The 4 Basic Human Needs: Are You Hitting All Of Them?

Photo by Roger McLassus ~ (c) 2006

Photo by Roger McLassus ~ (c) 2006

Welcome to Thoughty Thursday here at More Cowbell! This is the day of the week when y’all get to be privy to whatever thoughts are kicking around in my brain.

Today I’m thinking about sex and good health.

According to Dr. Oz, our four basic needs as humans are food, water, sleep and sex. And we need all four to be truly well and happy, whether we’re single or married.

I don’t know about you, but it’s pretty common for me to lack on at least three of those four.

Hubby and I talk to our Rockstar Counselor one Wednesday of every month (this is the guy who helped us get married, and we kept him to keep us from Dirty Fighting). Whatever’s going on in our lives, he’s privy to it and he helps us with everything from communication to parenting to sex. A hundred bucks a month is worth it to us, to make sure we’re staying healthy and happy.

Yesterday, we had our monthly counseling appointment and the discussion focused on sleep and sex — two of the things you don’t get enough of when you have a toddler.

Especially with us adding Crossfit to our lives and with me having shingles, the last few months have been challenging to our personal life, if you know what I mean. Sometimes we’re just too beat up or worn out to get our sexy on.

Rockstar Counselor’s advice was to just schedule it in, like a lunch date or a pedicure. It doesn’t sound all that romantic, but…we’ve got needs, don’t we??

p.s. If you’re female and you’ve got no “needs,” I highly recommend August McLaughlin’s post on Sex Drive Boosters for Women.

I was talking to a girlfriend the other day about Dr. Oz’s premise on “the four basic needs” and she laughed at me! “Who’s got the time?” was her answer. Based on that conversation, I’m bringing the issue to all of you.

Is Dr. Oz full of crap? Do you agree or disagree with his perspective on the four basic human needs?

How are you faring with meeting all four of the “basic needs?” If you’re hitting all four, what is your secret? What are your recommendations for keeping the romance alive with small children in the house? What is your strategy for getting enough sexy time in your own relationships? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

Jenny

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
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37 Responses to The 4 Basic Human Needs: Are You Hitting All Of Them?

  1. Well, I think all of those four are only relevant to adults and those who aren’t asexual.

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Good point, Chihuahua! If you’re under the age of sexual activity (including sex with self), this doesn’t apply to you. However, even if you’re single or pre-intercourse, sex is still a basic human need. We are sexual creatures. Does that help?

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  2. Funny, I had breakfast with Mom this morning and we were just talking about something very similar to this. About knowing your personal priorities and then making the tough decisions to ensure you are taking care of YOU first and foremost. Everything else comes second, third and fourth…sometimes, it means making hard decisions and choices but when you take care of you, you actually have more to give…

    I’ll definitely be making some changes in the new year to ensure I am hitting my four on a much more regular basis!

    Love this post. Perfect timing and just the inspiration I needed…BAM!

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      That’s rock and roll that you and your mom had breakfast AND a good chat. I love to hear all about that…thanks for sharing! And I’ll keep working on hitting all four too.😉

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    • Anne Marie Hartford says:

      My husband and I were just talking about this same thing (2 minutes before opening the post)!!!

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  3. Sadly, sleep and sex come in inverse proportions in my house. To get one, one must sacrifice the other. When I crack that code, I’ll be writing a how-to book.

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  4. Love it! I definitely agree with Oz’s list. I love the way one benefits the others—better sleep makes for better sex, which makes for better sleep. Same for healthy diet in regards to sleep and sex, and breathing, well, tough to bypass that one. Although, holding your breath briefly during sex can really… Um, I’ll save that for a GB post.😉

    I’d add seeking fulfilling work/play to the list, as I’ve found that all of those needs can suffer from a lack of personal fulfillment. And sex toys, while not necessary, can help! (Couldn’t resist. ;)) Happy holidays, Jenny! Thanks for the fabulous, thoughty post!

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  5. K.B. Owen says:

    I think Dr. Oz forgot about…AIR. Kind of important, although we don’t have to really think about it (unless you live in a high-pollution area, or have breathing problems).

    Just when the kids are out from underfoot and you have a little privacy with your beloved, then comes menopause. Gack.

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      LOL on the air. I think they’re taking that as a given, vs. the things you must give yourself.🙂

      And boo-hiss to menopause! You know that bitch is trying to bang down the door at my house too…

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  6. My first thought was, Oz has to be a guy. Went back and checked and um, yeah.

    Sorry to be the lone dissenter, but I have to take issue with phrasing it as “need” because that elevates it to “must have.” We have to breathe. We have to eat. We have to sleep or we get really weird and can die. But you don’t die if you don’t have sex.

    How do his theories explain happy and in love couples, who because of accident or illness, aren’t able to physically express that love? People who opt for celibacy and continue to live long and happy lives? All of them would die without air, food and sleep. (grin)

    I think great relationships flow out of each person loving each other enough to sacrifice for each other. A book I read some years ago called it emotional bank account deposits and withdrawals. Sometimes you can put in and sometimes you need to take out. Healthy relationships have, I a semi-even even ebb and flow in and out of that bank account. It’s not even all the time, because everyone goes through ups and downs, but if you have good credit with your loved one, you ride it a heavy withdrawal period. Of course if one party is always draining the account…never putting in…

    My husband is human, so therefore not perfect lol, but he made a HUGE deposit for me back before his hip surgery. He had been saving up for this expensive lens he really wanted for his camera. Well, he took ALL of that money and bought me a laptop so I could work and do my business through the surgery, etc. When I hold that lap top, I feel his loving sacrifice all over again.

    I know he loves me when I’m horrid and hideous with the flu and I love him when he’s cranky and horrid from getting his hip whacked out.

    I’ve seen too much relationships destruct through my many years of living and my 37 year marriage, because people have decided that what they “want” is what they “need.”

    Sex is…a want, the dessert, the bonus and yeah, one of the fun parts of a relationship. But, sorry Dr Oz, IMHO, it’s not a need.

    Sorry, feel free to flame me. LOL I’m used to flames coming out of my head from hot flashes. (grin)

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      What a moving and thought-provoking comment, Pauline! Your husband sounds delightful.

      I wouldn’t flame this comment! I like it, but I do think that humans are healthy with a steady stream of all four of these things. A good marriage can go without sex for a little bit, but I agree with Christine below that it works better WITH it. (At least mine does.)

      And when I say sex, all the touchy-feely stuff applies…it’s more about intimacy IMHO.

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      • Ah, see intimacy is a better way to phrase it. Intimacy is an important component of a marriage, I will totally agree. (grin) My daughter-in-law read somewhere that just holding someone’s hand is very calming. I had a divorced friend tell me once that what she missed the most was the guy hug. You made me think yesterday, so your thoughty post worked. LOL!

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  7. I’m getting all four needs met. Part of that is because my kids are older – 19 & 22 – and two nights a week they have college classes. Whee! BUT – my secret to sex when the kids were small? Sex in the shower. And YES – for me, anyway, sex is a NEED. (Yay for masturbation when the hubby’s not available!) When I don’t get sex, a part of me shrivels up (and I’m not talking physically here!). I curl inward and am less open and available emotionally to those around me.

    I so agree with Pauline’s observation about emotional bank accounts – hubby and I have been married almost 33 years, together for 36; it’s definitely a give and take, ebb and flow. Sometimes I can’t believe he loves me so much – it’s scary. But I know that when we don’t make time for sex, our lives are poorer for it and our communications bog down much easier than when our sex life is vigorous.

    Or is that TMI? Great post, Jenny!

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  8. zkullis says:

    I agree with the list, personally, because I am a very affectionate, warm, physically expressive individual. The feelings of acceptance, love and trust are intimately tied to touch and physical expression.

    However, I don’t meet my needs as I should. Food and water are where they need to be. Sleep is not where it should be – I average 4.5 hours a night (not due to activity in the 4th area).

    For me, sex is akin to the Olympics; it is infrequent, much celebrated when it DOES happen, and is full of team events… 😉 IYKWIM By team I mean two.

    It is the unparalleled connection that is kindled between two people that makes me believe that sex belongs on my list of the 4 basics. I’m going to be very blunt here, so please forgive me if it offends…. If sex were only about an individual’s reactions to stimuli and reaching a climax, then a uni-gasm would be just fine. It doesn’t cut it for me. It’s like getting pizza without cheese. It’s still okay, edible and all of that, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to call it a pizza.

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  9. Julie Glover says:

    As to scheduling sex, do it. Some people balk about the lack of spontaneity, but you schedule dates, right? Then you go and have a great time! Just because a date is on the calendar as Saturday at 7:00 p.m. doesn’t mean that you have no wiggle room in choosing where you go and what you do. Same thing with sex–schedule it and then let your spontaneity flow!

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  10. food, sleep, water and sex. Hmmm interesting post Ms. Jenny.
    Food is good (if you doubt it look at my pics – in fact it’s too good. LOL). and I recently went totally paleo, no milk, no grains, no coffee, no sweetener, no underground veggies, no legumes…so i’m eating meat veggies and fruits and nothing else. and drinking quarts of green tea.

    sleep is great – it’s finally balanced after fighting instant heavy duty-fall-asleep-in-a-heartbeat sleepiness in spite of getting lots of sleep. but I started some new hormones (designer drugs – the good stuff) and I’m feeling so good. more energy, more wakefulness and alertness and my memory is getting better again. yay.

    but water is still my short fall. i don’t drink nearly enough unless it’s flavored (ie tea).

    sex…well i’m single but I can take care of that as August recommended.

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I think you’re gorgeous, Louise! And it sounds like the diet/meds changes are helping you to feel better. I’m barreling headfirst into menopause too so I feel ya on that one. I can’t have any hormones so I like to hear about them from the rest of you!

      And what is the deal with how hard it is to drink water??! I’m dreadful at it. It’s the most constant health fight I have with myself.

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  11. I do agree with the list. Unfortunately, at the point in my life, I’m not especially happy with any of the areas. Right now though, I’d give a lot for adequate, restful sleep…on a consistent basis. I think that’s the biggest key in why the other three needs are so dismal right now. 🙂

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I’d agree with the need for sleep. I try but I rarely get enough. It seems like all my get it done time is at night and in the wee hours of the morning. Then I get a few hours of sack time and start it all over again.

      I really need 6-7 hours a night though, so let’s pinky swear that we’ll try to do that at least 4 days a week….what do you think?

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  12. S. J. Maylee says:

    sleep, sex and young kids is a conundrum…so yes, scheduling is a necessity, especially in my house. My husband and I are on different schedules. He’s a musician and works a lot of late nights and weekends. Sometimes he comes to bed and hour or so before my alarm goes off. I don’t like getting woken up early, you know what I mean😉 yes, scheduling is a must.
    You must share how the scheduling goes, I can only imagine there will be some funny there.

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  13. Well, let’s see… I never get enough sleep and my diet is crap so there goes two of them. Water? Yep, I get plenty of water and sex, oh yeah. That’s not a problem either. Actually, I totally agree with Pauline above. Sometimes it isn’t about sexual intercourse, it’s more about just BEING with my husband. Since we haven’t been able to walk lately, we’ve made it a point to snuggle on the couch at night (sometimes suffering through the other person’s crappy TV show), or finding 10 minutes a day to just talk about stuff. Nothing major or earth shattering, but stuff that’s important to our relationship’s health. Usually our 45 minute walk is out bonding time, so it’s been fun to get creative.

    Now that our son moved his room downstairs, there’s a lot more opportunity for fun upstairs. If you know what I mean.

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    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Watching your honey’s crappy TV…now THAT’S love.🙂 I totally hear you on the walking. One thing Hubby and I have been doing together is working out (unfortunately, this is NOT an “if you know what I mean”). Since we do that together, we’re completely in tune about how freaking sore we are, which sometimes precludes the sex part. *sigh* But it’s in the name of health…

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