It's no secret that the media uses women's and men's sexuality to get you to stay on their page longer or to buy their new product. We all know that sex sells.
But have we really considered the impact of what that message means? This mentality of men has been trickling down to our boys for so long that now, men think that sex (and wanting intimacy) is tied to who they are. It's considered manly, masculine and crucial to their identity.
Jed Diamond recently shared how he learned about "manhood". "From the time I was a young I learned that wanting sex was synonymous with being a man. In high school, I remember overhearing a girl I liked talking about a guy we both knew. She wasn't complaining that he was preoccupied with sex" but ultimately didn't push it.
"She went on to tell her girlfriend, 'He's not being very manly.' The message was clear, 'real men' want sex and if you don't ... you're not a real man."
How heartbreaking. But what's even more shocking is just how unfair that assessment really is.
Realistically, that's not what they really need
Society tells us to push our man out the door earlier in the morning and let him stay late at the office so that he can be rich. Society tells us that we need a man who works out at the gym every day so we can have a man with a perfect body. And now, society is telling men that their role in a relationship is purely physical.
Yes, this happens when they are intimate with their wife, but this also happens when couples hold hands walking down the street, or snuggle up on a coach, or cook dinner with their sweetheart.
Diamond explains, "By the time we become adults, we've already been battered and bruised by the world of competition and rejection. We long for that safe harbor where we don't have to pretend to be something we're not in order to be chosen. We long for someone who sees us for who we are and wants us anyway, who can hold us and touch, not just our body, but our hearts and souls."
While men tend to connect physically more than emotionally (at least compared to most women,) men and women need to feel loved over anything else. It doesn't seem like society will be changing their definition of manliness, so it seems to be up to the sisters, wives, and friends to reassure the men in our lives that masculinity (and love) is so much more than intimacy.
Love comes from getting to know a person - their ideas, hopes, failures ... and still accepting them.
We've all heard the scripture: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
Nowhere in that does it say that love is physical. Although physical touch is an outward expression of love, we need to remember the other expressions of love as well - for both people in the relationship.
Christa is a part time photographer, part time writer and full time lover of life. She loves eating chocolate chip cookies and singing (but not at the same time). She has her degree in political science.