It’s the age-old question that men often ask themselves: Why do women have sex? And why do women have sex without commitment? It might be easy to assume that a woman’s sexuality is like a man’s, but if that were true, why would so many men still believe that there are good girls for marrying and fun girls for, well, fun? (That double standard is a myth, by the way.) Before you label her one thing or the other, consider her motives for hooking up with you.
She Thinks Everybody’s Doing It
Women feel pressure to have sex because of an urban legend that says “everyone else is doing it.” In actuality, this isn’t true. A survey given on college campuses shows that college students talk about hookups far more than they’re actually occurring, so women think that becoming sexual with a man early on is normal behavior.
She Wants A Relationship Afterward
Women believe that hookups eventually lead to relationships. In one survey on the subject, more than half of women believed that a sexual hookup is a stepping-stone to a relationship. But the truth of the matter is, the earlier sex occurs in a relationship, the less likely the relationship will last.
She Wants To Audition You
Women (and men) think they need to test out the sexual chemistry of a relationship to make sure they’re sexually compatible with their partner. If this were true, then people with the hottest sex early on would have the longest and most fulfilling relationships. But a study of more than 2,000 couples showed that the hotter the sex, the worse the outcome of the relationship. Sexual chemistry is something that is fashioned through emotional intimacy.
She Desires To Be Desired
Sex researchers have long known that women have different kinds of sexual “needs” than men. Women’s sexuality tends to be responsive, meaning that we respond to sexual opportunity rather than seek it out to fulfill some kind of necessary quota. When women meet someone they are attracted to, their sexual responses turn on. When they break up from a sexual relationship, they aren’t as likely as men to replace that relationship with daily masturbation or pornography. When single women feel “horny,” it is often an extension of their emotional need for companionship.
She Finds Your Brain Super-Sexy
Unlike men, who have far more biological pressure to mate according to physical cues, women may even mate with men who are not classically (symmetrically) physically attractive. Women may become aroused by personality, humor, self-confidence and social status, among other things.
She’s Too Old To Have A Bad Reputation
Women of a certain age actually have a heightened sex drive in response to their dwindling fertility. It’s as if when the baby factory shuts down, it pummels an arsenal of hormones and the odd healthy egg down those fallopian tubes, machine-gun style. One study found: “Women with declining fertility think more about sex, have more frequent and intense sexual fantasies, are more willing to engage in sexual intercourse, and report actually engaging in sexual intercourse more frequently than women of other age groups.”
The moral of the story? If you’re thinking about settling down and starting a family soon, support her if she chooses to put sex on hold until you have built an emotionally intimate relationship. The skills you both need for a long-term relationship (good communication, empathy, conflict resolution skills) are very different than the skills you need for a short-term relationship. And I think you know what those are.
Dr. Wendy Walsh’s book, The 30 Day Love Detox, comes out on Valentine’s Day 2013.
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