The old adage about gay men is that they have more sex simply because men in general are hornier, and when you put two of them together, well, that’s a lot of hormones raging. But it turns out women are just as likely to head straight to the bed — if they know they’re going to be satisfied.
Because I’m allowed to read sexually explicit material during work hours only when it might yield a greater understanding of gender roles, I was pleased to happen upon Miller-McCune‘s report:
In a newly published paper describing a series of studies, University of Michigan psychologist Terri Conley asserts that “when women are presented with proposers who are equivalent in terms of safety and sexual prowess, they will be equally likely as men to engage in casual sex.” Her research suggests women, like men, are motivated by pleasure-seeking when they enter the sexual arena. It’s just that women are less likely to be satisfied by a short-term encounter, and they know it.
What we know about hetero mating: When dudes mack on the ladies with the sole intent of getting laid, it doesn’t go well.
Writing in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Conley describes a series of experiments that refine the results of a seminal 1989 study widely cited in articles and textbooks. That study, by psychologists Russell Clark and Elaine Hatfield, found that when a female college student introduced herself to a male colleague and asked if he wanted to have sex with her, 69 to 75 percent of the guys said yes. When the genders were reversed, not a single woman was interested.
That huge difference has largely been explained in terms of Sexual Strategies Theory, an evolutionary approach that focuses on the desire, conscious or unconscious, to pass one’s genes to the next generation. If that’s our driving impulse, women need to be choosy about their sexual partners; they’re looking for men who are likely to stick around and provide support during their child-rearing years. Men, on the other hand, have an evolutionary incentive to spread their seed as widely as possible.
Unless, that is, these women know they are going to be curling their tows and praying to Jesus when all is said and done.
Men, after all, can almost be guaranteed a pleasurable sexual encounter if they’re with someone they find attractive. But Conley points to new, yet-to-be published research by sociologist Elizabeth Armstrong which finds “women orgasm only 35 percent as often as men in first-time sexual encounters.” “Women’s perception that their heterosexual casual sex partners will be unlikely to give them pleasure is not unwarranted,” Conley states. This lack of confidence in men as pleasure-givers was indirectly supported by another of Conley’s experiments, which focused on bisexual women. They were “significantly more likely to accept an offer (of a one-night stand) from a woman than from a man,” she reports.
See: Women are just as likely as men to hook up if they know they’re going to get something out of it. Which is why God created gay men: no games.