Wonderful article today in the New York Times that looks at desire and sexual arousal among men and women. It’s long, but well well well worth the read.
This is the bit that was especially interesting to me, since I’ve always felt that women’s arousal is much more open than we’re given credit for. And so often, our bodies are doing something different than our minds. I don’t know if this is genetic or learned–and neither, apparently, do the scientists, but the disconnect is fascinating. Go read it. Really.
All was different with the women. No matter what their self-proclaimed sexual orientation, they showed, on the whole, strong and swift genital arousal when the screen offered men with men, women with women and women with men. They responded objectively much more to the exercising woman than to the strolling man, and their blood flow rose quickly — and markedly, though to a lesser degree than during all the human scenes except the footage of the ambling, strapping man — as they watched the apes. And with the women, especially the straight women, mind and genitals seemed scarcely to belong to the same person. The readings from the plethysmograph and the keypad weren’t in much accord. During shots of lesbian coupling, heterosexual women reported less excitement than their vaginas indicated; watching gay men, they reported a great deal less; and viewing heterosexual intercourse, they reported much more. Among the lesbian volunteers, the two readings converged when women appeared on the screen. But when the films featured only men, the lesbians reported less engagement than the plethysmograph recorded. Whether straight or gay, the women claimed almost no arousal whatsoever while staring at the bonobos.
Kiss kiss bang bang, s.
“Those who restrain desire do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained.” ~ William Blake