I received an email from a reader who asked:
I recently met a man who spoke to me about his belief that men are hard-wired to desire more sexual partners than women (not really something new to me), but also that it is harder for men to stay faithful simply because of their DNA.
It was very troubling to me on many levels, and I would like to research this idea within the “world” of spirituality and the present-day male. I fear it carries an antiquated belief system that sends the wrong message to young men AND women.
This is such a common question, I decided to turn it into a post rather than respond by an email. Here is my response:
I can’t point to any specific research, but I can speak from my experience.
Yes, for the most part, men are more sexual than women. How much so varies with each man.
That said, I have seen with myself and hundreds of men that when we go deeper within ourselves, the physical desire for more sexual partners decreases. Multiple partners may be a biological drive for men, but after hundreds of thousand of years of humanity, men can take responsibility for their actions, and work with the same physical needs that drive lower primates.
When a man—and for that matter, a woman—has a deep emotional connection to his or her partner, the desire for other partners decreases. Getting that connection is dependent on two variables. The first requirement is that there be honest communication, where each party is willing to be vulnerable. For that to occur, the second component needs to exist: a person’s deep connection to his/her own vulnerable feelings and needs.
How that self awareness shows up will be different for a man, and this is where the problem lies. Men aren’t bad or broken—we’re just uneducated in emotional language. We were never taught how to be emotionally powerful, in a healthy way, in a masculine model. Men aren’t taught how to access this place. If they can’t do it for themselves, they certainly can’t do it for their partner.
So… how does a guy develop this skill? There are many ways, which I explain throughout this site. First of all, though, just get more honest with each other. There is a small possibility it might push the other away; it’s unlikely, but it is possible. More likely the two of you will get a healing, learn new skills and deepen your intimacy.
If your partner is trustworthy, you have nothing to lose – go for deep intimacy.