Friday, 16 November 2007

Genetic Frigidity

I asked my mother why it was that my Grandma never got married again after her husband died. She said it was because Grandma didn't like the physical side of marriage. Apparently she used to tell the anecdote that she would stay downstairs until she thought he was asleep but, on numerous occasions, as soon as her foot touched the bottom-most stair to go up to bed, her husband would call out 'I'm still awake'...

Between them, her four sisters only managed to produce three children and one remained a spinster, stating that she couldn't find a man for whom she wanted to give up her independence. We should, of course, bear in mind that this was in the period after two World Wars, where men were in short supply due to the vast number of casualties.

I can remember my own mother staying downstairs finishing chores til late into the night and I can also vividly recall the sounds coming from my parents' bedroom as my father tried to insist on his conjugal rights and my mother would decline vociferously.

In my own marriage, I too have been guilty of only coming up to bed when I hoped my Husband was asleep. The most memorable was the night I had done a grading and achieved a serious martial arts belt - brown. There were still three big steps to get to black but brown was regarded as getting your foot on the first rung of the ladder. It had been a hard grading, lasting nearly three hours with lots of tests to make your brain do complicated routines under the dual pressures of fear and fatigue, ending with several rounds of sparring against the higher grades. I was physically exhausted after the ordeal but my mind was flitting about like a mad thing and the adrenalin was coursing through my veins, making me nauseous and flighty.

I spent several hours on the computer trying to calm down and when I did finally go upstairs, my Husband stirred in the bed, obviously still awake. I informed him that I'd just succeeded in getting my brown belt as I disappeared into the bathroom. When I slid under the covers a few minutes later, his immediate reaction was not to voice his congratulations but to roll over, reach for my breast and try to subjugate me to his will.

I was having none of it. I had just fought off several other men, I wasn't about to submit to this one so he was sent back to his side of the bed with a stinging verbal flea in his ear that I was still more in the mood to punch rather than fuck... The power that my martial arts training gave me in view of having the courage to fight rather than submit has played a major role in how my life has progressed since then.

But I'm still left worrying about my sexuality - not my gender or persuasion, but my enjoyment level. I chose to deny myself fulfilling sex and sometimes any sex at all for so many years because I thought I was ugly and my body disgusted me. The fact that my Husband couldn't tell me, let alone make me believe, that he found me attractive exacerbated my mental revulsion. His accusations through the darkness across the cold marital bed that I must be frigid or a lesbian only made things worse.

I know that there is definitely no questioning my sexual preference because Ive always much enjoyed the company, and indeed the admiration, of men, lusting after them in all their shapes and forms and inadequacies.

Discovering sex toys made me understand that I wasn't frigid per se because I could get orgasms from them and The Catalyst's compliments helped me to start to believe that I might not be so unattractive. However, his good opinion had been formed from carefully selected photographs that I had sent. He hadn't seen the full horror of my body in real life so how could he be trusted.

Thus, it was Bear who made me start to believe. A man at least a decade younger than me who found me attractive enough to stray ever so slightly from his marriage just that once.

But I wasn't always so cold in my marital bed. In the beginning, I had enjoyed, instigated and fantasised about sex with my Husband. Maybe my mother and my grandmother had also had those feelings at the beginnings of their marriages but they had all gone away. Perhaps I was genetically programmed to lose interest in my partner once the initial instinctive lust had run its course?

And yet with Ruf, two years have gone by. Two years during which we have made love/fucked/mutually masturbated hundreds of times. If you say that we spent time together at least one weekend every month and interacted at least ten times as a very conservative average, that is a minimum of 240 sexual encounters, lots of them in broad daylight where my body was on full display. It doesn't sound as if I am frigid or, indeed, as if I am starting to lose interest.

If you compare that to the ratio of people who actually live together in the early days of their relationship, would they still be achieving a minimum of ten times per weekend twice a month? Maybe, as they say, familiarity breeds contempt and having sex on tap running in tandem with the mundane drudgery of maintaining a joint home cannot possibly compete with the intensity of sex that can be attained when you see someone only twice a month and set aside whole days purely to enjoy each other. So if I were to put my relationship with Ruf onto a more permanent footing, would I regress to that genetic frigidity after a year or so?

It is a question that concerns me greatly.

16 comments:

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

I thought I had a low sex drive when I was married. I waited 15 months after we split before I had sex with another man (Hunk) and went 'HELLO!' It wasn't me with the low sex drive, my ex just didn't do it for me.

nitebyrd said...

I agree with Vi. Due to growing resentment and routine, I felt sex with the X was just another chore.

Lady in red said...

I used to wait until my husband was asleep before going to bed. I was not the slightest bit interested in sex once we started having kids. I thought he was right that I was frigid but I could make myself cum when he wasn't around. I now know that there is nothing wrong with my appetite for sex. Maybe this is more common than many of us realised.

JsTzznU said...

<---- Ducks this subject quickly as it IS his former marriage to a "T".. Carry on girls... =)

Fat Controller said...

I don't think that putting the relationship on a more permanent basis would have any detrimental effect. I don't believe in 'genetic frigidity' it's down to chemistry between two complex individuals and from what you write, you and Ruf have that in abundance. He obviously sees the beauty in you that some others have barely glimpsed, let alone appreciated. In my own experience, time only deepens that appreciation.

George said...

I have a problem with something you touched on briefly. " I thought I was ugly and my body disgusted me. The fact that my Husband couldn't tell me, let alone make me believe, that he found me attractive exacerbated my mental revulsion"

I find that when women find themselves unattractive and their partner does tell them that they are or at least that the partner finds them attractive ... they don't usually believe us. You're beautiful is met with Really? or You're just saying that or something similar.

Why won't you believe us. Whave are put in a corner with that statement and we answer that we love you, that we think you are beautiful and sexy and hours later or the next day or week ... we have to do it all again.

It is frustrating to repeat the same thing over and over and at some point we'll stop saying it.

And that's even worse.

Redhead Editor said...

For years I only slept 4 hours a night so I didn't have to go to bed with my husband. We went 4 yrs without sex. Now? I can't get enough with the new love of my life. Chemistry beats genetically frigid every time. Perhaps we weren't meant to be with the same partner for more than 20-25 years. Or perhaps we just didn't have the right chemistry with our first husbands? But I suspect Fat Controller is right about you and Ruf. Now that you have found each other, the chemistry will continue in abundance. Just calling it like I see it.

toby said...

One year?! I thought it was supposed to be a seven year itch?

I guess one year is an eternity with the wrong person.

...and talking of socks; following on from your previous masturbation post, you might enjoy this.

having my cake said...

Vi/Nitebyrd/LiR/jstzznu - Hmmm, not encouraging to hear that so many marriages go down the pan the same way :(

FC - Thank you and it's obvious why you and Heather have maintained the health of your relationship for so long.

george - I will hold my hands up to doing exactly that - even with Ruf and he replied in just the way you have. He wanted to know why I insisted on 'doing that', making a negative out of his positive and spoiling all the feeling behind the compliment.

But his repeated reassurances and obvious love have helped me to find the way out from my negative body image and anorexia. I do find myself slipping back again when he hasnt told me for a while but I remind myself of the things I said about the different genders in my post on Venus and Mars - He thinks because he told her he loved her yesterday, he doesnt need to say it again today. She thinks, he hasnt told me today so he must have changed his mind. Because he doesnt say it, doesnt necessarily mean that he no longer means it.

My irritation with my Husband stems from the fact that, since it was obvious that, on several occasions, I was falling apart because the weightloss was so dramatic and he knew that I needed to have that reassurance because I had told him many times, and yet he still couldnt bring himself to tell me. Even when I asked how I looked, he would give me a cursory glance and never respond with anything more than a 'You look fine'. This, combined with certain other factors, led to me developing a terrible insecurity about his feelings and also about my attractiveness as a woman. It wasnt so bad whilst I was still working and had the attentions of other males to bolster my low self-esteem but once I left work to have the children, I really only had access to one avenue of compliment and he couldnt/wouldnt service it.

Why is it frustrating to keep repeating the same thing over and over when you are telling someone that you love them and that they are beautiful? I didnt just stop telling my Husband, even when he wouldnt repay the compliment...

Perhaps if he had taken the time to voice his frustration at my negativity the way Ruf did, then maybe things would have been different. As in all things, communication is key and my Husband and I just couldnt communicate on an emotional level.

RHE - It does make you wonder, but there are relationships that last into 60+ years of marriage so it must be possible to make it work... if you have the correct chemistry.

having my cake said...

Toby, you made me laugh again x

Marcelle Manhattan said...

Cake, I have never been married, but I have had long-term boyfriends and I can't imagine being frigid WITH THE RIGHT ONES. I think one of the reasons I was so in love with my evil ex John was that I could see myself sexually attracted to him for the rest of my life. It depends on the person. I wouldn't worry.

Gypsy said...

I hate to be the voice of doom but to be totally fair, if you were living with Ruf on a daily basis with all the ho hum humdrum of daily life, I really think it would have some impact if only a little.

In real life you couldn't set aside whole days to enjoy each other. There are children who need your attention, paying bills, doing housework, the list goes on and on.

I don't say this to hurt you or make you worry more but that is the reality of the situation. HOWEVER, having said that, it doesn't mean your desire for each other would be any less and from what you write, it seems you have found a kindred spirit. All I am really saying is if you were together every day your relationship would change, it would have to.

Gypsy said...

I've been thinking about the comment I left all day and I think perhaps it came out more negative than I intended.

What I meant to say was I think your relationship with Ruf would change if you were to be in a more permanent relationship but not necessarily for the worst. It would be different but perhaps it would add a new dimension that may actually make you feel more secure BECAUSE of the permanence.

I know this isn't possible with Ruf right now but I think emotionally you would benefit from something that would give you some security. I am probably making things worse but I hope you understand what I mean.

I'm pretty damn sure that the two of you would make it no matter what the circumstances. As long as you both adjust together I don't see how two people who are as in tune with each as you and Ruf could possibly go wrong. You have something unique but then you know that or you wouldn't be concerned about losing it. Shit I hope that makes sense.

DJ Kirkby said...

Perhaps you like the excitment of it all and if your relationship with Rauf were to adopt the 'permanent' label you might find it less enticing, or maybe exactly the opposite; 2 years is a long time to continue lusting after someone!

Guilty Secret said...

Wow, what an interesting post.

I have been with my boyfriend for five years. I have gone through phases, sometimes up to a couple of months long, when I have had no appetite for sex at all and worried that I am going frigid, don't fancy him any more or worse: both!

But, sooner or later I always come around. We also go through phases when we have more sex than we did when we first got together and can't keep our hands off each other for weeks on end.

Slowly, slowly, slowly, I'm learning to go with the flow and not freak out when we have a lull... just keep making the effort to enjoy each other and it comes back.

having my cake said...

Thanks Marcelle

Gypsy, I think I understand LMAO

DJK, I think you're right and I do like the excitement and the secrecy. I find it exciting but Id like to think that Id find sex with Ruf exciting and stimulating even if he wasnt my Dirty Little Secret.

Guilty Secret - Hello and Welcome. I was with my Husband for seven years before I married him and that relationship definitely went through the phases that you describe. And yet, here I am 20 years further down the line talking about genetic frigidity.

I guess, as I said before, that it all comes down to communication and if you dont have the ability to do that, then both you and your relationship are lost.