Dissecting the Male Sex Drive
A comment on a recent post has me to thinking about the different ways men and women experience sex drive. For both men and women the desire to have sex is not a single “drive”. Rather, it is a compilation of things. Here are some of the things driving men to want sex.
Need for Release
This is the strongest/loudest part of the sex drive for most young men. It is probably a mixture of physical and mental things going on. It is often likened to hunger, but this is a poor explanation. A really full bladder is a better, but also imperfect explanation. Most (but not all) men feel a vague fullness or dull ache in front of/below the bladder when this need gets strong. It has been suggested seminal fluid builds up and presses on certain nerves, sending a “need release now” signal to the brain, but no one has proven this.
Whatever the mechanism, the need grows and causes a man discomfort both physically and mentally. For young men this drive reaches a critical point at 24 to 72 hours after his last climax. An awareness of a growing need starts sooner, in as little as 12 hours. With age this drive takes longer to build, and may not be as urgent. Some men lose it, some do not. General health seems to be a factor.
I do not think most women feel this drive (although someone will likely argue with this). Women do feel the next one, which is similar.
Physical arousal causes us to want to have sex. This is also a need for release, but there is a trigger involved. Some sight, thought, or physical action causes the body to become aroused. The desire mentioned above happens because of time since last climax, with no other trigger required. If you understand the need for release after a long time of foreplay, imagine feeling something similar just because it has been X number of hours.
Horniness is generally cumulative, and all kinds of things can add to it. You probably add to your husband’s horniness far more than you think. He wants to be turned on by you, so anything you do, say, or show has more of an impact than what he sees elsewhere. Also realise seeing you naked is a turn on for him whether you are feeling sexual or not.
Sex feels good, and this is a big reason people like to do it. God made sex feel good, so I see nothing wrong with seeking it out for pleasure. Men and women who seek sex multiple times a day are likely motivated a good deal by pleasure.
Hormones and other brain chemicals released during sex cause us to bond and feel love. While we think of women wanting sex for this reason, I think it is actually more powerful for men. Most women need to feel connected before they want sex, while most men can have sex with very little connection. For women sex makes the connection deeper; for men sex opens the door to a better connection. Women want to talk before sex, while men find it easier to talk after sex. Understanding these differences does not solve them, but it does help.
If he is feeling distant from you, be it from being away or being busy, he may seek sex to reconnect.
Celebrating Our Relationship
Sex (should be) something we do with only one person. Sex is part of a unique relationship, making sex a celebration of that relationship.
Assurance of Love
“Making love” causes a man to feel his wife loves him. If sex is rare, he will not feel loved. He may intellectually know his wife loves him, but he will not feel it. Sometimes asking for sex is asking to be told, “I love you” in a way he really feels.
Assurance We Are Okay
Most men assume “good sex” (meaning both he and his wife climax) means their relationship is good. This is actually a potential trap. If you have sex, he may ignore problems because the sex tells him everything is fine. If you resist sex so as not to communicate everything is fine, you add to the problems. Teaching him sex does not mean everything is fine may be a challenge, but the results are worth it.
Men, and women, have sex because they are bored. We do it to lift our mood, to relax, and to get to sleep. Some do it to fight pain, or deal with grief. None of these is wrong, especially if we are honest about our motivation.
Adding it All Up
It is rare for someone to want sex for only one reason; usually it is a mix of the things I have mentioned. For men, especially men in their 20’s, the need for release and feeling horny are the major players. Many younger men are only vaguely aware of some of the other reasons they desire sex because their physical drive is so overwhelming. This is particularity true if he is not having sex as often as his body craves it. As a man’s physical drive goes down, and/or frequency goes up, he becomes aware of all the other great reasons to want and have sex.
By the way, a man may seek sex without any physical drive, but being able to have sex requires some physical arousal. This means most men get horny enough to feel a need for climax, even if it was not part of why they initially sought sex. This is not bait and switch; it is a natural result of how God made his sexuality.
And… Feeling Blue
You have probably heard of “blue balls”. Sexual arousal causes increase blood flow (for men and women), which causes the testicles to swell. During foreplay, this adds to the general fullness and is pleasurable, but if arousal is significant without climax, mild pain in the testicles can occur. Getting to this point requires prolonged stimulation, either physical, or visual – it does not happen simply because he has not had sex for a while. Having a climax will take care of it, or it will go away on its own after a few uncomfortable hours. I would not call this a normal part of male sex drive, although a man who is suffering from it will certainly be motivated to do something to climax. Short of the kids interrupting you, this should not be an issue in marriage.
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