Dr. Amy Demner
Licensed psychotherapist and sexologist
Sexy locker room talk, self-focused sex-crazed men, extraordinary tales about size, and wild stories about endless nights of peak-filled love-making are standard Hollywood images of men and sex. From my many years as a sex therapist, primarily to men, I’ve discovered very different truths.
My patients have shown me that men, in fact, are caring, concerned and compassionate lovers who want to please their partners, as well as themselves. The majority of males I work with are very concerned about pleasing their partners, listing it as one of the most enjoyable and erotic aspects of sex.
The anxiety about not measuring up to false images, however, often is the basis for many of the common sexual problems men face.
The three most common reasons men seek counseling in my practice include the inability to have an ejaculation inside of a partner during intercourse, premature ejaculation and the inability to maintain an erection. These men report feeling inadequate, depressed and anxious and seek treatment in search of “normal sex.”
Another common problem involves men getting more satisfaction themselves than with their partners, finding fantasies, masturbation and visual stimulation exciting. As a result, however, their partners feel left out, unattractive, unloved because of the low frequency and lack of passion when the couple makes love.
Often a man’s uncomfortable feelings about sexual preferences stem from childhood teachings that label these activities as wrong or dirty. (Compulsive sexual activity or risky and harmful acts, of course, do not apply and are handled differently.) Another barrier sometimes can be the idea of commitment, which somehow gets translated into replacing the erotic part of the relationship with emotional intimacy. This phenomena often is the cause of the dwindling lust many married couples face.
Many couples who report having a satisfying sex life, keep pleasure foremost on their minds, not how this experience is the culmination and total expression of true intimacy. Focusing on pleasure (your own and your partners) is helpful for many males who are confused about the notion of commitment. Loving couples who find many ways to do this are able to maintain long-lasting relationships willed with growth and joy.
Viagra has been another tool for helping men realize that a satisfying relationship has many dimensions. Men who are overly concerned with penis size, width and performance neglect the opportunity to explore many other erogenous zones.
Despite the wide range of products promising to transform men into incredible love machines, the true love machine is a man’s entire being, not one body part. Instead, senses, thoughts, feelings and pleasures contribute to a man becoming a great lover.