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Busting the Myth of Male Sexuality — The Need to Be Desired

Provocative new research opens up dialogue about less familiar aspects of male desire and need to be wanted.

9 min readMar 6, 2021


  • Interviews with heterosexual men in relationships revealed that feeling desired was “very important” to the vast majority.
  • Only 12 percent of men reported that their partners made them feel as sexually desired as they wanted to feel.
  • Expressions of desire include compliments, dirty talk, and communicating about sex, flirting, romantic touch, and initiating sex.
  • Sexual scripts and stereotypes can be limiting. Recognizing that men and women both want to feel desired may contribute to healthier relationships.

There’s no question that our culture is — ahem — still evolving when it comes to sexuality. Male heterosexual desire is still highlighted more than feminine desire, queer desire or other forms of longing and arousal. Yet there is an apparent paradox. The caricatured version of male sexual desire dominates media and culture while nuanced views remain under-represented, teaching the wrong lesson about what male sexuality is and can be. Undetected, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.



Grant H Brenner MD DFAPA

Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst, Entrepreneur, Writer, Speaker, Disaster Responder, Advocate, Photographer