2007


Gender Issues and Relationships and sexuality21 Oct 2007 09:30 pm

In the previous posts I’ve talked at length about the powerful and somewhat pervasive role the male sex drive plays in the lives of many men. In the most recent posts I’ve pointed out how a couples commitment to giving and receiving pleasure can successfully bridge differences in sexual desire and appetites.

Yet, what happens when a partner won’t commit to pleasure or into attempting to match their partners sexual appetite and instead just demands their mate to curtail their sex drive? What happens when a person demands monogamy while refusing to meet their mates sexual appetite?

The question I have is how fair is it to demand sexual fidelity when one is not committed to  meeting the sexual desires and needs of their mate? Does it bode well to expect a person to  repress or deny their sexual urges? Is it healthy? Is the person who will not attempt to meet their spouse half-way showing the same commitment to the relationship as they are demanding their spouse to be by being faithful and monogamous?

Fortunately for me I never had to answer these questions as we successfully bridged the sexual appetite gap by being committed to giving each other pleasure. Yet, I’m not sure I would have been able to get through my hormonally driven 20’s and 30’s in a healthy manner if I would have been demanded to cut my frequency of sexual encounters in half.

I know it would have been difficult and somewhat harmful to my sense of contentment and happiness. I know I would have felt less loved, and appreciated. I know I would have felt less connected and intimate with her. If I stayed righteous I would have been angry with her, but more often I would have felt that there was something wrong with me and begin to resent both my sex drive and myself.

My feeling of disconnectedness and being misunderstood would make me very vulnerable to straying and finding solace in the arms of someone who did not make me feel bad for wanting to touch, hold and make love to them. I would have been thrown back to my adolescence and felt rejected every time I desired my wife and she did not desire me. Each time I would have been drawn to her and wanted to devour her with desire would have been emotionally painful and accumulatively alienating.

Many recent gender studies indicate that female infants are far more interpersonally oriented than male infants. At a very early age female infants spend a great deal of their time looking at faces and listening to conversation. Male infants on the other hand tend to be more interested in objects. This gender tendency often results in female toddlers and tots developing strong language skills and seeking conversation. The focus of young females is often on forming best friends and their ability to make and maintain friendships is paramount to their positive feelings of themselves.

Male toddlers and tots are more object oriented. Their relationships are often less verbal and more geared towards activities. While the typical female child is talking and engaging in highly sophisticated social interactions the typical male child is usually indulging in highly physical activities that are more action oriented with less verbal demands. As always it is important to note that no one is saying that every female infant is verbal/relationship oriented, and every male infant is physical/activity oriented, but the tendencies are rather predominant. There are tomboys as well as verbally/relationship oriented male children, yet the majority of cases support the gender tendencies.

While the male sex drive is often a major component directing men into an increased desire for relationships, the female desire for verbal interchange and emphasis on relationships is ever present.  I point this out to make an observation.

In our society a man is expected to stay monogamous no matter how interested or open to sex his wife may be.  Yet, how successful is it when a woman is demanded to curtail her desire for verbal friendships to show fidelity. What happens when a society or partner views social interactions without the spouse present as a form of infidelity? What happens when an insecure and jealous spouse views all forms of individualized socializing as being unfaithful or a sign of not being committed to the relationship?

In many societies woman aren’t only expected to avoid forming friendships with males when they are married but are expected to avoid public interactions with other females without their husband present. My father was a very traditional Italian man who “forbade” my mother from socializing without his presence. Did she honor this?

While she never openly rebelled against this expectation, she had many friends she would see without my father present. Likewise, I’ve read a few books written by Arabian women who state that they are forbidden by their patriarchal societies from socializing with female or male friends without their spouse being present. Not one of the woman I’ve read has honored their husbands or societies wishes in this manner.

I would think that the biological imperative and hormonally driven sex drive of men is at least as strong as most womans desire and need for verbal interchange. If a man does not meet his wife’s needs for verbal discussion and disclosure most wives feel little if any  guilt about being unfaithful in this manner. In fact most would not deny they were being unfaithful and bluntly state that the expectation is sick and cruel.

I’m not going to disagree with this but it does seem a little odd that the desire for verbal interchange is viewed as something that cannot be curtailed and denied while  the biological imperative is.

I know most people are appalled by the fact that I’m comparing the male sex drive with the desire for social interaction.  I’m sure that many would state that talking to others is not being unfaithful and anyone who thought so was just a controlling, jealous person with unrealistic expectations. Yes, and I would agree with that. Yet, the fact remains that we have no trouble in demanding the restricting and curtailing one of the strongest drives in nature in one gender while thinking it is unreasonable to restrict a likewise strong proclivity in the other gender.

I do think this is worthy of thought. I’ll write more on this soon.

Jim Guido

General13 Oct 2007 12:12 pm

In the last post I talked optimistically of how being open to sexual pleasure is a way of bridging the gap between hormonally driven sexual appetites. In this post I will attempt to clarify a few points left somewhat unsaid.

When one person, more often then not the male, has a higher urge for frequent sexual intercourse, the easiest solution is for the couple to focus on increasing and intensifying the amount of pleasure involved in their sex life. A person who is less driven by hormonally induced sexual urges will be more open to frequent sex when sexual intercourse becomes a playground of pleasure. While the initial motive may continue to be sexual urges in one partner the other’s motivation may lie in the realm of pleasure.

If both partners are committed to both giving and receiving pleasure the chances of developing a rewarding sex life are quite high. This insures that each person is feeling cared for and also allowed the joy of being the source of their partners ecstasy and pleasure. If one is open to either only giving or receiving pleasure the pleasure circle is left open and one or both of the couple may feel inhibited or frustrated. When both can give as well as receive affection and pleasure, the intimacy and completeness of the experience can be quite fulfilling. Sexual intercourse is a vehicle for intimacy, maybe even the vehicle with the most potential for intimacy at man’s disposal, yet it is not in itself intimacy.

While much of my posts have focussed on the biological imperative and hormonal urge inherent in the male sex drive, this now brings us to some of the other components of a satisfying sex life. Though releasing and sating the biological imperative is an often unappreciated aspect of the male sex drive, it is not the only important element.

Many men have had the experience of being as sexually frustrated after sex as before it.  Many men have experienced unrewarding and unfulfilling sex. When sex is just a release and does not involve feelings of intimacy and mutual pleasure it often fails to sate  or fulfill.

Sexual intercourse and orgasms are vehicles for and components of sexual satiation, but are not in themselves sexual joy.

Just as I think it is unwise for a partner to equate sex with intimacy, I also feel it is unwise to remove or minimize the role of sexual intercourse in intimate partnerships. There are many forms of pleasure, but the potential for physical, emotional and visceral  pleasure in sexual intercourse is tough to match. In my book, available  on this site, Exploring Intimacy I define intimacy as the desire to become closer to, or familiar with. One can be come intimate with almost everything. They can become intimate with nature, themselves, knowledge, science, music, etc.

Yet, when it comes to becoming intimate with another human being it is hard to deny the privileged role of getting to know them sexually. Our bodies along with our thoughts make up our experience. We experience the world through our bodies. Letting someone touch and please our bodies is allowing someone to influence our experience at its source. There is much vulnerability is giving someone this much power over our experience, and there is so much potential for intimacy in having someone know what we experience as we experience it.

Can we experience intimacy and physical pleasure without sexual intercourse?
Yes, of course we can. Affection and massage are often very rewarding and pleasurable.  Conversation too, can be very intimate and pleasurable.  Yet, it is hard to deny the almost infinite potential for intimacy in sexual intercourse due to its visceral intensity and tangible, spontaneous experience of each other.

That is why monogamy is so attractive. Two people commit to each other and vow to share their entire lives together. Such a commitment cries out for intimacy. By definition marriage is a vehicle by which people commit to learning all they can about each other, their hopes their dreams, their thoughts and feelings. How can one not view this as a commitment to pleasing each other? How can one deny the potential for pleasure harbored in sexual intercourse and in the intimacy of the body?

Next post we will talk of what happens when the commitment of monogamy is not an invitation to bridging the gap between sex drives and appetites.

Jim Guido

Gender Issues and Relationships and sexuality10 Oct 2007 05:54 pm

Our recent posts regarding the male sex drive have shown how pervasive it can be. As we have noted, in adolescence and young adulthood hardly a waking minute will pass for the average male in which sexual thoughts and fantasies are absent.

Males are fixated on the biological imperative and in seeking sexual encounters, in general, in a far more intense and frequent fashion than females. Feminist often bewail the males obsession with sex and sometimes go as far as to say that such a fixation on sex is unhealthy and immature. They view mens’ sexual desires as being dehumanizing and object oriented. And while I agree that this can and sometimes is the case, I feel it is more how we  treat and oppress the male sex drive which makes it so. In future posts I will explain this idea further, but for now we’ll just say that it is true that the average man focuses on sex to a much higher degree than the average female.

Women often point out that the male obsession with the act of sex and the male orgasm stunts relationships by overemphasizing the role of sex. Many strong arguments and examples can be given where the male sex drive relegates all other forms of human communication and intimacy in a relationship to a far too irrelevant position.

What is curious and a bit contradictory is the fact that while men focus on the biological imperative more than women, social convention sure focuses its attention on the sex act in the concept of monogamy. If sex isn’t so important than why the need for monogamy? Why is a relationship considered un-intimate and unloving if a spouse has sex with other people?

I’m not asking this because I’m opposed to monogamy or desire to espouse a state of pure hedonism. On the contrary I’ve been in a very rewarding and intimate monogamous marriage of some 24 years now, and I do feel the potential for intimacy in a monogamous relationship is hard to near impossible to match in an “open relationship”. My main reason for highlighting the social expectation of monogamy is to point out that while men are often more sexually driven, both men and woman place a high priority on sex in intimate relationships.

The question should be if society is to have the expectation that life partnerships be monogamous than how do we go about structuring marriages so that this can be easily accomplished? If we truly wanted to foster mutually rewarding monogamous partnerships than we should do more than just make the demand of fidelity? It would make sense that we should make an effort to understand the male sex drive and make the social expectations of it realistic and compassionate? Rather than blindly strive to regulate or repress the male sex drive we should try to find ways to unfold it?

Luckily for us nature has done as much to assist us in this matter as it has to make sexual fidelity difficult. In the all too common situation where a man’s appetite for sex is  higher than his mate there are some potential areas which can bridge the sexual desire gap.

First it would seem wise to find a mate whose sex drive is somewhat close to yours. A man who wants sexual intercourse daily should not try to form a monogamous relationship with a woman who only desires sex on a weekly or monthly basis. This is setting oneself up for failure as the priority gap is far too wide to successfully bridge.

Since sex is about pleasure as much as desire it offers many opportunities to reach a rewarding compromise. A man devoted to pleasing his mate and a woman open to the physical pleasures of sex have a very good chance of getting on the same page sexually. While a man often has a stronger and more pervasive sex drive, the females ability to experience sexual pleasure is as strong if not stronger than a man. So while a man has a built in sexual urge, the female has an almost endless ability to attain sexual pleasure.

While even the most potent of young men can have a handful of ejaculations  (pun intended) the females ability to have orgasms is relatively unlimited. Not only can the woman have more orgasms, but their intensity seems quite awesome as well.

A woman who enjoys sex is more likely to increase the frequency of their sexual encounters. The man who makes pleasing his partner his highest priority is likely to successfully bridge the sexual drive part of the gap. While many sexually gratified females don’t  ever become as sexually driven or obsessed as their mates, they do find ways to match men in the pleasure department, often making them open to frequency of sexual intercourse as their hormone injected partner.

In my next post I will explore some of the problems in bridging the gap in relationships where there is a significant gap in sexual appetites.

Jim Guido

Gender Issues and Psychology and Relationships and sexuality09 Oct 2007 10:20 pm

Before I get to the post I had promised to write a couple of blogs back dealing with sexual appetites and monogamous relationships, I thought I’d take a few moments to expand on an idea tacitly expressed in the last post. That would be that although females have a tendency to focus on beauty, they often don’t emphasize this when it comes to sexual partners.

Often times one finds woman choosing or actively pursuing sexual relationships with men for other qualities than beauty. While men often blatantly seek sex with beautiful or voluptuous women, they seldom make celebrity a major decider. Women, on the other hand, often seem to gravitate towards men who are famous, wealthy and successful regardless of their physical beauty. While the musicians, actors and athletes who find themselves surrounded by groupies are often viewed as handsome hunks, there are just as many who have groupies despite not being particularly attractive.

Wealthy professional men and celebrities who border on the hideous can often find themselves eager female sexual companionship while poor or common men with firm bodies and relatively handsome faces will find sexual companions a rather scarce commodity.

This again is perplexing for the average man who hears women pepper each and every conversation they have with constant references to the beauty of this person or that thing. If a woman’s world is so dominated with the concept of beauty than why do they not find many men beautiful and why do they than seek sex with men who they often acknowledge not being particularly handsome?

Anyway this is just an observation that came to my mind during the last post.

I so want to reiterate a few things about these observations regarding male sexuality and gender differences covered in these posts. First, they are obviously tendencies and are not intended to suggest that every male or female fits these qualities to a tee. Second, all of the observations I’m putting forward are based on heterosexual males and females. This is done to one, keep things simple, and two because this is the sexual world I live in. Though I have many gay and lesbian friends it is not an emotional and sexual  world I can understand well enough to provide any insights.

This brings us to a thin line I seem to be walking in these posts exploring male sexuality and its impact on heterosexual relationships. On one level I’m starting from my own personal sexual world and experiences and using them to form some basic observations of human relationships. I’m then using conversations with others and reading of sexual literature to help validate and expand these theories.

I’m hoping to base my observations on real life experience, without doing some sordid tell all diary. I’m trying to use my sexual life as a litmus test and reference point so that I don’t stray too far from the real and just spout forth theory after theory.

I also realize I’m making a lot of generalities which some may find offensive and others will react to as being too stereotypic.  Yet, how can  one talk about  gender without  being broad and judgmental? Of course there are going to be overstatements and inaccuracies. Yet, tending to the hundreds of exceptions in every general tendency would water down the power of the observations and one would end up saying nothing.

It is absurd to think that all of humanity can be broken down into just two categories, or a thousand for that matter. Yet, I think looking at some major tendencies of the genders can be very instructive and potentially have a great impact on improving the quality of life for many of us.

The goal of exploring and discussing male sexuality is to help us create reasonable expectations of men and to understand the hurdles their sexuality poses for their ability to find happiness and successfully exist in intimate relationships with others.

One of my working hypotheses is that the structure of our society is often blind to and unnecessarily negative regarding male sexuality. The result of this is that many men are often emotionally damaged and ill prepared to flourish in a monogamous intimate relationship.

The solution to this seems to be in engaging in a frank discussion of male sexuality and then in some tweaking in the way we structure and view relationships. For those of you who are upset at my focusing so much energy on sexual behavior and thereby missing the other vital aspects of healthy and successful interpersonal relationships I ask you to be patient.

The male sex drive is very strong and deserves to be fully appreciated and respected before we move on. The biological imperative is not everything, but it is central and important. A rewarding monogamous relationship involves much more than sexual gratification, but it appears to me that the visceral aspect of the male sex drive usually gets demonized and undervalued. I’m attempting to give the male sex drive its primal role and importance before integrating it into a balanced healthy relationship.

Jim Guido

Gender Issues and Relationships and sexuality06 Oct 2007 04:47 pm

There are two basic modes of appreciating beauty. The first is in finding something pleasant to see, touch, hear, etc. In general this is when we find the form pleasing. The second type of beauty is when we appreciate the efficiency or usefulness of an object or quality. This is when we find beauty in the function of something.

Form is the mode of beauty most commonly stated and is the preferred mode of most females. Since many males seldom comment on the pleasantness of form we are often categorized as being blind to beauty or at least indifferent to it. Yet, the truth of the matter is that most men do see beauty in the world, but our preferred mode of beauty is in appreciating excellence of function.

Men see beauty in a well designed machine, in intelligent tools, in the elegance of a mathematical or scientific theory. We will see beauty in the efficiency, excellence or creativity of a particular play in a sports contest or in an athletes performance.

While the average woman will like the look of a statue or hardwood floor the average man is more likely to be impressed with the beauty of the craftsmanship involved. Obviously if a woman is an artist or a craftsman she will appreciate the talents of the artist, but even these women are often initially drawn to the piece due to its striking beauty. Many men on the other hand will have the opposite experience, whereby he firsts is drawn to the craftsmanship and then to its visual splendor.

Yet, even the most beauty oriented man in both form and function would acknowledge that the majority of women are as or more devoted to beauty than he. As mentioned before, the frequency in which the concept of beauty enters female conversation is astounding when compared to male verbal interchanges. In addition to this, the percent of time that female conversation revolves around the form of beauty rather than its function is also quite amazing to the average man.

As I also observed in a previous post the female body is the center of the male concept of beauty. Especially as the form of beauty. Men never tire of looking and admiring the female form and recent studies suggest that watching or ogling the naked female body might actually lengthen the life of the average male.

Yet, one has to wonder if even this love of the female form is structured in her function as the source of sexual pleasure. Could we not say that the promise and function of pleasure is at the source of men’s obsession with the “beauty” of the female form?

What is most depressing and confusing to men is how little women seem to appreciate and focus on the male form. While woman often complain about men obsessing over female bodies, men are often flustered with how indifferent woman seem to be about the average man. Sure woman will swoon over an occasional handsome face or comment on a particularly shapely behind. Some men can get positive recognition for a muscular or well toned body, yet the majority of men have to adapt to the reality that woman don’t find their bodies sexually intoxicating.

While there are men who are sexually aroused by almost any body type, there appear to be very few male body types which are sexually provocative.

One of the easiest sight gags in movies is for a man to parade around in his underwear or be naked. Yet, seldom if ever does one use the female form as a source of comedy in motion pictures.

Adolescent boys are often blind to the fact that girls don’t find their bodies and faces particularly attractive. They assume that since girls are flirting with them because they are too hot for words. Boys assume that since they are attracted to so many females that girls must find them as irresistible. When they start to notice that girls aren’t swooning over them, they usually don’t take this to mean that girls don’t get sexually aroused as often as men, but rather that woman don’t find them attractive. Most adolescent boys with the least shred of sensitivity only end up feeling personally rejected and interpret their flirting with other guys as a sign that they do in fact find other men enticing.

I will end this post with the lyrics to one of my songs. I think it sums up this post rather well.

 

 

 

Preening Like A Peacock 6/7/06

Preening like a peacock hormones out of control
Preening like a peacock putting on the show

Women find beauty in natural things
Sunrise/sunset, seashores and gems
Women see beauty in many things
Flowers, colors, in fashion and rings

She sees beauty everywhere, preening like a peacock
Why is she looking way over there, preening like a peacock

A woman feels beauty in every touch
In satin, silks and in a baby’s flesh
A woman smells beauty in every sniff
In perfumes, herbs and floral scents

Spending hours smelling roses or buying a new top

A man sees beauty in the girl of his dreams
His temptress, his partner, his goddess his queen
A man finds beauty in a woman’s form
A breast, a thigh, a hip bone exposed

She is the goal of art
She is his anchor and spark
She gives the milk of life
Without her he shrivels and dies

A man feels beauty in the passion of curves
Flowing from buttock to the small of the back
A man feels completion with a woman in tow
She’s his altar, his Eden, his castle and throne

While I preen my feathers I feel oh so hot
Every time I feel I’m pretty I hear the bubble pop

Nothing pleases like a maiden in heat
Itching for pleasure from her head to her feet
Yet lust fades as quick as it comes
From an 8 course banquet to a stick of gum

In a woman’s world of beauty men don’t make the cut
A few handsome faces maybe and the occasional butt
But we’ll never really get it, we’ll continue to strut
We’ll shake our tail feathers thinking we’re too much (we’ll strut our stuff)

Gender Issues and Relationships and sexuality30 Sep 2007 07:37 pm

Pleasure and beauty are neither synonyms nor opposites. In most cases a certain amount of pleasure is derived from beautiful things. Yet, one can derive pleasure from things which are unattractive or even ugly. Many unattractive foods can be very tasty and pleasurable.

There is no doubt that a beautiful face can get a man’s attention. Yet, especially for a man, satisfying sexual intercourse is about pleasure. The focus and often the goal of sex is passion, intensity and orgasm. While beauty can induce pleasure it is not a necessary ingredient to the visceral pleasures of passion and orgasm.

Since women are generally more preoccupied with beauty than men, they often view attractiveness as a vital aspect of sexuality. While many women are able to settle on a mate who they do not find exceedingly beautiful, fewer are able to engage in a sexual relationship with a man who they feel does not find them particularly beautiful.

The bulk of women’s magazines and TV talk shows spend much time discussing the importance of looking and feeling beautiful. Woman worry about their looks, aging and their bodies far more than men.

Many women would object that if men aren’t obsessed with beauty then why do so many married men have affairs with younger women or remarry younger women? If this stereotype is true than the question could be why do so many women who are so concerned about beauty have affairs with older men, or marry divorced men who are significantly older than themselves?

One explanation is that it is common for both men and women’s sex drives to decrease as they get older, and it is only natural for a man open to an affair to be looking for a woman with a higher sex drive than his wife and more akin to his. Also people’s life styles during the child bearing years often make frequent sex a logistic hardship, and therefore only a younger woman will be accessible to the time and sexual demands of the philandering husband. There also are a ton of psychological theories which talk of a woman’s desire to seek out a father figure in sexual relationships.

This is not to deny that men will more often approach and proposition beautiful women. It is only to try to put into perspective the role of beauty in sexual interest and satisfaction.

A woman who is comfortable with herself and who enjoys sex is inherently more attractive then a woman of similar beauty who is sexually insecure or disinterested. A woman who finds sex pleasurable and makes an effort to please the man she’s with will, in the majority of cases, not have to worry about his becoming dissatisfied with the relationship.

A beautiful woman is often more comfortable with themselves and their body. This often translates into their being more open to sex and to being naked. Since sexually healthy men want passionate and uninhibited sex and the female body is the thing they find most captivating in life, then it is only logical that they would gravitate towards women who appear to view themselves as beautiful.

This entire discussion on beauty and pleasure is a lead in to what I feel is the most important element of a successful life long monogamous relationship from a man’s point of view. This will be taken up in my next post in a discussion centering on male and female sexual compatibility and appetite.

Jim Guido

Gender Issues and Psychology and Relationships and sexuality26 Sep 2007 07:31 pm

We’ve mentioned a few times in recent posts the dominant role the biological imperative plays in the lives of men. A man’s sex drive can be very pervasive and effects many aspects of their life. Sex and sexual intercourse are events, but their significance can be as pervasive as their desire.

Most men understand that satisfying sex doesn’t make a good relationship. Yet, for many men a rewarding sex life is an important and often essential ingredient in a lasting relationship. For many men the concept of having a fulfilling relationship with a poor sexual component doesn’t make sense.

Women in our culture place a huge emphasis on beauty. The concept of beauty is present if not central in most conversations between women. Women comment on the beauty of each other’s appearance, their hair, shoes, the clothes they are wearing, or some little stylish accent. In stores they talk about the beauty of fabrics, smells, artifacts, merchandise arrangement, lighting, etc. It is also interesting to see how often women touch something while declaring its beauty as the enter a store, and similarly as they leave the store. In restaurants comments of beauty go from, the decor, to aromas, to food presentation to nick-knacks on tables and walls.

The list of places and events in which woman note and emphasize beauty in near endless. Of course, we have said nothing about babies, flowers and pets. In my near 25 years of marriage I have never heard my wife tire of stating how beautiful every plant and flower she sees is. I have made note of this and have on occasion playfully responded to her squeal of “aren’t these roses beautiful” with “no, dear I find them butt ugly”.

Just as its not fair nor true to say that woman don’t focus on sex or find it enjoyable, it would also be unfair to say that men don’t appreciate beauty nor find things beautiful. Yet, just as it is fair to say that women aren’t as obsessed with sex or as sexually driven as the average man, it is fair to say that men aren’t as preoccupied with beauty.

A woman’s emphasis on beauty gets played out in the sexual arena in a variety of ways. First there is a great amount of energy placed on looking sexy, alluring and pretty. Countless hours are spent by the average woman in “looking their best” or “presentable”. Sometimes this is done to attract men, but often it is done to feel good about oneself and is important in the culture of sisterhood. Where as we pointed out earlier how common it is for women to compliment each other on the beauty of their presentation, we didn’t mention, however, how common it is for women to make negative comments about the dress and presentation of men and women behind their backs.

Women are often disappointed when their spouse or boyfriend doesn’t compliment them on their attire or mention how beautiful they look. It is not unusual for a woman to be turned off or get out of the mood, if a man isn’t properly admiring of her dress or sexy lingerie.

Many women expect their man do find them more beautiful than any other woman, and express great displeasure if their man looks at another woman. While beauty does play a role in a man’s sexual universe, it is often not a prominent one. A pretty face is often a strong component in attracting a man to a woman, but often men are physically attracted to their shape or body parts.

In my next post entitled Beauty: Form versus Function I’ll contrast and compare male and female views of beauty. Yet, at the moment I think it is important to say that for many men the most beautiful thing in the universe is the female form (body). All one has to do is study the history of art to notice the predominant role the female form plays in the mind and imagination of men.

What this means is while the woman is focusing on her mate appreciating the beauty of her dress, hair, or frilly underwear, the man is eager to see what he finds most beautiful, the naked female body. On Christmas many a mother is disappointed in her children being unappreciative of the beautiful packaging of the gift as they frenetically rip away the paper and ribbons to see what they got. Likewise, while a dress may entice or accent the beauty of the female form the true vision of delight for most men is the body itself.

This brings us to the main point of this post, and that is much of the beauty of the female form is in it’s promise of pleasure. In essence, the male sex drive isn’t about beauty, but rather pleasure. Bad sex only temporarily relieves the biological imperative, while good sex is a wonderland of pleasure.

While beauty, as they say, is often only skin deep, pleasure is felt in the marrow of one’s bones. Pleasure is visceral, and in many ways the essence of life. Sexual pleasure can be fulfilling to all senses, not just the eyes, but touch, smell and taste. Even the sounds of love making can be rewarding and uplifting.

In my book Exploring Intimacy I talk in detail of the privileged role sex plays in becoming intimate with another human being. How the sharing of one’s body is the most risky and potentially powerful experience one can devise. (The book can be read in it’s entirety in the “words” section of this website.)

Good sex might be about receiving pleasure, but great sex involves giving as well as receiving pleasure.

More on this soon. I’m afraid as usual that I find it hard to get all my ideas out regarding a subject matter within the confines of the length of a standard post.

Jim Guido

Gender Issues and Psychology and Relationships and sexuality23 Sep 2007 06:56 pm

Pheromones are chemical secretions of a species which gives a message to other members of the species. Insects in particular are affected by a number of pheromones, some of which play an important role in sexual arousal and mating.

While the existence of sexual pheromones in humans is still under debate, one can make a strong case that there are many biochemical elements of human sexuality which impact sexual arousal and attraction.

When I was a young adolescent I found myself drawn to a number of females on a very primal level. In these situations other elements such as body type and beauty took a back seat to this animal attraction (magnetism). One young lady in particular had an incredible pull on me.

When not in her presence I could find many faults in her. Though I found some aspects of her looks and body attractive there were many other aspects which I found neutral or even unappealing. She was buxom and had a child like innocence in her blue eyes which I found quite alluring, yet she had a weak chin and her body was rather rather squarish, which was a turn off. Being Italian I usually gravitated towards women with big hips, round butts, and an olive complexion, while this lady was blond and kind of washed out.

Yet, when in her presence I found myself more sexually attracted to her than any other female in my life. The closer the proximity the more drugged and enamored I became. Her scent, the warmth of her body and her smile became surreal and simultaneously arousing and relaxing. When I see a cat in a catnip induces stupor it looks like how I felt every time I was in her presence.

Our relationship never lived up to the feelings it induced in me and I’m very lucky that she had the sense to reject me often enough to where I finally gave up all hope of making her my lifetime mate. During the many years when she was in and out of my romantic life, I found many women who I found more physically attractive and many who gave me more physical pleasure to be with. Though we never fought, we really had nothing in common, and I found myself more compatible with most of my other romantic interests.

Yet since her pull and effect on me were so powerful it had me wonder if she was the person I was meant to be with. When in a relationship women always wanted me to assure them that I loved them more than any other female. More often than not they felt that if I loved them more than anyone else I should find them prettier and more attractive than anyone else. This put me in an odd position since: 1) I did not find the woman I was most drawn to to be particularly pretty and 2) the women I found the most visually pleasing were seldom the one’s I was highly sexually attracted to.

When I was an adolescent boy I found myself sufficiently attracted to a significant percentage of females. I would say that I was physically attracted to at least a third of the girls with whom I went to high school. Now while I could easily state that I had a biochemical attraction to one young lady in particular, I could not say which girl I found the most physically attractive or beautiful. There were so many different types of beauty and attractiveness, and my ability to say one was truly superior to the other was impossible.

I felt that while an initial physical attraction was necessary, the biggest task was building a pleasurable and compatible relationship. Since, from a physical attraction point of view, I could imagine myself having a sexual relationship with a third of the woman I knew, I figured the real test was in building and maintaining the relationship.

I was always perplexed with how selective the girls I knew were about possible dating material. While I wanted to just find someone who wanted to dedicate themselves to trying to make a relationship happen, they talked of finding their ideal man, and how they would wait to find him.

This romantic ideal of women has been talked about in great detail in modern literature, and I will contrast and compare it with the male world of relationships in future posts, yet I will end this post with a few more observations of male sexuality.

I personally think that while women focus on physical beauty, men focus more on sexual attractiveness. We’ve already talked of how powerful the biological imperative is in the life of young men. Sex is on their mind and is the major influence in how they see the world around them, and how they view themselves. The biological imperative has men focus on pleasure rather than beauty, on sexual gratification rather than relationship. It’s not that men don’t want rewarding compatible relationships, it’s that sexual gratification is what is consuming his mind and his body.

The next post will deal with the ramifications of a male viewpoint of sexual relationships having to do with pleasure being contrasted with a female view dominated by the romantic ideal and the quest for beauty.

Jim Guido

General19 Sep 2007 02:18 pm

 I’ll get back to my posts on male sexuality after this one economic post that I did for Bullnotbull.com.

Let’s look at some of the potential reasons and personal benefits for the Federal Reserve to have cut rates by 50 basis points yesterday.

A perusal around the web and even mainstream economic outlets described the Fed as being between a rock and hard place. Article after article talked of how inflation pressures remained while a crashing housing industry was in need of assistance. Almost every article mentioned how desperately Wall Street was looking for a rate cut.

A rate cut was seen as being good for stocks and corporate America and as being a possible life boat for struggling American consumers and home owners. Those calling for a rate cut felt that the need to save the housing industry and stimulate a falling economy outweighed the risks of inflation.

At the same time a rate cut was seen as a potential kiss of death for the dollar and a risk of ushering in high inflation for the overall economy. With oil and gold near important break out levels many figured the Fed would not want to send them an inflationary message.

When trying to understand the actions of the Fed it is important to realize they are a private financial institution who is concerned with their overall economic success as anything else. Often times I read articles talking of how the Fed is more concerned with their “friends on Wall Street” than anything else. There might be some truth to that sentiment, but one must put it into context.

Like any profit based business the Fed is more concerned about their bottom line than anything else. Therefore, it may be true that they are not as concerned for the economic welfare of the average citizen as they like to portray themselves to be. Yet, their relationship to Wall Street isn’t totally benevolent either.

Most of the time the economic health of Wall Street is a boon to the bottom line of the Fed. Since the Fed loans out money to the economy they stand to benefit by fostering a climate of expanding corporate profits. Corporations which are making money are ready to borrow to fund their growth and expansion.

Yet, like every business in a competitive economy they are ever vigilant for opportunities to increase market share in their field of interest. If you look at the Federal Reserve as a banking institution then it would be only logical that they would like to increase their market share in the banking industry. Since they are not in the business of mergers and take overs their ability to get increase in market share is somewhat limited.

Yet, in the current environment of potential financial and credit crisis their does appear to be a window of opportunity. While most commentators are labeling the Fed’s actions of late towards the banks as a bailout, I see something different.

The way I see it the Fed is not bailing out the banks, but rather putting themselves in a power position. The Fed is not taking on bad loans and subprime toxic waste. What they are doing is giving out short term loans to banks while using their best assets and loans as collateral. In essence this means that the bank is losing their good money to the Fed while taking on more debt without getting rid of their defaulted loans.

What this means is that the Fed stands to benefit from the financial crisis in a number of ways. First, they will make money off of the banks whether they fold or recover. Second, they are not endangering themselves by taking on poor quality loans. Third they position themselves to be able to a creditor that a failing bank is beholding to, and could be in a prime position to take over the bank after the liquidation period. In other words the Fed could increase their market share by taking over failed banks.

Now, the fact that the Fed is not taking on bad debt shows that they have no desire to become sacrificial lambs or financial martyrs. In fact they are finding ways,like any other competitive company, to benefit from the current turbulence.

This analysis still leaves open the question of why the Fed cut rates. In fact the cutting of rates would seem to be counter intuitive to my argument of the Fed just being concerned about their economic survival. As I mentioned earlier most feared cutting rates would cause a dollar crash and a gold boom like none we’ve seen in our lifetime.

If the dollar were to die or gold became king, then it would seem logical that the Fed itself could cease to exist. After all the Federal Reserve is the reserve for the US dollar and if the dollar were to crash it would seem natural that the Fed would suffer or completely fail.

My assumption is that the Fed is self-serving and relatively intelligent and therefore they are not afraid of a dollar crash or gold/commodity bubble forming. So given the Fed’s actions of cutting rates how could they be so sure that this popular logical scenario is not going to happen.

Well, if the Fed sees recessionary deflation on the horizon then the dollar would likely rebound as investors go to the dollar as a safe haven during a stock market crash, and likewise gold and commodities would tread water or go down due to deflationary pressures.

In such a scenario most people would suffer, but the Federal Reserve would stand to gain market share and possibly increase their wealth not only in relative but in real terms.

Maybe, I’m wrong and the Fed is not looking out for number one, but is rather a benevolent socialist leader of the welfare state. Yet, I see no evident to support that notion, do you?

Jim Guido

General10 Sep 2007 03:03 pm

Before going on with some of my observations and theories regarding male sexuality I think it is important to point out the obvious. In the essay regarding asymmetrical sex drives I’m focusing on the experience of rejection as a response to most women’s relatively low sex drive. I fully realize that there are many other possible emotional responses to the difference in intensity of the biological imperative in men and women. Yet, in these essays I’m focusing on an emotional response which I think is most common in adolescent boys in modern America and which helps explain many of the apparent emotional deficits feminists have been quick to point out in their male counterparts.

In the essay on men feeling inessential and needing to prove themselves and find meaning in life, I once again realize that this is only one possible reaction. Just as two children may respond very different to the same parenting strategy, likewise two societies may respond very differently to a social situation. In fact, there is much anthropological evidence to this fact in modern field work with various cultures. In some societies men react to their feelings of being inessential by either being abusive and extremely dominating of women. Other societies revere women and make them into religious and spiritual icons. While men in other societies find meaning by emulating women or find alternative symbolic ways of “giving birth”, or of making male gods responsible for creating the universe and human kind.

While I will stay focused on male sexuality in our modern society I will try not to stay blind to other societies and other possible reactions to gender differences in sexual desire and personality.

Jim Guido

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