“Perhaps sex is how men find the most intense level of acceptance from someone they care about. For a woman, it’s different, not so much the same. It’s a woman’s gift to give.” said my ex-lover.
I’ve pondered this statement for days. It confused and saddened me. Is this a statement of truth? Or one man’s opinion of what should make men of the world, men we know and love, feel embraced? Without question, sexuality is one of the most important aspects of being a human being. But is it the gauge of our self worth? I believe most men would say it’s an awful stereotype they face.
When I think of my young son and all the work we are doing with him for his education and his athletics, I think how all of the confidence and esteem building, self- improvement, and development can potentially be negated when he reaches puberty and manhood and then bases his self-acceptance on his ability to have sex?
I think of my daughter and how she is being raised to be self-aware and successful and true to herself and not finding her self-worth in the arms of a man but, rather, to embrace relationships on a level playing field of mutual respect, commitment, honesty, and love.
I don’t see her (or myself) as the keeper of this magical gift that men need to feel whole. That actually repulses me, that low self-esteem and lack of confidence in everything else a man can offer in addition to his penis. Don’t get me wrong, I love men and I love sex, crave it, enjoy it, relish in it. But it doesn’t make me complete.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many fulfilled, successful men in my time, through my career and through the social scene of friendships and dating. In conversation with them it’s easy to engage them in what they love.
Ask them about their career path and what they love most about their job, what gets them out of bed in the morning, their work colleagues and friends.
Ask them about their family, where they grew up, whether they have siblings or if their parents are still living. Ask them about their children, school, college, marriage, grand-kids.
Ask them about a significant other, how long have they been married or divorced, what they are seeking in a mate.
Ask them where they love to travel, a beach or a big city, a remote village or jungle.
Ask them about how they like to travel, a safari or a cruise, backpacking or hotels. Ask them about their hobbies, do they like to mountain bike or fish, hunt or do home improvements, water ski, hike, garden or fix up old classic cars.
Ask them about what sports they like to watch or play? Who’s their favorite team? And the list goes on.
It’s easy to engage men with sex and you will likely get their full attention, especially if you’re offering it. But that feeling and craving and need is simply carnal and ephemeral. Single (and some married) men will jump at the chance to have sex and have a lot of fun while doing it. But does it make them feel accepted? Sure, after their recovery nap and before they run off to enjoy the rest of their lives that keep them fulfilled and satisfied.
If there is true acceptance in sexual contact, found only between the legs of a willing woman, why are there so many one-night stands before they move on to conquer the next woman?
Is that part of the acceptance process?
If you have a willing woman and she offers you her full acceptance on such an intense level, why would one seek another?
Why do men marry one woman when it drastically reduces the odds of ‘spreading their seed’ and finding these women to offer that acceptance?
Why not just stay single and play the field, keep things new and exciting and not stagnant and complacent as too many marriages become?
In a recent article on Tinybuddha.com, a featured writer stated “Acceptance, in my opinion, is the key to converting momentary happiness to enduring happiness. It helps you move from feeling happy to actually being happy.” Can we really find that through casual sex? Or is that more indicative of an addiction – get the fix to feel accepted and satisfied until you jones for another fix and top up that feeling? Have you found eternal happiness after you make love? It’s fun, no question, but eternal happiness? Ah, no.
It is sad to me that wonderful men (and women, let’s be real) can degrade themselves down to that level where they feel that’s all they can offer and all they can do to accept themselves. It’s counterproductive to their cause. It’s been my experience that women prefer confident men who are well rounded and successful and find confidence in their own successes and strong attributes over men with a gap to fill simply by burying himself between a woman’s thighs. It’s shallow and unattractive and hardly a measure of acceptance.
Finding self-acceptance is a very personal journey.
- Do you celebrate your strengths rather than your shortcomings? We have many strengths, only one of which is sexual attraction.
- Take a look at the people you surround yourself with. Are they negative? Do they question their own sense of self and struggle with acceptance?
- Do you realize the effect negative people have on you and do you need to distance yourself from those people? What if you can’t, what if they are a spouse or child who is struggling?
- Do you have outside positive support to reinforce you and who you are as a person, people who will accept you and believe in you?
- Do you have past regrets that you need to forgive yourself for?
- How strong is your inner critic? It’s not the voice of reason but a toxic waste of your time and energy.
- Be kind to yourself and encourage self-compassion. Be your biggest fan and advocate.
- Don’t do anything that makes you uncomfortable or jeopardizes your integrity and authenticity. Stay true to who you are.
- Take comfort in your chosen deity, in God or The Universe or a trusted friend.
- Journal, meditate, exercise, to purge yourself of the inner demons.
- Eat well and sleep plenty. Cleanse from the inside out with lots of water.
- Allow yourself to feel each emotion you experience in its truest form and move on past it.
- Grieve for what you’ve lost and find the courage to move on.
- Know that you deserve nothing but contentment, peace, and happiness.
- Know that you are enough – always.
But hey, getting laid is so much easier than all of those things, isn’t it? Who doesn’t love gifts? Especially gifts that feel really good.