March 21, 2012

Walking The Sex Dog. ~ Lori Ann Lothian

Exercising your man’s libido.

He wants sex, again. “Didn’t we just have sex a couple of nights ago” you ask. His reply says it all: “Actually, we had sex five days, two hours, six minutes and thirty seconds ago.”

Why is it that to men, sex seems to be an insatiable desire? And more importantly, why is it that when sex is not happening at a predictably regular interval, men become grumpy, distant, and lets face it, sulky?

I pondered these questions after dropping my daughter off to school one morning, feeling frustrated because although I love my sex life, I don’t need a lot of it. Once or twice a week would probably be my baseline for satisfaction, yet mid-cycle (roughly the twelve to fourteen day mark after my period) my hormones crave sex twice a day—and conversely, in the prickly downturn from that peak, (don’t touch me please) zero sex would suit me just fine.

This pondering was motivated by the man in my life informing me, yet again, that we are not having enough sex. Even though he couches the issue in words like “connection” and “intimacy” I know that what he is probably not admitting to himself is that sex is his inroad to those feelings.

I read once that men need sex to feel intimate, and women need intimacy to feel sexual.

Yet I don’t know if this last part is true, at least for me. I often need rest and a way to downwind (a bath, a massage, a vacation) to get in the mood for sex. But I am as good as any guy when it come to just having sex for the fun of it, without feeling particularly intimate first. Just relax me and I am good to go.

I don’t think I am too far off from most women here, as I recount the many tales girlfriends have shared about getting turned on while lying on the massage table. When we women let go of our to-do list, we sigh into our sensuality, and this then nourishes our sexual receptivity.

As for intimacy—that closeness for me is not measured by sexual frequency, but by how well we communicate as a couple in sexual and non-sexual encounters. How unimpeded is the flow of understanding between us? How well does he listen when I am brave enough to share my fears? And how willing is he to hold me when I am fragile enough to cry? Or to forgive and forget when I rant at him in a brittle moment of PMS-induced anger? I feel close and connected when I am met in those moments by a strong masculine presence that does nothing more than be there.

It has taken me thirty years of sex to finally admit to myself that men are simply more sexually driven, and that it is not my “lack of desire” that is an issue. I am not surprised that literature supports my personal research. And I quote, from Personality and Social Psychology review, 2001, volume 5, number 3, this handy evidence from intrepid researchers Baumeister, Catanese and Vobs (one man and two women, in case you’re wondering):

“Across many different studies and measures, men have been shown to have more frequent and more intense sexual desires than women, as reflected in spontaneous thoughts of sex, frequency and variety of sexual fantasies, desired frequency of sexual intercourse, desired number of partners, masturbation, liking for various sexual practices, willingness to forgo sex, initiating verses refusing sex, making sacrifices for sex, and other measures. No contrary findings (indicating stronger sexual motivation among women) were found. Hence we conclude that male sex drive is stronger than female sex drive.”

I could rest my case, but of course every woman already knows this. What we don’t know is what to do about it.

Should we capitulate to sex-on-demand no matter how tired, disinterested or preoccupied we are? Is it feasible to bodily surrender to our man’s higher sex drive to keep the peace? Or is that in essence, prostitution: providing sex as a bargain for something else.

I am not the first and I won’t be the last woman to wrestle with this dilemma. But on the way home from my daughter’s school I had an ah-ha moment that put the whole situation in a laughable but user-friendly framework.

What if regular sex for a man is the equivalent of regular walks for a dog?

As a dog owner, I know that I often look at walking the dog as an obligation and sometimes even (in rain and sleet) an ordeal. Yet I dutifully do it because I know my dog loves me for it, and beyond that, needs it.  And when I neglect to walk the dog, I pay for it in an ill tempered, pent up animal that is as unhappy as I am with its behavior.

I know, men are not dogs exactly (sorry guys, but if the analogy fits, wear it),  yet this is the best perspective I have come up with in all of these years dealing with gender difference in terms of sex drive.

Instead of resist and fuss, I have decided to simply walk the sex dog. And hey, after all, I’m a good sport and sex is good exercise. My man is happy and I’m burning at least a few calories every time I just say yes.

Editor: Jennifer Cusano

Lori Ann Lothian is the creator of the popular The Awakened Dreamer blog (http://theawakeneddreamer.com) which hit the stands following an overnight Enlightenment Episode that revolutionized her sex life and destroyed any chance at ever being miserable again. Lori Ann lives in Vancouver, Canada, where she has learned to transcend the rain and surrender to mega doses of vitamin D

(Photo by Michael Julian Berz)





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