THE pandemic has killed women’s libido more than men’s.
And Lynsey Hope finds out that it’s not the only difference in the battle of the sexes.
WOMEN FALL IN LOVE AFTER SEX: During sex, our brains release oxytocin, known as the “cuddle hormone”. It lowers defences and makes us trust. Women produce more of it, so are more likely to let their guard down and fall in love after sex.
Sex expert Kate Taylor says: “Men release oxytocin during sex but other hormones like testosterone can dampen its effect, leading women to feel up to eight times more bonded after sex than a man.”
JUST AS TURNED ON BY PORN: Men watch three times as much porn as women so it is often presumed they get hornier while watching it. But research from Germany suggests this may be a myth.
Experts from the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics scanned the brains of volunteers while showing them sexual images – and women got just as turned on as men.
VERY SENSITIVE PART OF THE BODY: Kisses on the neck could be a big turn-on for women. In a study in the journal Cortex, women named the nape of the neck as one of their most erogenous zones, ahead of breasts and nipples.
Kate says: “This might be due to the thinness of the skin. Another study, in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, also revealed women’s necks are more sensitive to light touch than any other part of the body.”
WOMEN’S LIBIDO BOOST
SEXPERT Kate Taylor on how women can boost libido.
GET YOUR HEAD DOWN: Women who got the most sleep reported the highest sex drive the next day, a 2015 study found. Set a reliable bedtime routine and ensure you are getting the recommended seven-nine hours a night.
BE MINDFUL: A common reason women lose their lustiness is that they can’t switch off their thoughts. Recent research by the University of British Columbia, Canada, found that just four sessions of mindfulness-based therapy improved sexual desire and satisfaction.
CONNECT: Female arousal takes longer than men’s, so start the process earlier. Curl up with your partner to boost “feel good” oxytocin, spend five minutes snogging before you hit the sheets, and keep your eyes open to boost intimacy.
MORE LIKELY TO HAVE SEX AFTER EATING: Two-in-three women say they are more likely to have sex with a man after a home-cooked meal, according to a survey adored.co.uk.
A separate study, published in the journal Appetite, found that women were more likely to respond to sexual cues after they had eaten a meal.
MOST TURNED ON DURING OVULATION: Sex drive can fluctuate with the menstrual cycle.
US experts found women are most likely to be turned on during ovulation – in the middle of their menstrual cycle, around 14 days before they get their next period. It’s also thought to be when fertility is at its highest.
ORGASMS LAST LONGER THAN MEN’S: Women do not orgasm from penetrative sex alone.
A report in Archives Of Sexual Behaviour in 2016 found only 65 per cent of straight women climax during sex, compared to 95 per cent of men. But the typical female orgasm lasts longer than men’s, at around 13 to 51 seconds.
BIGGER BUMS MEAN HIGHER SEX DRIVES: Women with bigger bums could have higher sex drives – because they tend to be healthier.
Researchers in Oxford found these women very resistant to chronic illnesses and, because they feel healthier, are more likely want sex.
BALD MEN HAVE HIGHER SEX DRIVES: Men aged over 30 with lots of hair on their head could be lacking in testosterone – and have a lower sex drive. Blokes with high testosterone are also thought to go bald faster.
US scientists say this is because baldness happens when hair follicles become exposed to too much DHT, a chemical which is produced by testosterone.
THINK ABOUT SEX 19 TIMES A DAY: Most fellas have sex on the brain. An Ohio State University survey of 200 students found men thought about sex 19 times a day on average – compared to just ten times a day for women.
“Sex can also lessen men’s feelings of anxiety, at least temporarily,” Kate says. “A 2005 study using brain scans during orgasms revealed a decrease in activity in the amygdala region (that controls how we process scary stimuli) immediately after climax.”
EARS & NOSE
TURNED ON BY DIRTY TALK: A survey by online agency Saucy Dates found 76 per cent of men responded well to a partner’s aural stimulation.
SNORING LINKED TO DROOPINESS: A Journal Of Sexual Medicine study found that 70 per cent of men with sleep apnea – which causes breathing to stop and start at night and is often associated with snoring – also suffered from erectile dysfunction. These men also had low levels of satisfaction when they did have sex.
BIG-BELLIED BLOKES LAST LONGER IN BED: Having a big gut has been linked with low libido.
Overweight men, especially those who store fat around their tummies, have lower levels of testosterone and so weaker sex drive.
But a study in Turkey found such men carried on intercourse for an average of seven minutes and 18 seconds, compared to slimmer fellas’ two minutes.
It is thought that overweight blokes have more of the orgasm-inhibiting hormone oestradiol.
Kate’s tips for men to get their mojo back
WORK OUT: Exercise can help offset the effect of declining testosterone that happens as we age. For maximum oomph, try lifting weights. But don’t overtrain your muscles to the point of aching as that can lessen the positive effects.
STRESS LESS: The more tense you are the more cortisol you will produce, which can drive down your testosterone and leave you feeling limp. Manage stress and anxiety in everyday life and you’ll reap the rewards at night.
FLOSS IT: If you’re avoiding sex because you’re finding it harder to get hard, see the dentist. Research published in the Journal Of Periodontology revealed that men who suffered from gum disease are more than twice as likely to have erectile dysfunction.
SECRET G-SPOT: It is a belief held in Chinese medicine that acupuncture or acupressure in the right place can stimulate a man’s sex drive and help him with erectile problems.
Kate says: “One libido hotspot for men is known as Ren 6. This is situated about one-and- a-half finger-widths down from the centre of his belly button. Press on this spot for 30 to 60 seconds before sex.”
THREE MINUTES IS PLENTY: Contrary to what we see on TV or in porn, the average length of time that penetrative sex lasts is just a few minutes, with reports suggesting anywhere from three to 15 minutes as normal.
Penises are not designed to be consistently erect. The average male orgasm lasts between ten and 30 seconds.
PUT A RING ON IT: A long ring finger on the right hand could signal that a man has a high sex drive.
Experts at the University of California say men whose fourth digit is longer than their index one usually have higher levels of testosterone.
MORE LIKELY TO HAVE FETISH: Foot fetishes are more common in men, with 18 per cent having fantasised about feet compared to just five per cent of women.
Kinsey Institute researcher Dr Justin Lehmiller said for some just looking at feet could be arousing while for others it was about touching, sniffing or licking.
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