home
RSS
Inside women's sexual brains, preferences and porn
May 9th, 2011
08:01 AM ET

Inside women's sexual brains, preferences and porn

Men everywhere have probably wondered for thousands of years: What turns women on?

In the age of the Internet, it's possible to find out. And with countless genres of images, videos and erotic stories available online, women are both able and empowered to access arousing material, and figure out for themselves what they like. Some are watching porn, as our sex columnist Ian Kerner pointed out in a recent column.

But what women are viewing and reading is usually not what men are searching for, according to a new book on the subject. In "A Billion Wicked Thoughts," released Thursday, neuroscientists Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam combine web searches, personal search histories, websites, and classified ads with insights from brain science to discover precisely how different women are from men.

Just like we're all born with taste cues - sweet, salty, savory, spicy, bitter - men and women's brains are wired with sexual cues, Ogas said. For men, the cues are predominantly visual, and aimed at the partner; they often enjoy seeing women orgasm, which may be one of the reasons why so many women fake. But women are more complex; they place a high importance on feeling desired, for example, whereas it appears men generally don't need to feel desired at all in order to feel aroused.

"A woman wants to know that there’s going to be repeat action, that he’s committed and is going to be coming back," Ogas said.

Women are sexually complex in other important ways. If a man is physically turned on, he's also psychologically turned on, which is why medications for erectile dysfunction (i.e. Viagra) can deliver fairly straightforward results. But a woman can be physically turned on and mentally turned off at the very same time, making efforts toward a treatment for low female sexual desire all the more complicated. And as to what makes a woman go beyond mere arousal and have sex, you'll have to read this other article.

The female sexual brain is also like a “detective agency” that investigates a man’s many qualities before deciding  whether he’s worth her attention, the authors said. Evolutionarily, that makes sense. In the earliest days of humans, females who mated with the first males they encountered would not have fared as well as those who took the time to investigate their partners a little more. The "detective agency" would make sure that the chosen male would not be cruel, unfaithful or sneaky, would protect the woman and her child.

More important than evolution, though, is the "software" of the sexual brain, Ogas and Gaddam said.

Again, men are simple: The male brain is designed so that any stimulus can trigger arousal. For some, a single cue is necessary and sufficient, which is what makes a fetish, well, a fetish. For instance, some men get turned on in the presence of attractive shoes or feet, and need to see that in order to feel stimulated. On the other hand, fetishes are extremely rare among women. The female brain usually doesn't respond to a single trigger every time; there can be lots of different combinations of things that can get them in the mood.

"The male sexual brain is like a single toggle switch, whereas the female sexual brain is like the cockpit of an F1 fighter jet," Gaddam said. "There are tons of dials and instruments, and there's sophisticated calibration going on."

To fully appreciate this, feast your eyes on these two real search histories from America Online users:

MAN: college cheerleaders; cheerleaders in Hawaii; pics of bikinis and girls; pretty girls in bikinis; girls suntanning in bikinis; college cheerleader pics in bikinis; noooooooo; christian advice on lust

WOMAN: orlando bloom as vampire fanfiction; 321 sex chat; kingdom of heaven fanfiction; cinderella wedding dresses; gossip on orlando bloom; legolas erotica; legolas heterosexual erotica; evil orlando bloom dark fanfiction

As you can see, this woman tends to prefer stories ("fanfiction," or narratives based on existing movies/TV/literature) much more than the man, who searches for specific images. The majority of these stories are romantic and lightly erotic, but plenty of women like graphic erotic stories, too. In the search above you can see this one gal is particularly interested in Legolas from "Lord of the Rings" and the actor who portrays him: Orlando Bloom. And there's a lot of conversation that goes on among women about erotic stories about the inner feelings of the characters, whereas men consume porn alone and don't talk about the aesthetics, Gaddam said.

"Male erotica is a solitary enterprise, and female erotica is a social enterprise," Ogas said.

A minority of women do watch visual porn. Based on analyses of user profiles on a porn website, these ladies tend to be more socially aggressive, comfortable taking risks, and open to bisexual experiences. They also tend to have a higher sex drive.

And while many men do seek out porn involving young women, there's a substantial interest in seeing scantily clad (or not clad at all) older women too. Significant numbers of web searches and websites out there are devoted to women in their 40s, 50s, 60s. There's even a genre called "granny porn," with a consistent following, in which the male performer's age is highly variable.  It's hard to know how old the men are who are seeking this class of erotica, but the authors speculate they come from a wide range of ages, since men's sexual interests are pretty solid by age 25. Women, on the other hand, have much more flexible and dynamic interests during a lifetime.

What about homosexuality? The authors compared gay and straight male sexuality, and found they were strikingly similar. The differences: gay men like men, and are more likely to be aroused by the submissive role in sex than straight men. Lesbians are far more complicated, and Ogas and Gaddam don't think they have enough information to make any definitive comparisons about it.

The authors don't take any moral positions on any of this, but they do point out that individual tastes and preferences are difficult or impossible to modify. Yet everyone assumes their own interests are the norm, and we quickly label anything else as weird or even dangerous, Gaddam said.

"We should all be more sexually tolerant," Ogas said.


soundoff (1,125 Responses)
  1. podcast logo

    Right here is the right site for anybody who hopes to find out about this topic. You know a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually will need toÖHaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic that's been discussed for many years. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!

    https://www.clixgalore.com/PSale.aspx?AdID=13021&BID=125237&AfID=221993&AffDirectURL=https://backbonehunters.com/

    June 27, 2021 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Laissez-Faire Leadership

    http://ww17.antsight.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=backboneleaders.com

    June 27, 2021 at 13:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. National Honor Society Of Leadership And Success

    You made some really good points there. I looked on the net for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this website.

    https://www.seefmall.com.bh/LangSwitch/switchLanguage/arabic?url=https://backboneleaders.com

    June 27, 2021 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Luxury Van Shop Near Me

    Excellent site you have got here.. Itís hard to find high-quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!

    http://nzrealestate.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=fleetrepairshops.com

    June 27, 2021 at 14:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. RV Repair Near Me

    http://fanniemae.biz/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.biz

    June 27, 2021 at 16:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Extended Van Repair Shop

    This is a topic which is near to my heart... Take care! Where are your contact details though?

    http://gnomenuts.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=boxtruckrepairshop.com

    June 27, 2021 at 18:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Sprinter Repair Near Me

    http://brookeshunter.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=rvmarketingexperts.com

    June 27, 2021 at 18:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Sprinter Repair Orange County

    http://www.kunstbuchanzeiger.de/link.php?url=https://ocrv.store

    June 27, 2021 at 20:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Esmeralda

    what strain does full spectrum cbd oil consist of

    https://yolotheme.com/forums/users/peachpit1118

    June 27, 2021 at 20:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Repair

    bookmarked!!, I love your website!

    http://britishvirginislands4kids.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=customcampervans.com/

    June 27, 2021 at 21:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RV Repair Mission Viejo

    http://mncppcapps.org/planning/publications/Publication_download.cfm?FilePath=https://ocrv.club

    June 27, 2021 at 23:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Repair Seal Beach

    After exploring a number of the blog posts on your web site, I really appreciate your way of blogging. I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my web site as well and let me know how you feel.

    http://www.exoticfishing.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.fun

    June 27, 2021 at 23:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Sprinter Van Frame Repair

    You made some decent points there. I checked on the net to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website.

    http://www.emergencywaittimes.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=commercialrepairshop.com

    June 27, 2021 at 23:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Sprinter Van Conversion

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually believe this website needs much more attention. Iíll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the information!

    http://ditchthespace.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=fleetautorepairshop.com

    June 28, 2021 at 03:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Utility Van Repair Shop

    https://www.counterwelt.com/charts/click.php?user=14137&link=https://fleetautorepairshop.com/

    June 28, 2021 at 04:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. RV Repair

    You need to be a part of a contest for one of the best websites on the net. I will recommend this site!

    https://www.imp.mx/salto.php?va=http://ocrvshop.com/

    June 28, 2021 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Sprinter Van Collision Repair

    Spot on with this write-up, I seriously think this website needs a great deal more attention. Iíll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the advice!

    https://www.betterwhois.com/link.cgi?url=https://ocrvexperts.com

    June 28, 2021 at 16:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Sprinter Repair Orange County

    https://www.knipsclub.de/weiterleitung/?url=https://ocrvcenter.info/

    June 28, 2021 at 20:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. RV Repair Seal Beach

    https://bibliotek.dk/gatewayf2/gatewayf.php?idp=wayf&returnUrl=http://rvcollisionrepairpaintshop.com/

    June 28, 2021 at 20:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. RV Repair Fountain Valley

    bookmarked!!, I like your web site!

    http://ext.bridg.com/set-origin?target=https://www.ocrvcenter.biz

    June 28, 2021 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV Repair Near Me Now

    I want to to thank you for this great read!! I absolutely enjoyed every little bit of it. I've got you book-marked to check out new stuff you postÖ

    https://t.ants.vn/a1/c/?bc=af837a70c7,l1486771201959,1486882192,v,1,568743473,568730659,568732269,31648,1,583125423,583125416,5,0_1&t_s=568743473-583125423-568732269:1&t_z=&t_tp=&t_itr=&t_imk=&t_rm=&c_tp=31647:1&c_itr=-1:-1&c_imk=-1:-1&c_rm=&redirect=http://ocrv.biz/

    June 29, 2021 at 01:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Repair Fountain Valley

    http://janeyleegrace.worldsecuresystems.com/redirect.aspx?destination=https://ocrv.xyz

    June 29, 2021 at 02:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Repair Near Me Now

    This is a topic that is close to my heart... Best wishes! Exactly where are your contact details though?

    https://www.rondomusic.com/cgi-bin/affiliates/clickthru.cgi?id=bwcornwell&page=http://ocrv.info

    June 29, 2021 at 02:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Nearby RV Repairs

    https://www.baberlin.de/modules/mod_jw_srfr/redir.php?url=https://www.ocrv.world

    June 29, 2021 at 08:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RV Repair Nearby

    Hi there! This article could not be written much better! Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I am going to send this post to him. Fairly certain he'll have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!

    http://reklama.karelia.pro/url.php?banner_id=1864&area_id=143&url=https://ocrv.pro

    June 29, 2021 at 09:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Repair Places Near Me

    I could not resist commenting. Perfectly written!

    https://updowntoday.com/ar/sites/ocrvmotorsports.org

    June 29, 2021 at 09:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Sprinter Van Windshield Replacement Shop

    Spot on with this write-up, I really believe that this website needs much more attention. Iíll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the info!

    http://weekly.chosun.com/protect_weekly/redirect.asp?url=https://ocrv.rocks

    June 29, 2021 at 11:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Dry Van Trailer Repair

    Very good blog post. I absolutely appreciate this site. Thanks!

    https://dolevka.ru/redirect.asp?BID=2223&url=https://ocrv.biz/

    June 29, 2021 at 11:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Sprinter Van Repair Facilities

    Spot on with this write-up, I seriously feel this web site needs a lot more attention. Iíll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the information!

    https://tenisnews.com.br/clickTracker/clickTracker.php?u=https://www.ocrvcenter.net

    June 29, 2021 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Conversion

    Itís hard to come by well-informed people about this subject, but you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks

    http://plus.url.google.com/url?sa=z&n=x&url=http://ocrv.pro/3aqbN3t

    June 29, 2021 at 12:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Nearby RV Repairs

    I needed to thank you for this excellent read!! I certainly loved every bit of it. I have got you bookmarked to check out new things you postÖ

    https://www.shiply.iljmp.com/1/hgfh3?kw=carhaulers&lp=https://ocrv.online

    June 29, 2021 at 12:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Repair Orange County

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who was conducting a little homework on this. And he in fact bought me dinner due to the fact that I found it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this topic here on your internet site.

    http://cdpsecurecdp.s15342144.onlinehome-server.info/xampp/phpinfo.php?a%5B%5D=<a+href=https://ocrvcenter.com/

    June 29, 2021 at 14:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Celebrity Van Repair Shop

    http://www.ia.omron.com/view/log/redirect/index.cgi?url=https://ocrvcenter.com/

    June 29, 2021 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Repair Orange County California

    Aw, this was a really good post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to produce a superb articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.

    https://www.odeki.de/bw/redirect?external=https://www.ocrv.art/

    June 29, 2021 at 16:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Pleasure Way Van Repair

    Hi, I do think this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may come back yet again since I book marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.

    https://wikiszotar.hu/automata/linktrack.php?page=http://www.commercialrepairshop.com

    June 29, 2021 at 17:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Nearby RV Repair

    http://www.wagersmart.com/top/out.cgi?id=bet2gold&url=https://ocrv.store

    June 29, 2021 at 21:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Repair Places Near Me

    https://www.esdlife.com/goto.asp?url=ocrvmotorsports.net/

    June 29, 2021 at 21:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Camper Repair Shop Near Me

    https://dealers.webasto.com/UnauthorizedAccess.aspx?Result=denied&Url=https://ocrvmotorsports.biz/

    June 29, 2021 at 23:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RV Repair Shop

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful post. Many thanks for providing this info.

    http://chooseabrunette.com/cgi-bin/out.cgi?id=kitty&url=https://ocrvandtrucks.com

    June 30, 2021 at 02:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Nearby RV Repairs

    Itís hard to find knowledgeable people about this subject, however, you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks

    https://jsonp.afeld.me/?url=http://ocrvmotorsports.life/

    June 30, 2021 at 04:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. RV Repair Places Near Me

    http://kreepost.com/go/?https://www.ocrvmotorsports.life

    June 30, 2021 at 04:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Repair Shop

    Great article. I'm dealing with some of these issues as well..

    https://www.news1.co.il/redirectToWebArticle.aspx?siteID=1595&url=https://ocrvcenter.org/

    June 30, 2021 at 09:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. RV Repair Shops Near My Location

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you so much, However I am encountering difficulties with your RSS. I donít know the reason why I can't join it. Is there anyone else getting the same RSS problems? Anyone who knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

    http://www.deri-ou.com/url.php?url=https://ocrv.xyz/

    June 30, 2021 at 10:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Mercedes Sprinter Start Error Fault Repair

    Your style is really unique compared to other people I've read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I'll just book mark this site.

    http://adoptpakids.org/ExternalLink.aspx?Link=http://customcampervans.com

    June 30, 2021 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Repair Shop Near My Location

    http://sintesi.provincia.mantova.it/portale/LinkClick.aspx?link=http://www.ocrv.store/

    June 30, 2021 at 12:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Sprinter Return Line Repair

    When I initially commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I get 4 emails with the exact same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Many thanks!

    https://shizenshop.com/shop/display_cart?return_url=https://sprintervanrepairshop.com/

    June 30, 2021 at 13:15 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Leave a Reply to RV Repair Places Near Me


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.