American’s are weird about sex. Very weird. We use sex to sell everything in America from hamburgers to perfume to children’s toys. We sexualize our daughters from day one. We make sex a staple of comedy, tragedy and it is mostly what we watch on the Internet. We pursue it, we capture data on it, we demand it so much we are legalizing rape and upskirt photos.
However, if someone actually dares to embrace their sexuality, be positive about their sexuality, unashamedly like sex we reduce them to sluts, ‘ho’s, and horn-dogs. A woman who enjoys sex and has more than just a few partners becomes unworthy of marriage and open to slut shaming. A man can have conquests, but if he manifests a truly healthy interest in sex and does not use it as a means of oppression and force, then he is also slut shamed.
Finally, sex fills most of our media and we talk about it in lots of forums. However, when a couple has been together more than a few years and one party looses interest in sex, the most common thing expressed is, “Well, I miss sex, but I know it shouldn’t be important.”
But sex is important. It is fundamental to the human experience. It is core to our being. Our bodies actually need it. Sex releases brain chemicals related to relaxation and happiness. Sex helps people sleep better. It helps people bond to one another. Lack of it leads people to take longer and hotter showers to replace the warmth and connection they are missing. It creates tension. It can lead to decreased body acceptance and increased depression.
I have had conversations with more than a dozen people in the last two weeks about sex. None of them are getting the sex they want. Some are single. Some are in marriages where their partners have lost all interest in sex. Some of them are in a rut with their current partner and don’t know how to break out of it.
Sexless marriages are common enough to have a set government definition. A sexless marriage is one where the couple has sex less than six times a year. The average married American under 60 has sex an average of 1.2 times a week or about 5 times a month (General Social Survey). However, almost five percent of married women report no sexual activity in the past two months. This is a dramatic increase from the first survey in 1989 which found only 1.2 percent of married women under sixty going without sex in the past 60 days.
Sexless or nearly sexless relationships can take a grave toll on people. I can speak from personal experience. That last year I lived with my ex-wife, she and I had sex three times. This was absolutely devastating to me. I loved her dearly. I wanted to hold true to my promise to be with her forever. I wanted to protect and help her and have her be happy. For health and other reasons, we stopped having sex.
I became depressed. I felt horrible about my body. I felt very, very ugly and hated looking at myself in pictures. I felt I failed her. I felt undesirable and lost confidence in many areas. When I would try and initiate intimacy and be turned down, it sent me into a very deep depression.
I told myself over and over I should not make sex a big deal. Sex should only be a minor part of the relationship and I should learn to accept this new norm because I loved this woman dearly and wanted to make the relationship work. She did not want me to touch her and I should simply learn to accept that and be happy she still wanted to live with me and make a life with me.
It was a big deal. It is a big deal to a number of my friends in current sexless marriages.
What people forget is that sex is not just about getting to an orgasm. It is not always about conquest. Sex is a form of communication. It serves as a way to let your partner(s) know you care about and love them. Intimate physical touch communicates things differently than any words, music, gestures, or gifts can.
In an intimate relationship, when the sex stops, it is the equivalent of having a partner lose their eye sight or hearing. Sure, you can still communicate. Sure, the love is still there. But the communication is changed. Something will be lacking. If your partner suddenly lost their ability to hear, you could both learn sign language. You could still have conversations. You can still communicate. However, that communication is forever changed. Additionally, things are communicated differently if you are signing them versus hearing them.
Not Getting the Sex You Want
Sometimes, couples keep having sex, but it is not the sex one of the partners wants. In the last month, I have have seven women who are married or in a serious relationship tell me, “My partner will not pull my hair. It is so frustrating!”
None of these women are in the kink community. They are all in vanilla relationships. They all desperately want their partners to pull their hair. Its not about inflicting pain or dominance. Its about communicating passion. To have your partner grab your hair during sex or to wrap their hands in your tresses and pull you in for a passionate kiss is amazing. It communicates base, animalistic desire. When a partner pulls your hair, you feel that they are overcome with passion for you, they want you so badly they become primal and grab your locks caveman-style. It is sexy as hell.
We all want to feel desired by the person we love. We all want someone we find sexy and love to feel overpowered by their need to touch us they grab us, kiss us passionately, push us up against a wall, run their hand up our skirt and grab our hair. Several of these women have asked their partners to pull their hair. Universally, the results are poor. Their partners tepidly tug on a few tresses, but the passion is not there. Everyone needs a bit of hot crazy passion on occasion to make us feel sexy and desirable.
Stop Saying Sex Is No Big Deal
Sex is a big deal. Sex in a relationship is a huge deal. It is a primary means to communicate with a romantic partner. Is helps us feel desirable, confident, and powerful. It makes us feel more connected to our partners. It helps relieve stress and increases happiness. Having the person you love romantically not desire to touch you is devastating. Go ahead, embrace your desires. Talk about your needs. Grab your partner by the hair, kiss them hard, and let them know how utterly important and beautiful they are to you. If you can’t do that on occasion, seek out help for the medical or mental health issue blocking you from showing your partner how much you love them.