Historically, studies of female sexuality have been a total mess
Also, our studies of libido have been fundamentally flawed. A perfect example is a study from the '80s that involved male and female undergraduates approaching their peers to ask for casual sex. Seventy percent of men offered no-strings sex said yes... while ZERO women who were asked, agreed. But the study didn't take into account the possibility that the propositioned women might be fearful of sexual violence… or know that some strange guys asking to go to bed with them probably weren't invested in getting them off.
Dr. Terri Conley adjusted this experiment by giving undergrads scenarios where they could have casual sex with Johnny Depp or Donald Trump. The men were offered Angelina Jolie and Roseanne Barr. Dr. Conley found the women to be equally as likely as the men to choose casual sex with the hot movie star. While this study doesn't necessarily point to a higher libido in women, it does suggest that women, within the context of a safe space with a skilled, sexy lover, are just as willing to jump on it as men.
And probably, there's not going to be some definite answer on which gender wants sex more. Different people have different libidos -- some men might be less horny after a crappy day at work; some women might skyrocket after a kick-ass workout. When we start sexamining men and women, we have the habit of dividing them into these two discrete groups and assigning them characteristics. Then we start to only see the patterns we want to see and stop seeing the nuance and incredible variance of the sexual desires of HUMAN BEINGS.
So how do we know what our partners want, if they're horny little beasts, or subdued cuddle monsters? Well, the biggest lesson of all sex research is that people vary; they vary by every single characteristic you could throw at them, they vary by mood, by season, by lifespan. People's sexual desires vary. And that is good news for men, women, and everyone in between. Because now we know: all you need to do is ask.
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