In a Mindy McCready song, her date has her body screaming ‘Let’s get it on!’ while her mind is saying ‘I don’t think so.’
Any woman who has been in this situation might have guilt tripped herself about the decision she made. But she shouldn’t have. Scientists have discovered that women’s YES/NO sex debates stem from the very core of their biological processes. It is not something women simply conjure up in their minds. In fact, studies show that it is common for a woman to feel the maybe-yes/maybe-no debate up to 20% of the times she feels sexually aroused.
To better understand the YES/NO Sex Debate, let’s compare the differences between the way women and men get turned on:
• Women Evaluate a Sexual Situation on Two Different Levels. This creates two different takes on the situation: the physical and the emotional. These two perspectives arise from two semi-independent biological processes. So it’s natural that, on occasion, a woman will have conflicting feelings about sex. Her physical feelings of arousal just don’t match her emotional feelings. In certain situations, a woman may be focusing on the emotional content so intently that she may not even notice she that is physically aroused.
• Men Have Fewer Conflicting Feelings About Sex. Men’s emotional responses are often more closely aligned with their physical responses. That means that a man generally has a hard time arguing against his erection. Men, of course, are aware of the emotional aspects of sexual relations. But they do not monitor the difference between their emotional and physical feelings as closely as women do.
• Women’s Feelings of Physical Togetherness. Women generally get caught up in the whole act of two bodies being entwined, getting it on. During sexual relations, women are aware of how they are physically positioned and what is happening to them. This means that a woman’s experience is considerably affected by her partner’s movements, actions, and sense of engagement. This is why her feelings of sexual arousal often reflects the overall toss, turn, and tumble of both bodies going at it together.
• Men Are Turned On By Bodies and Faces. In contrast to women, men generally do not focus so much on the sexual activity itself. Rather, they focus more on a woman’s body and face, and how that rattles their genitals. Also, a man’s awareness is more self-focused when compared to a woman’s. This may give off the impression that men need to take charge of the sexual activity–as if testosterone propels them to be sexually aggressive. But sexual aggressiveness is not related to testosterone levels whatsoever. Rather, aggressiveness is a product of a man’s values and his life experiences, not some innate compulsion to nail down everything that’s around him.
• Women’s Conditional Feelings of Excitement. Women’s emotional urges to have sex are generally dependent on the situation that she finds herself in. It’s normal for a woman to be thinking: “Is it safe, secure, non-hostile, interesting, or just plain cool?” The relationship itself also matters to a woman. This is why women are concerned about men being friendly, helping, and cooperative partners. These things tend to make sex an intimate emotional act that takes place with a particular partner. Sex is generally personalized, in other words, unless a woman suppresses these emotions so she can have the sexual experience without any feelings of attachment.
• Men’s Limited Emotional Engagement. Men get emotionally involved when their in-love and family-feeling buttons get pressed. Sometimes a man isn’t aware of his emotional involvement in a sexual relationship until after the fact. Men, like women, are hit with bonding hormones when they reach orgasm. That makes them want to be with their partners. But some men have been raised to suppress those feelings.
• Sexual Arousal is Only Half the Ballgame. Sexual relationships don’t take place in a relationship vacuum–unless you and your partner are working hard at having no strings attached. Sometimes, of course, no-strings-attached does not work out that way, and a person feels lousy afterwards. That’s because you slip and get emotionally involved and maybe guilt-trip yourself over it. That happens because there are five relationship feelings that can engage when you are being intimate with a partner: the sexual feeling, the in-love feeling, feelings of friendship, the feeling of being a couple, and the feeling of wanting to help each other out. This is why, from a biological standpoint, sex doesn’t always happen in an emotional black out.
• Dealing with YES-NO Sexual Cues. A woman cannot simply change who she is to accommodate a man’s sexual interests. And she shouldn’t have to. When a woman is feeling the Yes-No debate, she is not ready for sex. She needs time and her own space to understand what she is feeling. While she cannot argue with a man’s erection, she can talk around it. So switching the topic and simply moving on to some other activity is her best recourse for the moment. A man who isn’t obsessed like an addict about sex should be able to move forward with her.
• Machismo and Sex Addictions. Some men refuse to listen when a woman signals she’s not interested in having sex. They will badger and harass because they want a quick sex fix to escape their feelings of frustration, anger, and powerlessness. Or, they enjoy exploiting and hurting women, and feel entitled to do so. For them, sex is not about the woman at all–it’s about the expression of male power and the use of force. Today, the majority of young men are not trained to think this sort of macho behavior is normal the way some of their fathers did. And most women won’t tolerate it.
As we look at how men and women get turned on sexually, the bottom line, here, is that men and women reach orgasm on somewhat different pathways. Women, more so than men, have a Yes/No debate going on in their minds before they consent to sex. That reflects, in part, nature’s safety value that allows women to think before they act. But once it’s over, men and women end up at the same place. Their bodies and souls interpret orgasm the same way.
So remember, people respond sexually the way they do because it’s just who they are. The only time you need to work on trying to respond differently is where you’re not satisfied with your sex life or when you are in the habit of getting in another person’s space when you are not invited.
If you want to learn more about sexual relationships, see my book, LOW STRESS ROMANCE. It’s available in paperback and Kindle formatting. If you want to talk to me about the information in this article, please contact me at www.billykidd.com and tell me your thoughts. All responses with be kept confidential.