The Sex-Focused Man

ambition-sexy-couple-09012012This discussion may seem like a moot point since it may be argued that all men are focused on sex. Without making the term “sex-focused” seem like some errant disease, it is important to note that sexual difference between men and women continues to plague relationships.

While this article is not meant to suggest that women are disinterested in sex, research does suggest that we tend to have a far more holistic view of our intimate relationships. As natural nurturers, we want to take care of, protect, and improve our relationships and of course this includes the sex. For us, sex is important but it is an aspect of the relationship; not the sum total by which it is defined.

Our men, on the other hand, often want to improve the frequency and quality of sex, while paying scant attention to other aspects of the relationship. This can be quite a problem when there are relationship issues like a lack of verbal communication or the need to apologise. Men can sometimes attempt, in these instances, to use sex as a substitute for discussion. Because, as women we are wired differently, we often will have none of this. No matter how good our man is in the sack, nothing beats actually saying “I love you” or “I’m sorry”.

Since women and men seem so much at cross-purposes on the issue of sex, how then do we navigate our relationships? How can we each be fulfilled in marriage when we’re coming from entirely different points of reference? Very often we reach a stalemate because we expect our partner to love as we do and experience our relationship as we do. This is not exactly fair since our hormonal wiring is different. Barring incidents where sex is used to manipulate, control or humiliate, as women, we perhaps need to come to terms with our partner’s relationship pulse; namely sex. Men by the same token must accept that their women are interested in a whole lot more than the latest sexual position, technique or the number of times they have sex in a week.

Adapting and demonstrating a willingness to walk the relationship through our partner’s shoes is perhaps the first step towards finding a resolution. This literally means understanding that sex is a male priority while love and relational health is a woman’s. While a husband may choose to relate or demonstrate love through sex, he must ask himself, does my wife feel loved or validated in each instance? Yes, being sexually desired and pleased is a vital part of an intimate relationship and as women we do value this but the tendency to use sex as a substitute for dialogue or as a short cut for deep relationship change can also be counterproductive. By the same token, as women, we must question how loved or appreciated our man can feel if we’re deliberately withholding sex or have adopted a casual attitude towards its place in our relationship.

This relationship challenge is also compounded by the fact that while men do focus on sex as critical, many are uncomfortable talking about its importance to them. Because this is seldom discussed, the result of inadequate sex from a man’s perspective is often bitterness, resentment, sulking and emotional withdrawal. Men are energized by sex in a way that we as women will perhaps never understand. As a result, its absence in the relationship can leave them feeling depleted, unloved, and less than manly. It is important that this critical need is communicated in marriage. While failure to do so exposes the relationship to being undermined, inadequate sex should never be readily used as an excuse for infidelity.

By the same token, inadequate emotional stimulation in a relationship and a disregard for the importance of communication, also contributes to a woman’s pervasive unhappiness. Women are energized by words and demonstrative love and would also appreciate their man’s “sacrifice” in this area. Most women don’t want to be simply viewed as an object for their man’s sexual release; we want to be appreciated as the multi-faceted creatures that we really are. When a woman is emotionally satisfied, the issue of sexual regularity and quality really becomes a non-issue.

Ultimately, men should not allow their focus on sex to cause them to emotionally disengage from their wives nor should women disconnect sexually because their emotional needs are unmet. The solution to the core difference in priority between men and women, rests in both individual’s willingness to meet the needs of the other and by so doing, demonstrate the essence of true love; selflessness.

Are You A Size Sexy?

 

Size Sexy

 

“Fat is not the Kryptonite of sex!” Rebecca Rosenblat, Sex Therapist.

Those of us who follow the adventures of Superman, understand the impact of Kryptonite on Clarke’s ability to be super and strong. But does “fat” have a similar impact on our sense of our sexual selves or on our partner’s ability to enjoy us? Unapologetically, I say it most certainly does; not, however, because of some intrinsic flaw in having a few pounds or curves. While “fat” may not actually affect our ability to be sexy, what we think about it often does.

While some men may have a well-known preference for thickness or for the prominence of certain assets, many of us women still go to great lengths to ensure that our body size matches those images which are usually fed to us via popular culture. As a result, our sexual confidence is affected. So does size really matter when it comes to our emotional and sexual health?  Honestly, I do believe that we should all strive to be our better selves. That often includes shedding some pounds, getting into an exercise regimen, becoming more toned, eating healthier meals and getting adequate rest. In an ideal world, this is where we would all love to be. Being our better self, however, also includes knowing who we are outside the definitions of media, family, friends or sexual partners.

Each human being is special and unique. As women, we need to feel comfortable with our own sense of style and with our expression of our sexuality. This is going to be very difficult to accomplish if we are constantly beating up ourselves because we don’t look like someone else’s version of sexiness. Yes, I’m entitled to feel great if I’ve accomplished a weight-loss target but should weight-loss define my happiness and sense of self? Of course there are women with metabolic, thyroid or other medical issues which may make weight-loss a challenge. But even for them, self-validation is important. While our bodies are our windows to the world, we are in many ways more than a body. There is personality, soul and spirit.

Losing weight to make you healthier or to feel more energized is actually great. Doing it to “fit in”, to appease or to keep your partner, is another thing altogether. If a woman needs to move from an eighteen, sixteen, or fourteen to a six, to feel that she has suddenly struck gold as an individual, it’s possible that her sense of validation is shallow and overtly dependent upon externals. Anything will shake the foundation of a woman who can only feel fabulous when her dress size conforms to common media stereotypes. And why do we even encourage the double-standard since our men are usually nowhere near perfect? This striving for an elusive perfection is what is damaging to our sexiness. It can also rob us of the body-confidence we need to really let go in the bedroom or where ever our sex is happening.

What attracts a man to a woman is not the number on her dress tag but her wonderful personality and sense of sexual self-confidence. This makes her riveting and unforgettable. No matter what size you are as a woman, it is important that you learn to engage your incredible sexual energy in positive ways. The following tips could provide that head-start:

  • Strip naked and look at yourself in a mirror. Decide what you like and affirm yourself; for example, “I love my butt”, or “I have great breasts”. If there are attributes that you would love to change, devise a realistic plan and timeline to make those changes a reality. If you’re totally happy with what you see, then more power to you.
  • Think about your core personality and of the things that you feel passionate about. Find ways to engage your passion and your dreams. When we are emotionally fulfilled because we are connected with our purpose, it shows up in our walk and our talk; instant sexiness!
  • Treat yourself to a “spa-day” even if done at home; a facial, manicure, pedicure, re-locking or perm can go a long way to boost how you feel about yourself. See these things, however, as enhancers and resist the temptation to be totally defined by them.
  • If you are in a committed relationship or marriage, discuss the concerns you may have about your body-image with your partner but “own” your body and the decisions that you make to improve it.
  • Do not accept emotional abuse from anyone on issues of weight-gain. Those who truly respect you will lovingly affirm you, despite what you look like. When advice is offered, it should be non-threatening, non-derisive and sensitively communicated.
  • Understand that sexiness is a state of mind. Learn to love yourself, warts and all, by affirming that you are fearfully and wonderfully made and by thinking positive, sexual thoughts. A woman who really loves herself is ready for some good loving.

Beauty Brains And Bad Relationships

beauty brains and bad relationshipsWhile discussing the Rihanna-Chris Brown debacle recently at my hair salon, one patron attempted to sum it up philosophically with these words; “the heart wants what the heart wants”. For those of you not in the know, Pop sensation Rihanna has apparently re-kindled her romantic relationship with the man who literally pulverized her face a couple years ago. Why would a beautiful, wealthy, seemingly intelligent woman do this? For many of us strong, independent ladies, this leaves a decided distaste in the mouth. It’s not that most of us don’t have anything better to do than follow the love lives of celebrities but it is the principle of the thing that strikes a chord.

This prompts the question at the core of our discussion. Why do women stay in bad relationships? This is a difficult question to answer without perhaps asking several others.  For example, why should following one’s heart be advocated, if such is ill-advised or even likely to get one maimed? Should we always chase after what our hearts seem to want even if such is not good for us? Is the course of true love always that difficult or have we been fed a big lie with respect to the nature of love?

Most of us females schooled on stories of love have grown accustomed to the idea that we must find an all-consuming passion, in order to be happy or fulfilled. While love is characterized by self-sacrifice, we have mistakenly believed that this means sacrificing ourselves and our common sense on the altar of stupidity; all in the name of love. And Hollywood has not exactly helped.

With the names of popular romantic chick-flicks like “Crazy Stupid Love” “Only You” and “Head Over Heels” we’ve been steadily fed the idea that relationships are born out of some heady, magical string of coincidences which often force women, because of love, to act against their better judgment. I am not denying the headiness of being in love or the overpowering connection we can feel for someone. I am, however, convinced that we women need to look at love as a more holistic emotion; it should be one of strength and not of weakness. Loving a man should not mean having to sacrifice love of self.

Women stay in less than favorable partnerships for a number of reasons including low self-esteem, financial dependency, and co-dependency. Issues like children and finance, though resolvable, are external reasons why some women decide to stay. Self-esteem and co-dependency point to unresolved internal issues which need more specific attention. A co-dependent relationship is fueled by both individuals’ unhealthy need of each other and this need is powerful glue which can bind a couple together. A man may need his woman to be weak and needy or she may be stronger and need an indecisive man to feel in control. Some females from conservative back grounds may crave a “bad boy” type which makes them feel rebellious, powerful and worldly.

Dependency on a man or on a romantic relationship for feelings of worth makes a woman vulnerable to the point where she may tolerate anything to maintain that relationship. Tolerating emotional abuse, physical abuse or infidelity is a cry for help. Unfortunately many women are not in a place to assess their own behavior and hence continue in that place of weakness indefinitely.

What must a woman do if she needs to grow past the place of being victim especially when she feels at home in this role?  She should look deep within herself, to honestly evaluate her own happiness. Unfortunately, many women in unfavorable relationships are in denial and are blinded to their own victimization.  They, nonetheless, can be helped if they are lovingly confronted by friends and family. Forcing a girlfriend in this position to ask herself some critical questions may not make us the most popular friend, but it is a true demonstration of being our sister’s keeper.

Making a decision to walk away from a toxic relationship is a personal one which must emerge from a place of strength and resolve. While Rihanna may claim to “love” Chris Brown, we must ask whether or not she is demonstrating sufficient self-love at this time. And of course there is room for forgiveness and redefining of a relationship but a woman must be very sure; especially when abuse has been involved. Love does not make us responsible for someone else’s weaknesses but should actually help us lead that one we claim to love into personal accountability.

Many of us love too much pizza or too much dessert or even too much romance. Being a sucker to the latter can actually get us roped into unhealthy dependencies. Making a decision to stand on our own two feet even if alone for a while, is perhaps the ultimate salute to the idea of maturing womanhood.

What on Earth is “Shejaculation”?

Women can be caught off-guard by "new" sexual discoveries.

This is not meant to cast any doubt on those women who claim to have experienced this. IT REALLY IS NEITHER HERE NOR THERE WITH ME. Only a few decades ago the sexual debate was on about whether a woman’s orgasm was clitoral or vaginal. And a few decades before that it was whether or not a woman could even experience an orgasm. The Century before that, Doctors were wondering if women were perhaps suffering from a case of Victorian Hysteria and needed a pelvic “massage” for release. Boy have we come a long way!

Long has the debate ended about which orgasm was superior; was it the vaginal or clitoral orgasm which took the cake? Never mind the detailed research by Masters and Johnson, some women were delirious to be at last experiencing one; they really didn’t care where it came from! We moved on to discussing the woman’s enviable ability to be multi-orgasmic, and then on to the even huger issue of the now infamous G Spot; was it real or was it not? Just when we thought we were settling down to the understanding that female sexuality was not the mega-puzzle that you had to have a Ph. D in to unravel; somebody came up with a yet another ground-breaking discovery. Women, they say can and do ejaculate! And to boot if you don’t, you sure are missing out.

Now let me reiterate that I’m not knocking those women who make claims to having experienced this “squirting” phenomenon; more power to them and their partners. What I am convinced of, however, is that we must desist this awful habit of making sex an experience of “keeping up with the Joneses”. Yes, I will admit that our sexuality is pretty powerful but it is also pretty individualistic. Why is a woman’s sexuality therefore frequently the subject of table-top conversation as if we are “freaks of nature” who have to be constantly told how to “do it right?” And why do we insist in making it rocket science? Why also does it seem that no matter how much a woman is in-tuned sexually, there is always just one more ground-breaking discovery, which will launch her permanently into sexual bliss? Until of course some other discovery emerges.

Why does it seem that we have to finally language our sex in ‘masculine’ terms in order to validate our sexuality? Of course some women will become more lubricated than others when aroused or when reaching a climax and yes that lubricant or liquid may squirt but why are we even comparing it to male ejaculation? Couldn’t we have found our own unique term? You know how the anthropologists and scientists claim that space is man’s final frontier? Well is ejaculation ours? I mean, can we finally now be considered sexual equals with men since we can “ejaculate” together?! Of course you get my drift . . .

These questions are of course designed to make us reflect on the money-making business female sexuality has become. It seems a social given that men will have sex, experience pleasure, ejaculate, procreate at times if the conditions are right, (no big deal) while the female seems doomed forever to jumping on new bandwagons of new sexual frontiers. It is not that I’m suggesting that sexuality is not dynamic and worthy of investigation and discussion; why ever else would I write this blog? What I’m weary of is the underlying suggestion that we women have to learn just one more thing to be sexually fulfilled; and it’s very often something suggested by a man! Boy, are we strangers to our own vaginas!

So the next time you read or hear that you have to be “trained” to ejaculate so that you could rightfully enter this latest frontier of a female sexual utopia; pause long enough to examine the sex you’re having now. Do you enjoy the closeness of your spouse? Are you orgasmic? Are you having enough sex? Does your sexuality extend beyond mere penile-vaginal interfacing? How could you make your sex-life better? Answer those questions truthfully and engage in dialogue with your spouse before you jump on the “shejaculation” bandwagon and imbibe feelings of sexual inferiority because you’ve never had one.

And of course, if you choose to investigate this theory; well that’s entirely up to you. Happy searching!