A female comedian said it best when she asked,
'Do you know what men want in a relationship?
They want to be really close to someone who
will leave them alone!'
In this article, we will be examining the second item of the Twelve Intimacy Questionnaire: Sexual intimacy.
As you look over your Twelve Intimacy Questionnaire (Here), would you like to know how many people ranked the items?
After presenting this exercise to my counseling students at ODU and to several church groups, to my amazement, I discovered the results were similar for all groups.
Working separately, the men came up with what they want and think are the most important items for their relationship.
1. Sexual intimacy
2. Time apart intimacy
3. Recreational intimacy
It sounds like they wanted to have sex, take off and go fishing! A female comedian said it best when she asked, 'Do you know what men want in a relationship? They want to be really close to someone who will leave them alone!'
What do you think the majority of women ranked as most important?
1. Emotional intimacy
2. Time intimacy
3. Spiritual intimacy
4. Space intimacy
Do you know where sexual intimacy ranked? In most cases 4th or 5th!
These results did not mean that sex was less important for the women. What it meant was that sex, or making love, has to include emotional intimacy, time together intimacy, and spiritual intimacy in order to feel valued; otherwise, they feel used.
Generally speaking, (because not all men and women are like this) men tend to compartmentalize their lives. They focus on one thing at a time. For instance, when I am playing cards with my wife, Karen, she is not only playing cards - she's painting, working on reports, etc. And what am I doing? Playing cards. That is my whole focus. After laying down a card, I have to get Karen's attention. You know what the killer is? While she is only giving the card game partial attention and I am giving my whole attention, I still lose!
A man often tends to focus on one thing at a time so when he goes to the bedroom it is time for sex. But for a woman, sex intimacy is about how she is treated the whole day. Her partner cannot expect her to want to make love if she has not been treated in a loving way during the day. Foreplay begins in the morning. If her partner did not honor her during the day, but expects to make love at night, it is sex and not lovemaking. She may rightly interpret this action to be more about meeting his needs and not hers.
Also, most women report that they would like to sit or lie down holding hands or cuddling without their partners thinking it has to lead to intercourse.
Dr. William E. Austin is a licensed psychotherapist and holds a Doctor of Divinity degree. He is a therapist with Tidewater Pastoral Counseling Services . He is well known for his warmth and sense of humor. His book, Creating Our Safe Place - Articles on Healthy Relationships, can be purchased through www.amazon.com.
Tidewater Pastoral Counseling: 623-2700
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