Thursday, June 12, 2014

Still Not Knowing What They Want

Five years ago (wow, has it been that long?), I reported on a study that women respond sexually to the the darndest things: appears that their bodies want, well, anything. Literally. Read on:
No matter what their self-proclaimed sexual orientation, [the female subjects] 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.
Now contrast this with the results from the guys:
Males who identified themselves as straight swelled while gazing at heterosexual or lesbian sex and while watching the masturbating and exercising women. They were mostly unmoved when the screen displayed only men. Gay males were aroused in the opposite categorical pattern. Any expectation that the animal sex would speak to something primitive within the men seemed to be mistaken; neither straights nor gays were stirred by the bonobos.
It's hard to know where to start with the results of this ongoing study. For the men knew what aroused them: straight men only by pictures of women, homosexual men only by pictures of other men. And no men were aroused by images of bonobo sex.

This was not the case however with women in this study, whose bodies were aroused by pretty much everything as long as it had some sensual quality to it. Thus images of women masturbating, of two men making out, of male-female coupling, of lesbian lovin', and chimp porn all got women's engines revving. Regardless of their reported sexual orientation.
Now fast-forward to today. This research appears in a book that re-asserts the finding that women's sexuality is much more likely to be freaky than that of men who, for all our faults as a sex, possess a more comparatively straightforward sexuality. Which is all well and good, and I'm happy to test social science evidence against received conventional wisdom and perhaps adjust what I think to be true. But what got my attention, and the reason why I thought this DM article claiming that women were just was "animal" as men worthy of a blog-post, is how red pill the author's conclusions are. To wit:
'Sexuality is a potentially anarchic force, and it is comforting to believe that - innately - half the population, the female half, is at least comparatively civilized when it comes to sex. It is soothing to believe that women are genetically scripted to serve as a stabilizing force,' he said.

...he added that many women were in denial about what they found to be a turn on. 'The plethysmograph was showing lots of arousal when women were telling Chivers they didn't feel turned on at all,'
With that, Victorian blue-pill "just-so" conventional wisdom about the nature of men and women suffered yet another body blow. The notion that female sexuality is somehow more pure and innocent and controlled than men's runs smack into these findings that claim exactly the opposite..  Only one of these assertions can be true, and I suspect that the social science data is closer to actual truth than not.

Furthermore, that the author claims women are in denial about what arouses them only serves to buttress the manosphere advice to completely disregard what women say they want, and instead watch what they actually do, and behave accordingly.

Last, and this isn't necessarily red-pill per se, but an implication of these findings is that perhaps the ancients knew what they were doing when they invested leadership authority in men, and also in keeping the female libido under wraps for the good of their societies.


CM said...

I'm going to go in two different directions on this. Having personally experienced this "moving target" that is female sexuality (as Lily Marshall in How I Met Your Mother one said), I've contemplated this alot.

1) The claim that women are more "civilized" - the results would appear to claim that most women are better at denying their physical reactions and placing boundaries on their sexual drive than men. I think that's stupid... but since I think being "civilized" is not acting on your natural instincts, I can see where they're going.

2) Relationships ONLY work if the man KNOWS what he wants and is willing to work for it. Women don't know and can easily be convinced one way or another. The potential partner drives her sexuality - not her own desire.

3) Reinforces biblical ideals about sexuality - women were responding conciously to social conventions. Even while grimacing in disgust at a lesbian or rape scene, I know I'm turned on... and that disgusts me even more. It is important for us to put boundaries on our sex life. And in a world that screams "no sugar, pizza, and fried chicken" even if it feels good while simultaneously denying any boundaries on sex, we are stupid people.

Elusive Wapiti said...

Rather than denying their physical reactions to sexual stimuli, women appear ignorant of them, if this data is accurate.

This then seems to me to be a significant vulnerability in the feminine armor...unaware that sexually oriented stimuli of any sort gets their body revving, they may be more easily caught off-guard when their sexual arousal crosses the perception threshold. Their body is much further down the "I wanna have sex" road than they knew, and thus find it harder to resist the urge.

It also speaks to the wisdom of boundaries, as you suggest above. A way to keep out of trouble, since otherwise a woman may not know she's "in trouble" sexually until it's too late to mount effective resistance.

Johnny Caustic said...

@CM: the results would appear to claim that most women are better at denying their physical reactions and placing boundaries on their sexual drive than men. I think that's stupid... but since I think being "civilized" is not acting on your natural instincts, I can see where they're going.

You're misinterpreting the results. They imply that women don't speak their natural instincts. As any experienced pickup guy can tell you, women do act on those instincts they are denying. If anything, women are less successful at suppressing their actions because they don't realize how turned on they are.

(I agree with the rest of what you said, though.)

@Wapiti: Rather than denying their physical reactions to sexual stimuli, women appear ignorant of them.

Exactly. Just last night, I had a woman in my bed telling me how surprised she was that she had just had sex with me. (She even explained that she'd expected it to happen Saturday, but not on this date.) While I was sexually escalating, she had seemed a bit stunned--not stunned in a rapey way, but stunned in a "I can't believe I'm responding this strongly" way.