Posted at 5:00 PM Jan 29, 2009
What do women want in the sack? According to recent research from psychology prof and scientist Meredith Chivers, we may know, but not all of us are telling. Reading through the lines of Chiver's findings, it seems many women tell others what they think is expected of them in terms of what turns them on - but their genitals tell a different (and much more interesting) story.
To wit: in Chivers' study, heterosexual women under-reported sexual excitement during visual representations of gay men having sex and scenes of lesbian intimacy than the plethysmographs (they measure genital blood flow) indicated. The opposite was true for heterosexual coupling. Results were similar with lesbian participants with the exception of lesbian coupling - in that regard, what they reported and what the plethysmographs reported were roughly on par. Men, on the other hand, accurately spilled the beans.
Chivers' research is essential not only because (duh) we need to gather as much information as we possibly can about our sexuality, but more importantly, providing a peek into what other women desire is bound to make "taboo" desires less so. It also forces us to face some tough questions: why are straight and gay men more comfortable talking about what turns them on and how can we find a way to get to that place?