Swiss sexologists worry about kind/nice modern men who appear too afraid to have sex.

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Post by reboot on Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:01 pm

Empathy helps because it can also help you detect performance anxiety in your partner (everyone has it with new partners) and give you greater confidence in your ability to sense what is working for your partner and not working and alleviating their fears about stating their needs It also makes someone more open to checking in with their partner and finding out what they like which lowers anxiety because you are getting feedback.

Unempathetic people tend only focus on their own performance, so lack of responsiveness in a partner is an ego blow, whereas an empathetic person notices the lack of response and modifies accordingly
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Post by SomeSamSeaborn on Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:46 pm

kleenestar wrote:how we fail to teach men actual empathy (rather than a failed, narcissistic approximation).

Could you elaborate what you mean by the latter? What's a narcissistic approximation of empathy?

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Post by SomeSamSeaborn on Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:54 pm

reboot wrote:Empathy helps because it can also help you detect performance anxiety in your partner (everyone has it with new partners) and give you greater confidence in your ability to sense what is working for your partner and not working and alleviating their fears about stating their needs It also makes someone more open to checking in with their partner and finding out what they like which lowers anxiety because you are getting feedback.

Unempathetic people tend only focus on their own performance, so lack of responsiveness in a partner is an ego blow, whereas an empathetic person notices the lack of response and modifies accordingly

Agreed. That said, something that bugs me about the use of empathy in this context is how it seems to be often considered synonymous with "altruistic" or "putting the other first". That's not what empathy is.

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Post by Chickpea Sarada on Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:12 am

SomeSamSeaborn wrote:
reboundstudent wrote:Then she has never freaking read the books.

I guess she has.

http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/H/bo18232225.html

reboundstudent wrote:the other 75% is ruminations and endless "communication" about the relationship, the "damage" behind the kink , and just waffling back and forth.

That's what she feels is so critizised maybe not *in* the book, but *by* the book (50SoG). "Hard Core Romance" is actually very interesting because it really gets down to a lot of the consent discussions on a philosophical level: There *is* an inherent conflict between what she identifies as major social narratives in the West - romantic love (since about 1800) and personal autonomy (post WW2) - love is *defined* by giving up autonomy, autonomy is defined by not allowing love. "Consent" is entirely about autonomy, and it requires constant renegotiations, and that creates complexity, and certainly often confusion that was not present before - to be sure, usually at the expense of women who did not consent. But now books like 50SoG and all the others indicate that the communication requirements seem to be too much for many people, including women. And we don't really know how to rebalance the will to autonomy with the desire for succumbing to being desired (going back to the article now: also because the male performance of absolute imperative desire is even more impeded by constant communicative requirements.) The appeal of BDSM/50SoG is thus the creation of a pre-defined zone of acceptance in which consent is considered to be given until actually revoked (by safeword).

Also, quick anthropologist note here:  

Sure.

Wow.  The bolded part sounded not just wrong but creepy too.  Disapproving  Seriously ew!
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Post by azazel on Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:28 am

Mel wrote:
They have to perform a lot more tasks/roles? than before. They want to have a carreer, look after the children, be house men and good lovers. It's too much for some.

Moreover, a lot of men would grow up in households, that would not relate to sex as something beautiful, pleasurable. "They are constantly warned to avoid pregnancies, the federal government warns with big campaigns against sexually transmitted diseases and sexual violence. That sex is actually precious gift, tends to be ignored, "says Bachmann.

sound strangely familiar. Oh, wait, that's because those are exactly the same issues women face. Women want to have a career, look after the children, be house wives and good lovers, and often find that too much. Women are constantly warned to avoid prengancies, STDs, and sexual violence, and often don't receive messages when growing up about sex being a beautiful gift.

I'm not saying it's good that some men are experiencing this too. But it's kind of ridiculous to focus on it as a men's problem. It's hardly fair that women have generally been expected to be the ones worrying about avoiding pregnancy, SIDs, violence, etc., for example--men should be equally concerned about all that, not continued to be let off the hook. So instead of suggesting it's a bad thing that men are facing these conflicts, how about we say it's a bad thing people are facing these conflicts, and try to find better ways of balancing responsibilities and pleasure for everyone?  

Maybe that would be their solution, but the male-centric quotes and the way they're talking about these things as if they're brand new issues never seen before by other human beings is rather grating.

Gotta admit this puzzled me.

Not as much as sitting down to pee makes you impotent, but close.

I would love to see a change to more sex-positive male coded tropes though, that do not equate male sexuality as animalistic and gross, but I don't think the article helps in any way.

kleenestar wrote:What bugs me about the article is that it frames the problem as "niceness" and "kindness" when in fact it seems to me like profound self-absorption. I don't disagree that there's a problem - I just think the problem is actually continuous with other consequences of how we fail to teach some men actual empathy (rather than a failed, narcissistic approximation).

We could do without the overly broad generalizations thank you very much. I do agree with niceness == self absorption in the article.

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Post by LadyLuck on Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:42 am

SomeSamSeaborn wrote:love is *defined* by giving up autonomy...

Yes, its certainly true that parts of our culture push that. However the solution is NEVER to give up autonomy, ESPECIALLY not along gendered lines. The solution doesn't have to be giving up love either, because it turns out there are multiple definitions of love, separate from the one that society pushes. This definition of love you lay out here can be re-phrased as "If you reaaaaally loved me, you'd totally bend over and let me take advantage of you!" Uhmm. No. Thanks. I'd rather have a definition of love that accepts both parties as fully autonomous human beings, because in many ways surrender of autonomy is surrender of humanity - you don't get to be a "real" human being if you don't think for yourself. Demanding that your partner surrender autonomy to you, is demanding that they exist as an object for you, not a person. And I will say that its a horrible thing to even ask for, and I'd be totally ok with everyone who does to just die in a fucking fire. Any transfer of autonomy from one person to another should pretty much always be accompanied with pre-negotiated limits, the consent of the person giving it, be temporary in nature, and up for re-negotiation or cancellation at any time (for good measure).

Also, let's be honest, the "love as opposite of autonomy" was a HELL of a lot different pre-feminism, because each gender lacked certain kinds of autonomy to begin with. In a relationship, only a man was permitted to have a bread-winning job by society. Thus the man would always have the autonomy that accompanied such a privilege, and the woman never would, no matter what the setup of their relationship was. There are many examples of autonomy that only belonged to one partner or the other and could not be transferred, and because we're talking pre-feminism, the split overwhelmingly favored the man. So any "autonomy transfer" scheme would still end up reinforcing sexist institutions as all the autonomy that really mattered would only ever transfer one way, towards the man. So as usual, women are expected to pretend to not have desires/thoughts of their own as human beings but instead act as accessories for the benefit of the desires of men. Unsurprisingly, a lot of people still interpret "love as surrender" still do it along the exact same gendered lines, and that has the exact same problems outlined above. While that might've been acceptable in the 1800s, its sure as shit not ok now.

So yeah, do yourself a favor and throw out this proposition from your worldview (love opposite autonomy). It might not get you more/better sex, but it would certainly help anyone interested in being a decent and ethical person.

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Post by Chickpea Sarada on Sat Jan 31, 2015 12:56 pm

azazel wrote:
Mel wrote:
They have to perform a lot more tasks/roles? than before. They want to have a carreer, look after the children, be house men and good lovers. It's too much for some.

Moreover, a lot of men would grow up in households, that would not relate to sex as something beautiful, pleasurable. "They are constantly warned to avoid pregnancies, the federal government warns with big campaigns against sexually transmitted diseases and sexual violence. That sex is actually precious gift, tends to be ignored, "says Bachmann.

sound strangely familiar. Oh, wait, that's because those are exactly the same issues women face. Women want to have a career, look after the children, be house wives and good lovers, and often find that too much. Women are constantly warned to avoid prengancies, STDs, and sexual violence, and often don't receive messages when growing up about sex being a beautiful gift.

I'm not saying it's good that some men are experiencing this too. But it's kind of ridiculous to focus on it as a men's problem. It's hardly fair that women have generally been expected to be the ones worrying about avoiding pregnancy, SIDs, violence, etc., for example--men should be equally concerned about all that, not continued to be let off the hook. So instead of suggesting it's a bad thing that men are facing these conflicts, how about we say it's a bad thing people are facing these conflicts, and try to find better ways of balancing responsibilities and pleasure for everyone?  

Maybe that would be their solution, but the male-centric quotes and the way they're talking about these things as if they're brand new issues never seen before by other human beings is rather grating.

Gotta admit this puzzled me.

Not as much as sitting down to pee makes you impotent, but close.

I would love to see a change to more sex-positive male coded tropes though, that do not equate male sexuality as animalistic and gross, but I don't think the article helps in any way.

kleenestar wrote:What bugs me about the article is that it frames the problem as "niceness" and "kindness" when in fact it seems to me like profound self-absorption. I don't disagree that there's a problem - I just think the problem is actually continuous with other consequences of how we fail to teach some men actual empathy (rather than a failed, narcissistic approximation).

We could do without the overly broad generalizations thank you very much. I do agree with niceness == self absorption in the article.

Mel meant that the things men in the article are facing (thinking about the risk of pregnancy/STIs/violence) are exactly what women have always had to consider. It's ridiculous that the article is basically saying, "Oh no! Men are starting to care about the risks that have always been women's burden to bear. And that's terrible because it makes them less 'manly' due to reasons!"

And Kleenestar said "some men" rather than just "men." She did avoid an overly broad generalization, dude.
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Post by Mel on Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:44 pm

Chickpea Sarada wrote:Mel meant that the things men in the article are facing (thinking about the risk of pregnancy/STIs/violence) are exactly what women have always had to consider.  It's ridiculous that the article is basically saying, "Oh no!  Men are starting to care about the risks that have always been women's burden to bear.  And that's terrible because it makes them less 'manly' due to reasons!"

And Kleenestar said "some men" rather than just "men."  She did avoid an overly broad generalization, dude.

To be fair, I read Azazel's response to me as saying that he was puzzled by the bits I was responding to just as I was, not that he was puzzled by my taking issue with them. And Kleenestar didn't say "some men"--Azazel added in the "some" in the quotation. (For clarity in future, Azazel, I'd recommend you say in your own comment something like, "This should say some men", rather than altering someone else's words, which requires people have a perfect memory for the original or go back and check to know that you edited it.)
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Post by Hirundo Bos on Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:47 pm

SomeSamSeaborn wrote:
reboot wrote:Empathy helps because it can also help you detect performance anxiety in your partner (everyone has it with new partners) and give you greater confidence in your ability to sense what is working for your partner and not working and alleviating their fears about stating their needs It also makes someone more open to checking in with their partner and finding out what they like which lowers anxiety because you are getting feedback.

Unempathetic people tend only focus on their own performance, so lack of responsiveness in a partner is an ego blow, whereas an empathetic person notices the lack of response and modifies accordingly

Agreed. That said, something that bugs me about the use of empathy in this context is how it seems to be often considered synonymous with "altruistic" or "putting the other first". That's not what empathy is.

Is it in Reboot's post you see empathy being used that way? If so you read it differently from me, and I'd be curious to know how. But apart from that, you are right in that they are separate things.

That doesn't mean that they're independent of one another. Empathy will make you more effective in dealing with people whether your intentions are egoistic, altruistic, collaborative, or anything else. Empathy is a skill, intentions are something one can choose, or at least choose to strive for.

In the same way, one can be attentive and kind, assertive and confident, all at the same time, and while they are all different things, a really great thing happens when you combine them all, and then add reciprocity into the mix.


Last edited by Hirundo Bos on Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:52 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Correcting some grammar)
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Post by azazel on Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:49 pm

Mel wrote:
To be fair, I read Azazel's response to me as saying that he was puzzled by the bits I was responding to just as I was, not that he was puzzled by my taking issue with them. And Kleenestar didn't say "some men"--Azazel added in the "some" in the quotation.  (For clarity in future, Azazel, I'd recommend you say in your own comment something like, "This should say some men", rather than altering someone else's words, which requires people have a perfect memory for the original or go back and check to know that you edited it.)

You're completely right on both fronts. I'm not entirely sure what feels off of this article to me - considering I'm normally all in favor of highlighting problems men face -, but it completely rubs me the wrong way. Weird.

And yeah, that "some" slipped in the quote by an editing error. Mi scuzi. It was indeed not productive for clarity Razz

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Post by kleenestar on Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:18 pm

Azazel, good point! I meant something like "the dominant way in which we socialize men," and you're totally right to poke me to clarify. "Some men" works perfectly well too.

About the empathy thing, what I'm trying to convey is other-centeredness, for which I suppose empathy is a necessary prerequisite. These guys smell of "enough about me, what do YOU think about me," but dressed up in other language.
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Post by azazel on Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:36 pm

kleenestar wrote:Azazel, good point! I meant something like "the dominant way in which we socialize men," and you're totally right to poke me to clarify. "Some men" works perfectly well too.

About the empathy thing, what I'm trying to convey is other-centeredness, for which I suppose empathy is a necessary prerequisite. These guys smell of "enough about me, what do YOU think about me," but dressed up in other language.

Yeah, I still can't quite put my finger on it what makes my eyes itch when I read this article, but I think I smell that same smell.
I think it plays some part too that it doesn't seem to focus on "we should all be more sex positive and also mention how sex is pretty nice while we educate people", but more on "it's horrible that men now have to worry about issues of pregnancy/enthusiastic consent etc. etc." (which reads to me they're suggesting we should stop educate people about it and let womenz worry about these issues again?)

Full disclaimer: I might be reading this article more negatively than it's meant. Jerkbrain is acting up again a bit for the last months.

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Post by SomeSamSeaborn on Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:42 am

LadyLuck wrote:
SomeSamSeaborn wrote:love is *defined* by giving up autonomy...
Any transfer of autonomy from one person to another should pretty much always be accompanied with pre-negotiated limits, the consent of the person giving it, be temporary in nature, and up for re-negotiation or cancellation at any time (for good measure).

We certainly understood the autonomy thing very, very differently. As for the suggestion you make - that's pretty much in line with what I think Illouz thinks the meta message of the book could be interpreted as.

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Post by username_6916 on Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:01 am

Of course love requires giving up autonomy. Saying that is the same thing as saying that no love is unconditional, or that anyone has the right to leave at anytime for any reason. All parties in all relationships have some sort of conditions for continuing the relationship.

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