COVID-19 Service Update: We are currently dispatching treatments as normal

How Sex Drives Work Differently in Men and Women

Reviewed by
Date published
22/07/2021
Date last updated
15/07/2021
Length of read
5 Minutes

Studies have shown that the stereotype regarding the male sex drive being higher than females is in fact true – but in what ways does it actually differ? While a sex drive refers to not only one’s sexual desires but also their sexual behaviours and attitude towards sex, it’s interesting how biology can play such a role in sexual motivation.

Although each individual is unique, here are some of the ways in which men and women’s sex drives work differently.

1. The Way In Which Men And Women Experience Orgasms Is Different

Research has revealed that on average, men take approximately four minutes from the point of initial penetration to ejaculate – though this can be dependent on many different factors such as age, health and hormone levels.

One in three men, between the ages of 18 and 59, experience premature ejaculation at some point, which occurs when a man reaches orgasm and ejaculates too quickly and without any control. While there is a difference between erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation, both sexual dysfunctions will affect the time in which it takes a man to orgasm.

Women, however, take approximately ten to eleven minutes to reach an orgasm, though are statistically less likely to orgasm at all during intercourse, compared to men.

The ways in which men and women experience orgasms also differ in terms of the frequency in which they are experienced – with 75% of men stating that they always have an orgasm during sex when in a relationship, compared to just 26% of women. The study also revealed that the men taking part believed their female partners orgasmed 45% of the time, as opposed to the recorded 26%.

2. Cultural Factors Influence Women’s Sex Drives More Than Men’s

Studies have shown that women’s sex drives are more likely to be influenced by the environment and cultural factors around them than men’s are. Women have also been shown to be more likely to change and alter their attitudes towards performing different sexual practices over time than men are, as well as being far more influenced by the opinions of others (friends and their peer group) regarding the decisions they make about sexual encounters, compared to men.

Research has shown that cultural factors such as religion also have a bearing on women’s sex drives – with those who regularly attend church being less likely to have liberal attitudes towards sex, whereas men who regularly attend church didn’t show much of a correlation between their religious beliefs and their sexual mindset. Evidence has also suggested that while a man’s level of education doesn’t generally affect his sex drive, women with higher education are more likely to have performed a broader range of sexual practices.

3. Men’s Sex Drives Are Far More Predictable Than Women’s

A man’s sex drive is not only higher than that of a woman’s, but it’s also more consistent, too. While some women will have a higher sex drive than others, those with high libidos may find this changes unpredictably throughout their lives, whereas men’s drives are often consistently high for longer. This may be due to the hormonal changes that occur to women, with the phases of the menstrual cycle playing a big part in their desires to have sex.

The difference in the variability of men’s and women’s sex drives also links to their sociosexual orientation – referring to the willingness to engage in sexual activities outside of a committed relationship. Studies indicate that there is a stronger link between a woman’s sex drive and frequency and their relationship status than there is for men.

While the majority of men don’t show a correlation between their sex drive and their relationship status, the majority of women’s sexual desires and the frequency in which they fulfilled them are directly linked to the level of commitment in which their relationship has.

4. Studies Have Revealed That Men Masturbate More Frequently Than Women

Over 60% of adult men state that they masturbate, compared to approximately just 40% of women – while the regularity in which each sex masturbates is also significantly greater for men than women. Studies have also shown that men think about sex more than women do on a daily basis.

Experts have found that men think about sex around 19 times a day on average, while women think about it just 10. The amount both men and women think about sex decreases as they age due to the levels of testosterone gradually and naturally decreasing, however, men still fantasise about sex approximately double the amount as women do, as both age.

Men are also more likely to engage in more spontaneous sexual arousal compared to women, as well as evidence showing they have more varied fantasies more frequently than women do.

Final Thoughts

Men and women are different when it comes to sexual arousal and activity, but naturally, everyone is unique. Studies like these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to interests and pleasure.