Does she criticize you all the time and you can’t understand why? Does sex seem to be a solution but it doesn’t really work? Does she turn down your sexual overtures and act as if you are disgusting and inappropriate? Or does she coldly give in? Do you wonder if you deserve the criticism you get? Are you often defensive against negativity? Do you need more positive encouragement? More interest in who you are? More love? Do you sometimes feel fragile? Is it difficult to express yourself when you feel fragile?
I have written NOVELS AND SHORT STORIES about sexuality and its healing FROM THE MAN’S POINT OF VIEW. You will get to look at men’s sexuality through the eyes of a woman who has spent lots of time with men in therapy groups.
I have worked with more men than women, and in therapy groups for men I have learned what goes on in men’s minds and emotions in ways that few women have. I have heard stories of couples seeing a therapist who took the side of the woman – and this included male therapists! Other counselors buy into the cultural belief that men are stronger than women, that men are less vulnerable, less afraid.
Men on some level think they are shame-worthy, and that they should accept it. But at the same time, they feel angry and misunderstood. Sexuality is often the central focus of this, as men are doomed to associate sex with caring and love more than women are. So women criticize men because “all they want is sex,” when in truth, all you want is love.
Some of you find it easier to look at porn and masturbate than get your partner to agree to having sex. Is it easier than trying to figure out what would please her, and then performing? Do you feel compelled to bring her to orgasm but you don’t have enough information to know how to do it “right?” And she isn’t comfortable talking about it? is her sexual shame in the way of openly exploring how to be sexual together?
Have you used masturbation to the extent that it is difficult to become aroused with a partner? Does she then wonder why you are no longer interested?
DO YOU HAVE DIFFICULTY TALKING ABOUT SEX WITH A LOVER?
Men are seen as the bad gender, who disappoint women. This makes women feel entitled to put men down. Since men agree on some conscious or unconscious level, they let women criticize. This sets up arguments and unresolvable conflicts. When a couple can see how this plays out, when they can see themselves and each other, they can change their method of interaction.
PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE MANEUVERS
Men tend to be passive aggressive more than women. This is because men’s anger isn’t validated by the culture. You are left having to figure out how to express it in unseen ways. HAVING YOUR ANGER VALIDATED can allow you to address it directly – in a healthy way!
I invite you to come to one session and find out if I can understand you. You won’t be coddled or given a lot of sympathy. I will try to understand you, and show you my observations. I will shake my head over your belief in your “toxic” shame, and name the truth. Then decide if you want to work with me in order to feel better about yourself, and to set boundaries around how you are treated.
GATHERINGS FOR MEN
Then join with other men, and talk together about how the culture has set you up to feel badly about yourself, and how you have to retreat to the “shame compartment” to feel better. Join together to drop shame, so you don’t have to retreat in the face of it. Learn with others how to create boundaries to anyone who criticizes you.