Sex education. Love is a game for two

The importance of women's right to pleasure. Sexual pleasure, also if detached from the goal of procreation, is the right of the female as much as the male, and this is something that has to be learned. It’s important that young males learn that in the sexual act, a good relationship between partners can be obtained only if both parties satisfy each other’s needs and expectations.

The reciprocity within a relationship is indeed able to create solid intimacy and complicity that keeps desire alive. But women are from Venus and men from Mars and the differences between the sexes are also valid for sexual pleasure. Sexuality in a man is synonymous with self-affirmation and possession. During the act he is focused on achieving pleasure and controlling his sexual performance. The woman on the other hand, experiences it as a game which is to be played equally. Neither one dominating the other, creating the ideal setting for pleasure. Just think how differently the first time is experienced by a man and a woman. The majority of women see the first sexual experience as a gift to the other, while many men see it mostly as a "stigma" to be gotten rid of.

So how can two seemingly distant worlds reach a state of mutual sexual satisfaction? A model has been developed, called the "Model of Reciprocity", which is based on two theories:

  • the exchange theory
  • the equality theory

The exchange theory considers the couple’s relationship as an investment: costs and benefits, availability of time and resources to be pooled in order to receive companionship and sexual pleasure. Of course, a relationship will last as long as the benefits outweigh the "costs". The equality theory on the other hand, requires that both partners get back exactly what they have put in, based on fair play, ensuring a lasting relationship. In short, it appears that to achieve sexual reciprocity all that’s needed is to guide the partner through ones preferences, and in turn listen to those of the partner and alternate between moments of giving and receiving during sex.



Elmerstig E, Wijma B, Sandell K, Berterö C. J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2012;33(3):129-34.


Carpenter LM. Gender & Society, Vol. 16 No. 3, June 2002 345-365.


Heino J, Ojanlatva A. Patient Education and Counseling 2000;39:69–175.

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