Psychological Self-Help

Navigation bar
  Home Print document View PDF document Start Previous page
 143 of 167 
Next page End Contents 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148  

regardless of frequency, your marriage is more likely to be close. Both
men and women occasionally have difficulty coming to a climax, only
about 5% to 10% of men but 30% of married women only occasionally
or never climax--another 30% of women consistently have orgasms
(Michael, Gagnon, Laumann & Kolata, 1994). Women who are very
happy with their marriages are much more likely to be orgasmic (but
being non-orgasmic doesn't necessarily mean you have a serious,
unconscious dissatisfaction with your relationship). 
There are remarkable variations in researchers' estimates of how
many husbands and wives are unfaithful, ranging from 20% to 70%.
Knox (1984) suggested that 50% of men and 20-40% of women have
had an affair at some time. A more scientific survey found that 75% of
married men and 85% of married women had been faithful (Michael,
Gagnon, Laumann & Kolata, 1994) but these surveys include the newly
married. In recent years, extramarital sex reportedly occurs about as
often among women as men. Working outside the home increases the
chances of an affair for women (Levin, 1975), about 50% of these
women supposedly have had extramarital sex. Men seek casual sex
and have more outside partners; women seek emotional attachment
and have fewer outside partners (Blumstein & Schwartz, 1983). Some
research suggests, as you would expect, that a poor marriage or
unsatisfactory sex is often associated with unfaithfulness (Thompson,
1983). According to Grosskopf (1983), from 50% to 70% of unfaithful
women said they did it because they were emotionally and sexually
dissatisfied with their husbands (35% had found out he had an affair).
On the other hand, Blumstein and Schwartz say that many couples
who have had an affair are just as happy with their marriages as
faithful spouses. They also say having one affair doesn't necessarily
lead to another and church goers are just as likely to be unfaithful as
non-goers. Unfaithfulness has been discussed above. 
Sexual intercourse: It is making love
Sex, if done well, generates positive feelings towards the partner,
i.e. it "makes love." "Making love" is usually a natural, emotional
experience, a part of a relationship, rarely just a physiologically
pleasurable act. We are ordinarily very careful who we have sex with;
it is a consciously planned and orchestrated act. Yet, interestingly
enough, human sexual arousal is a primitive physiological response
that can't be consciously willed, e.g. men can't just will an immediate
erection, women can't will lubrication. One needs to generate sexy
thoughts or physical stimulation; one needs to be relaxed and "in the
mood," then penises harden and vaginas moisten automatically. 
It is tempting to say that making love is just doing what comes
naturally, but that isn't at all true either. There are many things about
intercourse we don't know automatically. For instance, we don't
naturally take lots of time but good sex can't be rushed. We don't
know what feels good to our partner, he/she has to tell us. In the
Previous page Top Next page

« Back