Thanks for your comment, but I think you are taking this to a place that is beyond what the study was trying to convey. It’s not that women are inclined to be self-involved during sex, but that if they don’t feel sexy to themselves, they aren’t able to feel sexy for their partner. And of course, men want to be seen and valued for all that they are as well, but historically, our society treats women as only having value if they are attractive.

Also, since for the past 10K years, female sexuality has been robbed and stripped of any erotic elements except for how it relates to pleasing men and producing children, it doesn’t surprise me at all that many women are trying to reclaim a connection to their own body and their own sexuality as relates to themselves.

Don’t underestimate what a huge element this is in female sexual experience. I hear about it all the time — where your entire life you’ve been socialized to believe that you exist for the consumption of your partner and the other men around you, and how that disempowers and affects women’s sense of their own sexuality. I didn’t reclaim my sexual self until I was well into mid-life and I’ve heard from many, many other women who have had to work at understanding who they are as sexual beings for themselves.

Of course, the goal is to celebrate and revel in each other, to share a sexual experience that is mutually pleasurable and gratifying, but a whole lot of women have also never been treated in that way. Instead, they’ve quite often been treated like human sex toys there to help a man get off, with little or no thought to how she feels or what she wants. The orgasm gap is a real thing, not because men are inherently horrible, selfish beings, but because we are all subject to sexual stories and narratives that aren’t always in the interests of real sexual communication and connection.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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