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How has male sexuality been treated by our sex negative cultural legacy? What pressures do men face in today’s sex culture? Why are men taught to believe that their sexuality is simple and their pleasure limited to a simple ejaculatory orgasm (when SO much more is possible!)
It is widely understood that men have been the sexual oppressors and women have been the oppressed – and for the most part that is true. But the deeper truth is the oppressor also suffers from these systems of oppression. Sexuality as a whole has been repressed and vilified. This means that both male and female sexuality have been demonized. We are all affected by this legacy of sexual repression.
Recently, as we start to have conversations about sexual abuse and assault, men have been cast as sexual predators. Some are (as are some women) but for the most part we are all just trying to figure out how to have a healthy expression of sexuality. Men struggle with being able to express their sexual desire without coming across as a predator.
Meanwhile, we talk about men as if they are brainless sex machines and should be ready for sex at any moment. Men’s sexuality is said to be “simple” while female sexuality is the complicated, mysterious force. This puts enormous pressure on men to be able to perform sexually at any moment. If an erection goes away during sex, it is understood as a moment of tremendous shame and embarrassment, rather than a natural part of the arousal cycle. If a man isn’t in the mood for sex at any given moment, his masculinity and virility are called into question.
Men are expected to be the ones to initiate sex, which also sets them up as the target of sexual rejection. Rejection is a powerful emotional force. In fMRI studies, it has been shown that rejection lights up the same area of the brain as physical pain. So the more men get rejected, the more sexual pain they carry around. Eventually, most men stop initiating sex so as to avoid the painful cycle of rejection.
Men worry endlessly about how their penis stacks up against other men: is it big enough, thick enough, hard enough? Does it stay hard long enough? Watching porn exacerbates this anxiety, as men are flooded with images of huge cocks that stay hard magically. What they don’t see is they huge amounts of erection medication and video editing that create the illusion of the everready hard penis.
Men are also told that the ejaculatory, penis focused orgasm is the final destination in their sexual pleasure. They are denied information about male multiple orgasms, non-ejaculatory orgasms and prostate orgasms. It is as if men should be grateful to have a simple orgasm and not ask for more.
We’d love to hear about your experiences with male sexuality! Be in touch and share your story.