March 11, 2017

"I don’t think people are missing sex, per se, so much as they are missing touch. The loss of a partner results in skin 'hunger.'"

"That’s more challenging to address. Being open to hugs from friends, treating yourself to massages, etc, can all help. I won’t marry again. I doubt I will have a sexual relationship with anyone. I had the love of my life. I won’t stop missing my husband and what we had together. However, people to talk with, people to hug, people to care about and that I hope care about me? Those things, along with pets, being part of a larger community such as church or politics or whatever results from one’s special interests, and having activities one enjoys, can result in a very rich life. The lack of the sex act itself does not diminish a life."

A comment on a NYT essay, "When a Partner Dies, Grieving the Loss of Sex."

16 comments:

Michael K said...

I lived in Leisure World for a couple of years and saw what quite a few widows and widowers do about sex.

YoungHegelian said...

"That’s more challenging to address. Being open to hugs from friends, treating yourself to massages, etc, can all help. I won’t marry again. I doubt I will have a sexual relationship with anyone. I had the love of my life. I won’t stop missing my husband and what we had together. However, people to talk with, people to hug, people to care about and that I hope care about me? Those things, along with pets, being part of a larger community such as church or politics or whatever results from one’s special interests, and having activities one enjoys, can result in a very rich life. The lack of the sex act itself does not diminish a life."

And the Catholic idea of Holy Chastity walks in the door in disguise so no one recognizes it.

rhhardin said...

My dog always sleeps touching me.

Bill Peschel said...

A parenthetical note: I was listening to a podcast about comedians and depression. Dick Cavett was being interviewed. He recalls his first depressive episode occurred during his first year at Yale. It stunned him. He was where he wanted to be, doing what he wanted to do, being stimulated by great professors, etc., yet he desperately wanted to go home.

Depression has many causes. It can be genetic, it can be the result of trauma (I suffered episodes for many years after my dad dropped death -- health issues -- in front of me.)

But I wonder if it also can be caused by being physically yanked out of the environment you grew up in. On a subliminal level, your body knows something is wrong. The air smells different. The food tastes different. The weather's different. You're without your support network, your friends and family. This profound alienation could be survivable for most people, but maybe there's a certain percentage in whom it triggers profound depression.

Here's how this ties in to the above: I've lived alone in a house, and now I've been living with the same woman for 27 years. There's a huge difference between how I've felt in the two states. There's a huge comfort in being around someone else, feeling their heat next to you in bed. When I was alone, every unfamiliar noise at night triggered a primeval fear in me. With someone else, the fear is gone.

We're bred to belong in a small familiar group. Our culture tells us to fear them, to flee them, to be divided so we can be financially exploited. There's no money in sane, happy people. You have to break them first.

David Begley said...

Dick Cavett is from Nebraska so it is entirely understandable why he wanted to return home.

Cavett was back home a few weeks back. The Secretary of State returned to him some property he had forgotten about and was soon to escheat to the State (after publication and time).

EDH said...

"Tell me the buttons on your remote control are so small you can't find Fox News."

David Begley said...

Correction. Nebraska State Treasurer.

https://treasurer.nebraska.gov/news/2017/0218/

mockturtle said...

"The lack of the sex act itself does not diminish a life".

Yes, it does.

Trumpit said...

"My dog always sleeps touching me." That's touching.

Bay Area Guy said...


Now, I'm gonna love you
Till the heavens stop the rain
I'm gonna love you
Till the stars fall from the sky for you and I
Come on, come on, come on, come on
Now touch me, baby
- The Doors, Touch Me (1968)

Michael K said...

I was alone for about ten or fifteen years. I had a dog and, for a while, a cat, The dog was my pal and we went though quite a bit, including moving into the mountains where he had to deal with snow, deep snow.

I am back with my wife after 30 years apart and we got married again last fall.

It's better. We have a basset hound that likes to sleep between us. My other basset hound, that I had for ten years, died a year ago and I miss him but we adopted another and she is very gentle and patient. We are a family of three. The kids are all grown and between us we have seven. They are all doing well, some better than others but all independent.

We have discussed dying. It's nice to be together.

Carol said...

Wow, great story Mike. Wasn't she a nurse?

Owen said...

Dogs are wonderful. But therefore hard to lose. This is a little off-topic but maybe gets at the loss, which is not only about dogs but about being human. I wrote it for our old Lab five years ago.

Dog, Dying

He lies on his good side
Half-asleep under blankets
We draped against a chill
This Indian Summer day

Fourteen and some of our years
Gives him a hundred plus
In math that is harder for us
Than ever before

Every day of his life here
I have asked him
In absolute seriousness
What do dogs think

He has always answered
Without hesitation
In his own language
Wagging his whole body

Michael K said...

"Wow, great story Mike. Wasn't she a nurse?"

Yes, she was an ICU nurse when we met. We were married 8 years and divorced after which she went back to school and got two more degrees and became a nurse practitioner.

Guildofcannonballs said...

--"My dog always sleeps touching me." That's touching.--

Touché.

jimbino said...

Women with cats and dogs are unhuggable to me. I've heard that there are women out there who kiss and hug them. Ugh!