Beliefnet
It's often debated today whether women can be emotionally detached in a sexual relationship with men, the same way men have been for thousands of years with women. Here's my take on this:1. Of course it's possible. All of us are capable of desensitizing ourselves to emotional situations. If I see a beggar on the street, I may have natural compassion for him, an intuitive response to share my bounty with him. But I can also close my heart and deaden myself to his pain. Likewise, a woman can be emotionally attached to a man, but she can, if she chooses to, deaden herself to him and just have sex with no strings attached. The question is, is this progress?2. What we are witnessing in society today is, on the one hand, very wonderful and redemptive: men are gravitating toward a greater femininity and away from harsh masculinity. They are more domesticated, more sensitive, men apt to speak more about their emotions.At the same time, emotions are being labeled as something negative. It's almost as if we all now agree that people are here to be used as commodities. My grandfather (this is a joke) once said to me: "Never fall out with anyone. You never know when you might need to use them again."This absence of strong emotional ties has led to an adversarial relationship between men and women in which they're competing against each other rather than joining together as intimate partners and soulmates to create bonds of affection. It's rather like a game of who can suffer the least pain.

Women are at the forefront today of telling men that they don't actually need them. Men have let women down, so the female response has been to gradually wean themselves off male companionship. Many professional women today treat love as a luxury rather than a necessity. Their jobs and careers are necessary, but their men are not.

3. Women have a totally different approach to sex than men do. Whereas men have a natural compartmentalization of mind and heart, women experience a natural integration of the two.

In other words, for a man sexual desire is largely physiological and hormonal; for a woman it's largely emotional, and it's born of a desire to be intimate.

Of course, women can compartmentalize in the same way that men can, but the problem is that later they'll find it very difficult to reunite the mind and the heart.

4. Women today have thus become a male caricature, a male invention. Because men have been so manipulative and broken so many hearts, women have learned to be hardened. They go into relationships with battle armor.

But why would we pride ourselves on having armor in a relationship? In other words, the question is, are women today liberated by their inability to experience an emotional bond as a result of sexual relationships, or are they in a greater prison? I think they have allowed themselves to enter yet another male prison.

They naturally want to feel for someone, but they are refusing to allow themselves to do so for fear he won't reciprocate, or that he'll just use them. The result is two people who play a game of manipulative one-upmanship.

5. To the argument that women are wired just as men are, that there's no difference between male and female sexuality, and that women enjoy sex just as much as men without commitment to a relationship, there's a phenomenal amount of evidence that refutes that.

Firstly, studies show that men who cheat on their wives have one-night stands; women who cheat on their husbands almost always have relationships lasting an average of four to five years.

Secondly, studies show that women get far more excited sexually from a committed lover than from a one-night stand. Although women may be capable of having commitment-free sex, they don't show the same capacity to have great commitment-free sex.

Finally, because sex involves and absorbs our strongest impulses, it leaves a lot of confusion in its wake, creating more problems than it solves. The purpose, therefore, of a sex-relationship counselor is to help people identify what they want most. I have consistently maintained that sex is the outward manifestation of an inner desire for intimacy, rather than merely an external form of sensual gratification.

Women are naturally more intuitive about how this works. As the ancient rabbis said, whereas men are smart, women are wise. Using sex as the highest form of knowledge is part of the feminine intuition.

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