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.
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