Men, Sex, and Relationships: A Therapist Shares Surprising Truths About Desire

Men, Sex, and Relationships: A Therapist Shares Surprising Truths About Desire

I’ve been saying on this blog FOR YEARS that gender stereotypes about sexuality are incorrect.

A lot of complementarian Christians think that all men want sex all the time, that God designed men to want sex more than women, and yet, almost every time I see a letter written to an advice columnist about someone in a sex-starved marriage, it’s almost always a woman upset that her husband doesn’t want to have sex at all, or not as much as she does!

(Link): Men, Sex, and Relationships: A Therapist Shares Surprising Truths About Desire

Research overturns male stereotypes about porn, libido and the importance of physical attractiveness.

“The stereotype that we have in our society around men and sex is that men constantly are in the mood for sex and that they’re always interested,” says human sexuality expert Sarah Hunter Murray. “(But) men sometimes don’t want to have sex.”Getty Images stock

Feb. 20, 2019,  / Updated Feb. 14, 2022 / Source: TODAY
By A. Pawlowski

When it comes to men and sex, women may be missing a big part of the story.

From the role of porn and the strength of libido, to the importance of physical attractiveness and the desire to chase, popular culture paints a picture that doesn’t always match the reality of what happens behind closed bedroom doors.

 “The stereotype that we have in our society around men and sex is that men constantly are in the mood for sex and that they’re always interested,” human sexuality expert Sarah Hunter Murray told TODAY.

“(But) men sometimes don’t want to have sex…. ‘Not tonight dear, I have a headache” — we think about that as something the wife says; we don’t have the same vernacular for talking about men’s low sexual desire.”

Murray, a relationship therapist in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is author of the book, “Not Always in the Mood: The New Science of Men, Sex, and Relationships.”

The project was based on interviews with and survey responses from more than 200 heterosexual men about their sexual desire. They ranged in age from 18 to 65, and all were in long-term relationships or married.

Murray shared some of her findings in an interview with TODAY:

Why are men ‘not always in the mood’?
As men age, their sexual desire decreases. We also find that sometimes in long-term relationships, the stress from work, taking care of kids, paying bills takes a toll on us emotionally. This is something we talk about with women, but we don’t really talk about it with men to the same degree.

Men in my research tell me: “Once I hit 40, sex stopped being so much of a priority. I just had to focus on getting a good night’s sleep so I could go to work in the morning, make sure the kids got to their practices.”

Those pieces of life just start taking a toll on all of us and it’s natural for that to impact our interest in sex.

What struck you about the emotional needs of men’s sex lives?
The thing I found really fascinating was that if men felt an emotional disconnect from their partner, they might not be in the mood to have sex.

Men were telling me that if they had been having a fight with their partner that hadn’t been resolved or if they just didn’t feel so close and connected, even if she was interested in sex, sometimes, they just wouldn’t be. He just wouldn’t feel sexual desire — it was dependent on feeling that emotional closeness first.

….Do men want to commit to one partner and be faithful?
The men in relationships were saying, “My partner is the one for me, I feel desire for her.” They noticed an attractive person, but they said over and over again their female partner was the object of their desire.

So there’s this language around caring so much about what their partner wanted. It wasn’t about wanting all these other women’s attention or that they were tempted to be with other women. There was this really strong connection and love these men were talking about in their relationships.

How important is physical appearance to men?
Men said they liked lingerie, a low-cut shirt or a short skirt. But the thing that they highlighted almost without fail was: That only matters so much.

What mattered more to them was that emotional connection. The part we don’t really talk about when it comes to men and sex is that if they’re not feeling emotionally connected and their wife puts on some lacy lingerie, that may be fun and nice, but really what they’re looking for to feel that there’s communication, they’re on the same page, there’s that mutual desire to be together.

Related Posts (on this blog):

(Link):  Interview with the Authors of The Great Sex Rescue (book discusses erroneous, sexist Christian views about women and how this hinders sex – among other issues)

(Link): Women Are More Interested In Sex Than You Think, (2016) Studies Show – Men underestimate their wife’s or girlfriend’s sexual desire; read the signals

(Link):  When Women Wanted Sex Much More Than Men – and how the stereotype flipped

(Link): The Mark Gungor and Sheila Gregoire Dust Up, vis a vis SSB Blog – I’ve blogged about Gungor for Years

(Link): What Christians Really Think About the Church’s Relationship Advice by Anna Broadway

(Link): Getting Married Does Not Necessarily Guarantee Frequent Hot Satisfying Sexy Sex – Husband is Sexless for Eight Years (article)

(Link): Married Woman Signing off as “Looking Ahead” Admits to Being in Sexless Marriage for TEN YEARS

(Link): More Married Couples Admit to Sexless Marriages (various articles) / Christians promise you great frequent sex if you wait until marriage, but the propaganda is not true

(Link): Wife Writes to Ask Amy About Her Sexless Marriage October 2013

(Link): Resident Christian Marriage Advice Writer at Christian Mag Admits Some Christian Marriages are Sexless

(Link): Groundbreaking News: Women Like Sex (part 1, 2) (articles)

(Link): Christian Stereotypes About Female Sexuality : All Unmarried Women Are Supposedly Hyper Sexed Harlots – But All Married Ones are Supposedly Frigid or Totally Uninterested in Sex

(Link):  Women Have A Higher Sex Drive Than Men, According to New (2017) Study

(Link):  When society isn’t judging, women’s sex drive rivals men’s

(Link): Women are buying more sex than ever before, new research claims (May 2015)

(Link): Some Christian Women Use Pornography – No Duh. I’ve been saying this all along.

(Link): The Secret Women’s Porn Problem (article about Christian women who use porn)

(Link): Getting Married Does Not Necessarily Guarantee Frequent Hot Satisfying Sexy Sex / (also discussed): Gender and Sex Stereotypes (article)

(Link): Study: Men Think About Sports More Than Sex by J. Gratton

(Link):  ‘My Wife and I Had Great Sex For 45 Years, But Now I’d Like to Sleep With Men’ – So Hetero Marriage is Responsible For Creating More Homosexuality

(Link): Why Doesn’t Your Husband Want to Have Sex? by E. Bernstein

(Link):  Heartbroken Woman Reveals Pain of a Sexless Marriage as Husband Hasn’t Slept with Her in SEVEN Years

(Link): Letter to Advice Columnist: Husband Upset That Wife Masturbates – Marriage Doesn’t Guarantee Hot Regular Sex For Both or Either Partner, Contra Usual Christian Claims

(Link):   Married Christian Man Says He’s Been in Sexless Marriage for Nineteen Years and Is Not Happy About It

(Link):  ‘Sex Starved Wife’ Cuts off Her Husband’s PENIS After He Refused to Make Love to Her for Ten Years 

(Link):  Prudie Counsels a Woman Whose Husband Stopped Initiating Sex. – But Most Christians Teach that Marriage Means Great and Regular Sex.

(Link): A June 2017 Viewer Tells Christian Host She’s Suicidal Over Being In Sexless Marriage for Twenty Years

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