Can you ever have it all in a marriage? The compatibility, the stability, and the hot monkey love? An article in The New York Times posits that this is about as likely as winning the lotto six times in a row. The article delves deep into the theory, based on both scientific and anecdotal studies, that the more "equal" and happy a marriage is -- the more likely it is to fizzle in the bedroom.
At root, it seems, women -- or at least those who aren't on the pill -- like a take-charge dominant caveman-type in the bedroom. But a happy marriage often requires a partner who is sensitive, communicative, and happy to change diapers and help around the house and who has thoroughly beaten his cave dweller into submission. So apparently a lot of happily married couples who share in housework, finances, and childcare are less likely to be having hot horizontal mambo than the couple who regularly scream at each other. Whoo boy! Depressing?!
Writes the Times' author, Lori Gottlieb:
One woman in her late 30s, for instance, who has been in a peer marriage for 10 years, said during couples therapy that when she asked her husband to be more forceful, "rougher," in bed, the result was comical. "He was trying to do what I wanted," she explained, "but he was so ... careful. I don’t want him to ask, 'Are you O.K.?' I want him not to care if I'm O.K., to just, you know, not be the good husband and take charge ... [but] I don’t want him to take charge like that with anything else!"
There's a reason so many women are masturbating slobbering over Fifty Shades of Grey. Women have so much responsibility now, it's a grand fantasy to have a guy just take charge in the sack. But I think few would want that in every area of their marriage.
Said one sex-deprived hubby to Gottlieb:
Before we got married, we always said we'd have a 50-50 marriage, and you'd think that would be great for our sex life, but instead it’s the one area where we’re having trouble. Everything else is great. It's the sex we don’t agree on.
And just to make us all even more depressed, AARP relationships expert Pepper Schwartz says that a happy, equal marriage "can be something more siblinglike than erotic." She says:
When you're best friends with your partner, there’s less frisson. Introducing more distance or difference, rather than connection and similarity, helps to resurrect passion in long-term, stable relationships.
So are we all just screwed? Well, not screwed, because apparently no one is getting screwed. Except maybe couples who are at each other's throats all the time.
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I guess it depends on your definition of "screwed." I, for one, would prefer a happy, stable, friendly marriage over one with lots of strife and lots of sex. I have had both types of relationships, and the latter type wore out its welcome long before the first type. Give me a best friend over a sex-crazed "rough" guy any day. As one guy puts it, "Is anal sex more important than your marriage?" (Yes! Just kidding.)
However, I also believe that, as long as you keep your expectations in check, you can have both. Every couple has their communication breakdowns, arguments, and times when you want to claw your darling's eyes out. So take all that negative energy and put it into some fierce lovin'!
Do you think happy marriages lead to a boring sex life?
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