It’s been estimated that men think about sex every seven seconds
That’s 8,000 times in 16 waking hours.
How often have you heard this statement quoted as a well accepted truth?
But it’s more of a myth than a truth because there’s been no real research to back this statistic up.
The myth has often been attributed to research by the Kinsey Institute which actually shows that though men think about sex a lot (just like they think about food and sleep) every seven seconds is a gross exaggeration. And we presume this stat was based on men’s perceptions of themselves, rather than on an actual measurement of any kind.
Is it even true for young men in their sexual prime?
A study by Ohio State University armed a group of 18-to-25-year-olds with handheld tally counters and told them to track their thoughts about sex, food, and sleep. You would think this would be prime time sexville for guys at this age.
The results: The average man tallied 19 sexy thoughts per day—that comes out to about once every 1.26 hours. To compare that with other thoughts on the average mind, men counted thinking about food 18 times and sleeping 11 times per day. Sex wasn’t even the top craving for women, who reported thinking about sex 10 times, food 15 times, and sleep 8.5 times a day.
And there are many, many different facets that contribute to these statistics than just horniness! In fact, anecdotally this does seem a bit low. Maybe the men were a bit challenged to be totally honest?
There’s a painful truth behind this statistic
The human side of this myth about men and sex that reveals a very painful story.
It’s easy for men to feel that they don’t ‘live up to’ this myth. Leaving them feeling ashamed and less ‘like a man’ if they aren’t always in the mood for sex. We hear from many men who feel emasculated because they believe most men have a higher sex drive than they do. And they will push themselves to live up to it. And we’re sure there are many more who are too afraid to even speak up about it.
It is such a one dimensional way of thinking about a man. That his sex is constantly on tap and at the ready, no matter what else may be going on in his life.
It’s actually sexist.
On top of the current “toxic masculinity debate” this myth makes it difficult for men to avoid shame in their sexuality.
Men are not machines (sexual or otherwise), they are human.
And as such men are subject to the same vagaries and influences on their sex lives as women. It’s just not allowed to be talked about.
Why wouldn’t stress, medications, hormones, poor diet and exercise, sleeplessness, health and lifestyle issues impact a man’s desire? We know for sure that issues in his intimate relationships will definitely tell on his level of desire.
We need to stop supporting and normalising this myth that men should always be in the mood for sex. It’s not only sexist, it makes a man feel ashamed about asking for support in managing low desire. And it makes him think that there is something deeply wrong with him, when there isn’t.
We spend a mammoth amount of time talking about
and trying ‘fix’ women’s lack of desire.
Whilst men remain locked inside this socially conditioned box without a way out. Sometimes a man’s belief in his low desire might simply be based on this myth alone.
This myth is also harmful to women.
When her man is not desiring her, because of this myth she believes there is something wrong with her. That she is undesirable or inadequate in some way. She may even assume he is no longer attracted to her. Or that he is getting his needs met in porn or even an affair. Leading both partners to feel unwanted and inadequate, making communication seem potentially painful, or even impossible. Intimacy outside the bedroom becomes a mistake. Such a situation can even cause people to question their relationships.
Or a woman can feel pressured by the myth of the constantly horny partner and either push herself to perform, or to pull back in fear.
All because of a myth.
The greater truth is that men sometimes have high desire and sometimes low,
just like women.
Just like women, men’s desires can be affected by medications like antihypertensives and anti depressants. By hormonal changes that happen with stress and age, along with lack of fitness or overuse of alcohol, nicotine or cannabis. And by the stresses common to us all around business, finances, depression. As well as feeling emotionally disconnected from himself and/or his partner for whatever reason (although this can create a high level of desire too).
Inside we all just want to be loved and respected and desired.
Can we see ourselves as humans, rather than mythical beings?
Men don’t have to be hyper sexual to be masculine and powerful. Or deserving of understanding and compassion.
So how much desire is the ‘right’ amount?
We say it is the amount that works for you, once you have cleared yourself of any social, cultural and historical conditioning.
Once you feel like your OWN man.
Whether that’s wanting sex a lot or a little.
You don’t have to want sex for your partner.
As we say to women, sympathy sex is not a good long term solution.
We have found that it is definitely worthwhile exploring where you might be holding yourself back in your desire.
If there is still a difference in your levels of desire it is definitely worth both of you exploring the many ways you might address this. Rather than just suffering through it.
Ways to find more desire…
If you would like to gain a higher level of desire than you currently do there is much you can do to really make a difference:
- Give yourself permission to disbelieve the myth about men’s constant sexual desire.
- Learn what might be influencing your beliefs about your sexual desire.
- Have a conversation with your partner if you are in a relationship. To get clear on what is actually happening between you. Clear on how much is truth and how much is not understanding what is really going on.
- A visit to your doctor can also be a good start to better understand the impacts of your medication, general health and emotional wellbeing. It can sometimes be as simple as a lack of Vitamin D, which can contribute to depression, malaise and lack of motivation. He will likely encourage you to build in some healthy lifestyle choices that can really make a difference.
- If you believe your desire is low, carefully monitor your use of porn. Even better, take a break for 3 months, so you can find out where your real desire, separate from a screen lives. But the good news is that if you are a man who is struggling with low desire, there are many things you can do to start regaining your desire.
Remember the right amount of desire is the right amount for you. You don’t always have to be in the mood, it doesn’t make you less of a man. If you do want help to increase your desire, or even understand where your desire is at, ask for help. It’s not unusual anymore. Either alone or with your partner.
Asking for support could be the best decision you ever made.
Contact Graeme on 1800 TANTRA or email here