Looking for something hot to do this weekend? Why don’t you get carnal and… cuddle? A recent study conducted at The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, involving more than 1,000 couples from five countries, suggests that it’s quite important for – men.
That’s right, despite rampant stereotypes pegging women as the more romantic gender, research shows that it’s the guys who find kissing, cuddling, and caressing more important than women when it comes to happy relationships. More men than women also report being happy in their relationship, a finding made even more interesting when you consider that more women reported being sexually satisfied. (This was especially true for those gals who had been in their relationship for at least 15 years.)
All of this challenges traditional gender-role beliefs claiming that men are more sexually-oriented, while women are more love-oriented. Men, supposedly, only provide touch and affection to seduce and have sex. Yet research in various arenas regularly suggests that many men are real romantics:
- Studies consistently show that men can separate love and sex, but their most erotic experiences take place in the relational context. It is the emotional that makes it special.
- Men hold more romantic views of male-female relations than do women.
- Men tend to fall in love earlier in relationships. It has also been found that men tend to show more brain activity than women in regions associated with visual processing, especially the face, perhaps enhancing a male’s ability to fall in love and explaining why men generally fall in love faster than women.
- Men tend to cling longer to a dying love affair, e.g., three times as many men as women commit suicide after a disastrous love affair.
Even if they don’t always admit it, many guys desire some tender love and care from their partner on a regular basis. Whether a counselor, therapist, educator, or lover, those concerned with cultivating happy relationships need to do more in acknowledging and supporting a male’s touch needs too.