Retiring … from sex?
A few weeks ago I had lunch with a not-so-newly single friend. She was telling me that after being “back on the market” for some time, since the demise of her marriage, that she was beginning to feel like she didn’t really want a relationship anymore.
It’s work, she explained; work to find dates, to get ready for dates, to deal with the expectations of dating in an age of Tinder and swiping left or right. It was work to go through the motions with no clue as to how it was all going to work out. It was work to deal with the reality of failing to find chemistry with a potential mate … not to mention the ones who are only looking for a hook-up (and lie about their intentions).
Of course it’s hard work to establish a new relationship – it’s even more hard work to keep one going and healthy – I offered in rebuttal. But that’s often a very stubborn conversation, I find, with someone who looks upon their last significant relationship as a big lie.
In my supportive-friend role, I was trying to minimize the downside to being single in your 40s (of course, I totally know what that’s all about…not) and how there is someone out there for everyone. The end goal is what should make all that ‘work’ fun.
As the conversation deepened, my friend said it wasn’t so much about the male friendship – something we both have lots of – it was the sex … and how she felt like it wasn’t worth the effort anymore. The too many moments of awkward, uncomfortable – downright, bad – sex was overwhelming.
“I know what I get with my vibrator.”
Once I picked myself up off the floor ….
She said, “Andee, your sex life is with someone who knows you. Your husband knows what you want, how you want it … and you know how to add the right amount of spice.” Hard to disagree with that.
“Imagine life if you didn’t find that guy who you wanted to spend the rest of your life with … and every time you had sex with a guy it was like the first time?”
Hmm, like a sexual ‘Groundhog Day’.
I told my friend that it didn’t sound so bad … but I had forgotten about the truth of first time sex with a new partner.
“You haven’t figured out how to really kiss each other, the sex is awkward … the conversation after sex is awkward. Nobody really knows what the hell they’re doing. It’s not like being young and discovering sex all over again. It’s like you know what good sex is, but your own version of good sex and his version of good sex don’t even come close.”
“And maybe that’s what you think is never going to happen.”
“Retiring from sex is just easier.”
Oh dear lord, don’t say that!