Saturday, July 3, 2010

Non-ogamy contd.

I wrote earlier about sexual (non) monogamy. This reminds me of some juicy tid-bits from this week's Carolyn Hax discussion.

(For those of you who are unfamiliar with Carolyn Hax, get familiar: she runs a "Dear Abby" style column in the Washington Post as well as a weekly discussion. She is linked to on my sidebar and I'll give her a link right here because I love her chats so damn much. Insightful and juicy.)

Here's the [relevant] juice:

Hot Springs, New Mexico: I hope this doesn't sound too pathetic. My wife asked me what I wanted for Fathers day this year - I said "sex". I figured it would be free and not too much trouble. Well, it's been almost two weeks and I still haven't gotten my "present". Worse still, she doesn't really seem to care -- no apologies or "I'll make it up to you", or anything. We are in our mid 40s - married 12 years. Am I wrong to be disappointed? I guess I'm just looking for validation for how bummed about this I am.

Carolyn Hax: Ouf--tough one. Validation freely granted. I'm sorry. Any chance she thought you were kidding? That wouldn't make it okay, but it would make it a little less of a snub.
You do need to talk to her about it, "I feel"-style. As in, "I felt really pathetic for having to ask for sex for Father's Day, and now I feel even more pathetic for having to ask again."
Asking for Sex: What is wrong with these people? I'm middle-aged, and I've heard directly from at least 20 acquaintances/friends that their partners absolutely refuse to have sex with them. How is this acceptable? I guess those spouses remember the 'for as long we both shall live' bit of their vows, and conveniently ignore 'with my body I thee worship.' And then they say, "I never saw the divorce coming." There is a reason that every religion and therapist in the world sanctions happy sex within marriage -- 'cause there is no marriage without it.

Carolyn Hax:
Unless the done-with-sex spouse says, "I'm done with sex, but I realize you aren't, so let's talk about what we do now."
There's no marriage without communication, either.
Marriage is looking less and less appealing. It's great to be in love. But you don't know that love is going to last forever. I can't believe someone out there knows 20 people who aren't getting laid in their marriages. Does anyone still think absolute sexual monogamy in a lifelong marriage is natural?

Alright, I'm being a bit unfair to marriage.  It's good for social companionship, security, and child-rearing.  But let's not pretend that it's practical as a means for compelling everlasting sexual monogamy.

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