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It’s Not Just Sex, Dammit!

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A few years ago, when JME and I first moved in together, shortly after the honeymoon period faded away and the reality of the challenges of a shared living space began to set in, we had an argument. The argument wasn’t anything particularly out of the ordinary but he said something to me that, still to this day, hangs around in the back of my mind. A faint memory of a past life, but so relevant to any future relationships I may have.

He said, “Living together has not turned out to be what I had expected. It is so disappointing. I thought we’d be having countless hours of sex and instead…. this.”

The “this” he’d been referring to was us avoiding physical contact. Sleeping as far apart in the bed as we could. No kissing goodnight – no more morning showers together.

Our argument had started out as something trivial – over dishes or laundry – or some other simple housekeeping task, and had so very quickly been turned around on me.

I recall looking at him, dumbfounded, and thinking, “Of course we aren’t having sex. Are you kidding me? The thought of you touching me right now, makes my skin crawl.”

Perhaps an unusual thought for two people who had, seemingly, been so in love for so long before this, but in reality (at least to me) it makes perfect sense. The thing about it though, is that it’s not as easy a fix as it sounds. It is not as simple as stripping down and jumping into the sack. Sex, will not solve the no-sex-problem.

It isn’t often that I’m inspired to write a blog post simply by reading somebody else’s musings (I think the sorry state of my blog is an excellent testament to that) but tonight as I perused the Freshly Pressed postings I came across a post by Dork Daddy that I couldn’t stop thinking about (hence the 2 AM blog post) and I had to get some of these nagging thoughts out of my head, if only so I can get some sleep tonight!
The post, titled, “It’s Just Sex, Dammit!,” is really excellent. It discusses the divorce of some friends and how the underlying factor for their relationship’s demise was sex and Dork Daddy’s view on society’s obsession with sex.

I think the reason the post struck such a chord with me is because it sounded like it could have been written by my ex. It sounds so perfectly articulated to his point of view – and I totally understand Dork Daddy’s point of view, it makes perfect sense, logically. Really, it is just sex. While it is a very common form of intimacy, it isn’t necessary.

The thing is, in a healthy adult relationship in which you are sexually active, it is rarely just sex. Maybe this is a “woman thing,” or perhaps it’s because of my personal experience that I can’t see it that way but, to me, it’s not just sex.

Let’s be practical, sex is a very important aspect of most adult relationships.

This argument that JME and I had became focused on our sex life- or our lack there of.

To him, the problem was that we weren’t having sex.
To me, not having sex was simply a symptom.
I have a healthy sexual appetite – so if we aren’t having sex, there is probably a reason behind it. A real reason, with substance. If we aren’t having sex, it’s because I can’t make that intimate connection with you. There is a mental and emotional road-block, right there in front of my sex drive.

Our sex life was not the issue. Our sex life was merely a barometer of our relationship.
The more issues we had connecting on a mental and emotional level, the more issues we had connecting physically.

I completely understand why people get divorced over sex.
Because it isn’t just sex.

 

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5 thoughts on “It’s Not Just Sex, Dammit!

  1. I agree completely that it’s never really “just sex”. If couple isn’t having sex it’s usually because of underlying problems in the relationship. Having sex isn’t going to magically fix those problems, that’s for sure. Although I do think that if a couple is able to have sex, that making that physical connection sometimes helps to be able to re-connect mentally and emotionally.But then again, if you’re feeling angry and resentful at someone, the last thing you really feel like doing is getting it on. So yeah…it’s complicated.

  2. Well of course it isn’t “just” sex. Hence the justifyable breakup of the relationship. I could have more accurately titled the post “Why would you bugger up 99% of your life in the name of the other 1%?”…

    But that wouldn’t have caught your eye as effectively, would it? (which, ultimately, is one of the points of the post).

    I too subscribe to the notion that sex is an accurate barometer of the relationship. When everything is going great, the sex hapens. When something is broken, the first place it tends to manifest itself is in the sexual component.

  3. I’ve had a lot of casual sex in my life and it was just sex. I don’t feel like anyone should search for meaning or an emotional connection in a one night stand but I know for a fact that living with someone and having sex on an almost daily basis isn’t enough to make the relationship work when there is nothing else. I’ve lived in that situation before and I swore to never do it again.

    And thanks for posting the Freshly Pressed link. I’m really new to blogging and still finding my way around. Maybe this will help me connect with people who have had just as much trouble with “life” as I have or show me how to improve my own blog.

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