Item: I have been reflecting on my previous post. I felt rather nervous posting it, partly because I was repeatedly slapping H upside the head in it (bad wife! Disloyal wife!) and partly because I knew I was a freak of nature. Wanting more sex than one’s husband? Not done. Not how universe works. On the rare occasions when a woman writes into a problem page or mentions it in the pub, you can see that no one knows what to do or say. No assvice forthcomes. Bewildered brows surround her. But… but… men want more sex. It’s Darwinism. Or something. Hah.
Item: My own family is messily divided between ‘good’ Catholic/ Jewish women with cobwebs in their gussets and ‘bad’ Catholic/ Jewish women with friction burns, but the way they all resolve libido mismatches is serial infidelity and multiple marriages. Do these seem like good examples to you? No? Me neither. I’m sticking with H. H is a most excellent person to share one’s life with.
Item: I have noticed that in relationships where Mr wants Mrs more than the other way round, sometimes Mrs is feeling unenchanted with Mr. She may love him dearly, but she is doing the bulk of child-care and house-work and is permanently sleep-deprived and he is becoming a master at the art of shooting himself briskly in the foot by being unhelpful, unappreciative, and bone-fucking-idle. Which would depress the libido of any sensible person. In such cases, Mr needs to bloody well get off his smug backside and change some nappies. This does not apply in our case. And believe me, I have been carefully checking that I am not inadvertently irritating the living daylights out of H on a daily basis. H assures me that I am not. If, after all, I am irritating etc., at this point H would have put himself firmly in the wrong alongside me by not telling me what the issue is and allowing me to apologise, make amends, and never ever do it again ever.
Item: I have also noticed that there is only so much physical contact each human is prepared to tolerate. Even if it’s lovely contact, there comes a point when being touched is ENOUGH AL-FUCKING-READY. Women with small children are being touched and hugged and snuggled intimately (breast-feeding. Nappies. Baths together) all day, every day, endlessly. The idea of someone else joining in for another bout of touching and poking and taking and using, urgh. Urgh. Mr should be firmly told at this point that if he wants any action, he can take the kids for a day and let Mrs have a bath absolutely alone with no small people shouting under the door to come in, followed by a good read, and maybe a gingerbread latte and a caramel slice, and a walk, and a solitary lie-down. This does not apply to us. H is not getting well and truly snuggled at work (and if he is, by GOD I want to know about it), and in fact H is naturally a cuddly chap who likes nothing better than a cuddle after lights out.
Item: Sometimes it just IS a libido mismatch.
Item: Also, I am well aware that some men are simply not that good in bed. And that therefore one would naturally be uninclined to test the bed-springs for, well, not much cookie. And that some men could do a lot better if they paid attention, and that some women really need to brace themselves and tell the poor sap that the boob-squishing thing? No. H, however, is good in bed. Really, really good. Being turned down by H is like being trapped in the booth next to the chocolate profiterole pyramid after seventeen days on cabbage soup. Does this mean H thinks I am cabbage soup?
Item: Unfortunately I am horribly oversensitive to rejection. My step-father used to tell me on a weekly basis that I was fat and stupid and nobody could possibly want to date me, and laughed himself sick when I got a boyfriend at the age of 15. May? With a boyfriend? Was he blind? Was he ugly too? I am completely neurotic about my appearance. Go figure.
Item: I asked H recently (and crossly) how he’d feel if he got turned down two times out of three. He shrugged, and said he’d ask some other time. My jaw hit the table with an unusually loud thud. You… you mean, you wouldn’t take it personally? Dear God, is such a thing possible?
Item: I am also deeply distrustful of words. My actual father used to tell my mother, and in fact most of his wives, that they were beautiful and perfect and lovely in every way and he adored them and would love them forever and now he was going to a party with another woman and would be back very late and also smelling of perfume, so don’t wait up. H doesn’t go to parties without me, and is, I am sure, absolutely sincere when he tells me pretty things. But when he doesn’t follow up the pretty words with a determined advance on my person, the sour, sad, cynical little child within me says ‘Hah. I knew you didn’t mean it. I knew it.’ This is deeply unfair on H and I try very hard to keep this part supressed and talk myself out of it as being unworthy and ridiculous. It bursts out during moments of severe row, unfortunately. Poor H. Poor, poor H.
Item: H’s parents seem to treat sex as this frivolous thing you do in your twenties, and each other as the erotic equivalent of mince. They have a strong and loving marriage, but not a flirty sexy one. I think H has been taking notes. I wonder if H thinks the two are incompatible.
Item: I am the infertile one in our relationship. H has been tested three times now, and despite one early fright when all the sperm in test one appeared to have dozed off, later determined to be because it took us too long to get sample to lab (NOT our freakin’ fault, said lab being an hour away by car on a good traffic day), H has proved to be a perfectly healthy fertile sort of person. We are trying as hard as we can to have a child, yes? So far, I have had three surgeries, one hideous and hideously painful infection, two HSGs, lost count of the the ultrasounds, three rounds of clomid, multiple rounds of provera, I have bled for months on end, I have agonising periods and can’t go back on the pill to alleviate them, and Satsuma (the bitch) hurts for days when she’s growing follicles. We are now waiting to see if my one-and-only fallopian tube had got ‘warranty expired’ stamped all over it as well. The one reproductive thing my body can do, and do well, and do in privacy and comfort and dignity (err, go with me on this), is sex. No one has stuck anything at all in or up H, certainly not in a room full of perfect strangers. H has had to wank in cup three times, in the privacy of his own home. And has to have regular sex with the wife he himself declares is lovely and fragrant. Ummm. Sucks to be him, I guess.
Item: Seriously, if infertility is a ‘couple problem’, regardless of which one is actually broken, and H insists he sees it as ‘our’ problem and not mine, then surely each member of the couple does their damndest to achieve the mutually held goal of offspring. We have been told that the ideal amount of sex is every single damned day for the week leading up to ovulation, and on ovulation day, and the day after (just in case we got the days a leetle astray, and to be absolutely sure the egg gets her honour-guard). H will not agree to this. H has agreed to every other day in the days leading up to ovulation, and one for luck on O-day. This is considered ‘adequate’ by the experts, hell, we got pregnant like that. So it must work. So it’s fine. QED. In a spirit of compromise and good will, I declared that this was acceptable. I am doing my damndest (see previous item, waves boxes of antibiotics and provera and clomid and folic acid in the air). So is H, in his way. Except for those alas-too-frequent tense times when Satsuma is seriously taking the piss (I-think-I-can-I-think-I-can-oh-bother-no-I-can’t), and H goes off the boil and leaves gaps of two or three days, putting me into an absolute tearing panic that that’ll be when the sodding ovary sodding well does pop.It has been known. We have once or twice missed the ideal window because H wasn’t in the mood.
Item: If I weren’t in the mood, but desperate to conceive and/or placate randy spouse, I’d be able to get away with lying on my back thinking of England, and remembering not to ask H if he’s rewound the clock at the crucial moment (Brownie points to anyone who gets the reference). If H is not in the mood, NOTHING HAPPENS. This is a fact of Nature. Nature is a stupid bitch, isn’t she?
Item: Sometimes I think TTC is the only thing stopping our sex-life grinding to an absolute halt.
Item: I believe that the magic of early courtship, the can’t-keep-hands-off stage, can be built on. You get into and keep in the habit of thinking of your spouse as the sexiest creature on God’s green Earth, and you take time to notice and adore all their adorable bits. You have to remember to do this. You can’t take it for granted. Sometimes it’s a freakin’ effort. But it’s important, and worth it. H, however, believes in the ‘magic’ part, and feels that you can’t force it and it must come naturally or not at all. I think the fact I still want to tear H’s clothes off with my teeth on an extremely frequent basis, and H wants to treat me like a snuggly-wuggly duvet instead, proves that I am totally fucking right. H actually agrees that I am totally fucking right. But H STILL wants the magic feelings to descend on an unlooked-for cloud of pixie-dust and moonlight. Some may call it romantic. I call it self-deluded relationship-buggering lazy fuckwittage.