It’s no mystery to most people that women and men are different when it comes to sex. Obviously, we try to make these differences work to our benefit. But oftentimes, the result can be more frustrating than anything else. Not to mention, men don’t understand why it’s so darn difficult for women sometimes, and women don’t understand why men are so puzzled by them.
Men, for the most part, are much more direct when it comes to matters of sex. They tend to be more easily aroused by visual stimulation and prefer when things are not emotionally demanding. That’s not to say that they cannot be emotional, but they shy away from emotional conflict. Men also more easily objectify women – that is, they can think of just the physical aspect of a woman – which allows them to more directly access their arousal. Women tend to think of this as a negative, but it is actually designed into the hardware of their brain. If they weren’t able to objectify for sex at some level, they would overload with information which would make arousal more challenging for them.
Men will also tend to have a much easier time matching their psychological arousal to their physical arousal. What this means is that when they have signs of physical arousal such as an erection, chances are they are also psychologically aroused as well. But this is not necessarily the case for women. In 2004, Meredith Chivers at Queens University of Canada demonstrated that a woman can have physical arousal in her genitals, yet no sense of sexual desire or psychological arousal at all. This helps explain why medications such as Viagra have a significant effect for men, but don’t really do much to help a woman’s sexual desire (even though it does the same thing physically for women as it does for men – helps their erectile tissue fill with blood).
It’s not only the mismatch between physical and psychological arousal for women that is different. Women are also much more sensitive to distractions. It’s been shown that men’s brains have many more connections between the arousal centers and the part of the brain that focuses on the overall situation. Women’s brains, on the other hand, have many more connections from the arousal center to areas of the brain that process complex memory and details. It’s almost like women’s brains were designed to nitpick!
The result, of course, is what many of you have experienced first-hand – that women are much more sensitive to distractions and have a more difficult time getting aroused, starting off in sex, and reaching orgasm. If a woman reaches orgasm quickly, she is usually at a high level of arousal and a very low level of distraction. So if you ever wondered why women prefer for their partners to find the spot, and then stay there – sometimes for minutes – so that they can reach orgasm, now you know.