Sunday, 22 March 2009

Sexual Frustration

Every time I open a newspaper these days it seems there is an article about sex. It became such a phenomenon that I was going to blog about it but I can't find links to the things I am sure I read. Wasn't it a NYT blog where I read something like "If we're not getting it it's not because we don't want it?"

Why isn't the Sydney Morning Herald arts section reproduced online so I could link to the book review about the book concerning a young woman with a bizarre sexuality?

and I am reasonably certain that Slate ran an article saying that there has been an increase in articles on sex since the election of Obama but I can't find it now!

The one I can refer to is "Sex, Wives & Libido", an extract from a new book by Australia's most prominent sex educator, author, psychologist, et al: Bettina Arndt.

The general gist of the article is to say that if married women want to have good marriages they need to, in Arndt's words, "get the canoe out and start paddling". It is her argument that many marriages could be better if women were more prepared to "give it up" whether or not they feel like it, once they got started they would probably feel more like it and then everyone would be happier.

When I first read the article I was more fascinated with the case studies than anything. I didn't think too much about the point made but then yesterday the letters to the editor responding to the article were printed.

What a mixed bag! There were women who were horrified at Arndt's percieved letting down the sisterhood and recalling the dark ages, there was a man who said women should not feel hard done by if they were not interested and their fella sought sex elsewhere, there were those who agreed with Arndt and those who pointed out that desire is often circumstantial, maybe men should be taking stock of circumstances.

All of that brouhaha caused me to stop and think a little. It doesn't seem to me to be so difficult to take a few minutes out for a shag, it might be quite nice even and if it is a positive thing most of the time then why on earth not? Do women wield this power just because they can? Are they really too tired and too busy? If we can drive to the salon and spend two boring hours in the hairdressers, or get our hair waxed off, or if we can trudge around the shops looking for the best deal on some inane purchase, can't we find time for a little bit of fun?

Not everyone likes the term "make love" but it is a cliche for a reason. If sex is the embodiment of love but sex is withheld enough times doesn't the existence of the love become questionable? Isn't a sexual rejection percieved by many of us to be a rejection of our very selves? Do women (or men, for that matter) stop to think that their continual rejection of their partners (whether outright or subtle) is doing real damage to their most precious relationship?

There is an old saying which goes something like this "Good sex is only 10% of a good relationship but bad sex is 90% of a bad one"
I like it!


  1. I came here to tell you that I gave you an award over at my place, but I will stay awhile and comment on this and the last post. First off, Forrest is 7 years old and he has a "girlfriend". I think it is fabulous. He does some of the sweetest things because of her and it makes me think that he may actually grow up and become a decent man. Nathan, I think, likes girl, but he is too ashamed to admit it right now. But he always ends up playing and flirting with girls. He does how ever, admitt that Mrs. Carbone, the teacher's aid, is his girlfriend. We have suggested to him that perhaps he should look for a younger woman that isn't married, but he doesn't think so. As for the current post. I personally enjoy having sex with my husband. I really wish we could find time to do it more often. He has suggested that we attempt to schedual it, but I'm not too keen on the idea. I'm not one for looking at the clock and saying, well, it's time for our weekly sex, lets go get busy. But we may just have to start pre planning if we want to get er dun once a week. Anyway, TMI, (too much information) perhaps I should learn to shut up.

  2. hi cece!
    the author of the book looked forward to recieving by email the sex diaries of her subjects each morning andi was thinking it might be a fascinating read.....
    so never TMI :)

    scheduling does seem a bit odd but i suppose if it is trhe only way it's probably the best way!

    thanks for commenting so openly on something so personal

    take care and have fun,
    or should that be have fun and take care?


  3. Sometimes I am an open book. I wish I could be more mysterious, like Bob, but it is not in my nature. Anyway, I just wanted to come by and tell you to be good. And if you can't be good, at least be good at it.

  4. Sex is not the embodiment of love- not very often anyway. People have sex all the time without love, sadly.

    People who have good sex in a good relationship are very lucky.

  5. Verrrry interesting, Kylie.

    I think, just from polling my girlfriends, that the sex part of marriage can easily flag--I've taken to heart the idea that we need the intimacy, the connection, that goes beyond the mundanities of marriage. And I've also found that the more one has sex, the easier it is to have sex, in marriage. One can get out of the swing of it, and then it becomes awkward and a loaded subject.

    I think sex is essential. As much as possible (of course I don't mean three times a day, but literally as much as possible, with so much else going on, that might not always be all the time, but it sure as heck needs to be some of the time), even if you're not always in the mood--sex itself puts you in the mood--

    So...not sure what I was saying there...I lost the thread...but yes, I think we need it and it is a good thing, and too much withholding is very damaging indeed.

  6. I meant the mundanities of everyday life, not the mundanities of marriage...

  7. hi cinnamon,
    i was saying that ideally sex should embody love.
    i know it doesn't work that way but i think that our concept of the ideal drives our expectations of the real. i hope thats making sense

    and yes, good sex, good relationship is not always posible but something to aspire to!

  8. leah,
    i think your comment agrees with the article, you're also saying to get the canoe and start paddling.

    did you read the link? it's longish but worth it.


  9. Yup, get in the canoe and start paddling.

    I'm going to go read the article.

  10. I lost the paddle! heheh I crack myself up.

  11. Fascinating stuff Kyles!!

    I read the article...

    I hope times are changing and women are allowed to claim their right to pleasure as much as men...

    I know this is a very complex issue... but perhaps it is a symptom of the very human problem of not cultivating the spark in our relationship... the non sexual stuff...

    I know its a cliche and i dont like calling sex 'love making' cos it aint always that... lol...

    but if we can remember to pay attention to each other a little more... in the face of everything else thats going on...

    Then hopefully good sex will follow...

    Much love my friend,


  12. hi maistro,
    you are so right, of course and i did just briefly reference the quality of the relationship.

    i'm gonna miss you

    take care

  13. Yes, you are his type. Me, nope!!!! *Bows head and walks away with no hope!!!* Oh right. He's married, so you aren't his type either. Get over it lady!!!

    Wow. Sex. How complicated. I've had the best, so I'm a wee bit spoiled. Let me think about this one. I'll be back. Now off to visit Hillary. Love you for giving me a space to visit her. I'm serious.


  14. suze,
    comment on that poor neglected post at the top!!!

    and what made you say i'm his type?

    visit hillary all you want

    lots of love


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