Apart from sex, one of the greatest pleasures I can experience is having freshly-squeezed orange juice in the morning. If I wake up with a dry mouth, the thing that I desire most, before anything else, is the juice that will quench my thirst. The real downside of juicing the fruit myself is that the process represents a good deal of effort for a limited reward.
So, before I invest the time it’ll take, I always ask myself: ‘just how thirsty am I really?’
I remember being in a relationship with someone who was more than eager to meet my morning juice needs-even more than meeting my sexual needs. He always woke up before me and went into the bathroom. After I awoke, I’d lay in our bed with my eyes closed hoping that after he finished he’d slide back in under the sheets and snuggle me for a while. Unfortunately, as soon as I heard the noise of the mechanical juicer, I knew that he’d gone straight from the bathroom into the kitchen. I couldn’t help feeling disappointed because I knew that after he’d emerged with the 400 ml serving of juice that I required, he’d shower and get dressed without delay. His day had already begun and he’d decided to leave me there, as he’d done on too many mornings previously.
There may be passing phases of sexual incompatibility in every relationship. They can be due to a variety of things: impotence, premature ejaculation, incompatible levels of libido or conflicting sexual tastes. In another relationship, I remember a boyfriend complaining that we’d only had sex two times in a particular month. At the time I was changing jobs and the stress and anxiety of those few weeks just drained my sex drive. After I’d settled into my new job our sexual pace returned to its previous, Olympian, levels. In the case of Mr Juicer, however, our sexual incompatibility was constant. We never experienced the kind of physical abandon associated with the ‘honeymoon’ phase that happens at the start of a relationship. The more I reflected upon the situation the more I wondered whether the problem was mine or his. Perhaps I was placing too much emphasis on sex and it was time to try something different?
I knew several couples in my social circle who seemed to have overcome their own sexual incompatibility. A friend of mine confided in me that she hadn’t had sex with her husband for over eight months before their wedding. It seemed that neither of them had really felt like it. At first I worried about my friend and I felt sorry that she was set up for a life of bad sex. But, at the same time, I was also aware that they were a happy couple; they never argued and they relied upon each other completely during difficult times.There was no doubt about their mutual devotion and loyalty to each other. The fact that sex was something in the background was never an issue.
Some people are so afraid of being alone, especially on Sundays, that they’ll put up with anything or anyone. In their case, dysfunctional relationships work for them because tolerating bad company is better than having no company at all.
Whatever the issue is that encourages sexual incompatibility, the best way to overcome it, I’ve found, is to masturbate. Sometimes it’s not quite enough if you are a very sexual person and you find yourself in a relationship in which sex doesn’t really work. Then, it can seem like the very worst thing that can happen. You might be able to endure the lack for a while but, eventually, your sense of dissatisfaction will get bigger and bigger. There’ll come a point when your sexual incompatibility contaminates every other aspect of the relationship. Discussing sexual incompatibility with your partner is never easy. Instead of improving matters between you it can often have the opposite effect. This is especially true if your partner denies that there is a problem and is adamant that ‘nobody else has ever complained’. Unfortunately, under those circumstances, your days as a couple are numbered.
The longer you avoid having sex, for whatever reason, the greater the resentment and frustration that can build. Doubts about your own attractiveness and desirability begin to feed on themselves and a downward spiral begins that’s very difficult to stop. Some couples attempt to find a solution to their problems through sex therapy. Sometimes they spend an awful lot of money doing so. But I wonder whether it’s possible to rediscover the spark if it never truly existed in the first place.
I’ve experienced living in a domestic situation that was defined, most mornings, by sexual incompatibility. I now believe, more firmly than ever, that your partner should be the person you desire most in the world and who desires you the same way in return. Putting up with second best never works because, sooner or later, you’ll meet a person with whom it will work perfectly without sexual therapy or the need for serious conversations about improving sexual compatibility.
Someone who will leave you gasping for more than just orange juice in the morning.
Translated from ¿Se puede superar la incompatibilidad sexual? published in El País.