"You want us to do what!?" asked my wife, Lily.
“Have sex every day for 100 consecutive days?” I tried to sound persuasive and matter-of-fact but it came out as a winced question.
“And then you want to write about it for our family and friends to read?”
A reasonable point, that. It was never going to be a straightforward proposition, like, “do you want a cup of tea?” But still, this wasn’t how I’d rehearsed the conversation in my head.
Lily and I have been together for nine years; married for three. We’re best friends, love each other to bits and have a great relationship. There’s just one thing: we have markedly different libidos. I would have sex most days given a crack at it. Lily is more of a lazy Sunday morning kind of woman. And not every Sunday at that.
This sexual inequality was masked in the passionate early days of our relationship when, like most new couples, we did it constantly. But as time went by, the disparity widened to the point of disconnect. At the end of last year, the combination of a few factors – a spate of long nights in the office (me), back-to-back cold sores (her), financial worries (both) – meant we didn’t have sex for 100 days. Not that I was counting...
We’d had drought spells before but this felt like a famine. It really got me down. Lily hardly seemed to notice, or if she did, she wasn’t as bothered. Of course, it’s normal for sexual desire to dwindle in long-term relationships, as has been played for laughs by many an old-school stand-up comic. “My wife and I had a great sex life. Then we got married,” etc. But I didn’t find it funny. The person with the lower libido sets the pace and I didn’t want to feel like I was pressuring Lily into sex out of obligation. I longed for the time when my own libido would slow down because I hated myself for developing a priapic preoccupation with YouPorn. As Woody Allen once quipped: “Having sex is like playing bridge: if you don’t have a good partner, you’d better have a good hand.” Keep Reading »