“For many men, sexual expression over time becomes habit and impulse driven, leading often to fleeting or diminished pleasure and perhaps increased longing, desire and frustration. “
While many of us may be familiar with C.P.R as a life-saving technique, in the context of my discussion, it takes on a whole new definition which I’m sure will easily resonate with my female reading-audience. Male “relationship-behaviour” has been governed for centuries by what I term the three pillars of male sexuality. For the purposes of this article, this behaviour is represented by the letters CPR, which in turn stand for Chase, Penetrate and Retreat. These “pillars” are in fact, a series of collective-behaviours which have become familiar themes in today’s male-female relationships.
While phrases like “a leopard doesn’t change its spots” and the less complimentary “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, represent familiar male-bashing statements mouthed by angry and hurting women, they aren’t without some historical merit. Let’s face it, men have been Chasing, Penetrating and Retreating for eons. Lest I be accused of joining the male-bashing trend, let me hasten to post my official disclaimer. Of course all men are not lacking in relationship integrity and several of them remain faithful to their wives and long-term partners. There; I’ve said it. But this article is not about this minority.
There is the belief, grounded in yarns of evidence, that many men retreat from a potential relationship after they have sexually conquered their target. There is also the view that they retreat after they have grown bored of repeatedly conquering the same familiar turf. But I am getting ahead of myself here. Before we delve into dissecting the R of male sexual behaviour, (the retreat phenomenon) it’s necessary for us to first examine the C in the new CPR.
Men are naturally competitive; make no bones about it. Their friendly neighbourhood hormone testosterone guarantees this. As such, they thrive on the thrill of the chase. Chasing a woman provides them with the distinct possibility of winning and winning brings with it the idea of being a conqueror; of being better than the other less successful, paltry men who lost. What a tremendous ego boost! (I believe this is why men can’t handle being cheated on by a woman; it eats at what they believe about their own sexual superiority).
The problem with this stage of male sexual development is that several men never make it past it. They are so affirmed by the activity of the chase, that they seek to perpetuate it again and again and again ad nauseum. Such men therefore never “grow up” emotionally to recognise that since they’ve already won their prize, it’s time for a redefinition of that relationship on fresh terms. Instead, they become addicted to the dopamine thrill of chasing and hopefully conquering skirts. This is of course done while the primary or initial relationship is allowed to perish by the wayside as it is chemically unable to provide the rush which a new pair of legs can bring.
The chase, as encouraging as it is, would cease to hold its powerful allure without the distinct possibility of the pot of gold at the end of the figurative rainbow. Yeah, chasing does have a distinct goal. And it’s definitely not about running around in perpetual circles like the playful dog actually trying to catch its own tail. The goal of chasing ultimately is penetration. And please don’t think that I’m only referring to the literal penetration of the vagina by the penis. Of course that’s where it all starts and that’s where the fun is for many a man.
Be that as it may, penetration is also about using the penis to dominate a woman. Men are pros at using their sexual prowess, sexiness, sexual charm, whatever you call it, to suck the living sensibilities out of otherwise smart, educated, right-thinking women. Why else would some smart women end up as the “relationship slaves” to the worst booty-playing, Casanovas around? They fall prey to the power of the perpetual penis of course.
What many women fail to recognize is that surrendering their sexual power to a man, brings with it a certain level of emotional dependency; no matter how casual they purport to be about sex. That’s why the apple shouldn’t be given up indiscriminately without serious commitment; especially if what a woman is looking for is longevity or permanence. Face it girls, once you hand it over, there’s no looking back and that relationship will be forever changed. Sex just has the inherent power to do that to us.
The man, who is intent on using women to boost his sexual ego, has to find a way to keep reproducing this preferred scenario. This brings us to the R in our triad. Having chased and having penetrated, the only recourse allowed for the repeat of this entire charade with another woman, is for him to retreat; literally.
While women will have sex and long for repeated connection and emotional engagement; men will have sex and bolt like lightening, eventually. A woman’s sexual affirmation is grounded in her ability to care and connect. While men are also wired for this genetically in that they are similarly affected by the hormone Oxytocin, they have been socially trained to value disengagement and their freedom. As a result, they love to hit and run.
What they fail to recognise is that sex has been reduced by them, to an impulse and a habit. While they are fooled into thinking that this makes them better lovers, somewhat like practice makes perfect, it actually reduces the potency of their sexual encounters because sex is reduced to just a “can’t help myself” animal instinct, devoid of deep thought or commitment. Despite the commonality of this practice, this is not what sex was meant to be. Is it any wonder that such men find themselves trapped in repeated quests for a sexual utopia which they never, ever find? In the wise words of the quotation referenced at the start of this article, they can then become trapped in a cycle of “fleeting or diminished pleasure and perhaps increased longing, desire and frustration.”
The worst part of the retreat syndrome is when a man uses his primary relationship as a ground-zero or home-base, from where he will venture out to get his thrills and then return. What is even worst is when such behaviour is facilitated by women, who pride themselves in being the main-lady/wife, or who will tolerate this because of financial or emotional dependency. This adds a whole other dynamic to the CPR problem as the lack of emotional fulfillment for the woman begins to negatively affect the sexual relationship. How many husbands continue to have affairs because their wives, while miserable and unhappy with their philandering ways, refuse to do anything about it? And how many women are really happy with the prospect of sharing or losing their man to the arms of another woman?
So male sexual CPR is not all that a guy may think it is. It doesn’t make him a better lover; not by a long shot. It instead creates a void which forces him to repeat behaviour which never satisfies. For women trapped by these CPR experts it may be time to pause and re-evaluate your relationship expectations and your sense of worth. Are you content to be just another cheap thrill? Are you ever going to get the nerve to make your relationship demands known or will you ever be strong enough to leave if they remain unfulfilled?
For the guy who is limited in his sexual repertoire because he is afraid of serious commitment and vulnerability to one woman, he may find that his game of CPR comes back to haunt him when he finds himself smack dab in the arms of a woman he finally thinks he can’t live without. Even when commitment or marriage seems like a distinct possibility, he may very well have to work doubly hard at breaking free from a life-time of a mismanaged sexuality.