November 26, 2013

"Why I’m Happier in a Sexless Marriage."

A headline at Redbook. Excerpt.
I appreciate the idea of sex, but I feel about it like I feel about working out...

My husband’s the same way.... Not having sex be a regular part of our routine means we’ve had to work harder to fulfill each other’s emotional needs.

What would I do if my husband wanted more sex? Well, then, he wouldn’t be my husband...

42 comments:

traditionalguy said...

Some people are sexperts who do great romantic work in bed. That calls for a surrender to the partner, and marriage makes such total trusting safer.

Other people do not trust to share anything with anybody ever. Trusting people is like Christianity; It is an action of faith.

cubanbob said...

The lies people tell each other. I can see infrequent sex in your fifties going forward, but in your early thirties?

damikesc said...

I find it amusing that women who want less sex in marriage would be livid if the husband got sex elsewhere.

There are expectations in marriage. Not saying women should be forced to give up sex to the man...but if they don't, they shouldn't be stunned if the man goes somewhere else for it.

betamax3000 said...

Is she over 176 pounds? Maybe she is just being cautious.

Ann Althouse said...

There are different sexual orientations. Why is this one disparaged?

damikesc said...

There are different sexual orientations. Why is this one disparaged?

If this was agreed to in advance, that would be one thing. Nothing indicates this was the agreement at the start.

If a lack of sex was known before a proposal was made, then the guy has no right to complain. If it was sprung up after the vows, that'd be fraud at least.

m stone said...

we’ve had to work harder to fulfill each other’s emotional needs.

That's the kiss of death to many marrieds, not just husbands.

I don't disparage this "sexual orientation," but I wonder why you call it a sexual orientation. It's really a decision, and quite challenging in a good way.

BDNYC said...

This isn't an orientation exactly. I think if this woman was single and childless in an alternate universe, her sex drive would be much different. Female sexuality is so complex. Who knows, maybe she's bored with her husband and her humdrum life? Maybe her lack of exercise has made her into an overweight mom, soenthibbg she doesn't like to see in the mirror?

The man strikes me as one of those guys who says and does anything just to affirm his wife, even if doing so is not in the couple's best interests.

Are you suggesting these people are asexual, or merely that there's an asexuality spectrum? That has to be true. But some behavior is so unusual that I tend to think it has a psychological or physical explanation rather than some hard-wiring "orientation" explanation.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

Unilateral decision to shut down sexual relations in marriage = constructive abandonment, no?

Assuming no external factors (medical reasons, spousal abuse or decline in attractiveness), I think taking this position would require renegotiating the terms of the marriage to say the least.

betamax3000 said...

RE: ""Why I’m Happier in a Sexless Marriage."

A French magazine would include the term 'mistress'.

Broomhandle said...

If it is a mutual decision then, God bless. Consensual relationships are formed to meet the needs of the two people involved. I've learned that it's madness for an outsider to assume they understand what makes other people's relationships tick.

Shawn Levasseur said...

To call the relationship described in the article, "Sexless" is at best, hyperbole. At worst, bullshit.

Just reading the first paragraph gives lie to the term "sexless". But then again, it wouldn't attract as many readers if they titled it "Marriage with occasional sex".

Given this article is bylined "as told to..." the author, this may be a work of fiction, an article to attract readers in order to be able to sell ads.

betamax3000 said...

Read the excerpts again while imaging Hillary Clinton as the writer. Does it ring true?

It is fun to think fun thoughts.

Salamandyr said...

Does she make any mention of the amount that her husband makes recourse to pornography?

I understand that porn induced onanism is becoming a real relationship problem of late. Perhaps she's just chosen to make lemonade.

Salamandyr said...

I'm only going by this excerpt, but does the whole piece read as selfish as this "What would I do if my husband wanted more sex? Well, then, he wouldn’t be my husband..."?

Is there a single line expressing the sacrifices she is willing to make for him?

traditionalguy said...

Male sexual lifestyle is best understood by Henry VIII's pragmatic approach to sex and marriage. But at least he wanted sons and daughters. His son Edward died young, but then daughters Mary and Elizabeth were ready to do their part next.

Bloody Mary came to the throne as a Catholic absolutist and burned alive the Episcopal Archbishops and thousands of others. But Elizabeth was said to be illegitimate by Papal rules, so when she became Monarch on Mary's death she welcomed home the reformers from Geneva and adopted the half Reformed views that Episcopalians enjoy to this day.

So children are the raw material of all new society.

EDH said...

I'd never rely on Chairman Mao for sex advice.

Howard Roark said...

Maybe the husband prefers a sexless marriage to a divorce which leaves him separated from his children and financially destroyed.

Brian said...

Well, I read the whole article (no offense, but it seems that many of you didn't) and their "happy sexless marriage" seems to be the product of a union of two people with sex drives at the left-hand side of the distribution. It's good that they found each other.

Of course this supposes that her description of the husband is true, which it may not be. But men with low sex drive do exist.

madAsHell said...

This isn't a sexual orientation. It's a lie, and she's hoping that if she repeats it loudly and frequently, then it will become the truth.

Joe said...

A marriage is considered sexless if sex occurs six or fewer times a year.

In this case, if it is genuinely a mutual decision, I'm happy for them--they found someone truly compatible in each other. The misery is when there a vastly differing expectations made worse when one party unilaterally decides to enforce theirs.

Joe said...

I'm only going by this excerpt, but does the whole piece read as selfish as this "What would I do if my husband wanted more sex? Well, then, he wouldn’t be my husband..."?

I think she's being pragmatic. If she wanted sex six times a year and he six times a week, compromise would be hopeless, intimacy destroyed and the marriage would collapse. Note that she explains just this in the same paragraph.

AustinRoth said...

This isn't a sexual orientation. It's a lie

Why does it have to be a lie? Me and my wife have been married for almost 30 years now. We had an extremely active sex life for the first 10 years of our marriage - deeply passionate, wonderfully caring, and varied in what we both felt comfortable with.

Over time, we have both lost a lot of our drive, but not our love for each other. "Rarely" wold be the right word foe sex now, but our marriage is as strong as ever, we remain very loving and affectionate with each other, and we are both very comfortable and happy with our life together.

There are many paths to a successful marriage, so what is wrong with being happy with little to no sex if that is what both partners want?

Michael McNeil said...

“Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained; and the restrainer or reason usurps its place & governs the unwilling.
“And being restrain'd it by degrees becomes passive till it is only the shadow of desire.”
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Ann Althouse said...

How do people know whether they are doing what they want to do?

My assumption is that whatever people are doing, when they have the power to do other things, it's what they want to do.

Now, if they somehow also think they should want to do something else, they should examine why they think that and if they want to change what they want then they can try, but they'll know what they want when they see what they are doing.

If somebody else has an opinion about the way people should do something other than what they are doing, they need to examine both why they think that AND why they think it's their business.

I assume that they are doing what THEY want to do which is to have opinions about what other people do.

And what I'm doing is saying that, because I want to.

Bill R said...

She claims to be attractive. If so, he's gay.

She knows it too.

Ann Althouse said...

"Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained; and the restrainer or reason usurps its place & governs the unwilling."

But who even tries to restrain sexual desire (for one's partner) in marriage? The opposite is what happens: People try to do what they think they should despite adequate desire. You can disparage others, saying they lack enough desire, but you should see that you don't know whether many proceed to perform acts where they lack sexual desire.

They WANT to do these acts, but why do they want them if they haven't enough desire? Those are the people who seem the saddest, the most conventional.

I think it's better to really have your authentic desire and yet not have sex than to not have authentic sexual desire and yet perform sex anyway.

(Unless you're striving for pregnancy.)

art.the.nerd said...

> I’m Happier in a Sexless Marriage.

Sounds like my ex.

> What would I do if my husband wanted more sex?
> Well, then, he wouldn’t be my husband.

Yup. That's (one reason) why she's my ex.

Trashhauler said...

Wouldn't it be more correct to call this an asexual orientation. Unless one also calls atheism a religious orientation....

Doug said...

Maybe she's frigid.

EMD said...

One of them is a beard.

John Lynch said...

Sex is an emotional need.

People can have whatever marriage they agree on. But why promote it?

tim maguire said...

I think it's important for us to have an opinion on other people's sex lives. Thank god some of those people have the decency to write about it in magazines.

mccullough said...

She's lucky she married a 34-year-old guy with the sex drive of a 90-year-old man.

But we'd all like to hear from the husband directly, just to verify.

damikesc said...

Of course this supposes that her description of the husband is true, which it may not be. But men with low sex drive do exist.

I'm on the low end of the spectrum --- but I need it at least weekly. I'll do more if the wife wants it, which she tends to do more than I do, since it's definitely not unpleasant and I'd hope she'd return the favor if the situations are reversed.

Alex said...

Another emasculated liberal girly man.

Archie said...

Seems like B.S. to me. yet, perhaps the gap is filled with blow jobs? We know from no lesser authority than Bill Clinton that blow jobs are not sex.

jr565 said...

How do we know he isn't getting sex elsewhere? Would she be ok with it if he was?

Trashhauler said...

A wife may decide if she does not want sex. Her husband is free to agree with her.

Scugger said...

If it works for them and they are happy good for them. Over the next 50 years you will probably find societal acceptance of a variety of different lifestyles. Multiple partner and multiple couple marriages, communal living, adult/child, human/robot and human/animal are all relationships that will eventually become acceptable in society. People will look back at this period in time and wonder why there was any fuss about gay marriage.

Trashhauler said...

"If it works for them and they are happy good for them."

You misunderstand. It need only work for her. The husband must put up with it or, if he chooses, leave.

Scugger said...

If he stays it works for both since it's not important enough of an issue for him to leave.
Not making a decision to leave is still a choice.