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Two Lies and Some Truth (About Sex)

Remember that game you played as a kid, where you told two truths and a lie and then your friends had to guess which of the things was actually a lie? It was fun and silly. Unfortunately our culture plays that game all the time and it's not so jovial.


Clients repeat cultural lies in my office all the time. One of my roles is to help them determine which ones actually match their experience and beliefs. Since clients often come to me for support in their sexual relationships, we dig through a lot of misconceptions about how sex and people work. Here are two lies I hear commonly...


Lie Number One: Women don't want, need, or like sex.

Many people believe this to be true. Both men and women say it. Church enforces it. Pop-culture trivializes it. We think that because women sometimes don't desire sex in their marital context that they just don't want it at all. But the truth is perhaps sadder… Many women have had terrible experiences with sex. They don't feel safe with their partners. They don't know what they like or how they like it—because they've never been encouraged to figure that out nor have they experienced it. That doesn't mean they don't want to!


If we're going to give heterosexual relationships a surviving chance, we have to make room for women to want, need, and like sex. We need to normalize that women are sexual beings and can actually enjoy being so! And then we need to make room for them to discover what that means and embrace it.


Lie Number Two: Men just want sex.

Men get this rap often in my office—mostly from women. When men are given a safe place to talk about how they really feel, they often reveal a much more complex truth, which is that while they do love sex, they love it because of the intimacy they can feel through it. Sex without intimacy isn't fulfilling or exciting to them, and often feels cheap or even disgusting. A woman offering her body out of pity or duty feels degrading and patronizing.


Can we please give men more of the benefit of the doubt?! Desiring intimate connection through sex is a powerful and good understanding of its design! Testosterone brings a gift to a couple in its magnetizing draw. It's not just horniness or objectification that makes people want each other—it's an innate desire to know and be known.


Next time you make a blanket statement about men or women or sexuality, check yourself. Do your research. Have some hope. While we're all fighting an uphill battle here, we can do better in believing the best about each other and giving ourselves a shot to learn and grow, rather than buying into these lies about sex.


Debunking sex myths

Unsplash: Irene Kredenets

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