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Women want sex far more than we've been allowed to believe. So suggests a new book that shatters many of our most cherished myths about desire, including the widespread assumption that women's lust is inextricably bound up with emotional connection. Are men ready to cope with the reality of heterosexual women's horniness? The evidence suggests we aren't, at least not yet. In his just-released What Do Women Want?

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Adventures in the Science of Female Desire journalist Daniel Bergner suggests that when it comes to acknowledging just how much women lust, we've passed the point of no return. Bergner profiles the work of a series of sexologists, all of whom have, after a series of fascinating studies with animal and human subjects, come to what is essentially the same conclusion.

Women want sex just as much as men do, and this drive is "not, for the most part, sparked or sustained by emotional intimacy and safety. Bergner's work puts what may be the last nail in the coffin of the old consensus that women use sex as a means to get something else they really want, such as enduring monogamous emotional intimacy and the goods and safety that come in marriage with a protector and provider.

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In her reviewSalon 's normally hyperbole-averse Tracy Clark-Flory was beside herself: "This book should be read by every woman on earth," she writes; "the implications are huge. It's not, of course, as if feminism, or Internet porn, or any other feature of modernity has suddenly created desires that never ly existed. Rather, as Bergner and his researchers show, science is finally asking the right questions about what women want, perhaps because enough of us are ready to hear the answer. The broad and enthusiastic coverage of What Do Women Want — Amanda Hess at Slate and Ann Friedman at The Cut are nearly as swept away as Clark-Flory—suggests a collective cry of relief: At last, irrefutable evidence that women are so much more like men, and so much more full of erotic potential, than we had ever admitted.

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Yet acknowledging that women are as horny as men if not hornier isn't enough to guarantee equality, just as the recognition that women are increasingly adept at breadwinning doesn't ensure pay equity. That explanation appeals, but it also rests on a false assumption that the risks of playing "instigator" are equal for both sexes. To continue Atik's baseball imagery, it's only very recently that women have even begun to be allowed to compete as equals on the sexual playing nude horney women the rules of the game are still written largely for the benefit of men.

To say that women want sex and are afraid of being slut-shamed while men want sex but are afraid of being rejected falsely posits that these are equally consequential experiences. As real as men's anxiety about being "shot down" might be, it's hardly comparable to women's equally justifiable fear of rape. Margaret Atwood's famous remark that "men are afraid that women will laugh at them; women are afraid that men will kill them" clarifies that distinction nicely.

If Bergner is right, men's and women's libidos are far more similar than ly imagined.

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If he's right, and the formidable data he marshals suggests he is, then our sexual scripts need to shift to accommodate this new reality for everyone's sake. Both men and women need to overcome what Atik nude horney women their "wishy-washiness," and be willing to deal with the discomfort that comes from stepping outside of prescribed gender roles.

That's easier said than done; as Friedman notes in her article, the data suggests that even among the young, a ificant majority of both men and women think it's the job of men to make the proverbial "first move. When it comes to rethinking instigation, young heterosexuals could do well to learn from gays and lesbians. As Liza Mundy pointed out last month, same-sex couples have much to teach straights about how to have a happier marriage. The research suggests that though both men and women struggle to extricate themselves from traditional gender roles, women are generally doing a much better job of it than are men.

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From the workplace to the university, women are far more willing to move into traditionally male spaces and adopt traditionally male behaviors than men are to do the reverse. Too many men are still stuck in the "provide, protect, and perform" model that requires women to be passive, focused more on pleasing than on their own pleasure.

The "catch" in which women nude horney women themselves is largely a result of men's fear of being unable to perform up to women's expectations—and to satisfy desires that men have only just begun to realize are as intense and earthy as their own. Freud's famous question, "What do women want? And what is at the heart of that answer? Though some women surely still want to play at passivity while men protect, provide, and perform, plenty more women want another "p" word: partners. Flexible, unintimidated, and as Bergner shows playful partners in the bedroom, in the kitchen, and in public life.

It is those insecurities and the specter of the violence into which those insecurities sometimes erupt that keep men from having their sexual desires fulfilled.

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As this new book shows, women's desires are fully equal to men's—and equally confined by men's maddening unwillingness to abandon the useless sexual scripts they themselves have written. Popular Latest. The Atlantic Crossword.

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In Subscribe. Taylor Lorenz. Everyone's being kind of wishy-washy Women want sex, but they don't want to be seen as forward or worse, desperate. Men want sex but are intimidated, unconfident, or don't want to be seen as domineering. We're not sure who should be the sexual instigators, and then no one really steps up to the plate.

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