Even after they tie the knot and pledge not to cheat and observe sexual abstinence outside marriage, men, it turns out, often struggle with sexual temptations.
According to a study, newly-wedded men expressed surprise that sexual temptations continued to haunt them. They found it satanic, and beastly.
They reported feelings like they could not discuss sex with their friends and did not know how to comfortably broach the subject with their wives.
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“Sexual purity and pledging abstinence are most commonly thought of as feminine, something girls and young women promise before marriage. But I wanted to look at this from the men’s point of view,” said Sarah Diefendorf, sociology graduate student at University of Washington.
Studying a group of 15 young men, Diefendorf learned that once married, they faced trouble with sexual temptations.
The newly-wed men talked about sex as both “sacred” – a gift from God meant for the marriage bed – and “beastly” if it occurs outside marriage.
They revealed they continue to think of sex in terms of control, and how the so-called beastly elements of sex – temptations by pornography and extramarital affairs – do not disappear with the transition to married life.
“Before you get married the biggest thing you struggle with, usually, is premarital sex,” one of the men told Diefendorf.
“But once you are married, you cannot be tempted by that anymore, so you get attacked by completely different things…Essentially Satan has to find a new angle to attack on,” he added.
Diefendorf hopes that her study leads to more positive discussions of sex and how it is healthy, especially within the context of abstinence-only sex education.
She presented her findings at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in San Francisco Aug 17.