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posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 03:16 AM
Here's a subject that pertains to everyone!

All over the net, I am coming across discussions on this topic, largely inspired by the recent success of 50 Shades, but covering larger aspects of sex in general.

I've never felt inhibited about talking about sex, and like when men and women can exchange on the topic and try to understand better the differences in male and female desires. I often feel there is much misunderstanding there.

Being an american living in France, I am faced with a very different cultural attitude on the subject, which made me intensely aware of my own culture-specific conditioning. The french have a taboo against money, which makes people reluctant to admit they want it, and yet eat up reports of how the wealthy live, as if it were porn of a different sort. But sex? No problem, they'll talk about it, do it, and with no shame involved- men and women alike. In fact pornography doesn't sell well here- instead of watching it, they just do it.

I was reading an article about women losing interest in sex in long term relationships, and saw the commentaries as interesting. Made me reflect upon these differences.

One of the things I am aware of is that in our culture, emotional fulfillment and sexual fulfillment are all mashed together.
When I was young, I didn't get physical affection- my father was absent and my mother had a "blockage" about showing physical affection- she didn't hug, kiss or touch us. So sex was a way for me to get that- I honestly didn't care about things such as orgasm, I just wanted to feel physical contact and affection. I suspect that is where my mothers blockage was too- she had those mixed up in her head, so even hugging had a slightly incestuous association to it.

So the commentaries I saw from americans on womens libido had much to do with that- the importance of foreplay, of making a woman feel loved, in order for her to feel excited. Not determined focus on making her climax. That women actually aren't that concerned with the climax (this coming from women). I had to agree with that.

But even in doing so, I had to reflect upon the difference I have perceived in relationships here. My husband is typically french, in that he brings me flowers spontaneously, surprises me with weekend get-aways, writes me love notes, all the time. My experience with american men before him was that they would only do that in hopes of getting sex in exchange.

There seems to be a taboo in our country against acknowledgement of men needing affection. The need for sex is easily admitted, but affection? Just love and care? Not so easily said. That seems to be considered too effeminate.

My husband comes up to me daily and says, "I need a hug", or "I just need to be held". Call him a wimp, if you like- I consider it self aware and assertive!

The reason I bring this up is that
The french perceive a separation between emotional needs and sexual needs. Perhaps we have felt that as long as the two were intertwined, it would make our mates more dependent upon us, less prone to infidelity. From what I observe and experience, it doesn't work.

Here is the thing- when the emotional needs are met, a couple can more easily communicate about the sexual needs without threatening each other's self esteem or making them feel insecure.
They can hear things like, "I'd like you to do this differently", or "I'd like to try something new", or even "I'd like to try someone new" without that being interpretted as "You are not good enough", or "I don't love you anymore".

I just thought about that yesterday, listening to the radio in the car and always being struck by how easily they talk about sexual desire, as easily as we would talk about food or something. I know I have had trouble even acknowledging my purely sexual drives, as distinct from emotional ones. And I repeatedly see americans interpret the sex acts in 50 Shades as representative of how women want their mates to be, in and out of bed. That they obviously want a man who dominates them- what about this idea... that a woman might want this sort of sexual "play" but not want to be dominated in everyday life and non-sexual interactions?

What if we look at sex as simply play, and not the summum of a relationship?

I would be interested in hearing how both men and women feel about sex, and how it pertains to emotional fulfillment.
Do many men feel they don't look for or need non-sexual physical affection?
Do women actually feel that they have sexual desire separate from their desire for shows of affection, care and love?
What say you?

posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 03:44 AM
In many Western Cultures and more specifically those that had their roots in England, there are some major problems/

1. A synapse connection between nudity and Sex. It should not be there. It is simply wrong.

2. As you pointed out. Hugs are considered foreplay. This is also wrong.

We are at our worst when:

The Dictates of our Culture

Are in Direct and Fundamental Opposition

To the Dictates of our Species

This is a truism that applies to all of us.

Many cultures get it so wrong that is stresses the entire society.

S&F for a damn good OP


posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 03:53 AM
i guess it all really boils down to culture.
I grew up in sicily, and in many ways, i am your typical sicilan: loud, passionate and lazy. the physical and emotional aspects kinda go hand in hand right from the get go.
Now i am living in the czech republic, and after being with a few czech women something really stood out: they are very open sexually but very closed off emotionally, especially at the beginning, even the girl that i am with now, we' ve been together about 2 years, the first 6 months she was emotionally distant, and when you ask women in general here why they behave like that the answer is always the same: "you can't trust men" so the attitude is kinda like "i'll have sex with you right away but only time will tell if i should care about you" and i guess that is a good way to play it to avoid getting hurt, but because of my cultural background, it always feels wrong.
So i guess there is no universal answer.
We have this saying, "Paese che vai, usanze che trovi" and it translates roughly to "Different town you visit, different traditions you find" and i guess that's all there is to it!

posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 03:56 AM
a reply to: Bluesma

I remember when I first started hanging out with a group of males and females and all the girls would be touchy feely giving hugs and stuff, I was so confused I thought they 'liked' me.
Well, they didn't they were just being young girls.
But as I started seeing my mother's side of the family more hugs and kisses became the norm, they are all Italian, if I had seen them more when I was younger the girls who were clinging off me when I saw them or said goodbye would have not been such a shock. Different cultures and ways of life I guess.

posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 03:59 AM
I will admit that I'm the the type of guy that needs non-sexual physical affection....the more my wife comes to me with words of affirmation, (flirts) and hugs and kisses, I find that the the physical intimacy becomes more heart felt and intense...I love it when she does that..

posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 04:16 AM
Being an Englishman, sex is definitely repressed within our culture compared with the rest of mainland Europe. I sAw my first pron film in France and was bombarded with it on school trips to Germany and Austria Despite sexual repression in the UK we still have the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Western Europe. Repression of sex, just makes it more desirable, especially to the young. In the UK it's almost viewed as a dirty and perverse activity, while in Europe it's very much the norm. I remember being in France and just seeing adverts for shampoo, you would see breasts and buttocks, something that would cause outrage in the UK. It seems we are more comfortable seeing images of violence and death, than the naked human form, which is a strange thing to consider from a cultural value point if view.

The most sexually adventurous women I have been with were european and a Canadian, who introduced me to role playing. Something that has to be taken as play and fun to stave off any embarrassment.

posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 05:08 AM
a reply to: IShotMyLastMuse

The differences between the latin mediterranean peoples and the northern countries do have that reputation!

I am in south France, and though they might not be as expressive as the Italians, they are close that way. I often feel overwhelmed by the emotional explosiveness of the people here. Passion is highly valued and considered a trusted guide- which contrasts with american Protestant values, which consider the body and emotions as the root of all sin and folly.
I have had people call me Cartesienne here, and they don't mean it in a positive sense.
I always thought of myself as open minded- my friends and collegues call me "coincée" - repressed, not liberated.

I once went into a mode of wanting to better understand people who are into "libertinism", or as we call it, swinging. I discussed it with them in person and on forums.

One of my questions to the women was- How do you feel trust for these strangers? Enough trust to be intimate with them???

Most met that with silence, a few said, "What the hell do you mean? Why do we need to trust them? We aren't opening our hearts to them, honey, just our legs! They are there to share pleasure, not to harm!"

I just got confused, and ended up wondering myself what I meant! Sex, emotional vulnerability, it's all wrapped together in my mind.
edit on 21-2-2015 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 05:17 AM
a reply to: woodwardjnr

Hahaha... I know! It is quite shocking at first, isn't it?

There are radio shows where people call in to talk about sexual issues, and some of them are geared especially towards teens. To hear teenagers talk so matter of factly, in public, about their sexual experiences, is still strange to me. Even though I raised three children here, and went through each telling me when their mate and they had decided they were going to have sex, and they demanded my aid in getting them birthcontrol and such. It still strikes me as difficult to digest, and I can't even talk to others here and have them understand my confusion. Other moms, at that period just looked at me like I was stupid, crazy, or both! Of course they are going to have sex- sex feels good, sex is a part of life! What is your problem with that?

The rate of unwanted teenage pregnancy is lower here than in my country, so I can't defend our taboos on that.

posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 05:43 AM
yeah people in the usa are extremely weird when it comes to sex.
not long ago the mods deleted a thread where we talked about sex in a funny way.
reason was: there are kids watching.
but discussing beheadings every day is ok.
i think violence is more harmful to children but ok, that's their rules.

i'm not a fan of a constant flood if sex related discussions either. for me it's more a private thing.
having other topics and interests than sex is one reason that separates us from apes.

posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 06:34 AM
I agree totally with woodwardjnr,

The UK is definitely backwards when it comes to sex.

Sex is a dirty, perversion... at least that is how it is sold to us and it's sad. Amongst other things I believe it is making the country a very depressed place to live.

I find now that I and a few of my mates can no longer feel comfortable looking at pretty girls in the street, there is a very real feeling of being some kind of pervert because we are attracted to good looking women. I'm not suggesting we 'oggle' them but even appreciating the beauty feels wrong.

As for sex, well I can only talk from my experience and what my mates have told me...

For my mates and myself, we don't have sex for sex' sake and we don't think of sex every 10 seconds as is suggested.. to be honest when we are in the pub of a weekend we talk about motorbikes, sports, films.. you know, normal stuff.

My closest friend and I look for companionship in a relationship with a woman FIRST, sex is nice in it's place but it doesn't drive us in life. I could never have sex with a stranger because it just wouldn't 'feel' right, I need that intimacy of a loving relationship.

It just occurred to me that there are so many rules and social pressures on us all that we are becoming insular and repressed and selfish as a result. Society is fragmenting and it wont do any of us any good.

posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 07:53 AM
a reply to: Bluesma

Here is the thing- when the emotional needs are met, a couple can more easily communicate about the sexual needs without threatening each other's self esteem or making them feel insecure.
They can hear things like, "I'd like you to do this differently", or "I'd like to try something new", or even "I'd like to try someone new" without that being interpretted as "You are not good enough", or "I don't love you anymore".

If emotional needs are met, why would someone want to be with someone else? Just for a different experience? Different size , technique or whatever? If all parts of the marriage are going well, one partner should not be seeking someone else. I would take it as "not good enough" and I would absolutely take it as "I don't love you anymore" if my wife wanted someone else. That's not insecure, it called Being Married. When you marry someone, you are saying that you've shopped around long enough, that you've found the one you want to spend the rest of your life with. Marriage is a spiritual contract, screw the piece of paper. If one partner wants to try something different, [ position, toys, etc ] the other should at least try, but if it's something they genuinely don't like, the other should respect that, not go find someone else to do it with. A happy, healthy marriage gives each partner what they need, it's not a license to go screw whomever you want when the going gets tough.

That is what makes a marriage a marriage. You stick around to work out the problems. What ever they are. If you need someone else to fulfill "needs" or you want to experiment with someone else, he can give you a place to live and help pay your bills too. 'Cause I sure as hell won't be.

posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 08:26 AM
Sex is like oxygen
It only matters to those who aren't getting any.

posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 08:43 AM
a reply to: Bluesma
This has to be the best piece I've seen written on human sexuality in a long time. I hope you got an applause for this. Sounds like I should have moved to France a long time ago!


posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 09:59 AM
a reply to: Bluesma

Fantastic writing and thoughts.

Really enjoy reading the responses as well.

I have a 14 year old, soon to be 15. I have always strived to make sex a natural part of life in terms of reproduction, a part of who we are, to respect it and to respect herself and to never be ashamed. I never want it to be a taboo or to be an escape, a crutch for her as I have witnessed many loved ones treat it as self medication, or a way to seek acceptance.

My husband equates affection as leading to sex and I can't even being to express how much it makes me feel used and to dread it. Don't get me wrong, sex is good but there is no affection as such in this relationship other than it leading to sex. I am a very affectionate person and need to touch things and feel another person's or animal's substance. Whether just putting my hand on someone's arm, patting them on the back, hugs. I have had my sisters tell me I'm very needy at times and I suspect it's because my everyday affection and love signals aren't being met in the marriage.

Affection should be natural and exchanged, within boundaries, otherwise it's just a dry and emotionally stale state of living. (Canadian here)
edit on 21/2/15 by ccseagull because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 11:08 AM
You nailed it sweetheart (pun intended).

There is a fine line between emotional fulfillment, and sexual Fulfillment. Emotional lies in the heart and diaphragm regions, as an energetic sensation (Think chakra).

Sexual feeling lies in the obvious region (think root Chakra). When "turned on", this creates bio chemistry and Sensations and urges fill the human up!

Emotion and the body are so intertwined, people get mislead what they are actually feeling, and emotion and sexual desire become Mixed.

Sexual energy release creates LIFE, in the universe. Emotional energy does not, but has its own nature.

As a man, I do not feel love and sex are a marriage. They are two different .."aspects" of the human (think various chakra/biochemistry).

You feel love for certain humans, but may not be sexualy attracted to them, someone completely opposite.

Jealousy, attachment, mixed emotions etc.. is the what causes one to believe that whom I love is whom I can only mate with.

There are 7 billion unique humans, to put it simply., variety is best

Great thread, I enjoy how you typed it out and have revealed to the reader, the line between emotion and sexuality.
edit on 21-2-2015 by Elementalist because: touch screen typos..

posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 02:09 PM
What many don't understand about men is that they are much more physical. Little boys are far more likely to be touchy, feely cuddly than their female counterparts who are going to tell you all about how they feel.

As they grow up, men prefer to be more physical and non-verbal in their communication. My husband loves it when I walk by and give him that quick, random touch or hug or cuddle or just stand by his computer chair, pull his head in and scratch it. None of it is sexual (well, not usually.

Our son is similar. He loves to go up to people and simply give them a quick hug.

The criminal part of society is that such actions on the part of boys and men are interpreted as sexual harassment. When teachers give little boys that assurance and comfort they crave, it's automatically sexual, too.

In short, we have gone way too far in conflating love and sex in modern society. People make the mistake of thinking the two are one and the same when they aren't and shouldn't be mistaken as such. One is an emotion and the other is a purely physical act. The two can sometimes coincide.

Do an exercise sometime. Make a two circle Venn Diagram and label one side sex and the other side love. List the people you are attracted to sexually and would do if you could on one side and the people you simply love and would show affection to on the other. In the middle should be the list of people you would do both with. It's likely going to be a very small list compared to the other two.

posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 02:19 PM
a reply to: Bluesma

Some people just aren't capable of initmacy because they are afraid of getting hurt or look to inward at the chemical level of it destroying the connection or wifi between souls.

Some only see it as something you do to have children. Truth is it's all true and if they were so logical they'd see they are neglecting themself and their significant other.

Because like body parts the individual wants to hold on to other individuals in intimate union.

posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 03:31 PM
a reply to: Bluesma

Well said mate.

I believe the problem is the mixing of different kinds of love. Nowadays, people incorrectly assume "love" means sex. That and, as you point out, reluctance to affection. You can have affection - in fact, you need affection - and affection exists independently to sex.

posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 03:46 PM
a reply to: Bluesma

The American view of sex is really difficult to pin down.

I can't really pin it down myself so I will write the following from my own viewpoint toward sex instead of generalizing the whole nation of America.

I grew up in a very isolated environment compared to most other people out there. My parents were very nice people but in general very old timey in their viewpoints. They told me that I would get married and in general they were very "leave it to beaver" in their view of what families and the roles of men and women are. I was home-schooled and my parents never had any sex discussions with me.

However, I was a youth who had access to a computer when the internet really started exploding.

I am also a lesbian and this was obvious pretty early on because I developed feelings for a girl at the same age other people start having first crushes and feelings.

It took me about six or seven months to come to terms with it. I am lucky because I didn't really feel a significant amount of guilt over being gay even though I suppose my parents would have been considered homophobic. To me, the feeling of being in love was so great that I just couldn't see it as wrong or bad.

By the time I was 14-15 I actively wanted a girlfriend and was horny as hell. I don't know if that's the age most of you started getting sexual but for me it was.

I started scouring the internet, learning everything I could about sex. To this day, I know more than all of my friends that are straight in regard to STDs and health risks involved in having sex.

The golden age of the computer really saved me I think.

I just don't view sex as dirty, I view it as something that's nice to be explored as long as you aren't hurting children or being a predator toward even adults.

Don't abuse people and as long as it's consensual the exploration can be a really good thing in life.

For me I am actually really boring and my gf is boring too. Neither of us have anything against any of the kink but we are generally very boring.

With that said, I do not connect romance to sex at all. I think romantic things get in the way of orgasms. How people orgasm while being romantic I'll never understand. To me a really good romp is just that...a romp.

Flowers, slow kisses, hugs, dinner, and general romance all lead to one thing for me:

A good night's sleep!

When I want to have sex, it's a completely different mindset and mood. It's physical and playful and fun and all that jazz but slow and emotional aren't really what I would consider it to be.

That is all.

posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 04:13 PM
Always knew the French were weird lol.

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