Since the beginning of time, human beings have been engaging in the act of sex — for pleasure, for reproduction, or just to pass the time. And since what feels like forever, there has been a double standard when it comes to sexuality: Men have been afforded the freedom to fornicate as they please, while women are hushed and pushed aside for expressing the same sexual needs.
The truth is, many women like sex just as much (or more!) as their male counterparts. But when it comes to initiating the act, it’s often the man who’s “supposed to” make the first move because it’s not “ladylike” for a woman to make her sexual desires known. But, according to Daniel Bergner’s new book, What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire, this might not be a problem in the world of the female rat.
In the book, Bergner, a critically acclaimed journalist and contributing writing for The New York Times, shares some fascinating facts about the female lab rats he observed while conducting research for his new book, and their creative approach to getting the sex they want. During sex, a female rat will actually play some kind of tag with her partner, quickly darting away in the midst of his pumping so her pleasure doesn’t end too quickly — she wants it to last — and rightfully so. It’s not clear whether they orgasm, but “female rats do what feels good,” a researcher explains in an excerpt taken from Bergner’s book.
The book also reveals that when graduate students stroked female rats’ clitorises (which apparently look like little eraser heads) and then stopped, the rats would tug on the students’ sleeves and beg for more. “This,” writes Bergner, “went on and on.”
It turns out female animals don’t just enjoy sex, they are not shy about pursuing it either. Bergner’s new book is a reexamination of everything we think we know about sex and female biology. Here at HG, we believe there is so much power to be tapped into when a woman truly embraces and owns her sexuality — so perhaps there’s something to be learned from our animal friends. Take from it what you will.