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Women's Sexuality: Why Her Body Says "Yes" When Her Head Says "No"

Dr. Billy Kidd researched romantic relationships for 15 years. He held focus groups in various cities across the nation.

In a Mindy McCready song, her date has her body screaming “Let’s get it on!” while her mind is saying, “I don’t think so.”

Scientists have discovered that women’s yes/no sex debates stem from the very core of their biological processes. It is not something women simply conjure up in their minds. In fact, studies show that it is common for a woman to have the maybe-yes/maybe-no debate up to 20% of the time she feels sexually aroused.

Sometimes, a woman's body says yes while her heart says no. What does this mean?

Sometimes, a woman's body says yes while her heart says no. What does this mean?

Putting the Yes/No Sexual Debate Into Perspective

Sexual Arousal Is Only Half the Ballgame

Sexual relationships do not take place in a mental vacuum. That is the case unless you and your partner are working hard at having a no-strings-attached affair. Sometimes, of course, no-strings-attached does not work out that way, and a person feels lousy afterward. That’s because you slip and get emotionally involved and maybe guilt-trip yourself over it.

That happens because there are five relationship feelings that can engage when you are being intimate with a partner: the sexual feeling, the in-love feeling, feelings of friendship, the feeling of being a couple, and the feeling of wanting to help each other. This is why, from a biological standpoint, sex does not always happen in a mental and emotional blackout

Women Evaluate a Sexual Situation on Two Different Levels

This creates two different takes on a sexual situation: the physical and the mental. These two perspectives arise from two semi-independent biological processes. So it’s natural that, on occasion, a woman will have conflicting feelings about sex. Her physical feelings of arousal just do not match her thoughts. In certain situations, a woman may be focusing on the emotions rising from her thought process so intently that she may not even notice that she is physically aroused.

Women Have Conditional Feelings of Excitement

Women’s emotional urges to have sex are generally dependent on the situation that she finds herself in. It’s normal for a woman to be thinking: “Is it safe, secure, non-hostile, interesting, or just plain cool?” The relationship itself generally matters to a woman. This is why women are concerned about men being friendly, helping, and cooperative partners. These things tend to make sexuality an intimate emotional act that takes place with a particular partner. Sex is generally personalized, in other words, unless a woman suppresses these emotions so she can have the sexual experience without any feelings of attachment.

If your head says no, you are not ready for sex.

Men Have Fewer Conflicting Feelings About Sex

Men’s emotional responses are often more closely aligned with their physical responses. That means that a man generally has a hard time arguing against his erection. Men, of course, are aware of the emotional aspects of sexual relations. But they do not monitor the difference between their emotional and physical feelings as closely as women do. Further, men are often less emotionally engaged towards a possible partner when compared to women.

Men Focus More of Their Attention on Sexuality Itself

Some men’s awareness is more self-focused when compared to a woman’s response. This may give off the impression that men need to take charge of sexual activity–as if testosterone propels them to be sexually aggressive. But sexual aggressiveness is not related to testosterone levels whatsoever. Rather, aggressiveness is a product of a man’s values and his life experiences. Aggressiveness is not some innate male compulsion. So a woman should not change her mind when a man is badgering and guilt-tripping her to have sex. This is simply an act of a man’s supposed self-power.

"A woman should not change her mind when a man is badgering and guilt-tripping her to have sex. This is simply an act of a man’s supposed self-power."

Some Men Have Limited Emotional Engagement

Men get emotionally involved when they are in love and the friendship or family-feeling buttons get pressed. Sometimes a man isn’t aware of his emotional involvement in a sexual relationship until after the fact. Men, like women, are hit with bonding hormones when they reach orgasm. That makes them want to be with their partners. But some men and women have learned to suppress those thoughts and feelings.

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Dealing With Yes/No Sexual Cues

A woman cannot simply change who she is to accommodate a man’s sexual interests. And she should not have to. When a woman is feeling the Yes-No debate, she is not ready for sex. She needs time and her own space to understand what she is thinking and feeling. While she cannot argue with a man’s erection, she can talk around it. Switching the topic and simply moving on to some other activity is her best recourse for the moment. Or she can simply say, “I’m not ready for this.” At times a woman just has to get up and go. As women mature, the yes/no debate becomes easier.

Machismo and Sex Addiction

Some men refuse to listen when a woman signals she’s not interested in having sex. They will badger and harass because they want a quick sex "fix" to escape their feelings of frustration, anger, and powerlessness. Or, they enjoy exploiting and hurting women and feel entitled to do so. For them, sex is not about the woman at all—it’s about the expression of male power and the use of force. Today, this is changing for many young men. One-fifth of their girlfriends make more money than they do. This changes the nature of some sexual encounters, with women feeling more adamant about their needs being met.

Women Respond Sexually Because of Who and What They Are

Women are a product of their experiences and their instincts. This individualizes sexual decisions. A woman does not have to have sex because of the group pressure of the hookup culture. People are as often dissatisfied with the feelings left by a one-time sex thing. It’s OK to respond to group pressure with a simple “no.”

"As women mature, the yes/no debate becomes easier."


Remember this: If your head says “no,” you are not ready for sex. And that is OK. Your mind might be saying it’s the wrong time, place, person, or a dozen other possible things. Saying “no” when your body says “yes” is simply part of a woman’s nature. When you are thinking “no,” you are being responsible for your own sexuality. You are not responsible for the other person’s sexuality and feelings if you say, “no.” So there is no reason to feel guilty. Guilt arises from going against your thoughts. As women mature it is easier to make these yes/no sexual decisions.


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© 2019 Dr Billy Kidd

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