sexuality


Gender Issues and Psychology and Relationships and sexuality05 Jan 2008 03:14 pm

In the previous two posts I’ve discussed the ways in which society is female oriented while being male dominated. By contrasting the male phallus imagery with the female vagina/womb symbolism we attained the “unconscious” goals of the genders. Phallic symbols are all about penetration, probing, and emitting. Female vaginal symbols are dominated by images of containers, accumulation, housing and safety.

This led us to conclude that capitalistic society is very feminine in its desires and goals of consuming and accumulating wealth. Likewise, it is male dominated, where the phallic strategies of penetration and probing lead to aggression, control and a desire for power.

This bring us to the current topic of wealth and power and how it fits in with the gender tendencies we’ve been following. When considering this topic let’s not forget the pervasive male sex drive and the female emphasis placed on beauty.

The goal of the leaders of men was power and control. This power and control was not typically shared but formed a hierarchical structure where power was horded at the top. In most societies the percentage of men who had power or even autonomy were very small with the bulk of men functioning as pawns, serfs and slaves.

The drop off of power was severe and dramatic and in the majority of societies only a handful of people truly enjoyed the fruits and privileges of power. Even in democratic societies the number of men who were actually free or who had a say in the functioning of the government seldom reached more than 1% of the male populace.

The goal of the ambitious or Alpha male was power and control. Yet, even though few used this technique or enjoyed its benefits this became the view of the male personality. Though 99% of men were slaves and serfs modern thought has come to the conclusion that all men are power hungry and seek control. Modern psychology holds that the male gender is inherently violent, aggressive and its preferred means of settling conflicts is through brute force.

This view of the typical male does not seem to be born out by reality. Though I would agree that the typical male is more overtly aggressive than the average female, I would not go so far as to say that the majority of men resolve all conflicts or even a majority of conflicts with brute force.

Personally, other than frequent wrestling matches with my older brother while we were growing up, I can recall only one physical fight in my life time. And since I’ve turned twenty (over thirty years ago) I can only recall four occasions in which a single shove was involved between me and another person.

In order for this scant number of physical skirmishes to satisfy the modern definition of man, I must have had only 5-9 conflicts in my life. Though I must admit I’ve led a relatively smooth and happy existence I would say the number of conflicts I’ve had is well into the thousands and far more than could be counted on with my hands and feet.

I can tell you that though I grew up in a factory town with a hefty amount of poverty and gangs, I still witnessed or knew of very few physical fights. I have been fairly athletic and have played competitive sports such as basketball, tennis, football and baseball throughout my life, and once again while witnessing a lot of verbal battles have seen only a handful of actual physical confrontations.

Once again I want to emphasize that I’m not trying to deny that some men are frequently violent and aggressive and that their preferred method of dealing with conflict is brute force, what I’m trying to state is that the majority of men do not routinely use brute force as a strategy. Examples exist which support and give rise to any bias, prejudice or stereotype. Yet, a gender characterization should only continue when it is present in the vast majority of situations.

Also, I am not attempting to deny or minimize the fact that physical intimidation and violence aren’t significant issues to be dealt with, nor am I trying to defend or minimize the occurrences of domestic violence or violent crime.  One shouldn’t have to foster one misconception in order to prevent another one from forming.

In my discussions regarding the male sex drive I emphasized the need to neither deny nor glorify its pervasive role in male life. In fact, denying or repressing the biological imperative was seen as an important factor in the creation of sexual perversion and violence.  While investigating the current attitudes and methods of dealing with the male sex drive we outlined some of the long term negative impacts on the male self-esteem and ability to be emotionally available.

Likewise it is probably unhealthy and self-sabotaging for a society to tell all of its males that they are inherently violent creatures incapable of resolving conflicts in a civilized manner. This violent view of men has been transferred to society as a whole whereby the majority of people state that world peace or living in harmony is impossible and contrary to human nature. Though I will address more fully in a post later this month, I would just say here that once again this view is contradicted by reality. Just as I personally have witnessed general harmony with a few isolated physical fights, I have seen general peace with a few (yet significant) battles and wars.

Now let’s take this discussion back to the original issue of power and wealth. What we’ve posed so far is that the average man is not dominated by needs for power and control. In fact, the average man is himself dominated and controlled by a small percentage of Alpha males.

Historically, the goal of the ambitious man is power and control. They seek ownership as a means of establishing their power. Money, wealth and possessions have not been the goal, but rather a sign of their power and control. Money, wealth and fame have been their means of attracting and acquiring sexual favors from females. The courting process as well as the ability to maintain a sexual affair, or regularly use prostitutes depended on the ability to buy gifts and provide funds.

The male sex drive coupled with the phallic symbols of penetration lead one towards ambition, accomplishment and progress. So in a society where success is measured in the accumulation of capital and the possession of goods, men will strive to accomplish this. Yet, the goals are about sex and power (success)  not consuming and accumulation of objects.

If women were attracted to men who owned little and frugality was an aphrodisiac I doubt if men would be so enamored with buying and surrounding themselves with objects. It is the females who desire to build nests and surround themselves with beauty, comfort and luxury. It is not the typical man who yearns to pamper themselves or longs to spend the day at the spa, or who feels sad if his room is colorless and devoid of flowers and beautiful objects. It is not the typical man who gets a lift of high from a shopping spree or heart soars upon receiving an expensive gift or beautiful jewel.

In the first part of this post I talked of the differences between the Alpha male and the  rest of the male populace. In the next post I’ll expand on the significance of these differences.

Jim Guido

Gender Issues and Psychology and Relationships and sexuality15 Dec 2007 03:04 pm

In the last post I attempted to broaden the discussion on the male sexual symbol, the phallus. Rather than focusing on the phallic stereotype of violence and aggression using the standard images of guns, missiles, knives and swords I expanded on the role of penetration of the phallus and described the role it plays in invention, discovery and knowledge.

In this post I want to address the often ignored female sex symbol, the vagina and its symbolic impact on woman and society. The vagina coupled with the womb will be the inspiration of the female sex symbols. I have to admit I have not found any literature on this topic so most of this is my own.

When looking for vaginal/womb images in our society the most obvious is the purse. Many women have an intimate relationship with their purse, and they view it as an extension of themselves. A purse is often guarded and clutched on to, and no one but its owner is allowed access to the purse. While another woman’s uninvited access to a purse is considered an invasion of privacy a male’s going through a woman’s purse is often experienced and expressed as a violation of the person. Woman who have had a man take or rummage through the contents of their purse often state that they “felt violated” by the intrusion, and some relate prolonged feelings of anxiety or nausea when they think about the violation.

Though purses are a very strong and intimate vaginal image they are not the only vaginal/womb symbol. While phallic images are found in objects that are phallus shaped and are involved in the act of penetration , vaginal symbols are found in objects which replicate the function of the womb and are containers and receptacles as opposed to probes and penetrators.

The nest, the home and the bank vault are all vaginal symbols. Like the vagina and the womb they house and protect. They are places of safety where things can grow and be nourished.

Just as many objects can be phallic symbols by their function of penetration or their resemblance to a phallus, likewise many vaginal/womb symbols are by nature of their function as well as their shape. Therefore, objects which house or contain are fair game for becoming vaginal images. Pots, pans, bowls, urns, as well as gold/coal mines, caves, treasure chests and ships can be vaginal symbols. Though ships penetrating the sea can be phallic symbols, they often house people at sea and therefore can be vaginal symbols. Which could be why ships are always have female names and referred to as women.

Vaginal symbols are where things are contained, housed, stored and received. It is where things are protected, grow, develop, multiply and accumulate. Due to the menstrual cycle vaginal images also involve things that flow or are cyclical in nature. Rivers and lava are vaginal symbols as well as cash flow.

We’ve talked at length in previous posts at the privileged role the concept of beauty plays in the feminine world. Woman speak of beauty much more than men, and spend a lot of time and energy creating and surrounding themselves with beauty. When you couple this with the vaginal images regarding housing, containing and accumulating you find a strong emphasis in the female world in collecting objects and wealth.

The home is a place of safety but it is also the realm of propagation and growth. Home is where children are produced and objects are collected and stored. These objects provide safety and security as well as depict and surround oneself with beauty.

Many birds and animals who build nests and homesteads are concerned with aesthetics and not just safety. When nest building shiny objects are selected for beauty as well as function. Some male birds offer beautiful trinkets as a way of courtship, and what male bird or mammal doesn’t exert great energy in trying to appeal to the female sense of beauty through preening, colorful displays or puffing out some eye catching display.

This post is designed only as an introduction of the concept of the role the vaginal/womb symbol plays in the life of women and society in general. While the phallic symbol has us take notice of how men and society are impacted by its related images, so to the vaginal symbol should have us take notice of the values and points of emphasis that it imparts to women and society.

To sum up the phallic image is represented by objects that penetrate. One can penetrate to kill, wound or break apart, but one also can penetrate to discover, create and advance. The phallic image is seen in guns, swords, knives and missiles but is also present in most tools such as drills, screwdrivers, saws and hoes.

The vaginal symbol is seen in objects that house, contain, protect and receive. The womb and vagina are hidden worlds where things grow, flow and accumulate.

In the next post I’m going to use these male and female images to help us understand how they get played out in our culture. Some philosophers including Nietsche have stated that they felt modern civilization was becoming highly feminized and would go so far as to say that modern life is more feminine than masculine. In the next post I will explore this rather radical idea and see in what ways it applies and in what ways it doesn’t.

Jim Guido

Gender Issues and sexuality09 Dec 2007 09:13 pm

In the next two posts I will discuss some sexual symbolism of both males and females.
In general most people are familiar with the more stereotypical and mainly negative male sexual symbols, while the female symbols have largely been ignored.

Today’s post will focus on the male symbols and the next one will focus on female symbols. Most people are familiar with the Freudian and post Freudian symbols of the phallus, where the penis has been seen as the weapon of mass destruction and the poster boy for male aggression.

The knife, gun, missile, sword and even the hatchet have been widely recognized as being symbolic duplications of the male phallus. Bullets, bombs and most destructive projectiles have commonly been associated with the semen as they are emitted from the symbolic male organs.

These phallic images are important to know, but they don’t depict the entire symbolic realm of the male gender. There are hundreds of objects which reflect the form and function of the phallus that aren’t captured in the above popular symbols. While many phallic symbols replicate the form of a penis many others duplicate its function. The function of the penis is to penetrate, and its shape is designed to accomplish this. It is important to realize that the penis is itself an instrument or tool which penetrates, probes and emits. Anything which serves these purposes should be up for consideration as a phallic symbol.

Many objects such as the pen, paint brush and telescope are obvious phallic images. When someone says that the pen is mightier than the sword they probably aren’t realizing that they are comparing phallic images, but they are. And yes, the pen is mightier than the sword and words are more influential than brute force, and the phallus is not just a device of violence and aggression.

Whenever the act of penetration is involved it is a likely candidate for phallic imagery. Now, penetration is a crucial part of violence, war and aggression, yet it also is a vital aspect of discovery, invention and science. Man has penetrated many things in his journey towards civilization and improving the quality of life.

Man has penetrated and probed the earth, sea, sky and outerspace. Early man used the hoe, plow and other phallic symbols to penetrate the earth to produce crops and help us survive. He has used the telescope and microscope (both phallic images) to probe the macro and micro universe. We have used philosophy and religion to penetrate the meaning of life, as well as psychology to penetrate the internal life of the self. We’ve used the scalpel to penetrate and learn about the human body, and later to develop reliable surgical techniques.

We have used trains, cars, planes and rockets to penetrate space and propel us forward. We have used telegraphs, telephones, radios and TV’s to penetrate the airwaves allowing us to communicate with each other over long distances.

Penetration can be used to wound or kill, but it also can be the instrument of progress and discovery. Just as we have found that the male sex drive has been negatively cast, we now see that the male gender has been negatively cast by the phallic symbols we have chosen to focus on.

My intention in this post is not to try to deny or minimize the reality of male aggression and violence. My goal, like in all my posts regarding the male sex drive, is to attempt to portray a balanced view of male energy and character. I have repeatedly stated the dangers of denial and repression in respect to the male sex drive. Denial and repression of natural drives more often than not lead to poor self-esteem, perversion, neurosis and depression.

Likewise the modern discussion regarding male sexual symbols has a tendency to portray men in a very negative light. In this caricature men are inherently violent and aggressive and generally incapable of resolving issues through any other means than violence and verbal battle. The reality of the matter is that men have many tools at their disposal. In fact most tools are literally and figuratively phallic symbols. Everything from drills, screwdrivers, hammers and pickaxes to lasers, hypodermic needles and flutes are phallic symbols. These tools can be used to resolve problems, heal, inspire and improve our lives.

Phallic symbols and the manhood they depict are not just about violence and aggression, but also progress, discovery and development. Ships that sailed around the world, submarines that explored the ocean depths are just as masculine as guns and missiles. The pen and paintbrush are fundamental to human expression and communication and are as valid to the male character as is the arrow or sledgehammer.

I think it is a shame that many male children growing up over the last few decades have been made to feel inherently bad about their masculinity. Many males have been told that they must overcome both their sex drive and their violent masculine nature. While I agree that men should limit if not completely outgrow their violent tendencies I do not think that male aggression is the sum total of their masculinity, or even its most salient quality.

My drive to learn, discover, penetrate, probe and understand is and always has been greater than my desire to hurt, harm or injure. My desire to communicate, share and grow has always been greater than my desire to control, win or defeat. One can penetrate the walls that separate in order to achieve intimate union as well as to rape and dominate. The real phallus as well as the symbolic one can be an instrument of intimacy and a creator of life and not just be an unwelcomed invader.

Phallic symbols should be used to inspire and not just to warn. Phallic symbols should be used to depict the positive elements of masculinity and not just as a means of exposing male vanity and his baser nature. Hopefully, a discussion such as this will help men embrace their nature and hone their strengths while remaining aware of their faults and potential negative qualities.

A healthy masculinity like a healthy male sex drive is found through acceptance and growth not through denial and repression. The masculine nature is neither evil nor perfect, it is an inherent energy to be understood and developed. Even though no two men or their sex drives are identical there is much to learn by gender analysis and the world of symbols.

Jim Guido

Gender Issues and Psychology and Relationships and sexuality and Social Issues17 Nov 2007 09:24 pm

In the next few days I hope to finish my series of posts having to do with male sexuality. The following are the intended topics:

1) Taking up a Life World. This will focus on the amazing way in which we take up and live in a world. It will try to articulate human experience from the sensory to the conscious.

2) Experience and Limitations: In this I will try to show once again how our negative stance towards human experience has us degrade and deny our natural existence. I will focus on the positive aspect of limitations and how limits provide the very structure necessary for human experience to exist.

3) Male and Female Sex Symbols: I will try to present a balanced view of the phallic symbol in modern society. While we are very familiar with the negative stereotypes of the phallus in violent and aggressive war symbols such as missiles and guns, we are often ignore the constructive phallic symbols such as the pen and paintbrush. I will also try to present a balanced view of the sex symbols based on the female genitalia which are almost completely ignored.

This will lead into a discussion where I pose the possibility that while modern society might be male dominated it is female oriented.

4) The last post involving male and female sexuality will discuss the differences between logic and reason, and how it affects our sense of reality and our ability to appreciate and accept human life and death.

In review my first ten posts dealt with economic issues, and the last sixteen have dealt with human sexuality.
Since these posts were developed in a building block fashion, I hope you will take the time to read them in the order they were written. The next series of posts will again build off the last two series especially in the sense of unmasking popular myths and prejudices regarding human life and happiness.

I am also mixing down the last few songs on a new CD which I will post over the next few weeks. I hope you are enjoying the songs and books currently posted. I soon will use the blog portion to discuss some of my songs and their lyrics which will then be stored in the reverie section on the lyric page.

I hope to write a new post tomorrow.

Thanks for listening and to and sharing in my thoughts and observations.

Jim Guido

Gender Issues and Relationships and sexuality03 Nov 2007 11:47 am

There are those who feel that my posts on male sexuality indicate that I am over-sexualized, or place too much importance on sexual intercourse. There are also those that think while I’m overemphasizing the male sex drive, I am underemphasizing the female sex drive.

In response to my underestimating the female sex drive I’d like to point out that I have discussed and praised the female orgasm and the female ability to experience sensuality in a very rich fashion. Yet, my point was that the female sex drive is  not as hormonally driven as the male. It is rare for a female to be controlled by the biological imperative whereby obtaining sexual intercourse becomes their highest priority if not obsession. I have heard of no studies which show that the typical female spends the majority of her adolescence thinking and fantasizing about sexual intercourse and male body parts.

We refer to female prostitution as the oldest profession. Even if that is an exaggeration it speaks to the male need and obsession with sexual intercourse. One does not spend so much time and money on something that isn’t essential to their make-up. The fact that woman have not felt a need to buy sex and men did not make selling sex to females an occupation is indicative of the fact that there is a qualitative and quantitative difference between male and female sex drives.  In the previous couple of posts I stated what I saw to be the differences in sexual motivations and priorities between the sexes.

Now, when it comes to a discussion of whether I am a relatively typical male or an oversexed  maniac I would beg to point out the following.  Though I talk frankly about the importance sexual intercourse and physical intimacy has played in my life, I also want it to be known that I feel I have made sex a positive in my life. I have embraced my sexual needs and pleasures in a healthy manner and have not had my sexual desires control me or make me behave in ways contrary to social values.

In my entire life I’ve had a relatively small number of highly satisfying long term relationships in which sexual pleasure and intimacy have been prominent. I have never had a one night stand, I’ve never cheated or had an affair, I have never gone to a prostitute or even been in a strip club for that matter.

I have spent the majority of my life working with troubled adolescence and their families.  This has allowed me to see people in crisis, and see people in the process of improving their lives and themselves. My near three decades of experience in this field has led me to the following conclusion regarding mental and emotional health.

The healthier a person is the more they get there needs met in a direct fashion. The more  unhealthy they are, the more they attempt to get their needs met in an indirect fashion. I bring this up because it is pertinent in our discussion of sexuality.

It seems logical to me that a society which strives to repress, deny or overcome any basic aspect of man will produce unhealthy and dissatisfied people. I feel our attitudes towards male sexuality are unhealthy and somewhat draconian, in which we view the male sex drive as an obstacle to be controlled and overcome rather than a innate trait to be cultivated and understood.

The more we try to control  and deny male sexuality the more perversions and sickness we create. The more we imply that our innate desires and tendencies are bad, the more confused and personally alienated we are destined to become.

Though in recent posts I have focused on male sexuality, this is not the only area in which I feel we are in denial of our human nature. When I look at human society I see many ways in which we are in denial of our basic humanity and we exert great effort in overcoming these basic qualities.

I’m not advocating that we should rebel against all civilization and attempt to return to our animal nature. What I am advocating is that we don’t assume that every animal or innate tendency we have is bad or needing to be overcome. It seems to be that our unwillingness to embrace our humanity and accept the fact that we live and die, has caused us to create ideals and goals which are both counterproductive and unrealistic.

I would like to live in a world which celebrates our humanity and looks to use our basic drives and inclinations as a starting point. Yet, currently we seem to going in  the opposite direction. Instead of celebrating our physical, emotional and conscious world of mortal visceral experience, we place everything of importance outside of ourselves. Instead of savoring sensory experience and how we live in the world, we glorify all that lies outside of ourselves, and make it our only “true” source of satisfaction and fulfillment.

We denigrate the body, sensual experience, life and death, and the limitations that make all experience possible, by revering supreme beings, spirituality, and the unconscious.

All of these issues will be central to the bulk of what I put up on this website, as well as the subject matter of future posts. I once again invite you to listen to my songs and read  my lyrics, for they all aim at celebrating life while pointing out the ways in which we try to deny our humanity.

In the words section of this site you will find chapters from my novels and non-fiction works which again focus on the celebration of human existence and how to try to get one’s needs met in a healthy direct fashion.

If I were to start at one spot to best understand my basic philosophy it would be to read my non-fiction book Exploring Intimacy.  Because of its central importance to what I wish to convey to people, the entire book is able to be read on this site.

Jim Guido

Gender Issues and Relationships and sexuality27 Oct 2007 05:58 pm

In the last few posts I’ve focused on the beneficial role pleasure can have in intimate relationships, and how it can often be the bridge between men and women with different sexual appetites. Let’s take a quick inventory of the sexual motives of both men and women to see how they compare and contrast.

With men the most dominant sexual motivation is usually the sex drive itself or as I often refer to it “the biological imperative”. Adolescent boys are often unprepared for the hormonal onslaught they are engulfed in where thinking of sex and being sexually aroused are events experienced many times each day. The urge to have an orgasm to experience a sexual release is more often then not the number one sexual motivation of men.

Now the idea of orgasm and the momentary rush of ecstasy upon ejaculation are common experiences in male sexuality. Pleasure, is therefore, a typical component of the male sex drive. Yet, many men find the orgasm to be too fleeting and expand and prolong their enjoyment by making the pleasures of foreplay, touch and stimulating their partner intricate components of their sex life. This makes pleasure the second motive for most men.

The third motive for sex is built on the other two. The biological imperative and pleasure together lead many men to feel and seek a sense of connection with their sexual mate. This bond, this sense of closeness and intimacy often becomes the most rewarding aspect of their sex life. In this realm comes a sense of gratitude to their lover for what they share together, and a sense of devotion to the person who is such an intimate part of their pleasure and joy.

A fourth motive for some men is a desire to sire a child. For some men sex is a means of gaining immortality by securing a lineage and a link to the future. Yet, in the men who I have known that have seen procreation as a sexual motive, it has been more a secondary motive. The desire to procreate seemed to lead them to marriage, while the biological imperative remained the primary reason they wanted frequent sex. I have not known any men who declined having sex because their partner was not ovulating, and therefore, the sex act would not be procreative.

There have been some studies that suggest that men “unconsciously” choose a woman who is ovulating over woman who are not. One such study had men interact with females in an intimate environment and then asked each man which woman they most desired. The study found that a majority of men picked a woman who was ovulating at the time of the experiment.

Some concluded from this study that this showed that men wanted to have children. Though this is a possible conclusion, there are others. If the men were truly “unconsciously” choosing women who are ovulating there could be another practical reason, and that is that a woman’s sex drive is usually higher during ovulation. A man could be responding to the woman’s willingness or eagerness for sex rather than a desire to procreate.

I personally am not surprised that men are “unconsciously” aware of when a woman is ovulating. I have known men who have claimed to be able to know when a woman is ovulating by the scent an ovulating woman secretes. Though I’ve never been able to do this with women I don’t know well, I have been able to do this with women I have been intimate with for a period of time.

When it comes to the sexual motives of women few would state that many woman experience a true biological imperative for sexual intercourse. Women’s sexual inventory seems to start at the back end of the male sexual world. Many young women’s urge for sexual intercourse seems to be in feeling loved and feeling in love. One could make a strong case that the dominant female sexual motivation is in the realm of intimacy and the desire to be in a relationship.

The desire to procreate, to have a child, is another strong sexual motivation in females. Even before their sexual awakening many females play with dolls, fantasize being a mommy and dream of getting married. It is not unusual for young adolescent females to openly admit a desire to be a mom. The familiar cry of women that “their biological clock is ticking” is another example of how important the drive to procreate is in women.

While sexual enjoyment, even if fleeting, seems to be indigenous to male sexuality, sexual pleasure in females does not seem to be so automatic. Yet, as we mentioned before, the female orgasm and potential for sexual pleasure more than match their male counterpart.

While a woman’s desire to procreate can lead to sexual activity, it is limited. First, as we mentioned in the male desire to procreate, this desire could be limited to when a woman is ovulating and therefore, not to be relied upon to match the average male’s sex drive. When intimacy is the motive, once again many woman are offended when men equate frequent sexual intercourse with intimacy. Therefore, intimacy is limited as a way to bridge the difference between male and female sex drives because most men want sexual frequency to be an integral component of intimacy.

In the previous post I mentioned how important verbal communication and dialogue is to many women. Not many women would feel intimate with a man who talked to them only a few minutes a week, even though it is theoretically possible for two people to be intimate with almost no verbal communication. A couple that quietly did all their activities together and spent their days watching each other could become quite close. Yet, it is hard to believe that they could be as intimate with each other as a couple that openly communicated all their thoughts and feelings. Likewise, though a man and woman could be intimate with just conversation, it cannot compare to the kind of intimacy available to a couple through the realms of sexual pleasure.

In my life I have found a distinct connection between the experience of sexual pleasure and the potential of intimacy I have with a person. I find it hard to imagine me forming the depth of devotion and intimacy I have with my wife through a platonic relationship, or if I would have made my sex life with another as or more important than my sex life with her.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I do consider myself to be a sexual being. And though my wife would not claim to be as sexually driven as I, she would also be the first to admit that the intimacy we cultivated together would have been impossible through an asexual relationship.

Jim Guido

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

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)

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