What’s our motivation for sex? “Why Women Have Sex” authors Cindy Meston, Ph. D., and David M. Buss, Ph. D., have the answers. They share surprising results on women and sex for this week’s Frisky Friday feature.
Don’t believe the hype. It’s been said that men want to have sex for physical reasons and women for love—but it’s not the case. Men and women want to have sex for many of the same reasons.
“A lot of men have sex for emotional bonding to get closer to their partner, and women very much wanted to have sex for physical pleasure,” Meston says.
Size does play a part—but not like you think.
Buss and Meston’s research found that women are most attracted to men who are symmetrical, something we unconsciously sense through smell.
“Men who are more symmetrical provide more orgasms,” Buss says.
Ladies also prefer men with athletic builds and broad shoulders, relative to their hips.
Lately some of our favorite celebs have been accused of man poaching, and they aren’t alone. More than 3,000 women participated in “Why Women Have Sex” studies and 53 percent admitted to trying to take another woman’s man.
“Women use sex to woo a man away,” Buss says. “When a man is in a relationship, woman see him as pre-screened and often think he must be a good guy. Poaching is part of our evolved strategy of mating.”
In our nurturing way, women also use sex as a comfort for men—sometimes even when they aren’t totally attracted to the guy.
“Some women shared altruistic reasons for having sex. They want to make him feel good,” Meston shares.
Women in relationships also look at sex as a duty, when their sex drives don’t match a partners.
What you may be feeling is love—or the “cuddle hormone” oxytocin. The hormone is released during sex and often increases feelings of attachment and comfort.
“Women can mistakenly associate those hormones for feelings for the person,” Buss says.
So be particular on who you let in your bed, because it may be hard to get them out of your system.
Forget turning the other cheek. Women are responding to infidelity with an affair of their own.
“Some women shared how they had sex with their best friend’s partner, because she did it,” Buss says.
Though women are responding to cheating with sex, the outcome isn’t always the same, as some feel vindicated while others have regrets.
“On a conscious level, that woman wants to get back at him, but at a unconscious level, she may have low self-esteem or a history of being abandoned," Meston adds.
While many women have sex to feel connected to their partner, some women had intercourse to feel closer to the Most High.
“Pure joy and connection with another person, I feel, is becoming closer to the cycles of life and the underlying palpable energy of the world…in essence, God,” said one woman, age 21.
The reasons we have sex at different ages don’t change, they just often increase.
“An 18-year-old will do it because it feels good, where a 45-year-old will have sex because it feels good, she wants to bond with her partner and she wants some excitement,” Meston says.
Today’s woman is all about feeling empowered—and the bedroom is one place women historically are repressed. So many ladies are taking back the reigns of their sex lives and enjoying the ride (no pun, of course). Some are even using it as a cure for heartbreak.
“One woman said the best way to get over a man is to get under another one,” Buss says.
Why do women have sex? For numerous different reasons—and often without thought.
“Women don’t spend a lot of time thinking about why they have sex,” Reston says. “We hope discussing the topic helps lead to better choices.”
Share your biggest sex motivations below.