Blog for MEN.
Main Male Sexual Dysfunctions
According to the Men’s Health Clinic website, Premature Ejaculation (PE) and Erection Dysfunction (ED) are different issues but both generate anxiety and they can cause severe depression. From the viewpoint that anxiety is fear of the future; that anxiety is the fear of being in liminal space, not knowing what exactly is going to happen; it becomes quite understandable how PE and ED becomes part of a man’s life, especially after the age of 40, when life starts to demand of him a new vision, that he does not know what is yet. Fear and anxiety take control affecting the nervous system and, consequently, a man’s sexual life.
David Schnarch (1991) - a great and popular sex & spiritual therapist - defends the theory that the best age to achieve sexual maturity is after 55 y/old. It is when the sexual tension - caused by high levels of testosterone - and the hunger for orgasm loses its power, making life slow down, that one can start enjoying their sexuality in a deeper and more meaningful way, leading to spiritual awakening.
One of the most famous writings of Schnarch (1991) is the recorded therapy sessions with Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy. Both of them were aged in their early 60s, divorced in their 50s, he was married once, and she was on her 3rd marriage. They came to Schnarch because Mr Kennedy was experiencing erectile dysfunction. In the seventy pages of the chapter, they describe all sorts of problems: from work related issues, to all their fear and feelings they had while having sex.
Sexual & Professional Development
One sacred movement is noticed in the sequence of the sessions: it goes from 1) fear/ownership and acceptance to; 2) Deep intimacy and ‘Quiet’ to; 3) Self-Soothing & Inter-Dependence. This reflection starts with Mr. Kennedy’s PD and ED, then becomes acceptance through taking ownership of his fears; to the achievement of sexual transcendence, to professional and personal self-validation. This last one is marked by the fact that Mr. Kennedy, who was having trouble at work is promoted as his personal and professional confidence increases due the sexual therapeutic work he was doing together with his wife.
The sexually enlightening experience was when Mr. Kennedy’s described his orgasm using the word ‘Quiet’: “It was as if time had stopped, you know; like we were in an isolation chamber, like a cave. Just me, Helen, and the bed existed; the world stopped at the boundary of our bedroom…. I didn’t try to come, and I didn’t try not to come… We were like two separate people and a unit at the same time” (1999, p. 443-444). They were communicating through a deep and transcendent sexual intimacy.
Eroticism & Desire
Eroticism and desire always have the power to takes us deeper, if we are willing to accept the invitation. If one has the courage to face his apparent ‘sexual failure’ (PD or ED), one might have a mystical surprise as Tillich reflects: ‘Was my erotic life a failure, or was it a daring way of opening up new human possibilities?” (as cited in Lawrence Jr., 2007, p.111). Moreover, since sexual desire is so powerful and gives significant identity in human beings, this desire has the power to make us keep wanting, searching, and journeying deeper and deeper into a greater desire for knowing who we have always been known. Sexuality is deeply rooted in the purest and realest desires of our hearts. That is why it is profoundly connected with spirituality and is highly related with the meaning of our existence.
I am Felipe Oliveira, holder of a Masters in Counselling with several years of experience in the Authentic Male Journey myself. Feel free to contact me by mobile, e-mail or social media for an informal chat or to book a session.
Men's Blogs Summary
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Lawrence, R.J. (2007).Sexual liberation: The scandal of Christendom. Wesport, CT: Praeger Publishers.
Schnarch, D. (1991).Constructing the sexual crucible: An integration of sexual and marital therapy. New York: Norton.
Depression & Soul Development
Felipe Oliveira writes about depression being an agent of initiation into one's deepest self.
Authentic Male Journey, True Self & false self
Know more about these three elements in a 'straight to the point' language.
Male Intimacy Failure or New Possibilities?