They Say Passion Is Dead

12 Oct

They say toe-curling-passion will inevitably die out, that all relationships eventually settle into a comfortable, sexless rut. The only reasons to stay together are the kids or fear of being alone, of dating again in a world of online personality algorithms, speed dating and text break-ups. Sacrifice your passion on the altar of family responsibility. And they say this is normal.

I say bullshit.

Passion only dies if you let it.

After almost fifteen years of marriage, we still have toe-curling passionate sex. And most of the time it’s with each other. We started being polyamorous almost four years ago, and our married sex was pretty damn spectacular back then too, so don’t think the spice is entirely added. Oh, don’t get me wrong, the added excitement and hormones have definitely made things more exciting, but they aren’t necessary.

I see so many married couples giving up on passion, resigning themselves to emotional intimacy instead of sexual excitement. My parents are like this. They’ve not had sex in over five years. Mostly because my father has been ill, but they say they don’t miss it.

That seems to be the expectation. Fall in love and enjoy hot, steamy, passionate sex, get married and have jobs and kids and suddenly you don’t mind that you would rather watch Letterman then be bothered with all that effort. ‘That’s just what happens,’ they say. ‘It’s normal.’

Again, I call bullshit.

Humans are intensely sexual creatures. No animal on this planet spends as much time thinking about, planning for, and having sex. Most species have less then three Copulations Per Birth(CPB-there is actually a term to measure this), but us humans can have upwards of thousands! Only a select few species actually have sex purely for pleasure. Dolphins, Chimps and Bonobos, and Humans. And all four species have Multi-Male, Multi-Female mating. We don’t mate for life, monogamy is not natural for our species. All the evidence suggest our ancestors lived in small, promiscuous groups where every adult, male or female, mated with several if not all available partners.

Then agriculture came along and fucked everything up. Before agriculture there was no property to defend, no reason to make females and reproduction a commodity you wanted to control. Monogamy is artificial, and is no more than a means of control.

And it’s killing us.

Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. Forty percent of married men admit to cheating, and thirty percent of married women.

Why?

Because  of lack of excitement. Novelty. We want more, we want different. We want lots!

We spend more money at strip clubs then we do at the Opera, the Symphony, Broadway and Off Broadway productions combined. Pornography rakes in between fifty to a hundred billion dollars a year, more than CBS, NBC and ABC put together.

I can’t speak of how my own behavior changed when we started adding threesomes into our marriage, but I do know how these changes affected my wife. Each time we met a new girl my wife’s libido went through the roof, she wanted sex constantly. Then the girl would tire of us or some drama would cause her to disappear, and things would return to normal. Of course, normal for us is still quite a lot. Before we were poly we had sex on average 1.5 times  a week, slightly more than your typical married couple. After poly, 2.5 times a week.

And then there was Abernethy, my wife’s first extra-marital male lover. I could almost see the biological effect he had on her, hormones raging through her like she was a teenager again. For the first two months they were together she had sex between seven and ten times a week if you count Fanny and Abe. I think at this point we average about five times a week.

She felt more alive. Food tasted better, the sky was a more lovely shade of blue, music made her want to dance again. She wore more makeup, made sure her bra and panties matched.

And why not? Her body was responding to this new stimulus, doing what it had been designed to do. Luckily ours is not the standard monotonous monogamous marriage, and rather than become angry or hurt or threatened by her new lover (like society tells me I should), I was able to sit back and enjoy the benefits. Once I was able to get past all those reactions I had been taught to have, that is(I had my share of reactions, and you can read about those in older posts). Sex once a week with Abe translated to sex every damn night and some mornings for me. I was practically beating her off with a stick just to get some sleep.

When Abe broke her heart her libido took a short vacation. Well, to be honest, there were a lot of other stresses contributing to loss of libido, it wasn’t just Abe: lack of money, stressful job, medical concerns. And now that those are mostly resolved things are returning to normal. A few days ago I noticed a distinct change in her sexual responses. She was over Abe. She wasn’t worried about her thyroid, the bills are going to be paid, I have started a new job and she is actively seeking newer and less stressful employment. Sex is exciting and hot and fierce again.

We don’t rely on those short term injections of hormones to keep our passion alive.

Somehow we managed to avoid settling into that comfortable, passionless rut. We didn’t plan it, no more than any young couple does, swearing to keep the passion alive. We did it instinctively.

Or rather, I think that as we have each grown into ourselves, we have grown together. We have fallen in love with each other over and over again. Being comfortable with each other has never been enough. So as new jobs come along, as kids arrive, when we took on a mortgage, or when she found roller derby, when I became a stay at home dad, each of these things changed our lives, changed who we are. And each time that happened, as Bayani became more and more herself, I fell in love with her all over again. Fifteen years later, and I find myself looking at her, noticing just how god damn beautiful she is. I still bury my face in her neck just to smell her.

There have been some periods of less than frequent sex in our marriage. Several, in fact. And each time, one or the other of us spoke up, asking the other to make just a little more effort to be receptive. This is not easy for either party. You have to be willing to voice discontent about something that society tells you is not really that important. And wanting sex in moderation is fine, but wanting LOTS of sex? That makes you a deviant, a pervert. And then your partner has to be able to hear that request without taking it as a personal attack on them, or their desirability. It’s funny, they more sex you have the more you want, and the less you have the less you want to be bothered. The trick, I think, is working to keep that trend on an upward slope as much as possible. Understand that just a little bit of effort and understanding on your part can have such a big impact on your partner and your shared intimacy.

Be content with a comfortable, predictable, just-like-every-body-else marriage? Fuck you, I’m keeping my poly passion filled marriage, thank you very much!

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6 Responses to “They Say Passion Is Dead”

  1. Kasini October 12, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    “it’s killing us”? I know you don’t like monogamy, but don’t you think that’s a little… strongly worded? Particularly since you don’t offer any evidence that monogamy is actually killing the species.

    • Myrddwn October 12, 2011 at 10:34 am #

      Oh c’mon, can’t you let me have a little artistic license? Yes, I exaggerated for effect. It would have been more accurate to say ‘it’s making some of us miserable’, but is not nearly as much fun.

      • Kasini October 12, 2011 at 10:48 am #

        yes, but you weren’t writing an artistic post. You were writing a factually based, logical one. 😀

      • Myrddwn October 12, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

        Imagine me looking at you all squinty eyed.

  2. Myself October 12, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    My partner and I are in a monogomous (lesbian) relationship, going on nearly 10 years. We have 2 unschooled kids, we’ve been through infertility (mine) and my partner lives with a degenerative neurological condition requiring a degree of nursing care from me. And we both have past sexual trauma as well.

    We often wonder if other people are enjoying sex as much as we are, and from a few people we know, the answer seems to be no.

    I think closed-mindedness is likely doing a disservice to some relationships. I have a friend who won’t do penetration on principle. My partner has a friend who won’t accept oral sex from her husband because “it’s gross”. I’ve noticed a big difference in attitudes between my

    Perhaps a big part of maintaining a satisfying sex life is the ability to approach sexuality and bodies in a mature fashion, and have open discussions. I imagine that’s doubly important when venturing into relationships outside of the primary relationship. I daresay6 chemistry helps too.

    Hopefully this makes some sense, it’s taken me an hour to write with 101 interruptions.

    • Kasini October 12, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

      it makes complete sense to me. I think you’re right there, a big part of maintaining a satisfying sex life is maturity, communication, and the willingness to change and flow and push boundaries. And while hey, I’m poly, so poly works for me, I think that willingness to be open and flexible with regards to your own and your significant other’s sexual needs and desires and fantasies is the most important thing.

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