The absence of sexual desire
November 21, 2003 9:53 PM   Subscribe

The absence of sexual desire. We often discuss the frustrations of excessive sexual desire but rarely touch upon its absence. A woman who was a virgin before her marriage discusses the adjustments she had to make before she started desiring or even feeling comfortable about having sex with her husband.
posted by gregb1007 (61 comments total)

 
like *that* will ever happen.
functionality, on the other hand, is a whole other thing
posted by quonsar at 10:19 PM on November 21, 2003


"Our religion teaches that there is no material identity; men and women are the spiritual ideas of God, his reflections. We have no bodies, and we are wholly good because God is wholly good. Therefore, there are no problems with health, relationships, sex; we only think there are. We heal our minds of these situations with prayer rather than medicine. We were both convinced that nothing was physically wrong with me -- no hormonal imbalance, vitamin deficiency, or psychological scar keeping me from desiring sex. I simply had some things to deal with. "

It would be hard to have sex if one didn't believe one's body existed. I know of one couple apparently driven apart by this sort of Christian Scientist belief. Mind you - I don't think badly of the religion. It just has (as all do) a few flaws.

There's a sad naivete inherent here - the author of the Salon piece would have benefited greatly from the concept of "chemistry" (which needn't be seen as a purely physical phenomenon). The notion that good sex inevitably follows a sudden (sexless) romance strikes me as bizarre. The highly idealized tradition of medieval courtly love was never so abstracted as this.

Sometimes it's very good to toss the halo and just get down and dirty. The finest of the angels know this truth, love it, and act on it sometimes too.

Then, they paste their halos back on as if nothing had ever happened and flutter off - leaking occasional fluids.
posted by troutfishing at 10:28 PM on November 21, 2003


true, true quonsar. People probably wont be at all comfortable discussing "not wanting to have sex." Which is why it's all the more surprising that this woman chose to write a whole essay on it.
posted by gregb1007 at 10:29 PM on November 21, 2003


I've looked at sex from both sides now - from up and down, and yet somehow - it's sex illusions I recall....... I really don't know sex at all.
posted by troutfishing at 10:35 PM on November 21, 2003


Repeated viewings of Tomorrow's Children should settle the bill. But what it really boils down to is usability. Why Jakob Neilsen hasn't dared to write a manual declaring, "My name is Jakob Neilsen. I am a sex usability expert," is an engima wrapped in lucre untapped that no sensible person will ever understand. Is that mysterious lotus position involving the cup CSS compliant? You make the call.
posted by ed at 12:10 AM on November 22, 2003


We were 500 miles and 25 years apart

wait... so he was 51...? maybe she had no sexual desire because the dude was old enough to need one of those toilet seat contraptions that keeps your nuts from falling into the water. she was a virgin at 26 and then skipped right over all the juicy young things and went straight for and old guy...? cah-razy! cahrazyhuhkookoonuts.
posted by t r a c y at 12:56 AM on November 22, 2003


It's ridiculous to assume that holding back is utterly improbable, or it's only because the man's so old or has some sort of physical impairment.

There is so much more to a marriage than just physical sex. It is actually possible to be distracted from sex by all the other equally wonderful things.
posted by Electrin at 1:08 AM on November 22, 2003


wait... so he was 51...? maybe she had no sexual desire because the dude was old enough to need one of those toilet seat contraptions that keeps your nuts from falling into the water. she was a virgin at 26 and then skipped right over all the juicy young things and went straight for and old guy...? cah-razy! cahrazyhuhkookoonuts.

Haha!

At his age, it's probably a good thing she had no sexual desire. Old people shouldn't have sex because it's icky.
posted by The God Complex at 1:31 AM on November 22, 2003


My husband and I met online.... We fell in love within days without any idea what the other person looked like or who they really were.



That was the first red flag for me. The second was that her husband is the same age as her parents! Considering she's in her mid-20's, that is not a good sign. I think her situation's a bit off of the norm for people who are still virgins when they marry. I would have liked to see something from a virgin who married someone closer to their own age. Sometimes the unusual stories that Salon runs are such outliers that they're not very useful for understanding more typical scenarios.


posted by halonine at 1:58 AM on November 22, 2003


My halo's slipping. Pass the paste.
posted by trondant at 2:14 AM on November 22, 2003


Electra-complex-aged husband + feelings sexual of duty/obligation + devout Christian Scientist = lack of sex drive? Doesn't seem very surprising.
posted by DaShiv at 2:24 AM on November 22, 2003


Sex is overrated anyway.
posted by HTuttle at 3:38 AM on November 22, 2003


maybe she had no sexual desire because the dude was old enough to need one of those toilet seat contraptions that keeps your nuts from falling into the water.

*cries*
posted by quonsar at 3:41 AM on November 22, 2003


Sex is superduper and fun and all, but I find as the years advance that there are way better things to do with my time. Happily my spouse concurs that wall-hammering monkey love is great, but is far from the axis around which our relationship revolves. I've always found it a bit mystifying, grunty fuckpig as I've been when grunty fuckpiggery was the flavor of the hour, how much importance so many people place on bumping the proverbial uglies.

I'm not anti-fuck, by any stretch of the imagination, but I am amazed by the live-swallowing fascination that it holds for so many. Monkey juice is addictive for some folks, it seems.

That said, I didn't even read the linked article, as usual, so, uh, yeah.

>maybe she had no sexual desire because the dude was old enough to need one of those toilet seat contraptions that keeps your nuts from falling into the water.

>>*cries*


I have had that problem since I was like, 12, which, when combined with a lifetime of irritable bowel syndrome, is truly cause for weeping. Too much information, I know.

That said, I do hope all of you out there now have unwanted mental images of quonsar's and my dangly identical-cheese-hostess testicle-dippage now. That would please me immensely.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:32 AM on November 22, 2003


(er, 'life-swallowing', I meant, although 'live-swallowing' is almost as good, in a marquee kinda way...)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:34 AM on November 22, 2003


I'm not anti-fuck, by any stretch of the imagination, but I am amazed by the live-swallowing fascination that it holds for so many.

It's the brainwashing. From birth, 98.3% of all imagery we are exposed to by the media attempts to persuade us that life=sex. Why do you think even gradeschoolers have become obsessed with it?
posted by rushmc at 5:34 AM on November 22, 2003


Human nature interferes with self-consistent (but false) model of universe.

News at 11.
posted by effugas at 5:41 AM on November 22, 2003


Rushmc has obviously forgotten the centrality the concept of "liking" someone used to have.

Exhibit A involves 12 year olds liking eachother.
Exhibit B involves a 26 year old virgin marrying a 51 year old, and not understanding why there's something missing.

Which exhibit involves brainwashing?
posted by effugas at 5:44 AM on November 22, 2003


It's the brainwashing

rush mc, that is quite possibly the stupidest thing you have ever written on mefi. Let's broil the chicken and fry the egg, then. We are inundated by sexual imagery because WE LIKE IT. Obviously we are not all drooling animals, but we are GENETICALLY PROGRAMMED to LOVE SEX to procreate the human race. Those who don't have something seriously wrong with them. Life definitely does = sex, or at least depend on it from that perspective.
posted by drgonzo at 5:55 AM on November 22, 2003


I haven't seen any information indicating that that kind of an age difference between men and women creates any trends such as this. Not to say it doesn't or that such information doesn't exist, but it seems like an unnecessary assumption.

Why don't we call Catherine Zeta-Jones and get her take?
posted by dgaicun at 6:01 AM on November 22, 2003


rush mc, that is quite possibly the stupidest thing you have ever written on mefi....We are inundated by sexual imagery because WE LIKE IT.

And that may quite possibly be the stupidest thing you've ever written, but I'm not familiar with your output, so I'm not sure. Perhaps you could try to elucidate your position withOUT using seMI-RANDOM capitaLIZATION for EMphaSIS.

Is your contention that because people like to fuck, they should therefore expect to be inundated by prurient imagery by advertisers, and this is as is should be?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:02 AM on November 22, 2003


(shit. that last 'is' should be 'it'. PUI bad.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:03 AM on November 22, 2003


i know, i come off a bit harsh sometimes. sorry about that.

yes, they should expect to be inundated, because advertisers are the scurrilous bastards they are. and, no it shouldn't be. we've all heard of the research that says that a saturation of imagery contributes to negative attitudes to women, etc.
posted by drgonzo at 6:09 AM on November 22, 2003


As someone who now has a sex drive after years of not having one (due to various prescription drugs) I feel so sorry for this woman. Someone get her 100 CCs of mind-bending oral sex...stat!
posted by JoanArkham at 6:37 AM on November 22, 2003


You mean you're supposed to like that stuff??

*calls ex-husbands, apologizes*
posted by JanetLand at 6:52 AM on November 22, 2003


Buddhist monks have been traditionally counseled to eat large quantities of tofu to reduce sexual desire.


In females, a certain low level of testosterone has been determined to be crucial to sexual desire. I recall study I've read of, from the early research into this relationship, in which a small trial group of women experiencing an almost complete lack of sexual desire were given titrations of testosterone. A suprising percentage of their husbands subsequently requested that the treaments be halted.

This is why men with strong passion should seek out women with at least light, if not pronounced, moustaches.
posted by troutfishing at 7:50 AM on November 22, 2003


Oh, well, the secret's out, guys: women don't actually like us, their just pretending to so we'll do the heavy lifting.

It's not like you didn't suspect.
posted by jonmc at 9:04 AM on November 22, 2003


Old people shouldn't have sex because it's icky.

Your attitude will change radically when you're an old person.
posted by kindall at 9:10 AM on November 22, 2003


In order to illustrate the idea that individuals tend to think of themselves as the ideal measure of what's "the right amount" of tendency toward something (eg, what the golden mean would be regarding morality), I've heard the phrase "anyone who wants more sex than me is a sex maniac; anyone who wants less is a prude" - but it seems like these days, there isn't any such thing as a sex maniac, in the pejorative sense. The more sex you want, the better; no one will be surprised or raise their eyebrows or suggest you see a doctor for wanting too much. Only a lack of interest is indicative of a problem now...

That said, I do not think this example is in any way normal. The huge age difference, weird religious beliefs, and long-distance courtship all complicate matters.

I haven't seen any information indicating that that kind of an age difference between men and women creates any trends such as this.

do you really need studies to prove that young people are generally more attractive than older people? Is it really an unnecessary assumption that there might be some weirdness in having sex with someone the age of your parents? It's very hard not to imagine that she married someone who could take care of her and protect her just like her father - without fully recongnizing that she would have to fuck him too.
posted by mdn at 9:26 AM on November 22, 2003


I suspect, although I couldn't point effortlessly to evidence to support my baseless assumption, that a low or absence of sexual desire isn't the primary problem in the vast majority of relationships with sexual problems. People have a wide array of sexual desire for various reasons stemming from any of metabolism, hormone balance, personality, psychological state, mental health, or a wide array of other factors. The real problem is partners with substantial differences in desire levels who pair up without looking practically at the matter.

It seems silly to me to latch on to someone for their sense of humor or the shape of their body or sense of style or hair or what have you and yet blindly pair up while ignoring factors which will -- without fail -- have a more substantial impact on their ability to live happily with one another over the long term. Similar incompatibilities get, at least, some consideration: agreement over reproductive strategy, relative importance of materialism, the balance between solitude and joined-at-the-hip-ness, even hopes and dreams for the impossible future. Yet people frequently choose to enter into long-term commitments with partners who won't fuck them, rarely fuck them, or badger them for too much sack time.

Though I'm personally of the opinion that there's no such thing as too much sack time.
posted by majick at 9:29 AM on November 22, 2003


I have only one thing to say:

I'll be back in about an hour.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:35 AM on November 22, 2003


Great idea. Ta ta.
posted by troutfishing at 10:46 AM on November 22, 2003


fwiw, kindall, i think TGC was joking.

also (personal opinion; i don't want to get sued for libel), don't let your kids (or yourself) use accutane. it fucks you up. all that acne is just a sign that your testerone level is good and juiced up. (of course, they (or you) will never get laid with all those zits ...)
posted by mrgrimm at 11:15 AM on November 22, 2003


do you really need studies to prove that young people are generally more attractive than older people? Is it really an unnecessary assumption that there might be some weirdness in having sex with someone the age of your parents?

I don't get this "age of your parents" thing people keep referencing. Did the incest taboo get into the green onions at Chi-Chis, because it appears to be spreading at an alarming rate! Age is least of the reasons I don't want to fuck my parents.

Anyhow, mdn, age is just one variable for attractiveness. A man's gut tends to expand and his jaw-line gets fleshier and that's a negative, yes; but his check book and social standing tends to go up too. And it just so happens that the latter two variables are more important to women (statistically), than the former two.

So yeah, old men, ewww, and so forth, but I am agnostic that this is a theme associated with may-december relationships as some are implying.
posted by dgaicun at 11:43 AM on November 22, 2003


The whole thing sounds kinda creepy to me. Taking pictures of her in the nude because he needs something to jerk off to, even though she doesn't like it? I mean, I'm pro-sex and everything, but...

Creepy.

And if he's so healthy and attractive and all that, why is he looking to pick up 20-somethings on the internet?
posted by Hildegarde at 12:10 PM on November 22, 2003


Hildegarde--

As they say at There... "Men will go where the women are. The inverse is not true."
posted by effugas at 12:21 PM on November 22, 2003


Life definitely does = sex, or at least depend on it from that perspective.

But those are two very different statements, drgonzo.
posted by Hildago at 12:34 PM on November 22, 2003


MetaFilter: not anti-fuck, by any stretch of the imagination.
posted by homunculus at 1:56 PM on November 22, 2003


Fundie bodice rippers! I love it. There has to be a market for this.

Seriously, I wonder if this has more to do with neurological tendancies, fear, etc than beliefs per se. She sounds so "left brained" to the point she probably sees denial of bodily pleasures as a very normal thing.

Reminds me of the classic neurotic: they have no real passion, obsessed with sophistry, have no favorite foods, a sense of humor that's barely there, etc. She never learned to appreciate bodily pleasures. I wonder if she is even into sports. Freud was right - extremely religous people are usually extremely neurotic.

This is a perfect example in which people need recreational drugs, but her religious assumptions won't allow it. Something to activate that sex circuit goes a long way to curing prudes and showing you your true human nature.
posted by skallas at 1:58 PM on November 22, 2003


This is why men with strong passion should seek out women with at least light, if not pronounced, moustaches.
all that acne is just a sign that your testerone level is good and juiced up.

Well, that explains the large sums of money I spend on waxing strips and skin care products.
Anyone else ever hear a wives' tale about zit breakouts being a result of a lack of sex? Just curious if it's just an Italy thing or what...
posted by romakimmy at 2:09 PM on November 22, 2003


Reminds me of the classic neurotic: they have no real passion, obsessed with sophistry, have no favorite foods, a sense of humor that's barely there, etc.

*must restrain self...from..saying...Freud called it "projection"....*
posted by jonmc at 2:10 PM on November 22, 2003


Skallas, she said her feelings were at odds with the teachings of her religion. She also said she had written articles previous to her marriage about the joys of masturbation. Which indicates she isn't as out of touch with the flesh as you suppose. I'm not sure reductionist explanations of this woman are going to work, esp. with the paucity of what we know about her life.
posted by dgaicun at 2:23 PM on November 22, 2003


Anyhow, mdn, age is just one variable for attractiveness. A man's gut tends to expand and his jaw-line gets fleshier and that's a negative, yes; but his check book and social standing tends to go up too. And it just so happens that the latter two variables are more important to women (statistically), than the former two.

They may be slightly more important statistically in choosing a mate but that doesn't mean they're more important in being attracted. Women may choose mates in order to feel the security blah blah blah that that article you linked to talked about - that doesn't mean it's going to turn them on in the bedroom. I'd be interested to find out what the sex lives statistically are like between may-december couples as compared with young couples.

I'm not saying age difference is automatically a harbinger of a situation like this one, but I'd bet there's more sex between two hot young things than between a 25 yr old and a 50 yr old - but some people will choose stability over a superlative sex life. All I said above was that this particular example is skewed because of at least three unusual / sex-complicating data points.
posted by mdn at 3:05 PM on November 22, 2003


Well, there's no question in my mind that the sex would be more infrequent in m-d relationships. But it wouldn't be b/c the female was "less attracted", as you may imply, but b/c the male sex drive diminishes with age.

As for what a woman feels attracted to in the bedroom, it, of course, matters what female we're talking about. On average women are less (necessarily) stimulated by visual cues of fertility and secondary sexual characteristics associated with youth than men are.

Women are more likely to get aroused by those they have psychological or emotional connections with, and they are more likely to acquire these connections with higher status males. (this simply isn't a matter of resource need either, high status/SES women prefer higher status/SES mates)

I am not discounting that this kind of an age difference may be a statistical turn-off for women in the bedroom, but it would probably be a small one (esp. when compared with the results of a gender reversed trial), and really I wouldn't even be surprised if the effect found was the opposite (i.e. women more turned-on by geezers). But I would guess the diminished female arousal effect is simply small or nonexistent for young female/old male sexual relationships. This data may or may not exist already, and I could be spectacularly wrong.
posted by dgaicun at 4:15 PM on November 22, 2003


rush mc, that is quite possibly the stupidest thing you have ever written on mefi.

Oh, surely not!
posted by rushmc at 7:21 PM on November 22, 2003


Well, there's no question in my mind that the sex would be more infrequent in m-d relationships. But it wouldn't be b/c the female was "less attracted", as you may imply, but b/c the male sex drive diminishes with age.

well, in the particular case this article described, it was the woman who wasn't interested. I can't see how you can make such a sweeping statement, determining every case to be the result of the man's desires and maintaining certainty that the woman's wouldn't be affected at all.

Re: the "women attracted to successful men" thing, I wonder, is it possible that attractive men tend to be more successful? I mean, do we have any reason to believe that women aren't simply attracted to the same charisma and charm that enables the guys to do well? Obviously that wouldn't explain every case yadda yadda, but I'm thinking of a particular example, one of the few older men I've ever found attractive, who happens also to be quite successful, but I don't think I knew that when I met him - anyway, point being, there may be some crossover there in the stats. Just a thought.
posted by mdn at 7:25 PM on November 22, 2003


I feel the need to bring up the Sex and the City episode where the slutty one (I forget her name) was screwing an older fellow, quite happily in fact, until she saw him from behind and saw that he had... well, disgustingly saggy buttocks. Then it was over for her.

As someone with a career where I see old men's privates regularly, I have to say, old men are wayyyyy too icky to fuck.

How can I find a man who's willing to have a sexless marriage? Maybe I should look for a eunuch.
posted by beth at 9:29 PM on November 22, 2003


"well, in the particular case this article described, it was the woman who wasn't interested. I can't see how you can make such a sweeping statement, determining every case to be the result of the man's desires and maintaining certainty that the woman's wouldn't be affected at all."

I made no such indication. I was clearly responding to your statement that:

"I'd be interested to find out what the sex lives statistically are like between may-december couples as compared with young couples."

Please keep in mind that I am always speaking quantitatively. The point was that declining male sex drive would guarantee the figure you predicted, whether women become less sexually responsive or not. A position I have already stated agnosticism on.

As for your idea that wealth and attractiveness come in packages, you are correct. But psychological experiments have controlled for this many times over. One example was provided in the link I gave earlier, where men were placed in wealth and attractiveness brackets.
posted by dgaicun at 11:23 PM on November 22, 2003


When did 51 become "old"? It certainly wasn't old when I was young. It sure as hell isn't old now that I'm old enough to anticipate that age myself.

What is truly silly is the notion that sex would be better with someone young, inexperienced and in a hurry--Unless, of course, you have acquired the experience and expertise to control that situation and use that impatience and inexperience to heighten the pleasure for both.

Imagine, if you can, a partner so in to giving you extremes in pleasure that he/she can take such a thrill from this that after you explode in orgasmic ecstasy, your partner feels as though they too have been satisfied.

Seven years ago I got hitched with someone 16 years my junior and a complete virgin. We haven't found the end of the honeymoon yet.
posted by Goofyy at 12:07 AM on November 23, 2003


"and maintaining certainty that the woman's [arousal] wouldn't be affected [by male age] at all.""

mdn, this statement just really disappoints me. Read the comment I made before you state this. I have little idea where you find such certainty:

"I am not discounting that this kind of an age difference may be a statistical turn-off for women in the bedroom . . ."

and

I could be spectacularly wrong [with my prediction].

You were the one who started out asking "do you really need studies to prove . . .?" and "Is it really an unnecessary assumption . . .?", so how did I become the ideologue?
posted by dgaicun at 12:09 AM on November 23, 2003


I'm with Goofyy. 51 years old is by no means "old". Having read through the article, it seems that this woman has some deep-seated issues, some of which may or may not be physical, but are definitely either driven or complicated by her upbringing/attitutes/religious beliefs. In the old days, this used to be called "frigidity", but I don't know what the DSM IV calls it today.
posted by psmealey at 6:35 AM on November 23, 2003


Attraction (or lack thereof) is about so much more than whether someone has wrinkly danglies or saggy buttocks (how superficial!). Aside from the fact that 51 isn't THAT old, I see no reason to assume that age is the sole or even main factor in the woman's lack of attraction here, and it's a bit sad that anyone would assume that it was. Physical attraction is very important, but it is directly affected by being attracted to someone's personality and mind, as well as by upbringing, personal history and belief system (among other things, like comfort with oneself as a sexual being). Unless you're looking for a one-night stand, you'd better be attracted to more than the firmness of someone's butt.
posted by biscotti at 10:02 AM on November 23, 2003


I don't think the issue is so much that the guy's 51 per se, but rather that he's as old as her father.

She mentions that a few times. If he's looking for 20-somethings on the Internet, he might well have some daughter issues, too.

Maybe there's more going on here than a simple "lack of desire". It doesn't sound like she's happy with the marriage in other ways, either.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:40 PM on November 23, 2003


It doesn't sound like she's happy with the marriage in other ways, either.

Yes, and I suspect the fact that the guy's as old as her father wouldn't be an issue if she were happy in the relationship. Many people manage relationships with large age gaps, age per se isn't necessarily an issue, and large age gaps don't necessarily indicate parent/child issues in the participants either. I agree that it's weird that he's looking for 20-somethings, and that this relationship seems to be built on the wrong things, I'm just pointing out that comments about 51-year-olds being old and "too icky to fuck" and that clearly she's not attracted to him because he's older than her (and not for all the other possible reasons) are not only far too general but icky.
posted by biscotti at 1:29 PM on November 23, 2003


"....As someone with a career where I see old men's privates regularly, I have to say, old men are wayyyyy too icky to fuck." - Might the saturation effect be partly to blame here?

As far as I'm aware, huan sexual attraction is a wildly fickle and perverse thing - so how can you presume that your personal inclinations are common?
posted by troutfishing at 8:01 PM on November 23, 2003


What is truly silly is the notion that sex would be better with someone young, inexperienced and in a hurry

It's not a question of whether the sex would be better, but of whether the attraction would be stronger. An overweight person, eg, may have excellent 'technique' but that doesn't necessarily mean that all potential partners will get past the straightforward "does he get me hot" factor..

The point was that declining male sex drive would guarantee the figure you predicted, whether women become less sexually responsive or not.

well, you said the stats would be lower because of the men, & specifically not because of the women; I think it could easily be both. Personally I would much prefer to sleep with someone around my age or younger, than someone 25 years older, but it's true I may be an anomaly.

But psychological experiments have controlled for this many times over.

fair enough. It is true that women's interest in money & men's interest in youth is statistically less important than most other factors which are shared, though (personality, intelligence, education, looks, fitness, etc).

Attraction (or lack thereof) is about so much more than whether someone has wrinkly danglies or saggy buttocks (how superficial!).

but sexual attraction is about sexual interaction, right? I mean, there are wonderful people you want to spend time with, but don't want to sleep with... I don't think it's superficial to respond to someone's body when we're talking about sex. Of course that's not all of it, but I still think the age difference is a potentially complicating factor that added to the irregularity of this case.
posted by mdn at 8:08 PM on November 23, 2003


"An overweight person, eg, may have excellent 'technique' but that doesn't necessarily mean that all potential partners will get past the straightforward "does he get me hot" factor"

. . . and we know the "does he get me hot" factor is much less predicated on youthful cues and physical appearance for women. Which is why it can fairly be considered an open question what an age difference like this (or, in this example, weight difference) would mean for female sexual arousal.

Just to clarify, do you disagree that it's likely m-d relationships don't have any diminishing effect on female sexual arousal?
posted by dgaicun at 9:27 PM on November 23, 2003


"the one kind of lust that appears to be incapable of satiety is the lust to control others' lives. . . ."
posted by homunculus at 9:32 PM on November 23, 2003


Dear God, did you just link to Instapundit?
posted by dgaicun at 10:24 PM on November 23, 2003


. . . and we know the "does he get me hot" factor is much less predicated on youthful cues and physical appearance for women. Which is why it can fairly be considered an open question what an age difference like this (or, in this example, weight difference) would mean for female sexual arousal.

Female sexual arousal may be less predicated on looks, but you're going too far to suggest it's hardly a concern at all. I mean, attraction is a funny thing, and it's not just some objective standard of beauty; I've met truly beautiful specimens of the human race who did nothing for me, and likewise slightly odd-looking imperfect ones who somehow made it impossible for me to think straight.

And yet I would say even then it's due to a physical factor; it's just my opinion that some of those funny looking guys are "cute" and some of those gorgeous athletic types are "bland". But if I met those guys when they were overweight or bald or in their 50's or had gotten a new face to hide from enemies, I wouldn't have felt that way around them. That isn't to say that I couldn't accept those changes if they occurred after I'd fallen in love (well, the sci fi one might be a problem), but I'm just talking about the initial electricity that someone causes.

Just to clarify, do you disagree that it's likely m-d relationships don't have any diminishing effect on female sexual arousal?

the double-triple negative is throwing me off, but in my completely unscientific opinion, m-d relationships will be less focused on the hot action component for the woman. That opinion is entirely based on my own preferences, and like I said, I might not be the average case. But it seems like people I know, people on tv, and people on this thread have similar thoughts, so I don't think I'm completely alone, either. Some women (see beth, above) are less concerned with the sexual element of the relationship to start with, and may view an older man as more stable, a better partner, and not care about whether they feel like attacking him when he walks through the door. That's not to say that some older men don't excite some younger women, but just that I think on a purely sexual level, younger men are more likely to cause that feeling.

Anyway, I didn't intend to make a strong claim here; I was just pointing out that there are a few factors in this particular relationship that make her lack of sexual desire not unexpected. If this were about a woman without weird beliefs marrying a man her own age that she met in the real world and dated for a few years before marrying, the story would be more mysterious. As it is, it doesn't strike me as surprising at all.
posted by mdn at 1:38 PM on November 24, 2003


And then there's Kroll & Felice, ages 57 and 28, respectively. I think "hot action" is exactly why she's involved with him. Well, hot and strange action, at any rate.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:47 PM on November 24, 2003


« Older The Dr. Seuss Parody Page...  |  Leisuretown... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments