Today’s post is gloriously unashamed in it’s cheesiness.
And that’s ironic, because this blog is allll about shame.
My question to you is- why don’t we ever talk about having a low sex drive?
Where are all the people chatting it up about how they’re not feeling like bonking today?
Where are the Sex and the City stars gossiping over Martini’s about how they’d rather watch Kilroy reruns than have a shag?
Where are the plot lines, the stories unfolding, about people who literally don’t feel like fucking.
I’ll tell you. They’re bloody nowhere!
There is a distinct silence wrapped around having a low libido in our society where it feels like EVERYONE but you wants (and is having) sex.
Why the silence?
I believe that it’s partly because, in an era of women’s sexual revolution, we’ve done such a great job showing women as sexual beings that not being one just seems…. well… a bit shit.
Now don’t get me wrong. Shows like Girls, SATC, Flea Bag and others have been epic at showing women actively enjoying shagging whomever and whenever they like.
We’re smashing the patriarchy to shit when it comes to slut shaming and breaking taboos all over the show about waffing and fanny galloping.
Female sex shops have sprung up like wildfire and made it to the high street. Tupperware parties have turned into dildo purchasing frenzies. And we’re loving the idea of the sexually empowered woman.
But, for those of us who have lost any desire TO have sex, we’re left feeling pretty isolated, frigid and empty that we don’t also fit this mold.
In fact, we feel so far from the idea of the “sexually empowered woman” that we might as well abandon all hope, don a bin bag and hope that long nightgowns and Kilroy come back into fashion.
That’s how exciting our bedtimes are.
All joking aside. Well, slight joke/my reality aside, interestingly, “sexless marriage” is one of the most searched things on Google under relationships. So, we’re OK to talk about it online, behind the safety of our keyboards and usernames. Hey, there’s even a few case studies of anonymous* people willing to share their experiences in women’s magazines or on medical sites.
But who names it? Who owns it as their own issue?
Apart from the Reddit Dead Bedroom threads, I feel like I’m out on my own here– a lone voice in the blogosphere lamenting to the world about my shit sex drive.
The irony is, I talk freely online about what’s going on downstairs.
But to my friends- my nearest and dearest. Seriously, have no clue. I mostly keep this secret close to my chest. I’ll talk more about why this is in a minute, but firstly….
It didn’t used to be like this.
I ALWAYS used to chat about sex with friends growing up.
We’d analyse every incident- every kiss, every fingering, every near miss.
The terrible sex, the hilarious sex, the great sex, the wild sex- they were all fodder for our hungover brunches where we’d dissect every inch (literally) of the night before.
But as we matured and found long term partners, the sex talk dwindled.
It wasn’t some group decision we made. But slowly, over time, sex talk has given way to marriage, houses, babies and other serious life issues.
Talking about bonking somehow now feels icky- and admitting having a low sex drive can be akin to social suicide
WHY? I kept asking myself.
I feel so close to these gals, we tell each other about our poos and our promotions, our nephews and our work nemesis. But sex now feels off of the agenda.
Now, we have more integrity and loyalty to our partners.
Laughing about sexual performance or cringy sexual moments feels, in the bright light of sober-quickly-fitted-in-around-other-social-arrangements brunch, a betrayal to our boyfriends or husbands.
We don’t want our friends thinking badly or mocking our lovers, so we keep quiet. We protect our partners from the gossip, the overindulging, the oversharing of every sexual detail.
Sex talk is banned, forbidden, socially unacceptable in this new landscape of adulthood. And sex problems, well.
In light of the new silence around sex, “having problems” felt like the silliest, most ridiculous thing ever.
I felt I couldn’t bring it up that I didn’t feel like having sex.
“Like, so hey guys, hows work? Me? Oh yeah, it’s all great. Oh so also girls- I’ve got news! I feel like my sex drive has fallen out of my arse. I’m seriously broken and don’t think I’ll ever ever want to fuck again- oooh yes another latte please….”
No way jose. I wasn’t about to let my friends know that something was wrong with me, that I’m abnormal. That I don’t want sex like every other seemingly normal human on earth.
No way. Keeping up appearances seemed like the most sensible way forwards.
BUT, dear reader, since I’ve been writing this blog, I realised that maybe, just maybe, it’s OK to share. So, you might be pleased to hear that over a glass of prosecco a few weeks ago, I decided to mention I was having some “err” problems in the bedroom.
And the girls listened. And listened. And I told them that my libido was kaput and even though we were still having sex, I was literally not bothered at all.
And then they listened some more. And more prosecco was consumed.
And then came the outpouring of sex talk that had been bottled up since we’d “grown up” and got boyfriends.
They too experienced spells of not wanting sex. They too felt London and work was stressful, they’d get in late, they couldn’t be bothered or it was too hot or they’d got to get up for work early. They too hated the turn-off of their partner left skidders on the loo or didn’t take the bins out when asked.
We laughed and sighed at the normality (and banality) of it all, and I couldn’t believe why I’d never mentioned it before.
The moral of the story is, that shame stops us talking and encourages us to compare ourselves falsely against others. We spin ourselves stories of others success and our demise that keeps us locked in silence.
Fear also keeps us worried and isolated. What is wrong with me? Will I ever be fixed? Will my friends judge me, or laugh, or also think I’m broken? Will my partner leave/cheat etc if I don’t get myself sorted?
It’s funny that infact, the best antidote to shame and fear is breaking the silence.
Talking to others and letting them know what’s your reality means you are being authentic in your experience. The best outcome is validation of you and your normality. The best consequence is that you inspire others to talk out too.
Now I have mates that come and find me and want to talk about sex, or their lack of it. I’ve given others an outlet to also share their experience. I’ve also (excitingly) been asked to talk on two podcasts about sex and my experiences.
So, why don’t we talk about low sex drives?
Fuck it, who cares- let’s just start talking.
It might be embarrassing, but summoning the courage to speak to our nearest and dearest about sex drives might feel terrifying, but in fact it’s one of the most liberating experiences I know.
Do you speak out about having a low sex drive? I’d love to know how you’ve found it, or whether your experiences echo mine.
For more, check out the #Italksex campaign on Twitter run by the Scarlet Ladies