A Little Poll

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For the men out there: Is the main fantasy in your life about having sex with as many novel women as possible? If so, do you believe this is a natural response, an exaggerated expression of sexuality, or one that is created from male bonding (which often includes latent homophobia that can be eased if a man expresses overt sexual interest in women) and the media's preoccupation with feminine beauty?

I ask this because I just read an article that says all people (men and women both) are inclined to break women down to their parts and to see men more holistically. I find that I do this - break women down in a way that almost rates what I imagine their sexual attraction to men might be (usually comparing them to me which makes me sound vapid - but hey, I'm attempting to be honest here :) and see men more as a whole. When I look at an attractive (or not so attractive man) I immediately think about what kind of man he is. Is he kind, a douche, etc. I do not think about his parts unless I deem him to be attractive based on more holistic standards.

So, I'm curious because I'm a woman who is trying to compassionately understand men in general. Is this a man-wide phenomenon? Or do some of you have other fantasies that aren't necessarily about novel partners?

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heavens, no

I don't fantasize about having sex with many novel women. Never have. Even when I was single with no girlfriends in my life, if I fantasized, it would be about being with one steady girlfriend, not a parade of women.

I'm fairly far over on the monogamous side of the spectrum. There are probably other guys who would answer "yes" to your question.

Also be aware that responses to your poll on this forum won't be very representative of the general population. Reuniting people are probably somewhat different from the general population!

For example, since I gave up orgasms four years ago, my fantasies no longer involve regular sex. These days I sometimes fantasize about having karezza with my wife, but more often I'll just think about cuddling or reminisce about fun times of a non-sexual nature with my wife or former girlfriends.

Monogamy in Fantasy - Love that!

Do you feel like you learned this more monogamous outlook or was it something you chose over the years? And I think you're right - a lot men would answer yes - but I'm curious to figure out if this is a more natural end result or the product of culture, upbringing, etc.

Choice

A few years ago I read a book that challenged me to consider how I invest my sexual energy. I think the book was called "What Women Want Men To Know" or something like that. It was not a deep book, but this particular concept stuck with me.

The book stated that physical sex is not the only way that you invest yourself sexually. You also invest yourself when you fantasize about someone, flirt with them or lead them on, or even just watch them. The book challenged men to consider how they unconsciously invest themselves sexually outside of their marriage by girl watching, office flirting, watching porn or fantacizing about women other than their wife. It changed my whole perception of what it means to be faithful.

After that I made a conscious decision to not fantacize sexually about other women or flirt with them. If a beautiful woman walks by I will appreciate her, make eye contact and smile, but I will not leer at her.

I think that a lot of men have the attitude that porn and fantasy are harmless because there is no actual cheating going on. However, it does have an impact because they (the men) know that they are not fully invested in the marriage. They know they have a side deal going on, even if it is not "real". I wanted to be fully invested in my marriage.

So great...

What an amazing and loving decision to make for the benefit of your wife and your marriage. I sincerely applaud you for this and think your experience and insight could benefit many other men (and their wives). :)

When you made this choice, did you find it a challenge at first. Did it take a lot of time to fully accomplish? Did you use any tricks or strategies along the way to change the way you thought?

Thank you again. I'm really enjoying the conversation!

Challenge

It was a challenge at first, but it did not take long to become habit. As soon as I started fantacizing about someone I would catch myself, feel guilty, and stop doing it.

monogamy

In my case, the monogamy - the tendency to stick with one partner - was probably the result of being brought up by my parents who were and are extraordinarily devoted to each other. They were role models for me.

I remember being disgusted with the promiscuous behavior I heard about all the time when I was in high school, and I remember not wanting to be like those guys that (allegedly) slept around a lot.

I can't really claim to be monogamous in fantasy. Like I said, I sometimes think of former girlfriends. But that's certainly not a parade of novel women. And my fantasies these days are at most R-rated, not X-rated.

Fantasy

When I was young and single I fantasized about many different women. Every pretty girl that came along was likely to be the subject of fantasy for me. However, not all of those fantasies were sexual. I was not that single minded. Sometimes I just fantasized about being in relationship with them. What would it be like? I was trying them on for size in my own imagination.

These days it is rare for me to fantasize about anyone other than my wife. Some times I will encounter a woman who has a particular energy that intrigues me and I will imagine what it would be like to be in relationship with that person. It is kind of like a brief detour from reality to explore an idea, then I come back to Earth and carry on. Whoever she is, she becomes forgotten.

One thing I have noticed is that when I do fantacize about my wife, it is no longer focused on her sexual bits anymore. I used to fantacize about what sexual things I would do to her or she would do to me (in graphic detail). These days it has become much more of a soft focus. I don't visualize specific acts so much as I visualize flows of touch and caress. Sometimes there are no images at all, just feelings. It is more relaxing than arousing. I like it much more this way.

It's not universal among men

Men often get triggered by a particular type - I'm guilty of being triggered by women who in some way, or overall, resemble my spouse, but there is an occasional non-"type" trigger - fortunately she's good at picking up on when I do it, and reigning me back in. But I think that at the core, most men that have a woman in their life on a day to day basis are more prone to MO over fantasies of that woman, not random ones.

Extraordinarily Interesting

I am fascinated by the responses so far and love hearing what karezza style sex can do in terms of reconditioning the mind in a way. I can't wait to hear from more guys on this topic. Thanks to those of you who answered so far. You're feeding a mind that's eager to learn and understand. :)

LB wrote:

[quote=LB]For the men out there: Is the main fantasy in your life about having sex with as many novel women as possible? [/quote]

First, I would differentiate between fantasy, pornography and reality. My fantasies generally have to be reality-based. For example, a three-way with my wife and a mutual (female) friend; or I run into an old girl friend and we get it on; or a neighbor lady needs help hooking up a wireless network and one thing leads to another … I need to visualize a setting, the recent events leading up to the encounter and some dialog. A parade of novel women doesn’t get it for me in my fantasy world.

When it comes to pornography, I require not only novel women, but also novel settings and scripts. A particular scene may get the job done once, and twice, and maybe even a third time. But after that … boring. Click until I find something new. Also, some background plot (however minimal) helps me to really get into the characters. Wham-bam-thank-you-ma’m doesn’t do it. And I want them to be making love to each other – not just fucking. Not easy to find.

In the real world, novelty is definitely a turn-on. Even though I have been in a strictly monogamous relationship with my wife of several years, the sight of a new, attractive woman is very likely to get me interested, and probably aroused.

[quote=LB]If so, do you believe this is a natural response, an exaggerated expression of sexuality, or one that is created from male bonding (which often includes latent homophobia that can be eased if a man expresses overt sexual interest in women) and the media's preoccupation with feminine beauty?
[/quote] I haven't a clue.

not much fantasy at all here

I recall or fantasize karezza with my wife. Not too often anything else. This has been a big difference. I used to fantasize various sex acts with women I'd see on the street or beach or whatnot. Now I don't really do that much anymore. I really love thinking about the morning's karezza session and how I felt, and it's not really about the sex or sex parts at all. It's about the feelings, the emotions. It's amazing how that has changed because I used to fantasize not only about women and their parts, but about specific sex acts in great detail and that's gone now.

Wow

I really find this so amazing. Did it just go away without you having to think much about it? Do you think it has everything to do with forgoing orgasm or more with the bonding itself? Maybe a combination of both? Do you still notice attractive women sans fantasy?

I think this entire thread has been very enlightening. It seems that until an alternative is presented, perhaps men (and women to a somewhat lesser extent) believe fantasy is "normal" due to our cultural make up. It's like woman in general represents getting off and every time a nice looking one enters a man's field of vision, his dopamine receptors start firing. Very much like an addiction, as Marnia already covered in CPA. Once the addiction has lost its hold, there is room for love and 100% commitment in a relationship, without some fantasy life "on the side" as Louie put it. I often wonder what the relationships in our society would look like if it weren't for this prevalent cultural idea of woman representing gratification to man.

I wish there was some sort of checklist a person could use to change their thoughts quickly and easily. Like a step by step sort of thing that would give a guy easy tricks and tips to change his long held beliefs and conditioning. There I go trying to "microwave" everything again. I must remind myself sometimes that the body/brain/mind/soul/etc. is not 60 second Cheese Whiz. These things take time. LOL Damn gen-x generation. :)

LB wrote:

[quote=LB]I really find this so amazing. Did it just go away without you having to think much about it? Do you think it has everything to do with forgoing orgasm or more with the bonding itself? Maybe a combination of both? Do you still notice attractive women sans fantasy? I think this entire thread has been very enlightening. It seems that until an alternative is presented, perhaps men (and women to a somewhat lesser extent) believe fantasy is "normal" due to our cultural make up. It's like woman in general represents getting off and every time a nice looking one enters a man's field of vision, his dopamine receptors start firing. Very much like an addiction, as Marnia already covered in CPA. Once the addiction has lost its hold, there is room for love and 100% commitment in a relationship, without some fantasy life "on the side" as Louie put it. I often wonder what the relationships in our society would look like if it weren't for this prevalent cultural idea of woman representing gratification to man. I wish there was some sort of checklist a person could use to change their thoughts quickly and easily. Like a step by step sort of thing that would give a guy easy tricks and tips to change his long held beliefs and conditioning. There I go trying to "microwave" everything again. I must remind myself sometimes that the body/brain/mind/soul/etc. is not 60 second Cheese Whiz. These things take time. LOL Damn gen-x generation. :)[/quote]

I didn't try to change anything with my fantasies but here's what happened. My behavior changed. I stopped using porn completely and stopped masturbation. So my fantasy life was greatly reduced. And I started realizing that fantasy wasn't a good idea otherwise. And mostly stopped that too.

And the BIG thing is I no longer feel what I think 98% of men feel -- a lack of enough sex. I feel I have plenty and this translates into plenty of everything and this translates into not feeling a need or desire to fantasize.

I love looking at gorgeous women but I don't fantasize much anymore. Just want to add that, LOL.

I like your checklist idea...let me give it some thought. 

Thanks to Both of You

Emerson, I love your insights and I'd love to see if you can come up with a checklist. LOL That would be wonderful!

Rachel, great video. I can't wait to talk to my husband about this since we are both fans of Tolle. I love how he basically said looking is fine as long as it doesn't turn it to wanting - and that looking should be conscious so that you can be the observer and not the reaction. Great stuff. Thank you for sharing.

Well, I have three male

Well, I have three male cashmere goats and my main fantasy........just kidding. I do have three goats though. How about that the dishes would do themselves for the rest of my life, or that the grass in my lawn would only grow to 2" and then stop. Now there's a couple fantasies that dont involve novel partners.

OK, on to your question. Let me start here. There is nothing on the face of this entire earth more beautiful than a woman. Not a sunset over the ocean, a sunrise from the top of a mountain, the sweet fragrance of a pine forest, and so on. All of it pales compared to the beauty of women. I love to breath in women, drink in their femininity, a fragrance like no other. With that said, I dont go in for groping women with my mind. Thats stepping over a line that doesnt serve anybody. Do I have to keep an eye on myself? Of course I do, I'm in a body with a biological component and I recognize thats a part of being male. Its more about where I direct that part of me. I'll playfully flirt sometimes, but only if it feels clean.

As far as guys go, its not that I see them more holistically, its that I dont have the attraction piece to contend with. I'm not interested in breathing in a guy, especially if his deodorant is failing. On one level a guy is much easier to be with because of that, but then there's the biological competition thing, so there's a different dynamic going on. I might not look at a guys ass but I might check out his biceps or the size of his wallet. What I really want to know about is the horse power of his 4 wheel drive tractor and if mines bigger....tractor envy!!

Too much trouble

I can't even imagine more than one partner, if you have the right woman she is more than enough. More women would be unimaginable for me and quite frankly would just be too much trouble. Now, having said that, which is reality, if you want to know what I fantasize about or have fantasized about I will have to admit there have been times when I thought more would be better but then I woke up and realized that the woman lying beside me was far more than I could ever imagine, only God could create something as wonderful as a woman and one good woman is enough for me. I do like the idea of grass that would only grow two inches tall, or catching a fish every time I went fishing or killing a deer every time I went hunting, thats fantasy, but more women, that's a nightmare.

Maybe this is Maturing?

You said once you believed more was better. Do you think maybe it's about growing up to really learn to appreciate the woman next to you instead of being stuck in a "young man on the prowl" mind set? Maybe it takes time and maturity? And maybe it's a natural part of the growing up process that a lot of guys don't really get to in this day and age.

And lol. Yeah, I'd love a maid or a landscaper. Hell, just a dial in diaper changer would be nice on occassion. LOL

Too Many Women

My dad had similar sentiments to yours about too many women.

A couple years ago there was a case in the news about Warren Jeffs who ran a polygamist cult in Texas. He was charged with statutory rape for marrying and having sex with multiple underage girls. One night at dinner my dad, who is an attorney, was explaining why sex with a minor was a better charge than trying Jeffs on polygamy since he was not legally married to more than one woman. My mom was being sort of vocal and not letting my dad finish his explanation of a similar case where a man was “married” to 2 different women, but only legally married one of them.

My mom said “Well if he was married to 2 different women he had 2 wives therefore he had 1 too many wives.”

My dad turned, looked at her and said “Sometimes one wife is one too many!” My mom finally shut up and let him finish his explanation.

Growing up

It does have something to do with growing up, not to be confused with growing old. Being stuck in the "young man on the prowl" mindset is something that has not possessed me, I have been very fortunate, very few relationships, very few disappointments , and very few regrets. But that is me, I hope I don't sound chivalrous, I am not, but I have never liked the idea of lots of trophys, lots of guys do, but I never have. I went thru a period in my life when I was trophy hunting, but it was a short lived. The trophys didn't do it for me. It was like I always needed a bigger trophy, better looking, bigger boobs, etc, etc.......... So to answer your question, it does take some growing up and some maturity. But not only on the mans part but on the women's part as well. If the women were not acting like trophys waiting to be taken then perhaps the young men would not be on the hunt.

There are the those that hunt and those that are hunted, who knows whether it is man or woman, I would like to think they both play an equal part in the game we call life........... What say you?

Game Called Life...

Well here's the thing. (This is sort of a tangent and I apologize in advance. I've been told I'm very opinionated. You're about to see why that is. lol Hopefully I don't come off combative at all. If there's one thing you should know about me it's that I'm a passionate, big hearted soul. Even if it's not obvious, I speak from a place of compassion always.)

We live in a world that teaches men to hunt and women to be the trophy by profiting from our baser impulses. Neither sex often knows any better because no one is taught any differently. I honestly believe this mindset is not good for us for the simple fact that if people want to be happy in the long term we should prize each other for much more meaningful reasons than breast or wallet size. No one is really made happy by money. Cliché but true. And happy people do not jump from one bed to another. It’s just never the case. I’d even challenge someone to find me a genuinely happy, emotionally healthy human being who is strictly promiscuous.

What we know is that it's much easier for people to give into their animal brains and get instant gratification. Maybe often less realized is that this fact creates really good consumers. After chasing these highs (whether it's sex, shopping, food, etc) people are often left to wonder why they're not happy in the end. But the limbic brain is not set up for long term happiness, as Gary and Marnia have so astutely shown us. The media driven, consumer machine we live in knows this all too well. We can see it in movies, tv commercials, and by just walking through the mall on a Saturday afternoon.

Everywhere we look we are told to want more and better than what we already have. This is very much an ungrateful, childish way of looking at life. But it keeps our economy going more or less. And so we get up every day to sit behind a desk and do our 9-5 thing so we can buy more, buy better, and chase those quick moments of happiness through novel partners, bigger toys, or whatever. I believe these ideas seep into our culture in such a way that it is almost unnoticeable. It becomes part of how we raise our children by example (especially through gender conditioning) and the wheel of excess keeps turning through another generation.

I am not saying this is some kind of global conspiracy. Not at all. It just so happens that somewhere in the not so distant past someone figured out that sex sells. This began a world where women became objectified on a national and eventually global scale. Now it is the norm for men to continue to desire all attractive women throughout their lifetimes - to continue the search for more and better because that’s what they’re told to want. And very often if they don't express this attitude, other men will razz them about it. And women... well we believe we have to work our butts off to stay young and beautiful or the next time his eye wanders might be the last time we see him. We have been carefully conditioned from very early on to be “pretty” and to crave male attention even when it’s just a glance.

So what are we left with in this world we’ve created? A quickly rising 60%+ divorce rate, miserable people who jump from one bed to the next searching for that elusive thing called love, and lonely porn addicts who thought it was all just harmless guy fun because that's what their friends and the world at large told them. Is this the price we pay for living in a world full of modern conveniences and all night grocery stores? Perhaps. Is it worth it? I guess that's left for the individual to ponder. Do I think it’s the natural way of the world? Absolutely not.

Western culture

What you have just described is Western culture and you did it well. I guess it is just the way it is, but being aware and recognizing the problems with being part of it is a good place to be. There is a lot to be said for being content with ones life, it is a very nice place to be, but all too often something in us causes us to want more, I guess it is partly human nature and partly our culture but it is something we can control if we are aware of it and see it for what it is.

Absolutely

And pondering all of that culture stuff to the point of understanding it - and being aware of its impact - has been a large goal for me. I could very easily get wrapped up in modern, novelty-chasing behavior. We all could. But we'd never really be happy and that's what everyone truly wants in the long haul.

it's dopamine baby

more and more I see how much of this trophy hunting and wanting in "that way" by both men and women is dopamine. I know that's simplistic, but I mean the whole wanting/getting/becoming dissatisfied cycle...the beauty of Karezza is that it ends that and is about love and there is no cycle to it, no downs, no dissappointments...

True

And I spoke a little bit about some of the reason why people chase those highs in the post above. It's just easier, ya know. Life is hard and full of trials. It's not so hard to see why we'd all escape into fantasy or just chase a dopamine fix. It's coping with life with dopamine and it just so happens that it's socially acceptable to do so sexually. Also eating, shopping, gambling - all also socially acceptable (and exploited) and all easily taken to the next destructive levels.

So very true

I find that the problem is precisely this, that it is socially accepted. There are certain people who deny that there could be more than being carried away by your dopamine binges and sometimes they feel the need to reassure that everyone else is the same when talking to you, even when they don't know you very much. It's really sad if you think about it, like living in a very small universe missing all the wonderful things that true love and bonding can offer you. But then again, this seems to be the social standard and they feel enforced by society... By the way, Luv2fly's comment about too much trouble is just priceless!

The "fix" seems to be

to increase feelings of wholeness and abundance at a neuochemical level by avoiding the post-orgasmic neurochemical dips that can foster a subtle (or not so subtle) sense of lack or dissatisfaction. Those are the feelings that keep the "wanting machine" revving.

That's Very Possible

But can it be the only factor? I also think there is a lot of emotional/psychological stuff at work. And also conditioning in which people are taught to be a certain way. If I were male and throughout my whole life I was told I was *supposed* to crave novel women, that indeed it was a defining factor of masculinity, and I then learned to utilize that idea as a way to make myself feel validated as a man and to deal with anxiety, frustration, boredom, etc... then I'm pretty sure I would develop the habit of enjoying to gaze at novel women.

My main area of discontent with the whole scenario is that I believed (in perhaps a somewhat naive or idealistic way) that real love would transcend all of that stuff. That it would effectively make all of those other things no longer important in any way whatsoever. And perhaps because this is a long held belief for me that stops me from allowing my gene program getting in the way - because of course we already know that women are just as promiscuous as men and that women can also be subject to their baser brains.

So we have two different ideas at work here: one where a man believed he was not supposed to ever stop looking because that's just something men do and one where a woman believed love should end such behavior. And thus, there is some friction as these ideas inevitably clash. I believe if there are no dramas such as this, orgasm can't create them all by itself. Maybe what it does is bring issues bubbling up to the surface so they can be faced and eventually eliminated from the relationship equation.

But, since I have not gone more than 2 weeks without orgasm I can't really say for certain. I know there are many on this site that can attest to the peacefulness of a no orgasm approach. Perhaps I will get to test it out one day and will then have another outlook on the situation. At this stage, I am willing to go without orgasm and I think my husband is willing but not convinced it will do much more than make him frustrated. Both of us need to continue changing the way we think in order to be ready to try it I think. However, we do not strive for orgasm during lovemaking and are excited to continue experimenting and prolonging our time together. And we bond many times daily with tons of affection.

Just had another thought...

That maybe because of my spiritual experience and even pop-psychology I've been taught dealing with emotional issues is the way to go about getting rid of them - more or less. And I think maybe avoiding orgasm prevents them from being issues in the first place. I will have to think on that one. LOL It's actually a very new idea for me - an epiphany of sorts. :)

One of the things I've seen many times in reference to orgasm hangover is a lack of interest in one's partner. I've not experienced this in the least and my husband does not turn off after orgasm. If anything he seems even more affectionate, more cuddly, more loving. So maybe our hangovers manifest in different, less common ways?

Did you read "Cupid?"

Hangovers arise from neurochemical ripples...which alter perception in all different, unpredictable, ways. Altered perception is then projected onto the world around you...often onto a mate, but not necessarily onto a mate. Sometimes bosses, kids, God, other racial groups, member of other political parties....whatever...become the targets. Sometimes the ripples show up as subtle (or not so subtle) alterations in mood and sense of wellbeing.

Fundamentally...they are a "sense of lack" because low dopamine feels like "something isn't right and I need to do something to make it better so I feel good again." One of those "things" (for me) tended to be a need to remodel my partner in some way. That's why I pointed out that the ripples might be at work in your life, too. (Not saying they are, just that they might be.)

The point? Often not doing something (climaxing) is the best way to eradicate a lot of these ripples from the inside. There's no "right" or "wrong" here. It's all just your laboratory.

Maybe these articles will clarify:

http://www.reuniting.info/orgasms_hidden_cycle

The Passion Cycle

Yes, most of us were raised to think everything is fixed "out there" by processing emotions and negotiating with a partner. And we can be quite attached to this approach. I know I was! I kept thinking that if I analyzed things more, I could fix it all. I was astonished when I got better results via karezza.

Karezza is 180 degrees different. It says, "Balance your brain chemistry and a lot of external 'problems' simply deflate." It's completely logical once you understand the neurochemistry of orgasm (at least as we explain it, based on the limited science available) plus how the projection of subtle changes in feelings works. (Your ripples are projected outward and make you think problems are "out there.")

It can be hard to see the value of the karezza approach without some back and forth of three-week periods of consistency...because the subtle hangover seems to last about 2 weeks in some of us.

What you're doing is great, by the way. You've already seen the benefits of bonding behaviors and less focus on orgasm. That's an excellent start. Maybe you will never get to phase two, and that's fine as well. Just keep an open mind.