This is an excerpt from “The First Sex: The Natural Talents Of Women And How They Are Changing The World,” by Helen Fisher.
Women, too, are excited by visual erotica, although women are not as turned on by it as men are.
Women are much more aroused than men by romantic words, images, and themes in films and stories. Women’s sexual fantasies include more affection and commitment. Women often dwell on their own emotional reactions. And they are more than twice as likely to think about a sex partner’s emotional characteristics. Women fantasize about familiar partners more regularly than men do. Women also envision more caressing, particularly of non-genital areas of the body.
These feminine tastes are to be expected. Women are interested in words; they verbalize their emotions more readily than men. Women have a more probing curiosity about people, including others’ moods and emotional makeup. And women are more sensitive to being touched all over their bodies.
This feminine appetite for talking, touching, and romantic affectionate sex with familiar partners most likely has an evolutionary purpose.
A woman risks pregnancy and motherhood when she makes love. As she talks with and touches her suitor prior to coitus, she can evaluate his temperament and his intentions. If he expresses affection, then perhaps he may be willing to become a committed provider, too.
“Too much of a good thing is wonderful,” Mae West once said. Publishers know these feminine preferences–and play on them. Romance novels sell in over fifty countries, to women. Even American purveyors of porn videos have begun to cater these feminine tastes. Visual pornography has traditionally featured casual, anonymous encounters that appeal to men. To attract female customers, some producers now add some conversation and a veneer of romantic plot.