the myth-buster

From The Guardian:

BookI was on the Victoria line with my boyfriend, telling him about a new book by the American author Daniel Bergner, called What Do Women Want? Its headline, traffic-stopping message is that women, routinely portrayed as the monogamous sex, are actually not very well-suited to monogamy. In fact, far from being more faithful than men, we may actually be more naturally promiscuous – more bored by habituation, more voracious, more predatory, more likely to objectify a mate. The expectation upon us not to feel, still less exhibit, any of these traits causes us to bury them, Bergner argues, giving rise to two phenomena.

First, women experience a loss of interest in sex within a marriage – commonly ascribed to low libido, but actually more a thwarted libido. Bergner interviewed a number of women in long-term relationships, many of whom elaborated on this waning desire. One woman said of her husband, “We did have sex maybe once a week, but it didn't reach me. My body would respond, but the pleasure was like the pleasure of returning library books. And the thing about being repulsed by him was, I felt my body was a room that I didn't want to mess up. Unlike that openness at the beginning, when my body was a room and I didn't mind if he came in with his shoes on.” The second, and perhaps more surprising phenomenon, is that all this thwarted sexual energy, like anything suppressed, has its power redoubled, to become something violent and alarming, if for any reason the brakes come off.

More here.