Masculine Sexuality: What Gets Overlooked

Dr. Ley argues that the oft-blamed trope of “sex addiction” isn’t real.

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Almost anywhere you turn these days, if a man’s sexuality is news, it is usually news in a bad way. In the media, when a man gets in trouble for making bad decisions around sex, he is invariably called a sex addict. Between 85 and 95% of all so-called sex addicts are men. I don’t believe that sex addiction is real, and in fact, I call it a myth. But more than that, I believe that the concept of sex addiction represents an attack on male sexuality. Not only are almost all supposed sex addicts male, but all of the allegedly addictive sexual behaviors are behaviors that are predominantly engaged in by men. These behaviors include masturbation, use of pornography, prostitutes or sexual entertainment like strip clubs. Promiscuity, sex without commitment, and use of sex to manage stress or tension are also things that are frequently a part of male sexuality, whether we like it or not. But, male sexuality is not a disease, it is not evil, and it does not overpower men’s lives and choices.

In sex addiction, there is a common perception of male sexuality as intrinsi­cally selfish, as overly focused on “scoring” and sexual conquests, on anonymous, “soulless” sex, and on the outward manifestations of virility.  But there are other, neglected sides of male sexuality. Men are actually far more focused upon women’s needs, and upon closeness with women, than we give them credit for. Nancy Friday wrote that “Men’s love of women is often greater than their love of self.” Men give up friends and male camaraderie and accept a life of economic support of women, even leading up to an earlier death, all in order to be with women. More than half of all men describe that their best sexual encounters came when they “gave a woman physical pleasure beyond her dreams.” Men redi­rect their selfishness away from their own satisfaction, and toward a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment, by giving sexual satisfaction. Male sexuality often involves an intense focus on the needs of their partners, and men gain great pleasure, even a strong sense of manliness, from giving their lover sexual pleasure.

In fact, men’s desire to sexually satisfy their partners comes at the price of their own satisfaction. When a man is unable to make his partner orgasm, many men report incredible frustration, disappointment, and self-doubt. Women even complain that men put so much pressure and intent upon helping the woman achieve orgasm that the act ceases to be pleasurable and starts to feel more like childbirth. In such cases, women fake orgasms, not for themselves, but to satisfy their partner’s needs. Until a woman has an orgasm, a man doesn’t think he’s done his job, and his masculinity hangs in the balance.

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Men are taught from a young age that they must be sexually competent and sexually powerful with exaggerated and impossible ideals. Surveys of sex in America find that, compared to women, men are far more insecure and anxious about their sexual performance. Nearly 30 percent of men fear that they ejaculate too soon, and one man in every six reports significant feelings of anxiety about his sexual abilities to satisfy his partner. These are huge burdens that men carry, and are just one reason why many men pursue other forms of sex.

Recent sociological research found that men actually experience greater pain than women from the ups and downs of romantic relationships. These researchers found that not only did the negative aspects of a romantic relationship hurt men more than women, but the positive aspects and benefits of that relationship also have greater impact upon the man than the woman. Because women are better able to access outside support from friends and family, they often fare better than men, who are typically isolated, burdened with the expectation that they shouldn’t feel pain, or if they do, they must suffer alone.

For men, physical affection and sex is one of the main ways we feel loved, accepted, and regarded. For many men, it is only through physical love that we can voice tenderness and express our desire for togetherness and physical bonding. Only in sex can we let down boundaries and drop our armor enough to be emotionally vulnerable.

Sex plays an even greater role in the lives of men as a form of acceptance and mutual regard than it does for women. Women touch each other all the time, with hugs, holding hands, closer body contact, and smaller “personal space.” Men shake hands. Really good friends might, at best, punch each other in a loving way, do a careful “man hug,” or even swat each other’s buttocks, if it’s during an approved masculine sporting event. So the body-to-body contact that sex offers feeds an appetite, a craving, one that is often starved near to death in men.

Everybody today seems to accept that men seek sexual variety, and that this is “just the way men are.” This concept originates in evolution­ary theory, where the argument goes that men seek to spread their sperm far and wide, with as many women as possible, in order to reproduce as much as possible. In contrast, women are generally disposed to seek out “quality” in their mates, rather than quantity, given that it is a lot more work for a woman to reproduce than for a man.

But most people don’t know the rest of the story. The fact that men masturbate more than women and pursue activities like pornography, prostitutes and strippers are all ways that men express that sexual drive for variety without having to invest the enormous time and resources needed to meet the approval qualifications of most women. There are other, more subtle side-effects as well, such as the fact that men tend, on average, to be larger than women. This is a downstream effect of evolutionary pressure, as a larger size helps a man secure more mates and fight off competitors. But another consequence of this is seen in the many men who die in their youth from doing unbelievably stupid, risky things (the show Jackass comes to mind), as well as the fact that men die, on aver­age, at least ten years before most women. These risky behaviors represent high-risk, high-payout reproductive wagers by the forces of genetics, where successful men gain the opportunity for reproduction, and successful genes are passed on.

Within the sex addiction model, there is intent to “separate the behavior from the person,” and to split men from their sexual desires. Male sexuality is portrayed as something that men must guard against, and describe it as though it is a demonic force, lurking within our souls, which must be constrained, feared and even rejected. Men are portrayed as powerless to control themselves, in the face of sexual arousal that is too strong. As a result, men are told to be ashamed of the sexual desires that society and sex addiction theory has called unhealthy. But an essential part of man is lost when we encourage men to split them­selves from their sexuality.

Unfortunately, as we teach men to be men, to understand, accept, and express their masculinity, we rarely attend adequately to the loving, nurturing, and amo­rous side of men. The most positive way that society and media currently portray male sexuality is when it is depicted as bumbling and stupid-making, a force that turns men into fools, easily led by our penises. But more often, male sexuality is depicted as a force that hovers just on the edge of rape, rage and destruction. The sex addiction myth argues that healthy men must reject many parts of male sexuality, such as our desire for non-intimate sex, our use of sex to meet personal needs, even our view of sex as fun and exciting.

I disagree. What is necessary for a healthy man, for a complete masculinity, is the in­tegration, consolidation, and incorporation of these aspects. When we try to split off our desires for love and sex from ourselves, excising them from ourselves as something external and dangerous, we run the real risk of creat­ing men without compassion, without tenderness, and without the ability to nurture. It is easy to suggest that what we are trying to excise are the base, primitive parts of men’s eroticism, those desires to rape, dominate, and sat­isfy oneself selfishly, but in truth, those desires, as frightening as they can be, are integrally linked to male emotional desires for safety, acceptance, and belonging.

Those things that make men admired and respected—their strength, courage, independence, and assertiveness—are the same things that contribute to the differences in male and female sexuality. By condemning these characteristics, we run the real and frightening risk of abolishing qualities that are essential to healthy masculinity.

A healthy sexual male is one who accepts and understands his erotic and sexual desires, along with his drive for success, dominance and excellence. Healthy sexual choices come from internal acceptance and awareness, not rejection and shame. Research has shown that all men have the ability to exercise control over their levels of sexual arousal and sexual behavior, but no men can fully suppress their sexual desire. Healthy men can be men who go to strip clubs, visit prostitutes and watch pornography. They are men who make conscious choices, accepting the consequences of their actions.

Wilt Chamberlain was famously promiscuous, bedding thousands of women across his career and life. A shy, excluded kid, Wilt grew into a star. But he never chose to marry, making the conscious choice that promiscuity was important to him, and that he could not ethically commit to a single woman. Though he slept with many more women than any of the alleged sex addicts we hear about, Wilt was never called a sex addict, because his sexual choices were part of him, part of who he was, as a man. This is, I think, the goal for all men – to make their sexual choices an integrated part of who they are, and the kind of man they desire to be.

 

Photo—william.neuheisel/Flickr

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About David J. Ley

David J. Ley is a clinical psychologist in practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he oversees a large mental health clinic. Dr. Ley has been a guest on the Anderson Cooper Show, the Dr. Phil Show, numerous radio shows and has written for the London Telegraph and The New York Post. Interviews with this controversial, award-winning author and expert have appeared in Glamour Magazine, Salon, Huffington Post, and his work has been referenced in Playboy Magazine and in newspapers and magazines around the world. David is a husband and father, who believes strongly in the need to support a healthy form of masculinity. He is the author of The Myth of Sex Addiction (Rowman& Littlefield, 2012) and Insatiable Wives: Women Who Stray and the Men Who Love Them (Rowman& Littlefield, 2009).

Comments

  1. AlekNovy says:

    Masculine Sexuality: What Gets Overlooked

    The number one thing that gets overlooked is that we wait for men to DO everything, while women sit around and JUDGE.

    In 2012, we still have almost all women (and even most so-called feminists) waiting for men to do all the work in initiating, getting, finding and making sex happen – and then they get to bash the men for stuff they refuse to do.

    Until we start tackling the big elephant in the room, female laziness, I am wary of articles talking about “overlooked this overlooked that” where everyone keeps ignoring the number one most overlooked element – female passivity and laziness in sexuality and courtship.

    • Wow, this is a hostile comment. Sad to see things like this on a site called GOOD MEN Project.

      • Yes, I agree the hostility isn’t very appropriate. From him… But I notice you’re advice on how men can meet outdoorsy women, at http://geargals.com/2011/10/25/how-to-properly-meet-outdoorsy-women/ seems to be all recommended behaviors for men, actions, (“Take the initiative to create a connection.”, Ask for a phone number. A date. An email address.”, “Be up front about liking her. “) while commenting about not being “swarmy”. And rather judgemental polarity about negative behavior like “Don’t gaze at her bike and drool”, “treated like freaks of nature”, “incredibly shallow”, “turn tail and run”…

        There’s almost a hostility I sense from you about men’s behavior. That also isn’t very appropriate. Which isn’t to say there’s not truth in what you are saying, but just that it’s depowering to both men and women to play the sex role games we tend to be trapped in. Blaming each other is just a sign of it.

    • Even if women asked men out more often, there’s no guarantee they would ask you out. :-)

      The truth is, we live in a world where 90% of the men are pursuing 10% of the women and 90% of the women are pursuing, or waiting to be asked out by, 10% of the men. And a lot of people are going home alone.

      • Sarah, why don’t more women understand this? When feminists speak of the so called “double standard” don’t they realize that when they say “men” are deemed “studs” and admired for their sexual conquests, what they are really thinking of is this small slice of the male populatuion that they themselves worship! And of course other men admire that 10%. The vast majority of men are shut out of the sexual marketplace but you don’t hear feminists talking about their plight. The average (or below average) women has a sexual power that the 90% of men could only dream of. Yet, all men, the fat guy, the bald guy, the nerdy guy….they all want sex just as much as that 10%!! Isn’t the “double standard” logical when you think of it in realistic terms? How would these women, who feel so empowered by their sexual powers…how would they feel in the body the 90% male? I think they would come to understand the “stud\slut” distinction is mere logic and has nothing to do with some bizzaro patriarchy social conditioning. Hell, any guys here ever remeber talking abiut “exploring your sexuality”? All I know is I have an organ between my legs that is rick solid evry morning I wake up and gets aroused anytime I see a woman with curves. Yet, to have sex, despite the fact I think about it constantly, I have to compete with other men to get it! Do the “modern” “empowered” “liberated” women have to compete for sex? How would you feel if yoiu were hard wired by millions of years of evoiution to want sex all the time, yet must compete wi constantly just to get it with a decnt looking woman?

        • I agree that in theory it is far easier for women to find a sexual partner, if ALL they want is sex. Heck, men want sex so badly they will pay money for it. I think most women however don’t just want anyone with a d*ck, they want to feel a connection, even if it’s just a casual hookup. Most women will reject a man immediately if they don’t feel a “spark.” I’m making a generalization but I think most women will tolerate sexual frustration rather than have sex with just anyone who comes along. What men have to do to create a spark is very complicated and it’s different for every woman. But this explains in part why many women are passive and wait to be pursued; they are waiting for that spark of attraction before they will do anything.

          I also note your reference to “decent looking women”. Women who are not conventionally attractive, older, or otherwise seen as less desirable do not have guys flocking around them. I was never a “hottie” myself and I spent a lot of time being ignored by men. So, unless you are in the most desirable 10% of either gender, you will have a tough time at it. No one really wants to settle if that means “having sex wuth someone I have no attraction to.” On the other hand, if someone is always rejecting available prospects they may need to reconsider their criteria.

          • Terence Manuel says:

            I wonder if most women would need a spark for George Clooney, Tom Brady, or Brad Pitt?

            Sarah2 is correct. However, average guys like me are having a ball. Not bragging but I do not have trouble getting women. Why? I listen to them. I get them to talk (usually about themselves). I express interest in them. Look her in the eyes. Make her feel special. I create some “sparks!” Eventually ignition will occur with some. Most guys just don’t have any game. Sorry.

            I can even get some of those 10%. Many are lonely and simply need a friend. Women crave attention like we men crave sex. I believe in giving the people what they want!

            Life Is Short. Enjoy!

            Cheers!

      • @ Sarah2

        Totally agree!
        And 99 percent of male complaints show how hard it is for us to get over that.

    • Aleknovy:

      “waiting for men to do all the work in initiating, getting, finding and making sex happen”
      Sorry, that’s how courtship goes. Men tend to be hornier and oftentimes warm up to women than the other way around (think about, it’s men who are much much more likely to fall in love at first sight), so of course, they do most of the initial work.

    • Lil Bit says:

      It’s not laziness or passivity.
      Think of it in this term.
      A person has to eat but the food is scarce and has to go out and capture/kill/attain what is needed.
      Imagine if this person instead had food showing up on the door step every morning.
      Do you think that this same person would continue to go out day after day to hunt for something that is practically handed to them? People tend to work smart, not hard.
      What person would go searching/hunting for a need that shows up on their front door every morning?

      In a nutshell, it’s all about supply and demand. If men weren’t so “consumed” (for lack of a better word) with getting sex. If they had the mentality of “it’s fun, it feels good, I desire it, but I dont’ NEED it to live. If men lowered their SUPPLY, women’s DEMAND would go up.

  2. “Healthy men can be men who go to strip clubs, visit prostitutes and watch pornography”

    I am not of the belief that all these things are necessarily bad things, but as they way they currently operate in MAINSTREAM society, they are arguably very bad for women. While I don’t want to demonize men or their desires, how can we say that a man with a healthy sexuality is one who actively participates in activities that degrade and bring down women? Please note, I am not saying that men should be punished for having many partners or for viewing pornography or anything that some traditional communities might label as being sexually deviant. Nor am I saying that all women who participate in sex work or pornography are necessarily “imprisoned” by the patriarchy. Men, women and everyone in between (gender queer folks!) should be able to have as much consensual, no-harm fun as anyone when it comes to sex. However, to say that healthy men can engage in certain activities because it meets their sexual needs feels dismissive of all the complexities and issues that arise from mainstream sex work, strip clubs and pornography (complexities and issues that affect men as well as women).

    Perhaps I am taking that sentence too far, but I think Esperanza’s comment expresses my anxiety best, ” I do not know what this article is supposed to demonstrate beside trying to make women accept all aspects of male sexuality, no matter who gets hurt in the process, whether it be their significant other or people in the sex industry”

    • Otherwise, I was actually quite taken with the article up until that point.

    • “However, to say that healthy men can engage in certain activities because it meets their sexual needs feels dismissive of all the complexities and issues that arise from mainstream sex work, strip clubs and pornography (complexities and issues that affect men as well as women).”

      How many of these complexities arise from the social (and in the case of prostitution, legal) stigma associated with them? If there was more transparency and perhaps regulation of these industries, there’d be less room for exploitation. Instead prostitution is largely illegal in the west, strip clubs and pornography is viewed as an already ‘dirty’ profession, and as such exploitation and abuse is expected. It becomes something of a self-fulfilling prophesy.

      • And if you were to go to a men’s 12-step sex addicts group and listen to the stories, you’ll hear of boys who grew up neglected and sexually abused, who never got help dealing with that or growing up into “healthy men”, good relationships.

        It’s all very self-fulfilling.

    • Where I live there are legal brothels, regulated with guards, safe sex is mandatory, etc. So if I went to that brothel, would it be degrading or demeaning the worker?

      The fact that some porn is degrading doesn’t make all porn degrading, that’d be as silly as assuming movies are degrading because someone filmed a kid being bullied. When a man looks at porn it doesn’t mean he has to look at mainstream porn, nor degrading porn. As others have commented here it seems amateur porn is the most popular amongst the GMP commentators and I reject any notion that amateur porn is degrading as a whole.

      “. However, to say that healthy men can engage in certain activities because it meets their sexual needs feels dismissive of all the complexities and issues that arise from mainstream sex work, strip clubs and pornography (complexities and issues that affect men as well as women). ”
      And quite a lot of clothing is made by very low paid workers, hell many goods are produced in such conditions. Do you support those industries as well knowingly? Or do you assume it’s all legit and ok, which I’d say many men probably assume of the strip clubs (legal ones at least). It depends on where they are going, what sex workers they use, what porn they watch, so your comment is actually dismissive of the legit, non exploiting aspects of the industries.

      I find that when there is a discussion of porn someone usually comments about how bad the industry is and then conflates the negatives of the industry with ALL porn, that is shaming in my book. As a man who watchs porn I reject the notion all porn is degrading, I understand some productions are bad and if I know of them I will avoid them (I usually watch amateur stuff anyway) but why the attempt to throw in the negatives?

      Do you eat meat? Did you know that in some cases chickens are grown couped up in a cage in horrific conditions? If you eat meat, how could I assume you live a healthy and respectful life when you support an industry that is inhumane to chickens? Do you wear clothes? Did you know some workers are exploited terribly so by buying and wearing clothing you’re supporting an industry which is horrible for those workers.

      “how can we say that a man with a healthy sexuality is one who actively participates in activities that degrade and bring down women?”
      See, that’s a classic case of shaming the men. You paint the entire industry as negative and thus his actions directly help keep the negativity going, yet the same could be said for pretty much every single industry which has had instances of poor working conditions, exploitation, etc. If I make porn with someone and someone else masturbates to it, are they participating in an activity which degrades and brings down women? What about if it’s gay porn? Hell the porn industry has instances of degrading men yet you dismissed them by failing to mention them, it was Just about the women and how the women suffer.

      Hell sex itself is degrading because some women and men are degraded, do you have sex? You’re participating in an activity which degrades men and women, how is that healthy? Understand yet? Sheeesh!

      • @ Archie

        To your question:
        Yes.
        It degrades you both.
        That’s why brothels have guards: to keep the reaction to a repellent soul experience below the nauseated rage one might expect.

  3. This article is very interesting when placed against the backdrop of a feminist movement to encourage women to live promiscuous lifestyles. Look, I know its about choice, but bottom line, how do you expect men to respond to the avialibility of all that sex? You expect him to be faithful? You expect men to even want to ever settle down? I wish the pop feminsts of today would at least take the time to think about how men will naturally react to a world that rewards men for sexually attractive qualities and punishes them for being a virtuous man. To be very frank, it sucks to watch all these super single men have access to all that cheap easy sex while you are stuck trying to do the right thinkg and sacrifice for those you care about, when in the end its the goodlooking loser that is rewarded with all the sex. Sure, feminists will tell me to just deal with it, but if you lived a year in a mans body (a man that would otherwise have access to all that sex with different women if he weren’t ina relaionship) you would understand the inner struggle in a man torn by his natural instict in a world where women now provide easy access to sex, and his desire to be a good man as well.

    • But a lot of guys posting on this website complain that sex is not all that available; women are supposedly so picky and judgmental that only a tiny minority of men ever get laid, apparently.

      • Hi Sarah,…we are dealing with a very touchy subject between men and women…lets just say we are trying to get it right. As for your comment, I’ll have to say, and very few comments mean much to my wisdom, that what you are hearing of available loving sex…yeppers…there isn’t much for many men…hardly ever for

        many..

      • So I see a lot of women writing about not wanting “to settle”, or resigning themselves “to settle” for a man, who apparently isn’t quite up to their standards. What’s this about?

        It seems like this fits with what Ray, others are saying, that 90% of women are looking for those 10th percentile of men. Muscular, big career with money, “good men”, idk.. . It seems very patriarchal to me actually. Alpha males.

        To me, it seems like dating sites, people often have a consumer-shopping mentality they bring to relationships. They have a long-ish list of features to exclude almost all choices. Which might be fine choosing new shoes. It’s a mentality that’s of course highly developed in our consumer culture.

        But relationships in my experience aren’t about avoiding “problems” because there are always problems and in the long term, if that’s what you want, bad things are sure to happen: your partner will loose their job, get in a long career funk, have health problems, gain a lot of weigh, have a time-consuming family relationship, mental health issues like CD or depression, not like your leisure time favorite activities, etc. Relationships are about learning to love your partners faults and overcoming “problems” together so they become a triumph to celebrate. It brings you together more.

        As Dan Savage says, you get a short few criteria to reject people with. The rest, you learn to love. That is the stuff you grow by. Rejecting everyone just keeps you from learning and growing as a person.

        • “10th percentile of men”

          I mean top 10%. 90th percentile.

          • Allan–I think you might be misunderstanding what ‘settling’ means from many women’s point of view. I actually hear a lot of men saying, “I have money, I work out, I have skills and talents and dogs…why do women disrespect me?” For many women, it’s not about a ‘list of traits,’ but about chemistry and getting along. The last time I had list of criteria was before I ever had an actual relationship. I’ve learned a lot since. I completely agree with what Dan Savage says–that the more criteria you have, the more life and good people you miss out on. Your comment shows a disconnect between the sexes. I always thought men were the ones with more specific preferences. He likes hot Blondes or Asian chicks or skinny girls or whatever-cup tits or a vagina that looks a certain way. As a woman, it’s all about chemistry and connection for me, whether it’s a casual relationship or a long term one. ‘Settling’ for someone has nothing to do with abs or chiseled chin or money or the exact same interests–it’s more to do with never having felt that ‘spark.’ The ‘spark’ fades, sure, and you have to face up to a lot of problems, but realizing you never felt it at all or that the attraction is completely gone is different.

        • Muscular, big career with money, “good men”, idk.. . It seems very patriarchal to me actually. Alpha males.

          Well, yes,of course a lot of women like those qualities in a man.

      • @ Sarah:
        I like to think “discerning,” not picky.
        It may be that women perceive the totality of flaws and damaged potentialities that make a man unsuitable, in the last analysis, for her bed. Many of these shortcomings bear some connection, in my opinion, to Dr. Ley’s short summary of the lack of what you might call erotic preconditioning in men in Anglo-Saxon societies: limits on touching, expressions of warmth, tenderness, noncompetitive companionship, etc. These are all debits we expect women to make good on, it seems. Mostly by sleeping with us, possibly by loving us in some other fashion.

        What would be the attraction for a woman in taking on a reclamation project of that size? That’s asking them to use their sexuality as a kind of tow truck and drag our damaged being out of its own ruts.

    • @ Ray:
      Having democratic expectations for sex is a bad idea.
      The talents are as unevenly distributed as in any meaningful field. The exceptions reap the glories. Why should an average man believe he’s got high returns coming on his averageness? I think that feminism wounded this conceit, and wounded it deeply. It dissolved a private (hence ultimate) source of confidence for middling men everywhere that no matter what, they were entitled to pick from the high shelves of womanhood.

      Feminism reimposed averageness on that great mass of American men vicariously participating in the heroic exploits of a few. Average men have to take their lumps: critiques, rejections, indifference, celibacy. A lot of us prefer resentment to reinvention (and almost anything to self-examination). Maybe love will be a less bitter game for a generation born under different rules.

    • Thanks Ray,
      Pop feminists dont seem to get that men are more sex oriented and less relationship oriented. They dont seem to get that men are not women!

    • Lil Bit says:

      I especially enjoy that you believe it is the woman’s responsibility to keep A Man’s actions in check.

      “Look, I know its about choice, but bottom line, how do you expect men to respond to the avialibility of all that sex? You expect him to be faithful? You expect men to even want to ever settle down?”

      Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you need to take it.
      Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

      Do you have such low opinions of males to truly believe they have no self-discipline? that the only way for a man to reject something is that it is not offered in the first place?

      Unofortunately, based off the evidence, this is the case. but to propagate this belief seems counterproductive.

  4. EyeLean5280 says:

    I believe sex addiction is real, but very rare. We’re on a witch hunt over it because, as always, America responds to thorny issues that involve pleasure with hysteria.

    • See, it’s funny because I think sex addiction is more around then we know. While I do agree that sex addiction is overly exploited in the cases of men in the lime light being called out for it, I do think that among us regular people, sex addiction is probably much more an issue then we want to deal with. We’ve gone from being over chaste about sex and have tipped the scale the other way to a “free-love-do-whatever-makes-you-feel-good” way of life.

    • Eyelean,
      I dont think every man accused has an addiction, but i think it’s becoming more and more common, esp with porn addiction. I mean nowadays we have 12 year old boys going to the hospital for dehydration because they spent the day watching porn. And also grown men with hernias from constant masturbation. Men leaving the living breathing wife/gf in bed alone so he can have fun at the computer. That unfortunately is the present and will become even more common in the future. But I’m sure women will just be expected to tolerate it.

      • I mean nowadays we have 12 year old boys going to the hospital for dehydration because they spent the day watching porn. And also grown men with hernias from constant masturbation.

        Bullshit. Without a source, those sound like urban legends, but even if you could show documented cases to back up those claims, you would have to show evidence of them being commonplace occurrences for your “Nowadays we have…” generalizations to hold true. Otherwise, they’re just stories of medical curiosities, not trends or epidemics. And even if those unusual things happened somewhere, it would be rather sensationalistic to claim that *porn* caused dehydration, or *masturbation* caused hernias.

        Dehydration comes from not drinking enough water, and I’ll bet you any amount of money that failing to hydrate enough while playing sports lands more 12 yr. olds (or any other age) in the hospital for dehydration than porn, but that doesn’t mean sports are a morally repugnant addiction. It means people need to stay hydrated. Hernias usually come from heavy lifting or strain, neither of which are common to masturbation, though someone who already has a hernia might aggravate or notice it more during masturbation. (If you can find a medical expert that says otherwise, cite it, but my consultation with Dr. Google couldn’t find a single instance of a medically trained person describing a hernia caused by masturbation, or saying that it was common “nowadays”.)

        Men leaving the living breathing wife/gf in bed alone so he can have fun at the computer.

        You mean that living breathing wife/gf who isn’t in a state of constant readiness and willingness to have sex? Would you prefer he force himself on the woman he loves and respects whether she’s in the mood or not? Perhaps I’m jumping to an unwarranted conclusion, but I don’t get the feeling that you’d be happier if men just stayed in bed next to their living/breathing wife/gf and masturbated without the aid of computer, in which case the bottom line of your complaint would be that the person who wants sex less should have complete control over how much sexual satisfaction either partner can get, even when it comes to self-pleasure. That sounds a lot more selfish to me than leaving the bed for some porn so as not to disturb or inconvenience someone who has no interest at that moment in engaging in any sexual activity with you. I would expect a loving partner to not only tolerate that, but appreciate it.

        • “You mean that living breathing wife/gf who isn’t in a state of constant readiness and willingness to have sex? Would you prefer he force himself on the woman he loves and respects whether she’s in the mood or not?”

          This is where a lot of the social narrative surrounding relationships and porn pisses me off. There’s this ridiculous expectation that both people in a relationship will have the exact same libido, and if they don’t, then the person with the higher libido should just suffer through it. So pretty much yeah, Marcus, I’m agreeing with you.

        • Marcus said: “You mean that living breathing wife/gf who isn’t in a state of constant readiness and willingness to have sex? Would you prefer he force himself on the woman he loves and respects whether she’s in the mood or not?”

          Why do women have to be in a constant state of readiness and willingness to have sex for her man to perhaps exercise a bit of self control? I’m not saying a man should never masturbate. But I find the arguement strange when it’s pitted on the back that women need to always be up and willing to have sex for a man and if she isn’t, then he just needs to use other women, visual or otherwise in return.

          When did we create a society where the second you felt something, you need to act on it? Look, I get it. Not everyone feels horny at the same time. Sometimes a man’s in the mood and his woman isn’t. But when did we become unable to control themselves partially? Giving us (or men in this case) the only options to masturbate to porn, force himself on the woman he loves or go out searching for it through other women? Aren’t there other choices?

          Your comment suggests to me that the second a man is horny, he needs to have something right there to supplement for his needs. That no longer do we need to practice much self control when it comes to flighty, whims and fancies. And yes, I think sexual desires can be a flight thing and should be controlled at times. I don’t personally believe the over PC commentary that if it feels good and doesn’t hurt anyone, do it. I’m not sure that’s a good enough criteria to do or don’t do something. There was a time in history when porn was not as accessible. And that while men may have used it, they didn’t use it as much as how it’s incorporated into life today. And I think this argument I’ve been seeing among men lately, the argument that the second a man feels horny and he doesn’t have a warm body available to him to satisfy himself with, he needs to seek out all other kinds of things, is just a reflection of how important porn has become to society. Overly important. What did men do 30 years ago with internet porn? I’m sure they survived. And I’m sure they didn’t need an endless stream of internet beauties to masturbate to to supplement the times when their partners couldn’t be the perfect little sex goddesses that many men seem so focused on today.

          There was also a time when using some self control and restraint could be a positive thing if it meant bigger rewards later.

          Perhaps it’s selfish when a woman doesn’t want her partner to use porn every time he’s horny and she isn’t available for it. But perhaps it’s also selfish when men use porn the second they feel horny and defend it on the back of a real life woman being a real life woman. Not a fantasy. Being a woman who doesn’t always feel like having sex. Perhaps the endless stream of perfect little sex receptacles that have been provided for a largely male viewing audience as in reality change the way men see real woman and have discounted real woman’s emotional needs vs his sexual ones for said x amount of perfect little sex receptacles.

          I just wonder what men did before internet porn. I think they put their Playboys down more then men that have the internet do today.

          • I’m sure women 200 years ago didn’t need romance novels, dildos, vibrators, porn, and a whole host of other masturbatory aids yet some women use them today.

            What did men do before? Probably fantasized about other women as much as they do now except they used glimpses in their memories, playboys, catalogues, pictures of movie stars, etc. Perhaps men of before were shamed into masturbation being naughty, dirty, sinful so they masturbated less. Perhaps they saw hookers, or perhaps women had more sex with them, perhaps they simply didn’t do anything or did a hobby to cope.

            I think it’s something the couple needs to talk about and both men and women need to come to an agreement on what is fine for their relationship. If he/she is fine with her/him playing whilst watching porn cuz the other isn’t in the mood then so be it. If they don’t agree, they need to work it out. It shouldn’t automatically be selfish either way.

            The orgasm is a wonderful tool for destressing, I use it a lot to relax and calm down my anxiety. I can do it twice a day and those days I’m usually the least stressed, I have a high sex drive and maybe my partner won’t equal that.

            Self control is an interesting term, it’s used both positively and negatively, it can be shameful, eg, Why don’t women keep their legs together until marriage, can’t they show self-control? It can also be positively viewed, eg, I held back from punching that annoying person out. Now the question is, does a guy need to use it to stop masturbating everytime he’d normally do it? I don’t think so unless it’s interfering with their life, it can be quite a positive tool to use of course but it can also be quite detrimental for those that have trouble limiting themselves.

            “Perhaps it’s selfish when a woman doesn’t want her partner to use porn every time he’s horny and she isn’t available for it. But perhaps it’s also selfish when men use porn the second they feel horny and defend it on the back of a real life woman being a real life woman. Not a fantasy. Being a woman who doesn’t always feel like having sex. Perhaps the endless stream of perfect little sex receptacles that have been provided for a largely male viewing audience as in reality change the way men see real woman and have discounted real woman’s emotional needs vs his sexual ones for said x amount of perfect little sex receptacles.”

            I’d guess many see it as a “harmless” way to get off without bothering the partner that doesn’t want to have sex, a way to burn off energy, lower anxiety, feel good but also respecting their partners wishes in regards to them not being ready for sex. The couple needs to workout what is an acceptable way for THEM individually as her wishes or his may mean they don’t want their partner looking at porn. I disagree though for anyone who assumes it’s always going to be the woman not wanting her partner to look at porn for example, each case is individual.

            “There was also a time when using some self control and restraint could be a positive thing if it meant bigger rewards later. ”

            Could also be a negative thing, unneccessarily going without orgasms for a period of time and for what, because your partner isn’t ready? Well masturbation is always available. If you’re unlucky enough that you and your partners sex drives differ greatly then why would should one simply stop masturbation if you can’t fulfill their needs? Why be in a relationship if you both don’t work at taking care of each others needs? This also varies by each relationship, and also extends to emotional needs, comfort needs, etc. If 1 isn’t putting the effort in for the “touch” need like cuddling etc then they need to lift their game within reason, same for sex, all forms of intimacy.

            There is such a focus on “other women” being used, who says he is THINKING of other women? Who says they aren’t simple visual representations of her as an aid to the mind, where his mind places him as the male actor and his wife as the female actor? When I look at porn I often find myself simply thinking of the person I like and the porn just helps to see the “bits” (I can imagine the face easy but bodies can be hard to imagine). It basically ends up as me not watching porn, but imagining myself having with the person I like. The couple could always make their own porn to help that along as well though not everyone is willing to do it.

            Now do all fantasy methods get women/people bothered? Are they bothered when someone watches a violent movie or plays a violent game? They’re afterfall fantasizing about murder. Or is it mainly sexuality that gets people insecure? People let off steam in all sorts of ways, why does porn and masturbation cop some of the harshest judgements of a persons character?

            • Well there you go. Masturbatory aids for both genders seem to have been around a long time.

              I’ve often wondered if men truly were more visually turned on, or benefitted more from visual based porn vs women. I’ve heard women tend to like romance novels and the written word porn more, not sure if its true. So that could be a reason visual porn is more popular with men. I also wonder if it’s simply along the way men were socialized into liking the visuals more and what effects that has had?

              I know for myself that I can be turned on quite quick from visual stimulus, a few seconds, is that similar for women or do they need additional or different stimulus? There seems to be quite a lot of arguments between the genders regarding porn and I am curious as to what differences there are which might cause issues, maybe one gender is generally more horny, maybe one prefers 1 type of stimulus.

              I realize there will be individual differences person to person, but as a whole it seems the genders do have a clear difference in what they desire. I do hear more n more about women enjoying porn though so maybe how they were socialized plays a part in what they like.

            • Archy, I get it. “They do it too!” So why get into the specifics of men when you can point to the other direction and justify everything under the umbrella of “they do it too” right? It’s a common argument. I’m of the personal believe that not everything between men is 50/50 all the time. There are issues women face that can be common to their femininity and there are issues men face that can be common to their masculinity and how each gender doesn’t always fully accept or understand one another. But if we are forever going to use the, “they do it too!” argument to justify specific topics and issues highlighted within one gender over the other at any given time, we aren’t going to get very far.

              I’m aware that women masturbate and they use certain devices to help them masturbate. I am not against masturbation. If a woman wants to use a vibrator, fine. If men want to use those things that replicate a vagina, fine. But those inanimate objects are different from a visual media world that sets very real expectations of sex. My beef is mostly with the current climate of over indulgence in all things sexual because it’s pushed in our faces 24/7 and because we easily seek it out ourselves 24/7. If you over eat and are overweight, you are demonized in this culture. If you get your sexual “needs” met at any rate or style, you’re just exploring your sexuality and are “healthy”. I don’t think more in your face sex in our culture is breeding more healthy sex to be honest. My beef is the main messages I see presented in a lot of male and female media populated about expectations on who women need to be to be worthy of a sexuality. I am sick of going to the movies and seeing another movie where the actor is 10 years older and playing next to a young pretty co-star.

              I also don’t think women are not nearly as predatory sexually of exploiting men negatively as a lot of men seem bent on through their support of porn and certain stereotyped ideals of beauty within women. Romance novels are usually about kind, strong men that save the day. Unrealistic but it’s not abusive. Porn is often about young 18 year olds dressing up in school girl outfits being told what a four letter name she is while on all fours. I know it’s not PC to say but I think those situations are different. I also never once heard women ask their men to play out, dress up, act out, from anything they had seen in a romance novel. I have heard of numerous times where men have asked women to play out, dress up, act out what they see in porn. I have heard many men compliment and encourage women to be more like porn stars in the bedroom. I have never heard a woman compliment or encourage her man to be more like a Romantic figure in a book. Further, while I do think a lot of women enjoy romance novels, I wonder what age and demographic is that spends time reading them. Because when I was younger, I read them. But as I got older,I out grew them. I also never masturbated to a romance novel in my life. I just liked the story. I also have had this discussion with a lot of women who also don’t masturbate to romance novels. They just seem to enjoy them. Like men enjoy video games stereotypically. You are broaching on a whole other discussion and one I don’t agree is aligned 50/50. If you want to compare romance novels to something, compare them to video games for men. Both are stereotypically enjoyed by one gender. both can have fantasy themes and stereotypes of each gender. Both can have sexual elements in them. But I doubt most are masturbating to them. You will also have to get into the specifics of romance novels vs erotica. Not all romance novels are created the same. Isn’t that your argument when it comes to porn? How many women buy which kind of book. How many women are actually masturbating to it. I get it. Women masturbate too. But you completely ignored my comments in favor of the old “look over there” trick.

              As for using sexual release for distressing, I have no doubt that’s true. I just doubt that relying heavily on masturbation as a means to distress is a healthy way to go about such things. There are other ways to distress regardless. This is not anyone’s only option. And if masturbation is being used to counter the uncomfortable feelings of stress, then masturbation is being used much like a drug to put the mind at ease for a short fix rather then dealing with the problem. Much how other people turn to drinking or other items. I had a talk with a man recently that said he use to really be into art and making things, but now all he does is work, come home, masturbate to porn. This guy works, he has his own place, he’s successful outwardly. But he gave up something infavor of porn. I wonder how many people today really looked at how they spent their time and how much time they wasted doing certain things when they could have been doing something they use to enjoy, or spending time with their wives/husbands, albeit free of sex, or with their kids. I really always wonder about that.

              I am also not of the belief that just because something doesn’t interfere with your life to the point where it’s spinning out of control and obvious, that it’s not infact harmful. I don’t think we need to see people living on the streets, with no home or work for them to be doing unhealthy things. My dad was a total work and alcoholic. But he still maintained a very successful business and family. And don’t get me wrong, It’s not that I think masturbation is wrong. I think what we have today is a society that relies over heavily on masturbation the second they feel a little twinge in their pants. And that the kind of sex that is portrayed in a lot of media, not just porn, is really disturbed. Such as the fact that so much popular media shows older male actors with young female counterparts and really marginalize older women.

              Finally, we’ve had this discussion before…Didn’t we agree that when it comes to porn, it’s probably a combination of men thinking of other women and perhaps thinking of his own partner too? I still fail to see how a man using other women to think of his own makes any sense. I think that this is more of a man toggling around in his mind between the bevy of beauties at his fingertips and using his own partner in the mix of those girls as well. Which would point to him partially at least thinking of other women. I don’t consider that the positive you do.

              I am not going to talk about violent movies. That is not the topic here. It is yet another case of you wanting to point your finger over there and say “look over there.”. I wish you had spent more time addressing more of the specifics of my post if you were going to respond to it. But you went off on your own agenda.

            • “Porn is often about young 18 year olds dressing up in school girl outfits being told what a four letter name she is while on all fours.”

              Okay, I’m not addressing the rest of your comment here, because it’s wicked long. I’m just addressing this bit that I quoted. For some reason, no matter what we tell you, you are unable to view porn as anything other than abusive. Most porn is not like that; most porn is not like what you described in your quote. We’ve had this discussion, and yet you are still basing a lot of your assumptions on the idea that porn=abuse.

            • No matter what “we” tell you? Because the way you see, this collective “we” (you and Archy?), something is the right way and the way I see it is wrong? Who said?

              We disagree here HeatherN. I used the very real stereotype to describe porn because that is exactly what a lot of porn is. Minus the school girl skirts or not. I am not ignoring all the vast amount of other sub genra’s of porn out there. Most porn has a very stereotypical archetype. I do not think porn is the equal oppurtunity entity you do. Is this where I tell you, “no matter what I tell you, you are unable to see that’s exacly how porn is”. That wouldn’t exactly be fair to you would it? We see the media differently. I do think that the majority of porn sets up stereotypes and standards that remain the same .

            • There are plenty of issues in which there is no right or wrong answer, and where perception does matter…and where different perceptions can both be valid. The problem is that this isn’t one of those times. You can argue that the type of porn your talking about is problematic…that’s an opinion. The problem is that you are assuming the type of porn you’re talking about is what most porn is. And in order to make that claim, you’d need to provide data.

              On the other hand we (yes Archy and I) are saying that the majority of porn isn’t abusive, and for evidence we use our own experiences googling different types of porn. Porn is a huge industry. It has as much variety as any other medium. You can’t make sweeping generalizations about movies or t.v. either…because those media are just too big and too diverse. Porn is the same, it’s big and it’s diverse.

            • Annatasha says:

              Porn, strippers and prostitutes are what I think the article is focusing on. Those professions are a matter of supply and demand. If a man is with a woman or women that meet the level of his needs he really doesn’t have to go outside the bonds of the relationship. I think one of the original points being lost is the different levels of desire for sex. The expectations of the women seem to be that the man’s drive is wrong and needs to be brought down to the level comfortable for the woman which involves changing the basic driving force of the man. That leads back to the supply and demand situation.
              Men will interchange a woman with other women in his thoughts. We can’t make them stop and nor should we want to. The biggest complaint I hear from my male friends is the amount of control a woman has over their lives. Often it’s over things a woman thinks their man is doing wrong, or it’s dirty, or it’s not the way they think it should be done and often morality is brought into it. And almost all of them feel they are doing their damnedest to make their woman happy and it still isn’t enough.
              Men are not women. To point out a male behavior and then give a value judgment on what they do will never change the friction felt between men and women. To say something like, “well that can’t be good, can it?” or “ I don’t consider that positive and healthy, do you?” is adding a value judgment to the thought. A value judgment can be words used to criticize and evaluate, to advise, warn, and persuade. The purpose of those words is to guide choices of ours and others by commending or prescribing. Much of what I hear from the anti-anything group is when there is a behavior they don’t like is to prescribe what they believe will fix it to their liking. And many women don’t like their men being a guy. Granted a woman can civilize a man and make him presentable to society if the family life didn’t do that to a child. But a guy will always be different than a woman.
              There is a large contingent of men who hate women and many more are just tolerant of women because they want to be in their good graces. This is because women want to control every aspect of their man’s life. Tell me the name of a sitcom where a man isn’t a bumbling idiot who couldn’t leave the house if it weren’t for his good wife.

            • I’m with you, except for the way that you’re gender essentialising. The idea that “women can civilize a man” or that men have a higher sexual drive are huge generalizations. Some men have higher sex drives, and some women do. Some men have multiple partners, and some men do, etc, etc.

            • HeatherN said: ” And in order to make that claim, you’d need to provide data.”

              I need to provide data to support my claims but you don’t HeatherN? I see. Interesting.

            • Erin, I could provide links to a bunch of different porn sites that provide a range of porn…but I’m thinking you’d not really want to look at them all. I’m simply saying that porn is diverse, which isn’t making a generalized claim so much as taking apart your generalized claim. I agree that the type of porn you keep referring to exists. I’m just saying a lot of other types of porn also exist and in great quantities.

              So yeah, for my data, I’d suggest you google amateur porn or real lesbian porn or “porn real couples.” Or for a look at porn with women who don’t fit the stereotypical body type – google the term porn with any of the following: big bush, big women, small breasts, pregnant women, long labia, mature women. You’ll find a whole bunch of very diverse types of porn out there. Heck, just google the term “porn” on it’s own and the third site you’ll come to has a whole bunch of amateur porn on it, that most certainly isn’t the stereotypical type of porn you’re talking about.

            • Oh, porn sites is the data you want to use? Well, go ahead, provide the links to the porn sites. It’s not like I’ve never seen porn before. You think I am not familiar with the stuff that is out there. I’ve purposely made myself familiar with it because I had such issues concerning porn and my relationships for a long time. So I have done market research on it, you can say. You can email me privately though because GMP already believes this argument played out in this article. [email protected]

              By the way, it’s funny that you just told me to “google” the word porn. I’ve done that on my own accord many times to make my own point. It’s just funny thaty ou think it makes your point. I’ve googled porn, and the very first couple links I came across seemed pretty degrading toward women in my book. And most of the women were infact young, with big breasts, and nice little bodies with maybe one or two older women thrown in. So it pretty much supported my claims when I did that little experiment more then a few times on my own.

            • GMP Moderator says:

              We don’t want to stifle discussion, but this is going in circles. Feel free to keep discussing it in private e-mail. Or, if anyone has something new to bring to the conversation that is great too.

            • “And if masturbation is being used to counter the uncomfortable feelings of stress, then masturbation is being used much like a drug to put the mind at ease for a short fix rather then dealing with the problem.”

              For me, I have an anxiety disorder so I can get too much anxiety at times, masturbation and orgasm basically kill down the anxiety massively. I’ve been nervous before a surgery and I’ve masturbated, it reduced me from very jittery to quite calm. I also use it for the days where I am TOO anxious, it allows me to continue on the day in a calmer mind and I am more able to focus on things. I believe it’s to do with oxytocin but I’m not 100% sure, as far as I know there is a certain neurotransmitter released which helps combat adrenaline and gives a calming effect and is also responsible for men falling asleep after sex at times.

              Of course like many things you can become addicted to it, so everyone needs to keep it in moderation.

              “Finally, we’ve had this discussion before…Didn’t we agree that when it comes to porn, it’s probably a combination of men thinking of other women and perhaps thinking of his own partner too? I still fail to see how a man using other women to think of his own makes any sense. I think that this is more of a man toggling around in his mind between the bevy of beauties at his fingertips and using his own partner in the mix of those girls as well. Which would point to him partially at least thinking of other women. I don’t consider that the positive you do.”

              Well you aren’t me, so you have no idea what I think but I can assure you in the times I am thinking of someone special they pretty much have 100% of my mind, the porn is simply to visualize the body which I have great trouble imagining. But I never said I don’t ever think of the women themselves, there are times I do think of those who are in the videos but it usually depends on what I feel at the time, and if I currently have a crush/like someone. I tend to have my mind full of 1 woman when I am in love or have a huge crush. It can be a positive.

              Erin, seriously, how many pornographic videos have you seen? Are you watching a wide variety of websites or are you googling for very stereotypical stuff? Are you looking at just the degrading porn or all of it? You’re making major sweeping generalizations yet a few have said they can find plenty of porn that doesn’t fit the bill, and quite frankly I think you have a negative view of porn and are projecting that negativity across the medium by ASSUMING most porn is the same. Can you provide evidence that the majority of porn is degrading, with older men and younger actresses? My most recent viewing of porn had actresses aged 18-40ish, men of similar range, and in fact quite a few of the videos were solo with no s words, they were infact extremely sensual videos of the woman masturbating to a real orgasm (or a damn good fake one!).

              I’m growing tired of debating the porn stuff with you, all I can say is I know there is negative stuff and gladly would see it removed but there is also a lot of good content which I refuse to allow being tarred by the same brush, it’s offensive to the couples in the videos, and quite frankly borders on the typical anti-porn shaming.

              The reason I mentioned the other mediums was to understand if sexuality was a specific problem, I’m not tryign to derail, I’m trying to understand you better. I took somethings which are fantasy where the reality of them is offensive, violent, would land you in jail even, but wondered why they are seen as ok by many yet porn cops the bad rap so much. Quite frankly I think it’s healthier to fantasize about sex vs violence, but maybe fantasy itself isn’t bad. It’s also to point out that fantasy doesn’t have to mirror reality, it doesn’t mean the person wants what is in the video. Hell I’ve fantasized about being in war’s, no way I’d want to be in them, I’ve fantasized about orgies but the reality of them doesn’t seem appealing, fantasized about various things that I don’t have any intention of ever doing in reality. This I think is important to realize because maybe what some women think their men want is very far from the reality of what they want. I hope you’ve thought of all of the possibilities but I do appreciate you opening up and discussing the issues, it’s given me some more understanding on what others take from the medium and will help me when I do get a partner by ensuring I ask her about what is ok and what isn’t. To some people it can be a harmless bit of fantasy, and others it can be quite hurtful n negative, neither is right or wrong and I think it’s important couples decide this together.

              I also actually agree on the over-sexualization stuff, I see ads for cars with beautiful women, I don’t wanna see the woman….show me the engine, the specs, etc. I’d be happy to see porn and related imagery to stay indoors, in adult-only areas, and just lowered in everyday life. I’d love to see more diversity in movies as well, I don’t want to see a pretty girl in an action movie just because she’s pretty, show me a woman who can handle herself n kick ass and don’t focus on her looks. Thing that pisses me off is seeing the armor differences in some movies and games, the guy has full body protection and she has a glorified bikini, how does that help protect her?

              Would porn itself be more acceptable if society wasn’t flooded with feminine sexuality imagery? I have a feeling part of it’s dominance is the taboo nature of nudity mixed with suppression of sexuality, part of the forbidden fruit stuff.

  5. Live without sex? Well I could but I wouldn’t want to. I don’t pretend to like it because I really do like it. And I also like the thrusting and think giving oral can be quite erotic..just as Sarah said. I also like the weight of a man ontop of me, his sounds and faces. Do I *always* feel like having sex? I don’t. But I don’t want to live without it either. There have been times when I didn’t *feel* like doing something right away but if my boyfriend gave me time to warm up and was fun and playful and accomdating toward me, I was very happy to be accomdating back. Sometimes it’s even just to have sex even if I know I’m not going to orgasm because I like the closeness. I do think that a lot of guys CAN be selfish when it comes to sex Jean. But they can also be very giving. It’s not right when a man uses the idea of cheating to threaten his partner into sex. It would put me in a bad place too if my partner threatened such a thing. But it’s not right either if a partner denies their mate sex either. In most cases, when someone doesn’t feel like having sex for long periods of time, there are other things going on that need to be addressed. And hopefully, if a man’s partner was experiences difficulties with sex and intimacy he would want to be there to help her through it to see what is going on. It could be something they could work on together. He might not get the sex he wants right away but at least they would both be working to help their partners out. She would be working on uncovering why she doesn’t feel like having sex ever or anymore and he could work on being more connected to her emotionally before having his sexual needs met.

  6. Jesus, thank you for making me gay!

  7. “things that are frequently a part of male sexuality, whether we like it or not”

    There is so much truth in this article that I can’t respond to it all. But I will point out that the notion of men caring more about wome than we do ourselves as referenced in the quote from Nancy Friday is one that has changed in many young men, myself included. We have accepted that marriage most often ends in divorce and ensuing financial ruin for men and while we are still attracted to women, we won’t go quietly to the wholesale slaughter currently taking place on the sacrificial altar of marriage and divorce court. They try to shame us and call us Peter Pans, not-real-men, and even misogynists, but in reality all we’ve done is begun to care more about ourselves than about women or having children. A revolutionary change and one that has been attacked violently. Respect to the grass-eaters of Japan. All men should care more about themselves than about women.

  8. While this article presents some very positive aspects of male sexuality in some aspects it’s premised on the idea that so long as a man is honest with himself then what he does is ok.

    I agreed with this to an extent until it came to promiscuity. No promiscuous man is honest with all of his sexual partners. Promiscuity is a self seeking, not self sacrificing, activity. For every promiscuous man there is a victim who thought he really meant it when he said “I love you.”

  9. Well, ok, then.

    If a man can’t make a woman orgasm, perhaps he could take the effort to learn? Instead of going off with prostitutes or random sex partners. Maybe, just maybe, pay attention to her body language, what she says, non verbal cues. Ask her, maybe go down on her. Do men think getting pumped from behind and giving head leads to mind shattering orgasms for women? If so, no wonder they are in a state of confusion and insecurity over their inability to pleasure a woman!

    • Useful info for some but what about women who can’t orgasm alone, let alone with a man, where nothing he does can bring her to orgasm? Sometimes it’s not the other person’s fault. Hell I’ve been on medication and received oral sex for over an hour without orgasm, wasn’t her fault, it was the side effect of the medication which inhibited orgasms. I’m sure there are plenty of reasons why people have difficulty reaching orgasm and not all of them actually involve the partner at all.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Wilt Chamberlain was famously promiscuous, bedding thousands of women across his career and life. A shy, excluded kid, Wilt grew into a star. But he never chose to marry, making the conscious choice that promiscuity was important to him, and that he could not ethically commit to a single woman. Though he slept with many more women than any of the alleged sex addicts we hear about, Wilt was never called a sex addict, because his sexual choices were part of him, part of who he was, as a man. This is, I think, the goal for all men – to make their sexual choices an integrated part of who they are, and the kind of man they desire to be. The Good Men Project is a cerebral, new media alternative to glossy men’s magazines. Founded by Tom Matlack in 2009, it’s become a social movement: an ongoing in-depth discussion asking “what does it mean to be a good man in these modern times?” Proceeds from The Good Men Foundation are used to support organizations that help at-risk boys. This article originally appeared at GMP: Masculine Sexuality: What Gets Overlooked [...]

  2. [...] a heterosexual psychologist agrees with me.  Dr David Ley (surname pun unintended) blogging on The Good Men Project: Not only are almost all supposed sex addicts male, but all of the allegedly addictive sexual [...]

  3. [...] Secondly, I think the term is often used as a way to pathologise male sexuality.  And, what’s more, a heterosexual psychologist agrees with me.  Dr David Ley (surname pun unintended) blogging on The Good Men Project: [...]

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