One of the things that my years of coaching men has proven to me again and again is that Sex has a proper place on a Man’s priority list – and if you have Sex in the right place on your list it makes life richer and more joyous. If you have it in the wrong place, on the other hand, it will make you miserable.
Sex is a core drive for any mammal. Being fit to earn a mate drives males of every mammal species (and plenty of non-mammals) to be strong, competitive, and inventive. Take the possibility of Sex away from a mammal, and it fundamentally changes their character. Depending on the species, anything from a significant minority to a staggering majority of males die without earning a mate. Only sixty percent of horses ever have offspring – and nature is kind to the horse – throughout human history only, less than forty percent of Men have lived to have children.
Civilizations thrive by setting a high bar for when a young man becomes eligible to marry. A man will go to war, explore the world, build a business empire, govern a nation, make grand discoveries, invent incredible new devices, or create amazing works of Art for the love of a good woman.
However, it is a reduction to say that Men are driven to achieve just to earn the privilege of Sex. Human beings are far more complex than a bundle of mammalian drives. We have reason, a capacity for moral thought, language, and the ability to override needs and biological drives in service of a goal or ideal. We can put aside hunger, fatigue, thirst, loneliness, discomfort, and lust when it suits us. In fact, Human beings may be the only species that is capable of choosing to die by putting aside our needs for some bigger purpose.
Our minds are incredibly plastic devices. The way in which we engage with and to a degree even feel our needs can be moulded by culture and personal discipline. A person who disciplines themselves with diet and exercise doesn’t feel hunger the same way an unfit person does – hunger is neither as frequent, pressing, or uncomfortable for the disciplined eater the way it is for an unhealthy junk-food addict. Likewise, a man who is disciplined about when he rises and when he goes to bed is going to feel fatigue differently from the sleep-deprived night owl.
Often, the priorities we have in life will determine how we wind up disciplining our needs. An Athlete who always gets eight hours of sleep and eats a performance diet might not be intentionally trying to train his hunger responses and the way he feels fatigue, but that will be one of the positive side effects of his regimen. And, as a rule, the more we treat ourselves with respect and esteem, the less control our needs will have over us.
Sex is not exempt from this pattern. The way in which we regard ourselves will determine the way in which we experience sexual need.
A man who holds himself as being essentially unworthy will look to other people to show him that he is a worthwhile human being. The way he will look for that affirmation from Women is often through sex.
- When he is not getting sex at all he will have periods when he feels like a sad loser, and often abuse himself emotionally.
- When he is not getting sex and is not in a relationship he will be drawn to all kinds of ideologies, and systems that promise, explicitly or implicitly, that if he changes himself to suit that ideology he will get laid. This creates the most destructive political radicals, vocal male radfems, and the lowest class of PUA.
- When he is getting sex from one woman, he will feel great about himself, but worry that he is a fraud, and overcompensate – either with stifling niceness, obsequiousness, or abuse – to try and keep the sex coming. He will also ignore glaring character flaws and toxic behviour so long is the sex keeps coming.
- When he is getting relatively easy sex from multiple women he will feel himself superior, but he can also be very fragile. He will be prone to brag, bully, or lord his conquests over others, and abuse other guys who aren’t getting laid.
- If he is in a relationship, but the sex is not happening he can feel bitter, resentful, lonely, and abandoned. He may become sullen, withdrawn, and passive-aggressive. He may find it very tempting to cheat or become addicted to pornography.
- If he is relatively prosperous, he might try and buy female approval with overpriced luxury cars, designer clothes, expensive jewellery, etc., to the point of overspending. This can turn into a financially destructive lifestyle, or turn into a general confusion where the Man convinces himself that his possessions determine his human worth.
- In my experience as a coach, many “Sex Addicts” who spend excessive amounts of time and money on porn and prostitutes are actually approval addicts – they only feel worthwhile as people when they get sex, and find buying sexual titillation a reasonable substitute for real human sexual contact.
- The idea of saying “No” to Sex – even when he doesn’t really want it, or it won’t be a good experience – seems inconceivable.
- In extreme cases, a man doesn’t just have a hard to saying “No” to Sex when it won’t be good for him – he will have a hard time saying “No” to sex with Women who are toxic to him. He will keep having sex with violent, abusive, or crazy women because he would rather have Sex and know that someone, however flawed, finds him attractive.
The bad news is that most Men in our society make their sense of self-worth contingent on earning the sexual attention of women to some degree or another. It is very rare for a young man to grow up so centred and self-possessed that he doesn’t need Sex to feel like a worthy man. We have long lost the practices in our culture that were there to teach men how to be sufficient into themselves.
When Men learn to really value their own lives and their own selfhood – when they learn to set their own course rather than doing what is expected of them – the way they engage the need for Sex changes radically.
A man who has genuine self respect realizes that Sex is not a measure of his value; his own accomplishments and Legacy is. He doesn’t really care if other people approve of him, because he is focused on meeting the high standards he has set for himself – which are far more exacting. Sex no longer equals worthiness in his mind.
When he is not desperate be told whether or not he is worthy through Sex (he knows that the only way he can learn whether he is worthy is by pursuing big goals) then he starts asking whether his lovers are worthy. He realizes that not all sex is good or healthy. He starts to assess whether he really wants or needs it at this time, with this woman, or in this mood. He chooses the when and where of sex so that most encounters are ones that actually satisfy him.
When he can say no to Sex, a man he can disengage from toxic relationships that a man who does not respect himself might hold onto so long as the sex keeps coming. He can hold out for relationships where his lover has a lot to offer. Ironically, because he insists on being a strong gatekeeper when it comes to relationships, he becomes more sexually attractive.
Finally, he can put sex aside for months or even years at a time to pursue goals that are more important to him. A man can learn to sublimate his sexual energy into enthusiasm for his most important goals. If he is more interested in creating a business, getting fit, or serving a community, he can put aside dating and focus more of his energy on what needs to be done right now in service of big life’s work goals: whether that is raising great kids, building a business to solve a big problem, living for the Glory of God, helping the needy, creating a body of art, or perfecting a skill.