I love sex.
I simply love it. I could have sex anytime, anywhere, always. It is perfect for stress relieve, I sleep better at night and I’m waking up more relaxed after good sex during the night. Sex is amazing.
And what is even more amazing is my boyfriend. Me and my boyfriend started our relationship with sex. We started living together very quickly and in the process we discovered that we are perfect for each other. We are like one soul in two bodies. We understand each other’s needs and desires perfectly. I couldn’t imagine a better partner to build a future with. And have sex.
But it hasn’t always been like that. We had our problems, our issues, our fights. One of which concerned… sex.
Most of you probably know by now that sex is more than physical connection. It’s spiritual, mental and emotional bond between two people. In order to enjoy sex, you need to value your partner and you have to absolutely trust him/her.
Also, in order for sex to be amazingly satisfying, you have to be in a mood for sex.
In the beginning of our relationship, sex wasn’t a problem. It was a base and a glue. Whenever we had time – we had sex. But after some time, the situation changed and then the problem appeared. We no longer had amazing sex, never, nowhere. My Mr. Perfect stopped looking at me with desire. He stopped touching me and grabbing me. I thought he stopped wanting me. Our sex live become routine, with little affection and consideration for another person pleasure. He stopped wanting to please me. He stopped anything. I didn’t understand why.
During that time I put up on weight, so I thought that was the issue. I was depressed, I had a problems with self-esteem. I became argumentative and aggressive towards him. I started demanding better sex and when I didn’t get it, I got angry. He withdrawn from our conversations.
One day I decided to confront him. I told him what was hurting me and that I can’t take it anymore. I wanted to break up. But I’m giving him a chance to say something. To talk to me.
And he talked. He told me that he is worrying about his job, that he is not happy with what he is doing. That he doesn’t know what to do with his life. That he cannot give me what he wants me to have. That his performance in bed is terrible and he can’t help the feeling that it won’t get better. That something might be wrong with him. Finally he said that most of the time he doesn’t feel like having sex.
I was shocked. Not with what he confessed to me, but that he hasn’t talked to me earlier.
Why didn’t he tell me that he didn’t want to have sex?
He didn’t need to answer that, it was obvious. As a man he is obliged to want sex and not wanting to have sex is a sign of weakness. On the other hand, I am a woman. I shouldn’t be so aware of my sexuality and my needs. And most importantly it’s not normal that a woman wants sex more than a man.
So he didn’t say anything. He suffered in silence, wanting to conform to the norms of masculinity by not showing signs of vulnerability and stress and at the same time longing for a support and understanding. His stress affected his sexual performance what made him feel even more emasculated and weak. And I wasn’t helping, because of my own sexist perceptions.
I couldn’t understand why my man doesn’t want what I have to offer. And instead of trying to get to the bottom of this, I was drowning in self-pity and my own misconceptions: he doesn’t want to have sex, because of me. I am more of a man in this relationship, because I want sex more than he does. And we both undermined my self-esteem: he - by wanting desperately to be a “man”, so he refused to acknowledge his feelings and talk to me about this; and I – by being afraid of negative labelling and not allowing myself to be have sexual needs.
But the truth is, we both failed to understand that men are allowed to not to have sex and women can be more sexually active than men.
Yup, you hear me: MEN ARE ALLOWED TO NOT TO WANT SEX.
Duuuuh. Of course they can! Well, can they? Probably all of us have heard about some guy who was offered a sex by some nice girl and refused. Or maybe you even know somebody who admitted that he was raped by a women. What did you think? Probably something along the lines: “how could he refuse easy sex?” or “he should be happy that a girl wanted to have sex with him” or even “how can a woman rape a man?”. So once again, do we allow men to say no?
My boyfriend could just say no. He could tell me that he is not in a mood. Because he is allowed to do so. And I shouldn’t feel guilty that I love sex so much. It doesn’t make me promiscuous or slutty, because I’ve never cheated on my boyfriend. I just love sex.
The labelling of women and sexual pressure on men are major problems in a modern society. Although some norms and perceptions are changing, the underlying stereotypes about men and women sexual needs don’t. We are slowly accepting that women can have many sexual partners and can enjoy an adventurous sex life, but we still want to see and expect to see an inequality in sexual activity: men should ALWAYS want sex MORE than a women. Well, men should ALWAYS want sex. Period.
Women are sexualized and objectified in the modern media, but most of us want to have a liberty to show their body with less and less clothes on. Society is accepting that the women have a variety of clothing styles to choose from which shows more skin. And we women, usually by dressing in provocative dresses, want to say to the world: I am free to do what I want. And it also applies to freedom in sex life. But at the same time, we are always highlighting our right to say “no” and to withdraw our consent at any time.
On the other hand, media strengthens the stereotypical masculinity. In popular music we see muscular men who are successful with women, are always in search of new score, trying to get a girl, getting a girl and searching for another one (sometimes all in the same time). In the modern music and movies there is so much pressure to have sex and be promiscuous, that it’s almost sickening. And what is frequently lacking from the picture are men who are NOT having sex. Who do NOT chase the pretty girl. Who do NOT think only about sex. Just as we, as a society, were not ready to accept men’s freedom is sex life and their right to say “no”.
I love my boyfriend, so I would never do anything against his will. I would never force him to have sex. Our problem came from misunderstanding of our needs and subconscious need to conform to our assigned gender norms. But once we realized what the real problem is, we stopped having a problem. By allowing ourselves to have freedom of choice, we drew closer to each other.
But not every man experience this level of understanding. Various research indicate that men are oftentimes victims of sexual violence by women. I will not even mention child sexual abuse by women. I mean forced penetration on men by women. And this phenomenon isn’t rare.
The US Centre for Disease Control conducted the Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (2010) and their results are appalling. It suggested that the rates of men being forced to penetrate women over the past year was identical to the rates of women reporting being raped, each 1.1%. Lifetime prevalence of the crimes were 4.8% for men and 17.8% for women. Meanwhile men reporting sex through coercion was 1.5% over the past year (6% lifetime) compared to 2% (13% lifetime) for women.
This isn’t normal, nor it’s acceptable. We all want to enjoy sex on our own terms, with the person we want to have sex. The societal expectations and norms put too much pressure on both women and men. Women should not feel guilty because of their desires and sexual drives. We should be able to enjoy sex the way is satisfying to us, as frequent as we want, and change partners as often as we want.
At the same time, we need to learn, and men need to realize that it is okay for them to refuse sex. Men have full right to not be in a mood, not liking the girl, not wanting to have sex with this particular woman. Not wanting to have sex at all.
If we want equality, we need to accept an equal right to enjoy sex and to not want sex.
Written by Vespertilio