Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sex and intimacy

yes.  I'm grown up so I can talk about sex without giggling.  though I do still giggle when they say duty on tv because it sounds like doody.

Did you know that  a study was once done on babies in an orphanage?  These babies were fed and diapered but not snuggled and loved.  They couldn't thrive and some died.  Snuggling and loving is very important to the human soul.  Touch is very important.

I think it is also important in relationships.  A male friend the other night was slightly inebriated and started crying to me about his wife.  They have been married over 8 years (I am guessing because their special needs kid is about that age) and she won't give him physical affection any more.  He is honestly thinking about cheating.  I gave him the same old line about her being tired and is he doing anything for her needs, and he assures me that he is, but she is still cold and frigid to him.

I had another friend who complained that her husband wasn't interested any longer.  She wondered if it was because she has recently put on a few pounds (on her, it goes straight to the boobs too!).

I've been through dry times in relationships.  The 17 year marriage went through a period of them.  I understand that they might be natural (dry times)- but I contend that they are damaging to the spouse and to the relationship.

Sex is linked to intimacy.  I know both can stand alone- but I am refering to the intimacy that is created through sex.  The closeness, the touch, the sharing, the trusting, the concentration on the spouse and only the spouse (everything else in the world forgotten for just a few moments).  That is needed.  This intimacy might be created other ways- but I usually find when the sex is gone, the spouse can't or won't concentrate solely on his/her partner- the touches are gone, the kisses, the everything that makes a marriage more than platonic.

I also understand that some relationships do fine without sex.  Awesome.  I might even get to that point at some time, but right now I am nearing forty and my sex drive is right up there.  I don't do the f-word, I don't pick up strangers, and I prefer my drive to be aimed at a meaningful connection in a relationship.  I also want to say that those relationships that do fine without sex usually have both spouses at that point.  My friends would not agree that no sex is good for their relationships.

I feel bad for both of them- just as I feel like crap when I am not getting loving.  I gasped when my girlfriend asked about her weight- making love should not have anything to do with that!  The spouse you married is going to look a hella different in 20 years, so don't expect a perfect body to last forever.  Wrinkles, sagging, scars, and maybe even injuries may occur to the partner.  You should still want to physically connect with him or her.  If not, something needs to be looked at.

If one partner is begging for sex and the other is denying it, something needs to be looked at as well!  This is a huge rejection.  It is painful and hard to understand.  My friend, the male, looks like a viking and was reduced to blubbering tears.  I've cried myself to sleep over this as well.  The denial goes beyond the rejection- it could also be a powerplay, a way to get back at the spouse, a selfish issue, a withdrawal from the relationship, intimacy issues, etc.

I didn't know exactly what to tell either friend- except hang in there, it might change. That's what I bitterly tell myself through my dry periods.  I wouldn't judge the male friend for cheating- I hope he doesn't, cheating isn't the best way to fix the issue.  I just hope the spouses see what the withdrawal of intimacy is doing to their other halves.  I just hope my friends can continue to thrive without touch.  Until things change- I have plenty of hugs for them (not as good- but OK for life support measures)


her mom said...

Talking. They need to talk with their spouses. If talking to each other doesn't work, they need to find a counselor. It needs to be addressed, not ignored. In my opinion. Just my opinion. A humble one at that.

Lyn said...

I agree with your Mum - talking is always the first step.

I feel bad for your Viking friend and his wife. So much stress - I hope they solve the issues as cheating is only a band-aid.

I've never been one for sex without intimacy. I think it's because I seem to work on an emotional level most of the time. The thought of sharing myself with someone who I had no feelings for is a turn off. Having said that I would relax my rules for Johnny Depp ;-)

BTW - What's a doody?

D.Suplicki said...

I'm adding my agreement to your mom as well and seconding Lyn on the relaxing of my intimacy rules for Johnny Depp.

I've never been one for F-ing, one night stands or anything outside of an intimate sexual relationship. I hope your friends can work things out.

Lyn- Doody is a cutesy word for poo! ;)

Pallas Renatus said...

I'm glad your Viking has a friend like you who will listen. When a similar situation happened to me recently, the immediate reaction I got from most people was to be told, basically, that I was "just being a dude" and to "lighten up". Before I could even complete my sentence they'd reach the conclusion that I was just horny looking for conquest, rather than hurt at the emotional & physical withdrawal of my partner.

I'm not sure there's much we can do besides listening without judgment, though. Partners can only talk these things out, and even then it's hit and miss, unfortunately.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Its really strange but I've been having similar conversations with friends in the past handfull of years but it always seems to be the women who are complaining about not getting enough sex even when they're bluntly putting out there what they need. I agree that sex and intimacy can go hand in hand or stand alone. As a girl who experimented a lot in her twenties I have been really happy to settle into a much more meaningful relationship with my husband now. Yes there are cycles in our relationship too but we tend to ride the same place on the wave at the same time so that is always comforting. For us we are definitely best friends and even when the sex isn't there we are still close, its just on a different level.

I think so much of what we deem "normal" in our sex lives is shoved down our throats by movies and television that can sometimes make a person feel like there is something lacking even if there isn't. What's normal to us may not be to another couple or individual so I am just thankful that I have a partner who understands me & vice versa. The talking, as your mom pointed out, is first and formost and can really help keep the closeness even when there is a lack of touch.