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Apr 26 LateBloomer commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Boyfriend Slow-Walking His Divorce.
Urgutha @7 -- "The LW should try taking some pleasure in what she has instead of constantly complaining about what she wants."

It's like the epitaph for several billion failed relationships.
Apr 18 LateBloomer commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: The Constant Question.
To use a specific example, DarkHorse, Mrs. Bloomer would probably resent your speaking on her behalf. She would deny that there is anything in our particular dynamic other than her naturally low libido, and would not appreciate your pressuring her to cop to desires she doesn't possess. And just try to tell her that she's living in denial, I dare you. And yes, she's as feminist as the next enlightened gal. She is aware of her options. So I'm not so sure about your approach. It worked for you, obviously...
Apr 18 LateBloomer commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: The Constant Question.
futurecatlady -- sorry, that was mostly a rhetorical question. I'm not looking for help today, just trying to get my own experiences acknowledged.

DarkHorseRising I remember your background and I totally get where you're coming from, and I think it's healthy. I am glad you've embraced and own your sexuality. I'm talking about the women who don't do that. I still can't figure out how much of that is social pressure, how much natural disinclination, how much the inevitable effects of a certain kind of long-term relationship, and how much denial. Doesn't really matter, if things are entrenched the only solution seems to be separation of some kind...either to give incompatible partners a chance at a new direction, or to allow a stifled libido the chance to grow again, depending on what your interpretation is.

I am familiar with the feminist analysis of male privilege and sexual dynamics. It's not my experience, and not a lot of what I see around me, which is the point I've been trying to make this whole time. Guys can be possessive too? Yup. No doubt about that. European men used to commonly have mistresses a generation ago? Great. Meanwhile, this is where I live and this is what I experience. I hear it's pretty common.
Apr 18 LateBloomer commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: The Constant Question.
Futurecat -- what your Brother just said. I thought maybe it was a typo, but then you mentioned 3 times in a night not being enough.

busy_quilting I have long admired the dynamic with your husband, I think I even used it as an example once of what can be possible.

Re: lowest libido wins. It's like the messiest person wins. When you're tired of the nagging and fighting and picking up after your partner and just don't want to deal with the issue anymore, the bedroom settles to the messiest level and the messiest person wins anyway. Ditto with the libido.

BiDanFan: your theory on open marriages suggests that the women who fear them are the ones who actually don't need to, because their men aren't likely to leave them over a fling. And the men who don't fear them, because they think their wives can fuck just as casually as they can, are blind to the dangers. Interesting.

futurecatlady again: If you think women fool themselves in long-term relationships, and are only able to rediscover their sexuality once they become single, what advice would you give married men? Doesn't sound like a lot of options there.
Apr 17 LateBloomer commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: The Constant Question.
Mind you, what do I know about my friends' lives? I'm basing my remarks on the odd comment and conversation, and the three sex-related divorces in our group, and how partners seem to interact with each other, and behind-the-scenes intel from my wife, and stuff like that. Yet not even our closest friends know that we had an open marriage for awhile. So what do I know. Take my assumptions with a huge grain of salt (although I see some validation upthread, thanks).
Apr 17 LateBloomer commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: The Constant Question.
I wasn't making a pitch for men having affairs, where did you get that DarkHorse? I was making a pitch for married partners being alive to each other's evolving needs and to their own, which would require women admitting and owning their nasty desires. And then you figure out how to roll with them, wherever that might lead--whether it be to open marriage or a commitment to explore kink together or to some unique reciprocal arrangement where each gets to take turns having their needs met, whatever. But keeping that energy alive. Guys would have to pick up their game, for sure, but the marriage would probably benefit overall. I'm with you, you're preaching to the choir. If one partner gets to mess around, so does the other one. I'm not saying guys should be allowed to cheat, I am protesting the acceptance--the expectation, almost--of low-sex marriage.

But if you think it's lack of variety and boredom that accounts for widespread low-sex marriages, I challenge you to get a low-libido suburban soccer mom to admit that. You're threatening some deeply embedded social values and narratives that are just as fiercely defended by women as by men. She would be shocked, shocked! And offended. "I love my husband! I would never do that to him!!"

I know that you personally would love nothing better than open marriage, and would probably appreciate your husband all the more for it, but forget the men, most women I know would categorically refuse that arrangement. They have far too much to lose. "Thanks for nothing, DarkHorseRising," they would say. Their distress at the thought of their husband with someone else far outweighs any excitement they may feel at the idea of banging someone new. So you would say they...repress their interest? Deny it? I don't know, you're the woman here, but I don't see much evidence in my circles of what you say. Not that anyone's out marching around with a picket sign saying, "Why can't I fuck the pool boy?", but the general sense I get is that a decrease in one's sex life is an acceptable price to pay for the domestic joys of marriage and security, and a normal one. Christ, even our couples counsellor said that. I think our sessions went downhill after that.

And you may have missed the key bit where many women seem to tolerate drought better than many men. Lowest libido wins. Game, set and match! But you're right, there are plenty of women who are going crazy too, men don't have a monopoly on this.

Also, in other news, where did I ever say I don't speak up about my needs? I probably spoke up about them too much. But I did other things too, some regrettable, some good, not just vacuuming but trying to improve myself as well, so let's not re-open that discussion. But going back to my starting point--just talking about something isn't necessarily going to fix it. Sometimes it makes things worse.
Apr 17 LateBloomer commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: The Constant Question.
David Schmader in the town hall ad looks like he's wearing a little Mexican fiesta hat.
Apr 17 LateBloomer commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: The Constant Question.
Wow, thanks for the feedback. I'm taking care of things my end btw, that wasn't the point. It just occurred to me, from the assumptions people seem to make, that some posters don't actually know what the view looks like from here. Glad what I posted was actually informative.

Futurecatlady, your libido boggles my mind. I realize we don't all get the things we want all the time, but me, I could be very happy with sex 2-3 times a week. It's not just about the frequency though. You could have shitty sex five times a week and be unhappy. You need the energy and the connection too. Even when you're not getting busy, if things are good you carry a decadent buzz and an appreciation that slips in and out of daily life with a touch or a look or a smile. I need that part of it too. Kind of builds the anticipation. I don't know, maybe that's just me. On this thread alone it's clear how different people's needs are, and how differently they enjoy them.

And I like my alone time too.
Apr 16 LateBloomer commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: The Constant Question.
BiDanFan -- Talking to a partner who is unable to meet your sexual needs about how unhappy you are with the state of your sex life sounds great in theory. But in practice, no matter how compassionately you do it, it makes a bad situation worse. The partner feels guilt, and anger, and insecurity. They feel that you're saying they're not good enough. They feel that they have to perform or else, but don't know how to make it happen. That's stressful, and of course it kills libido (and self-esteem) even further. And the thought of allowing a partner outside relief is a relationship-ending source of stress for most non-Savage readers. Like, your even suggesting it is a nuclear-level option. It's their deal breaker.

Lava and you and nocute and DarkHorse and etc etc are here because you have strong libidos and a strong interest in sex. But as far as I can tell you guys are not the norm. Based on small town normal-land and my immediate, middle-class circle, sex is something that was fun for women but doesn't really have a place of honor in heterosexual marriage with offspring. It's a nice bonus if everything falls magically into place and you get a rare free hour with nothing on your mind, but it's not something you spend time thinking about or looking forward to.

Lava says that there is no difference in desire between men and women, which I used to believe, but I've had it beaten into me (including by our couples counsellor, who you'd think would have some insight) that men need to have sex to destress and connect, women need to destress and connect to have sex. Male libido is inherent, female libido is reactive. So it's a man's role to keep it in his pants when the wife is feeling stressed, or feeling down, and for a couple of years after having kids, and when she's got her period, and when she's in peri-menopause, and so on. That gets really fucking trying over the long haul, given that I (as an example) start getting a little edgy and short after a week without satisfying sex. I understand this is not at all unusual, but the number of women who don't know this or, more to the point, don't want to believe it or deal with it, is probably very large. Which is why I have a hard time believing Lava when she says that men and women are the same. Some are--I love it when female posters talk about how lack of sex makes them crazy, and how they work it into their daily life as a source of joy and connection. Kindred spirits! But it seems to me women are generally able to handle drought better than men, and I would like to believe this is a physiological thing, not an entitlement thing. Also, women seem more inclined to welcome and accept drought when their passion has cooled but they don't want to give up the cosy domesticity they've created with their partner. I think men get less of a charge from the domesticity, and more fulfillment from the sexual connection. And that's part of the balancing act of marriage.

So back in hetero white-picket-land, husbands are frequently being joked about and subtly shamed for wanting sex--it's like something you're supposed to be embarassed about. If I were grumpier I would swear it's a control thing from women who can't be bothered with sex but will not tolerate their husband's straying. We're being told frequently and in various ways: your longing for sex is sad and ridiculous and you need to just get over it already. (Unless you're an attractive guy from whom nothing domestic is required--then virility is admired. Sheepishly. Jokingly. But actually for reals. No, just kidding. Or am I...?)

Not all women!!! Not all men!!! But the social clichés reflect this, and clichés are built on the majority, I believe.

So bringing this all the way back to the LW: I don't know what he should do. He should neither pester his wife, nor cheat on her, nor ignore his very real needs. All of which is physically impossible. I think nocute probably summed his options best. But when it comes down to it, he can either a) convince/pressure his wife to make more of an effort to meet his needs, b) very discreetly cheat until the drought is over, or c) ignore his needs and cope as best he can. Or some combination thereof.

No one had anything better to do on a Saturday than read this, right?
Apr 15 LateBloomer commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: The Constant Question.
So everyone advocating he discuss things openly with his wife -- isn't that unfairly putting pressure on her? She doesn't want to be this way, she's certainly not having much of a fun time, I'm sure she doesn't enjoy seeing her husband unhappy and maybe feels guilty that she can't do anything about it, and now on top of all that he's telling her that he may go off and fuck someone else if she doesn't step up her game? Ouch.

Not to mention the libido-killing aspect of being put under pressure. Just to tighten that screw a little further.

I have no answers, but I don't think this is a very good one either.