Sex is fun, free, good for you and I am one of its biggest fans. Sex is, quite frankly, brilliant.
But it wasn’t always like this – I used to have a dull, almost non-existent sex life. I wrote about it in this blog post about the horrors of being an unwilling partner in a Not Getting Any relationship and to this day it is one of the most popular things I have ever written anywhere.
I was astonished – and saddened – by the messages I received in response to that piece. I heard from both men and women telling me they’d been in exactly the same situation and just how badly it had affected their self esteem and general mental health. Some still were in such relationships and didn’t see a way out. Because, as I discussed back then, ‘not getting any’ is seen as a really flimsy reason for ending a relationship. Break up a family just because your partner doesn’t want to get jiggy, who’d do that?
Plenty of people, as it turned out. Because they agreed with me that it wasn’t about the physical act of sex, it was more to do with the withholding of affection and, in effect, abusive control. Wanting – needing – sex is so often turned into a negative, the implication being that it’s somehow selfish and immature to not be happy in a relationship without physical contact. But it’s actually one of the most important connections you can have with another human being, and without it a ‘couple’ really are not much more than housemates.
A caveat, here – I’m not talking about relationships in which one or both partners physically cannot have sex because of disability or other genuine issues. Those are a very different situations and people find other ways to be intimate. If your partner would like to have sex with you but physically can’t, then that is a whole different ballgame and it is up to you to help them work out ways of achieving intimate contact without ever pressurising them.
But where you can have sex and you’re with someone you love (and are physically attracted to), of course it’s a major part of the relationship. It doesn’t have to be full throttle, ‘swinging from the chandeliers and running kink parties every other Friday’ sex, in order to be fulfilling – you can be as vanilla as you like, if that’s what floats your boat. Or only do it on high days and holidays, if it’s what makes both of you happy.
Of course, solo sexual happiness is perfectly possible and just as important – after all, if you don’t know what you like, how can you tell someone else how to make you squeal in the right places? Maybe you just don’t fancy other people and just want to get down and dirty on your own. Or perhaps you prefer to keep yourself busy and anything less than four in the bed is boring. Any and all permutations are fine, so long as everyone involved is happy with it.
This post was prompted by Lovehoney sending me a very lovely wand vibrator in the post because yesterday was, apparently, Sexual Happiness Day. More people should own more sex toys (although ‘toys’ is a silly word for them – ‘tools’ is better. Sex tools FTW). I fucking adore Lovehoney for sending me brilliant things, but this is not a sponsored post, nor an advertorial (I’ve purposely not even used an affiliate link) – it just reminded me that I haven’t talked about this in a while. I still regularly get messages on social media from friends (and sometimes strangers) who have found themselves in the place I was in way back when and they want to know what they can do about it.
I can’t tell them what to do, because I’m not involved in their relationship and I don’t know the other partner’s side of the story. And even then it’s really none of my business, because we’re all different. What floats my boat will sink yours faster than an iceberg in a heatwave, and vice versa. But what I can tell them – and you – is this:
It is okay to like sex. It is okay to want sex. It is very much more than okay to enjoy sex and don’t EVER let anyone tell you otherwise. If you are being made to feel needy or greedy or selfish for wanting a sex life, then the problem is not sex – the problem is a lack of care, understanding and respect. And if a relationship doesn’t have those ingredients then getting your rocks off is the least of your problems.