While reading through the archives of Svutlana from Svutlandia (recommended) I came across the following quote:
For women the best aphrodisiacs are words. The G-spot is in the ears. He who looks for it below there is wasting his time. --Isabel AllendeOK, right. Somebody tell Rogue Bambi and Wonderboy, or Perversecowgirl and Minx, or Holly and Rowdy, or anybody that enjoys sex physically with a man, that they're doing it wrong; he should be whispering sweet nothings, or perhaps using a Q-tip. Men and women drive each other crazy with contradictory messages; the famous Madonna/whore paradox is another example.
Something interesting about the Allende quote is that Svutlana quoted it in a post that's mainly about how extremely effective placebos are in treating low libido in women; implying that men should be using words to take the place of placebos. My feeling is that when you're asking men in general to do things that are otherwise accomplished by women taking placebos, you are asking men not so much to be loving, sharing, and caring, but to be psychotherapists to women, who you are implying are kinda nuts. (Svutlana spends most of the post talking about how women can address this issue, and I think her idea is more that men may be able to help, which I'll get back to at the end.)
Now, this kinda nuts is not very different from men's neurotic perception that women don't desire men physically (which neurosis is obviously reinforced by the above Allende quote). I think the implication that women are a bit nuts this way is correct in the sense that all of us, to various individual degrees, are a bit nuts.
I do have a problem with this in the sense that in this instance it's put up to men to fix it. The primary reason my wife gave me for leaving me was that she trusted me with her emotional well-being and I failed to maintain it. And I think that's asking way too much of a partner. When I had problems with depression, I didn't ask her to fix them; and I didn't ever feel like it was her job to do so. Some of that depression was related to expectations about our sex life that didn't pan out, but it still wasn't her fault. (I feel like I should talk here about some of the ways I failed her, so readers will understand her point of view, but when I write them out they don't sound like much and it still makes me feel bad. So I'm going to ask people to understand that she's a good person and had her reasons even if she couldn't explain them to me very clearly.)
I don't think you should ask a partner to be a therapist. A confidant and advisor, absolutely; but not a therapist. I don't even think therapists are qualified to be therapists, let alone the rest of us. And I especially don't think one should put the responsibility for successful therapy on a partner. If men are neurotic about feeling desired, I think most women would like to know about it, and I think it offers opportunities for an outstanding relationship if a woman can help her partner with that. But it's not her responsibility. There's a very limited extent that it's even in her power. If women are repressed when it comes to enjoying sex and orgasm, likewise it's something that offers a man opportunities to help, but it's not his responsibility, or even mostly in his power.