The Sexless Father writes about reinvigorating his sex life from the inside out. If you free your mind, will your ass really follow?
This article was originally posted at The Sexless Father
There was a time, not too long ago by most standards, that I didn’t talk about sex. I am blessed to have grown up in a fairly sexually open family. My parents had gay friends, and the church I grew up in was “open and affirming” for gay and lesbian members. When anti-gay candidates appeared on ballots, my parents knocked on doors and donated to campaigns to defeat them and keep them out of office. But despite this openness about sexual orientation and identity, my parents didn’t talk about sex at all.
When I was a teenager, they gave me the “what’s happening to my body” book for boys. I didn’t read much of it, but there was a chapter on what’s happening to girls’ bodies and I remember spending a lot of time examining the anatomical drawings. Other than this, though, my parents rarely acknowledged the existence of sex.
When I started dating and became sexually active at the age of around 14, the message I got from my Mom was ‘be safe’ and from my Dad was ‘don’t.’ I listened to my Mom, ignored my Dad, and had absolutely no idea how to approach the topic of sex with the girls I wanted to have it with.
Although my skill at talking to girls and women improved somewhat over the years, initiating a conversation about sex always struck me dumb. Rather than talk about sex with the women I dated in my late teens and early twenties, I dropped overly subtle hints and made awkward first moves, hoping that body language would give me cues and placing the burdon of refusal on my partners. It wasn’t until after The Mother and I started dating ten years ago that the concept of asking for consent prior to sexual activity entered my consciousness. When I was dating, I was convinced that it was enough to stop if a girl said no.
Most of my sexual encounters in the dating pool were drunk, awkward, and left uncomfortable unspeakables souring the air of several close acquaintanceships. My inability to talk about sex continued into my marriage, which was okay at first because The Mother and I had some very basic sexual compatibilities. We had sex in the early years of our dating and mariage, but we very rarely talked about it. We occasionally tried, and ended up both embarrassed and ashamed.
It wasn’t until the moment of crisis that precipitated this blog that I realized how many hangups were standing between me and having a healthy attitude toward sex. I undertook to solve this problem by giving myself a sexorcism, and it is working.
What Is a Sexorcism
This is a term that I coined for what I’m doing – and although I’m not the first person to mash up the words ‘sex’ and ‘exorcism’ I think my definition is the best. I’m on a mission to banish all sex shame and sex negativity from my mind. Here’s how I’m doing it.
1) Lots of sex positive media. This includes listening to back episodes of The Savage Lovecast, listening to other sex themed podcasts, reading about human sexuality in books like Sex at Dawn, as well as following a bunch of kinksters, porn stars, lonely housewives, feminists, and sex therapists on Twitter. (A sidenote: I also follow a fair number of mommy bloggers and daddy bloggers. My Twitter timeline is extremely interesting.)
2) Lots of sex talk with The Mother. Even though she still isn’t interested in having sex, my dinner table conversation, my breakfast table conversation, my noontime phone calls home, my text messages to her from work, and most of my other interactions have been imbued with sex related themes. The Mother is very academically minded, and she is interested in human sexuality on a theoretical level even as she isn’t terribly interested in practicing it. I’m keeping sex topics up for discussion. These are not graphic conversations, and hopefully they have the added effect of normalizing sex and discussions about sex with our kids.
3) Meditating, writing, and journaling about sex as much as possible. On my bike ride in to work, I think about sex and related topics. On a coffee break at work, I think about sex. As I go to sleep at night, I think about sex. This is not only daydreaming by the horny husband of a woman without a libido; I’m interrogating my own ideas about sex, thinking about sexual ethics, and reframing my entire approach to the question of sex. Of all the steps, this one has done the most for my level of sexual frustration. I don’t have any less longing for closeness and intimacy with The Mother, but this reframing has helped me to realize that what I’m missing isn’t just vaginal intercourse but rather the physical intimacy and tenderness that I’ve come to associate with it.
4) Talking with other folks about sex. Outside of work, I have been trying to be more open to let sex slip into my conversations. I’ve tried to be more forthcoming about sexual topics with my friends and family, and not slink in shame when sex comes up. In a sense, this is a coming-out process. For my whole life, I’ve essentially tried to put forth the impression to the world that I’m an asexual person. I do this by avoiding conversations about sex, and getting visibly uncomfortable when the subject is raised. I feel as though I’ve been living a lie, and I’m ready to step out of my shell and let the world accept me as I am – a person who loves sex. This coming out is so much easier than what my queer friends have gone through, and I feel that the least I can do to make the world easier for them is to take a stand for sex-positivity by acknowledging my own sexuality and beating down my own sexual shame.
What Comes of All This?
I wish I could report to you that by cultivating a sex-positive approach and attitude in my house, a switch has flipped in The Mother and that now she’s begging for my cock twenty four hour a day. That would be a lot to ask. What I can say is that switching up my approach and building this attitude has made me feel a lot better about the position that I’m in. At the risk of oversharing, my masturbation has been far more satisfying since I started this project. Also, The Mother is picking up some of my newfound sex-positivity by osmosis. She had been as shy about sex-talk as I was before the sexorcism. Now, slowly but surely, she’s starting to talk about sex without so many euphemisms, without so many tittering giggles, and without so much shame.
So although the Sexorcism hasn’t given me everything I always wanted, it has made me much more comfortable with thinking and talking about sex, and that alone is enough to warrant a recommendation. Fill your head with so much sex positive media and thought that there is no room left for your shame. Do it until the only thing you can think about is great, open, honest sex. Do it until your hangups and inhibitions melt away. I predict that you’ll enjoy the results.
Photo—Girls and sex in mind from Shutterstock