Users of sexting represent a particular spectrum of the population. Some people don’t seem to realize the meaning or the full impact of their sexting activities on their reputation, career, their families and other people around them.

This attitude is often due to a temporary suspension of clear thinking these people experience when in the throw of intense desires. This suspension of judgment prevents them from reflecting on the meaning and consequences of their actions. In these cases, they act as though they were above all social and moral conventions. They may believe, unrealistically, that they can get away with what they are doing without any negative repercussions, as they tend to minimize their actions and overvalue their abilities to keep them hidden from others. When caught, they show bravado, even hubris, in justifying their actions

Yes, it is true that powerful alpha males may have more propensities for lusty conquests, as Dr. Fisher stated. They also have more resources available, which makes it easier for them to create opportunities for sexual enjoyment. The long list of politicians caught in illicit affairs and sexual activities seems to confirm this view. Add to this the fact that the media, who in the past protected these kind of “private’ activities in public people, now seem to have no qualms in exposing and sensationalizing them. This makes all of us more aware of the extent of these dysfunctional activities and of how people respond to getting exposed. The recent case of the congressman caught sexting is a case in point.

While there doesn’t seem to be any doubt that voracious sexual appetites and acting out on them may be elements associated with power, drive, success and inflated self confidence, the challenge to restrain from acting on their urges is not theirs alone. All people, at one point or another, have fought with their urges, caught on the one hand with what they want to do and, on the other, with doing the ‘right’ thing. To explain the actions of high testosterone people as purely physiological and to a great extent out of their control is too superficial and simplistic. Furthermore, this explanation seems to provide an easy justification for these people as not being able to help themselves.

The conception of manhood in the Western tradition historically emphasized the ability to control and restrain one’s sexual desires and sexual acting out through the use of willpower and the intellect as being the measure of a man. So, we may ask, how is masculinity conceptualized and viewed in our society today?

In the next blog we will address this question and discuss whether or not this concept of manhood is still relevant in today’s society.

Please stay with us and contribute to the discussion with your experiences and viewpoints.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Daniela Roher, I am a psychotherapist trained in Europe and the US and have been in practice for over 30 years. I have studied in Italy (University of Torino), England (Universities of Cambridge and Oxford), and the United States (Wayne State University), thereby achieving a deep understanding of the human mind and psychopathology. My training includes classes and workshops at the Tavistock Institute in London, England and the London Family Institute, as well as at UCLA. I received a postdoctoral certificate in adult psychoanalytic psychotherapy from the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute, and this model continues to deeply influence my approach and work today.