Friday, June 22, 2012

Philosophy of a sexless marriage

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?  

5 comments:

  1. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. I'd like to offer a few thoughts.

    First, all hotness eventually fades. Not just in marriage. I'm living with someone I've known for 5 years. The first year it was bang, bang ... every day! Sometimes twice. Now I have occasional "technical difficulties" and couldn't bear to do it more than once every three, four days, week, even two weeks. In the last few years I was married, I felt like you and it was about once a month.

    Second, sex is in the brain, not the genital area. If you can feel sexual desire about her and mentally seduce her, you're having sex. Just make time for it.

    Third, there will be down times. That's what we have Mr. Hand (and Internet porn) for. It's natural to feel down with cause, such as disappointment or loss. If your down times are pervasive and there is no reason to feel that way (the picture you paint), my guess is that you're depressed. There is no reason in the world, with all we know about the brain, for you to suffer. Go back to that shrink and demand anti-depressants. They won't prevent sadness when you're sad; they will keep you for sinking when you're not.

    Fourth, save your marriage. It's worth it. You're worth it. A marriage break-up leaves an indelible scar. Don't worry about what she has to do to save it, do what you have to do. She'll catch on. Put all the fantasy, all the desire, all the lyricism you put into your blog into your marriage.

    Fifth, focus on seducing her. You did it once. You can do it again. What would you do if you didn't know her and wanted to get to know her (and get into her pants)?

    Go for it, man! I'm rooting for you.

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  2. I enjoyed reading your blog, especially this posting. I think you ask very interesting questions. I was married, but not married any more. We didn't have a sexless marriage, but sex was one of our big issues for lots of reasons and despite whatever frequency of sex we were having, I was never fulfilled. I don't understand love. I don't understand desire. I don't understand why partnering with someone one day is great and then time passes and how did it turn into this thing that nobody is really fulfilled in anymore? To me, the philosophy of the sexless marriage is also related to the philosophy of why relationships are so trying. Why is it that we live in a culture where this is our best shot? That from the outside we meet the ideal and should legitimately be happy but we are not. Why is this our human condition? Male or female, we suffer from it and I simply don't understand why it must be this way.

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  3. I just discovered this blog. You are a very talented writer and hav made me contemplate many things I never thought of before. Marriage, love meaning responsibility, putting up a front as a man. I am a woman and maybe never looked into what the men in my life were thinking. I thought I did, but I obviously didn't. I was the woman not sexually satisfied. So was he, now we have been divorced for years. I don't regret it, splitting was the right thing. My kids are 16 and 13 now. I am still as confused as ever and still not getting enough sex. He is remarried. Wherever you are, I hope things have worked out for you and your wife, or that you have moved on and found peace as well as a piece ;)Thanks for sharing.

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