There's a discussion at Pandagon about Dagmar Herzog's book Sex in Crisis that's taken some interesting turns, at least one of which I'm probably to blame for.
The one I've been arguing about started with the discussion of the expectation that, because for Christians sex within marriage is the only acceptable form of sex, wives as the gatekeepers of their husbands' sexual morality are required to be "available on demand." (Not much mention is made of the reverse; I'm not sure if this is because men are assumed to be always ready and willing or if women are assumed to not actually have libidos. Probably both.)
From there, "dwhite10701" argued that this was a case of conservative Christians taking a good idea too far, that while saying that a wife should be "a 24/7 tootsie" is incredibly creepy, of course any long-term relationship involves sex you or your partner don't want to have, because "if they don't get it at home they'll get it somewhere else."
And that creeped me the fuck out.
I'm pretty much zero-tolerance these days about cheating - "these days" being ever since actively identifying as poly, so there's probably some convert's zeal going on there. It also stems from having been cheated on. (On the other end of things, I'm not totally innocent, as I regarded a LDR as "open" without making that explicit, and it was mostly dumb luck that she did too.) Using a partner's lack of desire as an excuse to cheat instead of working to remedy the issue or ending the relationship is simply lazy and cowardly.
The discussion managed to move away from cheating and more toward what one should expect in a relationship. A lot of folks took up the position that of course in a committed, long-term relationship there are going to be times when you have sex you don't want to have, but it's okay because there'll also be times when your partner has sex they don't want to have.
And that, too, creeps me the fuck out.
Maybe I'm being naive. I've never been married; I've only had one long-term relationship that involved living together. But the idea that it's better to have bad sex (because let's face it, sex that one of the participants doesn't want to have isn't going to be good) than no sex just doesn't resonate with me. Not only is it going to be immediately suboptimal, but congratulations, you've just opened the door to doubt your partner's desire in all future encounters. That's really worth it? Seriously?
To be clear, what I'm talking about are situations when one person's genuinely not interested. Though I talk about this as a desirous/non-desirous binary, it's more of a continuum where most experience is between those two poles, somewhere in the realm of "I may not be actively desiring sex at the moment, but may be persuadable." Which is a perfectly fine place to be, provided "persuadable" doesn't turn into "are we there yet?"
2 years ago