According to science, testosterone is what regulates sexual desire. And, as expected, men have a lot more of it than women, both the hormone and the desire for sexual activity. That’s a fact of our biological evolution. Men hunt for food and available mating partners. It’s in our DNA. But in the modern world, can these sexual differences cause problems or be the key to opening up a better balance in our sexual compatibility?
One place to look for the variation between men and women is a 2009 study on masturbation.
If we take self-pleasure as an indication of sexual desire, we can see some stark contrasts between men and women. About 1/3 of the women list their masturbation frequency as “Not in the past year” between the ages of 18 and 50. After 50 that percentage jumps to 50% and on up to 70% for our elder ladies. Now compare that to men who show the same tapering off with age, but look at the men listing masturbation over 4 times per week. (PER WEEK!) 19% – 15% of men between the ages of 18 and 50 report masturbating over 4 times per week. Wow.
No wonder my masturbation-related posts seem so natural to me and are kind of icky to some of my women friends. Fascinating. And perhaps masturbation is not the perfect indicator of sexual desire, but the contrast between men and women is fairly dramatic, don’t you think?
So we men are walking around with testosterone raging around in our veins and brains at a high level into our fifties. We are constantly driven towards release. And it must be fatiguing for the women in our lives to have to deal with that much aggressive sexual pressure. Thank goodness men (and even monkeys) have learned to release the raging hormones via masturbation.
So what do you do with a relationship between men and women when the request for sex is constant and unrelenting? Well, of course, the man needs to figure out a way to pleasure himself, or he’s going to be frustrated a lot of the time. And it’s really not the woman’s responsibility, even in a marriage, to pleasure us. It’s a dance. We men are constantly asking for, thinking about, and craving sex. Women, not so much.
I read recently about how women need a bit more ramp-up time to get in the mood. Sexual desire is not something that drives their daily motivations. And the suggestion from a woman for women, was instead of saying no all the time, to say, “Let’s see how you might be able to get me in the mood.”
In my experience, the imbalance is manageable as long as the relationship is in good shape. If the conversation and trust iarestill intact in the marriage, the constant pressure from the man can become more of a game, rather than an irritation. When things were working for us, sex was just a part of our play. Sure I was in heat more of the time, and she was able to pleasure me efficiently and quickly in the shower as we were getting ready for work. And it was easy, often involving contact and rubbing rather than penetration.
But when the relationship begins to go south, sexual communication becomes more and more strained. And sure, women cannot satisfy our every craving. That’s not their responsibility. But the dynamic is there either way. If you’re not talking about it, or playing about it, it’s getting built up and the imbalance may become more and more painful.
That was the big indicator to me that things were not working at all in my marriage. I was fine with self-pleasure for long periods of time, but ZERO sexual connection over a month, that began to get my attention. And ultimately this is the pain that I woke up to and began expressing in my marriage as complaint and dissatisfaction. Again, I’m not talking about daily or even weekly sex. I’m talking about going a month without so much as an encouraging touch. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Something was out of whack, and my whacking was not going to repair it.
Sex is an important part of any relationship. And for some of us, more “touch-oriented” a lack of sexual connection is akin to starvation. In the last year of my marriage, I was not just sex-starved, I was touch-starved. There was so little affection coming from her, that when she said, “I love you,” one night, out of the blue, I felt immense pain. I realized for the first time how infrequent her expressions of affection of any kind had become.
That was the beginning of my campaign to either have her return to the marriage or divorce me. It wasn’t my idea. But I was aware that the lack of touch was killing me. There was no amount of masturbation that was going to make up for the distance between us.
As a certified life coach, I’ve been helping men and women find fulfilling relationships. If you’d like to chat for 30-minutes about your dating/relationship challenges, I always give the first 30-session away for free. LEARN ABOUT COACHING WITH JOHN. There are no obligations to continue. But I get excited every time I talk to someone new. I can offer new perspectives and experiences from my post-divorce dating journey. Most of all, I can offer hope.
Get the complete single dad story with John’s new book: Single Dad Seeks (available in all formats)
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reference: This is how often women masturbate – Huffington Post Women
image: physics is like sex, son of groucho, creative commons usage