Sexual Desire

I started writing about sex because of how many of my friends were experiencing a difficult time in their relationship. I never expected to reach more people with it, nor did I expect that a greater percentage of my friends than the ones that had talked to me had been having problems with sex. I don’t claim to be a sex expert, but I do claim to be having a healthy marriage with a healthy sex life. I also know what bad sex is like and what it can do to a relationship.

I was the most surprised when the Sex Workers Outreach Project linked my bad sex post. I then exchanged e-mails with Amanda Brooks who used to be an escort and is now a writer. She said that there were not many man writing about sex the way I was. Then she wrote the following.

One double-standard you almost touched on: it’s okay for a woman to use sex as a weapon in a relationship but not okay for man to have sexual desires – even if he doesn’t act on them. Would love to see your thoughts on that.

This weekend while watching a movie with some of our friends who are a couple, the wife mentioned that her husband’s father used to be a Playboy subscriber. She said that she would not be ok with her husband getting the magazine every month because she knows what the magazine is used for, implying masturbation.

I believe that a man that has sex withheld from him by either his parter or religion is going to find an outlet for it. I know many man use pornography as a outlet for their sexual desires, but this can lead down the road of addiction. Personally exotic dancing does not excite me because I logically know that any attention I am given there is directly related to the money the woman thinks she is going to make, but I think this also can become an addiction if the only positive female attention you get is by paying. I have very limited knowledge on escort services or prostitution but one of my friends has paid for sex before. His experience was positive to the point that he has used them again, but I also believe that it creates a false sense of what sex is supposed to be for a relationship.

Christians think masturbation is a sin because of lust being a sin, however I have not seen a one eyed Christian in a long time. The last sentence being a reference to the following piece of scripture often referenced

Matt 5:28-29 (NIV) [Jesus:] “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”

I find that so many people pick and chose what is law from the bible and what is to be updated with the times. Based on this scripture I think many Christian man should be walking around with patches. I personally do not believe that way and have never thought of the bible as a literal book. So what is a man to do that is not getting sex from his wife and his religion is telling him that he should not masturbate?

The reality is that eventually a wet dream will occur just because of physiological reasons. I don’t know if with age the production of semen will decrease making it harder to have a wet dream like it happens while we are in our teens, but I do think that man do end up masturbating and then feeling guilty about it.

Masturbation can be used in a very positive way. Like sex it releases stress and can help the minute man become a 30 minute man. Masturbation is something that can be done together and not stigmatized.

Even in a healthy relationship I think that sexual desire should not be seen as a bad thing. I think that humans have to be stimulated and as woman like to be given flowers and held after sex, man like to also feel desired and admire the female form. Like anything else anything can become an addiction so if porn or masturbation become more important than intimacy with your partner there is a cause of concern. Just never enter the vicious cycle of withholding sex and then making your partner feel guilty when he resorts to masturbation as a way to release tension. (pun intended).

26 Responses to Sexual Desire

  1. I’m finally in a perfect relationship where everything, even our sexuality compliments one another beautifully. We’re both bisexual and have completely fulfilling sex together, but because we desire body parts our other ppl can’t provide, we work out how we will express these other desires and let each other have our own separate sexuality. I think that most couples are so jealous that they feel they have to control their partner’s sexuality in order to control their affections.

  2. So then, where does the fault lie? Where does the responsibility lie? If a wife withholds sex and a man turns to porn or flirting with other women, who’s at fault? Is it the woman’s fault, and the man’s blameless or should the man take all the blame?

    I believe there’s a double standard. If the woman withholds and the man turns to (whatever) to satisfy at least some of those sexual energies, then a) the man will of course acknowledge the woman’s culpability, yet still acknowledge what he did was wrong too – justified, maybe…unavoidable, probably – but still wrong. b) the woman, however, will be all over the fault of the man for straying, but will never admit to herself or the man that anything she did was wrong. In her mind, withholding sex (as you said) is used as a weapon, a tool of power against a man. Even if done benignly in some cases, it’s still not seen as doing anything “wrong”.

    So we, as men, are absolutely powerless. Anything we do is either wholly wrong or inneffectual.

  3. In the scenario of withholding it is the woman’s fault. There is not benign withholding IMO.

    I think that sex should be a place where a couple can express themselves freely and openly, but most couples achieve only physical intimacy but not intellectual intimacy. Also there has to be a level of individuality in the relationship where if one or both likes to masturbate or fantasize alone, or admire bodies on TV, the other one does not have to bring guilt and shame. That is directly related to self image and trust. If people would trust one another in relationships, there would be no issue with the other one being open about maybe wanting to watch a porn together or getting a dirty magazine in the mail.

  4. Thanks for the link to your post!

    One of the biggest reasons I had clients was that their marriages weren’t what they used to be. It was more than a sexual issue, it was a lack of attention and affection from their wives. (I’m not saying men don’t have these faults either, only that I saw one half of the problem.)

    A long-term loving relationship is almost everyone’s ideal, but it rarely happens. I think it takes massive effort to keep it a level that’s rewarding for the couple. Either people aren’t aware that it doesn’t happen like it does in movies, or marriage is not the perfect answer for most people.

    I think part of the reason for both using sex as a weapon and denying a man’s desires is a lack of honest discussion on what each person really wants out of their life and the relationship. There should be no fear. Truth will set you free.

    XX

  5. A friend of mine that choses to remain anonymous replied… (the exact original wording was edited to protect the commenter).

    Some woman explain withholding sex as just a lack of desire of energy, the thing that sex is something extra to the relationship and not really a part of it. To them there are more important things to do than have sex. Teasing in their mind is just a form of flirting and no reason to take it any further even by yourself. They don’t think it is hurting anyone, it is just something that is done innocently.

    I personally think this is crap. Sex should be consider part of the relationship, I think that is the biggest difference between what I call a marriage and a friendship. Sex is about intimacy and meeting the other person’s need. I firmly believe that if a woman feels secure in a marriage and then thinks sex is not something that should be a part of things anymore, it is an attempt to emasculate the man. If my wife tells me she wants to get physical and then pulls away, I would have a problem with that… I don’t think she will ever do that, but if I was to take care of myself she would never make me feel guilty for it.

    For sex to really be considered a weapon, both people have to see it as that. If a woman has no desire for sex, then to her it is just about not meeting a need that the man has, therefore it is not withholding but simply just not doing something she simply considers extra.

    I think attraction is what keeps a marriage alive. Some even go as far as say that physiologically nobody can stay married after seven years and that after that is just a matter of a choice. I think that is an easy way to get out of the work that it is required out of a marriage. Libido is something that can be recharged by a vacation, a good meal, a good movie, a good poem, a good wine… a simple touch or look should wake up desire on that other person unless there is really no love there anymore. I think attraction gives birth to love, but where there is love attraction can also be nourished and maintained.

    I believe introducing outside sources of arousal like movies, magazines, internet sites will hurt a relationship. If one or both people in a relationship are actively seeking these types of outside influences, there is a problem. I do not think they can bring anything positive to a couple’s interaction. The couple should be satisfied with just each other. Anything outside of just their interaction points to something missing in their relationship.

    I remember my wife telling me about a guy that she was that made her drool a little, she did not lust, she did not want to be with him, there was just something really attractive about him. I did not feel an ounce of jealousy and wanted her to tell me more. I cannot be as funny as Jim Carey and good looking as Brad Pitt as cool as Jack Nicholson the voice of Michael Buble. I think that frankness is what really keeps a relationship alive, and makes both of us human. Knowing that there are things that excite out there and can spice up our relationship, keep it fresh is what the key is. We cannot lock ourselves inside of our own houses and expect that 20 years from now we are still having the same drive… it takes work to keep it alive.

  6. “So what is a man to do that is not getting sex from his wife and his religion is telling him that he should not masturbate?”

    I have seen numerous viewpoints on masturbations from a number of different Christian authors that I respect and I have trouble coming up with a 100% all inclusive statement on it. The act itself is never mentioned in the bible, but as you stated, lusting after someone with intent is the same as committing the sin. This leads into, if your spouse is not satisfying you or cannot because of some physical limitation, can you masturbate while thinking about your spouse. Sometimes I think that would be acceptable but can you always be that controlled in where your mind wanders? I have also read a book called “Sexual Skills for the Christian Husband” and the author touches lightly on this subject as well, concluding that as long as the thoughts are under control, it can be a good thing.

    “Masturbation is something that can be done together and not stigmatized.” Funny thing about this is that if the sexual relationship is healthy then masturbation isn’t needed, right? =)

    “sexual desire should not be seen as a bad thing” I agree. God programmed us to have this desire. 1 Corinthians 7: 1-5 sums it up this way:
    “1 Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. 2 But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

    God also gave us the channel for this desire…our spouse. Which comes back around to your topic, what if they are not satisfying that desire? Marriage requires work and the onus is on both people I think.

  7. “The act itself is never mentioned in the bible”

    Actually, in Gen 38:8-10 men are told they aren’t allowed to ‘spill their seed’ without it going into a woman’s vagina, because they thought that semen composed a complete person whom a woman then incubated for 9 months. Talk about a stupid rule coming from ridiculously misinformed people…. oh wait, that’s what Christianity is known for… never mind.

  8. Actually, Christianity is known for charity, faith, mercy, forgiveness, virtue, hope and loving your neighbor as yourself. But thanks for trying.

  9. I respectfully disagree. People who embrace Christianity now for the most part may state that these are their values (and most of them may be super great people – the Christians I grew up with weren’t), but the history of Christianity throughout the world is not one of charity, faith and mercy but one of murder and domination.

  10. Whether you like it or not, Christians are human. They aren’t perfect but those who are following Christ are trying to emulate him. It is too bad that it seems like you can only focus on the negative human aspects that “Christian” people may have shown over time. Sure, there are people that profess one thing and do another. They are usually called politicians but some may call themselves Christians.

    How many good things do you have to do these days to outweigh a negative? Is it 10? 13? Something like that I think. So, lets talk about all the missionaries, priests, pastors, “Christians” that have provided food for the poor, shelter for the homeless, education for the underpriveleged, jobs for the unemployed, a better way of life for people who know nothing but war and killing (read “The End of the Spear”) and have given and devoted their entires lives to these things. You cannot be objective and ignore an entire side of the story.

  11. I feel I am being objective. Christianity as a construct was born out of a society that used domination as a means of control. It’s only natural that it used those methods to spread its message. Natural communities world-wide have been subverted because of the Christian world-view.

    I am not incapable of focusing on the positive aspects of Christianity, but I do think that glossing over the negative is both dangerous and illogical. The proof of what happend is already in our history. We can change what Christianity may mean to us TODAY, but that doesn’t mean we can change what it has been, especially since the bad aspects of it are still affecting our society today in a very very strong manner. Take the Westborough church for example…

    I do not think or believe that Christians are bad people, but I do think that Christianity is built from a system that cannot work well for us and that we should at the very least redefine it and at the most revolutionize it.

  12. I don’t think Logtar intended this thread to be a Christianity is terrible/is great topic. If you’d like to start one on your site we can debate it there.

    I will say that comparing any subset of Christianity with the Westboro Group is completely innacurate. Those folks continue to abuse the name “Christian” and pervert it for their own means. And you’re comparing 20-30 individuals with, what, 2 billion Christians worldwide?

  13. I didn’t intend this to be a Xian discussion either. Sorry if my attempt to converse is bothersome.

  14. Not bothersome, just off-topic.

  15. Actually, I intended to start dialogue… even though it is not talking about sex at the moment I think it does bring the valid point that Christianity at times is very shortsighted and if you take it literally outdated.

    I like to bring the example of the invention of maxi pads, and how we do not have to have our wife live down by the river during that period of time… I dislike the fact that some Christians use the book as a direct word for word manifesto which I think can cripple a person.

    Christianity as a whole is not a bad thing. Christians as Mark pointed out are humans with tons of flaws… the whole Christ thing, and following him is pretty cool, so is the bible and what you can learn from it. I do not think that every Christian is bad, but I do believe that some apples are rotten and if we fail to see that we are doomed to become rotten too.

    As it pertains to Sex, I think anyone that believe that masturbation is wrong or should not be done is being very close minded to a fun activity as itching is. Should it be done 30 times a day and at the expense of other things absolutely not… should it be done with your partner, or never at all… I think that is something to discuss with your spouse. I think that for example restrain from itching can teach a lesson in self control, and a religion could use it to teach a lesson, but I see tons of people scratching in public.

  16. My husband complained because I didn’t read this post. I did, but I was interrupted and then I started doing something else. Plus, he knows I have ADD. Anyhoo…

    It kind of bothers me that the main idea of the post was forgotten with the never-ending debate about whether Christians are bad or not. I am a Christian, but I haven’t let the Bible keep me from living my life in a certain way. Anyhoo…

    Barry’s first comment caught my attention. Who’s at fault? Both people are. Sex should be discussed in a marriage, and it should be given equally. If a woman is withholding it, a man should say so. Things don’t work out? Talk to a therapist, to a pastor, or any person you think could help.

    If we talk about religion and sex, nobody would ever do it just for fun, or to strengthen marriage bonds. Sex, as implied by some Biblical scriptures, is with reproductive purposes, and I have a problem with it. If humans are created by God, then why would He give us the capacity to have an orgasm and then tell us not to do it? My view may be simplistic, but it’s mine.

    As for the dirty magazines… I don’t know. I personally would feel offended if I found my husband having fun with one of those, and I would wonder if he’s not completely satisfied with me. Same with the visits to a nude dancers club. What’s the point? See naked women. Some people claim they do it for fun, but there is plenty they can do for fun instead of seeing a naked woman.

    I think I got lost in the discussion here. If what my husband is trying to say that men turn to what is considered dirty because their women are withholding sex… My answer to that would be: DIALOGUE.

    I would rather leave religion out of this, but since we are Christian, I suppose Logtar was looking at it from a Christian point of view. However, it is important that both people in a couple are on the same page when it comes to values. If one of them is playing the puritan role and the other feels left out, there is a bunch of things to work on.

    There could be many reasons for a woman to withhold sex. Talk to her if that’s the case. They could be medical or emotional. Ask and listen.

    This being said, I’m very lucky for being a healthy relationship.

  17. [q]If we talk about religion and sex, nobody would ever do it just for fun, or to strengthen marriage bonds.[\q]

    Well, I for one have been to a Christian marriage conference called “Celebrate Your Marriage” that strongly promotes a healthy sexual relationship in marriage and is more than just for procreation purposes.

    [q]If humans are created by God, then why would He give us the capacity to have an orgasm and then tell us not to do it?[\q]

    As with all things, just because we CAN do something doesn’t mean that we SHOULD do something. God gave me the capacity to murder someone, but doesn’t encourage it. A child can stick his finger in a light socket or eat glue but that also doesn’t mean he should do that. That is where discipline comes in. Parents discipline our children because we love and want to protect them. I think we can easily use the same analogy with God.

  18. Absolutely. Our entire lives are about discipline. God created good and evil, but gave us free will to determine which of the two we would follow. But to follow the good means to resist the bad, and like it or not from time to time (more often than we realize) we’re tempted by the bad. We have to build discipline in ourselves to stay away from the bad. Some things exist outside of the rules He created for us to live by, and as such should be resisted. It’s pretty simple.

  19. Capacity – an individual’s mental or physical ability

    it is probably not the right word. I do not think that giving us the capability to feel pleasure can be compared to the capability to commit murder… I think those two are in two different level.

    I also think that if God did not want us to feel pleasure when having sex, he should have made procreation the simple act of touching pinky fingers.

  20. Errr… I didn’t mean to throw the word orgasm as an excuse to have sex with whomever and whenever. I was talking about sex in a marriage/relationship.

    Obviously Mark M doesn’t know me. :-)

  21. I don’t think anyone but the strictest Puritan would describe having pleasure as a sin. It’s choosing the wrong way to attain pleasure that can be sinful.

    Satisfaction is not a sin. Working hard at a project and being satisfied with the result is a good thing. Murdering your rival to achieve satisfaction is a sin. It’s all in the way the goal is achieved.

    Similarly, pleasure is not a sin. Making love to your spouse to your mutual enjoyment is a good thing. Sneaking around while married and sleeping with other women or men is a sin. It’s all in the way the goal is achieved.

    When you or someone else must be harmed in order to achieve something good, then sin has been committed.

  22. I can’t disagree. TRUE! Sexual desire is a human nature. We can’t fight nature like an erupting volcano. hehehe.

    Hey, dear, did you invite me to your mailing list? i’m afraid clicking on something. :p

    Let me know.

  23. what you tking o me whensaying paid for it… I gotno shame in that a man only ges so any no’s in his life even fora date when it is a viable ends.

  24. But who is t fault. Lets leavethe religius part out and discuss the topic. The jist I got from this was that is sex being used as a weapon, an if so, is it wrong to find an outlet. In this case masturbation was mentioned, I myself have no issue with tha part. But if that is what a partner is driven to, then something is wrong with the relationship. Anytime you use sex to gain power, it is no longer sex anymore. It becomes a control issue.

    If a woman is witholding sex, then who is at fault? If she is doing it to control a sitaution or gain leverage, then yes she is at fault, because as was mentioned ealier. Dialogue goes BOTH ways.

  25. by giving men more muscles than women God made women dependent on men. The man could hunt to feed the woman, chop down a tree to build a house fight off predators to protect the woman etc. By giving women more “curves” than men God made men dependent on women – for sex. This is sexual equality Gods way.
    Modern government has taken all of mens “power” away from them. The woman now provides for herself, , home, food, and protection comes from the state. Whilst disempowering men, women still retain all of their sexual power (over men). This leads to imbalance which is bad for men, bad for women, and bad for society.

  26. Were talking sexual desire! The wife is only a friend and not a wife. I have no desire for sex, intimacy or any kind of love from her or anyone else. Weve been to gether 40 plus years and about 25 or so without sex and the other 15 years its been on again off again mostly off. I’m not gay or into porn, just don’t want any sex or intimacy of any kind. There must have been a reason we got married but I have no idea why. My wife on the other hand says she is lonely and depressed. She likes intimacy. I told her go find it and don’t whine about it.

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