Thursday, October 14, 2010

Men and Sex: Is it unhealthy for men to be uninterested?

My post on Men and Communication sparked some debate, partially based on an excerpt from an expert stating that all that men have on their minds are "burgers and blow jobs."

Well, yesterday I read an article in Psychology Today that I not only disagree with, but found insulting to both men and women!

In "Too Tired for Sex?", John Buri starts out with:

Sometimes you might hear a woman say something like this: “My husband just isn’t interested in sex.”

Does that strike anyone (besides me) as odd?

If we are talking about a young (under 50), healthy male --- he is interested in sex. Period.

My first point of contention is that 50 is the cutoff for not being "young." I doubt that one turns 50 and then, boom, it's "OK" to not be interested in sex. (Besides the fact that I'm extra-sensitive to 50 being noted as the boundary between young and old) I am just insulted that he would imply that every healthy man under the age of 50 is interested in sex all the time. Men do get tired too!

Buri goes on to insult the women in these men's lives by stating later in the article:

Let’s face it. A typical young, healthy male can be a nano-second from sleep, and if you lean over in bed and gentle caress him, he will be awake, alert, and ready to go long before you have a chance to move back over to your side of the bed.

Young, healthy men are interested in sex.

[They may not be interested in sex WITH YOU, but they are interested in sex.]

He goes on to say that most men that are in DINS (Dual Income No Sex) relationships, are "getting it elsewhere." This "elsewhere" apparently is from "pornographic women" who are available and undemanding.

Give me a break! Way to make a woman paranoid! Now I'm not a man, but I was married for 19 years, and I know, just like me, there were times my husband didn't want to have sex when it had nothing to do with me. (There were also plenty of times he did want to have sex when it had nothing to do with me.) I also have dated plenty of men of all ages with varying levels of libido. I absolutely do not buy into this guy's theory and think believing such a thing would be detrimental to a marriage.

Imagine if men were told that about women... Hey guys, every time your wife told you she was tired, she wasn't really tired... she just didn't want to have sex WITH YOU! She'd rather get her jollies from porn. And ladies... there's a night when you don't want to have sex? Well, you aren't healthy! That just isn't normal! (unless you're over 50).

I guess I wasn't the only person who was insulted by this portrayal. The comments on that piece included the a rebuttal from DivorceBuster's Michele Weiner-Davis.

As someone who is in the front lines with couples, I have grown increasingly aware that women have no corner on the low libido market. In fact, based on my clinical observations and casual conversations with colleagues, I’d say that low desire in men is America’s best kept secret. After all, in a culture where virility is inextricably connected with masculinity, why would any man want to broadcast his drop in desire?

Weiner-Davis' rebuttal article (which I found much more believable, not to mention articulate) also referenced findings from a Redbook survey:

Another myth-buster revealed by the survey was what women said were the causes for their husbands’ lack of desire. Contrary to popular belief that the only reason a man would turn down sex is because “his machinery isn’t working properly,” or their wives are extremely unattractive, this just isn’t so. Men, it seems, turn off to sex for many of the same reasons that their wives do- emotional disconnection, underlying resentment or unresolved problems, depression, stress and so on. In fact, one of the most common reasons men reject their wives’ advances is that they feel their wives are critical or bossy. Nagging simply isn’t an aphrodisiac.

It is interesting that I am completely insulted by the article written by the male and in agreement with the one written by the female. Is it because I'm a female?

Of course, I realize it's a sensitive topic. I wouldn't go around commenting about my libido on a blog (I save that for my book!) However, what is your experience? (Based, of course, on observations and what your friends tell you...) What's your reaction to these articles?

Side note: As I was searching for a photo for this post, I found yet another relevant article posted today: Why men don't want sex anymore. Check it out.

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