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For over a decade, David Tian, Ph.D. — a uniquely qualified therapist, life coach, and former university professor — has coached tens of thousands of people from over 87 countries to achieve happiness and success in their relationships, dating, psychology, and lifestyle.
Dr. Tian has been featured in international media, as well as co-hosting a radio show on national radio and a weekly dating advice column in a national newspaper in Singapore.
The show, “Man Up: Masculinity for the Intelligent Man” (https://www.davidtianphd.com/blog/), is David’s way of helping as many people as possible enjoy empowering and fulfilling lives, while contributing to the global understanding of masculinity in modern times. In the show, he takes your questions posed in the Man Up private Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/manupcommunity/) and answers based on his experience coaching tens of thousands of students around the world for over a decade.
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Is The Need For Sex Different From The Need for Love?
- David Tian Ph.D. differentiates the need for sex with the need for love.
- David Tian Ph.D addresses the question of, can be the need for sex be separated with the need for love?
- In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. explains why we need to address our emotional need for love, our emotional need for connection, our emotional need for security and significance.
David Tian: Boom, stop! I’m David Tian, Ph.D., and in this video, I answer the question: Is the need for sex different from the need for love? Welcome to the Man Up show.
Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I’m David Tian, Ph.D. and this is Man Up!
Hey, I’m David Tian, Ph.D. and for over the past 12 years, I’ve been helping hundreds of thousands of people in over 87 countries attain success, happiness, and fulfillment in life and love. I really want to say find emotion — become emotionally skilled to kick ass in life and find fulfilment. That’s what I wanted to say. Now, here I am at the Pantheon in Rome. The subject today is involving whether the need for sex is the same as your need for love, and I wanted to shoot that in the Vatican where we were this morning, but it’s too hectic and then it rained a little bit.
So anyway, we’re shooting in front of the Pantheon. This structure is almost 2,000 years old, so pretty cool backdrop here. Alright, question from John Smith. “David Tian, if I feel like I need sex, how do I start to get these needs…” I’m going to read the original the way he wrote it. “If I feel like I need sex, how do I started to get this need met even if those aren’t the needs that I have? Since if I am needy, women will lose attraction to me and this will backfire on me. It will gigantic cycle of failure.” Okay, so alright John, this is in response to a post I put earlier about being able to meet your own needs for love, connection, significance, security, and until you can meet your own needs.
And I know for a lot of dudes, that sounds bizarre, like, “Heh, love yourself. Can you really do that?” Yes, you can. Mature people do, but a lot of people, immature people, don’t. So, anyway, that was my post, and it was in a cool quote card thing with the graphic and he responded to that. So then, there are other guys who chimed in and said, “The drive for sex is separate from human needs for love, connection, security, and significance. Would love for you to expand on that.” So, that’s from Brian.
And then Nico wrote further, “Also, I am also curious, David Tian, what you mean with the separate drive for sex from need for connection, that both in men and women, these are highly interwoven, and to separate them means dissociating your awareness from your body and the feelings that reside them, or perhaps I misunderstood what you meant.” And then he goes into attachment styles which is a completely different topic. So, I responded to each of those guys and as much little time… As much time as I’d like, and I jotted out or typed out some quick responses, so I’m doing a video for them for this.
“A future Man Up episode would be interesting to see how you would teach neurological men to separate these two needs.” Okay, so is the need for sex different from the need for love? The short answer is yes. Okay, if you want a more detailed answer, the more detailed answer is that the drive or the need for sex, if you feel it, is a biological need that’s in our genes, in our DNA because that’s how we came to be as human beings, and this time, we’ve evolved as a result of evolution, and that has hardwired into us a need to, or a feeling, a drive, to reproduce. Because if we didn’t have that drive, we wouldn’t reproduce and then we would go instinct, okay?
So, it’s evolutionarily adaptive, our genes reward our bodies for having this need and this feeling, this drive biologically to procreate. And can sex be like love, be like connection, be more spiritual? Of course. And let’s look at love like another biological need: the need for water, the need for food, the need for shelter. And we have these needs for food and water, everyone can understand food and drink. And sometimes, eating and drinking can be spiritual and have higher level meanings. So for instance, the tea ceremony, the famous cha dao, all of the philosophy and practice around taking tea. It’s a whole world view, it’s about life. You could do this for a living. You could be a master in tea ceremonies.
Another one could just be, if you had a really great meal with friends and you do this on a regular basis, this could be also be elevated to where your need for food blends with your need for connection. Here’s an even deeper one. We were at the Vatican earlier today. In Catholicism, that actually means that that wine becomes in this kind of magical way, the blood of Jesus and the bread actually becomes flesh. So, you end up eating a human being’s flesh in the Catholic view. And for many, for Protestants, that’s just a metaphor, but either way, they transformed an act of eating and drinking into a spiritual thing, into something very holy, a sacrament. Of course, so you can do this. But the eating of the food in the sacrament of communion is secondary to the spiritual aspect of it.
So, yes, sex and eating can rise to the level of a deeper need of love and connection and spiritual needs. But can they also be separated? Obviously. If you are famished and you just wolf down your food because you haven’t eaten in forever and you’re starving, that’s meeting your need for food because you’re hungry. It is not a spiritual sacrament when you’re doing that. Similarly, sex is also a biological drive that you can meet separately. A lot of nice guys confuse their need for sex with their need for love. So, they feel horny, and they feel desperate, and they also feel desperate for love and connection. And they get them all confused and they end up leading with their need for sex and saying stuff that is about their need for love. This confuses the dating situation for them.
So, it’s really helpful for a guy if he is less needy. So, there’s a really great movie for this. There’s something about Mary and there’s a line in that like, “Don’t go on a date with a loaded gun” and it’s a joke, but there’s some truth to it. And it’s that if you’re just super horny, then you’re not going to be as in tuned to listening to and feeling her emotions and so on. You’re just not going to be as present because you’re driven by this need. Just like if you’re super thirsty or super hungry, you’re not going to be really — and your stomach’s growling and everything. You’re not going to be super patient and sitting patiently, listening to a three hour lecture or something. Your need for food and water or drink is going to overpower your more rational senses for listening to that lecture.
Okay, so can they come apart? Yes, absolutely. And they come apart like in the sacrament as an example of how they come together, and the tea ceremony, how they come together. But they can come apart in a different way. So, C.S. Lewis was a Christian writer, and he famously wrote in his book Mere Christianity that if the biological drive for food was like the biological drive for sex, then we would be treating them similarly. So, men go to strip clubs, or people go to strip clubs and they watch people take off their clothes and they salivate over this. And the Christian argument is, the evolutionist would just say, “Oh, that’s a biological need.”
The Christian would say, “No, it’s not. That’s a sin and that’s not just a biological need.” Because if it were just a biological need, it would be like food and it would be as unusual as having people buy tickets to watch people unveil food, like a strip joint for food, right? So, you have food, it’s all covered up, and slowly, they lift it, and you show a little bit of food and they cover it, show a little bit more food and cover it, and then eventually you show it and everyone’s like, “Oh, yes!” And C.S. Lewis says that never happens. We never just watch food, salivate over it, and think that would be really, really… And not just think, but feel that we want to devour it. So, he would say that it … It doesn’t apply in the food analogy in that case, so this analogy does not hold. Food is not like sex in that way. Sex is holy.
Actually, C.S. Lewis was before the time of the Food Television Network. So nowadays, we actually watch a lot of people, millions of people around the world, watch other people eat, make, cook, talk about food, show it to you, and you just watch it for hours, salivating over it and thinking, “Oh, I’d really like to go and eat that.” So, we actually do now in the modern world treat the food as — or have that desire for food in a similar way to the desire for sex, because they’re actually both biological drives. Again, at a more mature level, at a more spiritual level, can sex come together with love and connection and transmute into something greater? Of course, but that’s not the case for the needy guy, the nice guy. He’s just confused and conflated, his desperate need for sex with his desperate need for love, and approval, and connection, and they’re all messed up in there.
And it would be better if he would just untangle those and be able to meet each of those needs separately in himself so that when he goes on a freaking date, he’s not going to be horny and confusing his need for connection with his need to have sex. And so, in fact, C.S. Lewis was wrong. Sex and food are a lot closer together than he wanted to think, that that argument that he made made it sound. So, there, that’s a longer answer. There’s a biological need for sex that’s separate. That’s a lot like food, and water, and so on. Because if we human beings didn’t have sex, we would be extinct, we would die. So, the need for sex is actually in our DNA. We are evolved for it.
Now, some people can, using willpower, say no to it, just like some people with willpower can say no to food for a very long time or say no to drink for a very long time, with willpower. But is it natural to just want those things? Yes, that’s actually a biological thing. And then that’s separate from your emotional need for love, your emotional need for connection, your emotional need for security and significance. So, to be a mature, non-needy person, you need to be able to meet each of those needs on your own in yourself. Okay, I think that sums it up. We got a lot more sightseeing to do before the sun completely sets, so I’ll leave you with a shot of the courtyard in the Pantheon. I haven’t done a Man Up show in a while so I’m stumbling over my words. Hope you got the message, and until I see you next time, David Tian signing…
Oh, by the way, click the link, join the group, join the Man Up Facebook group. We’re over 23,000 guys in there and this question comes right out of that Facebook group, so see you inside the Facebook group. Until then, David Tian, signing out. Man Up!