Desire and the gender gap

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article that reinforced the ‘differing expectations of women’ compared to men around the topic of sex. Subtitled, ‘When He Says More and She Says No’ (making me irate before I even read the thing), the piece traveled down the hackneyed path that men want more sex than women, women are frigid..yada yada… yawn. What left me agog mid way through the piece was the proposition that men need to have sex because its their only way of expressing emotion, whereas women have these things called friends, family and phones. Poor Mr.Man, according to the WSJ, doesn’t have any other outlet of feelings of well being (Um.. I think my ex found ‘Jugs’ quite supportive), so to deprive him of sex.. well that’s tantamount to emotional damage. So really women need to put up and shut up if they don’t want hubby arriving home with an shotgun. The outcome of the piece was that Ms. Mower, aka the frigid Mormon we’ve been tracking, decides to ‘raise her game’ for the sake of her husband’s emotional health. At which point I ground my teeth to numbs and had to take a Valium.

I left my marriage because my husband took 2 years off from marital ‘entertainment’ (he was ‘tired’ apparently), so the idea of the ‘frigid’ wife has always rubbed me the wrong way (well something had to) and this article was no exception. Not only for reinforcing the notion that women don’t want to have sex, but that women need to ‘raise their game’ in order to meet some ‘norm’. Nowhere in the article was the term ‘sexual compatibility’ mentioned and I couldn’t help me wonder if the article would have been written if it had been the male half of the equation who hadn’t been putting out.

By the time I was able to stop screaming at my laptop screen, reached out asking women whether the gender gap around sexual desire was actually that great. The response illuminated that, per my experience, there seem to be thousands of women who confessed that their husbands, partners, BCs, weren’t actually as driven as they were..(despite all that emotional support, we apparently still need to get some)… and that the stereotype of the frigid female isn’t quite as robust as the WSJ would have us believe. Phew.. so its not just me.

What really made me spit tea over my screen was Salon’s research that indicated female desire may actually be higher than mens… its just we have different sexual desire patterns. Women experience ‘responsive desire’ (i.e someone touches us and we’re good to go), where as men experience ‘spontaneous desire’ (i.e. I like that chair, hmm I need to have sex now). Holy cow… I totally agree with something on the internet… what can I say, it was a first and reinforced my own belief that I’m not lacking in desire.. I’m just lacking in someone to spark it off. And hence, if the guy isn’t creating something to respond to – that kiss, that nuzzle.. hell, a cup of tea.. well women have a hard time getting in the mood. We don’t do ‘spontaneous desire’.

Thinking back to the recent retirement of my BC, I realized the gap that night.. I had really really wanted to respond to something, but getting nothing from him.. wound up more interested in nap than nooky. He apparently had seen a good looking chair earlier and was good to go.
Well Mr. BC, according to Salon.. its not me, its my hormones.

So dudes, apparently its not hard (arf arf), you just need to reach out and touch someone. And no, this doesn’t give you license to moan about always being the initiator.. we don’t need much. A kiss, a caress, a nuzzle, a hand in the small of our back… just don’t expect us to suddenly rip off your clothes in the middle of Whole Foods. We apparently don’t work like that. 

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