Some thoughts on male and female sexuality

Redefining sexuality

I’m thinking of some classic sexual stereotypes that both sexes unconsciously hold: for example, a man may say that he wants a sexually experienced woman. However, when he finds one, he can’t cope with her sexuality. Maybe he’s holding a belief system which says something like a sexually active woman, or a sexually experienced woman, is the “whore in the bedroom” archetype, and what he really wants in a woman who fulfills “the Madonna archetype“.

On a personal level, you might hold a belief system that says something like “all men have to satisfy their woman in bed”. (And that’s because “it’s a man’s duty to ‘give’ a woman an orgasm”.)

So it goes on: our lives are run by stereotypes which do nobody any good, and which reinforce what’s become classically known as the “double standard”.

This is very unfair on both men and women. The simple truth is that women are inherently sexual in a way that men can’t even begin to understand. Unless, that is, men are willing to let go of their fears and inhibitions around sexual activity with a woman and female sexuality itself.

I suspect one of the reasons that men seem to repress female sexuality so much is because they are in some way frightened of female sexuality. And in turn, that is because they know, deep down, that female sexuality is more powerful than male sexuality.

A woman is a deeply in touch with the erotic, generative power of the universe, that she needs a man who’s can help her find it. And it appears that men are scared of this: the lack of female sexual pleasure is a plague of our times.

It’s quite understandable really: when a man is with a very sexual woman, he’s going to wonder if he can please her. He’s going to wonder how he compares to her previous lovers. He’s going to wonder if his penis is big enough. And so it goes on. (If you want to know how you can bring a woman to orgasm without worrying about penis size, check this out.)

But the fact that a woman enjoys sex doesn’t mean she’s a whore or a slut. It means she’s a woman who enjoys sex. So, men, drop your concerns about women who are sexually experienced or enjoy sex. Stop seeing yourself through a veil of questions about your ability to satisfy her. Stop reading things into female sexuality. Get to know a woman as a person before you have sex. Develop trust, so that you have less reason to question the sexual background and experience of that woman, or, to put it more bluntly, to question her morality.

Video – the Madonna-Whore complex

One of the problems that arises from all of this, of course, is that many men are sexually insecure. They haven’t been taught how to be men who can please a woman both in bed and out of bed. They haven’t been taught how to be confident about the expression of their own sexuality, including saying “no” when it’s necessary for them.

Video – the sexual insecurity of men

So many women repress desires of all kinds, sexual and otherwise, because they’re scared about letting men see them, and the possible response. Those responses can include stonewalling, lack of communication, retreat “into the ‘man cave’“, denial, and and even possibly anger.

So why are men so insecure with women? Why are they intimidated by the combination of good girl and bad girl? There’s a lot of cultural stereotyping going on here, because sexual women are usually portrayed as “bad” women in some way. And “nice” girls are somehow seen as somehow not being sexual.

Yet at the same time, it seems perfectly acceptable for a man to have any amount of sexual experience. It boosts his standing amongst his mates, and it may even boost his standing amongst women, who suspect that he might be an alpha male to have had so many women.

Yet, really, all of this nonsense is based on the fact that men and women see each other through the filter of society’s expectations, and cultural stereotypes: they don’t see each other through qualities like equality, mutual understanding and respect.

Are men and women more similar than different, do you think? I believe that we are, in the sense that men and women mostly want the same things from a relationship: intimacy, tenderness, support, a feeling that we mean something to the other person in the relationship, and so on.

Yet we are conditioned by society, and maybe even by our genes, to believe that we have to behave in a certain way, that we are entitled to certain things in the other sex partner.

It’s actually difficult to come to understand another person better. All that’s required is good communication in an effort to understand exactly what a person is thinking and feeling, and perhaps even more simply, to understand the world from their point of view.

Take orgasms for example.

Female sexuality may appear to be incredibly complicated to many men, but the truth is we all want the same thing: sexual pleasure and emotional satisfaction along with it. So consider a man who is having sex with a woman and then asks “Did you come, dear?”

What is she going to say in response to that if she’s feeling at all protective of his ego and excitement? (“Of course I did!” or “It was great, thanks!”) And more to the point, how come he does not actually know whether she’s had an orgasm or not?

Once again, we seem to be facing a problem that centers on a lack of open and honest communication. And maybe also on the men’s partly a lack of sensitivity, because it isn’t actually very difficult to know if woman has reached orgasm. 

When it comes to sex, the goal for many men becomes the woman’s orgasm. Yet the best way to achieve sexual pleasure with a woman is to slow down, think about what she needs on the way, and give her the sensitivity and tenderness that she craves.

So, during sex, are you focused on giving a woman satisfaction (an orgasm), or are you focused on being with her in the experience and sharing pleasure?

It’s a widespread male assumption that a woman will actually only enjoy sex if she comes, but the truth is that there are many ways for woman to enjoy sex, most of which have nothing to do with reaching orgasm.

Sex isn’t just about the man’s pleasure. And so, if your are finding that sex without female orgasm is unsatisfying  to you, there is need for some self-examination. You may wish to establish exactly what makes you think that your woman “should” reach orgasm every time you make love.

Of course one of the difficulties here might be the fact that men have certain expectations around sex: very few men would expect to enjoy lovemaking without reaching orgasm, so it may be that they assume the same is true for a woman. Again, this shows that we need to communicate better about our sexual needs and desires and experiences. We need to stop second guessing what our partners are thinking, feeling and wanting. Instead, we need to talk openly with them about all these things. 

The reality and the fantasy

If you actually ask a woman what she needs from lovemaking, you’ll soon find your illusions shattered. For example, did you know that many women have been given a “good girl program”? This makes them believe that their primary aim needs to be giving men what they  think men want. (And that might even include the female orgasm, even if it has to be faked!) This is a very sad state of affairs.

Faking an orgasm is a road to nowhere, because at some point a woman will be pissed that she is still not having orgasms, but can’t admit faking them because her deception has been going on too long.

What makes this worse is that many women are not easily orgasmic; some don’t even know what an orgasm even feels like.

A factor in this is that many women discover their true sexual nature much later than men. Many expect that a relationship with a man will provide a way of accessing their own sexuality and achieving sexual pleasure.

This means that the solution to the male-female disparity in sexual pleasure is not based solely in good communication between men and women. In addition, women need to take responsibility for learning about their own sexuality and how best to achieve and enjoy their own orgasms.

A good starting point here is for a man to put more energy into making a woman feel loved, cherished, and good about herself, rather than focussing on his desire to “give her an orgasm”!