Sex and Love
from "Sex In Hum an Loving" by Eric B erne, as a tribute to the author of the book after which we named this website.
The sexual power of the male has three elements: potency, force, and drive.
Potency is shown by the firmness of his erection, force by the ardor of his thrust, and drive by the muzzle velocity of his ejaculation.
There are several degrees of potency or erection. In the first, the penis is slightly enlarged and hangs a little away from the body. In a social situation, the bearer may hardly be aware that he is quickened.
He will suffer no embarrassment, since the enlargement cannot usually be noticed by those around him.
This condition may be called 'social stir', as in the following news item: 'Amaryllis caused a social stir among the men as she entered the room in her erectile miniskirt.'
At this point it should be mentioned that most women know the difference between 'well-dressed' and 'not well-dressed', but only a few know the difference between a 'good-looking dress' or a 'low cut dress' and an 'erectile dress'. The same applies to other articles of female apparel.
In the second degree, the organ is long and stiff but will still bend if it is hand-snapped or meets any opposition.
Being so, unless the partner is open and well lubricated, it will not be able to penetrate, but will give way instead.
This is usually due to the presence of some doubts as to whether to go ahead with the project.
The man may be seduced by the woman or by his own desire to prove his potency, but....his phallus remains unconvinced.
It may be a question of making up after a quarrel, or of the immediate consequences of the act, or of what the future may hold, or of some lack of firmness in his attitude towards the opposite sex.
In short, there may be some fear of or hesitation in committing himself at that time, which he (his Adult) may be willing to overlook.
But his penis (under the control of his more sensitive Child) is not so easily inveigled as he is, and remains skeptical in spite of this license.
In the third degree, the phallus reaches its full size but not its full nobility. It is stuffed, rigid, and ready for action of a kind, but sometimes it falters too quickly and the man experiences premature ejaculation in lovemaking.
This is colloquially known as 'quick on the trigger'. In the fourth stage, the man is like a charging unicorn, not only stiff and ready, but so turgid and eager that he feels he must start his thrust or burst with the fullness of his potency....
Once the stronghold is captured, in church or in the hay, the powerful urge of thrust takes over.
The uncorrupted biological man feels an overwhelming desire to push into the vagina as hard as he can and deposit his semen there.
He will thrust again and again, reaching for the profoundest depths, and clinging to his partner with all his strength as though no earthly force could ever tear them apart through all of time, even though he senses that the end is not far away.
(Now, here's an interesting thing. As a man, I know exactly what Berne means when he writes this. But I wonder how many men understand it?
The urge to thrust and climax, to pour semen into your partner, is of course totally biological, but when you feel it in the essence of your male being, it's different in quality to the urge to thrust.
It's hard to describe - but it's something like an urge to possess, to take over, to pierce to the heart of the woman you love...whether or not you do love her.
In that moment, she is the most desirable, the most arousing, the most important thing in the universe.
To thrust into her, to climax, regardless of her needs, is the male imperative.
And to symbolize this taking of her, body and soul, there is no better choice from all the different sexual positions than the man on top position.
This is the lovemaking position in which a man can penetrate his partner most deeply, where you can hold her down, where you can show the power of your masculinity.
The man on top position is both symbolically and physically the expression of the male genetic heritage.)
Such ardor is most likely to occur if his phallus is in the the fourth and most noble state of its erection, the genuine procreative instrument of human nature.
But if there is any spurious element behind its force, the animal thrust will lose its power and must be consciously reinforced.
This most commonly happens if the man is more interested in glory than in sex, is frightened of what he has got himself into, or is swindling the woman for his own pleasure.
In those cases he may try to make sex last as long as possible to hear her sighs, or as short as possible to get away quickly, or or he may be aware of the time but callously indifferent.
If coming too fast - premature ejaculation - will hurt his pride, the thrusting scares him lest it throw the elixir out too soon; hence he may thrust but little, hoping thus to make it last at least until his mate is satisfied, after which he can proceed with a clear conscience and dignity unimpaired, at his own pace.
The unhampered biological thruster is so intent on what he is doing, withal automatically, that he does not concern himself with time or very much with his partner's reaction, although it gives him the deepest satisfaction if she does react naturally at that great dynamic moment when he attains his goal and deposits his seed where it will do most good.
Such an intensive, almost insensible attitude is exactly the one most likely to make a woman come. The force of such thrusts is not hard, it is biology.
But if the woman, instead of responding from her deepest and most genuine nature, becomes interested in the thrust as an end in itself, she may regard it and crave it as brutality, and the same goes for the man.
But the description of unhampered biological activity is an ideal rather than a reality. There is no such thing as unhampered sex in the human race.
All societies are organized around sexual prohibitions, which seep through even in moments of the highest excitement and and corrupt the purity of these responses.
At one end is compliance and over-concern, and at the other rebellion, cruelty and dishonesty. Somewhere in the middle is real intimacy and sexual pleasure, with free functioning of sexuality.
At its best, sex can be a blast-off from earthbound to 30000 feet, with an intoxicating slow descent.
But less than that can still be more than plenty, and even a flight above the housetops is more invigorating than keeping both feet on the ground.
No one can fairly demand more than going through the roof, and every foot above that is a bonus. Male sexual issues.
What we are talking about here is the third aspect of masculine power.
Drive is the power with which the semen at the moment of ejaculation is hurled into the vagina by the piston-like contractions of the prostate. It is probable (although not certain) that the intensity of the orgasm depends on the power of the drive.
Thus on the quiet side is the man with an incomplete erection, restrained thrust, and low drive, and at the other extreme the one with an overstuffed ram-like phallus, who thrusts with mighty abandon and propels the semen with great power into the place provided for it by nature.
But anywhere along this spectrum, the man can impregnate the woman, and if she is properly prepared, also cause her to have an orgasm.
Of these three elements, the one most under conscious control is thrust. The erection can be terminated by an act of will, which simply means saying Stop!, but there is no magic word which will bring it back or harden it again. There has to be some bait, either living or artificial, to make it rise.
The most automatic is ejaculation, which cannot be consciously hastened and can be postponed for only a few seconds once it is triggered. That is why learning how to stop premature orgasm and getting treatment earning to stop premature ejaculation is so challenging.
The power of the drive depends mostly on physical factors, while the nobility of the erection and the force of the thrust depend on psychological ones.
The sexual power of a man is influenced chiefly by two women: his mother (or maybe his big sister), who encouraged or discouraged his masculinity and his sexuality while he was growing up; and his partner, who has it in her power to elevate and stimulate, or to depress and inhibit him, by the way she responds.
The older man is particularly sensitive about his mate. If she turns him off too often, he may begin to lose his potency and go into middle-age droop, a condition which may become progressively more severe, but is nearly always reversible if put in the hands of an enthusiastic practitioner.
Often a man's sexual power is reflected in his daily life, as many wives maintain. He may be hard, aggressive, and full of drive, or he may bend easily in the face of opposition, lack force and thrust, and dribble off at the end or fail to finish what he begins
Sex In Human Loving, by Eric Berne, published in the USA in 1970.
Updated 23 February 2020