Last week I thought I was hearing things. Actually, I thought I’d been inserted into one of my husband’s dreams, but it was only a Dr. Oz Show rerun. An all-male audience focused on men’s health. “Can having sex often prevent the prostate from enlarging as we age?” one member asks. Oz makes the embarrassing easy as he launches into the findings of one study suggesting that ejaculating 21 times a month could help eliminate toxins that affect prostate health. The more sex the better. Good for your prostate. Good for your heart. Good for your relationship. Suddenly the room turned into an all-male Oz-Fest. Comatose audience members (undoubtedly dropped off by wives who said “it’s either this or Dr Phil”) perked up and you could feel the love through the big screen. With one quick question and one perfect answer, the heavily female-driven show had added a new demographic that would follow Oz anywhere.
I’m a huge Dr. Oz fan, but Oprah would have never put me in this position. Suddenly I was responsible for my man’s dry cleaning (okay, I volunteered for that) AND his prostate health. I totally get it. I love my husband and I want to be supportive and intimate. But take into account that sometimes I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. I feel guilty enough about that without taking the fall for his prostate problems. And while we’re talking research, how come no one ever reports the studies that link cuddling to my health? What about the link between female longevity, compliments and love notes?
Romantic relationships and male-female interpretation differences have long been the topic in Hollywood. Over the course of many long term relationships, couples come to understand the dialogue of Woody Allen’s Annie Hall when it comes to the frequency of sex.
Alvy: Hardly ever. Maybe three times a week.
Annie Hall: Constantly. I’d say three times a week.
Now we’ve got to bump it up to five-plus? Meaning I have about nine days a month for errors and omissions. Anything more and I’m right up there with cigarettes and radon. I create a new shopping list that includes NoDoz, saw palmetto and anything at Victoria Secret that fits (which will be quite the feat as I haven’t worn a thong since they were sandals). I pray something works and then practice my slightly modified Hollywood line…”Love means never having to say you’re sorry you fell asleep.”
Nancy Berk, PhD is a clinical psychologist, author and humorist. She has appeared on television and radio and most recently on stage with her stand-up comedy. She is one of the 2010 winners of the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition.