From Leitenberg, H., & Henning, K. (1995). "Sexual fantasy". Psychological Bulletin, 117, 469-496.
In a different approach to assessing frequency of sexual fantasies in general, Cameron (1967) asked 103 male participants and 130 female participants to estimate what percentage of the time they thought about sex. Of those who responded with a specific number, 55% of the male participants and 42% of the female participants said greater than 10% of the time. In a related study, Cameron and Biber (1973) interviewed 4,420 individuals and asked them whether they had had a sexual thought in the past 5 min (“Did you think about sex or were your thoughts sexually colored even for a moment?”); some interviews were conducted in the morning, some in the afternoon, and some in the evening. In the age range 14 through 25, approximately 52% of the male participants said yes, in comparison with only 39% of the female participants. In the 26- to 55-year age bracket, the respective percentages were approximately 26% for men and 14% for women. When asked what had been the central focus of their thought in the past 5 min, the percentage who indicated that it was related to sex was much less (approximately 9% for male participants 14 through 55 years old and 5% for female participants across this same age range), but the same gender difference was apparent. In the recently released national survey of human sexuality, in which a true random probability sample of 3,432 men and women were interviewed, 54% of the men and 19% of the women said they thought about sex every day or several times a day (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, & Michaels, 1994). It appears clear from these studies that men report thinking about sex more often than do women, which is certainly consistent with the general stereotype.
This from Mimi Ko Cruz, Cal State Fullerton, April 2007 Secrets of the sexes
. The article addresses a survey by Richard Lippa conducted for the BBC:
* When asked to rank the importance of 23 traits that they seek in a mate, men and women agreed on the top nine: intelligence, humor, honesty, kindness, good looks, facial attractiveness, values, communication skills and dependability. But, men ranked good looks and facial attractiveness higher than the other traits, whereas women ranked honesty, humor, kindness and dependability highest.
“Differences in the importance men and women assigned to a mate’s looks were extremely consistent across 53 nations, suggesting an evolved, biological component,” Lippa said.
None of this proves that women want other ENs before they want sex, either in specific instances nor typically. But what they suggest is that women do typically place a higher importance on other attributes in a partner than sexual attraction as opposed to men.
If you read Fall In Love Stay In Love
, Dr Harley breaks down the top ten Emotional Needs into tow chapters. One is titled His Most Important Emotional Needs
and the other Her Most Important Emotional Needs
In the chapters he breaks the ten ENs down like this:
And Her ENs
Honesty and Openness
He breaks them down like this because his research & experience with his patients listing their top ENs indicates that the typical man and woman will break down this way by gender. This is not to say that a woman can't have as her top EN or even two of her top 5 ENs one of the things from the list of a man's most important ENs. The opposite is also true. A man may in fact have as his top EN Honesty and Openness for example. The fact is that our top ENs do change depending on what our circumstances are and can and do change significantly over time.
But if a woman were to try to guess her husband's top Emotional Needs and simply based her actions to meet those needs on the list from the book, she would in most cases get three of the top 5 right, even if out of order.
The same goes for men trying to guess at the top ENs of their wives. If a man makes the effort to meet those top 5 listed as being her top ENs he will in most cases hit three of the top five though maybe not in the exact order his wife would list them in.
These differences are not simply things that come from gender bias in our society either. Dr Harley asked his patients to arrive at this list of ten and in order to arrive at the two gender modified lists. There may be many other ENs that people can also have, some perhaps even hitting the number one spot on their lists of top ten, but these ten, when taken together, cover at least most of the top ENs of everyone and the gender differentiated lists again cover the majority at least as far as a man's top ENs being from within that list and a woman's top ENs being from the list attributed primarily to women.
While it is true that any affair has to contain at least some sexual component, the desire for sex does not have to even be present for one or the other at least in the beginning stages of an affair. There is a very high incidence of internet based affairs these days and preponderance of those purely EAs is among women. Stories here and elsewhere abound of women leaving their husband in order to pursue a relationship with some guy they have never even met in person and in some case not even a man at all but another bored housewife who felt there was no harm in roll playing on the world wide web.
These EA are every bit as powerful for those involved and every bit as destructive to a marriage as any physical affair that has seen the participants meeting for a nooner for several years. In fact, these emotional affairs are often more likely to lead to the break up of a marriage in part because the participants don't see the whole thing as an affair but also in part to the addictive nature of getting ENs met by someone on a consistent basis. Considering that these ENs in the case of an internet/long distance relationship that never even brought the couple face to face could not include SF, as defined in the material of Dr Harley, which is not the same things as simply getting your rocks off, since if that were all that was required there should be no problem for anyone in getting the need met, since masturbation is always an option. It might be sex; it just isn't very fulfilling.
If you were to conduct a survey of women who had an affair from this site, or any other place where women who had an affair, and now think that the affair was wrong, which I think is part of what makes this viable since those who are still fogged out, that is, still feeling entitled to having the affair, blaming their husbands rather than their own choices, I would almost guarantee that these women would with few exceptions rate the sexual attraction lower than other ENs that might have been met by their affair partners.
You claim to base your opinion on your own experience and experience can have great value in such opinions. But your findings are hardly scientific. In fact, the fact that you have met such a high percentage of women that were willing to have sex without a prior intimate connection might indicate a flaw in the sample itself as much as it would indicate that women in general desire sex before conversation or affection.
The one societal bias that might actually be counter to your assertion that women are as likely to want sex is the fact that in our society women are taught that men only want sex from them and aren't even interested in anything else. Thus, by the time the reach their late teens and early 20s, many of these women have learned to use sex to get the other things that they want. Money might be one of those things but other things can be motivation as well.
While it is not impossible for a woman to have sex without some sort of emotional connection (prostitutes, hookers and indiscriminate fornicators aside)the vast majority of affairs are not even in those classifications. Women don't become hookers in order to have an affair. Wives don't go to the adult theater and take on 50 guys in order to fall in love with one of them. These are not typical behavior for men or women and are not part of population that could be called typical or even normal.
Affairs by married women happen when she falls in love with a man who is not her husband. If she is raped, submits to a boss in order to keep her job, attends a swinger's party with her husband, none of these things are affairs. They might be sex, could very likely be shown to be detrimental to the marriage and might all have consequences that could cause serious problems for the woman and her husband, but they simply aren't things that cause a woman to leave her husband for another man.
Might a woman desire sex at any given time even running off with some guy she just met at the bar in order to get a thrill? Absolutely. But again, womem don't typically go home and announce that they want a divorce because they found someone else after such an event.
If sex was such a strong drive for women, as strong as for men in general, then there would be just as many instances of men not giving their wives enough sex as there are men complaining they don't get enough from their wives. If the sex drive were as great in women as in men, then their would be as many male prostitutes as there are women. In some cities this may in fact be the case, but the vast majority of these male prostitutes in fact cater to men and not to women.
Sometimes the differences can be attributed only or primarily to societal constraints. Other times the societal constraints are the result of very real differences between men and women. seldom are women arrested in sting operations meant to crack down on the clientele of hookers. The women are generally the hookers. In some cases male cops or decoys are put on the street and again the vast majority of those busted are men. Not 100% to be sure, but so close to all that in some cities a woman has never been arrested in such an operation.
I know that Langley stresses the increased libido among women as they age due to lower levels of estrogen which allows for a higher than previous ratio of testosterone to estrogen. But even as the women complete menopause their levels of testosterone are still lower than men, even of the same age and in fact never does the level reach high enough to even become the predominate chemical it is in men. Additionally, if this higher level were an indication that women at a certain age turned into sex fiends, then the young men who have levels of testosterone many times higher than any woman would be little more than rapists looking for a target, and this is just not so. The effects of any chemical that naturally occurs within our body is not something we are helpless to resist the effects of on even a daily basis.
So even as they reach middle age, the sex drive does not become overwhelming. It is nothing but a male myth or fantasy that women might find them irresistible sexually.
Women don't have to be emotionally connected in order to have sex and for most husbands this is probably a good thing...
Before I call it a night on this topic let me add this. If we have any EN, no matter where it is on our list or which one it is, whether it be conversation or sex, and we allow a person of the opposite sex to meet that EN for us for any length of time after knowing that they are doing so, then we are treading at least very close to having an affair. This is true whether Conversation or Honesty and Openness, Affection or Domestic Support. Whenever anyone meets our ENs, they are making deposits into our Love Bank and once the romantic threshold has been reached, we have fallen in love with that person and at that point we already have a problem.
I think the case here recently of a BW realizing that she was finding her self attracted to a male friend is exactly such a case. It wasn't the desire for sex that drove that event but a meeting of other ENs that her husband was not meeting at this time. To say that she should have looked for someone else to meet her ENs whether another woman, gay man or grandfather belies the fact that as soon as she realized the road she was on, she reversed direction and stopped allowing her ENs being met by this person. She knew it was happening but felt the pull of wanting more. But it was not sexual excitement that was driving the whole thing, at least not for her. It was that other things were being met and until they were being met she had no sexual attraction to the guy at all.She didn't fantasize about him for days, make secret meetings with him a priority every day or agree to meet him for a drink after work at that little out of the way bar near the train station all while telling her husband she was going shopping with the girls.
It is exactly because this is so dangerous that we must protect our spouse from this kind of thing. We have to do it via boundaries and not just will power. Once we know we have a weakness it is up to us to protect that weakness rather than to expose it. Those who do expose this kind of weakness are the ones who have an affair.