Female sexual response is typically characterized by “responsive desire,” while male sexual response is more likely characterized by “spontaneous desire.” (I’m going for biological categories rather than social categories here because the research is based on male- and female-bodied people, without reference to social role.)
“Responsive desire” is when motivation to have sex begins AFTER sexual behavior has started. As in, you’re doing something else when your partner comes over and starts kissin’ on ya, and you go, “Oh yeah! That’s a good idea!” Or you and your partner set aside Friday night as Sex Night, and then Sex Night gets here and you’re like, “Oh, Sex Night. But I’m so tired…” But you made a deal, so you get started… and before long you’ve forgotten you were tired.
This is contrasted with “spontaneous” desire, more typical of male sexuality, which works more like this: you’re walking down the street and for no immediately obvious reason you think, “Hm. I’d like to have sex!” Or you’re taking a shower getting ready for bed and you think, “Hm. I’d like to have sex!”
Regardless of what body or identity you have, if you’re more of a “responsive” desire person you might have worried that your interest in sex was abnormally low – worrying about how much we do or don’t want sex is something we’ve been well-trained to do. Indeed, so many people have asked me how often they’re “supposed to want sex,” I’ve started looking for a memorable, funny stock answer that gently illustrates the absurdity of the question.
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