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How Women Really Feel About Sex (when sex is part of love)

Many women find sex to be the deepest form of love and connection, and many women are very sexually oriented. While his orgasm may be quicker, hers is often more powerful and her incredible capacity for pleasure includes multiple orgasms.

But the ways that women experience and express their sexuality are often very different from their male partners (See How Men Really Feel about Sex.) Here are some of the most common ways that women may differ from men.

Sex begins in the mind. Men are often disappointed that she doesn’t crave it in her body as much as he does. But her body is very different hormonally. Testosterone does cause physiological desire in both genders, but to differing degrees – proportionately, male hormonal drive is a loud scream and hers is an occasional whisper. For her, it’s the fantasizing, remembering, and imagining hot sex that revs her engine. So, in times of infatuation or falling in love – when she is constantly thinking about being together – her sexual appetite is high and arousal is easy.

Sex is about being desired. Sex researcher Meredith Chivers says “being desired is the orgasm” for women. While seeing (and some women are more visual than others) an attractive man might cause a small spike of excitement in a woman, it’s the thought of his reaction to her – “I wonder if he thinks I’m hot?” – that hits her brain like a lightning bolt. Knowing that her man is hungry for her engages her imagination and ignites sexy thoughts in the brain (see above!). Just as men often expect abundant sex after marriage, women have expectations of lots of continuing romance that assures her of her sexual desirability.

Sex is a mixed bag. Most women do love sex, but desire can easily be derailed by tiredness, resentment, and physiological problems of pain and menopause. In fact, without the physiological driver of enormous testosterone like males, a main task for women is to turn off the inner "brakes" says sex therapist Emily Nagoski - the distractibility of the laundry, children and work or the inhibiting voices inside that tell her no from her history or her religion.

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