We have two excellent, long-read articles on female sexuality. The first is a New Yorker interview with Cindy M. Meston, author with David M. Buss, of “Why Women Have Sex”.
Most of us now understand the complexities of female desire, although even I chuckled over this paragraph describing what motivates a woman to have a sexual encounter:
Buss: For example, whereas men’s sexual orgasm tends to be fairly predictable and reliable in the sense of its occurrence, women’s sexual orgasm is highly variable. It’s variable from woman to woman, and variable within the same woman from partner to partner, circumstance to circumstance, etc. Sexual attraction provides another example. Men’s sexual attraction tends to be based heavily on visual cues. Women’s sexual attraction tends to be far more nuanced. It’s affected by olfactory cues (how a man smells), personality of the partner (such as sense of humor and confidence), social status (how he is regarded in the eyes of his peers), other women’s judgments of how attractive he is, and many other factors, in addition to the visual cues. The qualities women find to be sexually attractive in a man also vary across the ovulatory cycle, such as a shift toward finding more masculine features (faces, bodies, and voices) attractive at ovulation.
If this process sounds like one giant rationalization on why it’s OK for a woman to enjoy a sexual experience, you are correct. And that’s the subject of last week’s NYTimes Magazine article on desire: Women Who Want to Want.
Women’s sexuality researcher Lori Brotto is a professional who thoroughly immerses herself in her own research, a learning approach that I understand well.
Brotto shares how her discovery of personal erotic power, an act she sees as necessary to any woman wanting to fully experience sexual desire. My own discovery came in a similar exercise in a NIA class. The moment was transformational in my own life and more liberating than any other.
Shakira recently called “libido” the engine of the world, arguing that feeling one’s own eroticism is the cornerstone personal power. Shakira’s sexy She Wolf video is about more than sexy dancing in a cage. The visual metaphor is about women finding and embracing their sexual center. Anne
Lily/bee photo via Flickr’s Frederic D (so busy … )