Memos from the Middle

Smack-Dab in the Middle of Motherhood

Sex and Sausage

Okay, graphic image aside, sometimes a girl just wants some sausage! I can’t help but feel that the bartering my husband does for sex is, well, tacky. And rude. Don’t get me wrong, sex with him is great. I love it, but just because I asked him to cook breakfast doesn’t mean that I really want to have sex. And just because he offers to take care of the kids and the house for the day doesn’t mean that sex is an equal trade off. After all, how often do I get what I want just because I cooked, cleaned, and parented unaided?

Let’s be real. If I had the energy to get completely undressed, romp around the bed, and search in vain for the glasses I know I can’t find without him, I would have just made the damned sausage myself. The whole point is to give me a break, and no matter how much he thinks that having sex will relax me enough to make me forget my issues, agendas, and chores, it won’t!

A friend of mine who recently had a baby confessed that she would much rather take care of those needs on her own in the few minutes her boyfriend is in the shower than get all hot and sweaty when she is exhausted from work. I found myself smiling contentedly. She always made me feel like a prude for preferring a hot, uninterrupted bath to the obligatory sex committed relationships sometimes require. (How lives change when an infant is introduced into the household!) Her comments provided a sense of joint suffering and female camaraderie that I’m sure other women can relate to, one of the humorous, painful truths that send me running for the Jill Scott CD (see, I don’t even have time to buy myself an IPod) and a lavender scented aromatherapy candle.

The thing that aggravates me the most, though, is that my husband thinks he’s actually “helping” me. He thinks his heart is in the right place. Maybe it is. See, what I’ve found out in the twelve years we’ve been together is that he truly is relaxed after sex.  It allows him to escape his problems, not just during the act of sex, but afterwards as well. His general disposition is sunnier. Maybe that’s why he always tries to use sex as the thing that will make things all better for me. It makes things better for him. In his mind, there’s probably some marital reciprocity of woe forgetting that takes place in the bedroom. In fact, sex even makes him better equipped to handle whatever is bothering him.

I’ve even considered the prospect that I might be jealous of him. I get so worked up, so frazzled that I can’t think straight. Yes, I can still function—after all, that sausage isn’t going to cook itself. The whole time, though, I’m replaying scenarios and woulda, coulda, shouldas repeatedly in my head. I can’t shake it. I’m never really done with an issue until something else trumps the urgency of the previous one. So I get even more upset when I feel pressured to have sex as a way to “escape” the stuff that is bothering me.

Now, though, as I type these words, I’ve come to a real epiphany. I’m not really envious of him. In fact, I love that he knows exactly what he needs to make himself feel better. What I realize is that sometimes what I really need is for my husband to do exactly what I want him to do without any trade-offs or compromises. I need him to understand that sex as a fixer doesn’t work for me. When I say that I want him to cook, I really mean that. I don’t want any back and forth or a verbal tug-of-war. I just want my damn sausage! Is that really too much to ask?

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8 thoughts on “Sex and Sausage

  1. Amen! Amen! Amen and halleluja! Your writing is great, as usual, and your observation is spot on. LOVE that you’ve started this blog, and I’ve added it to my Google Reader. Can’t wait for more!

  2. LarBro1 on said:

    Sex and Pizza Hut, Sex and Chinese take-out, Sex and KFC. The way I see it is: give up sex or starve!!! LOL. Women do have a raw deal especially if you’re a career woman. You’re homemakers, mothers, cooks(some better than others), and self- proclaimed relationship therapists. But, this notion that a man’s grief or problems magically disappears during sex is bogus. Men just know how to put life on hold for SEX! That’s not a weakness and it shouldn’t be considered a hinderance to women or the relationship. Think of it more as a…super power! That’s right. I said it. Your men are heavenly sent super heroes summoned by the “not so silent” hypocracies of women and that damned Ya-Ya Sisterhood doctrine you all seem to follow so well! Men shouldn’t need to put sex on the trading block. But, sometimes it’s the ONLY way to pry those casted iron granny panties off of their wives!!!!!

    • You’re probably right, but consider the things that put women in the mood naturally: helping out without prompting, giving a back rub, taking us to a chick flick (springing for and arranging for the babysitter) and not complaining about how sappy it is. In truth, the fastest way to my cast-iron panty removal is the smell of Pine-Sol and fabric softener wafting from the vents as I approach my house. Then, to really cement the deal, have chicken baking in the oven and a carb and veggie on the side…Watch out now!

  3. Anonymous on said:

    Girl, I read this and started to cry. Amen and amen. Thank you for writing your thoughts.

  4. Anonymous on said:

    Ultimately, I believe that men and women express and adopt to stress in different ways and this becomes more apparent with the birth of children. Rather than putting “life on hold for SEX”, wives need their Supermen to become Superheroes by helping more so that mommie can have a little down town. We know that sex is important. After all, we wouldn’t have you if it wasn’t!

  5. Pingback: An Anniversary List « Memos from the Middle

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