Originally Posted by umsami
You mention that you've spent 10 years training and working with couples... so I'm assuming you are a Marriage and Family Therapist. Be forewarned, that you are basing some of your opinions based on your client base--which are coming to you precisely because they are having troubles with their marriage.
No, I was a sex counselor.
|You also say that "men in sexless marriages suffer more than women in sexless marriages." That may very well be the case, but it does not necessarily follow that because of that men need sex more than women do...or have stronger drives. We both seem to agree that women have alternative means of having their intimacy needs met--besides sex. That would seem to offer just as plausible of an explanation as "men's needs."
It doesn't have anything to do with drive. Drive is desire. There will be times when drive will wax and wane.
It has to do with the connection that the couple has. The strength of the relationship. The bond, not the frequency of sex.
Women have alternative ways of BONDING.
|I'm not saying that men cannot bond during sex at all... but I think that women bond more during sex. If this was not the case, then men would not tend to have more sexual partners than women. Perhaps it is explained by the estrogen-oxytocin link as well as men's changing testosterone/estrogen balance as they age? My understanding is that as we have more estrogen, oxytocin tends to affect us more. (And men have more estrogen as they age which may explain why they stray less.)
Women do bond more during sex. Women bond more when being caressed. Women bond more, pretty much over all. Their phsiology is more based towards bonding.
Women bond more with children. They bond more in communities. Etc. etc.
Therefor, since sex is the predominant way that men bond, while women have many ways and find it much easier to do....
IT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO MEN to get it through THAT avenue. Because they have a comparatively lower likelihood of bonding through any other means.
|Both men and women release serotonin and dopamine when massaged... so don't negate touch as a way of bonding couples. And, BTW, men do release oxytocin when touched as well... as well as when interacting with children. (At least according to Dr. Uväs-Moberg who wrote "The Oxytocin Factor" as well as Dr. Kathleen Light who did a study through the NIH.) The effect is usually stronger in women but it does not mean that men do not produce it at all when touched.
Yes. They do produce it. They do not produce it in clinically significant amounts. In other words, not enough on average
to become addicted to it.
And that is, on a physiological level, what bonding is. A linking of a positive euphorical state with a person or an object.
I hate to break it down into such clinical terms, because there is more at work than just that, but at the end of the day, yes, your partnership with a mate, if you want to keep it long and strong, is in part an addiction to them.
|Peace.... and now back to our regularly scheduled thread
I don't disagree that women are much more likely to salvage a relationship or seek counseling. Heck, women are much more likely to seek any medical care than men. That is of no surprise to me.
Sadly, women are also much more likely to refrain from sex with their partners by choice instead of by the other person with-holding it.
In some cases, they simply don't realize the harm they're doing.
In other cases, they do this on purpose. Which is a horribly sad state of affairs. Using your partner's cheif bonding as a method of punishment or reward is a wretched idea.