It has taken me many years to disentangle:
My body’s need for affirming touch (& skin-to-skin contact)
my body’s need for sexual release
my nervous-system’s & subtle-bodies’ need for energetic polarization/charge-and-discharge
my ego’s need for validation
my mind’s need for a certain kind of stimulation
my heart’s need for authentic connection
my soul’s need to be Truly Seen

— and sex is the only socially-prescribed channel for males to get all these things. No wonder so many men have bad boundaries and hit on women who are just showing them some basic human friendliness. We’re starved, and it makes us crazy.

My body’s need for affirming touch (& skin-to-skin contact)

This is a basic need and it’s hardwired into our nervous system. For those who would like an extremely cogent and well-written discussion of this, I recommend Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin by Ashley Montagu.

My body’s need for sexual release

We differ in this as individuals, and it may vary throughout our lives. What’s needed is to know thyself, and do appropriate self-care.

My nervous-system’s & subtle-bodies’ need for energetic polarization, charge-and-discharge

Related to the above, but not the same — or perhaps the same at a non-physical level. Wilhelm Reich et al. have done some useful work in this regard, as well as the Taoist sages and the Indian tantrikas.

 My ego’s need for validation

This has been one of the toughest nuts to crack for me, and it contaminates all the others. Nevertheless, it’s a need — until it’s not.  The task is to train the ego, not to try to suppress or kill it, as if you could suppress or kill it anyway.

And part of what makes it so difficult is that it’s a counterfeit of something fundamental in the fabric of awareness itself, the longing of the universe to know itself and which is indelibly imprinted in the substance of the soul.

The actuality is that the ego (the “constructed,” defended, compensatory self) has no authentic experience of its own; it can only appropriate and counterfeit the body’s, heart’s, and soul’s experience, so it is always unfulfilled despite the successful meeting of its needs, and most of us are trying to live through a very wounded and even traumatized ego, one cut off from essential nourishment by the myriad ways we try to protect ourselves from further wounding and the desolation of a false identity.

As we clear-away the trauma and expose the raw wounding beneath the defenses, the possibility is there for the “holes” to fill from the boundlessness of our deep essential substance and for the counterfeits to become transmuted to their authentic countenances. The ego thereby begins to relax and become a devoted servant instead of a capricious master.

My mind’s need for a certain kind of stimulation

I’ve been in sexually-satisfying relationships with partners with whom I did not share a mental/intellectual fit, but we still had fun outside the bedroom… but in retrospect, these were more in the nature of sexual friendships and not partnerships because the mental “fit” wasn’t there.  Perhaps that’s the reason we’re no longer together.

My heart’s need for authentic connection

Again, a basic need. Humans are social animals from before birth, and even the sannyasins, rishis, & monks have friends and confidants.  This may just be a different level of the body’s need for touch.

My soul’s need to be Truly Seen

This is the hardest for any human being to engage, the need to be seen in a real way, the need for our inherent worth to be mirrored to us and recognized so that we, ourselves, can recognize it.

This is the reality behind the ego’s counterfeit of needing a validation that it can never truly receive, from a universe that does not exist in the way the ego perceives it to exist — and which we cannot truly receive except from those rare beings who are spiritually awake and who See from the perspective of that Reality.  We try in vain to get it from our politics, from our beliefs, from our contrived public image, from our circle of friends, and we do get it in dribs & drabs from very small children — and the occasional lover when both are completely unveiled and transparent for a few instants in lovemaking, which only makes the whole conundrum more convoluted and ultimately frustrating because we know that fulfillment “is there somewhere” and we look for it in all the wrong places.