Earlier this week I shared about three questions that all men wrestle with in some way. “Are you good looking or not?” “What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?” and “Do you have a small or big penis?” All of us have answered these questions in our head, but almost no one has answered them out loud – at least not in any meaningful way.
And yet how we answer them affects many aspects of our lives, none more so than how we interact with women. This is because all of these answers affect the core confidence we need that in order to pursue, attract, and eventually love a woman.
These questions have to do with three areas of our life – our self image, our shame, and our sexual prowess. I’ve written a lot about our self image, and I wrote this week about our shame. Today I want to talk about the third question. So buckle up men.
The issue of having confidence sexually is gigantic in how we feel about ourselves as men and therefore how we interact with women.
First, let’s just admit that this is true. Men are about performance. This is why everywhere you turn you see sexual enhancement drugs, workouts, and techniques. A man’s greatest fear is failure. As Eldrege says, every man is asking, “Do I have what it takes?” No where is this more true, or more scary and vulnerable, than sex. Nowhere!
Every guy is asking the question do I have what it takes to be good sexually with a woman. In simple terms – “Am I Good In Bed?” Every Guy. Our answers are all jacked up.
Most of us began to have the question answered when we were very young. There are so many factors. Do you have a father that even broaches the subject? What happens in the boys restroom in elementary school? What are you comparing yourself to? The guy next to you? The guy who developed before you? The guy in the porn video? (Average age a male sees internet porn for the first time is now 11). It can also be affected by our view of sex, abuse, being emasculated by peers or parents or both.
Sometimes the answer is that we are “small” and that we don’t have what it takes. Often we get no answer at all. Almost never do we get a positive answer in the right way.
So we of course go and try to answer it. We might dominate women or become extremely sexual to prove our prowess. This is the guy who lives for sex and is always out to, “get some”. We might seek to control the answer by fantasizing or looking at porn. But this usually just brings about shame, and can undermine the question once again.
And in the Christian culture, for the most part, we are told to bury it, kill it, or starve it. In fact, we are told basically, “Don’t look, don’t touch, don’t explore, but don’t worry you’ll magically know what to do when you get married.” It’s like there is supposed to be a Christian switch when it comes to sexual prowess. Don’t have any, and then man up and have it. Really?!
It seems to me that most Christian guys end up in one of two camps. Be a Christian but have sex anyway which leads to the obvious problems. Or, we go without touch, without intimacy and therefore end up freaking out when we get to it. Sex becomes this taboo thing. We end up having fear and passivity around women, especially a woman we are really attracted to. We don’t know what to do, partly because we aren’t sure we could do it – as in literally “do it”.
We live in a culture in which the average guy gets married at 28-29 years old. What that means is that in the Church we are asking a guy to go about 15 years of his life (during the most crucial time when he is answering all of his life’s questions – including this one – for the first time) to not have sex. My contention is this: We can ask him to not have sex, but we CAN NOT ask him to not have an answer to this question. Because he WILL answer it.
While this affects how we interact with women, its much bigger than that. This answer affects how I do other things in my life. It affects how I relate to other men, how I relate to my own body and self image and even how I interact at work and play. This question matters. I would submit that even if I’m called to celibacy in the kingdom, I’d still better have an answer to this question. It’s crucial no matter what.
In my next post I’m going to take a stab at what I think the Christian community can do to help guys answer it. But before we can get help, we need to check what our answer is to the question right now.
Do you have what it takes to be good sexually with a woman? Where does that answer come from? How have you tried to answer it?