I like to think that my partner and I have a healthy amount of sex. In fact, that’s exactly what I think. But I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s nowhere near the amount that my partner would like to be having.
I can’t help but think back on Ernie McCray’s moving Sex in San Diego article in which he says: Whoo, doggie, [sex] was never a chore. Never. No “I’ve got a headache” in her makeup. I remember only being too tired just once and went on and did it anyway.
While there’s no denying the beauty and love about which that article was written, I found myself wondering at the end of it if I was somehow failing my partner.
I don’t want to be. I love my partner and couldn’t imagine a day without him. We are the best of friends and, very rarely, the worst of enemies. We are passionate. We laugh together and enjoying spending time together doing even the most mundane of things. We offer each other advice with our work and various interpersonal relationships. We make love, have date nights, travel well together and go on romantic walks.
But we certainly don’t have sex every day.
There are the usual excuses for that: I’m busy. I’m tired. When I’m not sleeping, I’m being a stepmother, working and going to school. By the time I get home at night, I’m exhausted and feel generally grungy. I want to eat dinner and decompress with some TV before passing out.
That doesn’t mean we don’t have sex — it’s just not every damn day.
So what’s the magical number of times in a week to make love? Is there one? What if I don’t hit it? Does it all start to add up to a time when he feels we’re no longer compatible?
I can’t be the only woman thinking these things. And when I hear about couples who have the love, the respect and the never ending, equally reciprocated sex life I can’t help but wonder what I’m doing wrong.
There was a period of time not too long ago when I felt so “blah” about everything that I didn’t want to have sex at all. It wasn’t like I was withholding from my partner and masturbating in secret. I had no sex drive whatsoever. It was miserable and I felt sad and guilty and unhappy. I know it was difficult for my partner as well.
But in times like that, what is the best course of action? Do you plug along for the sake of the relationship or do you tend to whatever emotional/physical/who knows what? barrier has popped up?
A woman I once knew would say yes. Yes, you put out no matter what. It’s the only way to keep a man from straying, after all. If you think that’s crazy, I also once had a friend whose mom told her if she learned how to give really good head she would always be able to keep her man. But maybe you don’t think that’s crazy. Maybe that’s the way it is.
I personally believe that solid relationships are based on so much more than sex. And I know that my partner values me for more than my vagina. But I also know that sexual satisfaction is a very real part of a successful relationship, and that a lack of libido can have very real consequences.
In fact, just last year a Frenchman was sued by his ex-wife for not having enough sex, and the divorce court ruled the husband not only was to blame for the breakup, but that he also should pay $13,000 in damages.
So, what do you think? Are we — both men and women — obligated to have regular sex with our partners? Is it OK to say no without feeling guilty?