Sometimes I ask myself, am I living in a sexless marriage? One common definition somewhere states that a sexless marriage is a marriage in which people have sex less than 12 times a year. I think I might've barely beaten that last year. In the hands and hearts of demographers, I do not qualify. So what is my marriage? How am I to justify my pathetic, self-pitying existence?
If you know me in real life, you wouldn't know how unhappy I am. I go to the gym. I buy expensive clothing at fancy department stores. I drive a pretty nice car. I direct a team of 5-10 people and report directly to the divisional VP. My job is flexible. My company is more than accommodating with my rather undemanding patrimony. I live in a nice part of the southern suburb of this nice, newly constructed, All American city. I have a beautiful car with gorgeous leather seats. I smile a lot to every one around me. This is who I am to everyone--even to my therapist, whom I see from time to time. There is nothing wrong with my life.
I can put up a front as a man. It takes no effort. I have no depth psychology. Women and men assume that if you appear happily married, if you sound like a doting father, and if you fulfill the obligations of a bread winner, your existence is easily described and your purpose totally capitulated by the sequence of stereotypes that everyone on earth knows about and worship, directly or indirectly. Do I love my wife? What does that mean anyway? Doesn't love mean that you commit yourself to take care of her no matter what happens? Doesn't love mean that you not avail to the opportunities that present themselves to indulge upon the sensuality, the indecency, the criminality of extramarital affairs? Doesn't love mean that the utility of sex as a vehicle for self-expression, that uniquely human characteristic would be denied from time to time? Does love mean responsibility? Love stipulates a dry, stark demarcation between fantasy and reality, between what is possible and what is likely, between what I wished my life was like and what my life will actually be like.
Is it possible that the assumptions that all of us make are wrong? Is it possible that men want sex for love as much as women want love for sex? The fundamental conflict of desire and action is the ridiculous core of this strangely wistful scenario that many of us know about and all of us dread. Sex is not animalistic. If it were, we would be happily mating once a year during estrous, while pursuing our lonely, fanatic careers, like the proud Siberian tigers. Is sexlessness the disease, or is it the symptom of a bigger disease--our daily drivel, the weblike anomie that surrounds us, the lack of all capacity in this post-industrial, post-modern matrix for me, with all of its vainglorious irony, to be human?