Nadia Bokody: The male sex myth women need to know about

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Nadia Bokody: The male sex myth women need to know about


the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

When it comes to what a man wants in the bedroom, most women make a huge assumption – here’s why they aren’t always correct, writes Nadia Bokody.

“Can I tell you something no one else knows?” a friend asked over drinks.

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“My boyfriend and I only have sex six times a year. I want it constantly and he doesn’t. I don’t know what to do,” she confessed.

He’d had his hormone levels checked, spoken to a psychologist, and even tried a short stint in hypnotherapy, she went on to explain. But after those pursuits failed to turn up answers, she’d made a desperate ultimatum: he initiate more sex, or the relationship was over.

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“I know what you’re thinking,” she sighed, gazing at the skyline through her wine glass.

“He’s not having an affair.”

Though her assumption was wrong (I didn’t think he was being unfaithful), it’s not far-fetched.

We’re conditioned to believe men always want sex. Those who don’t are either suffering from a health condition or getting it elsewhere: “If he’s not having it with you, he’s having it with someone else,” goes the adage. The implicit message is, a robust libido is synonymous with masculinity.

This is problematic for a number of reasons, not the least being it places undue pressure on men to be hypersexual and suggests those who fall short at achieving this are somehow failing at the code of manhood.

It tells women, too, they should be concerned – terrified for the future of the relationship, even – if their husbands aren’t continuously attempting to bed them.

Over the years in this job, I’ve been asked to write about what constitutes a “healthy” amount of sex and have consistently resisted for this very reason.

While I’m happy to share the statistical average for couples who attest to having satisfying sex lives (once a week, according to this study), I’ll never suggest there’s a correct quantity to be had. And I personally don’t think anyone should.

I’d argue there’s nothing wrong with doing the deed just half a dozen times a year. But I also wouldn’t propose people who prefer it twice a day are unnaturally obsessed with sex. Where most couples run into an issue is when one partner prescribes to the former, while the other is the latter.

And unfortunately, in a culture that shrouds sex in so much shame and stigma, making honest conversations about desire incredibly difficult, this scenario isn’t entirely uncommon.

The truth about men who don’t want a lot of sex isn’t that they’re unfaithful (though infidelity affects many relationships and plenty of men are indeed unfaithful, a lack of sex alone shouldn’t be seen as an indicator of this), it’s that they just don’t want a lot of sex.

I bristle at the idea of pathologising low libidos in general, because it implies the absence of constant sexual desire is symptomatic of a defect. And I absolutely don’t think it’s a coincidence this propaganda just so happens to fuel a multibillion-dollar sexual performance industry reliant on men believing they require intervention to achieve on-command erections.

I’ve written extensively about destroying the myth female arousal happens spontaneously, and though a segment of the people who read this column are dedicated to the belief my ongoing advocacy for women’s sexual liberation is evidence of misandry, I don’t apply a different standard to men.

I wholeheartedly believe dismantling toxic masculinity (that is, the conviction there’s a “right” way to be a man and that men who don’t conform to this are inferior) benefits both women AND men. And expecting men’s bodies to relentlessly perform simply feeds into this ideology while being exceptionally damaging to their relationships with women.

Sexual desire isn’t fixed; it occurs on a spectrum. Some of us have loads of it, some of us have very little, if not, none at all. Insisting there’s a correct place for anyone to sit on the scale perpetuates the medicalisation of people who don’t have a high interest in sex.

That said, are there genuine health conditions, lifestyle factors and medication that can negatively impact a person’s sex drive? Of course. Chronic illness, stress and antidepressants, to name but a few. (And if you’re concerned, see your doctor, because this column certainly isn’t a replacement for medical advice).

But, more often than not, if there’s a legitimate health concern at hand, it’s typically accompanied by a sudden drop-off or noticeable shift in a person’s normal levels of desire.

In the case of my friend at the bar, whose partner had been satisfied with very sporadic sexual activity from the beginning of their relationship, this didn’t appear to be the case.

Which is why I told her, in no uncertain terms, her options were to propose an alternate model (such as one in which she could be free to use the services of sex workers or casual partners to fulfil her unmet sexual needs), end the relationship, or get off her boyfriend’s case and invest in a really good vibrator.

Follow Nadia Bokody on Instagram and YouTube for more sex, relationship and mental health content.

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