There are a lot of annoying and frustrating myths that get tossed around about how men think and feel about sex. Most of them are based on extremes and seem to come from a need to put something very complicated in simple terms. We’re not just looking to get off (we can take care of that pretty easily ourselves, actually…). It’s not just the thrill of conquest (we assume that when women sleep with us it’s because they want to and not because they’ve been defeated, right?). It’s not just our biological imperative to make as many little versions of ourselves as possible before we die (most of us our actually trying not to knock you up). So what the hell is it? What drives men toward sex and what does it mean to us when it happens?
I probably shouldn’t do this, but screw it: In the spirit of promoting better understanding between the sexes, here’s six deep dark secrets about how men really feel about sex.
We Don’t Actually Want Sex All The Time
We just think we’re supposed to want it all the time, and unfortunately, this seems to be what women think too. It’s extraordinarily difficult for a man to say no to guaranteed sex, not only because it’s considered unmanly, but because women tend to assume that something’s “wrong.” Nothing’s wrong. Just like women, we only want sex… when we want it. The problem is that we’re often terrible at knowing the difference between sex we want and sex we don’t want until the awkward post-coital embrace. We really need to work on that one.
Related: The 10 Types of Non-Casual Sex
Sex = Validation
We’re racked with self doubt, constantly. We try to ignore it, we cover it up with obnoxious bravado, and occasionally, we actually try to work on the bad habits that are making us feel so lousy about ourselves. Mostly, we try to push away feelings of inadequacy because we’re afraid that we won’t be attractive to women if we present as anything but totally confident. It sucks.
There is a moment, though, when the inner critic just has to shut his stupid little mouth and let the grown-ups talk. It’s the moment of orgasm, followed by the collapse into a woman’s arms. That’s the best.
Related: 11 Ways To Be Terrible At Sex
It Is About Power
The domination thing is no myth, but it’s not a scary bad thing either. We want you lost in a raging, out of your mind, forgetting your own name, ocean of ecstasy. We want to you to completely lose control and we want to be the guy who took it from you. But, really, it’s not about power ’cause everybody wins, right?
We’re Distant Because We Care
Sexual prowess is the Holy Grail of manhood. More than success, more than athleticism, more than witty banter– if we’re not killer in the sack, we’ve failed as men. And there’s a lot of ways we can fail. It can be over too fast or it can take waaaay too long. We can be too rough or too gentle. We’re afraid if we’re too emotional you might assume we’re head over heels in love with you or, worse yet, we might totally creep you out. Worst of all, there’s the fear that we won’t get you off.
While some women can orgasm from physical sensation alone, for many, it’s a more complex equation. Something like– Physical Stimulation+Feeling of Safety+Feeling of Danger+Loss of Control+Power+Crossing Our Fingers and Hoping For The Best+We Have No Idea.
We want you to have a good time and we certainly don’t want you to tell all your friends that we suck in bed. It can be a lot of pressure. So, sometimes we just pretend we don’t care and sometimes the pretending becomes habitual. Really, though, deep down, we care a lot.
You Probably Know More About What Sex Means To Us Than We Do
Men don’t usually get the opportunity to observe themselves during the physical act of love. Women, on the hand get a first POV of what we’re like when we’re doing it. If you really want to know what sex means to us, try to let go of your assumptions and just pay attention, because…
We’re All Actually Pretty Different
This is the biggest secret of all, because it’s not actually a secret. Everyone already knows that there’s no fail-safe formula for understanding men. If you want to understand a man sexually, you have to have actual sex with him. Lots and lots of times.
Unfortunately, it’s the only way.
Originally published in January 2011.