advertisement

Sex and Intimacy

Sex and Intimacy

There is a saying which goes, "Men will do anything for sex, even love. Women will do anything for love, even sex." What is needed is for men and women to bridge the differences between them, rather than men being 'right' or women being 'right.'

Definitions and realities are in order here.

  1. Not all women are alike. Some women are more evolved than other women.
  2. Not all men are alike. Some men are more evolved than other men.
  3. Gender identity is the sense we have of belonging either to the male half of the human race or the female half of the race.
  4. Gender conceit is when either sex assumes that what is natural and preferred for her/his sex is correct for both sexes.

In our culture, as in almost any culture, powerful expectations of how males and females should behave exists. Until recently, in our culture, the male was expected to be aggressive and detached from emotion, while the woman was expected to be nurturing and "in touch" with her emotions.

Although our gender expectations are changing, they change slowly. There are definite differences in place already for both men and women that are caused by the way we were socialized as children. In addition, each sex thinks his/her sex is the correct one.

Gender identification is so ingrained in our psyche that we are certain "we are right!" When we are accused of being wrong for being the way society made us, we become defensive.

It is also common to think the other sex is the same as our sex. Nothing could be further from the truth. For either sex to assume that what is natural and preferred for his sex or her sex is correct for both sexes has been called "gender conceit."


continue story below

Men and women both want to be loved. Men and women both want to be respected. Each sex has valid, but different, approaches to love, intimacy, and sex. They do have different views of what it takes to be loved and respected.

Actually, what is needed is for men and women to bridge the differences between them rather than men being "right" or women being "right." We need to understand the opposite sex.

There is a saying which goes, "Men will do anything for sex, even love. Women will do anything for love, even sex." For men, being sexually active is being alive and fulfilled. It confirms their masculinity and raises their self-esteem. For women, being hugged, touched, caressed, and cuddled is often much more important than sex.

Men are easily aroused. Women must often give themselves permission to "turn on."

When anger or another problem enters the picture, the differences between men and women and physical intimacy become even more evident.

He feels that making love will make-up.

She feels they must make-up before making love. When the relationship is in disrepair, a woman will feel it has to be repaired before sex, not repaired by sex. And a man will feel exactly opposite.

Men have sexual thoughts often during the day. Women can go for hours, even days, without a sexual thought.

For women touching without sex is soothing and comforting. It imparts a warm feeling of security. For many men, touching without sex can easily be misunderstood and even threatening.

Watch men together. When men touch, it is in a rough manner--punching each other or slapping each other on the back. This is because tender touching has sexual undertones for a man. It makes many men feel vulnerable and dependent, feelings men have been socialized to feel are unmasculine. Young women dream about love and romance; young men dream about sexual fulfillment.


Men are not comfortable with so much closeness and intimacy that they feel vulnerable. Women are not comfortable without it.

Women view sex as coming from a close, intimate relationship. Women want to be in love before having sex. Men think sex is an expression of love.

For women, the relationship eventually includes sex. For men, the relationship doesn't really start until it includes sex.

For most women, sexual involvement implies that a relationship is possible. For men, such an implication is certainly not automatic.

Women rarely comprehend a man's ability to separate sex and love. If "her" man has sex with another woman, he can not still love her.

Always remember:

  1. Not all men are alike. In addition, some men are more evolved than other men.
  2. Not all women are alike. In addition, some women are more evolved than other men.
  3. Gender identity is the sense we have of belonging either to the male half of the human race or the female half of the race.
  4. Gender conceit is when either sex assumes that what is natural and preferred for her/his sex is correct for both sexes.

Almost all women want to be in love before having sex. Almost all men think sex is an expression of love.

For women, the relationship eventually includes sex. For men, the relationship doesn't really start until it includes sex.

Men and women even watch each other differently. Think about it:

Men are open about watching a woman's body, admiring it and looking it up and down. Women look at men's bodies, too, but they are usually more subtle. Women look while pretending to look elsewhere.

Dave Barry writes for the Miami Herald. He gives a graphic description of women and men watching near nudity on Miami's beaches. Barry writes:

"On my fact-finding trips to Miami-area beaches, I've noticed that the Europeans don't seem to notice that they're almost naked. But the Americans definitely do. American women are cool about it; they have developed the ability to look at things, such as a man's Euro region, via a Stealth Glance technique, so that you never actually catch them doing it. (They use a similar technique for scratching.) American men, on the other hand, are as subtle as a dog with its nose in another dog's butt. When an American man catches sight of a bosom, his head snaps toward it, his eyeballs lock onto it like missile radar, and a loud alarm goes off in his brain, similar to the one in the submarine movies that goes, "DIVE! DIVE! DIVE!', except it goes "BOSOM! BOSOM! BOSOM!" As long as the man is within range of the bosom (12 miles) his head will remain pointed toward it and he will be unable to think about anything else..."

Thanks Dave Barry. We needed that explanation!


continue story below

next: How Important is Sex to Intimacy?

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, December 15). Sex and Intimacy, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, September 28 from https://www.healthyplace.com/sex/psychology-of-sex/sex-and-intimacy

Last Updated: August 20, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

More Info