Can we please move past this nonsense already?
Men only want one thing … sex. This is the "truth" about men, right? Or, so society loves to tell us.
Men want to spread their seed. Women, however, want passion, romance, and love. "Men pick with their eyes, women pick with their ears," says Dr. Pat Allen a psychotherapist and MFT specializing in relationship communication. And, this is the prevailing belief we subscribe to about men, women, and sexual dynamics.
But, here's the thing — these prevailing views are not necessarily true anymore (and I'm not sure they ever were). Here's why …
Guys aren't as shallow as you think.
Yes, it's correct that men feel some biological imperative to reproduce, but if you ask most guys sleeping around out there … getting a girl pregnant is the LAST thing they want.
Unfortunately, it seems ALL men get a bad wrap as being players who only want sex, because the few guys who are only after sex make spectacles of themselves and are more vocal. Think of the men who go after the drunk girl at a club or those messaging multiple women on dating apps looking to hookup, they overshadow the other non-jerky, less aggressive men.
Psychology professor Andrew Smiler, author of Challenging Casanova: Beyond the Stereotype of the Promiscuous Young Male, argues that there are actually three types of men: 1) a small percentage of "Casanovas" (who want to sleep with as many females as possible); 2) an equally small percentage of boys who want to remain abstinent until marriage; 3) the largest group of males who follow a reasonably traditional, romantic approach to dating and relationships.
Cameron Conaway, former executive editor at The Good Men Project believes that the Casanova stereotype "hurts men because it's yet another mechanism by which to force them into the 'man box,' that place where they are told to hide deep feelings, are ridiculed for showing sensitivity and are encouraged to be overly aggressive."
In reality, for most men, sex is, both, symbolic and physical. They want a partner who genuinely likes them. And, they want affirmation that they can actually make you happy. "When a guy really cares about you," says author and relationship expert April Masini, "He's in it for the long run, and sex is less important than the relationship. Don't get me wrong. He wants sex, but he wants sex with you and he wants you to love it. He wants to please you."
Women enjoy casual sex just as much as men.
Sure some women are looking for love and romance (and even commitment), but it turns out plenty of women just want sex, as much as men (supposedly) do.
A new wave of female sexuality researchers (including Meredith Chivers, Marta Meana, and Lisa M. Diamond) agree, suggesting that women (possibly even more so than men) feel a deep and normal thirst to step out and have sex with a stranger. Only fear-based societal norms shame women for wanting sex, therefore suppressing their desires.
But, the view of women who enjoy sex is shifting rapidly thanks to gender equality, reproductive rights, shifting gender roles, and much more. College women are initiating or agreeing to casual sex far more readily than ever before, leading men to have sex quicker in the relationships, but also making men slower to commit.
Steven Ward, CEO of Master Matchmakers® says, "We are almost at the point of a totally egalitarian society. Men and women are equally motivated by sex; probably as much as ever before, but the social stigma of having multiple sex partners has virtually disappeared (for both sexes) as we have pivoted to a more short term mating strategy that is now considered a 'Hookup Culture' due to the plethora of dating apps."
Surprise! Surprise! Men and women actually want the same thing ...
"Women are just as horny as men and if we stop stereotyping men, their true feelings will be revealed to the one they love," says Astroglide's Sexual Health Advisor, Dr. Drai.
"Yes most 'normal' mature guys certainly want to have sex with beautiful women, but they are also looking for a good relationship. And, it turns out that women do want meaningful, lasting relationships, but they also crave fun, recreational sex, as well. Men want to be loved, respected and share something with a special someone in order to build a successful life together and be better people together than they are alone. Women want to "hit it and quit it."
It turns out … men and women both want the same thing: great sex and great relationships. Hmm, imagine that.