In another experiment pornographic audiotapes were played to women rather than videos – playing to the theory that women are more turned on by words than images. The sexy scenarios included sex between long-term partners, sex with male and female friends, sex with exes, unknown women and unknown men.
Again, the women listened to the audio porn wired up to the plethysmograph (a device that measures physical arousal), as well as recording what they said turned them on.
As before, when asked which scenarios turned them on, the women said the scenes involving men not women. Their genitals told a different story: they were more turned on by the same sex fantasies.
But it was sex with strangers – both male or female – that produced the most dramatic results. Sex with a female friend got a positive physical response but sex with an unknown woman prompted one twice as powerful.
Sex with a male friend didn’t provoke much interest at all (suggesting women who fancy their male friends are more interested in love than sex) but sex with a male stranger was eight times more powerful.
Yet when asked, the women said the stranger scenarios – particularly with unknown men – aroused them least of all.
The upshot of all this is that women lie to themselves about sex.
What we say we find a turn on and what actually is a turn on, are two completely different things. Instead of gentle, romantic sex, we want a more erotic, ‘dangerous’, no-strings flavor to sex.
This doesn’t mean becoming a permanent member on Tinder, it just means rethinking the routine, repetitive and largely unchallenged sex women tend to have with long-term partners.
There’s a reason why Fifty Shades of Grey is so damn popular: it showcases one way to have ‘naughty’ sex and still stay faithful.