Slate’s Meghan O’Rourke has an interesting article on men who are sexually traumatized by watching women give birth.
Today’s women . . . see having the father in the delivery room as a necessary component of a healthy marriage, one in which both partners contribute equally to collective partnership. This is an absolutely reasonable request: Childbirth is scary and painful, and it makes sense to have reassurance and help from the person you’re closest to (and your child’s father). But the belief that men should be on duty no matter what assumes on some level that sex is just like all the other functions that the body performs. What the experience of the men in the therapist’s article suggests is that, for at least some, this isn’t true; for some, the erotic depends on maintaining a distinction between the sexual and the reproductive.
To the traumatized men, but also to some of these women, I say: it’s not all about you!