Sex and Emotions: Does Gender Play a Role in Our Emotional Reaction to Sex?

You hear the stories all the time. Women hurt because a guy rejected them after sex. Obviously, he did not view their sexual experience together as a matter of love and bonding. Such stories have given way to the idea that women attach much more importance to sex than men do, making women out o be weak and overly emotional, propagating the stereotype that men are insensitive, and only looking to use women in the bedroom. This misconception is completely unfair to both genders. For one thing, there are plenty of men and women who attach no emotional involvement to their sexual activities. Secondly, men are just as likely as women to have an emotional response to sex. Moreover, our reactions to sex can change over time, regardless of gender and based on our experiences in life. Those who once placed much emotion into sex might very well stop reacting emotionally to sex and vice versa.

What Does Sex Mean to Men?

Aside from the handful of insensitive and immature men who do think sex is about nothing more than the physical aspects associated with the act, the majority of men react quite emotionally to sex, viewing it as an act of love and bonding with their partner. In fact, some men place so much emotion into sexual intimacy with their partner that if affection fails and the man feels rejected for any reason, he might seek another sexual partner to ease his emotional pain.

The common misconception is that extramarital affairs occur because the straying spouse falls for someone else or because they simply have an insatiable sex drive and cannot help but have sex with anyone who will have them. Sure, this is true of some affairs, but for the most part, infidelity has much more to do with a loss of love and affection or a belief that this has occurred, from the spouse.

Men are not the macho, hardened, invincible beings they often make themselves out to be. Some do show emotion more openly than others do, but all men feel emotions. If they can feel love, they can certainly feel the hurt that comes with believing their partner is rejecting them by not showing affection, love, and intimacy. Affairs occur because the despondent spouse is seeking an outlet; not necessarily because he or she is searching for better sex or someone new to love. Many cheating spouses are still in love with their husbands or wives.

Sex and emotions go hand in hand. Feelings of rejection and a lack of love and  affection crop up for a number of reasons, and many times, it is a lack of communication about the cause of such things that creates misunderstandings and leads to infidelity. Couples must openly communicate about even the most mundane of things, and about their deepest emotions. Infidelity is often avoidable if only spouses would talk about their frustrations and work toward solutions as a team rather than allowing their life together to fall apart because of a lack of openness and all-too-frequent misunderstandings.


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