|Men and Sexual Tensions|
Humans like most animals have an instinctual drive towards sex. Its part of our make up and remains after emotional distresses are discharged. As humans we also have a great need for close communication with another intelligence. The cultures in the world today all seem to have deeply confused sex with close communication with another. Most adults act as though you can't really be completely close with out sex.
What we are looking for in sex is contact with the deepest and most intimate part of ourselves. Sex can be an elegant way to be close and intimate with another. Current attitudes about sex and sexuality make sexual relationships difficult in some way for everyone, as well as getting in the way of intimacy.
Just about everyone carries some form of tension about sex that makes closeness with others a challenge.
The oppressive pressures on men and women are different. Few people understand the way men lose out. We are supposed to have all the power and privilege but ? There are many buts.
Men have been brought up to be work doers and little else. However, the very best part of being human is to be loving, close and intimate with another. Because of the operation of oppression we steadily lose that part of us from the roles we have to play. Unless there is a way for us to get close to someone, we get tighter and more rigid in ourselves as we get older. We work harder at everything and make everything work.
We are trained from early adolescence to look for sex to prove our masculinity. We also find that it is the only way we are allowed to get some closeness, and to stay human. No man really believes that sex will end his loneliness and enable him to know who he really is. But it helps a little, and even if it doesn't, simply attempting to get close makes a difference.
Sex, or sexual fantasy, is a way of finding a little comfort in a hard life. It represents everything that we don't typically get to have as a man: openness, love, lusciousness, connection, attractiveness, things we don't readily associate with men. But it is what most people expect men to want in sex. Some men have given up on the whole area of sex and sexual relationships, having tried unsuccessfully and painfully to find what they thought would be appealing.
Men in sexual relationships with women often find that after a wonderful initial period of falling in love, the women begin to lose interest in sex and the men feel deeply abandoned. What is left for men is their work and other forms of activity they tackle like work.
Women are conditioned to use sex to get our attention and to build a relationship of closeness and trust. They mostly experience truly valid sexual feelings only in the context of safety and closeness. Once they have a safe relationship they begin to show their real needs and their own sexual standpoint, or at least not sex on someone else's terms.
For many women there has been no other time in their lives when they could work out for themselves what sex was on their own terms.
The way they show how hard that can be is to want sex only when everything is just right in most areas of their life. This is because the feelings of powerlessness, victimisation and the consequent resentment are so deeply installed that they cannot even imagine what sex with a man could be like for them on their own terms.
The common coping mechanism for this is for the woman to be upset at whoever is close and safe, her man. Sex on her terms starts to become possible when the upset is over.
On the other side of the bed, the man has been conditioned not to show his feelings in order to show that he is a man. Mostly we don't know what sharing feelings is about. But when we are feeling bad, worried, tense or upset, we want sex. There is no other way so readily available to us to get the close human attention that we need to heal the tension, to be ourselves and to be able to relax from whatever is the problem.
After a tight day at work sex is a way to unwind. It's a coping mechanism for just about any problems we have. But it doesn't solve the problems. It merely helps us to cope with them. It can, in fact, be disastrously counter productive to have our focus on sex and never to figure out what needs to change in other areas for us to have a better life. Many men have hard times in relationships with women until the need or expectation for sex is eased somehow , best by realising what is going on. The ways out of this include being open about ourselves and being close to our partners in ways other than sex, such as in the everyday sharing of personal and social life.
A common way for a woman to keep a man is to give him sex whenever he wants it. He may never figure out the connection between, on the one hand, getting sex on demand or at a hint and, on the other, being yelled at for nothing. It's because there is resentment at the sexual duty whether it is imposed, or self-imposed as a result of the conditioning of girls and women.
If a woman can find a way to heal "not cope with" the effects of that conditioning she can regain, maybe for the first time, her innate qualities of caring and ease with men, with and without sex. This whole dynamic is a result of our social conditioning and no part of it is related to who we really are as individual men and women.
The great, as yet unmet, challenge is to heal the conditioned tension of daily life. To have "liberation" and not just "comfort". Tension builds daily and inexorably until life is mainly taken up with coping with it. Middle age is usually thought to be a chronological phase around midlife. What we really mean is the time when life is reduced to coping, when the flexibility of youth and optimism no longer works.
It is not an intractable condition. It begins to lift as soon as effective work in discharging the emotional tension is begun. You don't have to discharge all of the tension to be youthful at whatever age, you merely have to begin and maintain the regular discharge of painful emotions. When individuals or couples begin to work through their tensions, all sorts of time together may become important close time. Sex does not have to be the only time for closeness. Sex can be a time when whatever happens is what happens, and is enriching for both.
Because the confusion between sex and closeness begins so early in life the emotional discharge work needed to free a person from confusions in the area of sex needs to be more systematic. Liberation from sexual tensions can be "won" with regular, persistent and exhaustive discharge work on all the incidents connected with sex in any way beginning with the first that is remembered today.