At first it might seem like there are obvious answers to this simple question: why do women have sex?
Surely it’s the same reason that men have sex? To enjoy an orgasm. To connect with their partner. A way of expressing love?
Well no, it turns out to be a lot more complicated than that: there are, it seems, 237 reasons why women have sex, and most of them nothing to do with romance or pleasure.
Here’s the source article. This this extra piece of information comes from a book called Why Women Have Sex by Cindy Meston, who is a clinical psychologist and David Buss, an evolutionary psychologist.
They interviewed 1000+ women from different countries around the world and found there are 237 identifiable reasons why women engage in sexual intercourse.
Of course some of these reasons are commonplace: to boost their self-esteem, to keep their lovers, and of course because they are coerced into sex.
This kind of mirrors the complications men often believe that women bring to sex. For men, sex is a very simple matter about the relief of sexual desire, and the pleasure of orgasm, with possibly some love in there in the mix. And of course, feeling good. Who wouldn’t want an orgasm?
Apparently desire, love, and feeling good are not the only reasons why women want – or choose – to have sex. In any event, there is plenty of evidence that having sex will make women feel empowered and goo, especially if a man is able to produce the more powerful forms of sexual experience such as create a powerful gushing release when a woman comes – these are the kind of sexual experiences which really do make women feel good, and men who know how to do it may be desirable sexual partners.
Here are some more examples of why women have sex and in the list the wide range of motivations becomes very clear: promotion, bartering, drugs, money, to get back at a partner who’s cheated on them, to make a partner feel bad… And so it goes on.
Some of these are not very surprising, because sex is a natural currency of being a woman; it has high value – it can buy things and it can buy men. And it can be used, says Cindy, at every stage of a relationship, right from the start where a woman is trying to lure a man into the relationship, through the relationship when she wishes to keep him fulfilled or make sure he doesn’t stray, or indeed she can use it against him, to make him jealous or to get rid of him.
And is this really surprising?
Yes, in some ways it is surprising, because women have darker motives. Some said that they wanted to give a man a sexually transmitted infection, which is certainly an interesting reason for having sex.
All of which makes this a far cry, indeed, from romantic fantasies, where sex becomes nothing but a kind of currency of love in human relationships.
The Evolutionary Pressure Made Me Do It!
The first and most obvious evolutionary pressure behind women wanting to have sex is to choose a mate who is likely to pass on good genes that will produce healthy children.
Clearly this would be the most important issue in our evolutionary history, which is why men with symmetrical faces seem to have an additional power in attracting women (over and above the simple sense of a woman wanting a good-looking man in her life). Symmetry, it seems, is a sign of good genetic material.
Similarly, a woman can be sexually attracted to man because he smells good – and this is the same issue, sexual selection. In fact when a woman smells a man as being good, that suggests he has a gene structure which will be complimentary to hers – and that will produce healthy children…..
But is this really so surprising, when we know that animals are compelled by sexual selection to mate with certain individuals?
We know that women look for men with resources who can provide for them and their children.
And we know that women want a faithful and less dazzling mate, one who is not likely to attract other women, to help raise the kids, so they settle for a good provider, using sex to keep him in the relationship.
And you understand that most of this is anything but calculating or deliberate? It’s about the genetic issues which work below conscious awareness and compel people to behave in certain ways.
What About Love?
However, you can forget the idea of women enjoying sex for love. Or so it seems, anyway. The most common reason given for women wanting to have sex was for the pleasure of orgasm. And of course that does suggest whether or not women would prefer to have the pleasure of sexual climax in a loving relationship. (Of course they would.)
Fortunately for you and your romantic ideals, the second most important reason why women said they have sex is love. And no surprise there, considering how many romantic love songs we have to listen to every year! It’s deep in our culture – love and sex go together.
Women use sex to express love and to get it and try and keep it. Simple!
Interestingly enough, in almost every society that has been examined, far more women than men say they’re in love. Fascinating, but not surprising.
Far away from love, women also use sex as a way of leaving a man.
Then there’s all the short-term sexual strategies for immediate benefit, like pursuing a man who’s got high social or economic value. Sex is a good way of poaching a high value male from other women.
And then there are all the things women do to show off their sexuality, which could be seen as a means of attracting a mate.
High heels to show off pelvises, lip gloss to emulate the lips around the vagina, and gossip about rivals that discredits them – maybe a strategy to discourage men from getting involved with other women.
Among younger women, there’s exploration and excitement – seeking an answer to the question “Am I going to like sex?” or even “What is sex like?”
Other reasons for women to have sex? Well, there’s sex to feel better, take away a migraine, for example – or to relieve period pains; there are also many economic reasons for sexual transactions, ranging from sex as payment or encouragement (e.g. sex so that the man would mow the lawn or sex so he would make the dinner).
But don’t despair, relationships are a part of our essential aspect of being human, and are likely to based on romantic love some time to come, no matter if there’s a deeper, more manipulative motivation, deep down!