Friday, January 2, 2015

Sex and Happiness

So, overall, I quite liked this article, “The Truth about how Much a Happy Couple Should Have Sex,” and what it had to say. I think too often people do “[turn] a non-issue into an issue because they are trying to keep up with the
 Joneses” where we try too hard to be sexually normal. Whatever the fuck that means anyway.

Or rather I think that too often we try really hard to take the very serious issue of sexual incompatibility and try to turn it into this insurmountable obstacle. And, to be fair, sometimes it is and the relationship has to end. But I think we’re often too…afraid of or disheartened by or unknowledgeable about the work that, if the relationship is worth saving in all other respects, should proceed such finality.

What I would have liked to have seen in this article was a focus on other, less conventional suggestions, like kink, which has a sexual component without sex-as-it's-typically-conceived—penetrative, PIV, etc.—being a necessity, or opening up the relationship, which allows all partners to have the exact amount of and type of sex they want without necessarily imposing that desire on the other(s). There are ways to still build on intimacy without having one partner being forced to be more sexual than they're comfortable with or forcing the other partner to be sexually unsatisfied. I'm not saying that those ways are foolproof or easy, but there are a wide array of options available.

After all, Dan Savage's full advice is to be GGG: good, giving, and game. And the best way to do that is, as the article said, prioritize sex, but that doesn't have to be limited to such a narrow lens as just frequency. Talk. Discuss. Research. Humans are endlessly creative; there are innumerable ways to have sex and be sexual with each other. Find the ways that fit you and your partner(s) best.

And I'm also a big fan of Dan's other piece of advice to people with these types of issues: Discuss your sexual preferences, whatever they are, early on. Establish whether you have sexual compatibility at the beginning of your relationships. Do you have a high libido? Be up front about it and only date people who have sexual appetites that match yours. Are you asexual? Put it out there in the first few dates and chase off the people who would run from that; they weren't right for you anyway. Kinky? Tell them early on, see if you've just scared your romantic potential away or let their sexy Christmas come early.

And, if your libidos change over time, talk about it. Figure out compromises. See if opening the relationship for six months could be a viable solution. Or if there are still some sexual options, like oral or mutual masturbation, that are still in play even if others are off the table for the moment. Are there outside factors that would help your partner get more in the mood, like helping out around the house so they're less stressed out or having sex at the beginning of the day rather than the end?

Like I said, people as a species are amazingly creative. If we really want something, we tend to be pretty tenacious about getting it. If you want to be having more or less sex than you're currently having, just stop and think about the many, many ways there are to make that happen. And not all of them necessarily have to involve people doing more than they want to sexually or going without what they sexually want and need.

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