It’s all myth, the things that men and women think about sex. Unraveling things like oral sex, porn’s place in a healthy relationship, and why men stop initiating sex. There were all good things to know. Things people never explain to you when you get married. And let’s face it we all need those explanations. Whether you’re married or just in a committed relationship it’s important to know how the opposite sex thinks, and more importantly how the one you happen to live with thinks in particular.
What did we learn?
Well, first we learned that the way men and women have been socialized from birth has hindered our ability to have the kind of relationship we all want. Boys are taught that in order to be a “real man” you don’t show emotion. You are the bread winner, you are the auto-tron that protects and provides for the ones he cares for, but very seldom shares his inner life. Feelings = weakness. Women don’t have it any better. We are the supposed to be the carriers of all emotion. The exact opposite of men in that everything is supposed to be emotional. We never get the benefit of the doubt that we are reacting to things logically with gusto. We don’t need to think. We are simply supposed to be there to “service” the inevitable love of our life for as long as he allows our presence. Is this a grim view of gender roles? You bet! And of course they are extremes.
The reality, as we found out, is very different.
Men are in actuality much more emotional than most of them let on. Even in a long term relationship they still have trouble believing that they are wanted. They need that reassurance, even when they don’t act like it. Men believe that women’s sexual attraction should grow over time, when in actuality it can dim. They assume that it dims because they are no longer attractive. No, it dims because over time we become settled. Then with the added stress of a house, work, children and husband to contend with we prioritize. Unfortunately sex ends up on the bottom of the list. Women believe that men only want sex for the orgasm. Wrong. They want sex because it is tangible proof that they are loved. Men think women make excuses so they won’t have to have sex with them. Wrong. When a woman gives a reason for not having sex, 90% of the time she’s telling the truth. It has nothing to do with how much she desires you, and everything to do with how tired, how good she feels, how sexy she feels.
So I thought I’d go a little more in depth, and give you some additional pointers.
It all begins with trust.
In the past year I’ve embarked on a lovely journey, which I never thought I would ever go on again. I never thought I would be monogamous to anyone again. Mostly because I didn’t think there was a man out there that deserved all that I had to give. So I chose to share only a small portion of myself with many men. Until this quiet, unsuspecting, perfect gentleman strolled into my life. The level of trust between us has floored me. So much so that I think the first thing I must mention is that it is this trust that has made everything else possible. I am, for the first time in my life, accepted and cared for despite whatever flaws I may have. (I don’t really have any, I just have to say that.) I accept and care for him in the same way. Not because I have to, or feel obligated, but because I want to, and he deserves it.
Can we talk?
Now that we trust, we can talk. What are the two hardest things to talk about? Money and sex, with anyone. And of course what are the two things you need to be able to talk about with your partner? You guessed it. It’s not so hard in the beginning right? You’ve just met it’s fun and mysterious, and you’re learning about each other daily. It all feels good. But fifteen or twenty years later when you know that they like a slightly twangy arnold palmer with their summer meals, and the biggest crime for them is leaving the shower curtain open after a shower, the mystery is gone. With the bloom off this particular rose, how do you keep your love life fresh and exciting? And how in the hell do you talk about it? The answer is you don’t start with the tough conversation. You start with the small ones. Get interested in each other again. Tell stories. Visit older loved ones and listen to theirs, and then talk about it. Once communications are open it’ll be easier to talk about the tough stuff.
So now how to add the freshness?
So now you’re talking again. Make sure whatever your partner brings up is received without shame or blame. One of the most misunderstood thing about men is that once they feel rejected, they may never ask for something again. So if you want your man to open up to you, share his fantasies and his innermost desires, you have to hear them with an open mind, and an open heart. Think about it this way: You have chosen to spend a significant amount of time with this person. You care deeply for them. Part of your relationship has to be about wanting to give them pleasure. You should want to share pleasure between each other. If that’s one of the goals, then nothing should be out of bounds. If your wife has always had a fantasy about having sex in public. Obviously, no one wants to get arrested, so her fantasy may have to be altered for safety. However, the fact that her fantasy is received by her partner in a positive way may be enough. Men will be more reluctant to share these thoughts. So when they do, embrace them. Doesn’t mean you have to do anything you don’t want to. But accepting and talking about them in a good way will let your partner know that you care about them and what they want.
Don’t get discouraged.
It may take time for either of the couple to open up without the fear of blame or shame. Before they do, it will be important for both to make sure the everyday language you use with each other promotes sharing. For instance, instead of chastising your husband for forgetting to do some inane household chore when he comes home, greet him, kiss him, tell him you are happy he’s home and that it’s good to see him. Casually mention the chore later, in passing. My Nana used to say, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” Guys do the same. Instead of going immediately for the sexual contact, bring her a single flower out of the blue, hold her hand, tell her you think she’s beautiful and capable. Compliment her mind. Tell her how lucky you feel that she chose you.
Now that you’re better armed, go forth and have lots of sexy time!