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Men are not always available for sex

posted 25 Jul 2013, 23:45 by Suzi Wallis   [ updated 6 Dec 2013, 19:14 ]
I have been seeing more and more men recently in my counselling practice who are not available for sex with their partners if they feel disrespected or belittled. 

There seems to be a myth out there that all men can be turned on at a moment's notice if they are offered sex. This is not true. Like some women, there are some men who are ready to 'perform' 24/7, but I think this is becoming more and more rare. I'm hearing from both my clients, and men around me in my life, that they need to first feel emotionally connected to be physically intimate with their partners.

If the relationship has conflict, or very disrespectful or abusive language is regularly used at them, many men will feel too unsafe to be physically intimate with their partner. Given that most people feel vulnerable when they are getting naked (physically or emotionally) with someone, they are going to need to feel safe to take this step. I saw a beautiful writing on a Facebook post recently, where it was mentioned that foreplay for women begins at the end of the last sexual encounter. I think this is also true for many men.

Men, as a rule, need to feel important, appreciated, attractive, competent and many other things to also feel sexual. Unconsciously, withdrawal of affection or sex can be used to regain power. If a man is subjected to insults or verbal or physical abuse, he may feel powerless. Withdrawal may be the only way he can 'lick his wounds' and recover. If you have had an encounter like this recently with your male partner, and he has withdrawn, you will need to give him time to settle his emotions first. He will then need to hear and feel remorse from you (even if you didn't intend to hurt him) before he will become emotionally and physically available to you.

Bear in mind that sex in long term relationships is largely about emotional intimacy. In the early days of a relationship, when lust is high, it is designed to bond a couple strongly. If you've been together a while and you have sex less often than you'd like, have a look at your relationship's emotional health. Are you respectful of your partner in your words and actions? Do you tell him how wonderful he is, how much you appreciate what he does for you and how attractive he is to you? If not, maybe it's time to increase that behaviour and see how much closer you feel.

Suzi Wallis | Jul 2013