Maybe it was something physical. (Like heart disease or diabetes. But the urologist and the pelvic floor physical therapist both said everything was fine.)
She felt bad when he got soft. Like it was her fault. Maybe it was because she wasn’t hot enough. Or sexy enough. Or tiny enough. Or had big enough boobs. Maybe it was her.
He felt bad when he got soft. Like it was his fault. Maybe it was because he wasn’t young enough. Or manly enough. Or turned on enough. Or enough for her.
She imagined him behind her, touching her - maybe in public somewhere. Of course, she’d never actually do that. She was quite private.
She got turned on. Which was a good thing. It didn’t always happen, but when it did, she loved the warm flowing feeling in her body when she heard his voice on the phone. Or the thought of him. Sometimes, she had trouble getting herself into the right headspace. But, on this particular day, for no particular reason, her body was right there. Responsive and alive. She tingled with a sensation like no other.
Sex was a real problem. There were arguments. Tears and accusations. Even therapy and conversations about divorce. But that’s all over now.
Let’s face it. You’re not having sex. At least not more than a couple of times a year. Maybe more. Maybe less.
It’s been like this for a long time. Nothing’s changing. Don’t even need to talk about it anymore. You both know that this is the way it is. And the way it'll be.
How often are we supposed to do it? Whatever you tell me, I’m going home to tell my husband tonight.
Setting: in a hotel bathroom in Minneapolis. On break from a conference I was attending. I’d just told the group that I’m a sex expert who helps couples navigate intimacy issues.
Date: sometime in 2012
Her: You’re a sex therapist? OMG I need to talk to you.
Her friend: Me too! Totally. I have so many questions!
Me: Actually I call myself a sex coach, but I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
Her: A sex coach? Do you go into the bedroom and watch people doing it? Do you do it with your clients? I have to know!
The retreats include experts in meditation, yoga, nutrition and skin care. Everything a woman needs to find real peace in her life. But sex? Nope. Never.
YOU: Why don’t we do that more often?
YOUR PARTNER: I have no idea.
Sex is self care. (good sex, that is)
I'm binge listening to Glennon Doyle's podcast "We can do hard things". Her book "Untamed" was lifesaving for many during the pandemic.
She talks about real self care, something you do on the inside for yourself - not on the outside for the world. Not retail therapy & junk TV. Not the mani-pedi, happy hour kind.
She talks about creating something new so that you don't need a vacation from what’s real. I love all this, but I've noticed that so far, Glennon hasn't mentioned anything about sex.
Thinking about sex as self care for women is controversial.