Libido: How Do Men and Women's Sex Drives Differ?

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Libido And Sex Drive For Men and Women


Men and women are different. In other news, the sky is blue. But while both of these statements can be met with a resounding "well, duh," the first one has a lot more implications for funtimes in bedroom land. The reason? Libido.

What is Libido?

Libido is the clinical term for sex drive and level of sexual activity. In biological and evolutionary terms, libido exists to make us do the hanky-panky for the purpose of creating more people who want to do the hanky-panky. But there's some nurture with the nature of libido as well — sex drives and the ways we experience attraction can be influenced from an early age by our cultural surroundings.

Why all the science? Because in our society, men are viewed as having high libidos while women are viewed as having lower libidos. While there are certain elements that prove this statement on a general level, it's more important to recognize that there are a ton of factors (inside and out) that determine our unique levels of libido. So, don't let stereotypes cloud your vision — with the right understanding of your partner's sexual desires, sex can be a highly intimate and satisfying experience for just about anyone. 

Libido in Women

Yeah, we just said a whole thing about not making generalizations. But, having the knowledge about what your partner may be feeling or experiencing is a great first step to tapping into their pleasure. Here are some fast facts about libido in women.

Women Experience Arousal More Fluidly Than Men

One of the most interesting things about the female libido is that it tends to be more fluid than men's, regardless of sexuality. Researchers at Northwestern University performed a study in which they showed subjects a variety of erotic films and registered their responses using sensors hooked up to their genitals (SUPER comfy). Then, they asked the subjects what they thought of the films. Straight women showed fairly consistent arousal reactions to male-female, male-male and female-female erotica, whereas straight men showed a stronger response to male-female and female-female erotica. The conclusion of the study was that women probably have a greater capacity to become sexually interested in both the same and opposite sex than men. Neat!

Societal and Cultural Factors Affect Women's Libido

One of the hard truths about our society is that it places very different expectations and boundaries on women over men in terms of sexual activity. As such, many studies have shown that:

  • Rates of premarital sex among women who regularly attend church are far lower than among women who do not. Churchgoing women also tend to look down upon premarital sex more than other groups.
  • Women's attitudes and decisions about sex are more likely to be influenced by their peer groups.
  • Women's actual sexual behavior and their expressed values were more inconsistent than men's.

While certain aspects of environmental influence can have negative effects on women's libido, some good can come from it as well. Those same studies also found that women's attitudes toward different sexual practices (oral sex, anal sex, etc.) were more likely to change over time than men's. This means that as women have a wider variety of positive sexual experiences, they can discover new kinds of sex that they enjoy, which is great news for everybody!

Arousal Starts in the Head

For many women, sexual desire starts in the head rather than the genitals. Rather than the idea of sex being the turn-on, it's the anticipation and longing leading up to sex that can really get the libido going. Having an intimate connection before sex is what then makes the sex gratifying — and that's why foreplay is so important. More on that once we cover libido in men.

Libido in Men

Men's libido is a bit different than women's, as you've already guessed. Let's dive into some of the biggest reasons why.

Men Experience Arousal More Rigidly Than Women

The study from Northwestern University that we mentioned earlier found that straight men were more likely to experience arousal when viewing male-female and female-female erotica, rather than male-male. In addition, the study found that gay men were less likely to have had sexual contact with a woman than lesbian women with men, which further suggested that men's boundaries of attraction are more strict. 

Other studies have also found that, whether men are in straight or gay relationships, they tend to have more sex than straight or lesbian women. No matter the type of relationship, libido appears to be higher in men. 

Men Seek Sex More Often Than Women

Many studies have shown that most adult men under the age of 60 will think about sex at least once a day, compared with only about a quarter of women. Men are also more likely to seek out sexual satisfaction, whether they find it in the form of masturbation, a casual fling or an intimate moment with their partner. Some of their openness and avidness about seeking sex could be due to societal norms stating that its a man's job to "deliver." It could also be because the male libido is stronger. Both could be the case and, either way, it means that most men love sex and can't get enough of it.

Arousal Starts in the Genitals

Rather than needing an emotional connection before having sex, many men view sex as the connection — a way of saying "hey, I'm attracted to you, and I want to take this moment further." As such, they don't necessarily need a lot of foreplay to get going and to climax. In fact, men on average climax within four minutes of sexual contact, while women generally take ten minutes or longer. This is, once again, why foreplay is so important. Luckily, PinkCherry has everything you need to have great sex no matter you and your partner's libido levels. 

Sensual Love Toys for Fantastic Foreplay

Because men and women seem to have different levels of libido, foreplay is a very important part of sex and building intimacy between partners. Having the right supplies to get you both going is essential. Check out the products in these categories to set the mood and reach new planes of pleasure:

  • Massage Oils: Women especially enjoy having all parts of their body caressed and attended to, and with good reason — erogenous zones exist all over the human body, not just between the thighs! We carry warming massage oils, lubricants and flavored oils in all sorts of colors and flavors for both of you to enjoy.
  • Body Teasers and Ticklers: Ticklers tend to be associated with BDSM play, but they can be used for all sorts of sensual fun, delivering light, feathery touches to all of you most sensitive areas. You could even try using a tickler with a blindfold on to make the touches even more surprising. No matter how you choose to play with them, you're in for a treat that will get your libido pumping.
  • Massage Candles: Nothing says romance quite like the warm glow of a candle — and nothing will turn you on quite like a candle that melts into a luxurious massage oil. Our massage candles are a bedroom must-have.

Find Even More Sensual Love Toys to Light Up Your Libido

There are few levels of libido that can resist the sensual love toys we carry at PinkCherry. From sexy games to personal care items, we have everything needed to tickle your fancy and help you create a truly satisfying sexual experience for you and your partner — no matter your libido level. Now, put that anthropology book down and have some fun!

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