Complexities of Female Sexuality–The Mind and Body Discrepancy

Wikimedia Commons/Kos

I’m a paradox. A reader recently commented on my inconsistent ramblings and his comment inspired me to explore my noodle. Since I am contradictory in so many ways I decided to ruminate on an interesting subject sex.

I have certain thought proclivities that I’ve never acted out, but they are constant in giving me a “happy ending.” I’ve never converged fantasy and reality, and I believe that this “mental constraint” is part of my incongruous nature.

So I did some research and found an interesting article from “The New York Times” titled “What Do Women Want?” The article featured a study conducted by sexologist Meredith Chivers, in which she measured sexual arousal responses of men and women. Chivers showed films (straight and gay sex, men and women masturbating, a man walking on a beach, a naked woman exercising and a pair of bonobos mating) to gay and straight men and women and simultaneously measured their sexual arousal in two ways:

Subjective: Subjects were given a keypad to self-rate their level of arousal.

Objective: Chivers attached a plethysmograph device on subjects’ genitals. A penis cap (to measure swelling) were attached to men and  a small plastic probe (to measure genital blood flow) were inserted inside women.

Plethysmograph (objective) results:

Straight men were turned on by straight and lesbian sex and the naked woman exercising, but they were not turned on by male-male sex or bonobo sex.

Gay men were turned on by male-male sex, but they were not turned on by straight sex, lesbian sex or bonobo sex.

Findings: Subjective and objective responses matched

Women (gay and straight) were turned on by all sexual scenarios.

Findings: Subjective and objective responses did not match

Chivers referred to results in men as “category specific” to their respective sexual orientation. Women on the other hand were not as clearly defined. Furthermore, straight women showed greater mind and body discrepancy in comparison to lesbians (subject and objective reactions matched when viewing female-female sex). The test concluded that on a physical level women have a greater capacity to be more sexually open than men.

What does this mean to me?

The subjective response, regulated by the mental construct, controls how we communicate our sexual identity–We can lie about our outward response. But we have no control over our physiological (objective) reaction to certain stimuli.

Imagine a closet homosexual viewing male-male sex. His keypad response might show a neutral response, but his schlong might grow hard enough to chisel a boulder. His objective response would “out” him but would he succumb to his orientation or continue his self-imposed sexual identity? The same would of course apply to a woman. This scenario begs the question of how honest are we in claiming our sexual orientation? How honest am I? I practice straight sex, but just exactly how straight am I?

Assuming that the “straight women” in Chivers’ study were truthful about their sexual orientation presents an exciting potential in female sexuality. Free of social constraints on gender roles and expectations, could women express a pansexuality that opens avenues of exploration? It has been said that men are more easily aroused than women. The crux of female arousal is hidden behind the folds of our complexities. One has to work harder to turn on our love button, but there are more ways to turn us on.

Thoughts and Actions 

I can look at a hunky jerk and while my mind might be disgusted at his behavior my love button is doing the Egyptian head dance. However, “acting on” my genital twitchings would probably repel me and trigger a gargantuan bout of guilt at infecting my realm with a man whose behavior I find deplorable. But I certainly have no problem fantasizing about him. 

I identify as a straight female, but thoughts of gay and lesbian sex can be a turn on. Would I want to get it on with a chick? No. Would I want my partner (if I had one) bumping uglies with another dude? Double hell no. Then why would gay/lesbian sex turn me on? Does voyeurism play a greater role in triggering female arousal? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again that a good mind fuck is the best way to a happy ending. Am I to say now that a good “peep show” leads to a faster happy ending? What’s my answer to all of this? Well … visual stimuli is good just like fantasy, but I don’t want to make it a reality. My mind and body discrepancies are part of who I am and they are consistent with my construct as a complex, sexual woman. I’ll let you all know when I figure it all out until then …

What’s your mind and body discrepancy?

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© 2011 Lafemmeroar

About Lafemmeroar
Writer, blogger, humorist. Visit my blog to know more :)) Laughing at the malfunction of the universe is better than crying about it.

55 Responses to Complexities of Female Sexuality–The Mind and Body Discrepancy

  1. The Incog-Negro says:

    Loved the insight! Thanks for sharing that piece of information about yourself. You are quite interesting…

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      I’m an ocean of contradictions 🙂

  2. madtante says:

    Never to my (prior) knowledge, have I been “turned on” by man on man sex but I saw somebody who I was *already* very attracted to… making out with a man and I about lost my mind. I think the point there is I’m turned on by him–he could do anything and I’d like to look at him but the idea of him being turned on, I don’t care by whom, was a huge turn-on for me. Hope that made sense.

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      Yes it does. There is the fantasy, but the reality of the fantasy is a big turn off …

  3. beider says:

    A common contradiction for guys is that they like dicks, but are not attracted to men. Which is why so many straight guys like transsexual girls with a penis, it let’s them play with the dick of a person they are actually attracted to.

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      Sooooooo true! Wish I included that observation 🙂 If you think about it those guys have the best of both sexes …

    • amor24 says:

      Interesting. We like dicks? I think we like OUR dick more than another mans’.

      • Lafemmeroar says:

        Yes, males love their schlongs so much and they want others to love it too, 🙂

  4. “I identify as a straight female, but thoughts of gay and lesbian sex can be a turn on.”

    Agreed. I am the same way, not at all sexually attracted to females, but sometimes a fantasy totally “does it” for me.

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      Absolutely. I think we’d all be angry grumps if we couldn’t fantasize. Thanks for visiting and I hope you come back soon 🙂

    • Anne Schilde says:

      I go so far as to dream about lesbian sex with a best friend who only exists in my dreams. We have been together at various ages from early teens on. I have this problem where my sexual dreams never get to the “happy endings” so not only are they a huge turn-on, but they are extremely frustrating!!!

      • Lafemmeroar says:

        What gets you your happy ending? 🙂

      • Anne Schilde says:

        Haha, I can damn near do that with my imagination. I just don’t seem to be able to dream it. Since you asked…

        • Lafemmeroar says:

          OMG Anne! I LOVE this movie and this scene!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have the DVD 🙂 I think I need to start a CC page where members can comment on their favorite movies 🙂

        • Anne Schilde says:

          LOL. I swear every time I watch this I AM the ice cream!

          • Lafemmeroar says:

            I know what I’m going to watch tonight before beddy bye 🙂

  5. Very well-written! I think you could have written this article and it would have gotten more press because it is way more interesting than the original (with all your added humor). When you put your noodle to something, you go all the way (pardon that pun!).

    What are my mind/body descrepencies: my mind wants to do more things than my body lets me. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome complicated with migraines and some other fun autoimmune issues. Probably not the ribald answer you were looking for, but an honest one…

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      Thanks Lorna.

      I appreciate your honesty. I was hoping that readers will see beyond the “sexy” aspects of the post and relate it other issues concerning mind/body discrepancies.

  6. Shonnie says:

    My mind body disconnect is … well …. too many to list. 😀

    On the sex issue — well — I will respond to sexual stimuli. I can’t stand love senes in movies if they are too graffic, cannot handle much in the way of nudity either. I just can’t get the pictures out of my head and it ruins reality because I can’t get emotionally around thinking of another person while I am with someone in the flesh sexually. I know I am weird — 😀

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      You are not weird. I love your response. I believe in diversity … thank you for sharing yours 🙂

  7. Aurora says:

    Very well written, LFR. I saw the bonobo vid on youtube, doesn’t do a thing for me except make me want a banana (to eat, I mean, LOL) However, my disconnect is I have to “love” to have sex or it is no good for me. AT ALL. Just never got into objectifying bodies. That’s my diversity for you. Boring but it’s true. If there is no emotional connection, I just remain disconnected, totally, don’t even want to be with the guy but look out once there is an emotional connect. Don’t need outside stimuli. AT ALL. LOL Oh and everything Lorna said, Ditto! 🙂

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      Thank you as always for your kind words. You have a “wonderful” disconnect 🙂 And I’m going to eat a banana with my cereal …

  8. changnaga says:

    I am the last to comment i guess :-)..i have often thought about human sexuality…my thoughts go haywire when i think about human indulgence…to me every form of sexuality not defined by our biological role and function seem to be an ‘internal disorientation’..

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      Thank you for commenting. I think it’s wonderful that this platform gives us a chance to share our opinions and thoughts. And I learn something new everyday 🙂

  9. Lotus Flower says:

    OOOOOOOH reminds me of my psychology article days in school. I love male-male sex. Sexiest thing in the world.

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      You saucy wench 🙂

  10. theladyinredink says:

    Female sexuality is very bizarre. I know that I personally am a very complex individual when it comes to sex. On the one hand, I’m very particular about who I sleep with. I’ve had both straight and lesbian relationships, and I find that in physical interaction I’m equally turned on by men and women. I think, for my body, there is just this point where it doesn’t matter what the other person “looks like” or “is” (in terms of gender). It’s all about the touch. Of course, you’ve got to mentally turn me on before you could even get close enough to physically turn me on…and a lot of people just don’t understand that.

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      I’m jealous of you!!!!!!! I only have one gender to choose from. And yes a good mind “f_ck” is the best foreplay I always say.

  11. This is a great post! Sexuality is not black and white but all aspects are fun and should be enjoyed fully. There should be no shame in a rich fantasy life – even with fantasies which you have no interest in fulfilling.

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      Exactly Confessions …. exactly. 🙂

  12. I’m still curious about the naked woman exercising… where was THIS job posting?! 🙂

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      lol I don’t know how they got the vids, but I’m sure it was voluntary except for the bonobos. They probably had no idea they were being video taped 🙂

  13. I am glad you pointed to a widespread (and hardly spoken of) phenomena–straight girls getting turned on my lesbian porn, etc. I am right there with you girl!

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      Welcome to my world 🙂 Things in life are full of complexities and sometimes they are rather pleasing ….

  14. Alfonso L says:

    Great post and I must say that’s a very interesting study? It makes me wonder if maybe women after all have a natural (or genetical) tendency to be bisexual and it’s the straight men- woman culture and the beliefs it builds upon us that makes them culturally straight. (Just a thought)
    Anyway you girls definitely have more options than us in what respects sexual fantasies which is pretty amazing!

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      Well I think there’s a difference between behavior and proclivity. I mean some incarcerated people engage in homosexual behavior even though they’re straight. Thanks for your very insightful comment. Come back soon.

  15. hollyjb says:

    Even though I have no experience in this area I have a theory. It’s just that though, lol. Straight guys like watching two women making-out/having sex. This makes sense because they are attracted to women. In turn, it would also make sense that straight women would be aroused by two men making-out/having sex because they are attracted to men. It’s not universal obviously, but it makes sense in my mind. Honestly, I just like romance ^_^ (in theory of course).

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      It makes sense to me as well … 🙂

  16. Becoming Bitter says:

    I’ve never been in a relationship before. In my culture you get married off. I will say though that I am straight – straight as a steel ruler. I’m sorry if I offend anyone, but even the thought of gay/lesbo sex creeps me the hell out. I believe this stems from my upbringing in a conservative family. No, I’m not talking about political orientation here (just wanted to make that clear).

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      No you haven’t offended me Bitter 🙂 I welcome candid comments–in fact I love them. And thank you for sharing yours Crazy Chick 🙂

      • Becoming Bitter says:

        Oh I know you’re cool LFR with the comments. I have seen some of the craziest ones on your posts and your responses to them. I just hope there aren’t any lesbians or gays reading my comment and getting their pitchforks ready. Then again I am a powerful witch so I guess it doesn’t matter after all. “Come after me and you suffer!” *evil laughter ensues*

        • Lafemmeroar says:

          Oh Bitter no one would ever want to use a pitchfork on you 🙂 But I assure you that people with all sorts of sexual orientations will see your comment lololol But all would be too afraid of your witchiness 🙂

  17. I had to make that distinction for myself a few years ago between what I wanted to be reality and what I wanted to be fantasy. I tried out some stuff that I had fantasized about. It was not nearly as much of a turn on as it was in my head. I guess my imagination is just over-heated. I can watch two women together sexually and it arouses me, but I wouldn’t actually want to be with another woman. I think women’s bodies are beautiful. Watching two men kind of turns me on if they are not “bears”, but more of the “cub” variety, but I would not want to put myself in the middle of that (I don’t think I would be welcomed anyway.). As far as the Bonobo video, I watched it sort of detatched. I am a budding Psychologist after all. The behavior is interesting to me, but that’s where it ends. From what I’ve seen and experienced about male and female sexuality, I think it’s more likely that men will act out their fantasies than women. I think it’s because men are just, in general, more inclined to take risks.

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      Ribbons – thank you for your most candid comment. I think that a lot of women feel the way you do 🙂

  18. mo says:

    Great article! I read all of the comments out of curiosity :). I can honestly say that I am turned on by lesbo porn and lesbo fantasy but have never acted on it. Unsure if it would overwhelm or not given the taboo nature of things I was raised with that seem to get in the way subconsciously. ON the other hand, I could never be just a lesbian because I am so turned on by the male body and everything sexual a woman can do to and with a man. As for homosexual porn, I once discovered a video in the attic, one of my ex’s on homosexual porn. I watched it out of curiosity while he was working.. I was turned on part of the way but as it got into the heavy stuff I felt sick and turned the video off. Yet I believe in live and let live and would never look down on anyone for their views or sexual orientation.

    I find it strange how the human psyche works, quite fascinating really. I love that the freedom exists all in our brains and our bodies go along quite well for the ride, so to speak 🙂

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      @Mo

      I’m so glad that I reposted this article. I’m a curious person like you and I’m comforted in that I’m not alone in my thoughts and feelings. The human psyche is a wonderful thing to behold in its complexities. I loved reading what you had to say. For me I can’t imagine having romantic feelings for the same sex, but for a man … absolutely. Again, thank you so much for visiting my blog and for commenting. I hope to see you here again soon 🙂

  19. trjensen says:

    I always thought I had a weird sexual appetite. I have always found myself aroused by sex. It could be gay/lesbian or straight sex. But when it comes to have sex I prefer men. Thanks so much for sharing this.

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      You said something very important–“aroused by sex.” That is such a true statement! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  20. Aurora, HSP says:

    I don’t remember reading this but totally agree. It is all in the mind. That’s why when people get tired of sex with the same partner, they could just change their minds instead of going to all the trouble of finding a new partner. But do they? No, not much from what I can see. Ah well, you are just too smart for this world, LFR. Thanks for the repost and insights, we agree on much more than we disagree 🙂

    Here’s my answer to your “recipe” of three ingredients, Enjoy!
    http://auroramorealist.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/challenge/

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      Oh Janice I think I’m too much of a “savant” of the wacky kind 🙂 You are such a generous spirit. You lift me up with every comment.

  21. In my 20’s I would have scratched my head…..In my 30’s I defined mindfuck as what my ex husband did to me in regards to sex….not good. But a few years ago Istarted to learn things that i had no idea even were possible were common and that my admiration of a woman’s body was more than just envy …Things that when I learned them I thought were – um not for me I have learned sometimes are and alot of what i think i would like to see or feel has al ot to do with how open my partner is and the level of trust. Male on Male grosseed me out until it was someone I love deeply then it was wildly exciting. I think someone made mention of the same thing earlier.
    The mind body disconnect is so much socially realted too….I am not sure how my mind and body finally connected, maybe, because it se4ems so common in women around my age, it is just what happens and once you hear what your body is telling you – your mind can run wild with it. I read an article that said the mind is the woman’s most powerful tool in sexual satisfaction. I also think that some of the things I fantasize about would go so differently if they were acted out…alot of the satisfaction comes from keeping things where they need to be. In your mind you can make it go how you want…how you feel how the participants feel if need be….when you recognize this is what you want but you know that the reality isn’t going to work out that way…..it’s all about the mindfuck. 🙂 Works for me. (and that isn’t just because it has to for the time being and not to say that the physical act shouold be negated…..lol)

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      Hi Lizzie! 🙂

      Our sexuality is a work in progress. I love that you talked about your 20s and 30s. And satisfaction does come from keeping thing where they need to be. It with comments like yours that I’m so glad I reposted this article 🙂 Thank you so much for enriching the dialogue on this subject.

  22. Glad to be a part of it.

  23. Phil says:

    The mind is the ULTIMATE sex organ. If there is any disconnect, it would have to be that my mind is far more active and capable than my body could ever be. Always was, still is, and always will be. Foreplay begins in the mind. Plant a thought and let it take hold in those fertile recesses of the mind…

    • Lafemmeroar says:

      Absolutely Phil. In my mind I can do cartwheels 🙂

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