While the age-old saying that men are more likely to cheat on their partners has long been proclaimed, it seems as though that may not be the case anymore
American author and anthropologist, Wednesday Martin, who famously wrote the book Untrue (2018), recently delved into a study relating to the sexual desires of women and their tendencies to act on them.
Originally covered by news.com.au, the author refers to this research as 'the great correction' — and revealed that women are in fact the ones who struggle the most with monogamy. Craving sexual variety, the wider scope of women often stifle their sexual desires or resort to being unfaithful to their partners due to sheer boredom in the bedroom.
Interviewing dozens of sex researchers, anthropologists, and sociologists, Martin came to the conclusion that the initial picture painted of the female libido (one's sexual drive) has been entirely erroneous.
"The new research is correcting false notions that women have lesser libidos, that women are more naturally monogamous, and that it's easier for women to partner for life. Women don't like sex less — but they do get bored of sexual sameness," explained Martin.
According to Martin's research, men tend to show higher levels of spontaneous desire, while women take the lead for responsive or triggered desire
Differentiating the two, Martin noted that spontaneous desire is having the sudden thought of having sex, more so a hunger or thirst for it. Yet, responsive or triggered desire comes when something suggests the idea of sex to you.
"[When] you're watching or reading something, or a partner initiates a sexual encounter — and you get turned on. For that type of desire, women's libidos are every bit as strong as men's," claimed Martin. "We've internalised this idea that men are the randier sex and that's untrue."
Martin also goes on to explain that the myth of women cheating on their partners for emotional reasons has been long overturned and it should be put to rest
Citing research by Missouri State University on a group of women who used the Ashley Madison website (an online dating service used specifically by women who are married or in committed relationships) to cheat, Martin noted how their process to nail down a person to cheat with was very intentional.
"The women studied went on the site, created a profile, vetted candidates, met them in person, and 'auditioned' them. They wanted to find partners for sex. They reported being in sexless or orgasm-less marriages and they simply wanted what they couldn't get at home. But most were otherwise happily partnered or married, and these affairs were just a way for them to remain in their primary relationship," said Martin.
"So, there goes the myth that women who cheat are unhappily married."
An additional piece of research came from Dr Marta Meana from the University of Nevada, who found that institutionalisation in a long-term partnership (otherwise known as marriage) dampens women's sexual desires more than men's.
Furthermore, it was discovered that men who have regular sex with their partners are more satisfied sexually, and with their relationship, though it is not the same for women. "Now, sex researchers are entertaining the possibility that women simply need variety and novelty of sexual experience more than men do," referenced Martin.
Eradicating the myth that women are made for monogamy, Martin also cited the work of biopsychologist Meredith Chivers at Queen's University in Canada. Chivers had invited an array of men and women to watch porn while they had monitors on their bodies to measure their physical response and blood flow, thereby demonstrating sexual arousal.
While heterosexual men were mostly turned on by images of heterosexual sex and women having sex with women, heterosexual women had a more varied arousal scale. "Women's bodies responded more to men having sex with men, women having sex with women, men and women having sex, and images of an erection. We traditionally think men get turned on by everything and the truth is that a woman's body responds more to sexual stimuli," commented Martin.
Adding her advice at the end of the piece, Martin assures readers that unleashed female libido doesn't always have to lead to infidelity
"Women start providing service sex. 'He wants it, I really don't but I will get it over with'. Then women get into the cycle of thinking, 'I guess I don't really like sex'. It's actually that they're not liking sex with the partner they've been with for many years," explained Martin.
Adding her take, Martin noted that couples can start doing new and exciting activities together as a simple way to boost their libido. "Couples get a rush of the neurochemicals and hormones, similar to when we experience puppy love. So, you can get that feeling of excitement without going outside your relationship."
"Imagine how much better relationships would be if couples understood that when a woman starts to feel sexually bored, this didn't have to mean the end. Think of marriages and relationships that could be improved if women could discuss their sexual desire for sexual adventure and work with their partner to find solutions that bring them closer together," she opined.