The Real Reason Women Have Sex

This article from the always entertaining Fox News Network has been making the rounds in the regular media:

Why Women Have Sex.”

Given the stereotype that women are never in the mood, it’s not surprising that this book title is grabbing people’s attention. Written by researchers Cindy Meston and David Buss, the work flushes out the results of a survey of 1,006 women.

And their findings are all over the board; the authors highlight 200 reasons.

So why do women have sex? The vast majority (84 percent) have sex to guarantee a quiet life or to persuade their men to do some housework. Some of the other reasons given in interviews include…

1. She’s alleviating boredom – it gives her something to do.

2. She wants to relieve a stress headache or migraine.

3. She’s trying to put an end to an argument.

4. She wants a better complexion.

5. She’s thanking her date for a nice dinner, a present, or spending a lot of money on her early on in the relationship.

6. She’s after a spiritual experience since sex is seen as “the closest thing to God.”

7. She’s refining her sexual skills.

8. She feels sorry for the fellow.

9. She likes that he has an extravagant lifestyle.

10. She’s in a long-distance relationship and wants action now versus later.

Ironically, romance and passion ranked low on females’ reasons for having sex. Instead, sex was viewed as being all about fun, with 60 percent of survey respondents admitting to regularly sleeping with a male friend who was not their boyfriend.

Attraction, too, apparently ranks low on a lady’s list. What’s interesting to note about this factor is that while most men find most women sexually attractive, researchers said that the gals don’t see the guys in quite the same way.

Women reported being attracted to men who were described as tall, having a deep voice, and smelling good. A male having a symmetrical body was also liked, indicating that he could give her strong children. Still, those men not living up to such visions can take comfort in her preference of men with lower levels of testosterone, since this suggests that he’s less likely to pursue others.

It’s important to take these findings with a grain of salt. The way that they’ve been presented largely reinforces the idea that women aren’t sexual by nature as much as capable of using sex as a bargaining tool. Writings cast women as using sex manipulatively or to put up with a partner and her relationship.

Then, muddling matters in terms of how to interpret results is the issue of women having sex versus wanting sex. These are two different factors in one’s sexual activity that aren’t being dealt with independently. Which reasons are ones where women desired sex or skin-on-skin contact? Which reasons felt instinctual?

The University of Texas study has also been criticized for focusing solely on university students at the UT Austin campus who were mostly young and white. We have to remember that these are the results of one group of women — they’re not representative of all women. Still, the book’s press release claims that the work is the “richest and deepest psychological understanding of female sexuality.”


Collectively, the reasons presented in this survey make all women look conniving, selfish, narcissistic, and shallow when it comes to sex. It paints us as using sex for bartering purposes or approaching it as a hobby or sport. And while that may be the case for these women to some degree, the original research and book actually misrepresent all women by claiming that these findings apply to all of us.

There are a lot more reasons why women are having sex — and they aren’t being captured in this book.

If you ask me, and lot of other women of all ages and backgrounds out there, the reason women have sex, they’ll tell you… They’re having sex to express affection, to get in tune with their sexual core and feel sexy, to make love, to feel close to another, to maintain a long-term relationship by keeping the passion alive, to relish a shared, special moment… and because they like sex when it feels good.

Dr. Yvonne K. Fulbright is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of Sexuality Source Inc. She is the author of several books including, “Touch Me There! A Hands-On Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots.”

Men, I just want to call your attention to the beginning of the article:

84% of women are putting out either just to shut you up, or to have a spider-killing, toilet-scrubbing, trash-removing, snow-shoveling companion.

Now, most of the people reading this blog are part of the larger sex-positive community, so I’m going to imagine (i.e., hope) that a number of women are reading this with a look of shock. But if this is, indeed, true for a significant portion of women in the US, then should we be at all surprised when men have unspoken expectations that turn sexuality into some kind of reward for good behavior?

About Tom Allen

The Grey Geezer Dauntless defender of, um, something that needed dauntless defending. Dammit, I can't read this script without my glasses. Hey, you kids, get off my damn lawn!
This entry was posted in News, Sex news, Sexuality & Relationships. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The Real Reason Women Have Sex

  1. darklily says:

    “84% of women are putting out either just to shut you up, or to have a spider-killing, toilet-scrubbing, trash-removing, snow-shoveling companion.”

    Aww hell, I’m doing it all wrong. I kill my own spiders, scrub my own toilets and take out the trash…and it doesn’t snow here.

    And lately my sex drive has been such that the DH has been begging for mercy….so that first part is out as well.



  2. gillette says:

    I’m not in the least bit surprised that they came up with these results given the population they studied.

    But shoot…I thought it only IS young white females who have sex these days. Why would you think they would include anyone over 40 in their data? Cuz….gosh…they don’t’ even have sex..or if they are they shouldn’t be…so who cares what they might have to say?

    (ps- Good point that last line)


  3. lauren says:

    well, this isn’t insulting at all!

    i can’t believe i always thought i had sex because i like it!

    sarcasm meter explodes!


  4. Elizavetta says:

    Wow. And yeah, what Gillette said! Kinda makes me want to just give up and… oh, I don’t know… have sex with my partner just because it fucking feels good… for both of us. But then, I’m old… what the hell do I know.

    *italics denote really loud sarcastic tone of voice.


  5. Verity says:

    What little airheads did they interview? I for one, love sex. I’m a little fussy about my partners but that’s for before and after sex. LOL


  6. maymay says:

    We talked about this topic near the end of episode 8 of This Week In Kink. I basically said the study’s methods were pure crap.


  7. Sulpicia says:

    Whaaaaaaaat? I’m… disturbed.


  8. Aarkey says:

    Well in that case, I’m definitely going to stop taking care of my appearance and focus on bug smushing skills!


  9. susan's pet says:

    That is really pathetic: the reasons why women want to have sex. For one thing, I don’t believe the conclusions.

    But I have even a better question: “Why do men want to have sex?” Has anyone ever researched that? I know why I want it!


  10. Elle says:

    That’s total crap. How could none of the people interviewed have responded that they have sex because they feel like it?

    It doesn’t matter that they were young white university students… The answers just sound like total bull to me.


  11. Steve Mayhew says:

    Sounds like:

    Some kids said they liked summer because of ice-cream!
    Most kids like summer because of ice-cream.
    Kids only like summer because of ice-cream.

    You wouldn’t expect something like that to be good research though, would you?


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