For thousands of years, human beings have used divination systems such as astrology and tarot to inquire about relationship and compatibility issues. But an intuitive approach cannot resolve such problems all by itself. While we often try to attribute our passions to a conscious decision of the mind, our desires are also driven by biological and emotional drives that we are only now beginning to understand. It behooves us to also use logic and consider what we are learning from biology and psychology.
In another blog, I mentioned that men need women not only for sex, but also for emotional nourishment. Several women responded that women want sex too. Yes, of course, most do, but just not as insistently as men. Even though women may have an even greater capacity for sexual fulfillment than men, the average woman’s desire is not nearly so insistent as the average male’s.
It’s a biological fact that the hormone testosterone plays a major role in sexual interest — for both sexes. The avg healthy male has 20 to 30 times the testosterone of the avg healthy female … actually, it ranges from 10x to 100x. Women have much, much less, and their level fluctuates with their cycle (reaching its peak around ovulation), but men’s bodies are flooded with testosterone ALL the time. We’re not talking twice as much — not even just 5 times as much — it is a HUGE differential!
Certainly, most women also want sex, but men think about it a LOT more. One indicator is that 30% more men pleasure themselves and, comparing with the women who do, men do it on average 4-5 times as often. Also, men download erotic materials 5 to 10 times as much as women. Moral judgments aside, these are markers for a MUCH higher level of interest — even factoring in the idea that sex may be just as strongly desired by women in the context of a romantic relationship (or perhaps fantasies about Orlando Bloom :-).
So, at least half the reason men are labeled ‘horndogs’ is biological … that constant flow of lots more testosterone is why men can’t help but think about sex so much. (Question: Do men get empathy from women for this condition? Or do they just mainly get blamed for their biological burden?)
Now, let me be clear: In no way does strong desire justify inappropriate or abusive speech or behavior. It’s only natural for men to test the waters a little bit (i.e. flirt), but there is no excuse for men to ever make women uncomfortable just because they, the men, are feeling their own biological pressure. If so many men lack refinement, it’s only because they are ignorant of the fact that women are so very different than them … to the extent they project their own cravings onto women, men most certainly lack empathy too. To the extent that we need each other, we just ALL need more empathy for each other, which is the real point behind this blog.
But, even more interesting, testosterone is not the only major reason men are so focused on physical intimacy. There is a significant emotional component involved as well, which is largely denied and hidden by society, including men themselves. There is emotional deprivation behind men’s sexual desires, which is what creates the ‘lovesick’ part. Here again, men are dealing with something that is qualitatively different than the same desire in the experience of women. We’ll explore this second major factor in my next blog.