Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday Talk: Let's Talk About Sex, Baby

I was 17 y/o when my mom sat me down to talk to me about sex. A little late? Sure. Was that relevant? Not really. I wasn't sexually active. My friends were and it actually freaked me out a little; looking back, I see maybe I had reason to be. There was a girl in my class who had a baby at 13 and by the time we were seniors, she was taking her daughter to kindergarten before she headed to class. I had another friend contract the HVP virus. So, yes. I waited for a long time to have sex.

My mom explained it to me this way: Sex is so incredibly intriguing because, to you, it's still something 'unknown'. But let me just tell you, once you've rode the ride enough times, it becomes just like any other household chore; like doing dishes.


Of course at the time, I didn't see the ridiculousness in this reasoning, but now that I'm married, I'm wondering what sort of mind game she was playing with me!? Likely she saw the googly eyes I had toward this one particular boy and she was afraid I'd ride off into the sunset with him and get it on in his car... You know moms ;-)

Some of you may be reading this and asking yourself What is there to talk about? Our sex life is GREAT. I have no problems and I'm totally satisfied! Good for you! Could you please email me so I can cuss you out? :)

I'm not going to get personal in this post because this truly is a sacred area in a marriage. I'll just say that D and I are very satisfied, but not without a lot of communication and a little work.

Some of you may be struggling in one way or another and I'm not here to answer all your questions. I'm simply here to tell you what I know.

I know that a man's sexual peak is at age 17 and lasts through their early twenties (um... God, remind me to discuss that with you sometime) -- I know that a woman's sexual peak is in her early 30's. The interesting twist to all of this is that there is a natural and strong sexual attraction between two people who fall in love, no matter what their ages, that will last approximately two years... then? The work begins.

Where do the expectations come from?

Yes. Expectations.
You know all those princess movies you watched growing up? Or how about the movies like "Dirty Dancing" or "Ever After" you saw as a teenager or in your early twenties? What about the recent "The Notebook" or "Nights in Rodanthe" -- Did you know that a lot of romantic expectations and therefore disappointments come from the misconceptions attained watching Romantic Movies? If you're one of those women (or men for that matter) who can cut through the bullarki (pronounced bull-arr-key :) that Romantic Movies depict and are able to see the the reality about romance, then you're likely set to go. Let me say it like this...

It's not normal for a man to be thinking about you 24/7 - To be sending you flowers 2x's a week - Texting or calling you every hour - To plan glorious vacations once a month - To write love poems for every holiday - To be incredibly thoughtful and aware of your every need and emotional state -

If your man is doing this? Either it's very early in your relationship and these are some red flags that he will be abusive (more on that later) or you have found the perfect mate and you need to write and tell us all how you found him - I'm not saying your spouse can't be doing one or the other of these things... D always writes me sweet cards on holidays b/c he knows that's how I feel loved by him, but add all the other stuff to it and that's a little creepy.

As for romantic movies? I have just one question to ask you... Why is it that 90% of all Hollywood marriages end in divorce? Because no one's writing their script.

How much sex should we be having?

First and foremost, could we stop using that word? I should be doing this and I should be doing that... WHO SAYS?!? I could write chapters about this, but I'll try to narrow down a few things that can seem to control how much sex you're having:
  • Different Sex Drives: Like said above, men and women peek at different times. Society has made it acceptable for women to have no sex drive, but it's more upsetting to both people when the man has no sex drive. Look into vitamins A, B1, C and E (each of these helps the libido) - If nothing else, try a "One a Day" vitamin.
  • Stress of work/kids: When you're exhausted, it's difficult to want to jump in bed and get busy. Make dates! Plan times... this sets you up all day to look forward to it. If it doesn't happen, don't get disappointed or dejected... instead offer to get some ice cream and make it a 'lazy date' in bed watching TV :)
  • Defined Gender Roles: Who's supposed to initiate the sex? Yes. This is a question I hear all the time. It's so hard to answer that question because. it's. all. about. you. -- That's like asking "Who's supposed to be cooking dinner every night?" Communicate about what works for YOU, not everyone else or how it was in the 50's -- Times are a changin'!
  • It's not about the Sex, it's about getting to the sex: It really isn't about how much and it really is about the process surrounding how much and when. I was with a friend this weekend who's been married nearly 9 years and she said it really well... Every marriage goes through stages when it comes to how much sex is happening. It's a mistake to ever stop right in the middle of one of those stages and say "Something must be wrong with our marriage." You have to constantly be looking at the big picture. So true. You always see more when looking at the picture of your marriage objectively. Are you guys both stressed? Super busy? Just b/c there is may be a slump, doesn't mean there's something fundamentally wrong with your marriage... Like my favorite saying says: "it is what it is"
OK... I could go on and on and there are soooo many other things about sex I could talk about, but we're going to stop with those two basis issues :) I want to hear your thoughts and questions!

Hope everyone's had a great week/weekend and I'll be posting soon about my trip to Annapolis!!


Prep-E Girl said...

Just a random question: are you a marriage counselor? Because, I know we (DH & I) could really use one!!! :(

I read your blog about these things all the time and I wish I could pull you out of the computer and into our living room...


Kelly said...

I love this post. Thanks for bringing it up. I think that something I struggle with is the initiation. Communication is key, my husband explained to me how he felt that he was always initiating it and no one wants to feel like that. I know for me personally, it's not that I don't want to I just don't always think about starting it. I have to make a conscious effort to initiate the act.

I think it all comes down to communication about what's going on what each of you would like to see more of, and then putting a little effort into it! :) It does take some work.

Mary Teresa said...

I think this is an awesome post. I didn't get a sex talk. My mom told me that, "Boys have hormones and I shouldn't get let their hormones get out of control." haha.

Hollywood sets unrealistic expectations about a lot of things. Trust me, I am not 5'10 and go out every night drinking with a bunch of hellion friends, yet still manage to always look hot AND maintain my size 0. Oh, all well dating the quarterback of the Steelers. This is not reality.

But honestly so much of sex in a relationship is communication. Actually so much of a relationship, period, is communication. Wonderful post!

Cocaine Princess said...

I think if you were to ask any couple in a happy relationship what they key to their success is, they would probably all say communication.

And sex is SO NOT like a household chore!!

Jenny.Lee said...

This is a wonderful post. Sex should never be a chore and if it does become one then some priorities need to be re-evaluated in my opinion. God forbid it ever be the same as doing the dishes!

Erin said...

ha ha ha,,,household chore! Gotta love mom's!

"It's a mistake to ever stop right in the middle of one of those stages and say "Something must be wrong with our marriage." You have to constantly be looking at the big picture."

!!!Thank god for level headed people!!!!!

yours truly... said...

One word ...amen!!!!!

d.a.r. said...

Great post!!! And I think it is ALL about communication!! You can't be afraid to talk about it :)

Lil' Woman said...

I think it's all about communication as well..me & Big Man but alot of work and alot of talks to communicate our needs from one another. it's working out well, we have an awesome sex life and have been together for 2 1/2 years.

Miss. Pretty said...

I watching Oprah the other day (got to love her, ha) and this was the topic. The one counselor on the show said, "Men use sex as communicating. Women need communication before having sex." [well something like that...I might be a few words off]I think that is very true.. if we could only meet in the middle. Great post.

Mrs. Stilettos said...

AMEN!! You are one of my favorite people today - thank you SO much for writing this post!!!!

Cookie Crums said...

Great Post! When you actully stop and read something like this is reminds you that no marriage is perfect.....if you want the "perfect" marriage (whatever perfect may be) you have to work for it. On a daily basis!! My husband works a crazy schedule (he's in law enforcement) which sometimes leads to not enough "alone" time....and throw in a toddler to the mix. It's something we have to work on and keep priorities straight!

Mommy2lilgems said...

I just want to pop in and say a quick hi. I don't remember how I found your blog, but I LOVE it and look forward to reading it. You are so down to earth and it's refreshing you read your take on marriage (expecially since I think a lot of people think this way too but don't want to admit it) but it's all soooooo true!!

Brown Eyed Girl said...

Great post!! I agree that communication is the #1 key. It just won't work any other way. I feel like hubs and I go through stages where one month I'm the one going after it and the next month he is?? HA! It doesn't mean something is wrong, it's just a different stage! Love this post!!

~Mrs. Guru~ said...

Great post!

Jenny said...

What a great post!! I can't wait to read more!

My fiance and I are getting married in about 2 weeks, and we haven't sex in a while-because I'm trying to 'build' up the excitement. But I also think I need to work on initiating it. He gets upset when I don't-he says he feels unwanted. So, after the wedding-I'm going to make an effort to initiate!

Can't wait to hear more on this topic!!

Btw..I love your blog!

Krystyn said...

Oh my....add kids to the mix and it's a whole different game.

But, I think my hubby once said no matter what your attitude going into it, you always enjoy it, right?

Initiation is definitely key! Flowers help, too! And so does a good massage.

Mrs. D. said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog. There's nowhere you can send anything right now. But I am definitely going to check out that book you recommended.

Great post on sex, btw.

And thanks for trying to help me.

Ashley said...

Love this post! Greg definitely gets frustrated with me sometimes because I can be one of those girls that gets lost in the romantic comedies and I have to remember (or be reminded) that it just isn't reality!

Sarah Danielle: Jeune Marie said...

I agree about the movies! I too was raised around the mentality that all men would be as romantic as my Daddy and be just like the movies. REALITY CHECK! Real men don't kiss you in the rain Ryan Gosling style on a daily basis. I don't know if it's a southern girl thing, but it was hard for me to shake those notions!

Mrs. G said...

Great post! Way to tackle the subject!

Miss E said...

I love your insight. I love that you bring up issues that not everyone is comfortable talking about. I agree, you should take up marriage counseling :)