We have long believed that men and women have different desires, and thus that different kinds of things turn them on. However, as time goes on, more and more studies are tending to highlight the unexpected interests that both sexes have in common! Here are the Top 5 stimuli for sexual arousal, in men and women alike.
1) Sex with a stranger
Meredith Chivers, a psychology professor in Queens University in Kingston, Cananca, led a study that revealed astonishing results: for women, it was more the idea or the fantasy of spontaneously getting down and dirty with a complete stranger -man or woman -that triggered their arousal. A male stranger was however eight times more sexually appealing than female strangers. “Eroticism works better when it is spontaneous and with a stranger”, according to the psychologist.
2) The pleasure of looking
Kim Wallen, a researcher in neuropsychology in the Univerity of Emory in Atlanta, led a study on both men and women, getting them to look at erotic photos, in order to determine the the difference in interests between the sexes. The results: the women scrutinised the images with the same level of interest as the men.
And for Professor Chivers, she showed the heterosexual female subjects close-up images of flaccid and erect penises, as well as vaginas in various states of exposure. Results: the women were most aroused by the images of erect penises, which provides further proof, according to Chivers, that female desire, similar to male desire, has a certain animalistic side to it.
3) Their partner’s desire
Marta Meana, a doctor of psychology in the University of Nevada in Las Vegas estimates that “at the heart of the female libido, there is a need to be the object of someone’s desires in order to desire them in return. Narcissism is what fuels female desire.”
She conducted a study using an eye-tracking device. The women had to pose their chins on the device, which monitored every eye movement to the exact millisecond while the women were watching an X-rated film or erotic photographs. The conclusions: the women looked at the faces and bodies of the women in the images, but they mainly scrutinised the men’s expressions of desire for their partners.
Libido can suffocate from too much intimacy. In order to last, desire needs a certain distance from the other person, according to Doctor Meana. By definition, an object of desire is something that is not immediately accessible. Dreaming of total fusion with one’s partner could be a bad idea, because spending all your time with someone means that there is no longer enough mystery between you to keep the spark of desire alive, which goes for women the same as men.
When we are too close to someone, it is difficult to maintain an air of mystery.
5) An interest in polygamy
And what if we are simply not made to be monogamous? In Western countries, the law, influenced by monotheistic religions, forbids infidelity in marriage and forbids polygamy, in order to enforce the opposite. When we look back through history, we may come to think that monogamy, mainly imposed on women, was invented in order to reassure men that they weren’t being cheated on and that they weren’t raising another man’s child.
But here’s the inside scoop gentlemen: female arousal is no more adapted to fidelity than male arousal!
According to Doctor Meana, a German study shows that female desire fades faster than men’s and that many women become sexually bored after a few years in a relationship. In terms of fidelity, the need to be desired loses its appeal over time, because the partners start to take it for granted.
According to the writer Francoise Simpere, author of a guide to polygamous love, sexual exclusivity is not part of fidelity. “To love someone is not to possess them”, she claims. Non-monogamy is the bedrock of equality in a couple. If one is monogamous but not the other, the partners are not on equal footing and the relationship suffers.
In another study, led by Lorraine Dennerstein, a psychiatrist in the University of Melbourne in Australia, which was carried out on around 100 women aged from 40 to 55, the results were conclusive. Although with the menopause, women can experience a drop in libido, the study claims that those who those who are in new sexual relationships do not experience this problem.