Over the course of the last week, my mind had been heavy with the concept of sexuality and my own. I have often wondered why I am the way I am and why I am not like most when it comes to relationships. Why I behave the way I do and how it relates to how others behave and what I perceive of that. Incidentally, my discussions when I have them with someone other than my own mind, are usually with a man who identifies as a sociopath and has claimed they have little to no sexual experiences. Being a friends situation and nothing more, it can be a good space to talk.
As discussion takes place, I have found where my disgruntled feelings come from. My friend is heavily into the action genre where the male lead is some testosterone bloated fighting machine who only fights for “just causes” (ie: what they consider morally and ethically just), superheroes and other tropes where men are not just manly, they are uber manly. Over the years, I have come to find a lot of that type of characterization to be a form of toxic masculinity. During the last 4 years, America polarized into camps, one of these being a *huge* section of white men who overidolize this toxic stereotype and emulate it in all the worst ways. To the point that I am repulsed by the majority of white men in the US.
This ideology affects relationships in a very dramatic way. Yes, a lot of women, myself included, love strong men. However, these behaviours are not indicative of strength. They are indicative of a man who has lost their sense of humanity, compassion and empathy and that is not attractive at all. A woman’s first thought upon meeting these kinds of men should be, “if he behaves this way here, how will he behave around me?” The answers aren’t very promising and in many ways, terrifying.
Women love strong men who are in control of only themselves and aware they can’t demand respect from others or expect to be able to control others. It just seems like so many men have missed this important life lesson in lieu of trying to be some weird badass that really only impresses themselves.
In turn, it creates a horrible platform for a meaningful relationship. It removes any responsibility from the man to do more than be physically present. It makes them believe they aren’t responsible to be there emotionally, or to support the person they are with or to even show a flicker of understanding beyond, “this is my partner. We have sex and in return, I make sure no one takes them from me.” It’s an empty relationship that fulfills nothing other than this weird need he has. It is weird and sad that so many men find this fulfilling and happy with it, when it is the lowest form of a relationship possible. It requires nothing from them, but places all the expectations on their partner. That isn’t a relationship. That’s kind of a slave arrangement.
It was this train of thought that made me put together the pieces to realize the reason I’m asexual is because my needs are either never fulfilled, or they have the barest of minimums applied towards them. Even in a relationship, I’m still basically alone and on my own because the male refuses to engage in a way that makes me feel like they are truly invested. Instead, I have a situation where they have invested just enough to feel secure on their own, but leaving me with the knowledge that they could, literally pick up and leave at any time with little to no emotional issues doing so.
If that is the nature of the relationship, sex is going to be very low on the priority list because none of the other more important needs are being fulfilled. They aren’t coming off my list of priorities. If I’m left to take care of trying to fulfill my needs on my own, I’m not going to be very interested in fulfilling someone else’s. The needs list needs to have things ticked off it before the ones lower down can move up.
This is where I have always said Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is so relevant. If my basic needs aren’t being met, I can’t focus on those above it. If I’m still dealing with basic needs of trust, security, being appreciated, listened to and understood, I’m not going to be looking at the idea of sexual experiences because I don’t feel secure moving in that direction.
Men need to stop and realize that relationships aren’t solely for them to have their needs fulfilled and there is an expectation to be an equal partner, equally invested in their partner as much as they are in themselves. If they put as much into being a worthy partner and a healthy person to be with, they wouldn’t have to try and create this fictional machismo to look like they have control and strength. It would show in the way they relate to others, especially women.
This might seem like information everyone should already have, but sadly, it took me into my 50’s to figure this out.