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'Men have sex; legends cuddle'

By GAL GODOT
Last updated on: February 15, 2021 12:59 IST
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'I'd rather eat a hearty meal, meet deadlines, make money, meet a friend for coffee or even tend to that long-neglected corner in my oddly-shaped living room, than spend my Saturday morning romping in bed.'

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/ Rediff.com
 

Months before announcing that she is getting married, my friend (let's call her Jane Ho) had wondered aloud if all couples really do stop having sex after tying the knot.

"It's so scary, ya. Almost all my friends say that they hardly ever do it now," she had sighed.

When I pointed out that sexless marriages may not necessarily be a bad thing, she retorted, "Well, the fact that they are discussing it with me..."

Suddenly, the married woman in me felt bitch-slapped by this observation, delivered via a half-sentence, a truth which isn't even deemed worthy of completion.

Jane Ho has been dating her soon-to-be husband for two years now, and claims the sex is "consistently bombastic" and lasts a long time (which means longer than necessary, if you ask me).

Now, I am an inherently insecure person.

One of the very few activities associated with being alive that comes effortlessly to me, is feeling jealous of people.

I can begrudge people their life, their worldview, even the quality or quantity of their fucking, without little to no provocation.

So, you can understand my surprise when I find that I don't begrudge Jane Ho her pre-marital sex life.

The thing is, till a few years ago, I was Jane Ho, indulging in casual coitus (at least by my standards) and nurturing mortal fear of the inevitability that is long-term, sexless companionship.

Don't get me wrong; as advertised, marriage hasn't cured everything that is wrong with me (and I want my money back).

Some unsupervised crevices of my mind still view this romantic yet platonic set-up as an obvious dysfunction, but a string of unpleasant experiences from my bar-and-bed-hopping days have me convinced that wild sex, like the hard-on of a porn actor, or oiled tomatoes at our favourite grocery store, is a marketing gimmick.

Once, I got so alarmed about the dwindling frequency with which we have sex, I brought it up with my husband, who quipped in true millennial fashion, "Men have sex; legends cuddle."

It was a major "WHOA" moment for me, watching my partner be witty and honest with a generous side of a pop culture reference.

If he had shown this side of himself on our first date, I'd have taken a lot less time to sleep with him.

Sometimes, I ask myself if I really need more sex than I am getting.

Instead, wouldn't it be nicer to have more self-esteem, kindness for myself and more time to realise my potential?

Isn't it great to be with someone who makes you feel good about yourself and pushes you to be a better person?

I am aware that it is not an Either/Or kind of a deal, but there are days when I truly feel like my partner and I have a decent marriage.

There are days when I truly believe that I am doing more with my life with him by my side than I would have done if left to my own devices; after all, I, a suspected variant from the sloth family, woke up at 6 am today for a 10-km walk.

When you get married or suffer any other tragedy in life, you stop thinking and speaking in absolutes.

In your subconscious, you have already lived through a setback.

Nothing worse can happen now.

Our life is nothing but a sum total of our days.

One bad day is followed by a good day and vice versa.

One day you're initiating sex and the next day avoiding it.

The Sun validates my feelings on this topic, stating in a 2018 article that the attachment between a married couple 'becomes more and more powerful and this does not necessarily trigger the sex drive'.

Elsewhere in the article, psychology professor Susan Whitbourne makes a compelling case for dry spells.

'If we spent our days in the throes of all-consuming love fires, we'd never get anything accomplished.'

I couldn't agree more.

I'd rather eat a hearty meal, meet deadlines, make money, meet a friend for coffee or even tend to that long-neglected corner in my oddly-shaped living room, than spend my Saturday morning romping in bed.

Ultimately, you do you, or you do your partner, as much and as often as you'd like.

The only metric system that determines if it is good or bad, right or wrong, is how it makes you feel.

Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com

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