Over the last few months, I’ve had several versions of the following conversation with female friends and acquaintances (because people I barely know tell me the darndest things). They begin by talking about a date with a guy they’ve been seeing that seemed on track for sex.

Me: And then what happened.

Friend: Nothing. We went back to my place but he was too tired to have sex.

Over and over, the point being driven home was that despite what every romantic comedy has taught us, men aren’t necessarily the ones who are more desirous of sex. We’ve been warned/educated by the media that men always want sex and that women are often withholding it from them.

But women, in my experience, are at least as libidinous if not more than some men.

As I was having some version of this conversation with a barista at my local coffee shop, I speculated that maybe it has to do with our respective ages. Both of us are in our late 20s, which for many women is when their sexual “peaks” begin. The men, however, peaked in their late teens and early 20s. Sexually speaking, men and women might be like two ships passing in the night. “Could that have something do with it?” I wondered aloud.

The barista agreed that this sounded plausible. Yes, it might boil down to the fact that men and women’s sexual peaks (and valleys) are wildly out of sync. Men’s desire to have sex is highest at the times they (and their partners) are least experienced and skilled. Women’s come at a point where they and their partners are much more capable yet not as enthusiastic as an 18-year-old boy.

My barista friend chimed in with an even more alarming thought: since many women date older than their own age, even if just by a few years, does this mean that we are destined to forever be out of step with our partners? Will we always be begging for sex? I sure hope our hypothesis is incorrect because I didn’t really date 18-year-olds when I was that age. I certainly don’t want to start now at 29.

Or might we be generalizing from far too small, self-selecting sample size–educated women in cities with liberal (or as conservatives might call us “promiscuous”) bent.

Or perhaps we’re being egomaniacal, thinking that these guys would otherwise want to sleep with us if it weren’t for nature taking their libidos down a notch. To put it into the annoying parlance of Greg “Soul Patch” Behrendt, maybe they just weren’t that into us.

Or maybe they really just were tired and had an early morning meeting.

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