Saturday, November 12, 2005

Non-Sexual Affection

The Great Photographer and Elusive Tobias, as I have personally named him, asked an interesting question. He noticed that I would prefer some "non-sexual affection" on my perfect day and asked the following:

"Does that side of things really drop off when you marry? Do you not miss it?"

So, how to answer? And I hope my female married readers will chime in on this topic, stone me to death if I'm wrong, whatever.

But, I don't know if 'that side of things really drops off when you marry' but it definitely becomes second to raising children, especially three right in a row, boom, boom, boom! Of course, when we were trying to conceive these children, it didn't drop off, if you know what I mean, but that's a blog post for another day.

I think, and please remember, I am only one woman, and keep in mind I happen to be Manic Mom so that could come into play here, but when you're in a house all day long with children rubbing up against you begging for juice and cookies and lunch and butts to be wiped and boo-boos to be kissed and buttons to be snapped and toys to be fixed, the last, (and remember, this is just me talking) the very last thing I am in the mood for is S-E-X.

When you have a day of being groped by the children, being groped by the husband while you're trying to make dinner (even if it is boxed Mac 'n' Cheese with the Blues Clues characters), do laundry, pick up the markers and paper the kids left on the floor, fill out school forms, make lunches for the next day... well, being groped in a sexual manner by the husband is just not sexy and does not put a woman (me) in a sexy mood. Others might feel differently.

Sexy for me is for Hubby to tell me he appreciates the fact that I raked the leaves, and that the kitchen looks uncluttered, and that he enjoyed the Shake 'n' Bake pork chops (I've told you all a million times I can't cook worth a shit!). Sexy for me is when he lets me sleep in every weekend and he makes the kids breakfast. Sexy for me is getting a neck massage or when he gives the kids a bath and puts them to bed. These are the non-sexual affectionate things I think I am talking about.

Or, just being kissed without the intent that it's going to lead to sex, just kissing because kissing is a way to connect and it feels nice, and there is a promise of something that might be in the future. Or a sweet hug without an ass grab or grope in the kitchen in front of the kids, because, while I do believe it is extremely important and good for children to see their parents loving one another, hugging and kissing, and telling one another they love each other, it's not so good to have the children see the dad grab the mom's ass or some other part of her anatomy while she's trying to make sure she doesn't burn the water she's boiling for the Blues Clues' Kraft Mac 'n' Cheese.

Now, for instance, take me on a husband-wife-only beach vacation, or even an overnight getaway to a swanky hotel (where I am not puking my lungs out in the bathroom because of overdoing it at a Green Tie Ball), then, I am all over the Non-Non Sexual Affection.

So, do you see what I mean? It's all about timing. For me, timing is everything. And the frame of mind I'm in. And most of the time, when I'm with the kids, or have spent the day with the kids, or am thinking about the kids, or I know the kids could walk in at any second, well, then yes, "that side of things" does take the back burner to what is going on, and that's fine for now, because I know there will be those beach vacations and those overnight getaways in swanky hotels in the future.

So Tobias, I wouldn't say it happens when you're married, but definitely when kids are brought into the world. And I do have to say this. I would sacrifice all the sexual affection in the world if I had to choose between that and having my children, and having the love and affection and joy I get from my kids.

Wow, this was a bit sentimental wasn't it?
Would love to hear what you all feel on this topic!

22 comments:

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Manic Mom said...

Ah Shit! Don't tell me I have to go do my Word Verifications already! Damn.

Monkey said...

Word Verification is evil, but better than spam.

I wrestled the keyboard away from Monkey in order to comment on your lovely and very true post.

I call this the empty cup syndrome, particularly with three children, which I cannot even imagine. You are doing serious giving all day and by the end of it, sleep is the sexiest thing one can think of.

I feel very excited about non non sexual gratification when we are on our own for the night, or after he does something sweet, like vacuum the house. I realize that sounds mercenary, but it's more about giving me more time to wind down from giving. If I feel nurtured, I feel sexier.

Life with children changes many things, most of them for the better. I will say that the times when we are alone and "in sync" are much hotter and wilder than they were before children.

But I babble. I am on cold meds.

Monkey's Human

Kelly said...

Manic.
THANKYOU for saying this for me.
I knew we were blog friends for a reason!!

Being a human jungle gym all day long is a really sure fire way to make sure that you absolutely want no touching when you are tired.

Give me a husband-wife getaway with no kids any day and I will show you the woman I was before I popped out my two little darlings.

cubmommy said...

I think you did a great job describing it. I feel the same way. By the end of the day having the boys climb all over me I am ready to go to bed.

I find it sexy when my husband takes care of the kids without asking that makes a world of difference.

Charity said...

I am completely agree. I hate it when I am up to my elbows in making dinner, and the kids for the gazillionth time come in to ask when dinner will be done, and it is at the moment when I am the busiest when he wants to come rubbing up against me.

Can't I just get the dinner on the table and the kids fed without my space being invaded? LOL

I prefer to have my plate made for me and waiting for me when I finally sit down...and someone other than myself clearing the table...put away the laundry to show a little affection...grabbing any part of my anatomy is not the only way to show feelings.

DH and I have such busy lives that we have made it a point to make out once in awhile...one morning the girls were at school, I had the morning of of class and he didn't have to go to work until that afternoon. We stayed in bed watching tv and playing footsie!! That was the best morning I have had in a very long time.

It makes the "non non-sexual" times all the better after there has been a buildup of not being grabbed, pulled, pushed, or groped!!

Just my opinion though!

Manic Mom said...

I completely agree with what everyone is saying here, and I'm glad we are having this discussion; I love the feedback from everyone.

It does sound like we are ungrateful for the groping though. I am sure there are women out there that get absolutely no affection, sexual or non-sexual, so sometimes I should just be quiet and let him grope! LOL

Joel said...

Now I know why my brother watches his kids and does most of the work when he gets home every night - He wants some hootchie.

I would like to add to this discussion, being a male and all. I think that, in most cases, every time a woman wants that non-non-sexual touching, she gets it. Now, lets face it, men are horny more often, so it is understandable that they get shut down. But when women do want it, they don't have to work hard to convince the guy to do anything because he is more than willing to – um - participate.

I guess what I'm saying is - and I've never been married, so take all of this with 5 lbs of salt - women have all these steps that guys have to go through just to get some sex. Do some laundry, take out the trash, clear the table, play with the kids, etc. I'm not saying the man shouldn't help out, and I think that most husbands who love their wives are more than willing to do these things, but the lack of sex and the nagging and all these other things are some of the reasons that guys have a hard time committing in the first place.

I'm not saying that you should screw your husband every time they want. But requiring a weekend getaway just because you have some kids? It seems odd to me. You need your man to do these special things for you to feel sexy - and that is important, no doubt - but the man needs things to help him feel appreciated and loved as well. 2.5 times a week is not enough to satisfy men - it just isn't - and if that's all they get, then their existence becomes "scrambling for sex." Guys start to think these crazy things like, "maybe she'll get turned on if I grab her butt while she's pulling the guts out of the turkey." And when he does grab her butt, and she pushes him away with a sarcastic remark, it makes him feel inadequate, because he still remembers the time when he would grab your butt and you'd take your top off.

Adjusting to family life when you're used to "couple" life is most definitely hard, and for SAHMs, that loss of adult interaction during the day can really take its toll. But as important as it is for the husband to help out - to do the little things, to kiss you just to tell you he loves you - it is just as important for him to feel like he still makes your knees weak.

Part of the reason men have their crazy mid-life crisis' is because they're old guys looking to feel young again. They miss that time when the money they made was theirs, and they had a cool car, and they could go out with the guys on Friday nights and get drunk. These are the things that a lot of men give up when they get married – and they are willing to make that sacrifice for love, but 20 years down the road and they’re left thinking, we used to wake up in the morning and have sex, and then go hop in the shower together. She used to grin when I pinched her butt; she moaned when I kissed her neck. When men who are used to seeing these reactions find themselves 20 years down the road with women who are hardly ever in the mood anymore, it lowers their self-esteem, and makes them feel old, and it makes it harder for him to appreciate her. And after a year he’s getting his satisfaction from the internet, or strip clubs, or his secretary.

So, in my inexperienced and probably not-humble-enough opinion, I think that men need to do those things that help their wives feel appreciated because that’s what you do when you love someone. But I also think that women could stand to reciprocate more, because it makes their husbands feel like adequate men, which is something that they need just as much.

This is the end of the longest comment ever :P

Manic Mom said...

Yes, Joel, that quite possibly is the longest comment ever, but a great one, no doubt. My mind is still processing your words and I'll comment fully later, but the one thing that struck me is the 2.5 times a week. WHO THE HELL HAS THE TIME, ENERGY, GUMPTION, SEX DRIVE TO HAVE SEX PRACTICALLY EVERY OTHER DAY?

I will report back, my friend! Can't wait to hear what Alani thinks about this, but you guys are still in the 'grab-butt-remove-shirt' stage! : )

mom on a wire said...

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tobias said...

I asked purely because it seems a natural progression. Once the excitement of exploring one another dies it is the intellect and the substance a woman has that means most to me so what you said surprised me not. I just wanted your take on it.

Upon saying this, I couldn't date an intelligent ugly woman. To quote Bret Easton Ellis' "American Psycho" - "You can't fu*k a personality" (crude but apt). A woman needs to stimulate me both mentally and physically but I wonder sometimes if I meet their needs. I find when sex dies off you often drift apart even when I love them dearly.

You mention going without sex for your childrens affection, seems a Freudian slip that you do not mention your husband in that sentiment. A surprising close to your post I felt.

Alani said...

Yeah I already told Joel to wake up at the reality of his comment. I know now that I'm so busy with school and life that it would be hard to manage a fufilling sex life, or one that would satisfly Joel 2.5. times a week or whatever. Luckily we don't live close enough to have this battle, but I'm sure that will change if we ever live in the same place.
I totally understand your comments Steph. That's the reality of the situation, and of life. I am positive if I were in your shoes I would feel the same way. I tried explaining it to Joel but the point didn't get across-we just agreed to settle on the theory that men and women are different and that men don't change.

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Manic Mom said...

Sorry folks, word verification must return.

Joel said...

I like word verification... well, except when I get (and I kid you not) eqrqrqk. WTF?

Ok, lets round up the 2.5 times a week to make it 3 times a week. That's still not every other day, though close.

I'm not saying that sex is the most important thing in a relationship. Of course it isn't. I was simply saying that both partners have needs, and those needs should be met to the best of said partners abilities. Men don't need sex everyday, but handing them a bottle of lube and a washcloth can actually feel insulting. When you say no 3 or 4 times a week, that is understandable because guys are always looking for a cushion to pin. But if the husband's needs aren't met, the constant rejection can actually be hurtful. That whole thing about the large male ego is very true, and when they start to feel like they aren't good enough, all they have left is the fantasies they had during their adolescent years: boy that hot little thing probably looks great naked. And these thoughts while beating off in the garage lead to guilt, and feelings of inadequacy, and ultimately unhappiness.

Eeps! Quit Redundancy, Quit Redundancy, Quit, K? (If you could do better, I'd like to see it!)

Ex-Girlfriends Revenge said...

I think, Manic, your post is so true... from at least what i hear. It is sensitive, but honest. Totally.

Okay, so I feel guilty for saying this, but it sorta dropped off with Scot abd I already. He travels so much and I work so late. By the time we are together we are very content sitting on the couch watching Tivo'ed episodes of Lost and I Love the 80's. Should I be worried?? More and more I have been wanting the affection part... the non-sexual, non-groping affection where I just feel pretty, special and appreciated. Is that bad when we are only just engaged?

Joel said...

Well, there is another side to this, which is that the guy makes the gal feel like an object instead of an appreciated human equal.

I have to say that snuggling on the couch outscores sex by a factor if 10. In the end, what we're looking for is true intimacy - being comfortably open, honest, and understanding. Sex is an important physical part of a relationship, but it is in no way #1. Neither is money, which is funny because those are the top two things that couples fight about :P

Calvin Values Amazing S'mores-Like Edible Nuggets.

Manic Mom said...

Any other men want to chime in? I'm enjoying this thread!

What Would Jesus Make? Cloud Dust?

Charity said...

Joel~
although you have some points about men and the lack of sex when they want it...but as a woman with a higher than my hubby's sex drive I can tell you it isn't only the wives that are exhausted from the kids and life around the house and work.

My husband has an above full time job, plus he does college courses. So by the time he is finished helping with the kids, dinner, and the latest Law and Order rerun, he is just as tired and in no mood.

The weekends for the both of us are the best time. We can sleep in until 7:30am and most times I let him sleep until he decides to get up...around 10ish.

It isn't the fact the women ONLY want the non sexual affection during the week...we realize that our husbands are also not always up for the week time nookie. By Friday night both of us are ready to put the kids to bed early and spend all night making up for the lost time during the week...TMI I know, but somewhere in there is a point! The 2.5 may sound like he is hurting when it comes to his urges...but believe me 2.5 can be very satisfying at the end of a long week!


Her fizzle zag, zizzled while she gagged.

yeah straight out the gate I get those letters!!!!

Ex-Girlfriends Revenge said...

I totally agree.... Me and my Fiance are on TOTALLY opposite schedules. He is a morning guy, I am an evening girl, so we never seem to be able to muster up the drive or energy during the week to do much of anything, plus his insane travel schedule leaves him exhausted. So, like I said, watching a bit of TiVo and cuddling on the couch seems to be the best remedy for both of us until he falls asleep by 9p.

Joel said...

That makes sense.

Giant Trials Entail Bold, Willing Litigation O-round Rape.

Hehe... I cheated.

Manic Mom said...

Hey folks! I'm trying to get Hubby to be a guest blogger and post on this very topic! Stay tuned!