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What is the difference between male and female sexuality?

Madeleine M. Castellanos, MD
Psychiatry
For most men, all it takes is a little visual stimulation to get in the mood for sex. That's why men are the predominant consumers of porn and why something like Viagra works so well for men, but not for women. Men are more easily aroused.

Female sexuality is a little more complex. In fact, one of the main differences between male and female sexuality is that guys don't need to feel emotionally connected to the person they're having sex with in order to want to have sex. There's actually scientific research to support the observation that women tend to feel sexual desire towards those men for whom they feel an emotional connection.

Scientific evidence shows that the key for women to reach the heights of orgasmic bliss is a deep sense of relaxation and a lack of anxiety. Researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands scanned the brains of 13 women and 11 men while they were manually stimulated
to orgasm by their partners. The scans showed that, for women, the parts of the brain responsible for processing fear, anxiety, and emotion slowed down the more aroused they became, producing a trance-like state at orgasm. Men showed far less change in these areas of the brain, suggesting that women need to relax to become aroused, while men don't. Other studies have found that women tend to fantasize more than men during sex, which also helps them escape reality and "turn off" their brains.

Those aren't the only differences between men and women. All men have a point of what we call "ejaculatory inevitability" during sex when they can't hold back from an orgasm, no matter what. And all men have an "ejaculatory threshold," which is the amount of stimulation they can experience before reaching this "point of no return." Women, on the other hand, don't experience ejaculatory inevitability -- she can "lose" an orgasm even as it's happening. There are pros and cons to both situations: Sure, it's tougher for some women to climax, especially if they're distracted. On the other hand, women are able to enjoy multiple orgasms and have rarely been accused of coming "too fast." Orgasmic bliss is more of a sure thing for guys, but it's got its own downside: It's easy for some men to pass that point of ejaculatory inevitability sooner than they -- and their partners -- would like. That's called premature ejaculation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.