Everyone wants to know what makes gals tick. Universities do research, glossy magazines do surveys and Mel Gibson stops making Jesus-flogging films long enough to star in a movie declaring what women want. Apparently, female sexuality is some elusive enigma, a riddle of biological labyrinths as profound and unknowable as God Herself.
An article in last month’s New York Times drew many fascinating conclusions about female desire, mostly centering on the premise that women are just a bunch of voyeuristic floozies. In one cited study, both men and women were presented with images of straight sex, male and female homosexual sex and…Bonobo chimpanzee sex. Straight dudes only watched the girls. Contrarily, women got randy watching everybody do it, including the, um, apes.
Which begs the question: Why would anyone pay a university researcher to watch people watch monkeys screw? Are there not diseases to cure and ozone holes to sew shut?
These studies suggested women are open to varied forms of sexual expression because our sexuality is a discordant medley of physiological and psychological notes. Supposedly, men are more basic. As long as they see naked boobies and have their parts touched, they’re happy as clams.
But is this all men want? According to the guys on February’s Man Panel, not even slightly.
The panelists’ desires were as diverse as their personalities. Some said their hearts needed to be as stirred as their loins when doing the deed, others not so much. Some believed sex on the first date cancels out the possibility of true love, others thought no time line offers guarantees. Two wanted a woman with only a few notches on her bedpost, the rest felt better-suited to a gal whose bedpost could double as a Jackson Pollack painting.
Like women, the panelists said, men can develop feelings for their “friends with benefits” and feel hurt when no relationship evolves. They’re also just as worried about their lovers liking their bodies. And get this. Guys can fake the big-O. Seems they sometimes lose steam, lose interest or just feel sorry for the poor gal laboring over them to no avail.
In other words, male desire is neither simple nor fixed.
The women in the audience were brimming with questions. How should a woman swivel her hips when she’s on top? What toys do you want to find in her bedroom? What celebrity would you like to see train your woman in the ways of knockin’ boots? In other words, what do we have to be, look like and do in order for you to want us?
The men were befuddled.
“It’s a problem to mimic someone else’s style without developing your own,” said one panelist. “Women who are good lovers don’t back off from their own sexuality, they understand who they are as sexual beings. So ask yourself, ‘what are the things you like, what titillates you, what makes you curious, what terrifies you?’”
Be authentic, the guys said. Listen. Respond. If something feels good to you, it would probably feel good to him. Sure, you could pout like Angelina Jolie and re-enact the entire script of Debbie Does Dallas. But sexiness is something you can’t fake. Besides, it only gets you so far.
“The physical usually doesn’t have staying power,” said another panelist. “It might do me well the first time we sleep together. But I need something more to pull me back.”
And therein lies the rub. If there’s anything the Man Panel has taught us thus far it’s this: when a guy digs a woman, she really can do no wrong. And if he digs you, it’s because the two of you are compatible in lots of ways, including between the sheets. Whether it’s putting out “too soon” or not swiveling your hips to porn star perfection, an emotionally invested guy will make it work.
And anything you do will make him go ape.