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For men, how often does emotional intimacy lead to physical desire?


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Old 12th May 2011, 11:11 PM   #1
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For men, how often does emotional intimacy lead to physical desire?

There is a recent "can men and women be friends" thread and it made me wonder about the issue of emotional intimacy for men.

I wonder if a part of being emotionally intimate with a woman is due to an attraction. Like, you want to open up to them in part perhaps because your initial attraction is physical? Or is it the other way around where you become physically attracted because you have exposed yourself emotionally?

Or do the two not necessarily go together?

I think women are socialized to be emotionally intimate with platonic and romantic friends. And maybe men are more programmed that emotional intimacy is a part of getting together with a woman?

What do you guys think?

Thanks.
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Old 12th May 2011, 11:41 PM   #2
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For most healthy men, they are emotionally intimate with the women they're having sex with. This is either due to nature or nurture or both. Further, as the pursuers of sex and procreation, men generally necessarily receive fewer approvals than they desire, so any potential which has promise stirs their loins. Contrastingly, sex is available, all else being equal, to women in quantities which meet or exceed their desires, so they view potentials in a completely different manner.

As a man who has been emotionally intimate with many women, both platonic and romantic, both healthy and unhealthy, I would offer up a somewhat distressing datapoint that, in platonic situations, IME women like it when a man is emotionally intimate with them but I've only experienced rare cases where the woman genuinely likes being emotionally intimate with the man. By this I mean a balance of care, interest and empathy, where she cares about, is proactively interested in and empathizes with his feelings. I also, perhaps as an anomaly, experienced this in my marriage.

As I offered up in the referenced thread, indeed emotional intimacy did alter my heretofore completely platonic feelings for one of my exW's good friends as she ramped up the intimacy and interest over a couple years. What I did not know at the time was she was beginning to use me to replace what she wasn't getting in her M. At the end, I did begin to feel a sexual response to her overtures, no doubt. After she and her H split up, which happened during our D, she hooked up with another man and I became a non-person again, meaning, like the flip of a light switch, there was nothing; no empathy, no care, no overt platonic friendship. The intimacy was situational and I ultimately was just a warm body/mind. I have numerous other datapoints similar to this with other MW's over the decades and less markedly obvious ones with unmarried women.

My ananlysis concludes that most smart men see emotional intimacy given to a woman like a woman giving sex to a man. Blow your wad too early and you never or rarely get laid (as a man) or get an emotional commitment (as a woman) . Smart men fake emotional intimacy until they get sex and commitment from a woman, simply because women have the predominant power in those areas. They also don't waste that very precious commodity on people who don't offer them something significantly positive in their lives, relevant to platonic relationships. I'm not so smart, hence a bit envious. Happy to be enlightened further

Last edited by carhill; 12th May 2011 at 11:46 PM..
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Old 13th May 2011, 12:02 AM   #3
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So, basically, you think that emotional intimacy does lead to physical desire for many men?

I imagine there are a lot of committed (in marriage) folks who are starved for emotional intimacy - men and women. And, perhaps for many of them someone paying attention to their emotional needs is a powerful aphrodisiac.

But then single folk are also sometimes starved for emotional intimacy.
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Old 13th May 2011, 12:26 AM   #4
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IMO, for most men, physical desire is either there or not. Emotionally intimacy is merely one path to satisfying it. My wiring is anomalous so my viewpoint is somewhat skewed from most men, and evidenced by my failures in romantic situations. I'll seek some further feedback and add more later.
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Old 13th May 2011, 12:44 AM   #5
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Carhill is right. The desire is either there or it isn't, feelings don't alter that. And when it comes to getting emotionally intimate with a girl, even if I do develop a desire for emotional intimacy with a girl I will hold it back until we have had sex, which these days usually doesn't take very long and I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing. Even then I am resistant to let go. I have come to the conclusion that there is simply no benefit for me to share any feelings I might have with a girl I'm dating until she has done so first. Women can disagree with this all they want, but the fact is a smart man will let the woman do the attaching first, then he will gradually reciprocate. Girls become either bored or frightened away with any other situation.

I have been called a player for dating more than one woman at a time and keeping several options available to me at once, even though women are notorious for keeping their own options available to them as well ("just friends, plan Bs, friendzoned guys, etc."). But the fact is, it keeps me out of trouble. That's all there is to it.
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Old 13th May 2011, 2:20 AM   #6
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tricky but interesting topic. i think emotional intimacy and physical desire do not necessarily go together. but someone who has a personal agenda would offer emotional or physical intimacy in the guise of a possible commitment.

i think two people, can remain platonic friends whilst offering emotional intimacy. i just have a slight problem with the word "intimacy" but it's all about semantics hehe. i think for that to be possible, they have to have strict friendship boundaries (especially if they are attached or one is attached).
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Old 13th May 2011, 2:30 AM   #7
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Here's a thread which contains some relevant examples of intimacy from myself and others.

As R_P pointed out, some/many people attach 'penetration' (sex) to intimacy. I do not. I see emotional and sexual intimacy as mutually exclusive but often are combined into one continuum. How often is dependent upon the psychology of the individual.

As I opined in another thread, when a woman starts down the slippery slope of intimacy, with myself anyway, don't be surprised if my penis gets in the way.
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Old 13th May 2011, 6:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLoneSock View Post
Carhill is right. The desire is either there or it isn't, feelings don't alter that. And when it comes to getting emotionally intimate with a girl, even if I do develop a desire for emotional intimacy with a girl I will hold it back until we have had sex, which these days usually doesn't take very long and I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing. Even then I am resistant to let go. I have come to the conclusion that there is simply no benefit for me to share any feelings I might have with a girl I'm dating until she has done so first. Women can disagree with this all they want, but the fact is a smart man will let the woman do the attaching first, then he will gradually reciprocate. Girls become either bored or frightened away with any other situation.

I have been called a player for dating more than one woman at a time and keeping several options available to me at once, even though women are notorious for keeping their own options available to them as well ("just friends, plan Bs, friendzoned guys, etc."). But the fact is, it keeps me out of trouble. That's all there is to it.
That might work on most girls, but that's how men have driven me away. I remember dating a guy and when I broke-up with him because he didn't show emotional intimacy (and I don't give up sex or show emotional intimacy myself until a man does this), it was weird when he started getting all emotional and telling me he loved me and things. I said,"Why didn't you tell me this before? =/ Now it's too late."

And my current boyfriend opened up to me pretty quickly and that's how I became comfortable and attached to him.
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Old 13th May 2011, 6:24 AM   #9
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lol i just realized that this was a question for men XD, whoops
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Old 13th May 2011, 6:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carhill View Post
Smart men fake emotional intimacy until they get sex and commitment from a woman, simply because women have the predominant power in those areas. They also don't waste that very precious commodity on people who don't offer them something significantly positive in their lives, relevant to platonic relationships. I'm not so smart, hence a bit envious. Happy to be enlightened further
you were going along so well, then lost it at smart/not smart. i don't think it's that simple. you're obviously smart to be so well spoken. it's more complicated than smart/not smart.

to me, i don't have a problem with telling women how i feel about them first, whether it be positive or negative. if they don't feel the same way, fine. no harm no foul, we can go our separate ways....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enchanted Girl View Post
That might work on most girls, but that's how men have driven me away. I remember dating a guy and when I broke-up with him because he didn't show emotional intimacy (and I don't give up sex or show emotional intimacy myself until a man does this), it was weird when he started getting all emotional and telling me he loved me and things. I said,"Why didn't you tell me this before? =/ Now it's too late."

And my current boyfriend opened up to me pretty quickly and that's how I became comfortable and attached to him.
...because there's the above example. to me, being the one to initiate and have that feeling returned is the best part of this crazy game we all play. that's what men do, we're supposed to initiate contact, and show interest first, and all that goes with those things.

sure, you gotta frame the comments and statements and questions in such a way to suggest the response you're looking for, to make it easy for her to simply say 'yes'. or maybe that's what you're saying and i just missed your point entirely.
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Old 13th May 2011, 6:54 AM   #11
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Emotional intimacy is different from telling a woman you find her attractive and want to date her, in other words your *sexual* feelings for her.


I'll share an example, a great one actually:

The 'friend' from my journals, someone I had loved for over two decades and with whom I had great emotional intimacy though we had resolved to a mutual friendship, received a phone call and I could see in her face that something was terribly wrong. She looked at me and I looked at her and I immediately called to her boyfriend to come to her. He looked at me funny and I simply told him 'get over there, she's in trouble'.

It was no longer my job to be her ersatz boyfriend. He was f*cking her so he could hold her while she found out her daughter was faced with a birth-defected baby. I knew/felt/sensed what was coming. Her BF was clueless. That's what intimacy is.
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Old 13th May 2011, 6:55 AM   #12
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Being a guy, I have to analyze every problem mathematically:

Emotional intimacy + physical attraction = girlfriend

Emotional intimacy + no physical attraction = sister/friend

Physical attraction + no emotional intimacy = fling/sex buddy
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Old 13th May 2011, 6:55 AM   #13
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For me it only works in one direction -- physical attraction first, followed by emotional attraction. And for girls that I am friends and not having sex with, it usually goes: physical attraction --> emotional attraction --> loss of physical attraction because I don't objectify them anymore. Like this girl I'm currently addicted to (see the addicted to a person thread), she is insanely good looking and I started out talking to her because of that, but then we became really good friends and even though I still find her insanely good looking I am more emotionally than physically attracted to her now. And whereas I used to fantasize about her all the time, now I don't even think about her sexually anymore.
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Old 13th May 2011, 1:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EasyHeart View Post
Being a guy, I have to analyze every problem mathematically:

Emotional intimacy + physical attraction = girlfriend

Emotional intimacy + no physical attraction = sister/friend

Physical attraction + no emotional intimacy = fling/sex buddy
However with friend you want to stay around longer and the physical short comings become less and less important thus the attraction increases and given the chance the penis will be inserted.
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Old 13th May 2011, 2:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EasyHeart View Post
Being a guy, I have to analyze every problem mathematically:

Emotional intimacy + physical attraction = girlfriend

Emotional intimacy + no physical attraction = sister/friend

Physical attraction + no emotional intimacy = fling/sex buddy
This post spoke well over 4,000 words. Easy is right on. I think there's a reason you are much much more likely to see male/male and female/female best friends. It's because there's this little thing called biology. And that bad boy goes into effect any time a man interacts with a woman initially.
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