August 27, 2008

Sex And Marriage- They have It Every Day

Believe it or not, I sometimes choose not to blog about a topic or decide that I need to rethink a post. When that happens I save it as a draft with the intention to revisit it later on. Every now and then I forget to revisit the draft and the post languishes in limbo.

Anyhoo, I just "discovered" this half finished post and from June and decided to finish it and share it with you.

The New York Times is running an article about a couple of married couples and their experience having sex every day. It generated some discussion among various people I know so I thought that I'd throw it out here. So let's grab a couple of excerpts from the article.
"Or would you turn to your mate and say, “Honey, you know, I’ve been thinking. Why don’t we do it for the next 365 days in a row?”

That’s more or less what happened to Charla and Brad Muller. And in another example of an erotic adventure supplanting married ennui, a second couple, Annie and Douglas Brown, embarked on a similar, if abbreviated journey: 101 straight days of post-nuptial sex.

Both couples document their exploits in books published this month, the latest entries in what is almost a mini-genre of books offering advice about the “sex-starved marriage.” The couples, though, are hardly similar. The Mullers are Bible-studying steak-eating Republicans from Charlotte, N.C. The Browns are backpacking multigrain northerners who moved to Boulder, Colo."

I suspect that for a basic need like sex we'd find more similarities among people than differences. Although I would imagine that culture plays a big role. The emphasis added in the next excerpt is my own.

"According to a 2004 study, “American Sexual Behavior,” by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, married couples have intercourse about 66 times a year. But that number is skewed by young marrieds, as young as 18, who couple, on average, 109 times a year.

Either way, those statistics put the Mullers and Browns in Olympic-record territory. That they thought a sex marathon would reinvigorate their marriages might say as much about the American penchant for exercise and goal-setting as it does about the state of romance.

But the couples may also be on to something. “There’s a strong relationship between rating your marriage as happy and frequency of intercourse,” said Tom W. Smith, who conducted the “American Sexual Behavior” study. “What we can’t tell you is what the causal relationship is between the two. We don’t know whether people who are happy in their marriage have sex more, or whether people who have sex more become happy in their marriages, or a combination of those two.”

I can't say that I find that last 'graph to be particularly surprising or insightful. Not trying to be snarky, but it straddles the fence a bit too strongly for my taste.

This made sense to me:

"Charla Muller and Annie Brown both talk about how mandated physical intimacy created more emotional intimacy. “It required a daily kindness and forgiveness, and not being cranky or snarky, that I don’t think either of us had experienced before,” Charla said.

Annie said that she and her husband reached a place in their relationship that they have seldom approached since. “It was just this intense closeness,” she said. “We were so aware of wherever the other person was mentally and emotionally and physically.”

What do you think?


WomanHonorThyself said...

hey there..I think the Times should worry about the US and Israel instead of s----------x.. ha. wishful thinkin eh?

Fern Chasida said...

i read the book by annie and doug brown and found it quite boring, especially for a book on sex. maybe it improved intimacy between them but in the book a lot of times it seemed like it was just another chore to check off the to do list. but yes, i think in general we can be a lot more forgiving and compassionate towards our spouse when we have the closeness generated by sex.

frumhouse said...

It would be impossible for a non-pregnant/pre-menopausal orthodox couple to test out the theory that daily sex improves marriage because of the enforced separation 2 weeks out of every month.

I guess the taharat hamishpacha theory - separation makes the heart grow fonder - differs from the one espoused in these books.

Lady-Light said...

Uh, sure.

Debbie said...

It says the young people skewed the results, but wouldn't the old people balance it out?

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth

Miriam L said...

Making sex a required daily act seems robotic rather than erotic.

Jack said...


Wishful thinking is right.


It is hard to be intimate without being kind.


I suppose that we could write the authors and ask them what they think about the laws of Niddah.




Depends on how many are being measured in each group.