In the public mind, masculinity and sexuality are almost synonymous. “A real man” in the usual sense is first of all a good male, his identity is inseparable from his sexuality, and the strength of a man is usually associated with his potency. But what about the situation?
An analytical review of 5400 scientific articles on the manifestation of sexual desire, that is, specific motivation focused on sexual activity and the desire to achieve sexual satisfaction, was conducted (R.F. Baumeister, K. R. Catanese, K. D. Vohs, 2003). It has been found that by most indicators (frequency of sexual thoughts, fantasies and spontaneous arousal, desired frequency of sex; frequency of masturbation; desired number of sexual partners; sex preference for other activities; active search, not avoidance of sexual activities; willingness to initiate sexual activities; enjoying different types sexual practices, willingness to sacrifice resources for sex, positive attitude to sexual activity, the prevalence of disorders associated with lowering sex ceiling elements of desire) – male attraction is much stronger than the female. A number of scientists explain this phenomenon from the standpoint of evolutionary biology: if the biological function of males is to fertilize as many females as possible, then male sexuality, by definition, must be stronger and more extensive.
A mass questionnaire survey was conducted of more than 16,000 students of 52 nations from 10 major regions of the world (G. Schmidt et al., 2003). Young people were asked how many sexual partners they would like to have in general and in the coming month, are they ready to make certain efforts to achieve this goal, and how quickly are they ready to agree to sexual rapprochement with an unfamiliar person? It turned out that regardless of the country, region, marital / partner status and sexual orientation of respondents, men want to have more sexual partners than women (over 50% of men would like to have more than one partner over the next month), and men are easier to go on sexual rapprochement after a short acquaintance. According to researchers, this confirms the universality of male craving for sexual diversity and short-term relationships.
Increased importance for men of sexual activity has important socio-psychological consequences. Male sexuality has been and remains the subject of a kind of cult. And where the cult is, there are myths, and where the myths are, there are fears and fears. Here are some typical myths for American men: a real man is tested primarily in sex; man is always interested in sex and is always ready for it; every touch is sexually or should lead to sex; good sex happens by itself, without preparation and talk; sex is a hard cock and what they do with it; sex and intercourse are the same thing; good sex necessarily involves an orgasm; having sex, men should not obey women; real men have no sexual problems (B. Zelbergeld, 1992).
All these statements are far from the truth. “The real man” from the legend necessarily has a long and firm member, which is the main sign of manhood and strength and is associated with high potency. Lucky owners of large penises are credited with special physical strength and high sexual activity. The average size of an erect penis of a European male is 13–16 cm. Objectively, its size is not so important for women, since the female genitalia are very plastic and, with a sufficient level of sexual arousal, easily adapt to the size of the partner’s phallus. No more than 5% of women can actually experience problems with this. Sexual satisfaction of women depends on the size of the penis is much smaller than is customary to think, but all other things being equal, many of them actually prefer men with a fairly large penis.
Sexologists sometimes joke that “the male device is the laziest.” Only during the period of youthful hypersexuality (1–18 years old) can erections among young men occur many times a day, sometimes in the most inappropriate places. In adult men, erections occur less frequently and become more selective. In addition, the erection, sexual arousal and sexual desire of a particular woman – this is not the same thing. Male orgasm can vary in intensity depending on the severity of sexual desire for a partner. The range of orgasmic experiences can range from the release of tension and sensual pleasure, localized primarily in the genitals, to ecstasy with the disappearance of the boundaries of space and time.
A modern man sometimes becomes a prisoner of stereotypes about his own strength. A woman who refuses a man only gains respect. The refusal of intimate intimacy on the part of a man is still perceived as evidence of his inconsistency or as a personal insult. According to I.S. Kona (2004), the male lifestyle is largely subject-instrumental in nature. This extends to sexuality. In the male sexual scenario “sex” is not only pleasure, but also work that necessarily requires success, completion, a man needs to “finish” himself and “bring” to a partner.
In this case, quantitative indicators are often brought to the fore — the number of women, the number of sexual acts. But the number of sexual partners and contacts does not always correlate with sexual satisfaction. Men are prone to “technicalism” of sexual thinking: they are often concerned with how to prolong an erection, increase feelings during frictions and during ejaculation. Therefore, for a man, intimacy is primarily sexual intercourse. Everything else – foreplay, manifestations of tenderness after the end of coitus – seems secondary, optional.
Due to the instrumental and competitive nature of their lifestyle, many men do not trust their own experiences and need to be objectively confirmed by their sexual effectiveness. The man receives the most weighty confirmation of his manhood from a woman. Therefore, the first sexual experience is so important for a young man. Yes, and adult men often change their wives and have extramarital affairs, not only because of the thirst for diversity, but also for the purpose of self-affirmation. But a man who first of all seeks to prove his strength unwittingly turns sexual intimacy into an exam, sometimes failing him precisely because he does not feel free and relaxed. It is not by chance that perhaps the most common sexual problem of a modern man is “performing anxiety”, caused by doubts in his “mastery” and anxiety about possible failure during sexual intercourse (more often because of the failure of erection). On the contrary, the inhabitants of some of the islands of Polynesia in general deny the very possibility of male failure in our understanding. By the way, therefore, they do not have cases of psychogenic erection disorders.
The traditional model of sexual behavior ascribes all activity, starting with courtship and ending with the technique of sexual intercourse, to a man, leaving the woman a passive role. Strictly speaking, all couples never adhered to this model, but the echoes of this stereotype have reached our days. On the one hand, women often expect initiatives from men, without actively showing their sexual desires. On the other hand, men sometimes demonstrate bewilderment and even irritation when a partner openly expresses her intentions to engage in sexual intercourse. They have a fear of unpredictability and the strength of a woman’s sexual desire, which they may not cope with. Such a discrepancy between the speculations gives rise to mutual discontent and is one of the causes of sexual disharmony in the couple.
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