Eleditor’s note: Elephant is a diverse community of nine million readers and hundreds of writers. We are reader-created. Many blogs here are experience, opinion, and not fact or The One Right Point of View. We recognize that our audience members may not fit into the binary gender narrative or heteronormative context that some of our articles are framed around. Join in on the conversation or start your own by submitting your writing here.
As a sexologist, I’ve been privileged to learn a bit about how men process situations and emotions with regards to their challenges and struggles in their relationships.
Through my work, I came up with these three equations to better explain my philosophy about men.
Let’s delve right in and see if we can get him all figured out:
1. Man = Ego
Ego is not a bad word here. Ego refers to a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance. This definition naturally brings us to recognise that the size of one’s ego can differ considerably.
In my experience, the more successful a man is in his career, the bigger his sense of self-importance, and the more respect he expects—especially from his inner circle. Therefore, woe is it to the partner who blatantly and persistently ignores the existence of any ego—or worse, tries to cut a person down or change him.
Solution: The expression, “tip-toeing around his ego” might ring true here. This would translate to adopting tact and diplomacy, and adapting certain choice of words, tone of voice, and manner in which the messages are delivered to suit their intended recipient. To me, it’s less about lowering or demeaning ourselves and more about communicating effectively.
2. Man = Hero
Again, I don’t mean this in a condescending way at all. When a man is in love, he simply just wants to make his sweetheart happy. In a mature relationship, all parties know they are responsible for their own happiness.
However, he may not be able to help feeling frustrated at himself if his beloved is unhappy. This strong responsibility may even lead him to be upset with himself. In short, he takes it personally even when it was not intended to be.
Solution: To counter this sense of helplessness he might continually be working through internally, it helps if he receives what fills him up: praises, compliments, or at the very least, acknowledgements. Call it a hero’s welcome. He desires, in not so many words, to be recognised as strong and useful— even celebrated for his chivalry.
By all means, let him earn our admiration, but we need to know what lights him up, and be willing to give it.
3. Sex = Home
Contrary to some folklore, men can and know how to control their sexual urges. They are also capable of attaining their own sexual release if needed to—namely through masturbation. Could it be that he is constantly asking for sex—upset about not getting some action, pouting, even begging for sex—because it’s more than just sex to him?
A big misconception heterosexual women have is that he is insatiable, selfish, and only demanding his sexual needs to be met. Most men I have worked with who are unhappy about the lack of sexual intimacy actually express their longing for union with their other half.
The most hauntingly beautiful answer I ever received to my question of, “Why is sex with your wife so important? was “Because when I am inside (her), it feels right. It feels like this is where I belong. I can’t describe it…but it feels like home.”
What if penetration was more than a physical act or sensation, but has come to embody safety, comfort, warmth, refuge, sanctuary…and hence home?
If one could feel at ‘home,’ who wouldn’t want that all the time?
Solution: I like to suggest a discussion about sex and the meaning behind it, rather than continued assumptions. Ask: “Why is sex important to you? Why do you like sex so much? What does it feel like when you are inside me?”
If we are going to be upset about our partner’s constant sexual demands, at the very least find out why it is so pressing in the first place?
What did you think of this article? Discuss this with your beloved. Or your male friends. I love to hear your thoughts!
Author: Martha Lee
Editor: Renee Picard
Photo: x-ray_delta_one at Flickr