I’ve been writing for and about women for over 4 years now. My focus has narrowed and become more defined as I interact with women both on line and in face-to-face conversations about sexuality.
And, recently I began to have some of those same conversations with men. There aren’t many men who write on sexuality—and fewer still who share their own stories and struggles. Women have no problem sharing personal lives—actually many of them share a wee bit too much. We are considered the more emotional of the genders, chattier and more prone to reveal intimate details.
I’ve had some conversations with men who work or write in the field of sexuality; we’ve talked about male sexuality and the public perception. Several of these men, who happened to be psychologists, expressed the idea that as a society we aren’t comfortable with the male expression of sexuality. We are threatened by it. I get it and I don’t. As a white woman I don’t have that experience—and to date no man has told me he feels that his open expression of sexual feelings is met by fear or trepidation. But, I suspect it’s the truth.
When we’re raising young girls or offering [limited] sex education we often tell girls they have to protect themselves from overly frisky young men and predatory behaviors. We tell girls the burden is theirs and that men aren’t to be trusted when they get horny. Omitted in the instructions and admonishments is the acknowledgement of our desire as women. And the fact that the vast majority of men are not rapists or predators. Most men aren’t going to attack us or display out-of-control sexual behavior.
Fear and shame are the prevailing tools used by too many to scare women into not having sex. It leads to a dangerous ignorance that handicaps women. And it has damaged men, at a societal and a personal level that we can’t fully understand if we aren’t talking about it.
These are all thoughts I’m exploring and opening up to. And, I have invited men to have this conversation with me on a new page on my website, His Turn. The name is meant to stress my wish to a special focus on male sexuality, as a balance to giving women the resources and information they so desperately need. My goal is to provide information, focused on the older male, to spark conversation, educate and stimulate interest. I hope to help change the notion that male sexuality is to be feared. Not to sound arrogant, but I hope that having a woman in an accepting and supporting role can play a part in changing attitudes.
What do you think? How do we get more men involved in open conversations about their sexuality? And, will that change the discomfort men have and the fear that we seem to feel about men and sexuality?
Walker Thornton is a writer, sex educator and public speaker, with a Masters in Educational Psychology and over 10 years experience in the field of sexual violence against women. She is a strong advocate for midlife women’s sexuality, encouraging women to ‘step into their desire’. Kinkly.com ranked her blog, WalkerThornton.com, #17 in their top 100 Sex Blogging Superheroes of 2013. Walker is the Sexual Health columnist for Midlife Boulevard and writes about sex and the older adult for Kinkly.com. You can connect with her on her website (www.walkerthornton.com ), Facebook (https://facebook.com/AWomansPage ) Twitter (http://twitter.com/WalkerThornton) and Google+ (https://plus.google.com/u/0/+WalkerThornton/posts ).