Real sex is, well, naturally satisfying in a way that most modern people can barely grasp. If you’ve been “sexually active” (such a romantic term) for years without even trying it, your sensibilities might be pretty distorted at this point. Like the person raised on Cheetos who finally tries some fine French cuisine, you may actually think you prefer the empty calories to substance. But consider, just for a moment. What might it be like for a man and woman come together, just themselves, without throwing a million barriers (prophylactics, doses of hormones, goofy role-playing games, booze) in between? Is it possible that you’ve been having sex for years without really knowing what it’s supposed to be like?

For women, sex presents a confusing juxtaposition of needs. We like a little whiff of mystery and danger. At the same time, we crave security and tenderness. And when it comes to sex, we want both together. It can all be very confusing, even to us.

I imagine this is why some women turn to role-playing. They act out rape scenes or S&M fantasies with men they actually trust, looking for that strange combination of security and intrigue. Or they try to squeeze some tenderness out of bad boys. Or vampires. Sociobiologists sometimes speculate that this funny interplay is a vestige of the prehistoric feminine choice between tricksy, unreliable alpha males (who had great genes but preferred to spread their wild oats) and option-lite beta males (who compensated for their inferior genes by promising to help with the parenting). I have no need for this just-so theorizing. My explanation is much simpler.