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March 10, 2011

Fear of Male Sexuality

Why are there so few real discussions on men’s sexuality?

Turn on Oprah, or for that matter almost any television show. It’s commonplace to see a discussion with women on sexuality. Women are talking about all aspects of their sexuality – everything from relationships to vibrators to some pretty kinky stuff.

Where are the men? When’s the last time you saw a discussion of male sexuality on television that wasn’t about related to an erection/penis size pill, criminal behavior or something with lots of judgment? There’s no real discussion!

Rachel Rabbit writes about her experiences at a bi sex party… “At most parties, women have control and men are less active in initiating. But in this space where men hit on other men, testosterone flourishes. I didn’t feel unsafe, but I did feel this vibe. The guys were there to play, and it felt like a celebration of male sexuality. Is that why we are so scared of their bisexuality? I wondered Is it because we condemn and dismiss male sexuality as a whole?”

I agree – our culture either condemns male sexuality or we laugh it off. Male sexuality is a stereotype – it’s something to be snickering at or acting with lots of bravado about. We pay attention to al the outliers – just look at Charlie Sheen. We’re quick to judge and condemn, but we rarely have intelligent conversations about it.

We can’t even say no when we want to.  Women have ample permission to say no but when a man says no we assume that there must be something wrong. Believe it or not there are times when we don’t want to have sex!

When male sexuality is celebrated there’s this ‘ewww’ factor that just won’t go away. There’s the whole concept of a MILF. When’s the last time you heard someone talk about a DILF? Older women are hot and sexual. Older men are just dirty old men. When a woman talks about sex she’s a ‘sex educatior’ when a man talks about sex most of the time we think something’s wrong. I can name a dozen widely known female sex journalists yet I can only think of one well known man  – Dan Savage.

No wonder many men have such a fucked up view of sex. We’re constantly aware of the dissonance between what society says we’re supposed to be and what we may actually feel. We feel that our sexuality is supposed to be turned on like a light switch, and when we don’t feel that way we think we’re not enough of a man. Yet when we ARE turned on like a switch we feel condemned by our sexuality. We can’t win! We’re constantly aware of the inner voice that’s telling us we’re supposed to know everything, be hard at the drop of a hat, have a cock that is the envy of all. At the same time, we’re not supposed to actually do anything with any of it!

Yet, I’ve found that when I celebrate my raw primal sexual self (ewww!) I feel at peace, grounded and happy. And, when I don’t feel like it, I’m perfectly comfortable saying “not tonight I have a headache!”

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