MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

What Men Want – in bed

Filed under: Men's Health — JohnPotter @ 3:10 pm Sat 28th August 2010

New book by Bettina Arndt

Across the world, the story is the same. Sex scandal. Media frenzy. Another prominent man caught with his pants down. So why do men take such risks for sex?

What Men Want - in bed by Bettina Arndt

Sex therapist Bettina Arndt’s new book, What Men Want–in bed is all about why sex matters so much to men. Over 150 men kept diaries for her, talking about what it is like to live with that constant sparking sexual energy–relentless, uncontrollable, all-consuming.

Their painfully honest, confronting, often hilarious stories explain their quest for sexual adventure, their secret delights, the thrill of giving pleasure, why some men turn to pornography and men’s delight in the Viagra revolution.

With every second man over fifty dealing with erection problems, Bettina offers advice on the wondrous new treatments giving men a new lease of sexual life. Her diarists explain what it is like to pop the little blue pills, or inject their best friend, or face impotence after prostate cancer treatments. Extraordinary his-and-hers diaries reveal how partners react to this bumpy journey showing the fallout when a man seeks a new lease of sexual life when his wife just wants him to hang up his spurs.

What Men Want –in bed lifts the lid on men’s longings, frustrations, their fears and their intense joy in making love. Here are some of the intriguing stories:

  • Men who turn to porn instead of hassling their wives for sex.
  • The 71-year old virgin using medication to reduce his strong libido.
  • Men who pop the little blue pill but find she’s asleep by the time it kicks in.
  • The man who wears his wife’s knickers under his bowling shorts.
  • The forty year-old who frolicked with his elderly lover in her nursing home.
  • The man who uses bicycle tubes to repair his faulty equipment.
  • News of the gene causing premature ejaculation and a brand new drug to fix it.

Erections, or lack thereof

The heart of this new book is about erections — looking at how couples cope when the man’s sexual equipment lets him down, particularly after prostate cancer treatments.

Men write with extraordinary candour about these deeply personal experiences. They talk about their fear that their nookie days are over:
‘This is not living this is just existing.’
‘I’ve lost my best friend, even if he was a dickhead.’

They share their joys at the miraculous new erection treatments:
‘The first time was amazing. It felt like I was 20 again. This is the best thing since sliced bread but much dearer.’
‘Willy was up, ready to play for 45 minutes–oh what a feeling Toyota!’

We hear from women who are keen to see their men put out to pasture:
‘I love my husband but I believe I have earned a rest.’
‘A chemically induced penis is not my idea of pleasure. It makes me feel used.’

But also women who are devastated when their men withdraw from sexual contact:
‘I felt rejected, undesirable and unfeminine. I was a weeping mess most days.’

It isn’t easy coaxing a reluctant partner while using treatments that take time to kick in.
‘I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve popped a little blue pill only to find her fast asleep.’

Here are the stories from the coalface as men–with many of their partners –reveal all about negotiating this difficult life passage. Their revealing stories will be an inspiration to others sharing the same journey.

Bettina Arndt trained as a clinical psychologist before becoming a sex therapist and social commentator. As editor of the influential Forum magazine, she spent ten years talking about sex on television and radio. She then moved on to writing about broader social issues, working as a columnist and feature writer for leading newspapers and magazines. She is the bestselling author of Private Lives, All About Us, Taking Sides and The Sex Diaries.

Published by Melbourne University Press, 1st September 2010. Available in all good bookshops.


  1. Mind, imagination, variety, stepping over the boundary-line, becoming, giving, being, being more. There is more to it than ‘dick-in, dick-out’.

    Comment by amfortas — Sat 28th August 2010 @ 5:48 pm

  2. NZ women.
    Oh man! I’ve seen some repellent sorts in my time.
    I could write a book I can tell you!

    Let’s see what’s sexually attractive and what’s a turn off.

    A safe environment is paramount.
    Fears of waking up the next morning and being told what was consensual sex wasn’t are a huge turn off. Tip offs are any talk of anything that remotely sounds like ‘wimmins’ issues pre-coitus, in fact pre anything!

    Keeping the make up and other camouflage to an absolute minimum is very important too.
    Lots of experience tells me if she’s using fake false advertising on the outside, it’s most likely she’s false in other ways too i.e false accusations, false ideas about men and women.
    She’s got a perm, high heels and wears padding here and there to disguise her real appearance. Pass on that!

    If she sponges time, advice and finances without enough due reciprocity and treats such as taken for granted she’s not attractive either. She’s a bad deal and a liability. It very quickly gets tiring being used as a cross between a life coach-personal adviser, financial prop and emotional crutch. Another big turn off.
    Incidentally if she pulls the women do all the shitty work (housework) number she needs reminding on the way out of the door that we men don’t get paid for being 24/7/365 bodyguards!

    For me the boottom line these days is if she isn’t actively helping men with western misandry so rife she can kiss my arse (in a non sexual way with written consent first granted of course!)

    Gosh, I never thought I’d end up writing dating tips for women at MENZ.

    Comment by Skeptik — Sat 28th August 2010 @ 8:26 pm

  3. Thanks for the dating tips Skeptik. Well, that describes about four-fifths of the entire female population. Since it has described four-fifths of the female population for eons, not leaving men many options, that’s why laws were created to mitigate consequences of their behavior for men. With laws regulating them gone, not many options for men remain. In a way I’m grateful to the feminist movement because it has revealed the true nature of the people around me (men and women) to some degree (although there are still some really sneaky people – malignant narcissists are con-artists after all, which is what feminists and their male enablers are). Now I see what kind of world I’m really living in. I’ve given up trying to meet a woman with any substance, simply because there are so few and the effort of searching for one (and it is the male’s responsibility – don’t expect a woman to invest any time or effort even if she does have some character and integrity) is so great that it eclipses other opportunities for enjoying life. As someone else on this site posted (maybe you), women have priced themselves out of the market. As desirable as one is at the most basic emotional level, the consequences at every other level are so great that they aren’t worth the time or effort.

    Comment by Darryl X — Sun 29th August 2010 @ 5:54 am

  4. What do you need this book for? Aren’t you more interested in Children?

    Comment by Katherine — Mon 30th August 2010 @ 1:58 pm

  5. Katherine,
    such a book is useful as a discussion point for which sorts of women it is dangerous to be attracted to sexually attracted to.
    Given the very real and significant possibility of NZ men being unilaterally divorced and having their CHILDREN alienated against them I’d say ANY discussion about taking care in choosing a woman is highly relevant.
    See my posting #2 above.

    You can also add to the list of turn offs I wrote in #3 the wearing and or carrying of anything depicting cartoon characters and/or lots of pink and frilly stuff.
    Physically grown women who display such things give away their childish mentality a mile away.
    Children tend to be dependent whereas physically grown women shouldn’t be.
    What man in his right mind wants to play father figure to a girly~woman who’s already way over~pampered by feminism incorporated?

    Comment by Skeptik — Mon 30th August 2010 @ 3:14 pm

  6. Skeptik, I think you missed what she was actually saying. She’s having a dig at John.

    Comment by golfa — Mon 30th August 2010 @ 4:22 pm

  7. Yes, Thanks golfa,
    I got that.
    I figured her insulting little jibe wasn’t worth dignifying with a response other than to have fun messing with AND get back on topic.

    Comment by Skeptik — Mon 30th August 2010 @ 5:16 pm

  8. I didn’t understand Katherine’s comment at first either – I was running home from school when I had a “duh” moment, and looked here intending to remove it, but I suppose it can stay.

    Comment by JohnPotter — Mon 30th August 2010 @ 5:27 pm

  9. I relish the eventual arrival of the

    non hormonal male birth control pill

    which looks tremendous in trials so far.

    I’m sure it will empower men hugely.
    No more paternity fraud, no more ‘accidental’ pregnancies and untold numbers of unilateral abortions. best of all it will give women the incentive they need to help their brothers overturn misandric laws and practices – or go babyless.

    Please brothers (and sisters) read up on this amazing new technology and advocate for it.

    Comment by Skeptik — Thu 2nd December 2010 @ 10:28 pm

  10. #9 Perhaps a suggestion might be that you blog your educational findings on the men’s health blog. I concur however that if this blog is about gaining insight into dating relationships for research purposes, possibly they need to seek out another tree site so this blog can be disembarked altogether (smiles)

    Comment by Anon — Sun 12th May 2013 @ 12:53 pm

  11. Anon (#10): Disembark yourself, please (smiles).

    Comment by Ministry of Men's Affairs — Sun 12th May 2013 @ 1:28 pm

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