Season 1, Episode 12
Men in Therapy
Let’s Really talk about sex & relationships guys!
Catalina Lawsin, PhD
About This Episode
Men get the raw end of the stick when it comes to therapy. Therapy can already be intimidating to start without all the gender and cultural norms adding more pressure. In this week’s episode of Sex Marks the Spot I’m talking to all you men out there!! You get to play by YOUR rules, not society’s.
I’ll explore modern masculinity and factors that support men in evolving emotionally, relationally and sexually.
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Some of the research cited in this episode:
Where can you find that secure emotionally mature insightful guy? Therapy or in my office.
That’s so it’s so interesting how much we are now talking about modern masculinity, but this video is actually for you guys. Okay.
So the reality is that so many men don’t actually go to therapy 2/3 of therapists who do just that BR women but then on top of it the reality is that most of our clients and you can look at most therapy sites.
Most of them are soft colors pink most of them focus on getting the woman in and the reality is is that women are generally bigger users of the Healthcare System. Once we hit puberty we have to go to gynecologist get regular pap smears, so when we think about mental health generally men are presenting but a lot of my work focuses on sex and relationships and today I was talking with my brand lady Rachel who’s awesome and I just I made a quick mention because so much of my branding has been really focusing on women and things like that.
And then I was like actually you know, half of my practice is actually his men and other couples or or the men coming in on their own and what are these men, they are all distressed for sure, but they’re fairly insightful and the reality is is that also another common thing that I see Is that men don’t feel often times the men who do come with me on their own don’t often tell their spouses that they’re coming particularly in my research when I was I developed a sexual health intervention for cancer survivors and their partners and I had this one partner and he was the partner of a breast cancer patient and he was like in his 60s. They’ve been together. For over 35 40 years and he hadn’t been intimate and even more than kissing with his partner for over 12 years particularly since she had breast cancer and the one thing that she talked about he talked about with me on the phone and even gave me feedback was how he’d actually hadn’t told her.
And so one of the things and I remember thinking you know what that’s actually pretty common oftentimes what we know it when we look in the cancer context. The reality is is that Partners particularly the men often experience just as much if not more distress than the cancer patient themselves and most people when I say that are like what the fuck no way and and particularly some women are like, oh whatever they don’t have cancer and those are all the no arms that have been inhibiting Monarch masculinity, you know these assumptions that the reality is is that oh
the man actually in those cases are experiencing more distress because they are generally having to work generally the primary caretaker of their partner with cancer who’s the woman and again, I’m talking about heterosexual couples and there also may be taking care of the kids dealing with their doctor’s appointments and if they’re really the support of Partners, they’re going to all of those too. Except who asks them. How are you doing? The reality is is that particularly around mental health and particularly around sex. There’s been so much focus on physical like when it comes to sex. Let’s just be honest Viagra really most most of the ads around that are focusing on seeing men having a really strong former action maintaining that but what you don’t see a lot is is actually well.
What’s underlying at one of the things we know when it comes to erectile dysfunction is that there’s something is underlying it. There is something that is happening because again, what is our biggest sexual muscle? It’s our brain as I don’t care where you’re from. How big your penis is as big as you think it is your brain is calling the shots.
So the reality is what you see is in individuals who do not
have a physical like cardiac disease or some circulatory
diseases or hormonal issues.
Often times a lot of Viagra Cialis actually doesn’t work
if there is distress in that what you also see is is that
often times men when they are trying to make sexual changes
is is that if their partner isn’t on board again, most of
this research has been done in heterosexual couples, but
if their partner isn’t on board and supportive and they can’t
talk to them about this and work them through work through
this. We don’t actually see them being able to progress as
effectively. So looking at changes and changes in outcome,
but definitely maintaining it because again, it’s just think
about think about addiction and Rehab, you know, again Bell
tolling about 20-25 percent of people maintain across every
single Behavior because we actually need to have some support
it if our environment the Realities of Life come in.
So even if you’re protected in the hospital or in rehab or
in our therapy room, if you don’t have that support in your
relationship, it’s going to be really hard to make that long-term
change. So Today really what I want to talk about is how
much? so many Women will come to my office and complain about
men and and you see it like everything and I get it.
Do not get it twisted.
I very much want I’m done it myself but also really There’s
so much emotional space for women, but there isn’t for men.
Men aren’t what particularly now right now.
There’s so much focus on attachment.
But the reality is that even when there’s nurturing even
in those secure attachments the realities of the social norms.
And again, we’re in a progressive country here in America,
but internationally of men having to be stoic having to be
strong not a moat.
That’s been the reality forever.
And the other side of that is that it really has only been
in the last few decades that women have had a voice but women
have always been having to assert themselves always been
trying to take care of themselves assert power throughout
history men only recently had any kind of competition from
women. And let’s just keep it real.
Like I think Kavanaugh and the me to movement really speaks
to how where we actually are in that equality.
So I say this also with the appreciation that Guys, you haven’t
needed to and the reality is if our body doesn’t think we
need to actually do anything.
We’re not going to and on top of that.
If you are taught of how you would need to experience emotions
and stay stoic.
Don’t show don’t cry don’t seem sad always be strong just
work through things.
then you’re not you don’t have the space.
So when it comes to relationships and sex.
Unfortunately men have not had that space to actually talk
about their feelings to actually explore them.
Because this is just keep it real women have their girlfriends.
They have their sisters men.
Have their partners and again, I’m really I’m focusing on
heterosexual Partners right now.
So the reality is though in that relationship again, there’s
There’s men have to be partners have to be this certain way.
So even within those relationships they still it’s still
not safe for them to a moat.
However, they want to because of the amount of perceived
weakness not From their partner, but mostly from themselves.
Man that’s been ingrained since birth.
you know men even in hospitals and now hospitals gotten better,
but boys wear blue girls wear pink, you know, there’s the
rolls get to find really early on and again thinking about
how we actually learn and evolve but more importantly how
we connect with our bodies so much of connecting with our
bodies is embracing all of ourselves embracing the emotional
ups and downs the strengths and the weaknesses the daring
and the fear yet.
Unfortunately for men they don’t get to do this and then
we wonder You may be wondering why can’t I just keep it up?
Why can’t I perform better?
So and top of it.
There’s this pressure be a stud be a stud be a stud doesn’t
matter. What’s going on in your life be a stud.
so the reality is is that I won think we need to change the
dialogue and create more space for men to talk about this
reality. Is that when I talk to men?
When I’m kind of a guy particularly when it comes to sex,
I don’t if I perceive sex as casual.
I don’t need the cuddles.
I’m like that was fun later, you know, and it’s interesting.
I actually generally talk about sex more graphically more
openly than 99% of the men.
I mean, I’m a sailor.
So like I’m surrounded by guys all the time.
I’ve always had lots of good guy friends and I’ve always
talked about sex more than that.
And the reality is though.
So what I think happens, is that when men come In and speak
with me one they feel normalized because one they feel like
Here’s you are a woman.
So I can’t talk to you that makes that role.
Okay, but then at the same token a lot of your masculinity
a lot of your traits, I actually couldn’t relate to you know,
and again, that’s not not by no means I’m saying.
Oh every guy just really is one and done, you know, so but
there is something saying that I realized and doing a lot
of this work in which men don’t.
Actually oftentimes have a space where they can be curious
where their pain and struggles are normalized.
And then when we talk about sex actually giving them concrete
strategies of how to connect with your body how to heighten
your sensation how to maintain your erection those strategies
again outside of Taking a pill exploring that and keeping
in mind most sex therapists are also women.
Holy cow that feels vulnerable.
And what will my partner think they’ll think I’m I’m I’m
attracted to this therapist.
I mean all of those things happen and all of those are barriers.
So I say this first and foremost to remind you that one if
you are dude and you are experiencing this like no you are
absolutely not alone and that history History and evolution
has actually supported that.
Put that on top of it.
You are entitled you are entitled to your emotions and that
in part of being human.
You’re going to have a whole Ray of those two.
And your body is going to adjust to whatever trauma criticism
Just like a one and unfortunately many of his not had much
space text board particularly when we talk about relationships.
So I’m going to talk more about this in future episodes and
videos, but I’m definitely Keen to hear what you guys think
about this and I really just want to open a space up open
a space up for us to begin to actually talk about this and
for guys For you to just say tell it like it is and talk
about how you feel and actually connect your brain your heart
and your genitals.
Because quite honestly, it is pretty common that only one
of them is doing the talking.
But if you have any kind of sexual concerns, unfortunately,
it’s generally this muscle not that muscle so.
Let’s open a space up.
Let’s start the conversation and let’s actually literally
experience what modern masculinity is by actually experiencing.
all of yourselves and beginning, but I just Exploring being
So if you’re watching this one that I’m not saying everybody
every man start going to therapy because that may not be
your pathway but start there’s tons of likes if there’s not
start reading the girls books start reading the books that
do seem like they are made for women because the same shit
they’re absolutely applies to you.
Particularly when we are talking about physiological reactions
and keep in mind.
Regardless of gender it is our physiology.
It is the connection between our brain our nervous system.
That actually is trying to protect us.
And our nervous system doesn’t necessarily.
Connect gender or those Norms it perceived safety and danger.
And so if there is any blockage in what you’re thinking if
you’re at all feeling anxious or worried about how you’re
That’s where we get begin to the playing field is the same.
So start looking start looking maybe their tell me what you’d
like me to talk about talk to talk to people you feel comfortable
with begin to get comfortable in that space of curiosity.
Get comfortable figuring out your own vernacular for expressing
and asserting your emotions feeling whatever the hell it
is. You feel and connecting that with your body.
Focus their focus Less on the penis, I think about your whole
Alright guys, that’s it for now.
But again, shoot me any questions comments feedback and I
hope that this just one opens the space but Phil feel free
to follow me on Instagram subscribe to my YouTube channel
down here and you can check me out at www.lsnjlawhotline.org
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