Men often assume that arousal and desire are the same thing – that if a person is aroused, it means they desire sex, and that if a person desires sex, they must be aroused – but logically we must know this to be untrue. Any man who has ever had an “inappropriate” erection or experienced erectile dysfunction can speak to this point! The funny thing is that while men seem to be very in tune with their physical arousal and can identify it as such, many women are unable to recognize physical desire when it is happening. Is it a fear of expressing desire that causes under reporting of arousal?
The scientist behind the study which reported these findings, Meredith Chivers at the University of Toronto, found that men were generally aroused by images of people who fit their gender preference (gay men were turned on by men and gay male sex, straight men were turned on by women and straight or lesbian sex). Neither found an addition test-group of bonobo “porn” arousing.
Women on the other hand responded with swift physical arousal no matter what kind of sex they were looking at – heterosexual, homosexual, all male, all female, or all monkey. What was more shocking was that women seemed completely disconnected from measured physical arousal when it came to self-reporting. Heterosexual women over-reported their arousal to straight porn and under-reported their arousal to everything else. Lesbian women reported their arousal to all female images accurately, but under-reported their feelings about all male images, and all of the women under-reported their experienced arousal when viewing the bonobos.
What Does This Mean for You?
For starters, it means that just because you and your lover don’t often have sex, or she doesn’t usually report feeling particularly horny or turned on, doesn’t mean she is frigid or incapable of arousal!
Not only are women generally aroused by a much wider variety of stimuli than men, but they are capable of experiencing physical signs of arousal as a result without even knowing that they are aroused. Is this another trick of evolution, or are women taught not to know their own bodies, not to recognize the signs of swelling, moisture, heat and desire?
What this means is that she needs your help to find her own desire. Can you help her find it?
Find Her Desire
Make a sex date. This is the number one thing that you can do to get into the habit of cultivating desire. Women like anticipation, so take advantage of that to give her some kind of surprise. Don’t make it anything fancy or expensive, but do give her a chance to work up an appetite for something, anything sensual. She is likely to find that the expectation of romance helps to build physical desire, but again remember she may not know she is aroused until she sees the physical signs herself!
Commit to having sex on your date, even if the mood is just weird. If things get hairy, you can always back off and take a break, but at least get naked together and enjoy some intimate physical touch. This is another great way to stimulate the neurotransmitter chemicals which help relay the message to the brain from the genitals – “Hey, wake up! This is going to be fun!” Once her brain clicks in to the arousal equation, you should have no trouble taking foreplay to the next level. If it just doesn’t happen the way you plan, don’t worry. It is always good practice for next time – and there will be a next time. Don’t give up! It takes repetition and habit-building to change the way the brain and body respond to sex and love. Give it the time it needs to rewire and you will both be reaping the rewards.
If anticipation alone doesn’t work, try to encourage having arousing things in plain sight to help move things along. Remember that your lover likely has a more nuanced idea of what might be arousing to her, so try looking at some erotic art, tantric statues, or even just watching the nature channel! You will be amazed at what kinds of simple things can get the engines warming up before you even begin to touch each other. Use this to your advantage and you may find that you are able to tease her into a frenzy by the time your date rolls around, maybe without even taking off your clothes. Enjoy! She certainly will!