Men, more than women

Submitted by ctsw on
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I'm new here, and I'm almost overwhelmed by all the wonderful new perspectives and information to consider.

However, I feel as though there's an elephant in the room that's getting insufficient comment: men use and abuse pornography infinitely more than women. This has grave consequences for society, families, and relationships.

I cannot help but feel that men, by their biological make-up, are innately threatening to these very constructs, and that ubiquitous access to sexual imagery has merely revealed the true extent and inherent nature of the threat.

The simple fact that so much of this site is geared toward helping men overcome their addictions and begin the long and arduous journey toward true pair-bonding, to me speaks volumes about how far men are, from within their own their natures, from the basic values of civilized society.

I recognize that this view is my own, and reveals much about my own issues. But it is one that has dogged me throughout my life experience as a male, and issues like what are dealt with at this site bring it painfully to the fore.

I have long felt something very few people acknowledge: that many of society's ills can be traced to men's behavior and proclivities. Of course this is extremely difficult to face up to, if for no other reason than that nothing can be done about it (beyond what human society has been doing all along), and that it pertains to roughly half the human population. For me, however, it is no less obvious and no less troubling for all its intractability.

In the quest for civility and even spiritual attainment, it seems to me that men have a much harder and longer distance to travel from where they find themselves as instinctual creatures, than do women. The prevalence of male correspondents and male issues on this site, devoted as it is to healing with sexual relationships, suggests the male predicament as a whole.

I can only say these things because I am male and have experienced them from the inside out. I am in a long-lived marriage with a loving and open-minded woman, and of course part of our intimacy is in sharing our subjective experience. I know, for example, that she has rarely if ever been tempted to infidelity by another man, or plagued with prolonged nagging sexual impulses and unmatched appetites, or used pornography. I, on the other hand, am not so immune, and have to struggle constantly to stay on the straight and narrow, even though our connection and love have deepened and grown in the years we've shared. Indeed, we seem to be in a new honeymoon phase of intense bonding in recent months--after 15 years of marriage--and I want nothing more than to honor her and be fiercely loyal to her. What tugs me away from those ideals seems to be my male animal instinct, not any hidden feelings of malice or dissatisfaction. In that sense, it feels quite innocent despite its potential to cause great harm. I am aware of having to expend considerable amounts of energy on self-control and mental discipline to maintain what seems to come effortlessly and naturally to my wife. I am a good man: loving, attentive, responsive, communicative, courageous. But I live every day with a monster in the basement, knowing the chains that restrain it are only as strong as my willpower.

Even as a young teenager, I sensed this basic disparity--and many others--between males and females. The resulting feeling of gross unfairness has haunted me my entire adult life. I do not blame women for this. It's no more their fault than it is men's. Nevertheless, I look around and can see the consequences in every corner of human experience the world over.

I have not read Cupid's Poisoned Arrow, and I will, but what I've read of the material on this site, from that book and the other articles, suggests to me that the real target of the message is men, who have an easier, more direct, and reliable connection to their experience of orgasm than do women, and thus tend to seek it much more aggressively, frequently--and independently. Men are mostly the ones who need to learn another way of being sexually intimate, and through great personal travail in many cases; women, with their natural reserves of oxytocin and female neural patterns, tend to be quick studies in the realm of harmonious sexuality. This material is presented in the most gracious, nonjudgemental, and circumspect manner imaginable, and obviously merits serious consideration and even practice, and moreover promises an astounding leap forward in our evolution as a species. But I cannot escape the impression that it is yet one more appeal to men to "work with" their innate tendencies in the interest of becoming better partners and ultimately better citizens--a time-honored story as old as civilization itself.

Women

are awesome no doubt, but both women and men have major problems with this imbalance. Its easier to see the male problem, but a lot of men have these intimacy problems because of their relationships with their mothers. It takes two hands to clap, and women arent all angels either. Its easier to blame the man, but women pull some crazy maneuvers too. Dont let it haunt you too much:)

Welcome to the site

A lot of what you say may be true. All women may be goddesses but that does not make them all Angels :). Just because a lot of men are caught in this addiction does not make them all devils.

Humans get messed up all the time. Male and Female. They do lots of things that are not healthy. I do not think focusing on one side or "attacking" one side is going to help.

The focus on this site is about balance and reuniting :).

I like your insights though. Keep sharing.

Be Safe
James

I will start with I have

I will start with I have thought about some of the things I write. I have decided to start putting warnings before I get into some of it. I agree and it took me awhile to think about it fully that I need to control or warn about some of the things I write. I think it could be a trigger for some.

I think he is right about many things in what he said. It just seemed he is bashing himself for being a man. That the things he feels or might do or how other men feel and do things is "bad". I just do not think he/we should take that approach. When we start attacking based on race, sex or ethnicity or anything like that it is going to cause a rift. We need to focus on people. We are trying to bring people together.

I know I am not very good at that yet myself. I am growing and learning. It is hard sometimes. I always fear that some of the things I write might hurt someone or myself. I just have to write them down to heal like others on this site do. I think healing is the focus on this site.

I like CTSWs insights also. I like yours. You are always honest and say how you feel. I think that is good thing for you the site and everyone.

If we do not talk about it we will not get better.

Maybe I need to think about it more. I just do not think the goal of this site was to "heal" men's sexuality. I think it is to bring women and men together. It is to heal the rift between men and women and how our brains work. It is hard to deal with. I know I am dealing with how my mind works and how I let things get out of control and then control me.

I will try to be more mindful of what I write and how I say it.

Be Safe
James

Bravo

I was so moved by what ctsw wrote...I don't think he was bashing but taking responsibility. I applaud him for maintaining his own"civility" and commitment to his marriage even though it isn't easy. He's just acknowleging what "is" not bashing. If more men out there were like that the estrangement between the sexes would not be so pronounced. There are many things women can learn from men as well. I have two sons and I have admired the way they don't let hysterical emotion sometimes get in the way of reason. They shrug stuff off quicker then I do and I think women could learn a lesson from that.
I try to be more like that. But I think he's right in that you didn't see Margaret Thatcher losing her political power because she couldn't keep her hands off her aid. And that is just in the sexual side..what about the male propensity for violence. Just look at the amount of men in jail in comparison to women. What I've tried to endorse is not a morality thing but a "workable thing"...it's not inherently wrong that men are sexual and masturbate to porn...it just doesn't work. Losing jobs, relationships and a general sense of well-being doesn't work. Thank you for your comments...very eloquently put!

You will see the same with all things different.

Woman have different body chemistries its just that. Have you seen woman on steroids well sometimes they completely cease to be woman, hey its testosterone androgenic and thats that it is what it is. Testosterone is the big guy in the sex equation woman produce smaller amounts in the ovaries which are like the testicles <<<< developed differently because of hormone exposure in the womb<<<<<<

CTSW

m78

Thanks for your post, but I do not find much usefulness in it.

I think the challenge for men is for us to be honest with ourselves and our signifcant others -- to be true to our passions, our ideals, and our struggles. The elephant in the room is not porn. Who cares about porn? The elephant in the room is fear.

Fear of living a truly masculine life, a life full of "little boy" energy, a life not dictated by the expectations of others. Perhaps when we progress in doing this, real intimacy will happen.

And, it is important that we not create another fear -- fear of orgasm. If you want to let one rip, let one rip. (though I am at 22 days of no orgasm) but I would have one now if I felt like it.

Thank you

michael78 wrote:

m78

The elephant in the room is fear.

Fear of living a truly masculine life, a life full of "little boy" energy, a life not dictated by the expectations of others. Perhaps when we progress in doing this, real intimacy will happen.

And, it is important that we not create another fear -- fear of orgasm.

I like this part of your post. I think that is what I was trying to get at.

Also I recently lost my fear of orgasm. I think that is why I feel at peace and calm about the whole thing now. I just have no cravings or very little since I really let that fear go. Thanks for putting that into words. I was struggling to find them.

Thank You

CTSW, thanks for your post. I really do appreciate hearing those things from a man, even as it saddens me to realize over and over and over that even the most well-intending men struggle with the instinct to mate with many women. I wonder, what has helped you most in this struggle, why is it so worth it to you to veer away from those instincts, are you just doing it for the woman or is there some benefit that you get in curbing those instincts?

Instincts are real powers that are hard to reckon with.

I personally feel that much of what men and women are having to learn in this day and age has to do with how to conserve and properly use energy, which is power. My sense is that while it can be very fun in the short term to let energy flow where it most naturally wants to (in this case, procreation), there is a deeper and longer-lasting satisfaction that comes with the skill, discernment, and power that one feels when one chooses out of free will. Just an example: my instinct every morning is to lay in bed and sleep, then eat a large breakfast. However, while this is pleasurable in the moment, it will actually leave me feeling more lethargic overall. Whereas moving beyond that lazy instinct and choosing to do QiGong and meditate will leave me feeling much more energized and empowered, because I have directed my energy.

This whole scenario of men feeling the urge to mate with anything that moves has something to do not just with instinct, I believe, but with how instincts are tied up with a sense empowerment. Since men and women are two parts of one whole, any act which feels empowering at the expense of another actually has no integrity (ie, it is not really empowerment). My sense is that the biological call to procreate is exhilerating and mimicks the feeling of empowerment, which is why it is so hard to resist. When you look at the actual effects of this behavior overall though, you will find that it is often lacking in real integrity, because it takes little responsibility for its effects.

My sense is that many men are in the process of discerning that actions filled with integrity are actually more rewarding and fulfilling than actions done purely out of a sense of physical power. But the feeling of integrity is broader and deeper than the more acute feeling of physical power. Integrity is a new orientation point. Next time you act with integrity, see how it feels in the body, as a kinesthetic experience. It may not be as exhilerating, but it is probably more meaningful and satisfying to the parts of yourself that know you are here on this earth to do more than procreate. And then, when you can merge both the instinctive, procreative drive with the sense of discernment and integrity (love) with a goddess, that is probably the ultimate. But maybe I am just sharing a woman's perspective here.

I really need some comfort, really need to know that men are capable of honoring their women and being monogamous in ways that are fulfilling to them. Because, you see, all these factors go into how I perceive the potential in my own relationship. So it really is quite important that I get some glimmers of hope from time to time that men are actually capable of devotion.

At times I have felt I needed to move away from this forum because it was reinforcing too strongly my malnourished views of men, and as such really has had a detrimental effect on my consciousness of potentials and my ability to believe it is even possible to have a healthy monogamous relationship with a man.

So I partake in these discussions with some trepidation, because I know that a lot is at stake. However, I also do know that healing only happens mutually and that it takes looking at some rough and uncomfortable aspects of the self or the other before resolution is found. If we aren't communicating, we aren't evolving. So thanks everyone!

Thanks for sparking

and inspiring discussion, ctsw. Feel free to start a blog, too.

Just a bit of background. My introduction to the concept of managing sexual energy more carefully to strengthen relationships (and quiet the trend toward habituation, which is connected to the urge to seek novel mates) came from a book written by men: Taoist Secrets of Love: Cultivating Male Sexual Energy.

It didn't focus on men's violence or "taming men" to make them good fathers or husbands - except for one cryptic comment. Its goal was purely to empower men, by helping them not to throw their energy away. (My husband and I now, of course, think that there's also a brain chemical cycle at work after orgasm, which can show up not just as lack of energy, but also as anxiety, depression, and above all cravings - including cravings for more orgasm and novel partners.)

I loved that vision of strong, healthy men, operating at their full potential. It felt totally RIGHT to me. I got even more excited when various partners began to explore the idea and noticed tangible benefits...not just in my opinion, but in THEIRS. Wow! The key to beautiful powerful men was right in front of us all...and merely totally opposed by everything Kinsey and his sexologists have taught us in the last half century. *chuckle* (I was amazed to learn that Kinsey was a mess sexually, BTW.)

As you'll see in Cupid, if you read it, it was some time before I realized that women, too, can benefit from managing their sexual energy more carefully. Again...in total contravention of the mainstream's advice.

One of the most fascinating discoveries has been that sex without orgasm is a bonding behavior (as are many other behaviors). Bonding behaviors increase the desire for monogamy from within...which is the only healthy way monogamy is ever going to work for long, in my opinion. External rules create hypocrisy and other ills.

I would be very grateful if all of you would make an effort not to perceive this information as "making orgasm bad." It's true goal is "making balance good, however you arrive at that balance." Even in Cupid we encourage couples to experiment with three weeks of bonding behaviors (with or without intercourse) and then return to conventional sex with orgasm. With such experiments you can easily see what you need to see to choose where you want to go...wherever that may be.

Without that, you're stuck in your opinions about orgasm and its role, and various things you hear here will seem to confirm prejudices (that we are promoting fear of orgasm). For example, porn addicts find it helpful to abstain from orgasm for a time...because they have wired orgasm to porn images so tightly that their brains have trouble rebooting while they're still orgasming. (Also, each orgasm sets off a cycle of highs and lows, which can cause cravings and mood swings.) It's easy to conclude from the threads of the recovering addicts that this site is part of an anti-orgasm crusade.

It's true this site has a LOT to say about the benefits of sex without orgasm, and a lot to say about the hidden neurochemical cycle of orgasm. But I see that information as very necessary in a world that has brainwashed itself never to look at what happens in the brain after orgasm, and considers any tradition that recorded benefits of finding balance or making love without orgasm as pathological. This has closed humanity's mind to making the experiments that would swiftly show it the benefits of balance. Take the information, or leave it, but kindly do not feel that you need to defend orgasm here. It is more than adequately defended in today's world, and it is not "under attack" here either. Wink

As men DO balance their sexual energy, they find their mates more attractive, they enjoy their company more, and they find monogamy more effortless. I have yet to see any other way around the challenge you are talking about, ctsw. You're right that biology is at work, but you have the power to give your limbic system the cues for habituation and a desire for novel mates...or the cues for closer bonds. Or whatever balance you choose between the two. My thought is that if you are struggling that hard, it is because you have the volume WAY loud on the habituation cues (sexual satiety), and too low on the bonding cues. http://www.reuniting.info/how_to_talk_to_cupid

Both sexes have their challenges in outsmarting their procreative programming to gain the benefits of long-term pair bonds. It's their choice. This site just gives mates more tools to work with, and encourages everyone to play around with them.

Ultimately, depending upon what your own experiments show you, that may lead to an uncomfortable question for all high-libido lovers: Do I value relationship more than frequent orgasm? It's not a bad question to ask from time to time.

too broad a brush

Isn't that a bit of a broad brush you are using there, ctsw? With all due respect, doesn't it smack of the old Victorian belief that women are morally superior to men because (supposedly) we are not as bothered by our "animal instincts" as men are? During the Middle Ages and the Rennaissance, the thinking was exactly the reverse of what you propose, and all officialdom was of one mind in the belief that it was women who are the sex that are unceasingly bothered by their animal instincts, and who are sexually insatiable. Back then, it was the belief that women were the treat to civil society, not men.

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you }:)