10 Jan

This article was re-posted and used with permission from Laura Brotherson. For more great articles from Laura, click HERE

You can also listen to our podcast episode “Understanding The Differences In Sexual Wiring”

As individuals we all desire to grow and reach our full potential. Marriage is one of those ways that requires us to constantly grow and stretch. Men and women are different and complement each other in many ways. One gender is not more superior than the other, in fact, the happiest marriages are those in which spouses treat each other as equal partners. Sex is not just for men, or not just for women. It’s for both to enjoy equally and for mutual oneness and pleasure.

Differences between men and women ought to be understood and honored, especially differences in sexual wiring.

This resource is intended to help couples better understand men and women’s sexual wiring in brief.  The illustration above of the switchboard is humorous as it implies men are simple and women are complex. However, the reality is men have their own complexities just as women do. Note that the 18 points below are generalities. Exceptions for the items below are common and normal, so if you feel like you don’t fit with some of the points below, you’re just fine.

1. Strong Sex Drive / Weak Sex Drive

The idea that men have a stronger sex drive than women is actually a myth. Studies show that women have just as much sex drive as men do, but it’s just a different type of drive, more like an apples-to-oranges comparison (they’re both fruits, but different types). Men generally have a constant hunger and spontaneous sex drive, whereas a woman’s sex drive is more responsive and receptive and is driven by emotional connection and intimacy.

2. Ready to Go / Need Warm-up 

The adage that men are like microwaves and women are like slow cookers is a good analogy. Men can be ready to go at the drop of a hat (or panties) whereas women need more time to warm up to the idea of sex. Women do need more time, sometimes much much more time with talk, emotional connection, romance, foreplay, and adequate stimulation before she’s ready to go. 
Ever wonder why the main characters in a chick flick don’t reconcile or kiss until the very end of the film? Men might be scratching their heads a few minutes into the movie, saying, “Just tell her you lover her already and get on it with it!”  The writers of these movies know something about building anticipation slowly, with a low boil and simmer. 

Women enjoy the slow build up to sex. It’s worth noting that as men age, they tend to enjoy a slower, emotionally connecting  pace to lovemaking. Likewise, as women embrace their own sexuality and desire more variety, they find that they like things fast and furious at times too. Women can enjoy a faster build-up time as wives and her husbands learn what works for her. 

3. The Physical is a Bridge to Emotional Connection / Emotional Connection is a Bridge to Physical Connection 

Men are generally driven by a physical desire to have sex. Through sex, they feel the closest to their spouse. Some men get quite emotional after sex and feel more secure about opening themselves up emotionally. Ironically, women on the other hand are driven by an emotional need to connect. Feeling connected emotionally is the bridge to their desire to be physical with her spouse. Another way of summarizing this point is that men want their wives to be physically naked (as in undressed), and women want their husbands to be naked emotionally. Couples who learn out how to help one another connect well in their spouse’s way enjoy satisfying intimacy. 

Just a note of caution: your spouse can sense if you’re giving them what they want half heartedly in order to get what you want. “Duty sex” will not help men open up emotionally, and buying her flowers to get sex isn’t an effective way to build intimacy. True intimacy requires both spouses to be genuine, selfless, humble, and considerate.

4. Need Sex to Feel Loved / Need Love to Desire Sex 

This point is similar to the above. Men feel loved by their spouses the most through sex. Women feel loved by their spouses the most through emotional connection. When sex is being withheld by the wife, it makes it more difficult for men to be emotionally engaged and present with his wife. Likewise, when men don’t make the effort to open up to their wife’s emotional needs, or withdraw emotionally from their wives altogether, it makes it more difficult for the wife to desire physical intimacy with her husband.

5. Physical Buildup / Emotional Buildup 

Although sexual desire is constant for men, the longer time lapses between sexual encounters, the stronger the sexual desire. Sometimes it may come across as a physiological need. It can be likened to women who have breastfed. If you haven’t fed your baby in a long time, you feel the build up of milk in your breasts and feel a desire relief through breastfeeding. Most women don’t necessarily feel a buildup of sexual desire over time, women need to feel close to their husbands. Wives desire time with their husbands, to be cherished, loved, and caressed (and maybe some chocolate too). 

6. Sex as a Reaction / Sex as a Decision 

Men can feel sexual fairly quickly from a thought, a romantic memory, or visual stimulation. Men are triggered physically more easily than women. On the other hand, women don’t tend to respond quickly with feelings just from a thought or something visual alone. Nor do they get aroused from a sexual touch right out of the gate like men do. For women, desire to desire sex is a decision; she must mentally allow herself to go there. She needs to allow herself to begin to warm up to the idea, allow herself to decide to get turned on. Emotional connection and some physical arousal can then occur.

7. Stimulated Visually / Stimulated Mentally, Auditorily, and through Touch

It’s important for women to understand how important it is for their husbands to be able to see their wives sexually. It’s a big part of the turn on for them to have that visual element. Unfortunately, this creates a perfect storm for some couples though, as many women struggle with body image issues and are overly concerned about how they look in the mirror.  Women who can abandon body image issues and trust their husbands when he says, “you look hot to me,” can go a long way to enjoying a satisfying sexual relationship. 

Rather than visually, women tend to be stimulated through auditory, touch (both non-sexual and sexual), and emotional means. Women are turned on by husbands that express thoughtful and sincere feelings of tender affection, that play with and care for their children, and other special ways that make wives feel safe, heard, cherished, appreciated, and loved in the relationship. Women can be stimulated and aroused just by hearing her husband talk to her, painting a romantic setting with his words, and taking her someplace safe and special.

8. Come to climax quickly / Need more time to climax 

Men can get from zero to climax very quickly, in a matter of minutes (wives: for a fun exercise, grab a stopwatch, catch your husband unawares, and see how quickly you can get your husband from zero to climax! Repeat the experiment at a later time to see if you can break your record!). Women need more time. Couples that add at least 15 minutes of foreplay (such as cuddling and kissing) before moving to touching the “good stuff” can enjoy a more mutually satisfying experience together. And even then, women generally need more stimulation to come to climax.

9. Thinks About Sex Constantly / Thinks About Sex Occasionally 

Men think about sex several times a day, whereas women think about sex a few times a week. Women may need to make more time to open mental windows about sex, and men may need to make the effort to close some mental windows about sex.

10. Direct Stimulation / Indirect Stimulation 

Men prefer it when their wives are direct and boldly go straight for the “good stuff”. By contrast, at least in the beginning phases of a sexual encounter, women prefer indirect stimulation. A wife’s desire for sexual intimacy isn’t their first step as it is with men. Desire comes after a buildup phase of anticipation and arousal (think: emotional arousal). 

Women respond best when the husband pays attention to her whole body, not just focusing only on her erotic zones. Caressing her face, neck, arms, and sides is a symbol that he loves all of her as a person. Women respond with the emotional, tender, intimate, and romantic stimulation. Taking time to build anticipation through indirect means will often lead to the point where the wife is begging for her sexual hot spots to be touched and stimulated. She is then ready for direct stimulation to take her to amazing heights and depths.

11. Pleasure At Release / Pleasure From Anticipation 

The primary pleasure for men during sex is orgasm. It makes sense that men prefer a direct approach to being aroused because the pleasure is in the release at climax. For women, however, the pleasure comes in the building up phase, the anticipation that builds and builds during their encounter. Gentle teasing and a slow boil of emotional and sexual play is where the pleasure is for most women. Women do enjoy orgasm also, but it’s the building up to that point, the anticipation, the journey to get there, that makes sex a delight.

12. Predictable Orgasm / Unpredictable Orgasm 

Men have fairly consistent sexual desire and orgasms. Women’s sexual wiring is quite a bit more complex and unpredictable than a man’s, making orgasm not as predictable for her. This can have an effect on her sexual desire. If a women rarely experiences an orgasm, it makes sense that she wouldn’t be terribly anxious to have sex again the next time. 

For women who struggle with or rarely have orgasms, it may be an option to try using a vibrator. A vibrator provides unique and a powerful kind of touch thatn can help make an orgasm easier. A vibrator can also be a helpful tool in the lovemaking experience as couples get older. It can make up for the possibility of an erection not lasting long enough for her. Vibrators do have some drawbacks and should be something the couples decides to try.

13. One Orgasm / Multiple Orgasms 

This is the point that most men envy. After a man ejaculates, there’s a refractory period before he’s able to have an erection and be stimulated enough to enjoy another orgasm. This refractory period is different from man to man, and changes as he ages. On the other hand, women don’t need any refractory period. As long as the stimulation is there, she can experience orgasm after orgasm during the same sexual encounter. Some women also report different kinds of orgasms from different kinds of stimulation (such as direct clitoral stimulation, g-spot stimulation, and from intercourse). Enjoying multiple orgasms for women may not be automatic for some couples. Discussing, experimenting, and working and learning together on how she can achieve her sexual potential can be exciting and rewarding.

14. Penis as Sexual Center / Clitoris As Sexual Center 

Truly fulfilling sexual encounters require that a women be willing and able to pay special attention to her husband’s penis. As a common inhibitor for women, this can be a tough issue standing in the way of thoroughly enjoying sex. Many tools and resources (including this app) are available for women to let go of inhibitions and enjoy all of her husband’s body’s special member. Wives who embrace and delight in her husband’s penis, the way it functions, and the deep meaning, connection, and symbol it is to the husband’s manhood find great satisfaction. 

The concept of the clitoris as the sexual center is another key ingredient missing in many couples. It’s keeping them from enjoying the full measure of pleasure in lovemaking. Like the penis, without sufficient clitoral stimulation, most women will have a hard time experiencing arousal and a climactic release. For women to have a dedicated body part – the amazing clitoris – with no other function or purpose than to enjoy sexual pleasure, attest to the fact that God wants women to find pleasure and enjoyment in their sexuality.

15. Peak in Morning / Peak in Evening 

Testosterone does peak in the morning for men, and it tends to be later in the day for women and during the ovulation phase of their monthly cycle. As children grow and are off to school, mornings can become a favored time for lovemaking, where fatigue is less likely to rob couples of romantic opportunities for lovemaking as compared to late in the evening.

16. Lovemaking Ends with Orgasm / Lovemaking Ends with Afterglow

It’s pretty difficult for men to stay awake after sex because of all the endorphins and other hormones that flood them, enticing them to sleep. These endorphins flooding their mind make them feel as if they had just taken a medicine that makes them instantly drowsy. It can be upsetting if your hubby falls asleep so quickly after sex, especially the wife isn’t finished yet! However, if men will exercise restraint and stay engaged with their wives after lovemaking, that can be a rich time of connecting and bonding their hearts together even more deeply.

17. Need To Control Sexual Energy / Need to Awaken and Free Sexual Energy 

Women almost have to do the exact opposite of what we teach our boys and encourage men to do. While men need to learn to bridle and control their sexual feelings, women generally need to awaken and nourish sexual thoughts and feelings. Sexual thoughts and feelings are already generally plentiful for men, but women almost constantly need to nurture appropriate romantic thoughts and feelings towards their spouse through the day. This helps them have a head start, so that they aren’t trying to get all the way from a 0 to a 60 at a moment’s notice when lovemaking opportunities occur.

18. Simple Sexual Fulfillment / Complex Sexual Fulfillment 

It may be true that male sexual fulfillment seems simpler, especially in the earlier years of marriage, and women seem to be more complex due to the emotional nature of their sexual desire. But the good news is that over time, male and female sexuality tends to become more balanced and similar. Men tend to become a little more complex as their emotionality is developed and embraced. Women tend to become a little simpler sexually as they come to understand and embrace their sexuality. As the emotional dimension in the marriage is enhanced, both husband and wife come together in a more emotionally and sexually balanced way. Remember, emotionally connected sex is the best sex!

There you have it, 18 differences between men and women’s sexual wiring. This resource may be a great conversation starter. Discuss with your spouse if the above points resonate with them. May the Lord bless you in your marriage and in your marriage bed as you learn to appreciate and embrace your spouse’s unique God-given wiring.

Adapted from Knowing Her Intimately by Laura Brotherson, Certified Sex Therapist. Used with permission. Find her in-depth book on the women’s sexual response or other books by clicking on the picture below.

If you want to add spice to your marriage, connect in communication, read some amazing resources on marriage tips from Experts, learn more about anatomy, take some fun quizzes, or just need some date night ideas, don’t forget to download the free ultimate intimacy app in the app stores.

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