No sex for a year.

Here is a piece from the Huffington Post Blog that I thought should be discussed. The writer says that she and her husband had no sex at all for a year after her baby was born and it all worked out fine — and her relationship didn’t suffer.

So I sat on this piece for a few days because I didn’t want to react immediately, because initially I was pretty angry. I thought it was unhelpful and misleading and I wanted to make sure I was being fair. I think there are a myriad of problems with this piece, DESPITE the fact that I think it’s great that the author wrote it and I’m glad that things worked out for her so well. But if you look at the comments, many people also had serious concerns and doubts about what she said.

So here is my reaction:

  1. What does she mean when she says they didn’t have sex? I’d like some clarification. Does that mean no intercourse (which is what I’d suspect) but they’d have other kinds of sex, or “one way” sex? That changes the landscape entirely… and if that’s the case, I’d have a very different reaction.
  2. Working with the assumption that she really and truly meant that they had no physically intimate moments, then she should realize that she’d be far out of the range on the bell curve, which is FINE, but should be acknowledged. (I’d expect the same acknowledgement from someone who was defending having sex every single day.)
  3. This is just not a good working model for most couples, and it should not be lauded as such. I acknowledge that there are couples out there who can have infrequent sex or go for long times without it and don’t suffer any negative consequences but I just don’t think that’s real or healthy for most couples. And trust me, I see dozens that are in the same situation and it does real damage to their relationship, both short term and long term.
  4. Finally, I’m glad things seemed to have worked out for her, but frankly most couples would have a great deal of trouble reconnecting if they hadn’t been physically intimate for that long. That’s just reality. So if I had a friend who just couldn’t bring herself to have any type of sex for a year I don’t think my reaction would be “you go girl,” but maybe rather, “you should go — and try to get help.”

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