Suburban Snapshots

Because if I don't Talk About Sex I'm Going to Talk About Dog Poop

Monday, October 01, 2012

I'm finding myself talking a lot about sex lately with married girlfriends. It's dirty and fascinating and sometimes sad, because often the situation isn't a balanced one.

Whenever I post status updates about Steve's advances, one or two comments will say something along the lines of, "I'd like to have that problem." And while the reality of a husband too tired for or uninterested in sex isn't one I live in, I am close with women who are there now, or who've dealt with it, argued over it, been frustrated and sometimes angered by it.

I also have friends who struggle with guilt over their own indifference to sex, or who don't feel guilty about it at all given the work they do for their households and just wish their husbands would roll over and go to sleep for a change. And there are others where neither spouse is particularly motivated toward physical intimacy and content to live mostly as loving, committed companions.



Steve and I have been in a couple of these places. There were months when I felt I could easily do without, but tried not to let more than 3 weeks pass because the nagging guilt would finally get to me. There have been a couple rare occasions when he's been too stressed out or exhausted and I've let him sleep instead. There were months when anytime we could get Anna to spend quality time with Nick Jr. we'd sneak off for 15 minutes, and date nights that could have resulted in really embarrassing moving violations (pun not intended but awesome).

If our parents are still reading: YOU KNEW THE RISKS.

We still have those moments, and through our most prolific stint -- owed largely to our time in counseling and a whole lot of learning about marriage and each other -- I've gotten better at seeing sex not as a chore and instead as one of the ways we maintain our relationship as a couple and not strictly as two people relentlessly responsible for raising a third human. It's also a delightful addition to my regular workout routine of bending over several times a day to pick up dog shit and dust bunnies.

I like our pace, even the waxes and wanes. What's working now is that Steve figured out what I needed and I figured out how to respond to what he needs. We enjoy each other and have stupid fun together. There are still nights when the familiar hand on my hip causes me to roll my eyes in the dark, anything but in the mood, but now there's no tension, just a quick swat and a rain check.

Where do you fall? Ebbs, flows, aggravation, stress, are you like teenagers on weekends? All the time? Do you talk about it? (Note to my parents: DO NOT ANSWER THIS and WHY ARE YOU EVEN STILL READING?) I wonder how we all manage, and how we can help each other do better.

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