Let’s talk about sex. Again. Yep.

You will remember a few weeks ago I wrote about how I’m not having {much} sex. I had a huuuuge response to it on the blog (and off on other blogs as well), and I had many a conversation with Rob about it all. After waiting for various shit fights to calm down, as promised, here is his side of the story. And yes, it appears he likes a little controversy as well. He will receive payment for his writing in the form of a blozza. NOT!

“People might misunderstand what we’re tryin’ to say, you know?
No, but that’s a part of life”

I’m never too sure if it is Salt or Pepa who is the most passionate of that famed duo of talking about sex. While I imagine that both have a capacity for what is, I am sure, an erudite discussion on the topic, I am quite positive that neither is as eloquent or pithy on the subject as my wife.

Beth’s recent honest and open discussion of our sex life, or rather our stilted sex life, drew what can only be described as an outpouring of sympathetic responses. While the man in me felt slightly dented by the revelations that I am not, as I would have my daily persona exude, gettin’ some like a 4 year old prize Angus bull, the comments in response to her post were most illuminating for me.

It was in the shower (don’t worry – that mental image you have is correct. It’s fine that you’re thinking of me like that. Natural even. No one is judging.)  that the seed for this post germinated (you feel a little dirty now don’t you?). It was perhaps most aptly described as an awakening of the year 9 debater in me. Except with less acne.“Speaking for the affirmative: Rob Macdonald.” Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, members of the opposition. We’re here today to discuss all the good things and the bad things that may be. Let’s talk about sex.

There was a common theme in many of the comments on the post that seemed to run something like “Oh GOD – Sex. I’d much prefer a good book/glass of wine/cup of tea/hot water bottle/sleep than do THAT”. Which is totally fine. I’m not for a second saying that, especially with kids, busy lives, being a “single mum with a daughter” that sex doesn’t often seem like an unneeded effort nor that those comments weren’t anything but genuine.

However… yep there’s a however… it did get me thinking that in this day and age when we have found convenience in almost everything we do, that if sex is the last thing many wives and partners want to do, what is so wrong in outsourcing it? As I raise my shield to deflect the many slings and arrows flying at me at this point, allow me to explain further. If a man has a sexual need and the woman he loves is at a point in their life where they aren’t interested in having sex, why shouldn’t that man be able to satisfy that need outside of their relationship? For that matter, reverse the situation and if the man’s eyes don’t pop for some reason then let her :

“use what she got to get whatever she don’t got”

But for the sake of the argument I am going to stick with my bros from now on.

OKAY – stop screaming at the computer. I heard you!!! I know, I know, it’s not about the physical act – ‘it is the act of betrayal. The loss of trust’ you’re shouting. ‘Don’t you know anything Rob!?’. Probably I don’t but what if the man seeks permission? Thereby removing any breaking of trust or any act of betrayal. My argument being that if sex is of such a low relationship priority as seems to have been borne out by the comments, there should be little recourse to such a proposition. As long as it didn’t involve anything more than sex. No feelings. No emotional connection. Just two (or three) bodies and a good time.

Sorry I just need to take a break for a second to put on my chain mail suit and sweep the dark corners of the house for angry ninja-blog-women hiding like sprung coils awaiting to strike with the fierceness, speed and repetitiveness of a death adder on meth. You see, the above argument is simply a logical extension of the positions proffered by the commenters: That sex isn’t of interest, ipso facto the man should be able to have sex elsewhere provided that it is open and without emotion (yes – I said Ipso Facto. Fancy)

“No love, just sex, followed next with a check and a note
That last night was dope”

The problem in reality is that I would dare say that most if not all of the ‘cup-o-teaers’ (could I use a more offensively dismissive term?) would never allow that to happen. Logically there shouldn’t be a reason… unless of course, sex does matter. That it is one of the foundation components and key reflections of a strong and healthy relationship. That the oft spoken “I’d rather… (insert innocuous and slightly mundane activity here) “ is more accurately a cover for “fuck I feel bad that I am not having sex with the person I love because I didn’t feel like it once or twice and then that turned into a month or two and now I have built it up into something so massive that I can’t even talk to my hubby/partner about it cause then I’ll end up making him hate me and feel even more guilty and like some sort of failure for not being able to do something that I think I used to like once too didn’t I? and every puppy in the world will die and it will turn out that the Scientologists were telling the truth and we all have the spirits of aliens in us…sorry what?… anyway I need to finish ‘The Colour of Tea’”. To this, in my most delicate and understanding voice I say – GET OVER YOURSELVES IT’S JUST SEX – not solving world hunger or figuring out how to read a map!

The permitted sex outside relationship argument also presupposes that men are more than happy to just have sex for the sake of having sex (I am not going to put a stake in the ground either way on this one as each person is different – I for one need my sexual partner to be into it for me to be into it but many guys will root a dead wombat if it looks at them the right way, so…). Indeed, if one was to just read the comments on Beth’s post in isolation this nature of man would seem to be borne out by the many and varied comments along the theme of the need, or at least the perceived need, of providing sex in some capacity as a wife or partner. As if it is a womanly chore along with washing, cooking and raising barns. My response to this is PLEASE stop treating sex as a chore. You will never go out of your way to clean the bins unless you have to will you? So it goes to reason that once sex becomes a household duty you’ll do anything to avoid it unless, like the bin, it can’t be ignored anymore as it’s starting to smell funny.

You see, in my limited experience I have figured one thing out about the fairer sex: women have a habit of making the simple…well…complicated (that and that they can make three things out of nothing; a salad, a hat and an argument). Sex shouldn’t be anything more than an expression of love between two people. Build it up and, like anything, it will only be disappointing. It’s JUST SEX – like you first had when you first were together – remember that?  It’s not a chore. It’s not a diary appointment. It’s just sex. And it’s fun. And feels good. And makes you happy. Try it sometime. Trust me, turn the kettle on, do it, and you’ll still be back before it boils. Best of both worlds I reckon.

“Let’s talk about sex for now to the people at home or in the crowd
It keeps coming up anyhow”

DISCLOSURE: I was paid for this post neither in money nor kind. In fact as a result of it I don’t think I will receive any “kind” for some time. But it is a hit I am willing to take for the greater good of mankind. You’re very welcome. Normal BabyMac transition to resume shortly.

Comments

  1. Hmmm, I think I could have had sex twice in the time it took me to read that post! But you know, we’d much rather read blogs, right? Ha. Seriously, I’m glad I read it right through, because you do make a very good point. Sex shouldn’t be a chore. Guilty as charged your honour. Now excuse me while I go and bust a move to ‘Push It’.

  2. Ummm…Im speechless! I will process this some more and comment later…or maybe not. You guys are awesome btw! Hang on…I found some words for you…or me actually…food for thought! Im gonna be thinking about this… ;-)

  3. Oh god, now I think I love Rob as much as Beth. That could be awkward…

  4. Rob, this was a really interesting read. Moreso because I read today’s “Ask Bossy” on news.com.au which discusses this exact thing. Well, nearly – a very loving husband of 40 years wrote b/c his wife is not physically able to have sex b/c of an accident. So he has not had sex for 15 years and is now wondering if it would be acceptable to pay for it. (If I were his wife I would absolutely let him.)

    Someone from the St James Ethics Centre answered, I think very well. I’ll let you read it if you’re interested.

    It’s definitely food for thought anyway.

  5. Well written, my friend! Wow. You got the smartz.

    This whole topic is soooo universal, and occurs in sooo many households. Dave LOVES to remind me, wistfully, of the early days of our sex life together. And I remind him wistfully of all the flowers and the pressies for no reasons and all the FUN GODDAMIT -having kids does take away a lot.

    A few years ago we went through – a tumbleweed period and I BEGGED him to just get a hooker. Did not give a shit.

    He didn’t, and actually, I *would* have given a shit. I really understand how important it is to him. He is a male, with his male ballbag. It has needs. Annoying, stupid needs that are annoying.

    Sex therapist and author Bettina Ardnt copped a lot of flak a few years ago when she suggested to just ‘throw the canoe in the water and start paddling’ … meaning, give it a go. Stop thinking too much – you might start something and even like it!

    I’ve done the boat thing, the empty promise hooker thing, the refusal, the dry spell … and I have no easy answer.

    Except. I love my husband very much, and if putting out makes him as happy as I see that it does, then fuck it. And fuck him.

    (But his puppy dog eyes REALLY make me stabby.)

  6. “Just two (or three) bodies and a good time.” LOL Thanks for the morning giggle Rob.

    That made for very interesting reading. Mars v venus, the mysterious universal truth.

    ps…Rob you need to get yourself a blog.

  7. This is incredibly well-written and hilarious. More, please! I totally remember the single mum with a daughter ad too :)

  8. I’m going to let my husband read this…he may want to start a fan club for you Rob :)
    You are absolutely correct – Just Do It…we call it medicinal sex in our house :))

  9. Dear Rob,

    I loved you ever since I read your post many moons ago on 50 reasons to have sex with your lover and now I think I love you even more.

    Those were some big words you used there and some tough points you put across there but I totally agree. Women complicate things and it should be complicated. It should be fun!

    Please come back and post more often. Maybe Beth can give you a slot {in more ways then one} once a month :P

  10. How timely. Just this morning I deflected a quickie because the smalls were too close by and I got my period yesterday. Surely that’s a valid excuse?

    But seriously, you nailed it at women overcomplicating things. Yes we do. We should stop thinking so much about it, get naked, and then just doooooooooo! You get my drift.

    I also like your cup of tea idea. Win win. Especially if it’s rooibos.

  11. Three cheers to the man in the back!!!! In house we call them PF’s the pity F…. – no that kind but more like “for pity’s sake just do it!!!”

  12. you must have been very good at debating Rob! A great read and well written. I think you make a very good point. Time to stop talking and thinking and actually start doing.

  13. PS: We call it ‘community service’. A very noble cause.

  14. PS If I asked Dave to guest post on my blog he’d be all: “Press any key – where’s the any key?”

  15. Timing. It’s timing. Happy to have sex, but NOT when the kids are downstairs playing and could come up anytime. NOT when I have just done an 18 hr day. NOT at 3am when I have just climbed back into bed after clearing up a spew AND a poo from a 1 YO’s bed. Choose your moments, wisely gentlemen and your wives will turn into Jerry Hall.

  16. Dear Rob,

    I am a sex loving lady that loves getting dirty wih my man. HOWEVER he seems to take the wam bam thankyou mam approch, and I am over it… Once upon a time we used to have fabulous, passionate sex but now its two minutes or less.. Why should I make the effort if he can’t? He finishes rolls over and goes to sleep… But…. what… about, me? This is my reason for turning him down ( and I think it is a very valid one)that is all.:)

  17. Rob, I love this post even though you’ve left me with an enduring image of a dead wombat wearing nothing but a g-string and a dirty smile. One of the great things about blogland are the conversations sparked about stuff that is otherwise not talked about. This is such an ‘everymarriage’ issue. I think Bettina Arndt has a great point and I’m not above a bit of scheduling either. When she had men write diaries of their sex lives, the overwhelming sense that came through was of men being really, really sad that they had unfulfilling sex lives. We laugh about the issue a lot but the truth is it can be so fraught – resentful and guilty women, sad and frustrated men. Trying to take the pressure off the whole thing is a great start. Great job Rob! More posts from you please (even though I love your woman too.)

  18. You can tell why you two are married, you both have a way with words and can engage the audience in a second. Great post Rob! you hit the nail on the head I think, women over-complicate EVERYTHING!! Time to lighten up I think and remember that not everything needs to be a chore!

  19. Wow, this actually depressed me. I am a woman, I love daily sexual contact with my partner and this just sounds so very bleak! I would be devastated if my partner said ‘I don’t care who you do, just leave me alone’ – as would my partner. Also, if my partner cheated on me, I would HIT THE ROOF! It’s a really precious part of our intimate relationship – I was a single, attachment parent – I do understand the logistical nightmare of sex with little ones – but it’s SO IMPORTANT to make that space. For me, sex is the lifeblood that runs through the veins of my relationship. Sure, there are other vital organs, but… Yes, women, take the time to connect to your sexuality – and men, take the time to connect your sexuality to your heart – it makes for a crackin’ sex life, and a much, much, MUCH healthier relationship.

  20. I’ve been known to say the words to my hubby “go and get it somewhere else. I don’t mind”.

    For a while there, I really didn’t mind. What bugged me the most was that he DID mind. He always answered me with “It’s not SEX that I want. It’s YOU that I want.”

    Therein lies the difference. Men are always touted as sexual beings who are always ready to respond to their primal urges. But maybe men just want to have that “spiritual” connection too……sometimes.

  21. the thing with cleaning the bin? … you only have to do it once or twice a year and everybody is happy.

  22. Good read Rob, I think my hubbys going to have to thankyou! because sex for me is a chore (in my head anyways) But after putting my so called chores on paper I actually can prob fit sex with hubby in once week (even twice a week,who woulda thunk it?)Daily chores = make sure 8(only 4 + foster girl 3 days a week) these days–kids have breakfast,lunches and dressed for school on time-laundry 3 loads in-between watching circle,view,ready-steady-cook – dishes(twice)-school run(twice)-general house sweep & tidy- wash off & fold- homework(inbetween getting dinner)- referee fights before bed.NOW THE GOOD PART WEKLY CHORES – 1 vac and wash floors – 2 Dust/change sheets on couple beds – 3 clean bath/toilet/change couple more sheets – 4 grocery shop and bill paying – 5 take boys to soccer(only 4 out of 6 SAT’s.hubbys works)There ya have it !!!! 7 days take 5 days leaves 2 days for SEX!!(sorry so long)but you helped heaps.

  23. Where to start?!?!?! You nailed the argument Rob. I completely agree it gets built up and built up and then becomes this THING that it really shouldn’t.

    But I’m going to throw another side in and say IT AIN’T ALWAYS THE WOMAN!!! I can say this here because my husband won’t read it – but more often than not HE’S exhausted from a 14 hour day at work, HE falls asleep the minute his head hits the pillow, HE’S drunk, HE’s focused on OTHER things apart from sex…..so it doesn’t happen! Too often I think we women take the blame, or shoulder it, because that’s what we inherently do and because we feel like we’re never quite doing enough to please everyone. Ever. But I’m going to stick up for us here and say IT AIN’T ALWAYS US TO BLAME!!!!!!

  24. I can hear what you’re saying, sex shouldn’t be a chore. Obv easier said then done. I can tell our marriage is a lot stronger when we are connecting and communicating both in the ‘bedroom’ and out.

    The thing is, women want affection and love and attention more then just before sex. I always tell me hubby that affection any time other then just before sex is like one big long day of foreplay. Cause it is!

    We used to have a lot of sex before kids (as you do) and after kids it went off a little and now we are straight back into it because of the extra affection and effort we both go to, and because he knows my ‘needs’ come before his in the bedroom, if you know what I mean ; )

    Please the woman first (and know what she does and doesn’t like) and you’re will come afterwards.

    : )

    Great post Beth, you’re hubby is such a talented writer too!

  25. Yay! Really enjoyed this post. Maybe we can read more from Mr Mac?

  26. Ummm, but what if you don’t want to have sex after kids and beat yourself up about it for 10 years, try every healing alternative known to mankind, feel guiltridden every single day but are still unable to put out… Only to realise that you aren’t actually in love and shouldn’t be with said man? Just putting it out there, that sometimes it’s not just a case of ‘just do it’…

  27. BRILLO!!!!!

    Rob totes needs to start his own blog. Then we can have DOUBLE Babymac awesomeness.

    xx

  28. Its probably here I should write and intelligent sophisticated response. I haven’t read the post this one refers to. But I am a single parent who works full time.

    Right now at age of 26 my sex drive is non existant. I can blame the medications I am on for that. I want, to want to have sex. But right now I don’t want to have sex with my self let alone any one else.

    Sex in a relationship is important. I don’t understand how one can be in a committed relationship if they’re not sexually attracted to their partner on some level.

  29. Rob, if Beth doesn’t shag your brains out after that post, then she should at least give you a hand job. x

  30. Your description of the woman who has “built it up into something so massive ” was me to a tee. Only difference is I did talk to hubby about it, the solution to suit our circumstances was to “do it” when the teens are at school, but since the conversation, we have not been alone in the house on a school day even once!!!

  31. I hear what your saying and I do agree but we are just different creatures us men and women.
    Perfect example is my house

    My husband walks into the bathroom when I am wearing only my undies. He sees boobs and is ready for action there and then.

    I walked into the bathroom and saw him naked and said “oh for god sake, put some pants on please!!”

    My brain needs time to turn on for sex, my body follows my brain. If my brain is thinking about school lunches and kids waking in the middle of the night I aint feeling so sexy.

    But I do hear what you are saying and I may just put that kettle on tonight and see if I am back before it boils!

  32. It like I said on Beths post “Just get naked” the more you think about it the more the more you get bored of the whole thought process…. Quickies rock, fun, you dont get caught by kids and biggest and best of all my happy hubby makes me happy and I just smile proudly (inside) when all my girlfriends talk about bow much sex they are not having and therefore not likely to have anytime soon!..

  33. Tai Tai and Amba@teammummy summed it up perfectly for me! However, I will also add that thinking of sex as a chore is a rut that clearly many of us fall into, it’s a MINDSET……AND it IS possible to change your mind!

    Choose to think about sex….and often. Make yourself think sexy thoughts of your partner while he’s at work, it makes his return much more exciting. Kiss passionately in front of the kids. Consider later acting on those thoughts and perhaps you could make the first move in a way that suits your needs too – massage, caressing, acts of kindness all help to rub out the label of “chore” and create a beautiful space for reciprocation that leads to making love, not just a quick root.

    The sex-life I shared with my husband in the beginning was very active but I was a teenager and as I got to my 20’s it waned. For a long time (up until a year before we had our first baby….cos you kinda have to have sex for that) I was stuck in the “chore” mindset and groaned inwardly with reluctance at his advances. After we had our first baby, my sex-drive was AMAZING…..but HE was turning me down!

    I really got to feel how it was on the other side of the fence and it hurt. I thought back over all the times I had turned him down and I felt sad and sorry and really made me appreciate how he had “wanted” me before.

    It got me wondering what it was that had me so excitable and the only thing that I could see that was different (apart from the hormones) was that I had been finding myself THINKING about sex with my man during the day while he was at work. When he returned there was beautiful sexual tension in the air and when the baby was asleep, we’d go for it…..once he got his mojo back of course (he had been worried about hurting me).

    Now that we have 3 small people, our biggest challenge is not getting busted but when I find myself slipping into complacency, I think back to those times and also remind myself of how rejuvinating sex is to the relationship……it’s like rain on the garden of love ; )

  34. I must confess I’m not the sort of person to talk about my sex life with my husband, but we have had the EXACT same conversation.

    Oh, and recently I heard a recently separated woman go on about how her husband was looking at porn and that was her reason for leaving. Oh, my.

    Poor guy. He obviously wasn’t get ANY.

    Thanks Rob for your perspective.

    x

  35. Sorry for anonymous post and its a good and interesting discussion, but if you were my husband I would say spend the money on me!!! Flowers, dinner out, house cleaner/babysitter for half a day, weekend away etc etc and you never know where your luck will go. Personally I think I would be a little annoyed about the ‘$ investment’ outside of our little world, assuming I get over the emotional side of it. Just my thoughts!!

  36. I read this in the morning and came back to read it again and comment. Fabulous – maybe this could be the basis for your next TV show?
    See I’m in the opposite boat at the moment – I’m full of pregnancy/shag hormones so my Mr has runaway to work on an island to get some downtime!
    I really liked the arguement but I don’t think I am ‘mature’ (for lack of a better word) to ever let my Mr get a bit from somewhere else – it may result in him missing body parts :)

  37. I love you Beth but like other readers now also love your smart pants husband!!! – clever boy- love that you put another view out there cause Rob’s view mirrors lots of men. My hubby loves the great connected meaning sex but he also thinks its just sex and fun and is happy to grab a quickly when he can when the kids aren’t banging on the door to climb into bed too!! I on the other hand feel more emotional about sex but have been known to lay back and think of England when I just am too over the demands of a young family! My dear mum said it best when quizzing me on how much it was ‘getting’ her a dive is ” you just have it do it – they are happier you will be happier and it really helps to keep you connected!” thanks mum- not for the mental picture though!

  38. I totally agree with you, Rob. I really do.

    I’m just not entirely sure where the husbie, should he decide that he wasn’t getting what he needed at home, would go to get some, though. The idea of a ‘lady of the night’ seems a tad tawdry and lame (although he could well be into that, I haven’t checked). And maybe he could find a mistress who only wanted sex with no emotional loving or trinkets or promises, but I kinda doubt it because, let’s face it, why else would you be a mistress really? And try as I might, I can’t see my (admittedly hot but still) 42 year old guy out tapping some young ass at a nightclub at 3am.

    So, I dunno. Where would he go, poor bastard? x

  39. PS – Can’t believe you guys use the ‘single mum with a dorta’ line as well. A hidden Aussie legend that single mum.

    Oh, and you give bloody good blog too Rob. x

  40. Great post Rob!! Two talented writers in the family.
    Less talk, more action. I hear you. It should be about a fun, loving act. Well said Mr Mac.

    As for the “single mum with a daughter”… I remember it so well. Where is she now? There’s a challenge for you. :)

  41. Baaahahahaaaa! @ Maxabella…..”Oh, and you give bloody good blog too Rob”….hilariously awesome comment! Well done.

  42. Wow Rob, what great reading. The intellectual stimulation is doing strange things to me…but seriously go from a decade of can’t keep your hands of each other to playing possum in the midle of the night. What happens? Maybe David attenborough knows! I do know women get fussier and turned off quicker. THe old “you awake” in the middle of the night just doesn’t cut it…Random acts of kindness on the other hand can be very sexy.

  43. oh I LOVE this post – so very well written – altho as the map reading gal in my duo – i have to take exception to the map reading line.

    Very, very good read….i even let the kettle boil twice while i read it !

    and i love Maxabella’s comment too !

    hope you are both getting what you need and having fun and getting rest and having quality family time and that your footy teams won and that the washing stayed unwashed this weekend :)

  44. I’m definitely a “cuppa tea” kinda girl lately, motherhood + life etc has done that to me. I try to “paddle the canoe” and sometimes I’m successful. But when I’ve got a case of the CBFs I just give him a blowie. It doesn’t take long, and he’s in heaven.
    I know our sex life will be back on track one day, but for now this is what keeps things ticking along, not to mention plenty of talking over glasses of wine and cuddles. Intimacy is important.

  45. p.s. I’m not The “Anonymous” I’m just too shy to talk about sex with my name :)
    Long Live The Bin!

  46. What an interesting blog post. I think it’s definately mars versus venus. If partners could figure out how the other partner ticks regarding sex there could be a healthy sex life in a realationship. Don’t ask my hubby, who enjoyed taking all 4 children along to our wedding anniv. dinner and enjoyed sitting (opposite his sister) while we tried to get the children to sit still, eat their meals and had no chance of connecting with one another. He wonders why I don’t feel like doing it with him. (Raises my eyebrow)

  47. This is so cool!! My husband & i talk about sex, a lot, beyond the fact we have children & i’ve been madly in love with him since i was a teenager – sex comes & goes, like when i had morning sickness (trust me, the sex for totally for him) & then when he deploys to war for 9 months in a war zone (zero sex), then when he’s home, we’re like rabbits, it’s fun, we do, just do it!! I don’t consider sex a chore, in fact the more sex we have the more my husband helps around the house, i’m 36 & am here to say sex is still totally fun, our children are old enough now to be told “knock on our bedroom door or it’s your fault” & i’m sure that will keep them virgins through high school.
    So yay for Rob, yay for sex & as my husband & i talk about sex continuously – after 18 years, i do ask what he likes, doesn’t like, if i’ve got a headache, can i just lay there, we’re SO honest. As our children are hitting their teens, i openly say sex is meant to be fun, in that “don’t be a slut but if you’re in the wrong relatioship, you’ve had sex, well chalk that up to a bad experience, learn & dump him!!” Yay for the Macs, love Posie

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