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Mating in Captivity

The Atlantic Monthly review, about yet another series of clinical vignettes about the struggles of combining marital responsibilities and sexual passion, is worth reading. I haven’t read the book, and from this reviewer’s description, not sure that I need to- but what interested me in the article was the idea of giving up all this talking that is going on about what is wrong with our sex lives…

“We are talking ourselves to death. We are talking our desire to death…perhaps we could regain some of sexuality’s transgressive nature by re-mystifying our eroticism rather than de-mystifying it, by re-veiling our desire rather than by rehearsing it ad nauseum.” There is something to this idea of giving up analyzing our sex lives and just diving in.

Thinking about your sex life isn’t nearly as fun as having one. And wondering after the fact, why it wasn’t what you were hoping for before you started, is never helpful. Equally debilitating is the eternal dance we play about how we get started. Who asks who, who doesn’t ask, who says yes, who says no…by the time you actually get your hands on the other person, you’re too tired or pissed off to even know where to start.

Although my prescriptions may seem simple or trite- I swear they work. Don’t make a story, make a date. Agree to have sex at an appointed time and date and then get excited. Look forward to the time but not with expectations, with openness. Let it be what it will be and be satisfied with the love that you are given. The more you can do this, the easier it gets, truly. Set the mood, don’t wait for it to come to you.