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Thursday, September 23. 2010
Readers have been generous with their comments on my questions this week, and it's all been helpful and sometimes inspiring. (This question series is only for this one week.)
Here's my question for today:
Men are often viewed as the lustful ones with sinful hearts if not actions, while tradition has often held women to be more contained, demure, and lacking in ordinary lust. While men often tell me about their almost-drooling at babes while walking down the street - even happily married men - I rarely hear that from women. (Obviously there is a huge range in sex drive and sexual interest and imagination between individuals.)
So are women just quieter about reacting to hunks they see, or are men really more lascivious? In other words, are women just as prone to purely physical attraction as men, or do they really need a "relationship" to become interested? Or, to put it another way, are women as likely to make daily life as much of a pornographic experience as men do, on average?
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The man in the picture does nothing for me. Women do not need to be in a relationship to mount anything that moves. The only criteria is chemistry.
Women are more lascivious by nature than men and when they demure it is deceit.
I think women prefer privacy. That's why there has been an explosion of erotica/written pornography taking over novels. While many men would look and touch in public or private, I think women want to have the control of novels where they can mold the man however they want.
I observed enough female behavior in college to learn that women are just as shallow as men when it comes to looks. Saw many young women dating jerks only because of their looks - then crying over the bad break-up, swearing that there are no "nice guys" out there, then dating the next handsome jerk to hit on her.
See, the difference is that I see that picture of the youthful , unclothed Scott Brown, and I don't think, "I'd like to (blank) that," and then run off the bathroom to do ... whatever.
I think, "Gosh, what a handsome guy, and he looks nice, and warm and nice to snuggle up to, and kiss," and then I wonder what he's like as a person and THEN I wonder what the final piece of equipment might look like.
MOST women, I think, instinctively think about men in terms of relational objects, rather than simply sex objects. So, you could take two equally good-looking men in terms of physical attributes, and most women would, I think, without knowing either man, immediately be able to tell you which they find more attractive based on more subtle factors.
I don't think that women instinctively mentally undress men in the same way that men do women.
I liked Marianne Matthews' comment from a few weeks back that, even in your 80s, you still instinctively appreciate a fine specimen of the opposite sex.
Several months back I was visiting a family friend in a convalescent home with a broken hip. Even at age 89 he expressed an appreciation for some of the female forms he saw there. So, it works for both sexes, even at that age.
I'm not a woman, so I can't speak FOR them.
I can, however, tell you what I've heard when I've questioned them along these lines (sure - guys ask these questions. The answers, however, will vary based on how well you know the women).
Women I don't know well will put up the "wall" and say it's all about the relationship. There is an overwhelming need to keep up certain proprieties, I suppose. Men are willing to forego propriety in most situations.
Women I know well, however, will tell me that they "drool" over men. Or stop and stare at handsome men in the street. I know a fellow I worked with, when he and I walked down the street, would be the subject of stares, head turns and on one memorable occasion, a woman running into a pole.
He WAS handsome (though to see him now...eh).
I can also say (this based on experience) that there are times when the relationship is secondary or even unimportant for "things" to move forward. Sexual chemistry, primarily chemistry between 2 personalities not necessarily looks, can be a HUGE motivating and driving factor for "activities" to take place. The aftermath varies from woman to woman. Most, however, take it in stride - thank you very much, that was fun.
The ones who don't take it in stride usually do so because of expectations they've been led to believe must exist...and sometimes they simply can't accept that nature led them to a point of no return.
Let me be clear, though - I know men who are the same way. So it's not like there is a real differentiation, as far as I can tell, except on one count:
Men have little problem sharing how they feel or react to things, at least in comparison to women. Beyond that, I don't see many major differences.
Again, this is a guy talking...so it may not matter one whit (though I'm sure some women will take issue with what I've written).
I am not sure why you define "ordinary lust" as lust regarding someone you are not in (or wishing) a relationship with...and in fact seem to exclude that. But your follow-up questions make what you are trying to get at clearer.
Not that I answered them.
My sweetheart seems more verbally oriented than visually oriented. We'll talk sometimes about how attractive someone is. But she enjoys romance novels that are pretty explicit and she enjoys racy story-telling.
She also doesn't read this blog or I'd keep my big fat fingers off the keyboard...
Oh , for goodness sakes, Dr. Bliss, 'fess up. I think you already know the answer to this. Women and men are cut from the same cloth, after all, but to a slightly different pattern. Men are more direct, and more goal oriented than women; women like to take a less direct path to what they want -- maybe mess around a little on the way. Or be messed around with. In a nice way of course. But we all want to get to the same joyous place in the end.
The guy looking at porn in the adult bookstore is looking for an answer, not gratificaiton.
Paglia wrote somewhere in Sexual Personae.
If a man took the same risk of getting preggers and being responsible for the che-ild for the next 21 years that a woman takes, he would behave differently.
Oh, wait - that's how it USED to work -
Marianne, my sentiments exactly. My motto has always been, if it moves, mount it. I am equal to any man, so why shouldn't I reap the same benefits?
Without presuming to speak for Marianne, I don't really think her sentiments were quite the same as yours.
Christ have mercy.
I ain't convinced yall are equal to any man.
Must confess i don't like moving.
I moved some 27 moons back but didn't like it then.
If'n yall are really girl try benefit of being a lady.
Meself cain't aspire to such loft but i'm more than equal, shiela.
Women need sex only to have children. After the children, there is no need. Many find the need for their loved ones, but I think they could do without.
I think this imbalance in needs is one of the mysteries that keep men up at night. We just don't understand.
Of course there are exceptions. But on average---this is the way I see it.
That is just so wrong an assumption, Jack. There are pills for that.
Women aren't as visually oriented.
Women who say they "drool" over this and that are largely just trying to sound like men, or sound like they are hot babes, to sound attractive. We want everyone to be attracted to us, as a rule. If we talk about how hot we are for somebody, we sound hot, don't we? That's usually the point.
Case in point: Where are all the male strip clubs? Non existent, basically. a 1 to 100 ratio.
Where are all the male porn mags? Non existent, basically, a 100 to 1 ratio.
Women are attracted to what they perceive to be powerful men. We like power, generally. A good looking man on the campus is generally a powerful person. So good looks are often happening right there along with the power. The power can be financial, political, popularity, plain old strength - but it's almost always power.
See: Rush and his current wife. That leprechaun senator with the gorgeous wife. Etc.
It is power that attracts, that or getting to know you better and finding some common ground.
I admire beautiful women. As an artist/photographer, I tend to envision them as a work of art. Twenty two years (today) of marriage has never dampened my enthusiasm for the female form or my desire to be on friendly terms with them, but not on sexual terms. None can offer me what my wife has already given me. But, I have caught my wife several times, her eyes following a male form on the beach. She denies any kind of thoughts take place, and will pat my belly to reassure me. I know that cuddling, petting and spending time with her is important to her, but I also know that once in a while she wouldn't mind if I was easier on the eyes either.
Years ago I worked as the only male on second shift keypunch operations and I have to tell you, I will never let anyone tell me that all guys do when together is talk about women and what they would want to do with them. If any of the husbands/boyfriends of my co-workers knew what I knew none would be able to look me in the eye. From sex on the kitchen table (don't go there for dinner), bathing only once a month, to trying on womans underwear, very few if any of these coworker's significant others had secrets.
Leag: Ah yes. You would like the benefits of ladies, but you still venture to the darker side because that is the dog in you. It is the antediluvian thinking of the male species, such as yourself, that has prevented women from enjoying equal footing in society.
Miss Cilla, Aye, i do enjoy the benefit of me ladies. and because most men are more than equal to women, yall have more than equal footing in American society.
Even when yall may lack a ladies skill.
Me thinks the dark side is when women attempt to act like men and men attempt to act like ladies but i do appreciate bantering.with girls and ladies, alike.
Miss Nancy me thinks yall got the gay pinned.
Porn lite postings continue to raise question; what are family values amongst our hosts.
Personally seeing guys pose in magazines looks really gay to me (ok now I've said it). And back in the day when Playgirl magazine came out, the gay men that I knew were more interested in that mag than any women I knew.
My primal response to naked guys in magazines like the handsome Scott Brown? "Put your clothes on and we'll talk." There's something about this situation that puts the cart before the horse, in other words.
I agree -- it's a little off-putting to have a guy strutting around trying to make eye-contact, and him a stranger to me. I guess that means I'm not as visually oriented as most men seem to be. A half-naked man who acts like he's on stage is not a turn-on, he's a cringe-fest. Best stick to chopping wood with your shirts off, guys. Now that's hot.
My wife's grandmother used to mention that for every man screwing around on his wife there was a woman involved.
Now Granny didn't seem too hip, and ignored the percentage of same-sex infidelity, but still...
If we want to step back from "who cares more about looks" to the broader question, "who bases their attraction on factors that have nothing to do with a good relationship," then we can see that neither sex has a monopoly on either wisdom or foolishness.
Women on average have a somewhat lower sex drive, one evolutionary reason for this is probably that it puts them in a stronger bargaining position in the trading of resources/protection for sex. BUT if a woman is in the presence of a man that her sperm-seeking circuits identify as having very superior genes, she'll be overwhelmingly attracted to him. Though the reaction is built in, it's also affected by culture..many women may be attracted to a celebrity, an academic may be attracted to a Nobel Prize winner. But if the man combines her personal status markers with generic Alpha characteristics (self-confidence, etc) and is reasonably good looking, her specific sex drive toward him will be at least as strong as the male sex drive toward a beautiful woman and probably stronger. Also a woman who is extremely aroused in this way seems to instinctively resist using any form of contraception.