Sunday, December 31, 2006

No Two Sexualities Are Alike, as No Two Snowflakes Are Alike

We have varying tastes in food, movies, books, hobbies, and vacation spots. In fact, we extol our unique choices in cuisine and cultural preferences. Yet almost everybody is hesitant to tell their partner precisely what he or she would like in bed. Every month, magazines print sweeping generalizations about what "every" man wants or what "every" woman responds to. But not every woman craves having her man weave a rose into her pubic hair. Not every man thrills to finding his woman, naked and wrapped in Saran Wrap, hiding behind the bedroom door. Our sexuality is as individual as our thumbprint. General advice on how to be a good lover might work for the proverbial everyman or everywoman. But you are not everyman or everywoman. Your Quarry is not everyman or everywoman. You are in bed with one unique individual, and to make that person fall sexually in love with you, you must throw back the sheets and uncover his or her very special desires. The Hunter who determines what the bashful child cowering inside his beautiful, sophisticated Quarry really wants will beat out all the competition. The Huntress who, like Mata Hari, extracts the deepest sexual secrets from her handsome, urbane Quarry will have found the key to his heart. Does this sound like we're taking a trip down the back alleys of sex? Not at all. We're talking Main Street, USA, here. We're talking about, if not what goes on behind our neighbors' locked bedroom doors, then what they wish were going on. That leaves as many possibilities as there are men and women in the world. Some like it tough, some like it tender. Some like it raucous, some like it refined. Some like it crude, some like it considerate. The variety of desires that fall within the range of absolute utter consummate normal is astounding. Visions of movie stars, our lover's best friends, twosomes, threesomes-foursomes-moresomes, dominatrixes, handsome rapists, and even an occasional German shepherd normally enter normal people's normal fantasies. I came upon this awareness quite by accident back in the 1970s when I founded The Project. The Project was a New York State not-for-profit corporation created for the purpose of collecting data on people's sexual desires. Over a period of ten years, my colleagues and I examined data from men and women from every walk of life. Because of the unique method of gathering and disseminating information (not through questionnaires, but by having people send us detailed letters and then presenting the findings through psychodrama), many people who wouldn't ordinarily take part in surveys participated in The Project. We made presentations to organizations such as the American Society of Sex Educators, Counsellors, and Therapists, and the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex. Major media like Time magazine, Psychology Today, the London Times, and the major televisionnetworks praised our work. Because this unsought publicity emphasized the high principles and confidentiality of The Project, more and more people felt comfortable revealing their deepest desires to us. Thousands of letters flowed into The Project, each detailing the sexual attitudes and assets the authors would like to have in an ideal partner.
How Do Men's and Women's Sexual Desires Differ? How did men's and women's sexual desires differ? Vastly, when it came to their sexual fantasies, and even more vastly in what role they wanted their partners to play in their fantasies. Essentially, men's fantasies were more extreme and diverse than women's were. Their desires were tied more to specific acts and attitudes. Their fantasies were less connected to the personalities and emotions of their partner. Often men's fantasies involved control, one partner over the other. One of our more intriguing findings was that men can suspend reality during the sex act and get off more on playacting than women can. (Huntresses, this peculiarity will come into play when we share specific techniques to get a man to fall in love with you.) Women's sexual fantasies, in contrast to men's, were more complicated. Often they were tied to a partner (not necessarily the one they were in bed with) and emphasized the relationship between the people in the fantasy. A woman's erotic dreams involved her partner's feelings and her own physical and emotional responses to what was going on. Unlike in men's fantasies, the mood and the ambience of the encounter played a bigger role for women. Unlike men, women had less desire to share their fantasies with their partner. (Hunters, pay attention: Steamy emotions and love entered a woman's fantasies far more often than a man's.) Why Are Men's and Women's Fantasies So Different? Why do women connect love and sex more closely than men do? Anthropologists explain it in genetic terms. The female must fight to keep the family together so offspring can grow up well-fed and well-protected. Sexologists explain it experientially. Like our personalities, our sexual persona and desires are formed in childhood, especially in the formative years between five and eight. During these years, little girls experience more affection than little Page 236 boys. Mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, and even Mommy's and Daddy's friends all cuddle and kiss little girls. Little girls sit on Daddy's lap and hug him more than little boys do. It is natural that a girl might have her first erotic feelings while being cuddled. Little boys are not cuddled and kissed as much. They experience affection in a different way—maybe a pat on the back or a playful "Hiya, buddy" punch on the shoulder. That expresses love to little boys. Little boys even learn to shun affection and kisses in public. Recently I was walking past a city grade school about eight o'clock in the morning. A mother came up to the school with two children about seven or eight years old. She was holding her daughter's hand, and her son was bounding ahead of them. At the front door of the school, she bent down and gave her daughter a kiss and a big hug. The little girl threw her arms around her mother's neck and said, "Bye-bye, Mommy. See you later," and went bouncing into the school. The mother then bent over her son to do the same. The little boy stiffened and put his hands up to shield his face: "Mother, pul-eeze don't kiss me while everybody is watching." The mother laughed and said, "OK, buddy. Put up your dukes." They had a playful boxing match for a few seconds before the boy trounced happily along after his sister into the school. Little girls, when playing together, touch each other a lot. They braid each other's hair or put their arms around each other when they are afraid. Male friends are more apt to wrestle or "shoot" each other in a game of cowboys and Indians or cops and robbers. Is it any wonder, then, that girls grow up connecting love with kisses and cuddles, and boys grow up connecting love with a little rough play or power games? Yet More Differences The most striking difference between men and women, however, as illustrated by the letters The Project received, is not in their actual fantasies but in what men and women want to do with their sexual fantasies. It is curious to note that men's and women's fantasy desires were in direct contrast to their real-life stereotypes. In day-to-day matters, a woman usually likes to share sensitive information and a man prefers to keep his thoughts to himself. However, in sex, many men want to share their sexual fantasies with a woman. Some even have a compelling desire to playact them out with her.
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How to Use Differences to Make Your Quarry Fall in Love with You Huntresses, men connect sex and ego very tightly, much more so than women do. Men's real-world thoughts ("What's going on in this relationship? Where will it go? How do I feel about my partner? How does she feel about me?") all interfere with desire—read potency. Therefore, many men have learned to suspend reality during the sex act. If what is actually going on in bed is not hot enough to keep them hard, they let their imaginations do the job. Men can perform better when they forget about the complexities of their relationship with you and give their imagination and their bodies 100 percent to raw sex. Since a man is more potent with a woman who shares his sexual attitude and his fantasies, he is more apt to fall in love with her. Huntresses, here's the plan. First we need to explore raw sex. Then, afterward, I give you a technique to excavate your Quarry's core fantasies. Finally we explore ways to manipulate those fantasies to make him fall in love with you. Now, Hunters, concerning technique, women love you harder when you give them fireworks with their sex, but they are hesitant to tell you how to do it better for fear of hurting your ego. Concerning their fantasies, women are more content enjoying them in the privacy of their own minds. Also, when it comes to choosing a lifetime partner, a woman is more sus- Page 238 ceptible to falling in love with—and getting hot over—a man who fulfills her relationship fantasies as well. The two, technique and relationship, put together add up to steamy sensuality. Hunters, here's the plan. In this section, you will find hot guidance in the "how-to" department and techniques to excavate your Quarry's relationship fantasies. Mix the two so you can give your woman the steamy sensuality she craves. Even though everyone's sexuality is as personalized as a thumbprint, there are basic gender differences in how men and women look at sex. Before we aim the telescope at your Quarry's one-of-a-kind sexual needs, let us gaze at the universe of similarities. The following chapter includes some generalizations, to be sure, but we need a solid foundation of basic sexual gender differences before we can get a good footing to explore the unique terrain of our particular Quarry's desires.

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