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There are many stereotypes that portray men as sex-obsessed machines. Books, television shows, and movies often feature characters and plot points that assume men are crazy about sex and women are only concerned with romance.
A harvard professor walks us through what really motivates men in the bedroom.
When it comes to men and sexwomen may be missing a big part of the story. From the role of porn and the strength of libido, to the importance of physical attractiveness and the desire to chase, popular culture paints a picture that doesn't always match the reality of what happens behind closed bedroom doors. The project was based on interviews with and survey responses from more than heterosexual men about their sexual desire.
They ranged in age from 18 to 65, and all were in long-term relationships or married. As men age, their sexual desire decreases.
We also find that sometimes in long-term relationships, the stress from work, taking care of kids, paying bills takes a toll on us emotionally. The thing I found really fascinating was that if men felt an emotional disconnect from their partner, they might not be in the mood to have sex. When it comes to sex, we talk about it as this quick physical activity. It really is this opportunity to be open, vulnerable, close, connected and emotional.
One of the things that stood out very strongly to me throughout my research is that men want to feel desired — they want to feel wanted by their female partner. But men were really saying how important it was to feel that those rules were reversed at times. They wanted her to give them a compliment, flirt, seduce or initiate sex. Initiating sexual activity, they said, was the ultimate, the most clear way they felt desired. Men indicated it was really a vulnerable act.
So when their female partners rejected sex, men felt like it was as if they as a whole person were being rejected because they were getting so much more out of sex than pleasure. There was this really strong connection and love these men were talking about in their relationships.
Men said they liked lingerie, a low-cut shirt or a short skirt. But the thing that they highlighted almost without fail was: That only matters so much.
What struck you about the emotional needs of men’s sex lives?
What mattered more to them was that emotional connection. That would lead to these really long slumps where no one was initiating and sex was no longer happening in the relationship. Men in my research described porn as something that was very peripheral to their sexual experiences.
Most acknowledged they watched from time to time — say, when there was a longer time between sexual activity or when they had a higher desire than their partner as a way to help bridge the gaps. It was something that scratched an itch or provided entertainment. But it was always talked about as a supplement to the primary desire, which was to have a sexual or intimate encounter with his wife.
ly, she was a writer, producer and editor at CNN. IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.
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