This belief about wetness = horniness has been around sex for decades now.
It’s one that has totally messed with both women’s and men’s heads, by making them think something is wrong if it’s not happening.
It’s just not necessarily true.
The porn fallacy of wetness
This belief has been paraded around in pornography with women showing up wet and horny for sex no matter what the occasion.
Whether it’s for the car salesman who has just offered her a discount on her new Subaru if she’ll put out.
Or for the policeman who has offered to wave her ticket for a blowjob. Or it might be for the cowboy who has just turned up on his horse with a slow, lazy twang in his voice. (Hmm…that could work).
Women in porn are shown as hot and wet even in the hard core versions where there are no corny scenarios, they just get into it. (Which can sometimes be a relief to be honest…)
Romantic books and movies more subtly, yet still undeniably, hint at a woman’s readiness, assuming wetness. With lovers being able to get right into it without having to reach for the lube.
Being wet and hard is taken for the ultimate indicators of sexual readiness.
‘Getting wet’ is seen as important as ‘getting hard’ is, to the idea of sex. (Although less biologically necessary, like male nipples, but still very pleasurable.)
The really important thing to know about a woman’s state of lubrication is that it can be, and often is, separate to her desire for sex.
Just like a man’s erection can be.
Even though a man with an erection is rarely portrayed outside of a sexual context.
An erection can be stirred into being by sexual thoughts, or the proximity of a gorgeous woman.
At other times, especially during the painful teenage years, erections can arise at the most inopportune moments. Like wearing speedos at the school sports. They also happen two or three times a night with no sexual context at all, not even an erotic dream.
Even though this is rarely portrayed outside of a sexual context.
An erection is often stirred into being by sexual thoughts, or the proximity of a gorgeous woman.
At other times, especially during the painful teenage years, erections can arise at the most inopportune moments. Like wearing speedos at the school sports, or two or three times a night with no sexual context at all, not even an erotic dream.
Wetness and hardness are physiological responses.
We learn to relate them to sex.
They’re just not necessarily related to sexual desire, which is more complex.
How can wetness and hardness be a learned response?
For example, the last time you went to this restaurant you and your partner had great sex in the car going home. So, you feel a little aroused, and a little wet just ordering dinner there. Or, if you had been caught masturbating and shamed as a child you might not have a full erection when you feel aroused, in order to avoid the shame. Though in this case, you unlearn having an erection.
Men can be wet too.
It’s interesting to note here too that men also have sexual wetness. This is because both genders start out with exactly the same genitals in the womb. They just get organized differently, according to their biochemistry during conception and foetal growth.
Women have lubricating glands at the mouth of the urethra, called Skene’s glands. These glands swell during sexual arousal making it difficult to pee during sex. They’re also believed to produce the fluid known as female ejaculate. (Now women have fluids that they ‘shouldn’t’ emit, such as urine, and fluids they ‘should’- wetness and ejaculate. What does my body want again?)
Men have corresponding glands found just below their prostate. These are called Cowper’s glands, (it would be great if we name things after their function rather than who discovered them) that emit something known as pre-ejaculate. Which happens very little for some men, just a drop or two sometimes, and quite a lot for others. It’s the way they’re made.
The difference is, there isn’t such a song and dance about it.
So as difficult as it may be, we seriously need to totally unhook this belief that wetness and horninness automatically go together.
Because wetness can be a learned physiological response to a sexual situation that has very little to do with desire. It’s why both men and women can have arousal and even orgasms whilst being raped. It in no way means they wanted it.
It also used to be believed that a woman couldn’t get pregnant without having an orgasm so if she got pregnant during a rape she was believed to have enjoyed it, really.
Listening to what she says is important.
On the other hand, a woman can really desire sex and be totally wanting it without being wet. It’s happening everywhere else in her mind and body except there. It’s just the way she it. It doesn’t mean she is broken, or disconnected from her body or lying.
How does a man know this woman is wanting sex? By understanding this difference and listening to her. If she says she really wants it (excluding any trauma responses she may be overriding) then she likely does.
Just smile and pass the lube…
Undoing our conditioning
We can undo decades of confusion, shame and invalidation for women right here.
And some for men too.
And help women love their bodies exactly as they are.
Which is the number one pathway to expanding a woman’s sexual pleasure.
We’ve heard it works pretty well for other genders too.