Sex and Shame


For preadolescent boys, sexual desire is accompanied by shame. Erections, masturbation and sexual fantasies are hidden under the cloak of shame. Preadolescent girls enjoy being attractive to boys and soon learn that there is a sexual element to this attraction. In some ways this pattern never ends.

Mutual attraction and passion ignited when you were falling in love. Attention and passion were in abundant supply. So what happened?

I find that married couples uncouple attention and sex. Women complain of their partner's lack of romantic attention, while their partner complains of infrequent sexual attention, but neither accepts that their behavior had changed.

Women shame their partner for pursuing sex without offering romantic attention. Men respond to this shame by quitting pursuing sex or become angry. So now the woman gets neither sex or attention.

Women try to negotiate by saying they are entitled to romantic attention while the man says he is entitled to sex. Such a standoff typically leads to...well...a standoff.

It is time to untangle romantic and sexual attention. Women attract the man's romantic attention because he cares about what the woman desires. Men attract sex because the woman wants to provide (and receive) pleasure.

Women must avoid shaming men for wanting sex and they must learn to express the pain associated with losing their ability to attract their partner's romantic attention. Men must quit complaining about their partner's lack of sexual desire and begin to recognize the need to attract sexual desire. Sex is important to a man on many levels and they must learn to share why sex is important to them.

For further inquiries:

Check out Lee Horton, Ph.D., Psychologist, at

Phone: (901) 818- 5450