What is new is the marketing angle. Devised by pros who know how to pull in the punters. With the singles market satiated, they’ve identified ripe-for-the-picking new ground: the no-sex marrieds.
So you meet a lovely lady called Candy online. Her photo will show a petite blonde (your favourite) – with big, natural (you think) boobies. She will be in much the same position as you – married, loves sex, husband doesn’t give it to her often enough. She quit working when she got married (her husband is loaded): and now has all this time on her hands. One lunch time you will arrive at a neat suburban semi-detached, with a white picket fence and a BMW in the driveway. Only Candy won’t look anything like her picture and once you get inside – she will be all-business.
You’ve been had.
Sustaining sexual interest in another person long-term is challenging. How to keep it happening in the bedroom is the subject of millions of articles and scholarly works. We step outside our relationships for myriad reasons: we’re not getting any, we’re bored with what we are getting, we don’t like it any more, there must be something better out there. We want more, different …
And it’s all available – on the internet. We can meet people without leaving our homes, and have sex without removing our clothes. We can even bypass the whole nasty business of leaving money on the night stand – we just type in our credit card numbers. The virtual madams and pimps know this – so they’re standing in their doorways, hips thrust, fingers crooked: just waiting for us to wander by.
And they are smart to. Married people do deserve sex. Isn’t that one of the central promises of the union? That once you get married; you won’t have to troll the bars and clubs looking for someone to boink? That once the honeymoon is over you can heave a big sigh of relief, take off that uncomfortable lingerie and look forward to a life of companionable rumpy-pumpy?
Only, it doesn’t work that way. People go to the altar with hidden agendas. Some marry for money, some to prove a point, some because they fear loneliness. Seems like a good idea at the time, but then the reality of the farty duvet and the routine ‘same-old-same-old’ make us forget where we started. That we pledged to a common cause. Contempt steps into the ring, we launch google and the wheels come off.
What is ‘good sex’ in a marriage anyway? How much is enough?
Sex and Relationship Therapist Paula Hall says there is no rule of thumb. But no sex for longer than three months,indicates a problem. Which needs to be addressed before it becomes entrenched. As to quality – she says it is useful to remember the 6:2:2 rule. Out of every ten times we have sex: twice it will be fantastic, twice we will wish we hadn’t bothered and the other six times … well it will be OK. You know ‘nice’. This applies to everyone – married or not. Paula say we have to be realistic, and not to expect sex to be mind-blowing every time.
So, our sex lives may already be better than we thought they were.
But what if they aren’t? Hall says we have to discuss the situation openly. Perhaps with a therapist present. And then reach an agreement. One that works for us, one that is conscionable for both, one that is nobody’s business but our own.
I know two women who married for children. Once they had their brood, they made it clear to their husbands that sexy time was over. And that he better not step outside the marriage or there would be hell (read alimony) to pay.
Which left these nice men (then in their late 30s), with three options if they wanted to stay in the marriage: no sex, paid sex or affair sex. Each of which came with it’s particular baggage.
No sex, I think we can all agree, is an unreasonable ask. Why should a person give up something that is such an inherent part of being alive?
Affair sex carries the chance of discovery, of new love, hurt and complications. We’ve all seen “Fatal Attraction’, but more than that; the chance that someone else (often a friend or family member) will stumble into your secret – making them your unwitting accomplice: is high. And hard to contain after the fact.
Paid sex involves expense and illegality – and can create comparison. A friend of mine, R, got caught out when he introduced new tricks to his ‘regular’ repertoire. His wife had never had such great sex with him – and it made her suspicious.
Some married gay friends kept their interest fresh by bringing a third party into their relationship. They lived together, holidayed together and shared household chores for almost a decade. But it always seemed to me that there were always two plus a one at the table. The alliance would shift and one would be on the perimeter. Ultimately it didn’t work – but it was open, above board and everyone knew and accepted the rules.
Cheating is defined as acting dishonestly with the aim of gaining an unfair advantage. So, if we are even considering it – something is clearly very wrong with the way we view our relationship. We are wanting to hurt or to win. Either way, we need man- or woman-up and resolve the situation; before we resort to the web.
Otherwise someone, somewhere will end up paying dearly for the sex: and it’s likely to be us.