Want “X” From Sex? So Why Do “Y”?

Most want pleasure, closeness from sex

Most want pleasure, closeness from sex

What do people want from sex? Most want pleasure and closeness. But they don’t act like it.

Instead, they’re preoccupied with how they look, what their partner is thinking, how they’re performing, and what is “normal.”

That’s what Dr. Marty Klein, a certified sex therapist and sociologist, says in his book, Sexual Intelligence: What We Really Want From Sex and How to Get It

Maybe because of fashion magazines, or porn, or because we see “good sex” as the sex of our 20s, we conclude that great sex is looking like 20-year-old “perfectly” built porn stars, and doing what 20-year-old “perfectly” built porn stars do.

Since most women are insecure about their bodies, plenty end up distracted with worries about how they look: “Am I too fat? Are my breasts too small, too lopsided, too droopy? Do I have cellulite?” Or, some think they look great, and are distracted by visions of how hot they look in different poses. Or, they try to act like porn stars. Or they worry that they’re not living up to porn standards.

Instead of having close, pleasurable sex.

Men generally don’t fret about not looking like Ryan Reynolds. But they may worry about penis size. And they may notice that neither they nor their partners look like porn stars. Or they might feel cheated because they aren’t acting like porn stars. Or they might conjure up images of porn stars in their heads, instead of really being with their ladies. Or, maybe they just wish their bodies could do what they used to.

Distractions. Not good sex.

To perk things up, we might read up on new positions or techniques.

But Dr. Klein says the key is mind, not matter. You can’t have great sex with all the distractions. So clear out the baggage. He says:

You’d be foolish to craft a definition of sexy or manly or womanly that excludes you (or your partner).

Meanwhile, the media portrays orgasm as the most important thing, yet “focusing on those few seconds misses most of what sex offers,” he adds. Actually, feeling good with your partner is the big payoff. So work to create lasting physical and emotional connection.

And let go of worries about what’s ‘normal,’ because that takes us out of authenticity. Instead, embrace your body as it is – how it looks, what it can do — because that frees you up to be present and to move “from ‘sex has to validate me’ to ‘I validate my sexuality.’”

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on June 23, 2014, in body image, men, pornography, psychology, relationships, sex, women and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Nice article :-) Be what you are and love your partner for what he or she is!

  2. I also feel sometimes that there is pressure in terms of what constitutes a great sex life. Frequency seems to be a defining factor- but with todays stresses, not everyone can live up to that ideal. Perhaps that criteria needs to be dumped as well. And so agree- the “big bang” is great but if you don’t take everything else in you miss most everything.

  3. The key to this article is a “lasting physical and emotional connection”.

  4. “Most want pleasure and closeness. ”

    Maybe some don’t care about closeness and just want pleasure and some reserve yearning for closeness to one they want a relationship or serious relationship with. And just want pleasure from others they just want to have fun with and don’t want a relationship with. And well atleast guys, like anticipation, looking forward to sex from being visual interested, turned on or excited by the opposite sex’s body. Without that, is like christmas with the gifts under the tree not being wrapped.

  5. but how much fun is sex with just pleasure? Masturbation brings or can bring orgasm, but its not that satisfying as their is not visual stimualtion and touch stimulation of sex with the opposite sex.

  6. Howard Houston

    This article was very interesting. Speaking from a man’s point of view, I am completely honest when I say I absolutely despise it when a woman worries too much about how she looks. I am a man who falls in love with a woman for her mind, personality, and the beauty of her smile. I love a confident woman and usually if a man is willing to sleep with you, he already likes what he see’s, so it can only get better for him. My advice to women is to find a man who adores you for more than your physique and makes you feel like superwoman so to speak. Being comfortable with who you have sex with is part of the confidence men love.

  7. Sex ain't no game

    It’s quite hard to have a sexual relationship with someone who is ‘uninitiated’ to gender equality or feminist movements, and won’t accept a concept of mutual pleasure. Here’s a little anecdote containing way too much information: I may come across as overconfident, but considering the tools me and my current girlfriend have, and how fit we are, sex should be an easy thing for both of us to enjoy. It was when we began the sexual part of our relationship, and both being fairly new to sex, we learned what the other liked fast. But it changed a few months back. It seems like she’s done her research in pornography, and for the past couple of months she does things she thinks girls do all the time during sex, such as incredibly loud moaning from the second we start making out. It started very abruptly, so it doesn’t seem like a natural progression. She has a tendency to ignore her own wants to instead focus on mine, and I can’t help but feel that if she is even enjoying herself anymore, she’s not doing so genuinely. I realize how silly it is to say she’s not having fun the Right way, but in terms of techniques and how she composes herself, she feels scripted.. Things can be very distracting, and it’s frankly a turnoff to feel that she’s not enjoying herself, and only being present for my pleasure. I try to be open about conversing about things, and we’ve had sex talks before, but I can’t figure out how to address the issue of ‘you need to make less fake noise’ without making her repress when she does feel enjoyment, and not want to give feedback. I have no problem with a loud partner, but it’s the sexual script that she’s following that makes sex a very onesided game. It may be a problem with my manner of thinking for this particular problem, and I may be reading too much into things. But unless someone can convince me otherwise, I’m going to chalk it up to just another reason every woman deserves a healthy sexual education.

  8. Maybe most people in today’s generation do not consider ‘closeness’ in sex, as a primary factor for having sex, anymore. I feel like most couple have sex solely for formality and necessity in relationships. And this is why we have one night stand, hookup, friend with benefits, and many more. With those type of lifestyle which involve a lot of sex with strangers and not necessarily someone he or she loved, the intention of sex has changed from building up a stronger relationships into solely satisfying sexual desire. Also, porn is definitely the culprit that plants the images or standards to the society on how sex should looks like. There are really goods speakers in the Ted Talks that discuss about this issue too.

  9. Reading things like this makes me happy I’ve never really seen porn. I worry about these things enough as it is, I don’t need the added pressure.

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