Sex as Metaphor
We've got it all wrong, says America's numero uno sex researcher. A limp penis is not a problem of mechanics. According to Alan Bell, head of what we used to call the Kinsey Institute, at Indiana University, it's a sign of trouble in the ways people are connecting-or not connecting--with those close to them.
The mechanics are secondary to the personal and interpersonal dramas that get played out in sexual exchanges. What matters more than the sex organ is the spin husbands and wives give to a sexual event, because every gesture is loaded with important issues about self, partner, and relationship. "It is how sexual experiences are construed rather than what literally happens that will determine the outcome of a particular experience for the relationship," Bell explained.
He gave 120 couples open-ended interviews and a 350item questionnaire that left no cognitive, emotional, or behavioral stone unturned. Respondents were asked about their perception of why their spouse engages in sex with them; what they attribute their sexual highs and lows to; how hopeful they were that their sexual difficulties would be remedied; the importance of sex in the relationship; and more. Much more. Among the results: