Thursday, August 6, 2009

I don't like sex, so I guess no one must!

Bruno sent me this rather depressing link on a woman who doesn't have sex with her husband and is here to spread the word that not having sex is faaabulous.

Now, I've got nothing against sexless marriage if both partners agree, to each your own and if that's your kink. But the article has some hints that this situation is, ah, not entirely straight up.

She admits she stays in her sexless relationship for the sake of her children, aged nine and 11, and will remain celibate until the day they are grown up and she feels able to leave. At which point, she confesses, she will probably abandon her husband and begin a sexual odyssey to find the satisfaction that eludes her.
Okay, so she doesn't have a low libido--she just doesn't want to fuck her husband. (And is saying so in a place that her husband and kids can read.)

"In the meantime, I want to tell other women that they are not alone in not wanting to have sex with their long-term partners. I don't think it's possible to maintain the passion of the initial chase. But it doesn't mean you won't experience those feelings again with someone else."
Hey, she's certainly not alone in being unable to have long-term sexual relationships. I wish someone would tell her that the entire world doesn't think that way, though.

But Carrie goes one step further. She believes that marriage and motherhood are simply not conducive to having a sex life at all.
"Providing a stable home for children is totally incompatible with having an exciting sex life. The two things are violently at odds," she adds.

I don't have kids, but what? It's incompatible with having an unlimited sex life, obviously your days of doing it on the kitchen table every morning are at an end, but Jesus, I'm pretty sure you can still figure out how to have sex occasionally if you want it.

Also, "a stable home"? I understand people saying kids tire and stress them too much for sex, but it's not like having sex is going to make you lose your job or get evicted... is it? Jesus, what kind of sex are we talking about here?

Well, sex with someone besides her husband, clearly. Which means her situation isn't unique, but it's not one of disappointment with sex itself, just with poor Hal. "I wanted a divorce but didn't for the sake of the kids" is a pretty common situation, she's right, but it's really not about sex.

The couple still share a bed, though physical contact is strictly off limits. "We've never discussed the demise of our sex life," she says.

Unbelievably, her poor, unsuspecting husband is not only unaware of her plans to leave him. He also, she insists, has no idea that she has written a book or posed for these pictures. She seems as confident of him not finding out as she is that he is understanding of her feelings.
OUCH. This is either a publicity lie or it's going to end really, really badly.

"Children need to be brought up by parents in a monogamous marriage. I wouldn't want to blow that apart, and I certainly wouldn't want the burden of being a single parent. I know from taking the kids on holiday on my own once when Hal was working that having sole responsibility for them is exhausting."
Jesus, that's lazy. I can understand wanting your kids to have two parents, or not wanting to separate a father from his children, but she seems more concerned about all the work she'd have to do otherwise.

So what of her sexual history? It seems that Carrie wasn't always this uninterested in sex. She admits to having 23 lovers before she married. "Ten were proper boyfriends," she recalls. "I regretted having sex with six of them, loved three of them but only one of the 23 ever gave me an orgasm.
Digression: I've heard other stories from women who only orgasmed with a tiny percentage of guys and I don't entirely understand it. It seems like if you're capable of orgasm you'd be having them all over the place, right? Maybe if you take a lot of work some guys will never bother, but more than 1/23rd will put in the effort. Is it some mystical connection that sloppy old anyone-orgasmers like me can never understand?

Carrie admits that part of her envies those authors who claim to be having lots of sex and, more significantly, love it. The other part of her just doesn't believe them. "I do wonder if they are just writing what they think the audience wants to hear," she says. "I read their accounts of wild sex lives and then ponder my own sexual encounters and wonder: 'Where was the fun, the screaming ecstasy, the fireworks?'"
Well, honey, you're sexually dysfuctional and kind of a terrible person. But trust me, the entire world isn't. You think no one has screaming ecstasy from sex? Just ask my downstairs neighbors. (Hell, ask my neighbors three blocks away.)

I have no problem with someone being in a sexless marriage. Someone being in a sexless, communicationless, desperate-to-cheat marriage with absolutely no remorse or insight... that's a little more unsettling.


  1. That's really fucked up! I have kids and yes you can still fuck on the kitchen table...just make sure they are spending the night But to actually be planning on leaving and not even want to fuck her husband and he has no idea about any of it? Wow? can you imagine your kid coming home and saying, "Mom, Bobby saw you in the newspaper, are you leaving us because you don't want to sleep with dad?" Quadruple ouch!!

  2. That is fucking nuts. I have five kids and have sex 4-5 times a week. If I can get it more that would be fabulous. That woman had real issues. A sexless marriage? Oy, my worst nightmare.

  3. What really gets me is her total lack of any kind of caring for her husband!

    I mean, my gods, doesn't she realise he is going to be shocked and hurt when she one day just up and leaves?? Or, perhaps when he goes to a bookstore and sees her face on her book.

    I'm pretty shitty when it comes to communicating the hard stuf, but this.. This is ridiculous.

    You know, if she has these odd idea about marraige, she likely has them about sex. Perhaps that's part of why she's had such a disappointing sex life thus far. I mean, she seems completely unwilling to commuinicate her dissatisfaction to her husband, who wants to bet she never said anything to the men she was sleeping with?

  4. What distressed me most is the claim that she's not alone: She says all her friends feel the same way.

    Overall, the article made me want to cry.

  5. If you want a little more detailed, better explanation of the same phenomenon but from the point of view that most people hate sexless marriages and it's not hopeless, check out The Sex-Starved Marriage by Michelle Weiner-Davis (no, really, that's her name.)

    Saved my marriage. Really. But it is written for people who are in these marriages, so it might be hopelessly boring for single people who have a different set of problems. Eurosabra might learn a lot, though.

  6. I can see how sexless marriages happen without both partners being asexual or hating their partners or whatever. Pretty easy to see a couple of ways for the pattern to start and then to reinforce itself.

    What I DON'T see is how they can possibly regard this as not being a significant problem that needs addressing and fixing, but rather some sort of natural consequence of long-term relationships. She talks like there's no such thing as enjoyable sex in between "RED-HOT PASSION AND FIREWORKS!!!!11!" and "might as well be masturbating". She sounds like an incredibly selfish and lazy person overall, though, and that's not conducive to a good sex life in any context. As for all her friends supposedly feeling the same way- well, people do tend to congregate with like-minded and like-attituded people. Can any of YOU imagine putting up with her long enough to call her "friend"?

    As for the orgasm thing, I can see it. For me the critical thing to be able to have one is to be very relaxed, which since I have a fair amount of personal space issues is not possible with a partner I don't feel very, very comfortable with. So for me a long-term relationship is actually a *bonus* in the sex life department. But for her? I'd still be willing to bet money she simply expected her partners to magically intuit her needs.

  7. What the what?

    Seriously, if I were ever in that situation, I'd point out the problems and then ask if our marriage could be a bit more open. Life is difficult as it as, I'm not going to hide problems in order to spare people's feeling. That just makes things worse for both sides in the long run.

    Also, it's not true that kids "need" two parents. They technically need only one parent. However, each additional parent helps them do better. Kids who have several people in parent or parent-like relationships with them do best of all.

    Also also, if the kids are fully taught about sex and it is treated like a perfectly normal thing around them, then it won't cause problems or screw up their minds to have sex while they're around. It's probably a bad idea to do it in front of them, just in case they blab and the Child Protection Service comes a-knockin, but children aren't as stupid or fragile as most people seem to think of them.

  8. She believes that marriage and motherhood are simply not conducive to having a sex life at all.
    "Providing a stable home for children is totally incompatible with having an exciting sex life. The two things are violently at odds," she adds.

    I don't know about that; there's a chance that if I can get pregnant & handle a vaginal delivery, that may make penetrative sex more comfortable for me in the long run, thus allowing me to have more sex than I would otherwise have.

    I'm mostly surprised that Carrie & Hal just... don't... communicate about this... at all. There's a slight but ever present risk that I could find myself in a sexless relationship one day, and the prospect of being abandoned because of that scares the everliving shit out of me. I'll do what I can to prevent that from happening - communicate, be intimate in other ways, do other interesting things together - but it's scary to think that my partner would leave without saying anything. Just up and leave one day.

    Maybe they tried communicating and just... can't. Maybe it just peters out.
    Like, maybe, the lack of sex, is but a symptom, of several other bigger problems going on, that are otherwise irreconcilable. And Carrie is giving the interview on sex because it is more likely to generate discussion, than yet another blurb about "Talk to your partner." Something more like, "This is what can happen if you do not communicate."

    I'm not sure how realistic it is to want to go back in time to a red-hot sparks & passion. I would like to believe, that it is okay to move forward into another phase of a relationship. It won't be the same as it was - it will be different - but a good different.

  9. I was struck by her assertion that people who enjoy sex are just saying "what they think the audience wants to hear." I've seen that not infrequently from (subsets of) asexuals, and bisexuals, and polyamorists, and libertatians, and occasionally atheists and vegetarians—it annoys me more when the first or last of those do it. "I'm being true to myself, and if you were true to yourself you'd be the same way." I have no doubt about the first and grave doubts about the second.

    There was a discussion in another forum about whether fellatio is an inherently submissive act and if so, if that's a bug or a feature, and someone came in and said "I'm asexual ..." Ok, stop there, you have nothing useful to contribute to this particular discussion.

  10. Hershele, we've had that conversation here before. Probably will many times again. At what point are you nuts if you think everybody else in the world is really just like you, only they won't admit it?

  11. That woman must have missed something somewhere...

  12. Wait, vegetarians think people don't really like sex? Might have to rethink my not eating meat here, it could be related to my not getting any! :P

  13. Oddtwang - I had sex with a vegan once. It was... bony.

  14. I'ma just gonna be amused by the emphasis on monogamous relationships, speaking as someone who, y'know, gave birth last week and has gotten a reasonable amount of rest and recuperation time due to the kid having four parents....

    I mean, the whole damn thing is sad, so I might as well poke the part that amuses me. :}

  15. I'm sure you didn't mean anything by it but I found the: "I'm not against sexless marriage if both partners agree" comment weird.

    If one partner agrees to sex and the other doesn't. That should probably be a sexless marriage. If a short one.