Re: Claiming BETTER SEX
Is sex the most important aspect of marriage? Probably not. But it's high up there on a lot of people's list.
Ten years ago, in 2007, the Pew Research Center published the results of a study where married couples ranked the most important factors of a successful marriage, "A Happy Sexual Relationship", came second with Faithfulness ranking highest.
Our Ideas of Sex In Marriage
It seems when it comes to the idea of sex in marriage there are two main thoughts that dominate the American landscape. The two are on opposite sides of the spectrum, but both are extreme, and both are inaccurate.
And yet, married or single, you'll find that each of us tend to lean more to one side than the other.
Marriage = Sex
On one side of the spectrum is the idea that Marriage = Sex, and lots of it! You expect to get it in as much as possible. Sex 4 times a day, 7 days a week. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex! And if for some reason, ladies, you can't deliver on all that sex, well then your husband is going to look for it somewhere else.
Married People Don't Have Good Sex
On the other hand, there's this idea that married people don't have good sex:
"How can you have sex with the same person forever?"
"I heard that after a few years the sex gets stale, and boring."
"She's not even going to want it after a while, and she'll say she has a headache and isn't in the mood."
"Man, when the kids come along, that's it. That's the end of sex as you know it."
Interestingly enough, both of these ideas impose almost the same expectations of sex in marriage on us, we either want to prove that we can live up to marriage equalling good sex all the time, or we want to disprove that married people don't have good sex by having good sex, all the time.
At face value, nothing seems to be wrong with that.
Except, what happens when reality hits and you're not having sex all the time?
Origin of Expectations
Where do we get our ideas about sex? A lot of what we think about sex, and consequently our expectations of sex in marriage, come from what we see in the media.
"Marriage = Sex" people may find their inspiration in a TV show or Movie "power couple," where the wife is always wearing sexy, lace garters and revealing lingerie, and there is always, Always, hot, passionate, spontaneous sex.
But what happens after the honeymoon when the wife has exchanged her sexy lingerie for sweatpants and a tank top?
What happens when the husband stops initiating passionate, spontaneous sex?
"Married People Don't Have Good Sex" thinkers may draw from the many examples in media that show a married couple that have absolutely no sexual interest in each other, and one person in turn seeks sexual satisfaction outside of their marriage. The only hot, passionate sex they notice is between young, beautiful, single people, or someone who finds true love outside of marriage.
Imagine. What goes through the mind of a husband or wife who thinks this way and hears, "I'm just really tired tonight," for the first time?
We sometimes forget that an Ad, TV Show, Movie, Song, Picture, doesn't tell the whole story (and many of the stories they do tell are fictional).
Media often fails to show the colorful layers and complexities of a healthy thriving marriage relationship.
As viewers we often take these reduced, watered down ideas of marriage and transfer them into real life, and then when life proves to be more complicated, we find ourselves completely bewildered.
But media isn't the only obstacle to better sex. We live in a day and age where we can get what we want, "On Demand." And it goes beyond television or movies on demand.
If you don't feel like driving, there's an app for that. At the push of a button you can request a driver who will pick you up and take you where you want to go.
Don't feel like cooking? No problem. With a couple clicks you can have food delivered to your front door.
Now. (Confession.) When Danny + I have been ordering in, or doing "take out" for a couple days in a row, it is the absolute, most difficult thing, for me to want to cook food again.
It's not that I don't like cooking. It's just for those 2 or 3 days I got used to doing nothing, except maybe warming up the food. Food on Demand is easier and more convenient, as opposed to going grocery shopping, seasoning the meat, cooking the meat, making the side dishes.
With Food On Demand I get all the benefits of a tasty meal with none of the work. Most people agree it's better to cook at home than to eat out because it's healthier and more cost effective.
In a society powered by "On Demand," we have exchanged skill for convenience.
A Ride on Demand will not make you a better driver.
Food on Demand will not make you a better cook.
And Ecstasy on Demand will not make you a better lover.
Ecstasy on Demand
Ecstasy on Demand is probably the original on demand service. It's using pornography or masturbation at will to quickly achieve a high level of sexual ecstasy, usually ending in orgasm.
Married or single, a lot of people seek to relieve their sexual frustrations using one or both of these avenues.
In this digital age you can discreetly ship a sex toy to your front door with the click of a button. With the invent of the internet we became "one click away from every sex act imaginable for free." (Even Playboy magazine can't compete with that. Why buy a magazine when you can see the same thing online for free?)
As with media, Ecstasy on Demand reduces the sexual experience. Pornography and Sex toys makes sex easy. It creates a convenient, easy-to-achieve route to orgasm, which is diametrically opposed to the actual sensual experience in marriage.
Convenient, easy sex with another person is lazy sex. bad sex. sex centered on selfishness and void of love. But that's exactly what Ecstasy on Demand trains our bodies to expect.
As humans, we tend to take the path of least resistance. It's no wonder more and more people are using pornography and/or masturbation to replace their spouse when it comes to fulfilling their sexual desires.
(I'll be delving into the specific effects of pornography and masturbation in separate posts, and sharing some of the research out there.)
Better sex in marriage starts with dealing with our expectations, understanding the effects of Ecstasy on Demand, and open + honest communication between husband + wife.