The Aftermath — Part V, It’s All about the Sex

It’s all about the sex.

Sculpture by Ania ModzelewskiWord.

We have found that the really lascivious posts attract the most readers and the most comments. The dull political posts attract George and ofttimes Rufus.

Here’s an example: “The US is going overboard stomping on the rights of all citizens to avoid inconveniencing a few citizens.

I could see my Sitemeter™ spiral down to zero.

Then there is Fred and Gwen and Bonnie and Carol. “I’m thinking about joining you and Carol at the Comfort Inn on Thursday night,” Gwen will soon tell Fred.

The Sitemeter™ just went ballistic.

Alright, I’ll talk about the sex.

It’s really really good, sex is.

Over there, gekko talks about change.

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

In real life I’ve spent more than enough years herding cats. I thought about that while pounding nails yesterday — that and wondering why we haven’t brought management experience to bear on the question of change in relationships.

In the business world, we “change the rules” all the time. We buy new businesses, expand the product line, hire and fire employees, and generally do what it takes to grow the company. In our personal lives, we codify the rules. We maintain the status quo, keep the same product line, keep the same employees, and generally do what it takes not to rock the boat. Seems at odds with the old saying that a man marries a woman hoping she will never change and a woman marries a man planning to change him.

Except the old saying proves the “no change” explicitly. Man wants no change in his woman. Woman wants her man to change to match her image.

And nobody in that equation wants growth.

Sex is the commodity that drives that model.

“I think our society is completely upfucked about sex,” correspondent Peppery Patti wrote. “We have this romance novel idea that one person is going to satisfy our every need — intellectual, emotional and sexual, and dammit that just has to work or else. Sometimes it does.”

Sex drives the model because it is both the currency and the lingua franca that some couples use to bind themselves together. And, as our friend Dean “Dino” Russell says, the sex was just to get you to read about the color of the day. Pink, I think.

If you go on this fancy cruise,
I’ll make it worth your while.
If you buy me that shiny car,
I’ll warrant you a smile.
If you take me to our children,
I’ll pledge a big bouquet.
If you toss that other woman,
I’ll promise a BJ.

“The spouse who [steps out] is not, never was, a reflection of any lack on the part of the partner,” Nancy wrote. “It is, rather, a reflection on change.”

When I get older losing my hair,
Many years from now,
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine?

Maybe, just maybe, we keep worrying about the sex because we don’t want people to notice we’re worrying about the change.

Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I’m sixty-four?

[Editor’s Note: gekko and I shared a four-part polylocution plus these Afterglow posts. Please visit her piece, You Are Not a Mall, and use The Poly Posts index for the entire series and for other resources.]


11 thoughts on “The Aftermath — Part V, It’s All about the Sex

  1. Sometimes I don’t comment on the political posts for what I think are obvious reasons. But ITA with the many/few concept.

    Change can be difficult to accept when we rilly liked things the way they were, as I noted Over There. Just because the other party is no longer happy doesn’t mean I’m not, but then I guess I can’t be if they aren’t, etc., simply because of their current behavior I am now forced to acknowledge. Maybe I can learn to be happy again (with them still in my life) in a new way, bla de bla. Or I may have to move on.

    I have one nit: sometimes it could be totally about the other person. I mean, say Jack stays the same and Jill changes. Jack finds that Newjill cannot fulfill his needs at all and Jack ends up cheating. Jack would not have cheated if Jill hadn’t turned into Newjill. Jack didn’t change. See?

  2. Well, the political stuff is all around you and it’s wearying, and one often feels as though there’s not a heck of a whole lot one can really do about it, but the relationship stuff, well, that’s close to home and as far as I’m concerned it has really helped me to see others who go through the same things I’m thinking and feeling and to realize I’m not as upfucked as I think I am to think and feel as I do. It’s really uncanny how timely your (combined) posts have been in my own life. Not that I’m any closer to a solution than I was six months ago or six years ago, but I’m more accepting of the trial and error nature of the process and the inevitability of second guessing as we (my husband and I) try to figure out how to proceed. Change isn’t easy when you have all these “rules” that need to be dealt with along with the change itself.

    Also, as another observation about the visitor count according to topic, in Eat, Pray, Love the author recounts a story from a psychologist who worked with people who were coming to America from war-torn countries under horrendous conditions, yet most of them didn’t talk about the trauma of their suffering under those conditions, most of them wanted to talk about love relationships. Maybe it’s all about the sex, but I think the sex is just the lead in to all the other things that interest us about being in a relationship. It’s the emotional connection between people that really gets to us, and that’s always much more interesting than politics, even when the politics affects our lives in a tangible way.

  3. Interestingly, Arleen, Kipnis (the author I cite Over There) connects love/sex with the political atmosphere of the nation as well. In this, the family serves as a micro-nation. A healthy, properly structured family means the nation is good. A dysfunctional or broken family represents a broken nation. The definition of “family” shifts around as social consciousness shifts. Once upon a time we didn’t speak of divorces — divorcees were shamed and held suspect. Etc.

    Again, I am delighted that our combined navel-gazing has served to help others.

    Paula: ITA with your nit. There were a few situations with which I am familiar that filled my mind as I read the passages in Kipnis’ book that spurred my chosen topic, so I focused on those “it’s not really you, it’s me” noodlings. But I am equally aware of sitches such as you describe.

  4. OK, the real problem with me reading all this stuff is that I always have at least one question when I’m done which strikes me as considerably important. And, for all that y’all have been pretty open about the ins and outs of this poly gig, my questions invariably fall into the “here’s a problem I see,” area which always comes across as a “I’m such a judgmental asshole” and, more importantly, is always hip-deep in “none of my fucking business” territory.

    As a practicing near-anarchist who basically believes that y’all (or anyone else) should be able to do whatever you like without interference as long as it’s not requiring me to do anything nor taking a dollar out of my wallet, any such question is anathema.

    Which is kind of annoying, ’cause it’s interesting.

  5. Maybe I read too fast but you seem to be talking about relationships that have no growth and are in fact designed to stifle growth. I can tell you my marriage was not like that at all. There was huge growth all round and quite intentionally so. What I’m learning to see is that while her upbringing and mine made us unqiuely well suited when we were young to match our inbred pathologies, the poisonous weeds finally just got too damn tall. There was no more growing out of that except apart. Even if we both swore off sex henceforth we would be better off apart, so long as our parting freed us to finally go look for answers, development, and fulfilment. Fortunately, swearing off sex is not necessary. Or even any fraction of a good idea.

  6. Gekko sez: “Wanna little scratch with that peck, Henny Penny?”

    Yes, please. Right there. Yeah. That’s it. Ohhhh. A little higher. Oh, yeah..yeah…faster…oh, DAMN that’s good… you got a real talent for that.

    I’m impressed – women can practically NEVER hit that spot right between my shoulder blades.

    And as for the question/comment/etc., never mind. Just idle curiosity, and I’m already over it – you know how I get.

  7. @Don: “you seem to be talking about relationships that have no growth and are in fact designed to stifle growth.”

    Growth or change can be a difficult topic in a relationship. We want our partners to grow like flowers but we don’t want our partners to sprout like weeds. Gain experience and promotions at work? Great! Make a new friend at the gym and learn to row? Great! Make a new friend at the zoo and want to lie down with the bunnies? Not so great.

    It gladdens our spice when we change in ways that please them (and vice versa). It saddens our spice when they disapprove of our growth.

    @#$%^ Hashcash. I really really wish I could change that!

Comments are closed.