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It comes as a surprise but this is the most recurrent subject in all recent beer-based talks I’ve had with my friends. I don’t know why this always come up (of course I do, but I’m writing this sober so let’s just skip it), but it seems to be the number one reason of anxiety-related issues in the love life nowadays. Can a couple survive together if they don’t fuck?
Cosmopolitan talked about it, The Guardian talked about it, Oprah talked about it – and it’s always the same story. Married couples get old, the male body changes, sex start to be intimidating and there are lots of other shit to worry about, life keeps getting in the way until everyone deliberately take sex off their list of prios. It is an explanation. But me and my friends are not in our 40th year of marriage, we don’t have kids and grandchildren, and our bodies still look like they were sculpted by Michelangelo (self esteem, I have one). And still, we wonder. So what now, Oprah?
After so many chats with friends I learned that sex isn’t the most necessary thing in their relationships. Even though they’d say their relationship started with fucking like rabbits for months, now it just doesn’t happen. Still, they don’t even consider breaking up – companionship is still super satisfactory, they laugh together, they do everything together. It’s not that they don’t have sex because they can’t, or because they don’t feel attracted to their partners anymore. They just aren’t in the mood, and they haven’t been in weeks.
All that sounds really ok to me. Two happy people, in love, enjoying hanging out with each other, having no sex and feeling cool about it. No one is under pressure, everybody wins. It’s their life and they do whatever their dicks feel like doing.
But devil wouldn’t stop me from going deeper. What if I do want to have sex, I just don’t feel turned on by my boyfriend?
How can we be in love with our partners without being turned on by them? What if we’re madly in love with each other, but we’re only turned on by other people? Maybe you love your boyfriend more than anything, he’s the only possible pal for your food trip to Vietnam, the only possible father of your unborn kids and the one person in the world you’d want to chat till morning light until you’re both 86 years-old and your skins look like raisins.
But you don’t wanna fuck him.
You want to fuck somebody else.
Again I’ll play the devil’s advocate here. If this had stopped after “you don’t wanna fuck him”, I could even think things were alright. You don’t want to, he doesn’t want to, all good. But then you do want to fuck someone else. What does it mean?
I don’t want to be speaking for the whole species, but that is a yellow alert. At least it means you guys should talk. Express yourselves and see what you think of the whole no-sex situation. If your partner feels the same way, maybe you’re halfway there for a wonderful open relationship that will continue strong because you love each other so much.
If he doesn’t, talk again. Try again. Ask yourself where the burning flames went, and if you can bring them back. Watch some good porn. Think if it is just a phase, or how would it be to let go of sex for a while – maybe a long while. Be honest with yourself. A good fuck is one of the best ways to get really close to your partner and to let your body say things your mouth couldn’t. And if you’re like me, sex goes beyond the benefits to the relationship – it has to do with my own health, my way of seeing the world, my humanity.
There are many people out there listing reasons why they wouldn’t worry too much about letting go of sex in a relationship, and stating that love will conquer all. I’m not one of those. Love is great but also is to see the most important person in your life losing himself completely inside of you.
If sex is something I know I want for my life, but it just won’t happen with my partner – no matter how much I try – I would seriously ask myself if I’m not sleeping next to my best friend.