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?