A strong libido bored by monogamy: the truth about women and sex | Sex
Wwhat do you know about female sexuality? Anyway, chances are, says Wednesday MartinThis is all wrong. “Most of what science has taught us about female sexuality is wrong,” she says. “Starting with two basic statements: that men have a stronger libido than women and that men struggle more against monogamy than women. “
Martin does not fire any punches. His successful memories Park Avenue Primates introduced her as an anthropologist observing the habits of her Upper East Side neighbors. She said, among other shocking things, that privileged stay-at-home mothers sometimes received a financial “wife’s bonus” based on their domestic and social performance. The book was all the rage and is currently in development as a television series, with Martin as executive producer. His new book, released this week, should be just as provocative. Entitled False, it calls into question a lot of what we thought we knew about women’s sexuality.
Its point of departure is that research on human sexuality has historically been predominantly centered on men; The “notable sexologists”, starting with Carl Friedrich Otto Westphal (1833-1890) are predominantly men. You have to scroll through 25 others, including Sigmund Freud and Alfred Kinsey, before you get to a female name: Mary Calderone (1904-1998), who championed sex education. And even in the next 30 names, there are only five women, including Virginia Johnson (partner of the famous and masculine William Masters) and Shere Hite.
All of these men made certain assumptions about women’s sexuality. Not surprisingly, it was Hite who revolutionized thinking about female orgasm, arguing that it was not “dysfunctional” not to cum during sex. Crucial, too, says Martin, was the work of Rosemary bassoon, who realized that spontaneous desire, the kind sex therapists had measured for years, was just one relevant type of desire, and that reactive or triggered sexual response is much more important to women. Measured on this scale, it turns out that women are, in fact, just as sexually arousing as men.
New findings showed that women reported similar intensities of desire and arousal as men, and “a real change in mindset” about women and monogamy. “We’ve been taught that men are the ones who need variety, but the exact opposite turns out to be the case,” says Martin. “Overamiliarization with a partner and desexualization kill women’s libido. We used to think that only men were sexually bored after marriage; turns out that is not true. It is when women marry that it affects their libido.
Martin is not here to talk about her own relationship, but for the record, she is 53, has been married for 18 years, still lives in New York City and has two sons aged 17 and 10 who are, as you could imagine. ‘wait there, “mortified” at what their mother writes. She hopes her work will help validate the feelings of the next generation of young women: they don’t like monogamy, ”she says. Because this is the central fallacy: the belief that monogamy is more difficult for men than for women. In fact, Martin argues, the exact opposite is happening. “Women crave novelty, variety and adventure at least as much as men, and maybe more.” She tells me about what she says is the classic route for women when marrying or making a long-term commitment with a heterosexual partner (research so far has focused on heterosexual couples; more than work is needed on the sex life of homosexual women). “A couple lives together, their libidos are adapted and they have a lot of sex. But after a year, two years, maybe three years, what tends to happen is that a woman’s desire drops faster than a man’s. At that moment, the woman thinks, “I don’t like sex anymore. But what actually happens is that she struggles with monogamy; because women are bored more quickly with one partner than men.
Thus, women are used to believing that they have given up sex, when in fact they crave variety. Instead of being the brake on passion, Martin says, the female half of the long-term partnership is the key to a more adventurous and exciting sex life. It is, she explains, the existence of the only fully enjoyable organ in the human repertoire, the clitoris. For her portrait, she wears a necklace in the shape of a one. “Women have evolved to seek pleasure, women are more and more orgasmic, the biology of women prepares them to seek pleasure,” explains Martin. “The clitoris has a very important history in the human female sex, namely that our sex has evolved for the purpose of adventure.”
Another part of the mix, she says, has been the discovery that a third of women who have an extramarital affair say their marriage or long-term partnership is happy or very happy. “So we have to understand that women are not just looking for variety because they are unhappy, they are looking for it because they need variety and novelty,” she says.
What does all of this mean, in a practical sense, for our sex life? Martin doesn’t like the word “cheating” – she prefers to use the term “going out” – and that’s what some women decide to do. But this is not the only solution. “There are a lot of women who are in pain but don’t want to leave their relationship or go out, and they haven’t discovered vibrators yet,” says Martin. “I can’t tell you how many women have told me they’ve never had a vibrator – there is a generation in their 40s and 50s who missed the vibrator revolution and never caught up. delay. And there are all these new vibrators – and anything new that you can introduce will make a big difference in your sex life. Another way forward may be for a couple to open up their relationship somehow and invite someone else. And she has other ideas up her sleeve that seem a lot less risky, like going on a zipline, taking dance lessons, or scuba diving together. Why does it help? “Research on neurochemicals has revealed that our sex drive is triggered when we do something new with a long-term partner. Exciting activity is ideal: it can give you a hormone bath that makes you feel new to each other again.
Indeed, part of the story seems to be that men are too quick to settle for “the usual” (which makes sense now that we know they’re not the ones who are bored); but opening up the conversation to what else they might try can reignite the fuse. The trick here, Martin advises, is that they keep asking. “Men who really care what women want sexually make a huge difference. You might need to have the conversation over and over again, and women might keep saying they’re happy with things as they are – but keep asking, and women will eventually open up about their sexual fantasies. . We find that their menus are more varied than those of men. Men are shocked, but also gratified and elated, when they discover how sexually arousing we can be when we overcome the inhibitions that have been socialized to us.
Paradoxically, there has been a parallel shift in attitudes toward extramarital affairs and divorce alongside the growing studies of women’s sexuality. Martin quotes American statistics: in 1976, less than half of well-educated Americans thought having an affair was always a bad thing; in 2013, this figure was 91%. “We’ve become a lot less tolerant of infidelity in recent years,” says Martin. “And during that time, divorce became much more common: a lot of people in the 1970s thought business was good, thought divorce was bad. “
So, at the precise moment when science reveals that women have the greatest “need” to be sexually adventurous, society is cracking down on infidelity. And that, says Martin, is extremely important. “How we think about women who reject monogamy is an important measure of how we feel about equality.” She speaks, she says, of women who openly reject monogamy by being polyamorous. The overwhelming story we subscribe to, after all, is that men who “cheat” are only “men who are men”; women who “go out” are much more likely to be criticized and humiliated. Ultimately, however, they question something very deep in society’s expectations of them – and their position is perhaps the most radical female position of all.
False by Mercredi Martin is published by Scribe at £ 14.99. Buy it for £ 12.89 at guardbookshop.com