Why Men Are So Obsessed with Sex. ~ Steve Bearman

Via Steve Bearman
on Oct 13, 2013
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coffee sex

This man is obsessed with coffee.

Have you ever encountered a baby whose gender is unknown to you?

Not knowing can feel profoundly uncomfortable. We barely realize how great the differences are in how we treat male and female people, and in what we expect of them. These differences are by no means subtle, but they are so much the air we breathe that we can’t even see them. We have almost no experience of relating to human beings not on the basis of their gender. If we did, we would be at ease with someone whose gender we didn’t know. Instead, the first question we ask about a new person in the world is whether it’s a boy or a girl. Maybe if we can’t tell the babydifference, it’s because there isn’t one!

Nonetheless, from the moment of our birth, if not earlier, we are treated as gendered beings. We are not merely considered to have a gender, we are conditioned to have it. Moment by moment, day by day, and persistently over long stretches of time, the ways boys and girls get treated shape their identities. And the way boys learn to be male almost inevitably leads them directly to some kind of obsession with sex as they grow older.

Isolating Boys

All babies are considered okay to smooch and squeeze and hold close, female or male, but when they get old enough, boys stop being held and cuddled and stroked. If they reach out to adults for intimacy, we refuse them in the name of “self-sufficiency.” Though this promotes independence, it does so at the cost of intimacy.

This isolation is reinforced by early sexist conditioning. Boys are taught that they are different from, and better than, girls, even that they should shun or hate girls. If they are fortunate enough to escape this particular piece of the conditioning and continue to have equal relationships with girls, they are quickly marked as “sissies” and called “girls” themselves. Loving or tender relationships with other boys get them similarly marked as “faggots” and put them in danger of violence and being ostracized.

Instead, boys are encouraged to develop relationships with other boys that are primarily competitive: playing sports, jockeying for higher rank in social hierarchies such as teams, clubs, and later on, gangs and fraternities. These groups boxeroften come together to do violence to other groups, either by “beating” them in competitions or in less symbolic forms of violence.

In the armies in which so many of the world’s men at some point participate, we learn to kill and to be prepared to go down fighting, and this model repeats itself in gang wars of all kinds. These violence-based communities fulfill some of our needs for companionship and connection, when nothing gentler is available, and so they may not seem to contribute to male isolation.

However, competitive and adversarial groups offer solidarity within the group at the cost of turning everyone else into an enemy. They breed fear of other people, even of the others within our group, with whom we also must compete for rank. We may not be alone when among the group members, but the internal isolation is intense. Relationships between group members buckle and break from the pressure of having to defend, protect, and prove ourselves. This is very different from the nurturing ease and satisfaction of a mutual, equal, fear-free relationship.

A systematic enterprise of denied contact, humiliation and name-calling, being ostracized, sexist conditioning, homophobia, competition, and training for violence leaves boys more and more on their own. This habit of being “on our own” becomes familiar. Isolation is a piece of the heritage of our conditioning as boys that we carry with us into our manhood.

This description of male conditioning will not exactly match every boy’s experiences. But certain factors are almost universally present in one form or another for boys growing up in our present society. Isolation is one of three primary factors in our early conditioning that later leaves us vulnerable to sexual obsession.

Suppressing Boys’ Feelings

Young people naturally seek out other people for help and support when they are faced with painful feelings. When they get hurt, feel scared, become outraged or embarrassed, frustrated or sad, they seek and expect attention. The loving attention of another human being is necessary to feel these feelings and to heal the hurts that caused them.

sad boyThe isolation of boys keeps them from seeking out the attention they need, prevents them from even believing it’s okay to ask for help. They are left to deal with feelings themselves. Even worse, they are loaded down with messages that feelings are not something “real men” experience. They learn that, “Big boys don’t cry.” The process of crying is interrupted, and the tears are responded to by being ignored, laughed at, or answered with threats of violence.

Being scared is yet another thing boys are told threatens their maleness. They are expected to leap into any activity, no matter how dangerous or unfamiliar, without appearing fearful. Other feelings are in similar ways denied them, and they quickly learn that expressing emotions actually makes their situation worse.

Over time, the only ways boys keep from showing their feelings is to train themselves not to feel them, to dull their awareness of their own experience, numb themselves to emotions. In the course of doing so, they decrease their ability to feel any feelings, joyful, painful, or otherwise. At the same time we become disconnected from other people, we are cut off from our own feelings.

Desensitizing Boys’ Bodies

As a subset of all the feelings we are forced to numb ourselves to, we “lose touch” with how our bodies feel. We learn, sometimes literally, to harden ourselves against pain, strain, and physical effort. The training to “act like a man” is present when young boys are encouraged to ignore physical injuries, not to cry, to bear the pain and go on as if nothing happened. This is exactly the training needed to convince men to work ourselves to the point of abuse, in both the workforce and the military.

The sensuality of being alive in our bodies, aware of our senses, and breathing full breaths has been written off as an unmale attribute. Sensuality has been replaced with routine. Though we notice extremes, we are unable to perceive subtleties of feeling. Tenderness and gentleness, subtle and slow as they are, have been lost. Born into bodies marvelously equipped to feel, we are forced to shut down and accept numbness.

Is Sex the Answer?

This description may sound quite extreme. Yet it is only a picture of what is considered normal to impose on boys, manwhat we take for granted. We don’t like to believe ourselves to be in such an extreme state. We think anything we made it through must not have been that bad. If it doesn’t seem, as men, that we have been so separated from each other, from women, from our feelings or our bodies, this may be because we have lost our memory of being that integrated, that connected.

For most of us, the joy that is possible in our daily lives is so outside the scope of our experience that we have difficulty even imagining it. So consider here for a moment that most men alive have been through some form of this systematic conditioning. What happens to human beings who have been, since early in life, isolated from intimate connections with other people, cut off from their own feelings, and numbed to bodily awareness?

There was a time when we could perceive a loss of vividness, when it was clear that what was being offered us in our adult lives was far less than the abundance we knew was possible. As we stood facing the possibility that we would have to cope with the loneliness of isolation, the emptiness of lost feeling, the dullness of disembodiment, just then, intimacy, passion, and sensuality were all offered back to us in one, solitary form.

Sex, we were told, is the answer. Everything you have lost can be found through sex. But here’s the catch: sex is the only way you can get it back! Imagine yourself in this scenario. The urgent need to pursue sex would bear down with great pressure.

Adolescent boys are exposed to a social imperative to get laid in order to prove their maleness, long before they even know what “getting laid” means. They are bombarded with sexual images through television, advertising, and pornography. These images are very compelling, somehow conveying to them that the great mystery of life can be experienced through sex.

Every story of “true love” in the cultural mythology implies that relationships are built on sex, that sex consummates love, that feeling sexual feelings is the same as being in love. Directly and indirectly, we are handed sexuality as the one vehicle through which it might still be possible to express and experience essential aspects of our humanness that have been slowly and systematically conditioned out of us.

Sex was, and is, presented as the road to real intimacy, complete closeness, as the arena in which it is okay to openly love, to be tender and vulnerable and yet remain safe, to not feel so deeply alone. Sex is the one place sensuality seems to be permissible, where we can be gentle with our own bodies and allow ourselves overflowing passion. Pleasure and desire, vitality and excitement, seemingly left behind somewhere we can’t even remember, again become imaginable.

This is why men are so obsessed with sex. We are born sensual creatures with an unlimited capacity to feel and an effortless propensity to deeply connect with all human beings. We are then subjected to continuous conditioning to repress sensuality, numb feelings, ignore our bodies, separate from our natural closeness with our fellow humans. All of these human needs are then promised to us by way of sex and sexuality.

This is an effective lure because sexuality genuinely can be a potent source of love and pleasure, intimacy, sensuality, and beauty. But in no way can sex completely fulfill these needs. Such needs can only be fulfilled by healing from the effects of male conditioning and suffusing every area of our lives with relatedness and aliveness.

From Passion to Obsession

It’s as if a being of extraordinary power and passion had been reduced and dulled and diminished over many years. The memory of passion was put to slumber deep within this being, and the being walked through life with an elusive sense of something missing, something wrong.

One day, a billboard appeared, and on that billboard, surrounded by images of naked bodies and erotic acts, were the words “passion available here!” So excited was this being to get at even the possibility of passion, which he could feel awakening deep within, that he rushed impulsively forward, never taking the time to read the small print at the bottom of the ad. This is what the small print said:

If you follow this path, be prepared on your way to reawakening passion to pass through a land called Obsession. Be aware that most men never make it out the other side. Sex, which will feel like the answer to your loneliness and deadness, will turn out to reinforce those feelings. You will come to feel more alive when thinking about or engaged in sex than at almost any other time. When you do Billboardexperience sex, you may come closer to another human being than you can remember ever being.

Sensing the safety to do so, you will begin to care deeply, and to feel all the joy and pleasure and every other feeling that has been trapped inside of you for so long, including all the fear you have never been safe enough to feel. And so the closer you get, the more scared you will feel. And you will find ways to pull back, and you will begin to believe that it is not safe and that you are just as alone as you have always felt. You will come to blame your partner or yourself for the inadequacy and for the inability of sex to make you back into the great, vulnerable, courageous, and free being you were born to be. But because some taste, some glimpse is available through sex, you will be driven to seek it out as the solution to your life-sized dilemma. I

If you escape the self-condemnation of sexual repression, you will desperately search for new kinds of sexual contact, real or imagined, to make you feel whole or to make you feel anything at all. But no matter how much sex you encounter, it will not be enough to fill your enormous need to love and be close and express your passion and delight in your senses and feel life force coursing through your muscles and your skin. All sexual desire will become tainted with your desperation. Passion and desperation will begin to seem one and the same. You will be Obsessed.

Sex quickly becomes addictive for most men. Like all addictions, it offers what feels like temporary relief from difficult circumstances, only to leave us more thoroughly immersed in those circumstances, and feeling as if more of it is the only way to even come up for air. Even if we do not engage compulsively in anonymous casual sex, pornography, masturbation, or fetishistic attempts to recover what has been forgotten, sex nevertheless takes on an addictive character.

When we automatically fantasize about sex and sexualize people we meet in passing, when we are sexually engaged and feel an urgent need to have intercourse, to “get off”, to orgasm at all cost, we are being driven by these addictive impulses. It is difficult to accept that such attempts to get back what we’ve lost will always ultimately fail. Even if we accept it, we can’t find our way out.

An addiction this persistent occurs for very definite reasons, and until those reasons are addressed, escaping the addiction may not be possible. In the absence of healing, the addiction serves necessary functions.

Men are frequently believed to be fundamentally malevolent and untrustworthy, particularly because of our “uncontrollable” sexual desires. In light of the compulsive form sexuality often takes, we attempt to repress all of it. Yet repression is exactly the wrong idea. If sex really is one of the few areas of our lives where we can still feel, can still tell that another person is actually there with us, can still sense the joy of inhabiting a body, then repressing sexuality, vilifying it, or sublimating it into work, plugs up one of the few remaining springs of vitality.

Repression is not the solution. Repression is, in fact, the origin of the problem, and additional repression squelches our vitality even further. Passion, not repression, is our greatest ally in the battle to liberate our complete humanity. The message being offered us by our sexual obsession is that we are reaching for something we know we so badly need.

The passion and the desire for closeness behind the obsession are our guides, despite the fact that they have kept us isolated when followed without reflection or awareness. Sexual obsession, when turned inside out, holds the key to our liberation.

Reclaiming Our Full Humanity

My vision for myself and for all men is that we reclaim every piece of our humanity that has been denied us by our conditioning. Obsession with sex can be healed when we reclaim all the essential aspects of the human experience embracethat we have learned to manage without: our affinity for one another, caring connections with people of all ages and backgrounds and genders, sensual enjoyment of our bodies, passionate self-expression, exhilarating desire, tender love for ourselves and for one another, vulnerability, help with our difficulties, gentle rest, getting and staying close with many people in many kinds of relationships.

If sex makes us feel more alive or less alone than anything else, this is an indication that vitality and closeness are glaringly missing from every other part of our lives. Because of the nature of male hurts, our healing requires that we get in close, and stay close, with other men and women whom we choose as our allies and to whom we choose to show ourselves. It requires that we move back into our bodies and care for them deeply.

Because we have been alienated from other people, our feelings, and our bodies, we must now reclaim each of these in order to take back our humanness, and in doing so, end the desperation and the lack that keeps us obsessed.

The instruction manual for men reclaiming our full humanity, recently unearthed, contains the following highlights.

Reclaim Intimacy: Begin by directing the unconditional, loving admiration you used to reserve for people you’re attracted to, outward toward all kinds of people in all kinds of relationships. Start ten new kinds of relationships with people you never imagined could be your dearest friends and most dependable allies. Who are the people in your life who are ready to receive your trust and vulnerability? Give your trust to them and ask the same in return.

Since there are no limits to the closeness possible with another person, what fears do you have to face to get even closer? Share those fears and ask for help instead of trying to manage them alone. Let the people in your life know what it’s really like for you, and enlist their help to bring closeness back into your daily existence.

If you choose to have a primary partner, please remember that no matter how strong the relationship, one person is not enough for any human being to be close with. It is in your nature to desire closeness with all people, closeness that rarely has anything to do with sex. We have yet to discover what it will be like to have so much and such varied closeness in our lives.

Reclaim Feelings: The passionate intensity you’ve saved only for sexual encounters can fire up all areas of your life. What else besides sex ignites that much passion? What dreams and desires for your life would you need to rekindle in order to burn as brightly about your daily existence? Take on the challenges that make waking up exciting, that fill you with a sense of wonder and magic.

Expand the envelope of who you think you are. Find feelings long buried and set them free. Cry wet tears and laugh with your whole voice; tremble with fear and giggle with embarrassment; storm with outrage at the cruel ways we’ve been hurt; weep with tenderness at the beauty of our existence. We need one another to feel these glorious feelings, so ask for all the help and love and attention you need. And you do need it. We just can’t do this alone, and we should never have had to in the first place.

Reclaim Your Body: Sensual pleasure is our birthright, and it is available in thousands of forms besides sex. Take off your shoes and walk barefoot through the grass, the mud, the rain. Learn to breathe freely, so that every breath reminds you that you are alive right now!

Dance, finding and releasing the movement within you, reveling in the gorgeous organism that you are. Touch your body freely and frequently, reawakening your senses. Take joy in the movement of your muscles, the feel of your sheets sliding on your skin as you lie down to rest, the splash of cool water on peacefulyour face, and the swish of that coolness in your mouth as you drink. Become aware of the food you take in, not only savoring the taste, but also cultivating a sensitivity to how it makes your body feel long after it is digested.

What would it take to slow yourself down enough to notice how much feeling is always available for your awareness? As you rediscover your senses and your infinite, creative range of movement, play like you did as a boy, when no one had to teach you how. Play hard and play soft, inventing ways to be in exuberant contact with everyone in your life.

From Obsession to Passion

If sex is expected to be our primary source of contact, feeling, pleasure, and love, our main connection with the memory that life is exciting and mysterious and joyful, then of course we will be obsessed with sex. Luckily, the conditioning that has put us out of touch with all these things is completely reversible. Every quality we have turned away from can be reclaimed.

The passion that narrowly fixates upon sex can lead the way to a wide-open life vibrant with passion. The desire to be close that has been confused with sexual desire can motivate us to create closeness everywhere. When we fill our lives with the things we previously expected only from sex, our lives are richer, and even our experience of sex is transformed.

It is possible to be completely relaxed about sex. When sexual desire is purged of desperation, urgency, loneliness, and fear, then sex can be inspired by joy and sexual relationships can be healthy and whole. When sex is a choice, one of many choices, with no rush to get to it and no cost in missing it, it’s possible to be at ease with sex and sexuality.

Sex can be an exquisite celebration of intimacy and expression of love, a place for healing, a time to play with all the vigor and enthusiasm we had as children. Sex can be a place to express the passion cultivated by living a vibrant life and to delight in the ecstasy we all deserve. Sex can be separated out from all things that it is not. It can stop being the sole source of all the things that it is.

We are making the long journey out the other side of the Land of Obsession. On the other side is a rich, full life beyond our conditioning, where passion takes new forms each day and we are deeply related, never alone. A new paradigm is possible for men, wide open for us to explore.

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Ed: Dana Gornall

 

 


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About Steve Bearman

Steve Bearman, Ph.D.: Founder of the Interchange Counseling Institute in San Francisco, Steve is a counselor, social justice educator, and workshop leader. In addition to teaching Interchange’s year-long Counseling and Coaching Training Program, which is now in its 10th year, he also leads workshops on community building, relationships, overcoming anxiety, gender role conditioning, healing body shame, death and grieving, and spiritual practice.

Comments

72 Responses to “Why Men Are So Obsessed with Sex. ~ Steve Bearman”

  1. alexzfosterz says:

    Sex freaks me the fuck out! It's gross! I do not understand why anyone would want to do it have the time!

  2. jojo says:

    http://blogs.psychcentral.com/sex/2012/04/debunki

    this came up as the first link when you type in your second link into google. It seems people in the field disagree with that point. It is an accepted fact in every psche/scientific establishment that anything can become an addiction. There's points on why something is an addiction as opposed to an interest. So the very title that any addiction can be a myth is quite ridiculous.

  3. jojo says:

    This isn't "i want heaps of sex in my life" sort of approach though. There are a lot. A LOT. of men out there who've taken the natural interest in sex into the obsessive/addictive realm. Such as relaxation cannot be found without sex, a sex or rather masturbation activity is frequently on the mind. There are so many support groups and websites on the internet about how to switch away from the obsession with/masturbation/pornography. (and as time goes on more harder material is needed to get the same effect). Lots of men seem to be in two groups. Either in denial about the amount of brain space and addiction the subject surrounding sex is in their lives. And others who realise it and trying to break the patterns. I think where this needs to go is both genders need to embrace their sensuality. Sex is not just sex. There's many other factors related in it: emotional connection, spirituality. To engage and have an understanding of sex otherwise is saddening really. And these other factors can only really be connected into when the whole body is alive. When an orgasm isnt just genital, but goes from toes to the tips of hairs and opens the mind.

  4. jay says:

    More and more research is coming out that penile erections CAN be controlled voluntarily.

    The fact that women can have multiple orgasms with an insignificant refractory period actually suggests that women are more liable through evolution to have more sex with different people. E.g. one men is done after one session, but a women can keep going to several different sex sessions due to the possibility of multiple orgasms. Kind of throws dust on the whole one gender having more sexual drive than the other thing.

    Women's clitoris is also actually more sensitive to stimulation than the head of the penis. So women will actually have more orgasms that feel like more. And ofcourse the dopamine pathway is in every human in response to anything pleasurable.

    I honestly believe a lot of womens sex drive in contemporary society is kept down by conditioning. I would recommend the book THE WISE WOUND and 'The book of Woman' by Osho. We too readily accept darwinian evolution when it is good to remember that is an idea as well.

  5. jay says:

    I think for the first point its like a general idea in society. You know the pedophile in the van who's gonna kidnap the kids is a man. Girls are all just sweet and sugar whereas boys are naughty. If you see a man down the street you tense, but if its a woman not so much. I mean the last one is more self preservation, but in general.

    Sex can be completely relaxed. If you've only ever experienced 'tense' or 'weird' sex, then I think that's more experiential than reality. It would most likely be tense for the first time with someone, but when the people really know each other it can be extremely fulfilling, wholesome, completing. That's where the ancient traditions of Tantra surrounding sex really focused on. It was about not a release during sex that makes you feel good afterwards. But rather using sex to feel more complete, wholesome and like your batteries been charged (for both partners). It has to do with how the energies of two people meld (generally called the masculine/feminine energies) to bring about completeness. Sort of ying/yang mixing to make a complete circle. I think there's thins technique, i forget its name, but it's about teaching men how to make sex extremely wholesome, more like a women in her full expression will feel it. That being that orgasm isn't just in the genital area, but goes through the whole body from the toes to the tips of the hair.

    Men are obsessed when it takes over their lives, like any obsession. If trying to get sex, thinking always about sex, wondering always about sex takes over an individual's mind, well its just not normal. If you put chocolate or ice cream or shoes in instead of the word sex, you can understand how abnormal such a state is.

    I'm not sure what you meant by natural differences and inequalities in gender. If you mean that men have higher sex drives, that's debatable and quite cultural. There have been certain times in history when women were considered to have higher sex drives (they were called crazy women who couldn't control themselves, so they needed a man to do that) . Not that long ago either. And then the tables turned and then men were thought to have higher sex drives (and women were considered frigid).

    I think what you will find is that women are more capable of a greater sexual/sensual experience with sex anything else to do with the body e.g. dancing, yoga etc because the soul in a female body inherently more intertwined with the body due to the woman's function's of menstruation, hormonal changes, pregnancy, menopause etc. You would be surprised to know that female sexuality can actually surpass a man's if only its given the (in our society) the safe space to do so. Men will not be able to match, unless they have gone through exercises/training to complete inhabit their body. I could go on forever but I'll leave with this book which goes through a lot – Women who run with the wolves.

  6. jojo says:

    I totally agree. I'm looking forward more and more to the era when research absolutely proves without a doubt, that our thinking and emotions influence our biochemistry more so than the other way around.

  7. Ashley says:

    true!. this man who wrote this article is so black and white and sort of miseducated

  8. jjaress says:

    As is the case with most things, when we make claims about all men or all women or all people, we are going to be mistaken. I appreciate the notion that men and boys are acculturated in a specific way in America – a way that often removes them from their physical, psychological and emotional experiences. This distancing has consequences, some outlined in this article, others maybe not addressed yet.

    Does this distance add or detract from a man's capacity to focus? to endure pain? to overcome boredom? to imagine? to create? to conquer? to rule? to kill?

    I do not suggest that this distancing is good or better, or that being a more "wholesome" human being is good or better, I just wonder – In what ways does this distancing elevate man? Commonly, traits become dominate in a species when they demonstrate an evolutionary advantage. Of course, the 21st Century looks a lot different than, say, 100,000 years ago when these traits may have been developed, but, do we know what we will be losing when we focus our attention on "homogenizing" or "normalizing" or "naturalizing" (though that is a ridiculous claim by any measure) the evolution of the male consciousness?

    At best, I would hope to maintain all of my cultural "maleness" – all of my outward, and inward, desires to protect, to serve, to provide, to strive, to build, to seek, to know and, yes, to conquer and kill when necessary – while cultivating an appreciation for and an acceptance of the complete, distinct and equally acculturated domain of the feminine.

    I would like to keep mystery alive in the world. That two can become one, momentarily, and then two again…that is magic. That I might lose my self in an act with another and still remain whole and unbroken afterward is, of itself, reason enough to want to go back there again. And again. And again.

    Personally, I don't need culture to convince me of my desire for sexual union. But then, maybe I have some insight into my behavior that, possibly, others may not. Maybe the others are, as this article seems to suggest, merely unthinking products of a culture intent on using bodies as means to an end.

    You certainly has sparked a lot of discussion…bravo!

  9. I was raised by a single mother with little of the "standard male" blueprint outlined in this article… Yet somehow I am still driven by sex… hmmmm… So the argument falls apart.

    I think the testosterone argument is a peice, but I think they are other basic parts of the male brain focused that focus on procreation… So evolution made us to enjoy sex with a variety of partners… Let just deal with that fact.

    My questions is why our society has such a hard time accepting that fact of male biology. Generally in the culture I see an attempt to neuter men's sexual expression and anything driven "underground" will return as an unconscious, unhealthy expression… This explains a lot of the worst sexual behavior in males IMO.

  10. Heyhey! says:

    We just want to f*ck….very simple. For a man 95% of the pleasure is on a few square cm, while for a woman it’s more widespread. For a man it’s a daily NEED, for a woman is a WEEKLY need; for a man sex = the best thing in the world , for a woman relationship = the best thing in the world.
    We are different and we like each other and what we need to understand is that, in general, a MAN NEEDS to have sex more frequently and a WOMAN values the relationship and the attentions.

  11. karlbaba says:

    Any article addressing this topic that ignores testosterone is just talking without data
    http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/ep

  12. karlbaba says:

    Studies and case studies of people (men and women) who were one way before Testosterone was added or subtracted from them clearly show the overpowering influence of the hormone. The behavior of male animals versus female animals also belies the biological differences in sex drive between male and female. Like it or not. That's reality. Just like women have a different level of estrogen than men and it's not the sheer product of conditioning, just as their ability to give birth isn't out of a psychological factor.

  13. karlbaba says:

    This piece from NPR regarding both men and women with missing or supplemented testosterone tells the story
    http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/ep

  14. Adolf says:

    well put, Laurie!
    But what is the solution!?
    Perhaps each man should have his own harem … 🙂

  15. Jonathan says:

    Tank you!

  16. Jonathan says:

    Good call, Stephanie!

  17. -- Jonathan says:

    See Chris Ryan and Cacilda Jetha's Sex at Dawn.

  18. Shannon says:

    "So evolution made us to enjoy sex with a variety of partners… Let just deal with that fact." I think it's interesting you're referring to only men as the ones who enjoy a variety of partners. Go read Sex At Dawn. It's not just you men.

    "My questions is why our society has such a hard time accepting that fact of male biology. Generally in the culture I see an attempt to neuter men's sexual expression and anything driven "underground" will return as an unconscious, unhealthy expression." Again, I'm fascinated your relegating sex drive to men and that you feel men are being neutered. Have you ever heard of slut shaming? Women who enjoy sex unapologeticly are best keeping it to themselves. I am driven by sex as well, but I'm driven by it because I have a deep desire to connect with someone in that particular way. But, you know what, some women aren't even looking for the special connection I am. For me, sex is a special language I get to speak with a special person, but I don't feel my other relationship are "less special" when sex is not involved. On the contrary, one the deepest loves I've had is with my male best friend. I happen to find that the closer I grow to someone emotionally, the better the sex becomes.

  19. LoveCoach says:

    Excellent article!!! It speaks so poignantly to the terrible isolation that is imposed upon boys and men from birth. Thats why I love the pioneering work of the Human Awareness Institute who do a great series of workshops on Love Intimacy and Sexuality. Men especially get to experience warm nurturing non sexual touch from men and women in a safe environment. So healing. Thanks again Steve for speaking this up.

  20. Richard says:

    Something is missing from this article. It's testosterone. Women who took testosterone on hormone therapy. Said now they new why men were so horny and aggressive.

  21. Sascha says:

    I just wish you could have called this conditioning by its true name “patriarchy”

  22. rolando says:

    Although I don't disagree with anything in your article, I find it lacking in that testosterone is never mentioned. You are saying it is all "nurture" and no "nature". You are oversimplifying the issue by ignoring half of it. With the testosterone factor, the question of obsession becomes even more intriguing, interesting, and relevant.

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