Just Call it "Duty Booty"

Can you define this act of marital diplomacy? Read on for more "pillow talk."

By Judith Stone
Photograph: Illustration by: Zohar Lazar

Duty Booty
In college ?we called it a charity ball—?the deed done not out of lust, but just because you took pity on a guy. That coinage suggests bestowing bounty, while the term duty booty emphasizes obligation. Whichever you favor, the point is your generosity: Occasionally you get in the groove when you’re not in the mood because he works hard, you love him, and he’d do the same for you. Praise the lord and pass the Astroglide. (Er, he would do the same for you, wouldn’t he?) To rev your motor under such circumstances, a friend suggests, reframe the situation by playing a quick mental game of Death Is Not an Option. (Unfamiliar with the rules? You’re given a heinous pair of potential partners, then forced to choose: “Would you rather sleep with Dick Cheney or Bernie Madoff? Death is not an option.”) A few rounds of DINAO, and your mate looks pretty damn good. Frankly, duty booty doesn’t require a 9½ Weeks level of erotic enthusiasm; you’re not evil if you phone it in. In fact, if you find you just don’t have it in you to have it in you, how about actually phoning it in? You can multitask—talk dirty while you fold laundry or make a pie. Fake and bake!

Where’s My Stimulus Package?
If nearly half of women over 40 are experiencing low libido, then more than half are not. And men have headaches, too. Scientists now talk about “andropause” or ADAM (Androgen Deficiency of the Aging Male)—a testosterone drop in men over 40 that lowers libido. What to do when you’re the one who wants a little sumpin’ sumpin’ and he wants nuttin’, honey? When you want to get busy and he wants to get takeout? When a Facebook poke is no substitute for the real thing? For starters, you can (a) seduce him with a mix-tape of baby-makin’ music (one bar of Barry White has been known to elicit a sexual response in the comatose); (b) announce, “Octo-Mom or me. Death is not an option”; or© send him to an endocrinologist. 

Pass Incomplete (But Deeply Appreciated)?
You want him to want you. But you also want him to let you sleep. So when he initiates foreplay that goes nowhere—or even dozes off mid-maneuver—don’t take it personally. You acknowledge that neither of you has the yen or the pep to proceed and give thanks that you don’t have to make the beast with two backaches. In fact, you feel the same delicious combination of accomplishment and relief that comes when your lunch date cancels and the whole after-noon is suddenly free. Hey, you tried to connect, but through no fault of your own it didn’t work out. How clever of him to find your Zzz-spot.

DINAO, ADAM, -spots of all kinds.

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