Stereotypes Can Bar Great Sex

Written by Dr. Marty Klein

The battle of the sexes has nothing to do with interplanetary war. If you want great sex, says columnist Marty Klein, forget gender stereotyping and get to know your mate.

People have been discussing the differences between men and women for eons. But some of those discussions have just gone too far.

Focus on what you and your partner have in common more than on your differences.
Your partner is not a "typical man" or "typical woman."
Are you teaching your kids gender stereotypes about sexuality? Are you unintentionally following them yourself?
Sure, men and women are different. But when it comes to sexuality, they're more similar than different. Consider what many men and women want from sex: closeness, pleasure, self-esteem, self-expression. Consider what many of them want from a sexual partner: warmth, enthusiasm, communication, respect. Men and women even complain about the same aspects of sexuality: feeling rushed, unappreciated, guilty, unconnected and self-conscious.

Commentators and lay people alike talk about "the average man" and "the average woman." But you're not making love with the average man or woman, you're making love with Sam or Mary.

Our desire to know about these mythical average creatures is a kind of laziness. It's easier to draw conclusions about "men" than to take the time to learn about the man you're with. And if you don't get along with him perfectly, it's a lot easier to blame "men" than to explore what each of you is doing to create difficulties. We only generalize about "men" and "women" when we're criticizing; when praising a particular man or woman we emphasize their uniqueness.

Are there any gender patterns that are accurate and useful? Yes and no. We can certainly understand that boys and girls are usually raised differently. Boys are raised to be tough, girls to defer; boys to identify with their sexuality, girls to feel ambivalent about it; boys to hide their feelings, girls to show theirs; boys to think they should express love with money and work, girls with emotional nurturance.

But each boy and girl learns these lessons in a unique way, and every child is influenced by chance and opportunity, social class, ethnicity and genetics.

 Life is a lot more complicated than Mars and Venus, black and white, male and female. If you want to be considered a unique individual, don't treat your mate, or yourself, like just a man or just a woman.

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Dr. Marty Klein, Ph.D. written 6 books and over 100 articles about sexuality. Each year he trains thousands of professionals in North America and abroad in clinical skills, human sexuality, and policy issues.

Twitter: @SuccessTV

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