A sweeping generalization. It's sweeping right now! Can't you see it? Look! It's sweeping over there!


I have a problem with this idea (I have heard it in many, many other places besides here) because it tried to pass itself off as the end-all be-all of stimulation. It would be more accurate, in my opinion, to say that "Women are more apt to be turned in verbally, and men more apt to be turned on visually."

But has anyone tried to reason this out? My personal belief behind it is that, while wen are more likely to get 'turned on' by visual stimuli, it's because of social conditioning versus actual physiology. I can't tell you how it began, because I don't know, but it probably happened many generations ago.

Women, until recently, have been taught to repress their sexuallity as much as possible. Therefore, it is not 'right' for a women to be tittilated by visual stimuli lest she be labeled a jezebel, for she is focusing on the 'carnal' and physical side of the issue.

Men, OTOH, are taught to repress their sensuallity. They (we) are conditioned to separate the physical acts from the emotional and mental corralaries.

This is not to say that things can't change. I'm not female (at the moment), but I'm damn sure there have been women to have snuck a peek at their husband in the shower and it got their blood pumping. And, to go with it, I know from personal experience that spoken and written words can be an aphrodisiac.

The 'problem' here is not that we are not excited by certain things, but that we refuse to let ourselves be excited by them.

I think the birth of this legend tends to spring from the porn industry -- and particularly the inanimate side. If we limit our investigation to that part of the industry -- photgraphs or stories, it tends to be true. Or at least, a straw poll of my male and female friends indicates that it is true.

Not that women aren't turned on by images, or men by text, just the inclination has tended to be textual amongst the females, and visual amongst males.

This may be partially because the 'perfect' male body, unclothed, tends to be less aesthetically pleasing than the 'perfect' female, so often such stimulation as the women I know experience in visual erotica results from pictures of women and not men. It may also be connected to the fact that visual erotica in magazines/still pictures is largely divorced from emotional context, and women have tended to be brought up associating sexual stimulation with emotional connection.

However, my discussions with female friends on the subject have led to one,all-overriding complaint with the visual erotica they have seen, and it's simply this -- it just looks so damn fake to us. Not the acts -- not the "bits moving within bits", but the faces of the participants. Either they have this glossy, model-style smile, or some expression that tries, and fails, to convey smouldering passion (it usually looks more like a child in a sulk). Suspension of disbelief is not achieved, and therefore titillation is minimal. With well written textual erotica, since the imagination provides the images, disbelief is more easily suspended -- although certain cliches and key phrases will lead to that suspension of disbelief being broken, and the story being put quickly aside.

The notion that men are sexually excited by the visual and women by the verbal (or emotional) is without question a broad and frequently inaccurate generalization, but it is important to remember that many people are so strongly informed by their culture and its images that they behave according to such stereotypes.

Males in America mature in a media environment saturated by schematics of female physical attractiveness; this is often why men find it so difficult to transcend the physical in dating considerations. Movies, television, and print media (as well as the Internet) provide a fairly clear set of attributes which we are to consider attractive in a woman; with some variation, the archetypal model woman is clearly defined, and most men (myself included, sadly) are barely able to overcome their culturally-derived aesthetic when selecting dating partners.

On the other hand, how does the media define the perfect man? Is it Sean Connery, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini, Ed Norton, Eminem, Sisqo, John Cusak, Matt Damon, Arnold Schwarznegger, Tom Hanks, or even Jay-Z? In the media, it seems to matter little what a man looks like, it being more critical the strength of his personality, his ability to represent a demographic identity, or simply his relative success.

If even fifty-percent of Americans allow their culture to determine their sexual and romantic inclinations, and I imagine that many more do, then the images disseminated by the media do have a very real effect on the way each gender defines itself and what is attractive. Women are not biologically or intrinsically more likely to be attracted to the verbal, and men are not chemically predisposed to the visual; but in most Western nations, the history of narrative and visual culture supports the idea that we have been conditioned to adopt these roles (and as a male, I can’t complain).

Maybe it has more to do with the status implied by verbal attributes for women... After all a man who is an archetype in himself must have strength and influence, and the personality that underlies this will reveal itself primarily through words and actions.Notions vary, but is known that only a [small percentage of communication is verbal (say around 7%). This astonishinglu tiny number is explained by the visual cues that people give off like posture, gesture, movement, facial expression, genetics, dress, property, etc. Even before he spoke you would know that Snoop Doggy Dog couldn't be the Pope, not because of his piety or lack thereof, but because of the lifestyle he's chosen. Just because he changed clothes, and started quoting the bible, the rest of his life would give away that he wasn't quite what he was portraying. It isn't entirely rational, but it is highly suggestive, and also quite persuasive. It is the root of most of our preconceptions.

E.G. Question: "What does a women notice first about a man's suit?"
Answer: "His shoes."

Anyways, I've found through my career as a casanova that the best way to win a lady is by the occasional wry observation, tons of charm, a great deal of tenderness, warmth, the ability to speak as well as listen. Not all women like this approach, but well, I have off days, and not all women are the same. But even this of course means nothing if you aren't strong, because women (like men) admire strength, and it inspires confidence. Your words should describe your real character, then they will resonate.

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