Marriage Of One

December 10, 2009

Physics and Chemistry

Filed under: marriage — marriageofone @ 11:36 pm

A few week s ago I was invited into a candlelit bedroom by Susan. She said we had both been under a great deal of stress lately and she knew the ‘best way to cope with it’. And so we had our first intercourse in, well months.

It is said that love is a matter of chemistry and sex is a matter of physics. Personally, I’ve never really got that and that night I was reminded of just how convoluted sex can be and how nightmarish it can become. I suppose in a purely mechanical sense sex can be reduced to a mere physical interaction. I imagine that is how the sex industry operates. But in spite of all the events of my life and even now, I still think that sex must also have chemistry and that love must also have physics.

So there must be an emotional component to sex, and a physical component to love.

It wasn’t her. It was me.

For the last few years and certainly over the last year, I have found it very difficult to let my guard down and just enjoy the rare sexual encounters.

It is a big ask for an asexual to put himself or herself in a situation where they are proposing sex at the best of times. It is even more to ask an asexual to create a sexually charged atmosphere. Susan did the candles and put on a bra and panties. She asked me to rub some lotion on her back. She could do no more.

I went along with it, feeling a mixture of emotions. On one hand I was being a typical man (or adult human?) – yay! ****ing sex! I felt the guilt of aquiescing to what I now feel is a type of power-play in dereliction of my dignity. I felt the anger that I was being ‘summoned’ to perform with a tacit assumption that I would not, could not refuse. And I also felt the pressure of having to make ‘the most of it’ before the next 2-3 month drought.

There was no chemisty and it affected the physics of sex. She did not get me in the mood and I couldn’t push myself into it either. By the time we got past the actual foreplay she was bored, I could tell.

Still we continued through to the end. I asked if she had orgasmed. She said she had – but I don’t believe it. I know when she does. She was as disappointed as I. And then we clung to each other for a few minutes and then slept, never to mention any of it again.

Physics once every a few months; chemistry never.

I’m of the opinion that it was inevitable – eventually the years of attrition of the core of a marriage will take its toll. Emotional barriers go up, anger and guilt block up the channels that are meant to flow with passion and lust. It becomes almost impossible to express any kind of intense love.

One of the things I used to do until just a few days ago was the ‘rough kiss’. I’d occasionally and usually suddenly grab her and squeeze her tightly, kissing her very hard. It would stun her and perhaps even hurt her slightly. It was the physics I put in the chemistry of love. She used to laugh it. We both knew that was the equivalent of ‘3rd base’ for us. Even if it was never said. But she has started to complain about it – saying I was hurting her neck when I kissed her. It probably does. I guess I shouldn’t be so selfish. Maybe she should do something about that? Exercise, massage, heat compress? Don’t people bend their necks when they kiss?

So now she gets a gentle peck on the lips. Chemistry maybe. But no physics.



  1. I have several things to say about this incident. The first is to congratulate you for trying to do your part. One does have to reward the behavior one desires from one’s partner.


    I sense that once you were approached, you let your resentments get in the way of being a good partner yourself. I know how hard it is not to, for your tale is the template for my relations with my wife. But if you could find a place in your head to leave these resentments so that they don’t interfere with the sex, it would have been a better experience for you both, and it may well have had a chance of happening again sometime.

    Now, I’m not so sure. I suspect she’s feeling disappointed and rejected that her best efforts (whether they were or not is irrelevant to this discussion) didn’t drive you to ecstasy. As a result, she isn’t going to put herself out where she might get hurt by rejection or failure again.

    There is only one thing you can do that might help. You have to thank her for trying. You can say it wasn’t a good moment for you due to whatever, but she has to feel like you appreciated her effort. It may help her if she ever decides she wants to try it again.

    Comment by ToppHogg — December 11, 2009 @ 6:32 pm

  2. ToppHogg, once again you’re right about one thing. I know, even as I was with Susan that night that I was doing something that could be demoralising for her and in that sense – self-destructive to the very thing I wanted to nurture.

    I know I need to find a ‘switch’ in my brain that says ‘forget the past, enjoy the moment, pretend she actually wants you and that this is not tick-box sex to make up for the last 3 months’.

    But then I think why should I make myself schizophrenic by being Mr Detached and content for 99.9% of my life and Mr sexually and Emotionally Responsive for the 0.1% when Susan decides I should be?

    I think I’ve mentioned the need for this switch in some past posts.

    Anyway, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is little (based on past experience) that I can achieve by what you suggest: it doesn’t seem to make much difference in frequency or quality of sex (which is going downward all the time) no matter how good or bad the sex or chemistry is during it.

    I did take one suggestion though – I thanked her for the effort. I didn’t explain my state at the time or what I thought was her perception of it. I just said I appreciated the effort. Nothing more. She smiled warmly and put her head on my shoulder. “I’m sorry I can’t do it more often.” she said. I didn’t know what to say. Finally I just whispered “I know.”. That was it.

    It probably won’t encourage her to try again for a few months, but then again it won’t do any harm either.

    Comment by marriageofone — December 13, 2009 @ 11:11 pm

  3. “But then I think why should I make myself schizophrenic by being Mr Detached and content for 99.9% of my life and Mr sexually and Emotionally Responsive for the 0.1% when Susan decides I should be?”

    Who says you have to be schizo about this? You claim that you consider Susan a friend even if she doesn’t see you as a lover. When she asks for some attention from you, would you deny her? From your past posts, I have to say you would not.

    The problem this time was between your ears. Rather than keep alive the notion of romantic sex between you as lovers, look at any future overture as doing a favor for someone you care about as a friend. You would fix her car, loan her money, call a plumber, or anything else along those lines, would you not? You would!

    She needed some relaxation, felt you did also, yet you took over and ran with the scenario. I suggest that had you turned it into a fantasy it might well have gone better. You could have been the male version of a massage parlor catering to women. Susan wouldn’t have to know if that thought embarrasses you. But you would have a reason to do something nice for her that you knew she wanted instead of focusing on your own deprivation. Had you followed this advice, nothing permanent was going to be affected. You would still have had deep relationship issues. But it would have resulted in a better memory for both of you had it gone well rather than be yet another failure to be avoided in the future.

    I briefly read itneverrainsinseattle’s web site, and he strikes me as being much like you, except that in some ways he can see his situation a bit more clearly. Maybe it’s because he’s been at it longer. No matter. As long as you two don’t form a mutual pity society, I think you can learn something from his experiences. I already have, and will as I catch up on the rest of his output.

    So stop beating yourself over this incident and get back to making progress like you have been. I’ve been impressed with how far you came in a short time. You can regain what ground you feel you may have lost and get ahead of where you were before this happened. Our friend’s advice given in the other thread regarding the example you are setting for your kids is sound, and should be heeded. Just keep telling yourself you are a good man and father and your kids deserve the best you can give. They are what is really important!

    Comment by ToppHogg — December 14, 2009 @ 1:39 am

  4. This is a carbon copy of what has happened to my wife and I on so many occasions, right down to the “I’m sorry I can’t do it more often.” Indeed, that mysterious switch… I’ve looked for it many times and have come to the decision that I just don’t have one. At the same time, it occurs to me that she doesn’t either. THIS is why there is an impasse so often. I have no answers, just that I think it makes us better men for not having that switch. That said, I think you handled it all very well. It’s a precarious balance in protecting yourself and nurturing your spouse, when it comes to a troubled sexlife. Lord knows I’ve set our relationship back eons just by feeling the need to voice my anxieties- because I felt it was healthy to do so. I’ve also set her down a dismal path of guilt and inadequacy by opting NOT to take her up on her offers for sex, because I could see she didn’t really want to. Baby-steps, I suppose. Until we fall down again-

    Comment by ManInABox — December 15, 2009 @ 10:19 pm

  5. Merry Christmas, my friend. I hope you can make it a happy one for your family.

    Comment by ToppHogg — December 25, 2009 @ 5:49 pm

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