When She Mentions Sex, Hit the Delete Key!  

sfvppl818 51M/51F
486 posts
6/6/2006 10:08 pm
When She Mentions Sex, Hit the Delete Key!

Today, 'male sex drive' as a concept has taken on a sort of mystical ring. During the late 20th century this term was used more and more often, so that it became 'unquestionable truth', reality, and today is assumed to be biological. But is it? In my view, most of the idea of 'sex drive' is a fraudulent ideological category masquerading as scientific fact; the existence of 'sex drive' is not a fact and has never been proven.

What about the other sexual states that men experience? Are men as singularly mechanical and aggressive 'by nature' as they are generally depicted? Society has tried to insist that a real man should 'get hard' at will, whenever 'appropriate', meaning in a private situation with a reproductively-aged female, but in truth, the penis is a delicate part of the male being, one that responds with exquisite sensitivity to every nuance of emotion a man can feel. Erections come and go in men, during sex and during sleep. Most men report that it is desire they seek, not the mechanical means of orgasm or creating erection. Desire and arousal are the pleasures that spread through the body; orgasm, after all, can be attained alone during masturbation. Men, like women, are not attracted to every 'right partner' they meet, but only to some special individuals (because of a variety of factors, thus proving that 'sex drive' is not simply a mechanical response).

The beauty of male sexuality is not so much about erection as all the gestures and subtle meaningful body movements, including the ups and downs of erection -- tumescence and non-tumescence, de-tumescence and re-tumescence -- ways in which the body makes itself known or 'speaks'. These movements represent a man's beauty and personality and are very erotic. Pornography as we know it does not represent that variety and diversity of expression, it simply pretends to be 'revolutionary' or 'avant-garde' by being 'shocking', passing itself off as 'incredibly open' when compared to the old value system of 'prudery'. But it is not 'revolutionary'. Such images do not address a more valuable and interesting view of 'who men are sexually' proficent.

What is "male sexuality"? Why is it so closely identified with erection and 'the act' of intercourse with reproductive-aged women? The answer: centuries of enforcement of the idea of 'sex' in men being 'simply an animalistic desire existing in order to cause reproduction' (why does breathing exist? must the existence of sexuality have a reason?) have left their mark. This ideology furthered the belief that men should be in the harness of 'reproduction within marriage' -- causing many men, still today, to revolt, believing that their sexual selves can only be 'freely expressed' outside the family. (The split in identity caused by this syllogism led to the body-mind dichotomy, the focus of a school of philosophy in classical Greece that was later taken up by Christianity.) The definition of sex, created to go with our social order and family structure as it came to be defined about 3,000 years ago, has been focused on the reproductive act, to the detriment of other activities, because we have evolved from a culture that wanted to increase reproduction into one in which, now, most of us use birth control.

Men's 'sexual nature' is very 'polymorphous-perverse', as a New York Times Book Review characterized the picture of men that emerges from The Hite Report on Male Sexuality (Suma de Letras). Men, learned through research, show a great diversity, as one man's statement about masturbation shows: 'I have more or less two sex lives, one with my wife and one with myself.' Men say they enjoy masturbation or having sex alone, because they can fantasize about whatever they want and there is no pressure on them to perform for another person. During masturbation, men stimulate themselves in many more places than they do when with a partner. There is much more diversity, including anal stimulation; many men in my samples express a hidden desire to be caressed and 'penetrated' -- possibly by a finger -- anally, since just inside the anus in men (but not in women) there is proximity to a gland that when stimulated causes orgasm, so much so that most urologists stimulate men to ejaculation during their examinations in this way. However, popular cliches about male sexuality portray men as doing the 'penetrating', not being 'penetrated' themselves.

Today, many men seem to be withdrawing from 'sex' in various ways -- possibly a reaction in part to this rigid definition of their sexuality. This withdrawal can take the form of claiming 'erectile dysfunction', 'religious purity' or spirituality, deferring 'commitment' or preferring non-standard 'kinky' sex. Is this a reaction to the cliches that surround society's view of men, seen increasingly through modern advertising as well as pornography? If men are told they are 'cheap', their bodies mechanically obedient to 'lurid' stimulus (akin to the response of Pavlov's dogs to a dinner bell), of course the deeper men will react by withdrawing. It would be better for any individual man to change outdated stereotypes of 'sex' than to withdraw, however, since he is then bolstering the ancient dichotomies that have caused a problem.

One of the ways that men are pressured to continue following the old scripts is through pornography. Although much about pornography denigrates women - showing women beaten, black and blue, and so on -- and liking it - it also denigrates men, cheapening and brutalizing their sensibilities, destroying their possibility of personal sexual discovery, implanting clich├ęs such as 'a real man is the one with the biggest, hardest erection', and so on, blocking their power to express themselves with others. Increasing their connection of sex with violence.

CUT? In my interpretation, sex and violence are not (as pornography seems to imply) 'part of men's human nature', but become mixed together psycho-sexually during the Oedipal stage of boys' development, at the time when boys are emotionally leaving 'the mother' and simultaneously becoming increasingly sexual -- due to our society's insistence that boys not be 'sissies', and the barbaric puberty rituals and taunting of boys that occur at that time. Pornography is above all propaganda -- an ideological construct used to direct men toward a certain style of reproductive sexual activity, a brainwashing device that tells them the kind of attitude they should have towards sex [and women].

My take? If every US male withdrew from sex for two months and had the idea of going on an overseas trip, the world would grind to a complete halt. Complete industries would go belly up - the make-up and strip club businesses, as examples, would be left in complete ruin! Network TV would be in the ditch! And our lives would be so much simpler, because half of our time at the water cooler is spent on who-fucked-who-for-the-promotion, when you get right down to it.

Men's sexuality has been and is being straitjacketed by an ideology that decrees male sexuality is aggressive, penis/vagina oriented and non-emotional [non-'sentimental'] -- more or less a mechanical need to release hormones and sperm. Few men believe they are really like this. Men should not be afraid to become less like the cliches fed to them about their sexuality, and more like who they really are.

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