Dear Miss Kitty,
A couple of weeks ago you said, “If one chooses to participate in a relationship there is a level of responsibility that certain needs are met, but even in relationships of the deepest commitment, no one owes anybody happiness. So if all if this is true, then what of a sexless marriage? If a partner can’t provide for the other than is it time to move on?
Are the words, “certain needs are met” calling your name in a soft and breathy come-hither voice? Because if so, you are not alone but quite brave to question what happens or rather doesn’t happen when a marriage no longer has what a family paper would be comfortable calling physical intimacy – and I will herein call sex and “golf”. It’s a tricky subject in a society that simultaneously has a ridiculously huge preoccupation with its sexuality – and yet is still as uncomfortable, confused and naive as an Amish girl at a strip club on amateur night after losing a bet about a goat.
Traditional wedding and even not so traditional vows include promises to love, honor, and cherish (obey seems to be unfashionable and is no longer invited to the best weddings) and all of this is done in sickness and in health (with or without money) – but never have I heard with or without sex. Considering how many people sign the contract you would think someone would have included sex in the basic vow format. Did someone think that the love promise would cover it? Eyes wide shut we all know that love and sex, even in marriage don’t always say I do to each other. Perhaps because it isn’t an actual vow, it is easier to let the passion slip slide away even though a marriage without passion is like a snow cone without syrup.
So when in a sexless marriage could we agree with Wesley in the Princess Bride, when he says to Buttercup, “If you didn’t say it, you didn’t do it”? Could this be why there is no actual mention of sex in the wedding vows? A very sneaky out clause – that until this very day wasn’t even obvious? It is possible, but since transparency is the best policy in relationships I have something better to hang your ahhh…hat on.
For the most part we as a society have deemed that fidelity and monogamy go hand in hand with picking a china pattern. Seems fair if one chooses just one other human on the entire face of the planet to play “golf” with, there should be a reasonable expectation that the “golf” will continue. Therefore it seems fitting that we should also include the right to sex as part of the marriage contract and not just imply it hidden within the other vows and therefore subject to lack of seriousness. Does this mean that one headache is grounds for dismissal? No it doesn’t, but it does mean that healthy-good-clean-mutually agreeable-adult fun is part of the arrangement for the majority of the time.
So is it possible to have an absolutely fabulous relationship and not have sex part of the program. Perhaps, and if you have worked that out, good for you – and I have a chess set to give you that could use some action – but for most of us, no sex is a reasonable deal breaker. A little caveat here folks: this assumes that the lack of sex isn’t just a symptom for a host of relationship issues that could be worked on but have been conveniently avoided. There are also times in every good relationship where we all get busy and sex isn’t the focus – but generally when we are content with each other, even if our private sex life isn’t making the neighbor rich on hiddencamerasofsin.com, we don’t want to call it quits.
Darling Curious, Boys and Girls,
I have great respect for the institution of marriage, but if the spark has been long gone and one has really tried, seriously tried than it isn’t the worst thing in the world to move on. Such a decision isn’t without plenty of heartache and expense on many levels, but to have whatever portion of your existence the way you would like it to be, or at least the chance for that, is worth whatever the temporary discomfort will be. One last thing: if you are ready to blame it on too few rounds of “golf”, have some compassion for the person you married. Compassion doesn’t mean being a martyr, it just means being as fair as you can on the way out.
Have a naughty day!