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Calculated sex

Despite my best efforts (detailed here), we’ve fallen off the sex wagon again.

In case you wonder what that means, it means getting around to it once a month. It’s not like I expect to be having lots of sex, but I’d like to shoot for three times a month.

And again, it’s not that I care so much for myself, it’s that it affects our relationship. We are getting short with each other lately. I’m constantly muttering WHAT THE FUCK? IS IT SO HARD TO PUT THINGS BACK WHERE THEY GO? and I GUESS I HAVE TO BE THE ONE TO PICK THOSE UP? and WHY ARE YOU DOING IT THAT WAY?!?!

I’m not sure why I mutter in all caps. In addition, Bun Bun is going through some kind of thing that makes her have constant episodes of I AM SUCH AN ASSHOLE RIGHT NOW, and I am bothered both by the way I parent her through these episodes and naturally more so by the way my husband parents her. Which means we need to have a Conversation about Parenting so we can get on the same page…

So today as I scuttled out of the house as quickly as I could to avoid the screaming chaos (his day to do breakfast and wait for the nanny), I thought: Clearly we need to have sex today, because I want to talk about parenting and we can’t do that if we haven’t had sex in weeks.

This is not like the TV show I’ve been watching where all the characters have constant sex with great enthusiasm. Is it possible life is not like TV?

I guess I feel one part calculating and manipulative, and one part wearily pragmatic. And zero parts sexually aroused.

26 Comments Post a comment
  1. Fuck. Literally and figuratively. If you’re waiting for arousal to come sweep you off your feet, or simply come, it just might be a long wait, so you’d better not. Bypass it, and get what you can out of doing it, your way, spousal agreement, possibly even mild enjoyment, whatever.

    On the same note, I’ve started to suspect that life, in fact, is quite NOT like they say it is on the telly. First of all, whenever something happens in my life, there is no soundtrack. And we all know that nothing happens without music or slow motion, or at least some strangers laughing at smart quips. Could it be that our lives are actually NOTHING like what we see on the big or smaller screen? Let us ponder and congress later.

    March 19, 2014
  2. SRB #

    That awkward moment when you find yourself in tears on your bath mat (with empty shower beer in hand) because BUNNY WRITES YOUR LIFE.

    March 20, 2014
  3. I am so glad I am not the only person who feels they can’t raise an important subject with their husband if they haven’t given him a romp in the hay recently.

    Good luck!

    March 20, 2014
  4. Rosalind #

    You ever write in (or at least read) Dan Savage?

    Burrowing into the archives of his advice columns helped me let go of my hang-ups over my husband watching porn, the sometimes mismatched intensity of our sex drive, and the crazy feeling we can all get from being in a monogamous relationship.

    Things sound exhausting and sucky for you right now. Sorry.

    March 20, 2014
    • I DO read, and it’s helped me be a little less self-conscious, for sure, and to take the sexlessness seriously, rather than just treating it as normal. Which it ALSO is (for many of us). But ultimately his advice can’t solve the key problem, just tends to make me feel even more guilty.

      March 20, 2014
      • Rosalind #

        😦

        Hopefully it’s just a symptom of parenting small people; I can’t fathom how you’d have energy for anything else.

        My husband and I have to schedule all of our sex due to our disparate schedules, so I get it. I dream of spontaneity and puppy love, but it’s seldom like that. Still, it keeps us close and reminds us that we’re not just roommates.

        March 27, 2014
  5. I have nothing terribly helpful to say except for ‘You are not alone’. I have zero interest in sex these days.

    I shoot for twice a week, because it is so important to Hubs (how men feel loved, etc etc) but to be honest (which I am NOT AT ALL with Hubs) I would much rather not. Sex is gross. But its easier than fighting. It’s just one more thing on my list of ‘things I have to do’. Like laundry, or cooking dinner.

    So romantic.

    March 20, 2014
    • Oh, that cracked me up. “Sex is easier than fighting.” Twice a week is also what my husband has requested, and, you know, NOT HAPPENING. So kudos to you.

      March 20, 2014
      • Cj #

        yea, I once offered twice a week if I could just slap a picture of Megan Fox on my back and flip over. He declined that offer. He wants me to “be into it,” his words. Grr… I want to want to again.

        March 20, 2014
    • CJ – yes, mine complains if I’m not ‘into it’ as well. Ugh. They can be so ungrateful can’t they?

      March 20, 2014
  6. CJ #

    have you read this:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/09/magazine/does-a-more-equal-marriage-mean-less-sex.html

    I think this might totally be my problem. Shit. I want 50/50, but do I really want it?

    March 20, 2014
    • I DID READ THAT! And it made me sad. We’ve totally got one of those 50/50 marriages that the article implied are all emasculating. (Actually, the part where a husband says something like “I’m fine with things as they are.” made me feel a little better.)

      March 20, 2014
  7. Wow I totally could have written this post if I could stand being that honest about how I sound and if I’d ever come up with the idea that a little nookie might help. Thanks for the revelation, might have to give that a try!

    March 20, 2014
  8. Ana #

    Yes to all of this. We are currently “on the wagon” of one time/week because and it DOES make it easier to talk about the hard stuff (parenting, his-failure-at). And I also read that article about equal marriages, and yes, that does explain a lot of it. (because in our house, he is also often “too tired” after dealing with the kids for a few hours). There is no “in the mood” going on, it always starts off as a chore, but usually ends in a much better state.
    In fact, I credit your advice way back when to even realizing there IS a wagon and that we HAD fallen far far off of it. So…I know you can do it, because you are amazing in every way.

    March 20, 2014
  9. I feel awful. My husbands wants it all the time and I resent him because all I want to do is sleep and I just don’t have the energy to do it. I am trying super hard to get all excited about it but honestly the idea of an earlier bed time is more appealing. WHICH IS BAD.

    March 20, 2014
  10. I said I wouldn’t comment, but I changed my mind. Also, unlike what I said in the email, I’ll try not to make this all about me.
    During my residency, we had weekly lectures by various experts on a variety of topics. One week, it was sex therapy. The guy had a PhD and had written a number of books (one of which I bought. Ahem) and the thing that struck me most in his talk was when he said that in a stable relationship, you could use sex as a bargaining tool in a totally healthy, totally functional way. So, ‘we can have sex as long as we talk about parenting our toddler is totally legit’ according to one Canadian expert on sex (wait, is that an oxymoron?).

    March 21, 2014
  11. I can’t give you any advice about the parenting, obviously. But I do agree about the housework. My husband sounds like your husband to the extent he leaves things all over the house and never puts them away. I am not the fucking maid who is responsible for his things and ALL the housework. There is nothing unsexier than this because when I am tired already it just makes me angry that he isn’t doing his share. On the other hand, there is nothing sexier than my husband doing the vacuuming in his shorts.

    March 21, 2014
  12. Steph #

    I know you’re going to find this shocking and all but I haven’t given any up since the baby was born. Yep 4 1/2 months and I do believe our longest streak ever. Wednesday was my birthday and he brought home flowers and a cake and then requested sex. I didn’t answer but instead fell asleep in A’s bed by 8pm. Clearly sending a no sex for you smoke signal from the opposite end of the house. It is normalish for us to go a while but not this long. Three times a month sounds like a good goal though. Maybe next year I can stop pulling the “new baby card” if he threatens divorce for withholding then again maybe not.

    March 21, 2014
  13. There are times I am very happy to be single. This is one of them.

    Sorry you’re dealing with all this.

    March 22, 2014
  14. My life totally is like a TV series. Haven’t you noticed? (Me neither.)
    Hope you did get some sex, and some parenting conversations. And that at least one of those was enjoyable.

    March 22, 2014
  15. I am late to read and comment, but I really related to this post. Pre-kids, I used to enjoy having sex with my husband. Now, I could care less whether we have sex, ever.

    I used to think that this might be medication or stress related. Now I wonder. . .

    He says he would be happy with once or twice a week. We are currently averaging once or twice a month.

    March 24, 2014
  16. Damn you for writing these posts and making me think about this important issue when I’d rather just sleep or maybe sit around and eat Ritz crackers while reading a book on my phone. Now I’m going to a) pretend I didn’t read this or any of the other insightful comments b) wake up and put together a plan to do something about this
    c) talk to K about it
    d) something else
    e) Spend a bit of time being reassured that others are in the same boat.

    March 24, 2014
  17. if it wasn’t for you, i might have given up on ever trying to relate to another human being ever again.

    March 28, 2014
  18. Ah, at last a moment in which I can expound my theory. I did stop for a bit and think how and if this could be applied to sex, but sure why not, I reckon. Sex is not so different to the other things, things that work so well with Twangy’s Non-Punitive Reward System.

    It works like this: Must you make a pain-in-the-arse work phone call? Or de-junglise the garden? Have you a really big and complicated project with multiple stages to complete? No bother. Get a piece of paper, write the tasks on it, draw a box beside them, and when you complete the tasks, tick the box. When you have enough ticks (Whatever you think seems right. Make it easy.) you get a reward (Also whatever you think is commensurate. Make it nice.) A morning off, a cup of coffee and a scone, a present of a piece of music, an outing, a book, some telly-watching. Bask in the smugness during these; really, really bask. You didn’t quite manage to complete the task: this is completely fine! You’re human. No punishment, just no reward.

    No doubt there are those who will think this very self-indulgent and to them I say merely: it works. Admittedly I have not tried it with sex, as of this writing, but I don’t see why it won’t work.
    Maybe I’ll try it. So there, critics.

    April 1, 2014
    • I certainly think the task stage would be entertaining to jot down…

      April 1, 2014
      • Hah, yeah. But coffee! And a scone! What’s a person got to lose?

        April 3, 2014

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