Monday, February 21, 2011

Neither Hot Nor Bothered

I’ve read several articles (in fashion magazines - not medical journals) where the women interviewed gave the impression that a sexless relationship was not only normal, but that it could work. I call a coughing fit of bullshit on that one.

In an issue of Elle magazine, the following was the tale of one woman interviewed:
“Sometime during their second year together, [she] realized they hadn’t had sex in a month. She was shocked. “Then it became three months,” she says. “By year seven, it was, Whoa, we haven’t had sex this year.” …[yet] She insists that while her marriage isn’t perfect, it’s happy, stable, loving, and fun—without sex.”
Now forgive me, but in my mind, if a relationship is lacking in the sex department and no one is trying to fix that, something is wrong. Or as my Tia might say, "somebody’s gettin’ it somewhere else." 

Before I go on, please note that there are various factors involved when it comes to a couples bedroom, so I’m not talking about a situation where the dry spell is temporary or where your partner is ill (because that changes the dynamics of a relationship on a level that I would have no business discussing)… This post is very specific to a young healthy couple making the statement that "no sex is the norm and that’s ok."

Honestly, whatever rocks your boat or doesn’t rock it, is fine. But I just can’t buy the notion that lack of sexual intimacy will equate to a long-lasting and faithful union in which both parties are satisfied. I mean, if your lover is your best friend, that’s really the best relationship to have… but if you stop being lovers and are just best friends, well, my instinct says your skating on thin ice.

As Weiner Davis stated in the same issue of Elle:
“They expect their spouses to (a) not complain and (b) be monogamous… that’s really an unfair and unworkable relationship.”
I completely agree. If the amount of sex you and your partner have is plummeting, there may be a host of different factors involved, like low libido, hectic schedules, lack of alone time, self-esteem…the list can go on and on and the issues only deeper and deeper.

As one Dr. Laura Berman wrote in a post on Sexless Marriages
"...when sex is infrequent or nonexistent, there is an emotional and spiritual connection to one’s spouse that is missing. Working on the problem from the perspective of the relationship is the only way it’s going to get 'fixed.' Sex is actually not the problem — it’s simply the way that deeper problems in the relationship are being communicated."
Indeed. So if it’s gotten to a point where you honestly cannot remember making love to your partner/husband/wife, something is definitely up and you BOTH have to work on repair …right now.

If you’re in a relationship that is worth saving, then you’ve got to find a way to make time for each other to nurture each others needs - emotionally, mentally and physically. There is ALWAYS a way. Don’t let it get so far that you have your “aha moment” one year later. That’s just neglectful.

Sex is not a separate beast from intimacy. Foreplay doesn’t have to start in the bedroom – it can be as simple as a gesture of kindness, consideration, and appreciation. It may not rev your engine, but it gets the key in the ignition (figuratively speaking) or at the very least, gets you sitting in the same car.

Che always tells me that I hate sharing feelings (he's gonna hate that I wrote that) but once I do, I reap the reward of feeling understood, loved and appreciated.  And everyone needs that. 

Telling your partner what you appreciate about them and why, is a good way to start on the road to repair.  It opens the doors to communication. If nothing else, sex is the most intimate form of communication there is. So don’t buy the bullshit… go on home and “communicate.”

I'm not a doctor or a therapist so none of this is to be construed as medical advice, it's just my opinion aka Deep Thoughts on the topic. This is an edited version of an article I wrote in 2010 that was published on the girlygazette