"Men want sex more often than women at the start of a relationship, in the middle of it, and after many years of it," Baumeister concludes after reviewing several surveys of men and women.This isn't just true of heterosexuals, he says; gay men also have sex more often than lesbians at all stages of the relationship.But women will only do it if the candles are scented just right -- and their partner has done the dishes first. It's common wisdom that women place more value on emotional connection as a spark of sexual desire.
"I hear women say in my office that desire originates much more between the ears than between the legs," says Esther Perel, a New York City psychotherapist.
"For women there is a need for a plot -- hence the romance novel.
Here are seven patterns of men's and women's sex drives that researchers have found.
Bear in mind that people may vary from these norms.
"Women probably have the capacity to become sexually interested in and fall in love with their own sex more than men do," Bailey says.
"They won't necessarily do it, but they have the capacity." Bailey's idea is backed up by studies showing that homosexuality is a more fluid state among women than men.They asked them about their level of sexual arousal, and also measured their actual level of arousal through devices attached to their genitals.For men, the results were predictable: Straight men said they were more turned on by depictions of male-female sex and female-female sex, and the measuring devices backed up their claims.Men also say they want more sex partners in their lifetime, and are more interested in casual sex.Men are more likely to seek sex even when it's frowned upon or even outlawed: What turns women on? Northwestern University researcher Meredith Chivers and colleagues showed erotic films to gay and straight men and women.As men and women age, each fantasize less, but men still fantasize about twice as often.