This is the second post in the 1/2 Marathon being orchestrated by the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association. I have a bunch of questions left from the A Males Perspective teleconference I spoke at last week. As such, I’ll be using this marathon to answer some of the questions I received. Please note, these are my perspective. I cannot vouch for all males and when I’m giving my perspective on women, I certainly cannot vouch for all women. So, on to the question:
Why do you think men think about sex more than women? And why is that so important to a man in his marriage?
So, I think the first question to ask is, do men actually think about sex more than women? There is a myth out there that men think about sex about once every 7 seconds while they are awake. This myth is false, I don’t know who started it, or why and it doesn’t really matter. What does appear certain is that, on average, men seem to think about sex more than women do. Researchers don’t agree on how often, and it varies greatly from person to person. One study says 19 times a day on average, another says every 5 minutes for teenagers and every 30 minutes for older adults, another says that 45% of men think about sex less than once a day.
As for why no one seems to have any substantiated ideas on it. Some blame society, some blame our brain configurations, some the way we were raised. I’m going to play the God card and say that I think God intended for men to think about sex more. We are both driven to connect emotionally, but in different ways, ways we both need in marriage to stay connected. I’m afraid that’s not a terribly satisfying answer scientifically, but it’s all I have.
Now, on to why it’s so important to a man in his marriage. At the core of a man’s self lies his sexuality. Again, whether by nature (God), or nurture, it’s unclear, but it is clearly there for an overwhelming majority of males. We view almost every interaction with our spouse through the lens of our sexuality which we take as the core of our self. So, from my perspective, if my wife is willing to have frequent sex with me, it means she wants to spend a lot of time with the part of me that is my core. If she wants to have passionate sex, it means she’s passionate about what makes me me. If she wants to explore and grow in our sexuality together, that means she wants to grow and explore and have adventures with that inmost part of me.
If she wants to take a walk, regardless of her feelings, it does not resonate the same because there is no sexual component. There is a part of us missing. If she wants to have a conversation, again, it’s good, it means she’s interested in my mind, but it lacks that sexual component, so we still feel like part of us is left out. If we were going for walks every day, having great conversations every day, but rarely having sex, what I feel is that she is interested in having a body walk beside her (perhaps protection, or companionship), she’s interested in me intellectually, but she rejects the very essence of myself, my sexuality. After a while, I would feel rejected as a spouse in my entirety.
It is said that women feel the same way about conversations with their spouses. No, don’t get me wrong, I love conversations with my wife. She is intelligent and wise and it is a pleasure to converse with her about any topic. But, if we didn’t manage to talk to each other for a couple of days, I’d miss it, but I would be climbing the walls for conversation. No, imagine the tables turned using conversation. Let’s say we went for a walk every day, we had sex every day, but we didn’t say 2 words to each other that weren’t purely functional. My wife would feel rejected. She’d feel objectified as a sex object/walking companion. A core part of herself, her need to communicate, is being denied.
The biggest problem with this analogy: she can get deep meaningful conversations with another adult, regardless of gender. I cannot get sex from another adult, nor would I want to. I am 100% dependent on my wife for sexual fulfillment and when your wife said “I’m not in the mood”, it means “I have decided unilaterally for both of us that we aren’t having sex, no discussion.” So many marriages exist in this state, of one spouse or another refusing sex day in and day out and then are shocked when the non-refusing spouse has an affair, or serves divorce papers, or gets addicted to pornography. Don’t get me wrong, they have their own blame, but it’s shared blame I think. You don’t starve a person and then lock them up for stealing bread, you feel the person and try to fix the system that made them starve in the first place.
So, why is it important? Because a rejection of sex with a man, is a rejection of the man from the man’s point of view.
Men: Do you agree, disagree?
Women: Is this a surprise, or did you know this?