There’s an old adage that says women marry either for passion or stability and never the twain shall meet. Before I got hitched, one friend warned me against the latter. “Once the sex goes, it’s all downhill from there,” said he. Another friend advised, “Sex fades. Companionship is forever.”
I know of two woman and two men, my age, in four different marriages who each lost their virginity to their future spouses. They are all still married today. Reveling in discovery, each woman experienced a sexual awakening and quickly blossomed into complex sexual beings. Other than the usual fatigue of parenthood, neither one shows any sign of boredom or stagnation. How it went for the virgin-men is anybody’s guess. It’s never been up for discussion. I believe this is partially because there doesn’t seem to be a ready-made segue into questioning or answering adult male virginity. While I’ve heard many male friends chuckle over scores of conquests past, I’ve never once heard a man boast about holding out. People tend to believe that men are one-track primordials who think of sex six thousand times a day compared to women’s once a day (if that). Sure, we have a few modern mesomorphs like Sensitive Ponytail-man and Metrosexuals, who’ve peppered their one-trackness with feelings/opinions. These men might cry, insist on talking-it-out, enjoy cuddling, and play host to a platoon of hair and skin care products. But for the most part, we agree that men are always up for it and women often have a headache. Men desire sex, women desire foreplay. Men thrive on quantity whereas women thrive on quality. My therapist claims this is not necessarily true of all men or all women. It feels true.
If we’ve married for stability, is it enough to sustain us? If we’ve married for passion, is it enough to keep us together? Have modern times brought balance at last? Or do all parents eventually face the transition from spontaneous sex to scheduled sex. In the midst of our busy, stressful, exhaustive lives, how do any of us manage to keep the fire alive?