Is Sexual Healing A Real Phenomenon for Men ?
In the past few years, I have fallen in love with Marvin Gaye. I would like to say that I’ve fallen in love with his music, but I think I’m literally in love with the man. In all his flaws and destructiveness and even though he’s been dead my entire life, there’s something about him that is magical, alluring, and pure.
Don’t judge me, I already know I am crazy. What is most appealing about Marvin though, is his artistry.
I can stay up into the wee hours of the morning trying to figure out just how he wrote, in attempt to prefect my own craft. A song of his that I find very interesting is Sexual Healing.
Sexual Healing was supposedly conceived when David Ritz noticed that Gaye surrounded himself with very dark sexual comic books. David proposed to Marvin that he needed sexual healing. At the time Marvin was obsessed with finding a “pure” “good girl” who could sanctify him though sex.
Before his death, he was working on a song called Sanctified Pussy which was later changed to the cleaner tittle Sanctified Lady for a posthumous release. Apparently, Gaye liked the idea and ran with it creating one of the songs that he is most recognized for.
At the time Sexual Healing was written, Gaye really could have used some healing in general. He was millions of dollars in debt, going through two divorces, addicted to cocaine, artistically betrayed by Motown, and dealing with other personal demons. Sex seems like a strange healing ritual when what he needed at the time was an amazing therapist.
I can only guess that Marvin felt he needed sexual healing, because in the past sex had provided him with some form of medicinal relief. The lyric, “The love you give to me will free me,” truly makes me wonder what Atlantis he was looking for between a woman’s thighs.
Though Sexual Healing is more than thirty years old, the need for healing through sex is intoned today in many other songs by more contemporary artist.
The commonality between Gaye and his successors is the need for sexual healing is usually expressed by male artist. Trey Songz, Usher, Neyo, Gallant, Chris Brown, Miguel, Luke James, The Weekend, and even Stevie Wonder have expressed the need for sex therapy (*cues Robin Thicke).
This series of thoughts caused me to pounder, what does sex mean to men?
Popular culture has taught us to believe that men are baseless creatures who need sex only to cure their insatiable appetites. However, Marvin and a host of other male artist have painted sex as psychologically curing.
I decided to blow the dusk off some of my research books and try to discover if sexual healing is a real psychological phenomenon to men. The results of this research might shock you.
Unsurprisingly, men and women are very different sexually. Studies have shown that vaginal penetrative sex is not as stimulating for women as it is for men, because the upper two-thirds of vagina has few nerve endings, as the vagina serves as the birth canal. Having too many nerve endings would make birth unbearable (Psychology Applied to Modern Life). According to one survey conducted by Laumann and colleagues in 1994, only 29% of women reported they always reached orgasm during penetrative sexual intercourse, while 75% of men admitted to always reaching orgasm.
Aside from physiological differences, men are a lot more emotional than we once believed. Louann Brizendine reported in her CNN article Love, Sex and the Male Brain, that studies of men’s faces showed their initial response to emotional stimuli was far stronger than the female’s brain response.
If a man’s initial response to emotional stimuli is stronger than a woman’s, one can draw the conclusion that men might feel deeper than women. This conclusion might help us understand that sex is felt on a deeper emotional level for men.
One thing we do know for certain, men equate sex with love more often than woman. There is a study that has been repeated several times, with one of the most recent attempts coming from research at Kansas State University. Men and women were asked which they would be most angry about-their romantic partner forming an emotional connection to someone or having physical/sexual contact with another person. Most women reported an emotional connection as the greatest offence, because women felt emotional connections to be love. On the other hand, men reported their partners having physical/sexual contact with another person was most damning, because sex to men equals love.
In the book Getting the Sex You Want, Tammy Nelson, a couples’ counselor, dishes the dirt on all the things sex means to men and why they do the deed:
1. Physical connection– The physical connection of sex is how a man relates emotional to his partner.
2. Generosity or pleasing a partner– Men are innately doers and sex gives men an outlet to do something special for their partners by pleasing them. In general, it pleases a man to be able to sexually please a woman.
3. Appreciation– Almost from birth men have a need to be appreciated. Men have a strong need to hear and see that they are appreciated. Where women are basically judged by their looks, men are praised and judged by what they do. Sights, sounds, and praise during sex give men the appreciation they desire.
Laurie Watson a long-time sex therapist wrote in an article on the website Psychology Today that sex is the way a man gives love. Sex is also energy and it gives men the power they need to take on the world.
In the book, For Women Only author Shaunti Feldhahn’s research found sex makes a man feel loved. Also, Feldhahn found that men feel like an imposter throughout life. Men are never sure if they are wanted or if they are intruding. Sex helps men feel sure that they have a place at home, and that they are wanted.
The lyrics to Soul singer Eric Benet’s hit song, Chocolate Legs, is a testament to the research above:
This world has up and gone crazy.
I’m out here working trying to make it.
Girl, It’s so rough in this city.
There ain’t no resting for the weary.
So, Baby feel me.
I need something to feel
So my spirt can heal-
I need you to, wrap them chocolate legs ‘round me
So when I come home tonight, you’ll make everything alright
When you wrap them chocolate legs around me.
The memory of my day will quickly just fade away When you wrap them chocolate legs ‘round me. Please, Baby. Wrap them chocolate legs around me.
Your cocoa skin against mine, Babe.
All I need to help revive me.
Just touch me and I feel pure, pure love
You’re the only thing I’m ever sure of.
I need some reminding,
That God is still, He’s still behind me
Baby, come take my soul and set me free. . .
Web MD further drives home some of the healing benefits of sex such as boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure, lowers heart attack risk, lessens pain, may make prostate cancer less likely, improves sleep, an eases stress.
The Final Verdict
So, the final verdict is Marvin Gaye might have had a point. To men sex can be healing. Scientifically speaking, sex can make a man feel loved, help him express love, ease some stress of his day, produce deep feelings, and offer some great physiological benefits.
However, sex is not a cure all. It is just a fleeting moment of release. Health, wealth, happiness, spirituality, and sanity is not sexual transmitted. Sexual Healing does exist for men to a degree, if that sex is practiced consensually, safety and hopeful within a happy marriage.