Posted on the website Psychcentral, Hillary Jacobs Hendel, LCSW discusses how men use sex as a way of being emotionally close. She writes that the best way for men to better understand their emotions is to learn more about the full range of human emotions.
Hendel notes that men may want to have sex when they feel alone or sad because they want to be physically closer and emotionally comforted by their partners. Requesting to have sex with their partners is a way for men to get these needs met. Wanting to be held is a biological need that is hard-wired into humans so that we can find comfort.
However, men don’t find it socially acceptable to simply talk about their feelings. Instead, by asking for sex, they get their biological needs met (comfort, connection, etc.) while doing so in a way that is considered to be “masculine” socially. In other words, it is more socially acceptable for men to use sex in order to find emotional connection.
Hendel says, too, that the problem with this approach is that it doesn’t truly get one’s emotional needs met. As a result, feelings such as depression or anxiety develop. To avoid this trap, men need to grasp that it’s ok for both genders to have a full range of emotions. These include those that are considered “tender” such as love, belonging, or sadness. However, for many men expressing these feelings is still considered unacceptable.
Among her recommendations, Hendel says that it’s important for both women and men to know that men are human beings with a wide array of emotions. All human beings have these emotions, and have a desire on some level to connect with other people emotionally. It’s helpful to encourage and allow men to be comfortable expressing their feelings in a nonjudgmental way so that they can get in touch with these emotions.
Want to learn more about helping men express themselves emotionally? Read the full article here: “The Difference Between Sex and Love for Men.”
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