Can you be specific regarding the differences in sexual desire and preferences between males and females? Since I'm getting married next July, I would like to know how my future husband's needs will differ from my own. Could you summarize the major distinctions that will occur between us?
You are wise to ask this question, because the failure to understand the differences between male and female can lead to unnecessary frustration and guilt. What I will share with you is not new, yet it is surprising how many husbands and wives do not understand how their spouses differ from themselves in this regard. Let me say that the description I'll give you relates to typical responses. Individuals differ in many ways, and you'll need to discuss the particulars with your fiance.
First, men are primarily aroused by visual stimulation. They are excited by feminine nudity or partial nudity. Women, on the other hand, are typically much less visually oriented than men. Certainly, they are interested in attractive masculine bodies, but the physiological mechanism of sex is usually not triggered by what they see; women are stimulated primarily by the sense of touch and by romantic allure. Thus, we encounter the first common source of disagreement in the bedroom: He may want her to appear unclothed in a lighted room, and she wants him to caress her in the dark.
Second, and much more important, men are not very discriminating in regard to the person living within an interesting body. A man can walk down a street and be sexually stimulated by an approaching female, even though he knows nothing about her personality, her values, or her mental capabilities. He is attracted by her beauty itself. Likewise, he can become almost as excited over a photograph of an unknown nude model as he can from a face-to-face encounter with someone he loves. Hence, there is some validity to the complaint by women that they have been used as "sex objects" by men. This explains why female prostitutes outnumber males by a wide margin and why few women try to rape men. It explains why a roomful of men can enjoy watching a burlesque dancer "take it all off." These are not very flattering characteristics of male sexuality, but they are well documented in professional literature.
Women, on the other hand, are much more discriminating in their sexual interests. They less commonly become excited by observing a good-looking charmer or by the photograph of a hairy model; rather, their desire is usually focused on a particular individual whom they respect or admire. A woman is stimulated by the romantic aura that surrounds her man and by his character and personality. She is drawn to a man who appeals to her emotionally as well as physically.
Obviously, there are exceptions to these characteristic desires, but the fact remains: Sex for men is a more physical phenomenon; sex for women is a deeply emotional experience.