What fascinated me about the article wasn’t the argument that some persons, in this article particularly women, are put off by sex. What is very interesting is the universal themes that apply to so many couples, regardless of gender. Here are a few thought-provoking quotes:
“I know we don’t have sex as much as Mark likes,” she says, with an edge in her voice, “but for me to want to make love, I have to feel emotionally connected to him and, to be honest, most of the time, I just don’t. He seems so obsessed about this issue. I constantly feel pressure to satisfy him. It’s like raw sex is the only thing he wants from me. It’s gotten to the point where any time he touches me I freeze up–I’m afraid to respond even affectionately because if I do, he thinks it’s an invitation to sex.”
“After some time goes by when we haven’t had sex, Mark gets more and more sulky, and I begin to feel I’m like a bad, unloving wife. So I hug him or pat his shoulder or maybe just smile at him or something and, oh boy! That’s all it takes–he’s off to the races. I feel I can’t say no again, and so we’ll get in bed and start kissing. I try to be as warm as I can get myself to be; I don’t want to just lie there like a dead fish. And, usually, at a certain point, I can work myself up so that I’m into it, sort of. Afterwards, I feel relieved because I know he feels happier and not so angry at me and, also, he’ll back off and I won’t have to do it for a while.”
Many heterosexual men, especially, have little or no idea how intrusive sex can be. In my relationship groups I tell these individuals to imagine what it must be like to take a large foreign object inside your body, simply to get someone to stop whining. I find the whole idea of “giving it up” only to appease guilt or anger utterly fascinating… and disturbing.