Myths and truths about the Male orgasm
There are plenty of myths around sex and our attitude towards pleasure. In popular culture, it is often built up as something elusive or male-centric - so it's not surprising that many people still feel misinformed in the 21st Century.
Whether it's the G-spot, a perceived lack of sexual desire or any number of pop culture-perpetuated standards of sexiness, women are constantly fighting stereotypes in the bedroom, but men aren't spared judgment either. Guys are often cast as sex-crazed maniacs always looking for their next lay (and when they can't find it, resorting to porn). They are always turned on and always the aggressive ones. Most importantly, they always finish when it counts.
If that sounds unrealistic, it's because it is. Generalizing male sexuality is deeply harmful, for men and their partners. As we work to set the record straight for women in the bedroom, here are some myths about male sexuality that it's also time to put to bed.
Do you know that 97 percent of all research on low sexual desire is done on women? What does that mean? It presupposes that men never lack sexual desire because men are always “interested,” right? Male sexuality is defined as biological and female sexuality is defined as psychological. This is one of the age-old myths I’m determined to bust—that male sexuality is biological, indiscriminate, perpetually in search of an outlet, whereas female sexuality requires certain relational conditions to be met. But men bring major vulnerabilities to sexuality that have led me to understand that male sexuality is in fact highly relational, not at all simplistic and just biological. Consider the fear of rejection. Is that not a relational experience? What about the fear of inadequacy and performance anxiety? If those don’t make male sexuality highly relational, then I don’t know what would.
The essential myth about male sexuality is that it is identified as genitally focused, and can be summed up in the title “It’s 12" Long, Hard As Steel, and Can Go All Night: The Fantasy Model of Sex.” Accompanying this fantasy model about the size, potency and durability of male genitalia are, nine subordinate male myths that focus on physical rather than relational and emotional dimensions of sexuality, emphasizing performance, intercourse and orgasms (such as ” A man always wants and is always ready to have sex”; or “All physical contact must lead to sex”) Of course, when real men compare themselves with this model they discover they don’t measure up. Male sexuality is at least as “complex, mysterious, and full of problems” as female sexuality. At one time or another most men experience premature ejaculation, impotence or trouble reaching orgasm.
In fact, the small amount of literature on male sexuality is focused almost entirely on problems related to those myths. Very few studies go beyond a concern with genital activity to deal with the difficulties men have sustaining intimacy, men’s love/hate feelings about machismo, sexual images in films and popular culture, sexuality in the workplace, men’s violence toward women, men’s attraction to pornography or men’s attitudes about fatherhood.
I do not want to discount the importance of sex as a biological need. Men in our culture tend to have too limited a conception of sexuality, thinking of it almost exclusively in terms of coitus.
The culture that tells women they have no power in sexual situations is the same culture telling men that they have to be aggressive and horny all the time.
These cultural misunderstandings about sex can lead to confusion, especially for men who have sex with women, because often no one ever taught them how to do sex right. While confusion doesn’t necessarily excuse bad behavior, ignorance about gender roles in sex and consent has the potential to create precarious situations in which even seemingly consensual sex isn't necessarily wanted, let alone pleasurable.
Myth: Men are all about "the hunt."
Framing sex and dating as a hunt or a game, in which the man is the hunter and the woman is the prey, immediately sets up power dynamics that strip women of their agency and put expectations onto men, Yet, dating and sex are often framed this way. Men are the aggressors, and women, if they're coy, will "play hard to get."
"Pursue has such a violent connotation — you think of hunting and chasing. That’s how men are taught to view getting sex,""They’re in charge, women are passive. But it’s not a hunt or a game. It’s people’s lives, bodies, and physical and emotional health."
Myth: Guys always want sex.
That "every seven seconds" statistic isn't only incredibly difficult to measure, it also clearly appeals to our judgment of men as sex-hungry maniacs who can focus on nothing else. But there's no conclusive proof that men think about sex so constantly, nor that they think about it so much more than women as to define the male experience.
In fact, a 2011 study of college students found that while men thought about sex more than women did, they also thought about food and sleep more. Focus on sex might have less to do with a lustful drive than with how each of our brains works generally. In fact, some men don't want sex at all.
Myth: Men Want Casual Sex and Women Want Commitment
We've been told time and again that guys have only one thing on the brain. But sex isn't the only desire sloshing around up there.
In fact, a 2010 study from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy found that men are much more interested in relationships: "Two-thirds (66%) say they would rather have a girlfriend but no sex compared to only one-third (34%) who say they would prefer to have sex but no girlfriend. Similarly, 2 out of 3 (66%) agree that they could be happy in a
relationship that doesn't include sex." Men, it seems, are interested in more than finding their next sexual conquest.
Myth: Men aren’t naturally monogamous, even though women are:
This is a very common stereotype in modern society, but it’s a dangerous one. DNA testing and genetic research have shown that human genders are like most other animal species in that neither sex is more monogamous than the other. Social monogamy does seem to happen on a seasonal level, but not permanently. Women are very pressured to be monogamous, but their biology and personality are both well-suited for more than one partner. In fact, masculine individuals often have a deep-seeded desire for a simple life, and monogamy accomplishes that much easier than having more than one partner.
Myth: Men have to ejaculate to enjoy sex:
Most people have not learned how to separate their orgasm from their ejaculation, but the ones that have to swear by the power of non-ejaculatory orgasm.
Myth: "Orgasm is the only goal during sexual intercourse"
Many people view sex as a journey, focusing on and arriving at your destination ( having an orgasm), rather than enjoying
the scenery on the way,. Sexual intimacy should be what feels pleasurable to you. Through exploration, each sexual encounter can be a new adventure, not always ending in the same conclusion.
Many people are dissatisfied with their sex lives if they are unable to orgasm, either through poor stimulation, lack of sexual knowledge or just an inability to let go - but one of the stumbling blocks is that we are so worried about it. Instead of letting the wave of pleasure flow over us we need to switch the chatter off in our heads. If you are constantly thinking, “Am I there yet? Will it happen? When will it happen?” you won't get there.
Myth: Men don’t like or need foreplay:
Even if people don’t need extended foreplay to get an erection, it does allow them time to get in sync with their sexual partner and establish an emotional connection. Many men were enjoying having this component of lovemaking.
Myth: If sex doesn't last for hours, it's not satisfying.
We don't know what man spread the rumor that duration has anything to do with the quality of sex, but we do know we want to punch that dude in his overactive dick. Most nights, these marathon sessions just have us silently begging for mercy for our uteri and agonizing over how much sleep we're losing. Save the into-the-wee-hours sex sessions for vacations, when you have nothing to do but bone the day away. On a daily basis, 15-20 minutes (not including foreplay) will do just fine.
Even spontaneous quickies are appreciated over an hour of mindless, machine-like thrusting. As long as your sex life isn't subsisting on quickies alone, you'll never be faulted for the occasional one.
Myth: All men watch porn and go to strip clubs:
There’s a general idea that an entire seedy underworld exists that all people go to when their women aren’t around or watching. While it is true that many men will do such things when they think they can get away with it, there are men that either doesn’t participate in such things at all as a matter of choice, or they don’t do it when they don’t have tacit permission from their partner.
Myth: Bigger is better:
In truth, size only matters regarding fit and how confident a man is about himself. Physical and sexual compatibility with their partner, as well as skill in what they can do with their bits and parts have much more impact on sexual satisfaction with their partner than actual size does. Just because a man has a large penis, doesn't mean his partner will enjoy sex. Compatibility
of size between partners is much more important. For heterosexual couples, if a woman has a smaller vagina, a large penis can be painful.
And let's be honest, in any relationship knowing how to use a penis is much more important than the size. As "Just because you have the equipment doesn't mean you necessarily know to operate the machinery, and there's simply no correlation between a guy's dick size and performance in bed."
The biggest issue with smaller penises may just be men's perception of them.
Myth: Manscaping is a must.
Despite the myth glossy magazines continue to perpetuate, a man whose body is as hairless as a newborn seal is not more desirable. When you insist on shaving your chest, arms, and all of your pubes, you look like you should have a
Instead of trying to compete with her to be the baldest one of all, embrace your body hair. It's manly and (this just in!) masculinity is sexy. The sole exception: We don't want to undertake the impossible task of parting your pubes like they're the Red Sea to get to your penis (or worst yet, choking on them), so trimming is always appreciated.
Myth: Sex starts in the bedroom.
Sex starts well before the first article of clothing hits the floor. Making her feel special and sexy, and enduring her boring work stories without so much as a complaint. It begins when you touch her back at a party, or exchange a knowing look across the room. And yes, by occasionally sending her suggestive text messages about what you'd like to do later.
All of this ensures that when you finally get time together, she'll want to tear your clothes off before the door closes. You're hers and she's yours, and nothing could be hotter.
Myth: If a guy's turned on, he can get it up.
We are led to believe, whether by funny pop culture moments or ingrained societal belief, that men's constant readiness for sex manifests itself physically, whenever and wherever. No erection equals not being turned on. In fact, an erection is much more complicated than that.
First off, men consistently get erections in non-sexual situations – for example, morning erections are not actually the result of sexual dreams. Conversely, men can be aroused without achieving an erection (just ask any man who's experienced erectile dysfunction). Sexual arousal in men manifests in a variety of physical and psychological ways, including increased heart rate and heavy breathing. When men experience difficulty in this area, it doesn't mean they aren't turned on. Rather, a number of factors can explain a lack of erection, including the need for more than just physical stimulation. Either way, it's important to remember that sex doesn't have to revolve around someone's erection.
Myth: Guys like taking control in the bedroom.
Sure, some might, but definitely not all. Many men love when women take the lead. "Most guys feel like they are always the initiator and that sets up disequilibrium on the passion scale in the relationship," Men want to be chased and led in the bedroom just as much as women do.
"There are few things hotter than a girl who knows what she wants, and there are a lot of different ways to communicate that to a guy. It doesn't mean you have to bust out whips and leather restraints and boss us around (but you could). It could be something as simple as pushing us down on the bed and pinning our arms down over our heads while you're on top."
Myth: A porn star's body is the template for every woman.
Some may strive to reach the pinnacle of porn star-perfection via intensive waxing and anal bleaching, but your average woman won't be taking such drastic measures.
Guys, we have pubic hair. We have cellulite and stubble and breasts that rarely sit near our collar bones. We have freckles and flaws, and above all, we are unapologetic about our inability to achieve model-like perfection. Remember, you've been conditioned to want that.
A woman who is self-assured and proud of the skin she's in is a real woman. Recognize real, and appreciate it.
Myth: I am satisfied, so she must be.
The minute you become convinced that you're God's gift to a woman's vagina is the minute she's off complaining to her friends that you're not attentive/kinky/exciting enough. So, a word of wisdom: Never go into maintenance-mode with the woman you're lucky enough to regularly roll around with.
We're not saying sex should be hard work. But if you're approaching sex like it's a mission that must be completed, you're misguided. It's a new adventure each time, meaning you should be constantly seeking new ways to enjoy each other. Like any part of your relationship, it requires you to check in with each other to make sure your needs are being met. This
means you should be brainstorming ways to keep things thrilling. You should be talking about your sex life, even when you're not in bed.
Myth: Communication during sex should be limited to dirty talk.
If your vocabulary is limited to four-letter words during sex, you're missing out an opportunity to connect, and most importantly, take your sex to another level. Instead of listing one-word demands like "Faster" or "Harder," ask her what she likes. Don't be afraid to ask, "Does this feel good?" Talk about what turns you on with words that aren't uttered in porn.
Some of the best sex comes via real emotional experience. "You're beautiful" and "I love you" take on an entirely new meaning when said when there's no space between the two of you. It is ultimately the difference between mutual masturbation and real lovemaking.
Myth: It's okay to ejaculate anywhere you want.
Assuming you can finish anywhere but inside a condom is grounds for dismissal, particularly early in the game. In most cases, it is considered good manners to ask what you can and cannot do, but in this case, if you even dare to request a place you'd prefer to let loose, you're in the wrong. If we wanted to see your semen anywhere but inside a condom, rest assured, we'd make our desires known.