Gender Issues and Relationships and sexuality07 Nov 2009 01:27 pm

When attending recent wedding ceremonies I’ve been struck with how daunting, if not realistic, it is to commit to being with someone for the rest of your life. Being married for 26 years I’m far better equipped now to vow “till death do you part” than I was back then. Any marriage that flourishes even during the hormonal throes of menopause appears quite hale and hearty and able to go the distance.

Given the fact that committing to someone for life is so difficult, it would appear that it would be wise to maximize any factors which propel people towards bonding with each other. When you look at nature nothing propels individuals towards each other than the sex drive. The male sex drive in particular seems to be the impetus towards union.

Though it be true that in any particular pairing a woman’s sex drive may be stronger than their mate, by and large the male sex drive is one of the strongest forces in nature. When watching a nature show it is common to see two male beasts hurdling towards each other at full speed only to butt heads in the most violent of fashions with the sole purpose of winning the right to mate with a female.

While watching from the comfort of a couch women are often shocked and horrified by the spectacle while most men either think “been there, done that”, or at least feel a genuine sense of sympathy for the plight of the participants. Anyone doubting the fact that the male sex drive is stronger than the average female can just ponder how often woman pay for sex as opposed to men.

It is through sexual passion, pleasure and ecstasy that the average person desires to consume or fuse with their mate. It is through sexual passion that one yearns to know every inch of their beloved’s body and being.

Yet, in our society we have a tendency to demonize the male sex drive and demand that men overcome, master or sublimate their sex drive. Men who are open to trying to satiate their sex drive are accused of reducing their mates “to sex objects” or being shallow regarding love and intimacy.

Now I’m not saying that sex is the only important ingredient to a life long union, or that sex cannot be pathological or even a way to avoid intimacy. What I am saying is that sex is a powerful and natural force towards union, and that repressing or demonizing it is counter productive when your goal is life long partnership and union.

Every relationship is going to have difficult lean times when our lives are full of stress and hardship. During such times it if often the pleasure and closeness forged through sexual intimacy which allows the matrimonial bond to survive.

Woman who complain about the pervasiveness of their mates sexual energy are often cutting off the very blood supply that is allowing the marriage to succeed. Differences in sexual appetites is almost a certainty in every relationship, but bridging those differences through understanding and adaptation is very important.

Ridiculing a partner over their elevated desire for passion or demanding that they deny their sex drive is not a strategy leading towards forming a mutually rewarding relationship. Sexual repression, rejection and deprivation are often factors leading towards sexual addiction, promiscuity, infidelity and perversion.

Desiring frequent sex is no more a sign of pathology than enjoying food and yearning to eat is a sign of an eating disorder.

Many complain that the importance of sex in a relationship is exaggerated and over rated, and that true intimacy functions on a higher plain. Yet, most of these same people would leave or divorce their spouse if they found out they “had been unfaithful” or “ had an affair” with someone else. If they really believed that sex is unimportant than they wouldn’t feel betrayed or the relationship destroyed by meaningless sex. If sex wasn’t important than why would almost every culture on earth make fidelity the central component of the marriage vow.

Pleasurable and rewarding sex is probably the single most powerful tool we can use in creating and maintaining a life long intimate relationship. The desire to love every inch of body and being is the best foundation I can think of for building a life long relationship, and sexual intimacy is the most natural and universal drive propelling that desire.

To paraphrase the bard, “I come not to bury Eros (the erotic), but to praise him”.

Sex is not the answer to every problem in a relationship, not even close. But denying, or even ignoring its importance seems fool hearty. I guess one could fell a tree without a saw, but to purposely avoid a saw when your goal is to cut down a tree seems like an awfully silly thing to do.

Jim Guido

PS I have written many posts on the male sex drive and gender issues particularly from August 2007 to March 2008. Also many of my posts have dealt with what I feel is the modern tendency to deny, avoid and demean our humanity.

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