fallacy | ˈfaləsē | noun (plural fallacies)
a mistaken belief, especially one based on unsound argument: the notion that the camera never lies is a fallacy.
Not all women have a clear understanding of male sexual function. Misconceptions regarding male sexuality abound and as a result, unrealistic sexual expectations of men are commonplace. Today’s entry aims to debunk false notions and unveil the hard truths. (Thank you, sexual therapist Vanessa Marin, for your article that inspired me to create this entry.)
1. Misconception: He should always want sex.
Truth of the matter: All men are not Casanovas. Male sexual desire is complex and multifactorial, with determinants including testosterone levels, psychological, emotional, social, and relationship factors, and further influenced by stress, fatigue and illness. The reality is that men are just not always in the mood. “Not tonight, honey…I have a headache” is a reality for both genders.
2. Misconception: He should want sex more than me.
Truth of the matter: Although many men have robust libidos chemically driven by testosterone (male “rocket fuel”), there are plenty of females who have sex drives that parallel or exceed that of their partners.
3. Misconception: He should get rock-hard immediately.
Truth of the matter: The hard truth is that men are not robots, but humans— imperfect beings —and their sexual response, performance and prowess can be highly variable, contingent upon many considerations. Depending on circumstances, some men are capable of achieving full rigidity in nanoseconds, while others take longer to do so, and many require tactile stimulation in addition to simply being exposed to an erotic environment.
4. Misconception: He should have complete control of his erection.
Truth of the matter: Penises are as temperamental as humans. I quote Gabriel Garcia Marquez from Love in the Time of Cholera: “It is like a firstborn son—you spend your life working for him, sacrificing for him, and at the moment of truth he does just as he pleases.” At times, men get erections when they don’t want them and at other times men don’t get erections when they do want them. A man cannot will a flaccid penis to become erect any more than he can will an erect penis to become flaccid. It is perfectly normal for erectile rigidity to wax and wane throughout a sexual encounter.
5. Misconception: If he is unable to achieve an erection, it is a negative reflection of me.
Truth of the matter: Women should not take a man’s ability or inability to obtain and maintain an erection personally nor use the extent of erectile rigidity as a metric of attraction. Men are not robots or automatons and their bodies do not always respond in the way that is desired. There are many elements that factor into this, including stress, anxiety (performance and other types), alcohol, fatigue, general health, age, etc.
6. Misconception: He should be able to control ejaculation and climax at just the right moment.
Truth of the matter: Control is often an illusion! It can be a definite challenge to time ejaculation to the precise moment of one’s partner climax. Many men have ejaculation timing issues, ranging from premature ejaculation to delayed ejaculation. With rare exceptions, man cannot will ejaculation to occur just as he cannot will ejaculation not to occur. Medical studies have shown that although the time it takes a male to climax is highly variable, the median time is in the neighborhood of 5 minutes or so, whereas it often takes a female 20 minutes or so to climax. Do the math!
7. Misconception: He should climax 100% of the time.
Truth of the matter: Many men will, on occasion, not be able to achieve sexual climax despite considerable efforts and protracted sexual activity. This is not uncommon with men using SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) medications that can profoundly delay or inhibit ejaculation.
8. Misconception: He should take the sexual lead, know what he is doing, and be able to get me to climax.
Truth of the matter: The equal rights amendment passed many years ago and it is perfectly legitimate for either partner to take the initiative.
Hopefully he has a reasonable sexual skillset; however, many men (and some women as well) are relatively clueless about the mysteries of female anatomy, function and sexuality. The clitoris, the epicenter of female sexuality, is arguably the most vital structure involved with female sexual response and sexual climax. Much of this curious lady part is subterranean–-in the nether regions, unexposed, and obscured from view–-and therefore difficult to decipher, resulting in many “uncliterate” men deficient in the knowledge of how to bring their partner to climax.
9. Misconception: He should not be affected by the pressure to perform.
Although “it takes two to tango,” men bear the lion’s share of the burden to perform since they are responsible for having the more active role in penetrative sexual intercourse since it demands a rigid erection. There is considerably less pressure on the female partner who has the more passive role, who need only lubricate, or if not, to use artificial lubricant.
Men cannot always rise to the occasion and performance anxiety is a not uncommon occurrence, particularly with a new partner. It is a form of stage fright (“butterflies” in one’s penis) brought on by the formidable mind-body connection, with one’s all-powerful mind dooming the capabilities of one’s perfectly normal genital plumbing, brought upon by anxiety, stress and fear mediated by the release of adrenaline, a potent constrictor of blood flow to the penis.
10. Misconception: He should be able to readily achieve another erection after climaxing.
Truth of the matter: The refractory period–-the amount of time after ejaculation that it takes to obtain another erection–-is highly variable from man to man, and increases substantially with the aging process. Whereas the younger male can achieve another erection in a matter of minutes or less, it may take hours or perhaps longer for the older male to obtain a second erection.