Saturday, September 30, 2006

Must... Kill...

I have just been reading C-Marie's latest poignant post and, oh, it hurt to read. It was so sad. But equally, I was slightly frightened by my own aggressive impulses. I just wanted to strangle JM and throw him out of the nearest window, however good a person and husband he is in other ways, and however much C-Marie may love him. Sorry, C-Marie.

Speaking of men like JM, there is a voice you don't often hear: the voice of the low libido male. Not many of them, I think, would have the guts. But was I grateful to hear it? No, this article, Not This Year, Dear made me want to scream:

I've never had much of a sex drive... after starting to live with my wife, once a night quickly yielded to once every few days, once a week, and now, at age 49, it's basically an annual event.

This guy claims to love his wife (and probably does) and to find her attractive. They seem to have tried a few avenues:

After just a year together, my wife was hotter-to-trot than ever, but I already regarded sex as more of an obligation than a pleasure. So we started a years-long effort to stir up my juices: going to bed early, varying positions, watching porn flicks, reading marital manuals. There was nothing for me in books, no matter how optimistic the title: "Rekindling Desire" rekindled nothing. Never did I have the urge to thrust her on the bed and make mad passionate love... Sex seemed like a big bother -- nothing more, nothing less.

They tried sex therapy, which didn't work:

We saw a big-shot sex therapist but were helped neither by the psychoanalytic explanations (e.g., a dominating mother) nor the exercises (20 minutes of non-genital touching with and without peacock feathers). The therapy's main positive effect was that as soon as we'd leave the therapist's office we'd laugh at his beside-the-point nostrums. His $115-per-hour fee wasn't as funny.

This particular quote made me think that Tajalude may also struggle with aggressive impulses if she reads this article:

I... can masturbate quite well, thank you. (Although such self-pleasuring always includes fantasies of women, it never translates to an urge to make love with real women. The work of turning a woman on usually is enough to dissipate what little lust had been aroused.)... Apfelbaum, of the sex therapy group, says many of his male clients exhibit a similar indifference. "Why bother with a half-hour warming up my wife and worrying about whether I'll be able to perform, when I can masturbate with no pressure in front of some babe on my computer screen?"

Now, I have no difficulty understanding why someone wouldn't want to have sex if they have an emotionally distant, inconsiderate or sexually talentless partner. I would rather have no sex than bad sex. But with this guy, emotional intimacy, his wife's level of a skill and a "happy" marriage seem to make no difference:

My wife, if I give her half a chance, is a good lover. And our marriage, outside of bed, is better than most. After 25 years together, we still would rather hang out with each other than with anyone else. Yet I have more interest in anything than in sex -- I'd rather clean out the basement than make love.

I am just wondering if his wife thinks she has a happy marriage. If she is happy.

You know, I do kind of feel for this guy. He seems to love his wife, he is articulate, he is emotionally open. He has tried, and it seems like nothing has worked. And I think the man does have courage to write such an article and, even more, to put his name to it.

So why does reading this article make me want to scream "Go clean out the fucking basement, then, you fucking schmuck! Enjoy!"


Blogger DisappearingJohn said...

I really don't think its a gender based thing, but, like you said, men are less likely to go public with their own problems.

Some of it is groing more comfortable with each other over time. Although this guy you are quoting seems to have a medical problem (hormonal issues, perhaps) more than anythign else...

4:21 PM  
Blogger LePhare said...

I don't mind admitting that I am in a sexless marriage, but not a loveless one. My wife has Multiple Sclerosis and by mutual consent sex is not longer a part of our partnership.

It's something I know we both miss but it's not the most important thing in our lives. Just getting through the day can be that sometimes.

P.S. I enjoy your blog and have visited often.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Digger Jones said...

When I first read your post, I thought, "Lucky guy." He's certainly not happy about it, tho.

So why not let his wife find something on the side? Because he's afraid she will leave him and he can't believe he'd find a woman who would want to grow old with him, without making sexual demands. He's a dumbass, because there are LEGIONS of women who would like to grow old with a nice guy and be left alone sexually! The prevelance among men is still only 1/4 that of women!

So, not much satisfaction for me in that article. I just identify with the wife that much more.


6:59 PM  
Blogger Cat said...

Maybe I am putting too much emphasis on sex here but that just doesn't sound like a marriage to me. It sounds like they are siblings or roommates. I hope she does have someone on the side I can't imagine going an entire year without sex.

7:49 PM  
Blogger Confused Husband said...

I really don't have much to add here except I hope that I don't come close to what he's going through. I know I'm not there. Or even close. But at times I feel like it could happen. Just couldn't tell by the way this week has gone.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Dewdrop said...

Have you got that bloke's address??? lol

1:16 AM  
Blogger C-Marie said...

I have to laugh at Dewdrops comment!!

No, Emily, no offense taken here. When he acts like this, he deserves a beat down!

4:01 AM  
Blogger Rob said...

Maybe it's a medical condition with that guy's low libido. I'm not surprised at how Viagra sales are going through the roof.

5:49 AM  
Blogger Mu Ling said...

Could be a medical condition. Or not. Just as some people don't really care for spicy food, or some people don't really like swimming, some people just don't like sex. I think it's difficult for men, particularly, in our culture to be this way, since we're brainwashed to think that all men want sex, all the time.

Sure, I sound reasonable enough, but I read this when it first appeared on Salon and I too wanted to kill the guy.

8:12 AM  
Blogger freebird said...

Just too depressing for words.

6:13 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

I don't know. . . It seems telling to me how he describes real sex with a real woman as 'too demanding', compared to stroking off to a picture on his 'puter. Something not quite right there, I think. . .

9:35 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

Apfelbaum, of the sex therapy group, says many of his male clients exhibit a similar indifference. "Why bother with a half-hour warming up my wife and worrying about whether I'll be able to perform, when I can masturbate with no pressure in front of some babe on my computer screen?"

And so many people still insist that long-term exposure to porn has no effect whatsoever on the mind.

He's not really low-libido, he's just lazy.

1:43 PM  

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