We wear clothes for warmth, for decency, for protection and also for display. The need to differentiate ourselves depends on our personality. Some women use dress as a means of providing a sexual come-on (a form of invitation). Women tend to display their bodies to the full extent allowed by the definition of decency in the society they live in. So Western women wear low-cut blouses that accentuate their cleavage and push-up bras that make their breasts look bigger. Men don’t display themselves in this way.
We can differentiate between turn-ons and come-ons. A turn-on is a sight, sound or behaviour that may arouse someone. Turn-ons are not always associated with an intention to arouse. Men tend to confuse turn-ons (such as attractiveness) with come-ons (women’s conscious sexual behaviours).
A come-on is intended to cause arousal. A come-on is essentially a sexual invitation. Specifically, a come-on is a behaviour that a woman uses to arouse a man so that he wants intercourse with her. She is very explicit about what she says or does so that there is no room for doubt that she is making a sexual invitation. This behaviour is very common in pornography. Real women may use the simple mechanism of wearing a negligee as a come-on.
Young women are more inclined to display their bodies because they are looking for a mate. Many women believe it is an essential part of their femininity to wear shoes that display their feet or clothes that accentuate their figure. They assume that a woman who wears practical shoes or functional clothing must be a lesbian or perhaps wants to be a man. But how a woman dresses is only a behaviour and not a sign of responsiveness.
Invariably, the message for a woman is that if she is to succeed, she must use her body. That is how she is admired, gets friends and is promoted in the world of work. Women look at other women for a variety of reasons. Firstly, they look out of curiosity to judge the attractiveness of their own body relative to others. Secondly women want to learn from other women’s successful styles and behaviours. Lastly women want to reassure themselves that they are more attractive so that they can feel better about themselves.
The colours women wear have connotations. Red lipstick or nightwear is attention seeking and daring. Black and lace are associated with women’s provocative nightwear. There are no male equivalents. Other women can be offended by female nudity because of this display for male admiration.
We all want to be loved and to please a lover. For the most part, there is no conscious intention to misrepresent women’s sexuality. Men sexualise women as part of their arousal process. Men assume that women enjoy being penetrated. Women indicate their amenability passively by accepting male advances and by not contradicting the male view of their sexuality.
A man enjoys fantasies that boost his arousal and promote his sexual ego. Most women have no experience of responsiveness that might help them understand their own sexuality. A woman may feel better about her sexual role if she believes she can respond just as a man wants her to. Male sexual admiration can cause a woman to feel needed, appreciated and loved.
A man’s erection communicates his desire for penetrative sex. A woman doesn’t have any obvious evidence of her arousal so she needs to substitute behaviours. Prostitutes and sexually experienced women provide sexual come-ons which a man interprets (according to male sexual behaviours) as a sign that a woman is aroused and actively seeking vaginal stimulation.
A woman has no biological reason for engaging in sexual activity outside her fertile period. A woman is impregnated because she ovulates. Her reproductive capability relies solely on her ability to attract a mate. Other female mammals raise their young alone. Humans (and primates) are the only animals where men attack and kill women and children. A woman offers sex in order to motivate a man to protect her and her children.
The vast majority of interaction between the sexes, involves a man admiring a woman. Without this attractive force men would not bother with women. Neither would men be willing to subsidise women’s lifestyle. Women realise that this male admiration gives them power in their relationships. So women allow men to make all kinds of innuendo that they quietly ignore. In turn a man comes to interpret silence and passivity as possible acceptance. So women have to be extremely rude before most men will accept rejection. This is the insensitivity that comes with male sex drive.
Confusingly, for men, the women who are shouting loudest about female orgasm are the ones who have no idea how it is achieved. But because they are essentially reflecting male fantasies, their claims are very persuasive. This is very natural. But men need to differentiate between what women say and what they actually do. The real issue for men is whether a woman is enthusiastic about investing in a sexual relationship over the longer term.
Much of this interest in rare or non-existent forms of sexual performance may represent the male’s wishful thinking, a projection of his own desire to engage in a variety of sexual activities, or his erotic response to the idea that other persons, especially females, may be involved in such activities. (Alfred Kinsey 1953)