And it’s damaging us all to think like that.
I’m a sucker for what other people say. If someone tells me something about myself I’ll take it as fact and only later reevaluate whether or not it’s actually true. And I’ll feel all the emotions of the accusation before even considering that they might be wrong.
And when I’m thought of as a sex obsessed man who only wants to get laid it makes me feel like an unworthy piece of sh*t that needs to reassess his entire persona because he’s got it all oh-so-wrong.
But it’s not true. And I believe it’s not true for most men.
If we really care and are willing to stop the knee jerk accusations and assumptions that all men are a**holes then the first thing we need to do is listen.
What are we saying? What is behind the sex? What do we need?
Sure, we all need sex sometimes and that’s fine. But more often than not, at the times when men are written off as sex-obsessed, unfeeling robots we are actually seeking something much deeper.
We are needing love.
We are seeking intimacy. We are seeking trust. We are seeking connection.
As men, we are conditioned to not feel too much. To plough through and suppress any feelings that could be interpreted as feminine. We are the workers. The aloof charmers. The strong ones.
But that’s a huge and unrealistic expectation to put on us. We feel just as much as anyone. We need love and affection. And we need intimacy.
As men, the only way that that has been apparently available to us is through sex. Sex is the only time we are “allowed” to let down our guard and feel. To let out whatever is inside. To be expressive with our bodies. To be free.
Sex is pleasure.
And men aren’t encouraged to seek pleasure either.
We don’t do baths and we don’t do spa days. We don’t pamper ourselves and the state of the sex toy market for women compared to men really should say quite a lot about what is acceptable and expected of women and not of men.
There are a myriad of ways for women to feel pleasure and it is not expected that men may want or need them too. Not necessarily rotating rabbits but a source of enjoyment and freedom at feeling free to be ourselves.
Men are often expected to stroll through life not needing kindness or consideration, romance or affection.
And it’s not right. We can still be tough and need a cuddle. We can still work hard and want to feel relaxation and rest. But often, through the conditioning of school, of relationships, of religion, of culture we are only given one tangible outlet for all of those things. Sex.
So no wonder we chase sex. No wonder we’re obsessed with it.
Truthfully, we’re not obsessed with sex at all. We’re obsessed with being seen, feeling love, receiving affection. We’re obsessed with being allowed to feel.
We all need to realize that there are a myriad of ways to feel intimacy, pleasure and love as men. But that we have been conditioned to believe there is only one. Sex has become the pinnacle. The focus of every relationship. And whilst it is an essential part, it is not everything.
We need to feel. And we all need to be okay with us wanting that. No longer should we shame and push away our men because they “only want sex.”
Because we want to feel love. We want to feel you. We want to feel wanted, important, trusted. We want to feel.
So let’s find a way to realize the full beauty of life, of ourselves, outside of sex. And let’s enjoy sex too. But not as the only source of intimacy available. Because it’s not. It’s simply not.
Let’s work together to connect, to care for each other, to see each other and to let each other feel.
And yes, let’s have sex.
But let’s do a bunch of other stuff too.
Author: Andy Charrington
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photo: flickr, courtesy of author