Dual Control Model of Sex

Ever heard of the dual control model of sex? I think it sheds light on some questions showing up in recent comments. Originally proposed by Erick Janssen and John Bancroft of the Kinsey Institute, the idea is that we have things pushing us towards sex and things holding us back from sex.

Think of a car with an accelerator pedal and a brake pedal. For the car to move the force from the engine, controlled by the accelerator pedal, must overcome the force of the brakes. External forces would also play into it – is the car going downhill or uphill? Is there a block under a wheel, are the tires flat, is the parking brake on, is it stuck in the mud? Inertia also factors in here; it takes more energy to get the car moving than to keep it moving, and it takes more braking to stop it when it’s going fast than when it’s going slow.

For a person to want sex, to seek it out, the forces pushing the car forward must exceed those holding it back. 

Woman with flat tire © flairimages | dollarphotoclub.com

Then we have the gender issue. Most men are going downhill, from a moderate slope to a steep grade. Women vary from a lesser downhill slope to level ground or an uphill grade. This is why sex is generally easier for men. However, easier doesn’t mean automatic. Even if his engine is good there are things which can slow him down or bring him to a stop. Some men have been driving in the mud their whole life; when they were young their engine was strong enough to overcome the resistance, but as they grow older it becomes more difficult.

A few thoughts on what this means for you and your husband:

  • Building up some speed when things are going well will benefit you when things are difficult.
  • Overcoming stopping forces takes a great deal of force. Dealing with the stopping forces is a more effective way to get moving than pressing down on the gas.
  • We see what we’ve always known as normal – even if we’ve always had the parking brake on.
  • We can do things to help our spouse move forward, and things to hold them back.
  • There are a good many outside forces beyond our control, especially when it comes to our spouse.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and when I see Lori rollin’, I ain’t hatin’!

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4 Comments on “Dual Control Model of Sex

  1. What a great analogy!
    I can’t tell you how many times my husband was ready to go for a joy ride but had to jump start my engines first. It always took some wind out of his sails.
    Sex was always a soap box derby for my husband, always ready to jump in and speed down that hill. How Exciting!! But, if he wanted me to join in on the thrill, he would have to help me climb a pretty steep slope just to get me into the passengers seat.
    My brakes are in great shape, my ignition always needs tuning.
    At least, we’ve always been able to patch me up and get me moving again.
    I keep telling myself I’m “the little engine that could”.

    Could someone please explain to me why many of us wives are constantly fighting our inertia to keep the tires rolling, when many of our macho ferrari sports car husbands declare they are “Totaled” when they get a flat tire? Now thats deflating!

      • I appreciate your wisdom.

        I guess when you’ve always gotten your thrills through speed and fast turns, it takes time to learn to enjoy a slow Sunday drive. Many women have that figured out long before the wheels fall off. If only men would listen.

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