Sex is appealing both physically and emotionally. Both men and women experience physically pleasing sensations while engaged in many sexual behaviors. Sex also brings a sense of connection between couples that brings them closer. Of course, every person is different. Not every man or woman view sex like all other men and women. It is important for partners to be open with each other, and share what is pleasing to them during sex and what is not. This is important for the partners’ sexual relationship and emotional relationship. Without this kind of communication, couples may experience frustration, misunderstandings, and pain in both their sexual and emotional relationships.
As previously stated, every individual has their own view and preferences regarding sex. However, typically in general, men and women view sex differently and enjoy it for different reasons. To begin, men view sex to be more physical and enjoy it for the physical pleasure they experience. This is also why they tend to prioritize sex over other events in the relationship compared to women. Women view sex as an activity to support the relationship and bring closeness emotionally. They may feel secure in their relationship while engaged in sex, they enjoy sex for the physical pleasures as well, but emphasize the emotional aspects more.
Men and woman also have different stimulations during sex that are appealing to both. Men appeal to sight, smell, and all stimulations are centered on the body. Women, on the other hand appeal to touch, attitudes, actions, and words. The stimulations they appeal to center on their partner. Everyone has needs they want met during sex. Men’s needs are generally respect, physical needs, and admiration. Women’s needs are generally understanding, love, emotional needs, and time. It is important that couples understand and do their best to meet these needs so both partners enjoy sex, and no misunderstandings occur.
There are also some physical differences between men and women. Both men and women experience orgasms but in slightly different ways. Men’s orgasms are shorter and more intense, while women's’ are longer and more in depth. Like other aspects of sex, orgasms are physically oriented for men and emotionally oriented for women. Lastly, it is possible for women to receive satisfaction with an orgasm. This is not possible for men, they do need an orgasm to receive satisfaction. With all of this information it is important for couples to remember this:
1. Communication – is necessary for couples to bridge the gender gap. Men and women communicate differently and understand differently. To communicate with your partner more effectively, each of you should create a sexual expectation list and have a conversation surrounding your needs. Remember, your needs must be attainable and non-threatening. Intimacy is designed to support the relationship and bring a couple closer. It should not be a tool to hurt or control another person.
2. Priorities – As stated in the article, sexual priorities are different for each individual. With that said, it is important to understand both your priorities and your partner’s priorities intimately. The only way to do this is to have a conversation. Communicating one’s expectations and setting healthy priorities will assist in preventing additional frustration during intimacy.
3. Openness – Having opening discussions about difficult topics can be challenging. This challenge can be overcome. The ability to become vulnerable with your partner begins with understanding yourself first. Ask yourself, “What are my fears?” “What do I need from my partner?” “Are my expectations reasonable?” “What am I willing to give or invest in this process?” Remember, do your own work first, before expecting your partner to do the work for you.
Of course, men and women view sex differently; but, that’s okay! When we take the time to understand each other and give to each other unselfishly, we can enjoy healthy intimate relationships void of miscommunication, misunderstanding, and frustration.
Author: Nicole Perez - Psychology Intern (University of Central Florida)
Author: Dr. Jada Jackson LMHC, LPC, NCC