Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Many sexual problems arise because of a couples different rates and patterns of response, or ability to respond at all. If a man is unable to become aroused and erect, his partner feels sexually frustrated, unattractive and rejected. If a woman is sexually disinterested, she may avoid sex, or complain that it is painful because she is not sufficiently aroused. Her partner may be at a loss to excite her and feel like a failure.
It has been said that men get turned on like light bulbs -- instantaneously while women heat up slowly like irons. Amusing statements like this oversimplify the complexity and variety in human sexual relations - and may be hurtful to many men who find they are not like light bulbs! Indeed there are many couples in which it is the woman who has the higher sex drive.
Men reach the peak of sexual activity early in life, usually in their teens, when they average five orgasms a week. By their forties this figure drops to two or three orgasms a week and continues to decline with increasing age.
Women do not seem to reach their peak till their late twenties or thirties onwards, with a much steadier pattern of increasing and decreasing sexual activity, with increasing age, than seen in men. Women also have more complicated sexual lives with the issues of menstruation, fertility, pregnancy and menopause playing important roles.
All surveys reveal that despite the "general pattern" many individuals are very different from the average and so, just as there are men who have not ejaculated for years, there are women who become aroused many times a day. Similarly there are men who ejaculate several times a day, and women who have only been aroused several times in their lives. The truth is, of course, that conforming to a 'general pattern' matters much less than being comfortable with one's own sexuality.
People's religious and cultural beliefs are hugely important in determining their attitudes to sex, and to what they feel is acceptable behavior or not. Even if mentally they know that an activity (such as masturbation) is harmless, emotionally they may still feel guilt and regret.
A generation or so ago it was assumed that men were naturally more interested in sex than women and, as a result, overt behavior such as masturbation, initiating sexual Liasons or even paying for sex was tolerated more in men than in women. The tide of feminism, and the recognition of women's rights and issues, have meant that the taboo around female sexuality has been lifted, and it is clear that sex is as important to women as is to men.