How Do Men Navigate Sexual Desire?
Written by Martina Hughes
It can be a challenging path for men to navigate sexual desire. Even in a committed relationship men can feel like there is no space or permission to express their sexual desire.
In a world that has many examples of male sexual desire having caused pain to women, it is no wonder that both men and women have shut down men’s sexual desire and expression.
Good men do not want to cause harm to others, let alone sexually. Throwing the baby out with the bath water here though, hurts everyone.
It is rare to see examples of a man loving and opening a woman’s heart. That can happen very potently through intimate and sexual connection.
Media does not display the ways that sexuality can be full of love, growth, healing and possibility within a loving union.
The sexual stories that are presented in our culture are very skewed. From porn, books, and movies, these stories leave many women holding fear and protection in their bodies. Keeping men at arm’s length to stay safe.
All this causes good men to hide their sexual desires.
Holding back from letting their partners see and feel their desire, their sexual urges, and even from initiating sex.
A woman is almost always responding to her man. Her body needs to feel something happening inside of you to respond to. What do you think happens when a man shuts off his sexual desire?
There is nothing for a woman to respond to.
Women are responsive beings, and without a man’s desire being alive in the relationship, it’s harder for the sexual part of a woman to come to life.
This particular dynamic often leads to good friends, great at co-parenting, flow in running a house together, but a lack of sexual fire.
The lack of sexual fire is often explained away with excuses that leave us feeling disempowered and helpless. Low libido, too busy, not interested after having children, hormonal changes or other lifestyle factors.
We use these explanations to avoid the hurt and pain of what is missing.
A thriving and loving intimacy is essential for nourishment.
People often accept this loss as normal and try to get on with life without sexual intimacy. This leads to longer term resentments, becoming more and more distant emotionally, and missing out on the feelings of aliveness, joy and connection.
Conversely, some men feel very powerless and dependent on the woman in their lives for sex. This can cause a man to pull at his woman for attention, affection and sex.
This leads to both partners experiencing the man as needy, like a child demanding attention. This hurts both him and her. She may feel that his energy is constantly on her looking for an opportunity to pounce sexually.
When this happens a woman becomes wary of her man, her body experiences him as a predator, a threat that needs to be neutralised, and she will keep him at arms length.
In some instances, the man is strongly driven by his desire for sex and may completely overlook what is happening in her body and where she is at.
These men are experienced as out of control and dangerous. They cannot hold their sexual desire, and spray it out onto others.
The long term pain in this type of scenario, is that the woman will feel repelled and want to hide any of her sexual expression in case it is an invitation for the man to approach.
Even though she desires sexual connecton, a part of her is afraid of him.
This sets up a dynamic of him chasing and her pulling away, it is uncomfortable and painful for both partners.
This couple may also be great at operating as friends, co-parents and daily life. However, over the long term the resentments and emotions will bubble over and cause more and more pain and disconnect.
So what is a man to do?
If he hides his sexual desires, it’s a problem and if he is overt with his sexual desires, it’s a problem.
We walk the path between the two, and we pay attention to how she feels.
A man with a healthy expression of his sexual energy knows how to embody and feel his desires, without hiding and without pushing his expectations onto his partner.
He is able to feel the sexual fire that pulses through his being, he learns to use this desire to fuel his life, to open his chosen woman, to drive his passion for life, and fuel his sense of purpose, direction and vision for life.
He can learn to hold that energy in his body, and allow himself to rest into it. This is when a man evokes his capacity of knowing when to initiate, and when to simply offer his presence.
He will be able to tune into his chosen woman in such a way that he is truly seeing her and feeling what is alive in her body.
What steps can a man do to overcome his challenges in this area?
1. Begin a daily practice of meditation.
2. Communicate with your woman that you are aware of the impact your actions have had on her, and apologise for the impact.
3. Learn how to hold sexual energy in the body.
With Love, Martina
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