What Women Want: Understanding Female Sexual Desire

What Women Want: Understanding Female Sexual Desire

I’ve been thinking about writing this blog post since I read Daniel Bergner’s book, “What Women Want several months ago.  But I’ve had a hard time wrapping my head around how to portray the information in a way that is helpful to both men and women.  Apparently female sexual arousal and desire is multi-faceted and complex..Really?  Who would have thought?  Here are some of my take aways

  • Sexual arousal and desire are not necessarily the same.

Bergner points to sex research that shows that what women report they are aroused by when shown porn (hetero-normative monogamous sex) and how their body reports arousal through measuring vaginal blood flow ( lesbian, gay, group, and primate sex) are incongruous.  He postulates that the female arousal patterns are similar to his male subjects and that the women, just like the men, were aroused by “indiscriminate sex”. (His term not mine..)

  • My belief is that arousal is a physiological response and desire is more of an emotional state of being.  And they don’t necessarily occur simultaneously.  There are other factors that come into play for women including what stage of life they are at.   In younger women who are in their childbearing years, arousal generally follows desire.  In mid-life (40 +) women who no longer have the physiological drive to procreate, desire follows arousal.
  • The differences in arousal and desire and the stages of a woman’s life impacts how we get turned on sexually.  Mid-life women need more time, more focus, and more sensation.  What these woman want is to first feel aroused and then once arousal happens, their desire for sex climbs.   Younger women tend to be the opposite.  They are much more likely to be quickly aroused because their desire for sex and procreation is much stronger.
  • What women want is to surrender into dominant male energy.  

Bergner’s evidence for this comes from several sources– fantasies of women that he interviewed and reports from researchers who have studied women’s fantasies.   The researchers reported, in a chagrined way, that rape and gang bang are the two most common sexual fantasies of women.  It’s important here to distinguish between actual rape (which is a brutal act of violence) and a woman “being taken” by a man or a group of men, which is an act of submission.

Similarly, the fantasies of his interviewees, were of having wild sex with the rogue man..the bad boy.  The “good guys” were for relationships and dating but not for having intense, passionate, sex.

  • I agree that what women want is to feel safe enough to express their feminine nature, which is naturally one of surrender.  There’s yet to be a woman that I’ve spoken to that has not said that it would be a complete turn on for her partner to throw her up against a wall and ravish her.
  • How a woman gets to that place of surrender and how the good guys can hold that bad boy energy that women desire can be fraught with complications.  But it’s so worth it when you learn how to get there!

Ultimately What Women Want is to be Desired…

2 responses to “What Women Want: Understanding Female Sexual Desire”

  1. Sylvia says:

    Hi Xanet, I loved your column on the book What Women Want, written, as you know, by a man. As if He in his infinite wisdom knows what all women at any given time want. WE don’t even know what we want half the time and sometimes we change our minds. In fact we can change our minds on what we want from moment to moment — especially when we are excited, upset, pissed, whatever, like I am at this moment with the guy who wrote the book. And guess what? Men change their mind about what they want at least as often as women. So if I don’t know what I want in any given moment, and I’m a woman, how can this asshole know?

    Love you Xanet!

    Sylvia from Missouri

  2. Richard says:

    Dear Xanet,

    Very interesting discussion, as usual. When I first heard the title of the book “What Women Want”, written by a man,it reminded me a little of another book, “The Care and Feeding of Husbands”. As if we were dogs. I didn’t read either book, so I’m ignorant, but what I learned from your comments prompted me to write my own opinion, just based on my own experience. I think women want to be taken sexually by a gentle but very firm man — who like a fully erect penis — is thrusting his way forward to know who she is AND who will appreciate the gift he has received and not take it or her for granted. Maybe also this should be a discussion of wants versus needs. Women need to feel safe and men need to protect, for example. They are archetypes passed down over 10’s of thousands of years. I hope someone replies to this post so I can learn more.

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