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Men aren't sex machines

Saskia Vogel is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles with radio receivers around Europe. She writes about arts and entertainment, sex, fruit and yoga...all the good stuff. Find out more at SaskiaVogel.com.

SEX MYTHS EXPOSED

Did the myth that men are insatiable lust machines turn us into super-charged sex fiends? And what to do about your man's sex drive?

 

 

 

>There's a myth about men I intend to dispel: They are not sex machines. All the girls I know have or have had the same complaint: They want to get laid more than their man wants to put out. The common thread with these girls (22 to 36-year-olds if you're wondering) is a chapter of their sexual education that went something like this: "Boys want to jump on anything that moves at any time, so watch out. Give them an inch and they'll take a mile." And from this lesson, we, not them, grew up to be the insatiable ones.

Because of this paternal lesson, my impression of the opposite sex in my most virginal days was one of ravening beasts who are tempered by virtue. In my young brain, I understood that if I were to "survive," I must either don impenetrable armor until I accept a white rose, or match the strength of my "opponents." My girlfriends and I chose the latter.

Like many people, early sexual encounters know no end to lust, whether it's kissing your first man until your chin is raw from his adolescent beard or that first partner where time and space conspire to provide ample opportunity for sex. (The passion of youth grants permission to turn the world into your pleasure chest, even if it is on public transportation.)

What happened to my lusty beast?

And then something shifted. We became adults and got into adult relationships. Suddenly, these unstoppable sex machines turned into sloths and sleeping giants on their worst days and virile tigers and knights on their best. Our men needed to time to recharge. "Recharge? The act of making love is regenerating!" was our resounding cry. Of course, the river of sexual energy does not flow endlessly without a spring to feed it, but how could our methods of replenishment not be the same when sex was an offer on the table? And thus the myth of the male sex machine was put to death and a group of girls, at one time or another, found themselves with more sex drive than their bedrooms could hold.

How to give and get what you both need

I have been told by my friends several reasons for their men's dips in desire. Stress, insecurity and a poor diet are on one end of the scale. On the other end was a superstition that, like in kundalini yoga, sperm is a "sacred white metal" and a vital bodily fluid that depletes a person's creative and physical energy when spilled. One in the middle goes like this: "I go in cycles." Likely, the male sex drive coupled with a female expectation that he will always be "up for it" leads to a kind of anxiety in the bedroom that places stress on the expression of desire.

Like with any kind of energetic exchange, the mistake is to try to convince or usher your man into sex. If the reasons are indeed stress/diet/esteem related, no amount of urging is going to make him receptive. In this situation, the greatest power you have is nurturing and care. Not being able to satisfy a woman's needs and being keenly aware of it is a killer for guys. Take him for a hike, give him a massage, make dinner instead of opting for Carl's Jr. yet again, and don't push the point. If his mind is cluttered with things that are getting in the way of his best amorous self, help him unwind by showing him you cherish him his every state of being.

You may also want to pay attention to his bodily cycles (just like you pay attention to yours). From experience, a boyfriend with a sex drive to match min on the best months was very clear when he was having an "off" day, week or month. Being reminded that he still desired me though he was not up for intercourse was a relief for both of us. (The oral sex, massages and cuddling were fun alternatives.) I did not pursue sex during his "down time," and he appreciated that I respected his boundaries. Well, clear communication can be an aphrodisiac, and often he was soon out of his funk.

Frankly, I can't offer any insight on the men who believe in storing their sexual energy. They're stuck in Spartan times.

Boys may not be the sex machines our fathers warned us about (an neither are we of the succubus breed), but I believe men and women by nature are amorous, sensual beings. Of course your man desires you, but when faced with a difference in sex drive, clear communication, patience and a creative mind can help both of you get what you need and want. And ladies, if it takes a while to find balance in the bedroom, a few solo turns never did a girl harm.

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