Sunday, 22 March 2009
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!