Divorce, Single Parenting, Dating, Sex, & Self-Recovery

What Is the Sexual Obligation Between a Married Couple?

OFF-happy-salsa

Okay, the blog MORE is subtitled “For Women of Style and Substance,” so I know I’m wading into deep uncharted water, being neither of those things. But the title that popped up at the bottom of a Huffington Post article caught my attention. “Marry Again, Nine Reasons Women Choose Not To.” I’m thinking, all right, let’s check this out, compare notes, see what “she” thinks.

Even the bullet pointed 9 Reasons clearly represent the author’s perspective. Here they are.

  1. As we age, women are winding up while men are winding down.
  2. Living Apart Can Be Better Than Living Together.
  3. Instead of one relationship, post-divorce dating may include many.
  4. You look better than ever and have more options.
  5. You’ve matured.
  6. Divorced women get time off from their kids – a true luxury.
  7. You may not want sex all the time.
  8. You don’t have to discuss your relationship ad nauseam.
  9. You’re a realist.

While it might be an interesting exercise to parse all of these for their fair and unbalanced perspective, but that’s not what struck me. I’m happy for a women’s magazine to champion and encourage women, post-divorce, to believe in themselves and their positive future. That is a critical part of the healing and evolution that comes with  such a huge life change. No issues there.

But the section that hit me in the gut or lower, was the section “You may not want sex all the time.”

See, even before we dig into the juicy tidbits of the sex section, we can see from the bullet point that we’re dealing with some issues right up front.

  1. Men are stereotyped as the “always pawing, always asking” sexual tyrants.
  2. The hyperbole doesn’t serve the message either, you know women can also desire sex.
  3. Recent studies suggest that women desire sex as much as men, but the cultural norms have shamed their sexual expression into something deviant. (see “slut shaming”)
  4. Sex is about much more than sex. Physical closeness and the turning away from each other if often much more damaging than any frequency issues.

Okay, so let’s see what our tour guide can illuminate about sex, from her vantage point.

There are only two four-letter words that are offensive to most men – “don’t” and “stop”—unless they’re used together. After enough sex to last a lifetime, some women are happy to put that self-imposed obligation behind them. Occasional sex—vs. the required two times a week—actually can be more heated and satisfying. Absence can make the heart grow fonder of many things. You now can have sex when you want it, whenever that is.

Wow, that’s a very loaded set of assumptions. Again, I’m all about writer’s license and using extreme perspectives to make a point, but this is much deeper. I sense in the first sentence a lot of unresolved anger in the author. And the phrase “enough sex to last a lifetime” really stuck in my head. I couldn’t not respond. I mean, WTF? (Literally.)

Is there such a thing? Do you (women or men) suddenly reach a point in their lives where they’ve simply had all they need? Really? I’m hoping that point is far off in the distance for me, but maybe I’m unique. I’m confused by the rest of the sentence, “self-imposed obligation behind them.” Seems like it’s not “self-imposed at all. It’s about a Relationship (capital r). Even the word obligation carries with it generations of shame and separation between the needs and desires of men and women.

Can I stop now?

“vs. the required two times a week.” Um, yeah, who’s requiring this exactly? I’ve heard that some women actually have sexual desires and inclinations themselves. And sure, all kinds of things go into making sex “more heated and satisfying,” but I don’t think it’s the frequency.

I would hope they are a bit more evolved about what men are like, and even more importantly, their own sexual appetites and hangups.

The coupe de grace is the final sentence. Ah the full-empowered, beautiful, sexy woman. “You now can have sex when you want it, whenever that is.” I guess that’s more true for women than men. A hot woman, in a nightclub or at a singles meet-up is likely to be the one in control of if she’s going to be having sex that night or not. The married woman should also have the same rights. But again, if you’re talking about sex with a partner, or even a close and caring long-term partner, you’re going to have to negotiate a little. I didn’t turn down my wife’s sexual advances very often, but it did happen.

Perhaps she’s thinking of pleasuring herself in this example. In that case, she’s right on. We, men and women, are both capable of having “sex” when you want it. But if it’s part of a relationship, there needs to be some balance.

This article had very little balance. Given the readership and angry writer’s perspective, I’m sorry that this same stereotype is being supported and reported by a magazine claiming “Women of Style and Substance.” I would hope they are a bit more evolved about what men are like, and even more importantly, their own sexual appetites and hangups. That’s the language of sex within a relationship. It’s sex with another person. If it’s “required two times a week” it sounds a lot more like doing the dishes or vacuuming the living room.

Sincerely,

The Off Parent
@theoffparent

Reference: Marry Again, Nine Reasons Women Choose Not To – MORE

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image: salsa, iangbl, creative commons usage

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