Sexless Marriage: A Silent Epidemic
Imagine overhearing a boisterous restaurant patron babbling about his erectile dysfunction, sexless marriage, or decade-long addiction to Oxycodone. As an outsider you wouldn’t hesitate to lift an eyebrow or at least develop second thoughts about ordering the Sea Bass.
While such a scenario may be a commonly scrapped sitcom idea, it’s about as likely as sighting a dashing, two-legged hairy crab in the wild. Some troubles are too emasculating to talk about, even when confiding in the closest of friends.
Coupled with the blissfully naive “it won’t happen to me” syndrome, silence about sexless marriages leads to new generations of hopeful newlyweds unable to assess pitfalls that may lie ahead. Put alongside grim divorce statistics and factors such as biologically programmed boredom for the same sex partner, shifting personalities over time, plus the fickle nature of love, and it becomes difficult to build a strong case for marrying for happiness. In a purely rational sense what is its utility beside an ideal arrangement for the breeding and rearing of children?
Marriage norms play cruel tricks on men. Young bucks that struggle to bed lasses while single look at matrimony as a way of securing regular sex. When they do find a regular lover they’re sucked in by the primal urge to seal off competition and the socialized way to do so is by sacrificing three months salary at De Beers. Although they’re semi-conscious their lust will wane someday, current longing for their partner and a healthy libido trumps far off concerns. Eventually men are weaned off of sex, the root of their pair bond, and their primary reason for marrying in the first place.
Christa D’Souza’s article in The Guardian titled ‘Life after lust – the appeal of sexless marriage’ attempts to normalize the tendency of older couples to avoid sex. She concludes that married folks are pressured by sexual themes in the media, leading them to believe all the youngins are having fantastic sex while their love life is practically non-existent. Isn’t it strange those whom make up the media are always trumpeting the harm it does, even when it’s largely irrelevant?
Is tossing out sex really a mutual decision or is it actually friend-zoning a spouse then rationalizing the arrangement is better for both involved? Women are notorious for the latter, although some men do lose interest in banging their wife first. As it takes one to call off the tango, the likelihood of both sides swearing off sex simultaneously as implied by D’Souza is laughably improbable. From what my gut tells me and from what I’ve learned on one of the biggest groups on Experience Project, ‘I Live In a Sexless Marriage,’ the arrangement usually leaves one half of the union in a state of quiet desperation (if not the whole).
The delusion is strong in D’Souza:
Where to begin? If a man admits to his wife he’s getting handjobs from a Thai babe named Lawan there’s a decent chance he’s nailing escorts too. The massage parlor tidbit is a smokescreen, as he’s admitting to a degree of wrongdoing to cover his butt without disclosing the brunt of it. Also, how would she know he’d never get involved with anyone else? If he has an ounce of sense left he considers bolting whenever he pours himself a dram of scotch.
As for the woman that said sex would impair they’re relationship “at this stage,” I wonder if her husband shares her sentiments. Somehow I doubt it.
For insight into how people really feel about their sexless marriage without the PC-filter and a haze of self-deception, explore this group on Experience Project. There are a staggering 28,497 members sharing 12,557 stories. Situations like this are too embarrassing to disclose properly without the mask of anonymity, so it is only now honest representations of sexless marriages are coming to light via the internet. Judging from the stats on EP, separate beds ala I Love Lucy are rampant.
Just when I thought the institution of marriage couldn’t fall more short of its supposed merits an astonishing truth has dealt another hefty blow.