When it comes to sex, men and women can be a switch or an iron

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor, recently touched on the changing roles of men and women's sexual identities on CNN.com by likening their arousal to switches and irons. It's a common saying that means men can be turned on as quickly as a light switch, while women take time to heat up.

The underlying meaning is that men possess a much more simplistic sex drive than women, one that responds to exclusively visual cues. Meanwhile, women analyze complex behavioral cues to get in the mood.

Even researchers tend to agree with the image. A recent book, "A Billion Wicked Thoughts," analyzed millions of websites, erotic videos and sexual searches, and the writers concluded that men and women had far different ways of becoming aroused.

"The male sexual brain is like a single toggle switch, whereas the female sexual brain is like the cockpit of an F1 fighter jet," Gaddam says, the news source reports. "There are tons of dials and instruments, and there's sophisticated calibration going on."

But Kerner asks if all men are really that simple – and if all women are that complex. He points to Sex and the City as a show that highlighted this very question, as the protagonist Carrie asks why women still can't have the same kind of no-strings-attached, sexual relationships as men often do.

He goes on to explain that things may not be as clear cut, and in reality some women can be the switches and men may be the irons.

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