end goal. Still involves ego.

    And, yes, I got your comment on my post which sent me into peals of laughter.

    "Over fifty years ago, sex researchers Ford and Beach flatly declared that, “In those societies which have no double standard in sexual matters and in which a variety of liaisons are permitted, the women avail themselves as eagerly of their opportunity as do the men."

    I'm going to have to read that later, as I only have so much time at work. But that was over fifty years ago, in other societies, which means not just different sexual value systems, but different social value systems. You cannot necessary draw a positive correlation from something like that, it's incredibly unlikely and there's always going to be other influencing factors.

    Though you might want to check out Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Women in regards to her belief in a society focused on chastity/fidelity without a sexual double standard.

    But I truly to believe that if we found female sexuality socially acceptable, then there would be a higher population of educated women with knowledge of their sexuality (not the technical bits, but the evo-psych, the social/sexual dynamics, and just the general psychology along with sexual responsibility) instead of what we have now: a bunch of irresponsible sexual gimps.

    And I may not frequent men's locker rooms, but I am the masculine dandy of god knows how many social groups and I get to be the recipient (and participant) of "locker room talk" incredibly often. I know it isn't the same because I am female and decently attractive, but I do get to hear it, and sexual noises come up in stories fairly often, though they're usually bragging descriptors as opposed to the main point of pride.

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  12. Women are louder in bed than most men because the majority of men are terrible at expressing sexual pleasure audibly.

    Make some noise. Stop holding your breath lol.

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