1. Be proud of yourself as a man. This involves valuing your masculinity and living your life as a model of a healthy man.
Be self-accepting and take pride in your sexuality. Value your masculinity and sexuality—even when others are negative.
2. Be honest with yourself. Start with accepting that your sexual thoughts and feelings are normal. Then evaluate your thoughts and feelings by these healthy criteria:
(a) Do your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours help you to feel proud of yourself as a sexual man?
(b) Are your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours respectful of others?
(c) To what extent do your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours build mature intimacy with your partner?
3. Accept childhood and adolescent sexual experiences without shame. Otherwise, anxiety or shame about these experiences can inhibit affirmation of your adult sexuality.
4. Remember that sexuality is a lifelong developmental process, with changing and growing sexual satisfaction throughout your life.
5. Keep your head “screwed on straight.” Be conscious about filtering the negative sexual messages in our commercial society that are aimed at getting your attention rather than promoting sexually healthy attitudes and values. Be aware of your sexual cognitions, how they influence your feelings, and their role in your behaviors. This awareness facilitates making sophisticated choices for sexually healthy thoughts, feelings, and actions.
6. Respect your biological imperative and regulate your sexual emotions and behaviours. If you minimize this biological force and do not accept the need to regulate your sex impulses, your sex drive will betray you and at some point will get you into trouble. Respect the power of sex:
(a) respect your body’s drive for sex;
(b) be aware of your automatic predisposition to objectify sex; and
(c) monitor the tendency to emotionally sexualize other emotions. Remember that healthy male sexuality is self-regulated to promote your individual and relationship health. Self-awareness is a powerful tool for your sexual health. Self-regulation requires you to be aware and engage in healthy self-talk: “What’s happening is sexually intriguing – I like looking and it titillates me.” This awareness empowers you to take control: “I’ll refocus so I do not bait myself with sexual lust.” Appreciate the calming (not eradication) of your sex impulses. Remember, the role of healthy sex is to promote individual and relationship well-being.
7. Take good care of your body as the solid foundation for your sexual health. Remember that what is good for your body is good for your sexual health, and what is harmful to your body is harmful to your sexuality. Adapt to the physical challenges in your life, especially with illness and aging.
8. Let your sexual mantra be to pursue sexual pleasure and eroticism as an intimate team. Therein lies genuine sexual and relationship satisfaction.
9. Adopt the Good-Enough Sex model. Review and refresh your understanding of the features of this model (as your life, body, and relationship change).
10. Value intimate, erotic partner sex. Be realistic, fitting sex into your honest lives. Remember that it is normal for sexual quality to vary. Flexibility and variability are characteristics of couples who are sexually satisfied. Sex is about cooperation and sharing sexual pleasure, not in chasing perfect sexual performance.
11. Be aware that there are multiple negative messages about sex in our culture. You need to affirm that your sexuality and sexual relationship is good, healthy, and important to your relationship. God created sex. Don’t let anyone denigrate your healthy sexuality. You will benefit from giving yourself a pep talk every now and then. Remind yourself: Feel proud that you are a sexual man. Your body is good. Your sex drive is good. Your desire for intimacy and eroticism is good. Your partner is your intimate friend; be an intimate team with her. Sex is of lifelong importance.
12. Live your life as a leader – personally as well as sexually. Be a role model of healthy sexual attitudes and behaviours. Because we men are seldom honest with each other, it is powerful to be able to set a positive example for other men, for your spouse, and for your children. This can be as simple as talking honestly with other men, respectfully asking a buddy to stop hitting on a woman who is obviously uncomfortable, saying that you respect and value your sex life with your wife. Don’t act like a prude; rather, look for opportunities to be positive, to model your strong value of sex and the importance of sexual satisfaction as an intimate team, and to show respect for the complexity of sex and your sexual relationship.
13. Remember key concepts: Sex is good. Integrate your sexual thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Regulate, don’t castigate. Fit your sex life into your daily life; bring your daily life to your sex life. Positive, realistic expectations enhance your sexuality.
Sexual problems are normal during your life. Address them – resolve, modify, or adapt to them. Ultimately, sex is about your relationship: be an intimate team. Good-Enough Sex is great sex because it is honest and genuine. You are a sexual man from the day you are born to the day you die. Take a moment to focus on one or two goals for your sexual growth. Write these down. Examples include: Talk with your partner about your satisfaction with her. Reinforce being an intimate team. Pay more attention to your sexual attitudes and focus of attention and consider how they affect you. Setup an appointment as a couple with a sex therapist to discuss a sexual concern or dysfunction. Write down your sexual expectations of your body and partner sex and evaluate whether they are reasonable.
Consider how you might become more of a sex-positive leader with your buddies or children. Accept your sexual past for what it was, appreciate where you are now, and commit to your growing sexual health in the future. You want sexual health and satisfaction to play a positive 15-20% role in your life and relationship.
You are a sexual man. Be healthy. Feel proud.