I really like the “Modern Love” column in the Sunday Style section of the New York Times. I would prefer that I didn’t have to dig my way through photos of who was thinnest and wore the shortest skirt at a recent charity event, or the new ways in which waxing makes you look shiny… that I don’t love so much. But still.
This past Sunday’s article, A Measure of Desire, really struck a cord with me. The author (Andrea Jarell) perfectly illustrated two points I keep making (sometimes it feels like no one is really listening, but hey, that could just be my paranoia), but Andrea Jarrell made my points maybe better than I ever do:
- She talked about how reconnecting sexually made all the difference in her marriage. It shouldn’t surprise us, but it often does. We think sex is just sex and we lose the perspective that sex is the glue that holds the relationship together. Even more often we lose the perspective that sex can be the sparkly glue that makes the marriage stick AND shimmer a bit. Marriage is hard work. Couples who don’t have sex often start feeling like separate entities, even if there is no real “problem” in the relationship. Lack of physical intimacy is a problem in its own right. The author’s depiction of the emotional turn-around after just one passionate night is such a beautiful example.
- She talked about how reclaiming her desire was critical and how, for her, that came from a conscious attempt to do so. She started noticing (and not being fearful of) the sexy men around her and her own sexual responses to them. Us married women, we are scared of any sexuality that exists outside of our own bedroom and in an attempt to “tame ourselves” perhaps unconsciously, we turn off the sex sensors we have. It may be true that they weaken as we get older, but it is also probably true that we dampen them down and don’t pay them enough attention.
So thank you Andrea Jarrel! And good luck with the sex and the marriage.