June 17, 2024

Decoding the Lessons: How Men Learn About Sex Through Programming, Conditioning, and Beliefs

BY Marc Mathys
Sex—an essential aspect of human life that’s often shrouded in mystery, taboos, and misinformation. For many men, the journey to understanding sex is influenced by a complex web of programming, conditioning, and deeply ingrained beliefs. Let’s unravel how these factors shape men’s perceptions and behaviors around sex. 
       The Early Programming: Foundations from Childhood 
1. Family Conversations (or Lack Thereof)
 Many men grow up in environments where sex is either a taboo topic or discussed in hushed tones. This early programming can instill a sense of shame or secrecy around the subject. Alternatively, families who openly discuss sex can provide a healthier, more informed foundation. 
2. School Education:
Sex education in schools varies widely. Some men receive comprehensive, scientifically accurate information, while others get minimal instruction focused solely on abstinence. The quality of this early education can significantly impact their understanding and attitudes towards sex. 
3. Media Portrayal:
From a young age, boys are exposed to sexual content through movies, TV shows, music, and, increasingly, the internet. Media often portrays sex in unrealistic or hypersexualized ways, setting up expectations that real-life experiences can’t meet.
        The Social Conditioning: Influence of Peers and Society 
1. Peer Pressure and Locker Room Talk:
As boys grow into adolescence, peer influence becomes a dominant factor. Conversations with friends often center around bravado and exaggerated tales of sexual exploits. This peer pressure can lead to misconceptions and unhealthy attitudes towards sex. 
2. Cultural Norms and Stereotypes:
Societal expectations play a huge role in shaping beliefs about sex. Traditional masculinity often emphasizes sexual conquest and performance, pressuring men to view sex as a measure of their worth. These cultural scripts can lead to anxiety, performance issues, and a lack of genuine connection
. 3. Pornography: 
For many men, pornography serves as an unofficial sex education. While it can provide some insights, it often promotes unrealistic depictions of sex, body image, and consent. This can distort men’s expectations and behaviors in real-life sexual encounters. 
         The Beliefs: Internal Narratives and Their Impact 
1. Sex as Performance:
Many men internalize the belief that sex is about performance and prowess. This can lead to a focus on technique over emotional connection and mutual satisfaction, often resulting in anxiety and dissatisfaction. 
2. Sex as Dominance:
Some cultural narratives equate sex with dominance and control. This belief can undermine the importance of consent and mutual respect, leading to unhealthy or even abusive dynamics. 
3. Sex and Emotional Detachment:
A common stereotype is that men are less emotionally involved in sex. This belief can hinder men from forming deep, meaningful connections and can perpetuate a cycle of casual, unfulfilling encounters.
Understanding how men learn about sex requires examining the intricate web of programming, conditioning, and deeply ingrained beliefs. From early family dynamics and school education to peer influence and media portrayals, these factors collectively shape men’s perceptions and behaviors around sex.






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Hello I’m Marc the creator of the Reset-it program and a TedX speaker.


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