Tag Archive: sex

Every once in a while, we’re told (and often by scientists) that we must indulge the darker angels of our nature. We can’t help it. (Oh, and whenever we say “it,” we really mean “sex” but want to appear coy.)

Well, this time, apparently it’s for our own good.

Time magazine recently posted an article about “powerful” men and why they want sex as much as they do. Here are excepts from that story:

>>Sex, Lies, Arrogance: What Makes Powerful Men Behave Badly?

Shifting Standards

By now social commentators have the explanations on auto-save: We know that powerful men can be powerfully reckless, particularly when … they stand at the brink of their grandest achievement. They tend to be risk takers or at least assess risk differently — as do narcissists who come to believe that ordinary rules don’t apply. They are often surrounded by enablers with a personal or political interest in protecting them to the point of covering up their follies, indiscretions and crimes. A study set to be published in Psychological Science found that the higher men — or women — rose in a business hierarchy, the more likely they were to consider or commit adultery. With power comes both opportunity and confidence, the authors argue, and with confidence comes a sense of sexual entitlement. If fame and power make sex more constantly available, the evolutionary biologists explain, it may weaken the mechanisms of self-restraint and erode the layers of socialization that we impose on teenage boys and hope they eventually internalize.

“When men have more opportunity, they tend to act on that opportunity,” says psychologist Mark Held, a private practitioner in the Denver area who specializes in male sexuality and the problems of overachievers. “The challenge becomes developing ways to control the impulses so you don’t get yourself into self-defeating situations.”

Nature matters, but so does nurture. Members of royal families are born into a world of indulgence and entitlement, and the princelings who grow up that way may never have to develop any discipline. Athletes often start life at the opposite end of the wealth-and-prestige spectrum, but as soon as they exhibit an unusual talent for swinging a bat or sinking a free throw, often early in adolescence, they may become a kind of local royalty and find that the rules have been suspended for them. They are waved through school and into the pros, and bad behavior is overlooked or covered up. Any skills they may have been developing for self-control or self-denial quickly deteriorate.

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I was eating lunch in the hospital cafeteria when a friend sat down to eat with me. He was  a security guard who was leaving soon to join the local police force, and was excited about it.

Well, he was excited about the possibilities that job would open for him … on other than professional fronts.

Turns out he had a “thing” for having sex with married women. While they were still married. Without their husbands knowing about it.

Now, this was something he had enjoyed for some time. But he hoped that being a policeman would, shall we say, make the ladies in the community more grateful to him.

When I asked him why he engaged in this practice, he said it made him feel good that a woman would choose him over her husband to meet her sexual needs. (Of course, he didn’t want these encounters to happen more than once with any given woman. More than that was “a relationship,” he felt.)

Why he was confiding in me with this information I simply couldn’t fathom.

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“Every relationship is sexually based.”

I don’t even remember who said that to me or even exactly when it was said, but that sentence haunts me to this day, for some reason.

I grew up in a family that, by modern standards, was sexually repressed. “Sex” was basically a four-letter word, something to be discussed in discreet company, not openly flaunted, which is how my parents saw where society was heading at breakneck speed.

My Mom and Dad were, of course, correct—society has become much more open about and obsessed with sex. And if advertisers had their way, sex would be the pinnacle of human existence. After all, we use sex to sell cars, deodorant, toilet bowl cleaners and even ourselves.

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