Why Are We So Not Into Sex?

Lots of women (and men) talk to me about sex because they know I have a blog and assume I’m riveted by their every move between the sheets. That’s true, except for lately, when I’ve noticed that those sheets are laying low.  In fact, the general feedback I’m getting is that a lot of women are a little less than impressed with sex these days.

I can’t say exactly what’s going on. Maybe the older we get, the more honest we become about our feelings towards sex. Let’s admit it, we Americans aren’t that big into sex. Oh sure, we think it’s okay to make money off it—sex really does sell. And we love talking and reading about it. Even Harlequin romance novels have advanced beyond the bodice ripping to the body gripping. On the other hand, getting sexual satisfaction personally, on a regular basis—well, that just sounds like too much work and worry now, doesn’t it? Almost as taxing as trying to have a relationship. Which we all know is next to impossible—which is why there are as many books about how-to-have-a-relationship as there are about how-to-lose-weight. In fact, the whole thing has got so out of hand that there’s a whole new movement afoot—what I call, the so-over-sex-ists.

A diverse collection of folks, the so-over-sex-ists includes such splinter groups and sleeper cells as:

- The multiple cat collectors

- Those with bumper sticks reading ‘I’d-rather-be-cuddling (and-preferably-with-another-woman). Oprah did a whole show on women who “switch sides” later in life.

- People too busy for even their vibrators

- All chocolate addicts

- Women who have impatiently awaited the onset of menopause, presenting as it does, the ultimate excuse for, “Not tonight, honey, in fact, not ever again.”

– And, “2-D lovers,” a phenomenon I read about just the other day in the New York Times. 2-D love describes a thriving subculture in Japan in which people indulge in relationships with an imaginary character—like a lumpy pillow with a drawing of a big cartoon face (ie, the soul mate). The article explained that the rise of 2-D love could have something to do with the difficulty many young Japanese have in navigating modern romantic life.

Modern romantic life? How about the difficulty of navigating life period?

In her recent article in The Atlantic, Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off, Sandra Tsing Loh talks about the demise of her marriage. “Given my staggering working mother’s to-do list,” writes Loh, “I cannot take on yet another arduous home- and self-improvement project, that of rekindling our romance. “ Translation: bye-bye sex.

Laura Kipnis in her recent book, Against Love, writes about how monogamy stifles the sex out of us by setting up “police state conditions that people consent to live under to achieve it, and to make sure their partners are in compliance. The problem is being asked to commit to boredom and unmet needs as the supposed price of social stability.” Translation: bye-bye sex.

But hey, let’s not despair. One woman’s magazine (not MORE) says all it takes is a little scheduling to get your sex life back on track. For goodness sake, ladies, Just pencil it in! I want to write the editors to explain that you got to want it before you’ll make time for it. And if you want, you always make time for it. I dated a guy who ran millions of companies all over the Milky Way. He’d walk out of board meetings without a second thought if his penis needed a little quality time.  

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