What do men really think about sex and love ? Generally we depict men as selfish, dominating, superficial, insensitive, macho, infantile and silent and who clearly divide between sex and love, and between the two the former is undoubtedly more interesting. Here it is. It is called stereotype, the same ugly beast that specularly poisons – by now we know, because we have been talking about it for so long – the female image.
A book recently released in France attempts to partially dismantle the established cliché. It is called Les hommes, le sexe et amoour (Les Arènes) and it was written by Philippe Brenot, psychiatrist, anthropologist and sexologist at the Paris-Descart University, who in the volume reveals the data of the investigation he conducted on 2153 men heterosexuals who live in couples (average age 43) and who answered a questionnaire of about one hundred questions. Fundamental point: after years spent investigating, even in the media, the mysteries of sexuality and female desire, now it’s time to give the word to men, says Brenot.
Someone must listen to them, given that, moreover, they seem to begin to want to tell each other intimately, by virtue of a certain balance and equality between the sexes. Thus, between the lines of the results of the French survey, which ranges from the perception of the appearance of one’s penis (considered “beautiful” by 71 percent of the interviewees) to the preferred positions, we go in search of the “new man” – deeply evolved over the last few decades – of which Brenot speaks. By comparing the common idea – what we are used to thinking – and the signs of the metamorphosis of the masculine still in progress. With some surprises. And several confirmations.
Men don’t like to talk about their intimacy
Since the book, and the investigation, are born precisely to make the men talk – who have all participated and answered without problems – the cliché is quickly dismantled. It is true and it remains true that for a man sex is something that is done, not said. However, 70 percent – and it rises to 78 among the youngest – say they have talked about their sexual desires and expectations with their partner.
Now. If anything, the question concerns listening, talking together, and therefore truly understanding. The biggest difficulty is to understand the sexual expectations of the partner (frequent answers: “I don’t know”; “I have no idea”; “She doesn’t tell me about it”; “Mystery!”). And the only certainty that men seem to have, what they really believe they have understood well, is that women above all have high sentimental rather than sexual expectations, so they seek sweetness, complicity, attention, care, protection, romance. And if tenderness is dramatically antithetical to sex for many males, someone more popular – or evolved, or lucky, because it also depends on the partner, Brenot points out – has instead discovered that sweetness is the main road to sex, and tells the expectations partner in a way not so different from their own: intercourse with three or more people, anal intercourse,
Sex VS. love
For men, sex and love are two different things
Real surprise. The biggest totem pole concerning male sexuality seems to be wavering. 92 percent say they are in love with their partner, not only: 52 percent say that sex and love are linked. And 54 percent of respondents report the couple as the first value in their life, in front of family (31 percent), work (11 percent) and personal passions, with a complete reversal of priorities compared to 50 years ago . Penetration? It is variously described as fusion, communion, union, feeling of symbiosis with the partner, cerebral closeness, the feeling of giving everything and receiving everything, belonging, completeness. And a truly successful sexual relationship is “a moment of shared intimacy” for 60 percent of men.
Masturbation is a child’s affair and, in adulthood, serves to make up for a lack
So, once and for all: adult men, with a stable life as a couple, masturbate. This is the truth. 87 percent of respondents report masturbating, half of them at least twice a week. They mostly do this in bed, in the shower, in the bathroom. And on the sofa in the living room (at night, in front of the TV). It’s a quick affair: it lasts two to five minutes. Support of choice for pornographic images(80 percent say they are interested and stimulated by pornography) recovered through the Internet – from group sex to sodomy, to lesbian love – while a minority uses their imagination, memories, personal ghosts (“I imagine myself with a certain work colleague “) or even with his own woman (” I guess what I could do with her “). For half of men, masturbation is an anxiolytic. Point. A way to relax. Then it’s a pleasure (40 percent): personal, easy. Only 10 percent is a substitute for coitus. For many, however, it is also a way to delay ejaculation in sexual intercourse. 50 percent say they masturbated in front of their partner, who is much more reluctant to do the same.
Men get straight to the point
If there is one idea that feminism has managed to push through, it is that foreplay is fundamental. Rivers of ink spilled for decades on the importance, for women, of sexual preparatory games before coitus have really changed behavior. And 56 per cent of those interviewed admit to putting them into practice precisely for the woman, rather than for herself. Even if the youngest, this is the revealing fact, they consider them an important moment of mutual excitement («They are our moment»; «It’s not that they” serve “, they are part of the game of desire and pleasure»). Some even go further, speaking of foreplay not strictly sexual but psychological, atmospheric (“The foreplay begins at dinner, with a look, a caress”). Others, fortunately few, they choose the bad automotive metaphor (“They are used to heat the car”). The serious fact is that 57 percent are afraid of sexually disappointing their partner. To be read, variously, as a sign of greater freedom and female awareness in the sexual field, as well as proof of the famous male “performance anxiety”, also fueled, says Brenot, “by the media tyranny of orgasm”.
Men need sex more than women
Mined land. Many horrible misunderstandings are consumed on this matter of the men who are most in need (need, not desire) and therefore are to some extent allowed to continually unbutton their trousers, the Strauss-Kahn affair teaches. In fact: 63 percent of the interviewees declared the frequency of sexual intercourse in the couple insufficient (which is about 8 times a month). In addition, 38 percent do not feel free to do what they want with their partner, 70 percent feel they are always taking the initiative and 84 percent say they feel a general lack.
Preferred positions: in the first place the one from behind, at the last the traditional one of the missionary. The situation is reversed, almost comically, at the moment of indicating the position made in the last report, where the missionary stands out above all. Reading the data on this male dissatisfaction is complicated. The novelty of respect for the times and availability of women is certainly positive. But on the other hand, Brenot points out, attention: the perception of insufficient sexual frequency is polluted by the terrorist and stereotyped idea of a man who “must” continually desire and be sexually hyper-active.
Men’s pleasure is simple and almost automatic
Male orgasm, this stranger. We don’t know much about it, says Brenot, also because men talk about it little. Male pleasure is divided into four times, and is described by all with the same words. The first phase is that of arousal, with heat, tremor, chills, tingling, spasms, increased heart rate. Second phase: the explosion, corresponding to real pleasure. Third: the little death, a period in which the feeling is to lose consciousness, to leave the body. Fourth: relaxation, total, absolute. But there is a surprise. 31 percent say they don’t have orgasms at all intercourse.
The main culprit is an excess of control of ejaculation, by virtue of the idea, once again, of sexual performance, of ideal and idealized sexuality.
Men only want beautiful, young women
Sight is the primary male support for arousal. A beautiful body, a harmonious face are signs that awaken male desire. As if to say: useless to go around it, it doesn’t rain here. 58 percent think that in wanting a woman, the fact that she is beautiful is important. However, a handsome 40 declares that beauty perhaps counts, but little or even very little in comparison with feelings and personality. And, against all odds, as much as 60 percent say that seeing their partner grow old has no (or will not, for younger people) any repercussions on desire. Still, a significant 40 percent say their partner’s weight gain won’t affect their interest in her. If we add that only 47 percent think clothes, elegance and underwear are important (which means that more than half do not care at all), many of the female beliefs about seductiveness and desire are flawed. In short, we are all the time trying to be obsessively thin and young, spending capital on clothes and lingerie. And they seem (seem?) Instead to show a surprising independence of thought. Yet another proof – underlines Brenot – that men and women do not talk about the same thing when they use the word “desire”.
The man has a dominant position in the couple
The questionnaire question is precise. Are you afraid of your partner’s reactions? Yes, 46 percent answer, sometimes 52 percent admit. The signal seems clear: the power relationship between men and women within the relationship has changed, especially after the 1980s, and especially among the younger ones. This does not mean that many men in the home are still violent and male chauvinist. But the opposite trend can be seen. Bringing with it the appearance of new problems: the loss of masculinity, which women don’t like. It is the squaring of the circle with which the poor contemporary males are still measuring themselves: to be tender and solid at the same time. Comforting – unless it is a simple conformity to an idea of socially correct – 80 per cent, who declare irrelevant the fact that the partner has a social or professional status higher than their own.
The pregnancy of the partner and the arrival of a child change the desire of the man
It is not true. Here are the numbers: 53 percent of men who have not undergone any change in desire during their partner’s pregnancy, 70 percent of those who sexually did not turn a head once she became a mother. The gap between the two figures depends on the size of the belly, which can objectively limit or change intimate and sexual habits. In short, the mother remains a woman, and the traditional dichotomy “mom” / “whore” is now old stuff. Big numbers also for the question about jealousy towards the newcomer, which 70 percent say they don’t feel. Then of course, there is 55 percent (especially among the under 35s) who consider the child as a possible obstacle for the couple in love. The child represents a moment of transition, many young couples enter into crisis: the difficulty is there, Brenot points out. Because it is not easy to pass from intense sexual intimacy to the new balance imposed by the presence and requests of the child, even if desired.
Men tend to be unfaithful
Loyalty is an important value for 80 percent of respondents (rising to 88 for the youngest). But you have to read all the numbers well. Here, for example, is the question: Have you already had an extramarital affair? 40 percent answered yes (only 24 percent of the younger generation). Which makes the granite idea of fidelity as an absolute value waver a bit. In reality, net of everything, tolerance seems to triumph: 62 percent say that they would forgive their partner in case of betrayal, more people over 50 (76 percent) than young people under 35, decidedly more fundamentalists.
The quintessential male erotic fantasy is making love with two women
Well, no surprises here. It’s true. One of the male sexual “ghosts” par excellence is the threesome, and the classic of the classics is: two women and a man. More generally, the catalog is full of variations: two women and two men, two men and one woman, up to the crowded one. Another must, very popular, that of anal intercourse, also connected to sadomasochistic fantasies. And then the logistical oddities: “Making love on an island in the Indian Ocean” (exotic), “Making love on the roof of my car” (tightrope walker), “Making love in a confessional” (ecclesiastical ). Many ghosts resemble desires rather than dreams: “That my woman jumped on me to make love”, “That my wife masturbated in front of me”, “That she was ready to do anything in any position”, “My wife and her sister, both together.” But there is also someone who cuts it short: “I’ve already made my ghosts all of them”.