Relationships / Sex / women

Do Women Care About Relationships More, and Sex Less Than Men?

The other evening over wine, a friend and I discussed how she’s holding off on sleeping with a guy she’s dating. We’ve all heard the rationale for not putting out too soon before—that dudes jump ship if they get you in the sack and women often become emotionally attached. In keeping, I just read an article in Marie Claire (clearly this week’s bedside reading) by Hephzibah Anderson about her new memoir Chastened, which explores her year-long vow of chastity. Explaining her choice she says, “If I fell into bed with a man, I’d fall at least a little in love…” and eventually she’d wind up hurt. After reading Anderson’s article it sounds to me like what she learned to save for the right guy was not intercourse but the expectations of intimacy she tied to sex. I can relate to equating sex with intimacy–been there, done that. However, as I’ve confessed in blogs before, I met my husband during a one-night stand and I think part of the reason it lasted (besides fate, obviously) was the lack of expectations we both had.  At the time, I was purposefully not looking for a relationship. He’d had a crush on me for several years but had recently “given up on my snooty ass.” Anyhow, all of this has me thinking about a larger idea explored in Sallie Tisdale’s Talk Dirty to Me. On page ninety-four Sallie says:

Many sexual attitudes hinge on the belief that women either are not or somehow should not be as sexually aggressive, voracious, or emotionally disinterested during sex as men. “Women are more interested in relationships than in sex” is a cliché repeated a thousand ways, ad infinitum. The real message is that women should be more interested in relationships than in sex.

Embedded in the “holding out” rationale is the idea that men care more about sex and women care more about relationships. I constantly hear this cliché and have lived it, too, but sometimes I wonder, is it really true? Or, as Tisdale suggests are we acting out an idea of how things should be? Perhaps women really care about sex just as much but we’ve been taught to use it as relationship bartering currency. Just as men have been socialized to think less of a gal who puts out. After I watched SATC2 I kept thinking about why Samantha’s overt sexuality seemed so strained. Is it, perhaps, because culturally we still don’t really believe that a woman can care more about sex than relationships?

These are not new ideas but I’m curious to hear your opinions. Care to share?

5 thoughts on “Do Women Care About Relationships More, and Sex Less Than Men?

  1. Hmm, that is a great question! I do believe that women are brainwashed into thinking that they want love more than they want to have sex. We have so many standards to meet and then uphold. I think we fear the criticism of not wanting the idealistic ways of life i.e, courtship, husband, child, family. Even I, who at one time couldn’t care less about conforming to the ways of the world is reaching 30 years of age and I want to marry a man and raise a family. i am unashamed to admit that part is emotional and part is pressure. Movies like SATC all promote healthy relationships and building families (despite their obvious disfunctions) and women become die-hard fans of these type of programs. We aim to imitate their fictional behaviors and we immolate our real beliefs for make believe principles.

  2. I used to think it was social conditioning; I don’t anymore. I now believe it is a spiritual reality that extends past humans and animals, and into the nature of the universe. The masculine polarity and the feminine polarity are opposites. One wants to penetrate, and the other wants to be penetrated. However, the masculine polarity is aggressive by nature, and the feminine polarity is fickle and cautious by nature.

    Maybe 10% of women want sex the way men want sex; that is, voraciously and constantly. The other 90% of woman want sex maybe 2 or 3 times a month. Men want sex/release every day. What women lust after is food. The way women feel about food, chocolate, desert, etc — a deep, visceral, primal lust — that’s how men feel about sex.

    • There is no better way to learn more about orhets than spending personal time with them. We have always encouraged our group members to hang out with other members individually or as families together. We have experienced Girls Night Out where all the guys kept the kids at home while our better halves went out shopping or just to eat dinner. Guys should plan a Sports Blitz Day . This is a time where you can get together and just spend the day watching, playing, or going to a sporting event. We have also grown with orhets by just spending time with one other family from the group. Pick a day and meet up at the Clark State Forestry and have a cookout and/or go on a hiking expedition or bike ride together. The point is to just hang out together. People who may still be hesitant to open up more in group settings will always open up more in a personal one on one environment. Most likely, they will start opening up more in group if they have a more personal relationship with the orhets in that group. No matter what you choose to do, do it together and always make it fun.

  3. @Rivelino….great comment..I don’t think there is any one answer but a combination of all the comments.

    Part Biology-Part Spiritual- Part Societal Conditioning…..

    We have had 2000 years of sex being repressed as an immoral act and that remains in celluar and dna memory.

    It will take a while to change that.

    Also women are the ones that get pregnant so there are more ramifications of sex for women.

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