A Question Of Sex

Recently Colin was asked to comment on some aspects of sex. Questions on the differences between the sexes, why we behave differently, work to a different timetable and even why men and women enjoy the pleasure of sex in a different way from one another.

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What are the differences in sex drive between men and women?
 
It may seem contrary to popular belief, but in my experience, rather than the man being the predatory sexual hunter and the female playing the role of the passive receiver, it is very often the reverse. 
 
When it comes to the biology of sex and securing their genetic lineage, men need to be selected by the female for both their stature and the quality of their sperm. Whereas the female needs to attract as many sexual suitors as possible, in order to maximise her chance of getting the best available sperm and ongoing security to take care of her during pregnancy and subsequent child rearing.
For these reasons, it’s often women that have a higher sex drive.
 
Psychological Factors:
How does upbringing and culture between men and women affect our sex drive?
 
Fundamentally, the sex drives of men and women should not be affected by culture or upbringing, since from birth we are all embodied by nature with similar biological sexual urges. However as we know, the environment, culture, and belief systems that we are born into soon being to affect how we behave sexually. Sex drives can be very deeply influenced by psychological factors, that are sometimes unrecognised on a conscious level. 
 
For example, men who have been brought up in cultures where the masculine and feminine roles are strongly defined, may behave in a way that enforces their sexual prowess, so they focus on penetrative sex and it being fast and furious, rather than first giving sensual foreplay. They may have a sense of ownership over their female partner and restrict any broader sexual adventures, ie. threesomes. They may seem to have a high sex drive and initiate often, in an attempt to assert dominance or ownership.
 
In some cultures once married, the man may no longer see his wife as the sexual being he once lusted over. Instead he may see her as the mother of his children and thus lose his sexual desire for her. It’s not that his sex drive itself, is depleted; he may just channel it elsewhere. This is quite common in cultures where the mother role is very strong within the family.
 
On the other hand, women from cultures that teach them to hide and confine their natural sexuality, will often become sexually frustrated since they are unable to explore their sexuality for fear of judgment. Women from these cultures will often find that fear of damaging their reputation will stop them from exploring their sexuality more openly. 
 
Conversely there are other cultures, where sex is seen by women as a means to find security. These women when young are taught by thief mothers to do as they did and be provocative and offer whatever is wanted by the man – that is until the ring is on the finger and security is established, then often sex will stop, since to them them sex has always been the man’s pleasure and never theirs. What’s not experienced cannot be missed!
 
Age and sexual desire:
When does sexual desire begin for men and when does it drop? 
 
Sexual desire in men usually develops around 10 or 11 years old, as puberty hits and the relative hormones kick in. Most boys will begin to masturbate regularly, many even earlier than this. Erections can be obtained as they wish.
 
Although intense at the time, when seen in a life timeframe this period does not last long and by 21 male sexuality begins to wane. Gradually at first and barely noticed, but this shift in male sexuality, what could be termed as the male menopause, is the start of a change in the sexual and social role of the male.  Nature is selfish, it only thinks of itself, it wants a species to survive and in the case of humans its no different. So nature prefers that its young virile males be the successful procreators – young males equal quality sperm, less chance of viruses and are therefore provide a much better chance for the female to make a healthy baby. Whilst the older males are no longer competitive procreators, but co-operative providers, working with one another to ensure security and food for the clan. 
 
When does sexual desire for women peak and when does it drop – can menopause affect it and how can this be overcome?
 
Women’s levels of sexual desire peak relatively early, as soon as they are equipped to procreate and oestrogen levels are naturally high. These levels peak and trough throughout the monthly cycle and ultimately fall with menopause. There are a number of hormones at play, falling oestrogen levels affect vaginal lubrication and libido and also increase fatigue, which doesn’t make for a high sex drive or high levels of sexual confidence. Oestrogen levels can be managed with hormone replacement therapy, which eases the symptoms.
 
However, testosterone, which despite being known as a male hormone is still produced in the female body; is also responsible for heightened libido and although this does diminish during menopause, it is still produced.
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Why is there a time table crash between men and women when it comes to sex – many man prefer it in the morning – women in the evening – why is this?
 
Quite simply, this is a lifestyle issue. It’s not that men prefer it in the morning and women at night, its that men will have sex at any time and because most men wake with an erection (‘morning glory’ being caused by high testosterone in the body) and in her reproductive prime, the female would have received with this pleasure. 
 
But in the high pressured times we live in now, mornings tend not to be great for women. Getting up, getting ready, sorting kids out and other roles and responsibilities that women traditionally undertake, are simply not conducive to morning sex. So night time seems a much better moment to relax and enjoy sex. Sadly by this time of the day, many men may have fallen asleep in front of the TV!