Wednesday, January 30, 2008

No Sex Please, We're British

From a story in the Daily Mail:
Carrie Jones hasn't had sex with her husband Hal, a City banker, for the past four years. Nor does she want to. Sex is something she can no longer summon the effort to endure - with the man she married, at least.

Sex workers love women like this. We should. Their husbands comprise a large chunk of our clientèle. Her man Hal will probably be joining the club soon, if he hasn’t already. If she thinks her husband is going to go, oh, ten years without sex? Well, he might be an unusual guy, but I strongly doubt it. If she’s lucky, he’ll just see escorts and stay married to her until their kids are grown up, which is what she says she wants.

But is it really? Actions speak louder than words sometimes, and this woman has published a book saying she’s planning to never have sex with her husband again. And put her photo with it. That’s not exactly a subtle hint. Jesus, lady, way to embarrass and emasculate your helpmate there. As far as I’m concerned, she might as well write “Divorce Me” on her forehead. Kids or no kids, if a partner of mine did that, I’d be out the door. She thinks it's better for children to be raised in a stable loving environment? Yes, I’d agree with that. However, if you’re publishing a fucking book about how much you don’t love your children’s father, and how you planned to cheat on him, I really don’t think anyone is going to mistake you for Ward and June Cleaver. And your kids are nine and eleven – if you think you’re going to fool them into thinking Mommy and Daddy really love each other, you’re dreaming. They’re old enough to be onto you, even if they can’t articulate it. All you’re doing now is setting them up for a lifetime of therapy and messed-up relationships as they unconsciously replay this situation with their own partners.

I think this is an extreme case, but I think the basic premise is pretty common. The majority of the guys I have met through sex work told me the same story. “My wife is a wonderful woman and I love her, but we haven’t had sex in a long time. She doesn’t want it, but I have needs." Since I'm polyamorous, I can totally relate to the idea of having different people in your life that fulfill you in different ways. But I think expecting your partner to go without sex is selfish and dumb. And publishing an unflattering book about your intimate life with him, without even telling him about it first, is astoundingly cruel.

As I said, having her husband go to a sex worker is the best outcome Mrs. Jones could hope for. You see, sex workers don’t break up marriages. Most clients of sex workers could absolutely find non-professional girlfriends on the side, if they wanted them. They avoid that because they know that women in relationships like that make emotional demands. (And justifiably so.) But sex workers don’t do that. So if Mrs. Jones wants to stay married, she should be diverting some cash from the monthly budget into an "entertainment fund" for him. Because if kind, sweet Hal falls in love with a woman who wants him to leave his wife, Mrs. Jones could be freed up to pursue her old boyfriends a lot sooner than she planned.

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