Men – Rewire Sexual Short Circuits
As a woman who is a practicing Life, Love, and Relationship Coach, and who has studied men extensively, I am always tremendously impressed by men, and by how well they manage in our culture, which only too often acts to interrupt the circuit of their full potential.
In the course of my career, I have often counseled men who have experienced social or sexual “short circuits” that can interfere with the full enjoyment and self-expression of their wonderful natural power.
My work has convinced me that it’s time to shine the light of awareness and understanding on our social and religious environment. We need to see clearly how the traditional “programming” we have learned may have affected us; we need to lighten some of the issues that have been set upon us; and we need to create some empowering remedies, not only for the grownup men out there, but also for our sons.
I believe that on both sexual and societal levels, our men are often set up for failure, impotence, frustration, and prostate cancer. We certainly see a high incidence of these problems in the so-called developed countries. Could our information and training – or lack thereof – in human sexuality be a contributing factor?
Let’s step back and take an electrical engineer’s view of the sexual and social circuitry in American cultural wiring.
We begin as young children who intuitively understand that our connection to our genitals is a soothing influence. There is in utero evidence that children are innately sexual beings – no matter how much we may choose to deny it. There is photographic proof that fetuses in the womb actually stimulate their own genitals.
From my own childhood, I recall discovering that putting my hand on my genitals helped me to calm myself, to feel good, and to experience a grounding, soothing influence. I am rather sure that it’s the same for boys: as a babysitter and as a mother, I couldn’t help but notice that little boys love to play with their own penis’s. In her great wisdom, Nature has made the penis fascinating. I remember discovering that fascination myself at a very young age, and I certainly enjoy it to this day!
Biological Urges and Shame
In our culture, the atmosphere around self-pleasuring or masturbation can run the gamut from non-denominational messages such as “This is private!” to our national religious genesis that declares: “No! This is a violation of your body and against God.” Pretty strong message! Thus, our social and sexual training often begins by coupling the body’s pleasure with shame.
Many parents who have themselves been raised with this shame feel embarrassment at their children’s natural penchant for self-soothing. How do most parents deal with the embarrassment? Their reactions can run the gamut from general feelings of disapproval and not talking Px7 primal flow about such matters (I italicize this because the very pointed avoidance of talking about sexual things sends a strong message that sexual matters are “not okay”); to slapping hands away; to anger; and even to punishment. Now, we have added some degree of trauma to the mix.
Children are naturally curious about the sights and smells of their bodies and the differences between the sexes. If their parents haven’t managed to quash this tendency, most children will find one way or another to explore their differences. Anyone who says this is “not natural” was never a child! Exploring with peers, playing “doctor,” or any other game of discovery, is quite likely to happen with any child. How do parents usually react when they observe such play? The response is more often negative than positive. How many of you were punished, yelled at, “talked to,” or shamed in some way if caught? Here we have another source of trauma that breeds another strong message of shame, of rejection of the body and of sexual and pleasurable feelings.
By the time children are around age three and older, you may find yourself overhearing them refer to sexual matters as “dirty” or “nasty.” This learned belief can have a powerful negative effect on children’s self-esteem: although they cannot help experiencing their natural sexual feelings as thrilling, they have already learned that expressing these feelings may incur personal rejection and shame. Do you think this might, in some people, later express as “deviant” sexual behavior?