Thursday, February 22, 2007

Is That a Maybe?

Sometimes when a couple hasn't been sexual together for a long time, it all gets complicated. One or both of us starts to put things off. The other becomes increasingly uncertain that any advances will be accepted and stops making them.

Yes, I know. I shouldn't do that. But if you restrained yourself from asking for weeks or months at a time, and then finally gave in and asked and the answer was still no, well, you can see how that would become very discouraging. I don't ask any more. I feel so crappy when the answer is no over and over again that it seems better not to ask in the first place. Luckily, thanks to Thursday's Child, I know I am not alone in this.

A specifically sexual distance grows. We can be very emotionally close. We can be great friends. We can be great co-parents. But with any real possibility of sex put off over and over again, the sexual conection becomes very tenuous. The light flirtation that used to be a big feature of the relationship gradually disappears. If a mildly flirtatious or suggestive comment is greeted with a look of anxiety, it isn't fun any more. It's just "pressure", which apparently makes things worse and defers any possibilities even further into the distance.

Over time, it can be hard to maintain my own interest, at least in sex with him. It's hard to maintain an attraction to someone who seems so unattracted to me. It's just too unrewarding. I can love that person. But desire? Desire is a fickle emotion, anyway, flickering arbitrarily between people who are totally wrong for each other. It's not easily domesticated. And it's not easily summoned up at will, either.

And yet, if the situation is allowed to continue for too long, it is a major threat to the relationship. A person gets filled with resentment and melancholy and vulnerable to an affair.

Neither of us want the relationship to end and so it all becomes a delicate question of what to do.

Sex after a long break is actually a little wierd. Physically, I am hyper-responsive. By that stage, months and months of occasional arousal followed by little or no release means that the sense of relief is huge. But emotionally, it's quite strange. After a long period without sex, I go into myself. I become introspective. Those borders of myself that are open when we are both emotionally close and physically involved, slowly become sealed. To open them again feels like a wrench. Almost like an invasion.

The Big Dude has intimacy time planned for tonight. I wasn't sure if that included anything sexual, so I asked if there was anything he'd like to do. He said, "Get out the whipped cream". So we are probably on for tonight.

I am pleased. It's been lonely, being apparently the only one who cares about our sex life. But I'm a bit anxious, too.

That's the trouble with sexual anxiety. It's catching.


Blogger So Gone Over You said...

Here's to hoping tonight is everything you'd like for it to be... nothing more and nothing less. (((HUGS)))

12:07 PM  
Blogger flutterby said...

*happy dance*

mmmmm... whipped cream... I like the sound of that.

Best wishes for a great evening. Be FIERCE, girl -- don't let any anxiety or anything negative steal your fun.

Sending good vibes to the Big Dude.

2:18 PM  
Blogger oldbear said...

Good luck sweetheart!!

11:11 PM  
Blogger C-Marie said...

I wish you all the fun and adventure tonight!!
...but once again, I could've written this post, minus the whipped cream. :(

6:45 PM  
Blogger Tajalude said...

I'm wishing you the best! I know the role of playing the cautious optimist.

6:49 PM  
Blogger freebird said...

Sadly (or 'luckily', whichever way you see it) you are far from alone in this.
But hey, the whipped cream sounds far more exotic than anything in my marriage! Enjoy!

3:29 AM  
Blogger Fusion said...

Well? did it happen? I hope so!
I can SO relate to this post, it's exactly how I felt the last seven years of my marriage. I just gave up trying to get my wife in the mood, because she never was.

Please don't leave us waiting Emily!

9:41 AM  
Blogger Lickety Split said...

...what you said.

I can totally relate.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Fiona said...

Emily, I know what you mean. I hope things are better, but I do wonder if a session with whipped cream will take away the discomfort of so many months of nothing.

Giving you a great big hug!

4:01 PM  
Blogger kissmekate said...

I am hoping because we haven't seen you in blogland for a few days that all went well?

I am hoping you had a fantastic evening, and not too much mess with the cream!

5:46 PM  
Blogger hasarder said...

When I was in this kind of relationship, I found that the expectations rose as the sex life fell. When you get it regularly, you don't worry if occasionally it's a dud. But if I was going to get it only once every few months, I wanted the sex to be the best sex possible to make up for the celibacy. If fireworks didn't explode in the sky afterwards, I felt cheated. This kind of pressure really made things harder for me. Hopefully you have a more realistic expectation of what will happen than I did.

5:46 PM  
Blogger Ali said...


My address has changed. It is now

I just needed to remove certain readers. I hope not to lose you though, as I really appreciate what you have to say.


7:44 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

I totally understand.
I had that with my ex too. He'd deny me for so long that when he DID make a move, I found myself rejecting him, just because I didn't want ot be blamed for it the next day, or risk getting my hopes up only for him to crush them. It was easier to just say no and go without.

Good luck, I hope things get better for you!

Oh, and the new link is

11:08 PM  

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