My wife asked me an interesting question the other day — “Is there any married man who is satisfied with his sex life?”
The question came during one of the moments that I wanted to and she didn’t, if you get my drift. Sometimes those “discussions” that we have can get testy, which ruins any chance of a romantic moment. With two young children running our lives, busy jobs and a home to take care of, there is little time or energy for passion in our marriage. Sometimes, my wife admits, she gives in because she prefers that to a drawn out argument over our sexual frequency. Much of the blame should be placed on my shoulders, as I harbor an obsessive’s desire to make love at least once a week and, if that doesn’t occur, my OCD rages.
Yet, we still manage to be intimate several times a month. However, it’s a far cry from our dating days during which, in retrospect, our sex life seemed like a steamy R-rated movie.
This blog is not a rant about our sex life. This blog is about a man trying to come to terms with a dip in the sexual activity in his life and the struggle to understand if this is simply a valley or the beginning of a slow slog into sexual infrequency. It’s also about understanding if I need to reorient my thinking regarding sex post-children and how to work best with my wife to make sure we both get what we need.
Our talk the other night reminded me of this clip from one of my favorite Woody Allen movies, “Annie Hall.” In the scene, Woody and Diane Keaton are meeting with their respective psychiatrists and discussing their sex life.
My takeaway from that comedic gem is the universality of the struggle — married or not — to find a happy medium when it comes to sexual frequency. The stereotype is that men always want sex and women don’t. In my experience, that’s not the case. Another stereotype is that couples reluctantly pick a specific night each week to enjoy their weekly indulgence, inspired or not. Also, not always the case. There needs to be room for spontaneity and compromise in our most intimate act. Those are two things in short supply when kids and life intrude.
Intimacy for me — and probably for many men — has always revolved around the act of sex. And foreplay — lots of foreplay. But I’m not a teenager anymore. Heck, I’m not even close to my 20’s anymore. So my urges and desires have changed. Maybe it’s time for my mindset to change as well. My wife points out that, for her, cuddling, hugging and simple touching are forms of intimacy. I’m not a Neanderthal. I get that. But with limited time and even fewer reserves of energy at the end of a long, trying day, I’m less interested in holding hands and more interested in, as Mick Jagger sang, satisfaction.
However, compromise and commitment are key. If there’s more snuggling in my future, great. It will make my wife happy and who knows where snuggling — and a happy wife — might lead???
But back to the original question. Is there any married man satisfied with his sex life? Obviously I can’t answer that. Anecdotally, I have male friends who complain about the lack of sex in their marriage but that may stem from many reasons. My answer is that my satisfaction ebbs and flows. There are times when we engage more often and times that are seem dryer than the Saharan desert. I do know this, however — sex is better with my wife when we are both desirous of it and fully engaged in the moment. That shared passion and pleasure borders on magical.
On final thought — I envy you, Woody. I would love to “hardly” have sex three times a week.