Have you ever wondered if there were differences in masturbation patterns between men and women? If you thought that men masturbate more frequently than women you guessed right. Did you also wonder if men are more open to the possibility of casual sex? If you thought YES then that is also a correct assumption.
In a meta-analysis of 834 studies conducted by Petersen and Hyde (2010), they evaluated studies to answer several questions, two of which are listed above. The higher masturbation rates for men may be due to the high testosterone levels men possess. However, the lower reported masturbation rates for women may be due to social stigma for autoerotic behaviors (Petersen & Hyde, 2010).
Perhaps the differences are due to several factors but the truth is masturbation is a healthy activity and not a shameful interest. Masturbation increases blood-flow, increases endorphin and dopamine release, and decreases stress. How could that be a bad thing? Plus it allows people to explore their bodies to know how to communicate to a partner what they do and don’t like. Without that information, how can you have a healthy relationship? Communication, satisfaction, play, and fun are essential elements of a relationship, so masturbation is a huge plus. Not to mention that using toys in the bedroom together has a very erotic effect on a couple. You can self masturbate, or you can have your partner use vibrators and other erotic adult toys on you to make for a sensual experience.
The study also evaluated the higher rate of openness to casual sex which is explained by evolution. The male gender is interested in passing on their genes and that interest predisposes them to multiple partners to ensure that their genes propagated (Petersen & Hyde, 2010). Conversely, women can care for one baby at a time, and therefore they are more interested in having a mate for life so that they and their children are ensured protection. Pure basic evolution and that made sense during previous centuries and during the cave era. However, when men age, their desire for long-term relationships increases versus short-term relationships which decreases. Interesting that in older years the tables turn for male desires, huh?
The double standard still exists and is perpetuated by certain cultures and on the media. The double standard states that casual sex, extra-marital sex, pre-marital sex is acceptable for men but not women. Has the sexual revolution and shifts in our culture eliminated the double standard? Perhaps.
What has occurred is more openness to gay and lesbian relationships by women, which may be due to media influences. Men in this meta-analysis were accepting of lesbian relationships but not of homosexual relationships. Gender differences do exist. Differences may dissipate over time as our culture continues to evolve into a more liberal climate.
What is for sure is having a relationship that allows the other person to explore their own body can not cause harm. Perhaps by keeping the bedroom as a fun and exciting place using toys and constantly trying new things can keep couples together and decrease the likelihood sex outside the relationship is reduced. I believe by keeping the butterflies in your partner’s stomach can be repeated by making things fresh. Use a blind fold, a flogger, a vibrator, a feather, get dressed up, play. Growing together as a couple, evolving, and experimenting are keys to a long-lasting, fun, sexual, and committed relationship.
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Petersen, J.L. and Hyde, J.S., (2010). A meta-analytic review of research on gender differences in sexuality. Psychological Bulletin. Psychological Bulletin, 136(1), 21-38.