Let’s face it: today there are no stereotypical narratives pertaining to intimate physical relationships between a man and a woman. Actually there never were any even in the past. For instance, if we delve into history and take an objectively analytical view of polygamy, we would realise that men and women often come together (sexually) for reasons other than romantic love.
Indeed the social conditioning of those times licensed abundant freedom to men while it restrained and shackled women. Let’s keep that for discussion later.
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Instead, let’s talk about our contemporary times. The overarching pressures of modern life have literally made it impossible to remain sexless in the city. In my view, Anna Broadway’s blog reiterates the undisputed but still unacknowledged truths of society. For, with the teeming number of bachelors, spinsters, widows, widowers, divorcees and the unconventionally married couples, sex today is really three things — a no big deal, a big deal and a deal breaker.
Sex is no big deal because mature men and women are acknowledging their biological needs a little more acutely than the previous generations. Simultaneously, they are also aware that these needs can be addressed in practical yet honest relationships that are outside the purview of mushy sentiments or romantic commitments.
Conversely, sex is a big deal because we all need it. It is a stress buster, mood alleviator, self-esteem booster and multiple other things, which we all frankly need to optimally function in today’s complex social order. And yes sex is a deal breaker, too, for if denied by either the man or the woman, it can sour the existing relationship equation or friendship.
For men, particularly, sexual rejection can be a huge roadblock in taking forward an otherwise meaningful relationship or friendship. Extending an otherwise platonic friendship after a sexual rejection can often be strenuous not because the man continues to hanker for sexual intimacy but because unfortunately his issues of self worth are dented.
Many a time a man deciphers an act of sexual rejection (if it is by a close female associate or friend) as a signal of mistrust. The truth usually is far removed from this assumption as women inherently process the act of sex in a different psychological zone.
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On a parallel vein when the man distances himself after a sexual rejection, it is often confusing or even painful for the woman friend. Perceived from her stance, if she has rejected a man physically but still finds merit in him as a human being to invest time and nurture a friendship, she automatically expects him to understand that she has perceived worth in him above and apart his gender.
However, the refreshing aspect here is that today despite their physiological disposition, a substantial number of men, particularly in the metros and Tier-1 cities, construe sexual rejection in a mature and pragmatic way. These are often men who are self-assured but not overly self centric or self obsessed. They are capable of understanding the dynamics of the relationship from a mutual perspective as against mine or hers.
Needless to say, friendships that blossom further on the cusp of this mutual acceptance and understanding become more enduring. It is not impossible or even uncommon for such friendships to culminate into non-platonic relationships.
So why does this happen? The interesting insight here according to professional relationship experts is that when a man offers himself sexually in a close friendship it is very often not about conquest or a random biological desire. It is in fact about greater acceptance and reaching a stage of mental proximity where he can open up about himself more.
Therefore good communication is really the operative word for any relationship/friendship to progress after sexual rejection. The onus lies on the woman too for she needs to process his suggestion of sexual intimacy in a non-judgmental manner and effectively convey her reasons for refusal.
Also while sex is a cementing factor between committed couples for it to remain healthy among two people in a close friendship it needs to be fluid.