When it comes to emotional intimacy, it’s true that women are wired to need it more than men. Sex is a way of letting them express, and in fact, build intimacy. While this is important for men too, emotional intimacy is often more of a by-product of intercourse rather than a key motivator.

Hence, there can be a disconnect between men and women when it comes to sex, and it’s important for the guys to know that most women need to feel desired and pursued before she can be really into it.

Scale Of Sexual Desire

Like men, sexual satisfaction as the motivation behind women having sex is quite obvious. But there is a sexual desire spectrum related to intellectual stimulation that isn’t always so easy to identify. Some types include: sapio-sexual – individuals who are turned on by intelligence; or demi-sexual – individuals who do not get turned on by someone unless there is a strong emotional connection.

Unfortunately, if your partner identifies as asexual, a person who lacks the desire for sex, then perhaps creative new ways need to be discovered to encourage intercourse for that person.

Sometimes, the development of an asexual person is related to a conservative cultural or religious background, or even past sexual trauma; in which case, tread carefully and do not be insensitive. Be supportive throughout her journey to a healthy sexual discovery.

For others whose sexual relationships are more straightforward, here are a few key reasons why women want to have sex.

It’s Physical

In a study conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles, United States, 141 women were asked to observe photos of shirtless men, then rank them according to attractiveness. Lean, athletic-looking bodies were seen as more desirable than both bulky and skinny types.

Women tend to perceive big muscular men as threatening. It’s possible that spending all the time bulking up is seen as self-centred, which means she may not get what she wants from you, in terms of time commitment and attention.

It’s The Kiss

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A good kiss is the gateway to the “next” level of intimacy for women, so do it well, guys! — Filepic

A kiss is largely a preview to how intercourse might be with someone, hence why a well-executed smooch could be the way to “qualifying” for the next stage. A study published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology found that women are much less likely to have sex with a bad kisser. For that reason, it’s good for guys to be aware of what women see as a good kiss.

From the same study, it was found that men preferred wetter kisses with more tongue action than females did. It’s not terribly romantic to feel like a large dog tongue is slobbering all over you after all. Instead, be a partner who smells good and does a little caressing while kissing.

The Heat Of The Moment

Cuddling causes a woman’s testosterone to surge, a recent Canadian study found. The increase in testosterone levels may cause androgen receptors in her clitoris to switch on, leading to arousal.

How else to get her into the mood? Have a good sense of humour and your chances increase by 25% – and if you’re looking for a mate to settle down with, those chances go up by 31%, says a study in the Journal of Psychology.

The Next Step In A Relationship

After all the wining, dining, wooing and being seen around town together, the sex is still missing. What’s the next step? Commitment. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found commitment to be the key to sexual motivation in women of all ages.

There is no need to get spooked and cut ties with the woman you’re seeing. Commitment does not mean marriage, but rather a serious promise of exclusivity that shows an investment in the relationship.

Imagine, if the shoe is on the other foot and you discover that your girlfriend is dating other men, you will most likely begin questioning the point of being in a relationship with her. No one wants to feel like a spare – showing her that you’re emotionally serious will encourage her to move forward with the physical aspect.

It’s The Romantic Setting

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Going on holiday to a new and exciting place can help strengthen or secure a couple’s bond, leading to more intimacy. — Reuters

It may be an old saying, but it rings true. Plan a romantic getaway to an exotic location and that will win you big points, but probably not for the reasons you might expect. The shared intimacy of a couple together in a strange and exciting new place is what strengthens or secures a bond.

A 2005 study in the journal Tourism Management went even further to recommend that couples on vacation prearrange the services of a local tour guide, which “creates a greater sense of intimacy and disclosure”.

It’s To Express Love Or Affection

A study published in the Journal of Psychoneuroendocrinology found that there are significant hormonal changes in both men and women when falling in love. Testosterone levels in women rise, but men’s tend to fall, the study found. And here’s a tip on the best time to catch the woman who’s in love with you – after a good weights workout, which also causes women’s testosterone levels to spike.

Another way to heighten her physical interest in you is for her to miss you. An American Psychological Association study found that travel-related separation creates a surge in hormone levels upon reunion. Being in contact during the separation is important to minimise any negative feelings towards the traveling partner.

It’s Healing

Endomorphins, a form of pain reliever, is released during intercourse, which is why some women use sex to feel better from experiencing migraines, or even period cramps. If intercourse is a form of relaxation or recreation, then by all means, each partner should be non-judgemental and supportive. Perhaps in time, you will begin to view it the same way as well.

Other Factors That Impact Female Sex Drive

The longer the relationship, the deeper the emotional security, hence why it’s not surprising if a woman wants to have sex more frequently. Awkward as it may seem, communicating with each other on sexual preferences takes the guessing game out of the equation and allows both of you to get what you want during intercourse.

What will set you back many steps is when you are far along into a relationship and cheating occurs. It goes back to wanting to feel desired and special – if your partner discovers you are having sex with another woman, she is bound to feel insecure and unloved.

The betrayal opens up your relationship to very real vulnerabilities, like the fear of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. If you value your relationship with your wife, think twice, and twice more again, before you cheat.

Datuk Dr Nor Ashikin Mokhtar is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist. For further information, visit www.primanora.com. The information provided is for educational and communication purposes only and it should not be construed as personal medical advice. Information published in this article is not intended to replace, supplant or augment a consultation with a health professional regarding the reader’s own medical care. The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to the content appearing in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.