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Untamed Heart

Female sexual desire?

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4 hours ago, DeltaV said:

there's the theory proposed by Rosemary Basson, that the overwhelming majority of women experience “receptive desire” (the willingness to engage in sexual activity is caused by non-sexual reasons but then “they are starting to like it”) as their primary mode of desire instead of “spontaneous desire” (desire for sex itself from the start).

 

I was going to make a comment along the lines of "but how much of that is down to social conditioning?"*

 

But then @LunarSeas beat me to it!

3 hours ago, LunarSeas said:

I'm rather convinced that women have similar sex drives to men, or would if they were socialized the same.

I always kinda assumed this to be the case - difficult to know for sure though, without the 'body swap' experiment I proposed earlier! :P

 

3 hours ago, LunarSeas said:

but I've still experienced problems in relationships with men when my sex drive outstrips theirs. It greatly upsets them, generally

LMAO, that just made me think of this :D

 

Well, you might enjoy the show Fresh Meat @LunarSeas, if you haven't seen it - it subverts a few gender stereotypes, with the women being the sexually voracious ones and the men being the 'romantic' ones :P (cases in point here and here )

 

 

*Although I presume that Rosemary Basson anticipates this point and makes some attempt at a methodology to disentangle the social conditioning from 'innate desire'? Well, it would be weird if she didn't, since the criticism comes to mind almost immediately! Having said that, I've no idea how you could disentangle the two, or even how meaningful it is to do so - it's not as if the felt emotional/behavioral effects of social conditioning are 'fake' or anything like that. I guess you could monitor involuntary physiological responses in sex studies? But maybe those can also be modified significantly by social conditioning?

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3 hours ago, DeltaV said:

I'm totally okay with it, of course, but I know in the past that I reacted emotionally negative to it (though I did realize intellectually how stupid this is). I can't tell you why, it's probably socialization that women should be too pure to do something like this. Like when Kaylee Frye from Firefly says in front of the crew “Going on a year now, I ain't had nothin twixt my nethers weren't run on batteries.”, I thought “Whoa there, girl, don't say such things!”. Not that one should say such things, but if a guy had said something similar, I would just have thought “Meh.”.

Yes, this is what I mean! And also why I love love LOVE Kaylee!! I have never related so hard to anyone as her when it comes to sex. 

I too would face down space zombies for hot doctor booty. xD

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On 21/04/2017 at 7:39 PM, NullVector said:

I think the explanation is that a degree aro-ness/romance-aversion can explain both the "not strongly enough to want to act on them" and the "very limited and specific circumstances" above. 'Cos if your romance-aversion is strong enough, it could 'win out' over your sex drive - even if the latter can be pretty full-on sometimes! :P Plus, for most people, the 'circumstances' leading up to sex generally involve a fair amount of romance (wheras 'circumstances' that don't involve it could indeed be described as 'very limited and specific'!).

 

If enough"obstacles" are in the way of doing something it can easily seem like not worth the effort.
 

On 21/04/2017 at 7:39 PM, NullVector said:

And that's the thing - most (allo-romantic) people would see those 'romantic' things as, at the very least, a bonus, and not as "extremely emotionally draining preliminaries" to be put up with (or not) to satisfy (or not!) your sex drive.

The nature of those 'romantic things' appears to be very much entangled with gender roles and expectations, especially for heterosexuals. So aro men and women might find themselves facing very different "obstacle courses" here.

 

On 22/04/2017 at 11:56 PM, DeltaV said:

Both points are vague, of course. For example “act” – what does it mean?

  1. Trawling the relevant online communities every day? (strength-in-numbers approach, even a success rate of 0.5% would be enough)
  2. Going to a sex worker, where it is legal?
  3. Consciously (!) pretending you're romantically attracted to somebody to get sex?
  4. Or just making some move if you get an opportunity served on a silver plate?

Point 4 I have done in the context of my misguided attempts at romantic relationships, but not points 1, 2, or 3.

Point 2 sounds a bit too sleazy for my taste. Point 3: no way! Even if I was ethically challenged enough to consider this, it would be too exhausting for me. The worst I'm willing to to do is being not super-transparent from the start because this is something you cannot do, normally, it's a severe “breach of etiquette” :D (so I would potentially waste a bit of someone's time).

I suspect that number 3 would be difficult for many aro men. Especially if they are romantically repulsed. Probably not too many people who can do something they find repulsive for any reason....

 

On 22/04/2017 at 11:56 PM, DeltaV said:

Back in school I always thought “Yes, I'm not one of those shallow guys who's just in it for the sex, doesn't respect girls ..." hahaha, turned out I'm the shallowest of 'em all. Even the alpha bully in our class told us all in a weak drunk moment about his eternal love to his girlfriend and that he wanted to marry her (yes, seriously, I swear!). I have accepted it now, but I mean just to put it into words: the only thing I'm interested in a woman qua woman is sex. *shivers* Oh god, no! I always was worse than the bully.

Thing is there really should be nothing wrong with wanting a purely sexual relationship. All that really should matter is that it's mutually consentual.
In practice I suspect that only wanting just one thing from another person is going to be a fairly unusual situation.... Sexual friendships being something which many aro people are interested in, for example.

 

On 22/04/2017 at 11:56 PM, DeltaV said:

I must add that there are allo-romantic people who are dating-challenged and experience the “preliminaries” as emotionally draining, too. They're scared that they will embarrass themselves and may experience severe anxiety of being unsuccessful again. But if it would work for them at some point and they get comfortable with another person, they would be happy in love. For me, it wouldn't stop to annoy the heck out of me at any phase. I can't conjure up any positive mental images in which I find myself in a romantic relationship.

The obvious issue is that alloromantics desire the romantic interaction. Whereas aromantics are, at best, indifferent to the whole thing. Not wanting to be in a situation ever is going to be emotionally draining.

 

13 hours ago, LunarSeas said:

I'm rather convinced that women have similar sex drives to men, or would if they were socialized the same.

This should be OBVIOUS, but isn't to the great majority of people:(

 

13 hours ago, LunarSeas said:

 But how dare a woman feel and openly express sexual desire??! 

Basically, what I've learned as an aro woman with a high sex drive, is if I act like "a man" sexually, it makes me a slut.

IMHO the end of these sort of attitudes can't come too soon!
 

13 hours ago, LunarSeas said:

but I've still experienced problems in relationships with men when my sex drive outstrips theirs. It greatly upsets them, generally - but socialized reluctance to talk about their feelings leaves me guessing why, did my appetite make them feel emasculated, did they just not want to upset me, were they afraid of me straying, what???

That's very much their problem, rather than yours.

 

13 hours ago, LunarSeas said:

The fact I am largely fine with one night stands never translated to me cheating when I was in a relationship, because I keep my word. 

But now that I know what aromantic is, I'm less likely to put myself in a monogamous relationship, especially if we're sexually incompatible. It would not end well.

TBH ONS make a lot more sense to me than monogamy. Just never understood what's so great about the latter.

 

12 hours ago, Untamed Heart said:

I dated a security guard, briefly, and the one and only time I went to his flat he did hint at wanting sex (to me, it was subtle - "I'm wearing my camouflage pants tonight, hopefully might get some action!" and I didn't even realise until years later, possibly cos of my Asperger's making me take his comment literally and not seeing the subtext.

I believe even NTs can struggle with this kind of "plausible deniability". Often asking for sex is culturally taboo, regardless of gender.

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18 hours ago, DeltaV said:

The question also is what's bad with sluts. 

I remember when I was fifteen, I read a book about slut-shaming. They had a list of gender-specific terms for people who have lots of casual sex, separated by whether they're positive or negative. The difference was pretty dramatic.        

18 hours ago, DeltaV said:

The question also is what's bad with sluts. 

I remember when I was fifteen, I read a book about slut-shaming. They had a list of gender-specific terms for people who have lots of casual sex, separated by whether they're positive or negative. The difference was pretty dramatic.        

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On 4/25/2017 at 2:11 AM, LunarSeas said:

Yes, this is what I mean! And also why I love love LOVE Kaylee!! I have never related so hard to anyone as her when it comes to sex. 

I too would face down space zombies for hot doctor booty. xD

Lol, I only watched the movie. I would watch the series, if it hadn't ended with season 1. :(

On 4/25/2017 at 0:41 AM, NullVector said:

I was going to make a comment along the lines of "but how much of that is down to social conditioning?"*

There's a lot to say here, but I'll try to keep it short. Social conditioning can cause:

  1. people to deliberately, consciously lie at studies about their behavior. There is quite some evidence that this happens. For example in the 2010 Health Study for England, the mean lifetime number of opposite sex partners for men was 9.3 while for women it was 4.7. It's of course mathematically impossible in a given population with roughly equal sex ratio for this mean between the sexes to differ this much. Either this was not at all a representative sample (but why?) or a lot of people lied here. Also we see the study design (anonymous vs face-to-face) strongly impacting the results we get.
  2. people consciously not to engage in certain behavior which they have a strong desire for.
  3. people to be confused about what they really desire. They feel something different than they're “supposed” to and engage in unconscious rationalization. We know that one, right?
  4. to shape the brain via neural plasticity, which directly changes desires and may also change how involuntary physiological responses play out. The incidence of bisexuality, which seems to vary greatly between cultures, might be a candidate for this.
On 4/25/2017 at 0:41 AM, NullVector said:

*Although I presume that Rosemary Basson anticipates this point and makes some attempt at a methodology to disentangle the social conditioning from 'innate desire'? Well, it would be weird if she didn't, since the criticism comes to mind almost immediately! Having said that, I've no idea how you could disentangle the two, or even how meaningful it is to do so - it's not as if the felt emotional/behavioral effects of social conditioning are 'fake' or anything like that. I guess you could monitor involuntary physiological responses in sex studies? But maybe those can also be modified significantly by social conditioning?

No, there isn't any discussion about this problem.

 

It goes without saying that point 1 is the thing that has to be controlled for: you have to design your study in a way that it gets very close to describing something real.

 

Point 2 and 3 are more difficult, but probably can and should be disentangled from the rest.

 

Now, to disentangle even 4 from truly innate dispositions seems really difficult. Also differences caused by point 4 are very real.

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On 4/24/2017 at 0:52 PM, DeltaV said:

And what about allo-sexual women who just can't be “sexually awakened” by men as described above, that is, lesbians? Assuming it's true for them what's supposed to be true for women in general, how do the majority of lesbian couples ever end up having sex regularly?

My guess is that they'd say lesbians have a more masculine style of sexual desire, dince they have the typical male target of attraction.

 

Interestingly, two-women couples tend to have less frequent but more prolonged sex. The best explanation I've seen for that is that women can orgasm multiple times and typically take longer to orgasm than men, so sex involving a man tends to end when he orgasms (or for two men, when both or either has orgasmed), and sex with no man involved doesn't have the same natural ending point.

 

Also, may I mention how much I love this discussion? On AVEN, the only time I've seen discussion of responsive sexual desire theory, it's been to invalidate grey-aces and cupiosexuals. 

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Me too! I felt it was better to discuss it here anyway, mostly because it just feels safer here for me to just ask questions and stuff, rather than potentially just be dismissed as being 'normal'. It's not that it's hugely bothering me, but if I ever do have another partner I will at least understand more about what's going on with me, romantically and sexually speaking :) 

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7 hours ago, Ettina said:

Interestingly, two-women couples tend to have less frequent but more prolonged sex. The best explanation I've seen for that is that women can orgasm multiple times and typically take longer to orgasm than men, so sex involving a man tends to end when he orgasms (or for two men, when both or either has orgasmed), and sex with no man involved doesn't have the same natural ending point

 

Interestingly, neither does sex between one woman and multiple men! Actually, a lot of the supposed 'mismatches' between male and female orgasm behaviors don't really apply anymore to such group-sex scenarios. Leading some anthropologists to speculate that group-sex may be a more 'natural' arrangement for humans than one-woman-to-one-man partnered sex. The argument also comes from observations about some of our other physiology and evolved behaviors. Two examples are that 1) when compared against other apes, male penis length, girth and the presence of external testes may only make sense assuming some degree of non-monogamous 'sperm competition' and 2) 'female copulatory vocalizations' (women are louder during sex :P) might suggest an evolved behavioral mechanism to advertise opportunities for group sex to nearby men.

 

We've got this sense that one-to-one partnered sex is the 'natural' way to have sex. But as @DeltaV was pointing out above, it's very difficult to disentangle innate preferences from social conditioning (which tends to be strongly biased towards monogamy, at least in most modern human societies).

 

This is nice (from the Kama Sutra)

Quote

A fire is never sated by any amount of logs,

nor the ocean by rivers that flow into it;

death cannot be sated by all the creatures in the world,

nor a fair-eyed woman by any amount of men.

 

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I'm gonna try and cover a lot here in a few words. Apologizes in advance.

 

The first original question as I understand it: do women commonly get zoned out during sex (due to disinterest)? 

 

Answer: Yes people zone out doing all sorts of activities. Does that mean they find them disintegrating? Maybe, maybe not. Same with sex. Do most women like sex? Hate to bring up the sex studies again, but studies have found that the largest correlation with frequency of sexual fantasies is not gender, but comfort with the idea of sex.

 

(( The best way I can describe sex fantasies vs sex drive are "thinking about food" verses "hungry" (although thinking about food can induce a craving to eat food, similar with fantasies). ))

 

Does sexual actraction feel the same between men and women? I think one thing we can learn from this site, and we should try and be mindful of while discussing generalities here, is that there is far more variance between people of the same gender than there are of "how men experience sex" vs "how women experience sex

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Hi, everyone!

I'm collecting video interviews from non-straight women and transgender and non-binary people on their relationships with their femininity.

If anyone is alright with me interviewing them, please let me know! If you know anyone who might be alright with being interviewed, put them in contact with me!

I'm going to be asking everyone questions like "how does wearing a dress make you feel?" and "do you like being described as feminine?" and I plan on asking questions specific to people's orientations and gender identities as well, such as "how do you respond when people say 'you don't look like a lesbian'?" or "as a trans-girl, do you feel obligated to wear make up to indicate to other people that you are a girl?" or "do people expect you to be available to men as a woman, even after you tell them you are aromantic?"

I'm going to edit all the interviews I get into one cohesive film and then show it in a theater at my school for a suggested donation of about a dollar. I'm going to donate all proceeds to the Urgent Action Fund for Women's Rights, an organization that grants money to activists for women's rights and LGBT+ rights, especially their intersection.

I need to have this finished by March of 2019.

Thanks for your time!

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