But... Why?

I re-read a touching story today in the "I wish I could kill my libido" group.  The idea behind the story was that if one could eliminate their libido, they'd be perfectly content with their great but sex-or-passion-starved marriage, since they'd have no urge to cheat.  Something about that just struck me.  I started thinking about why people cheat, and this is what I came up with:

Sex is extremely validating.  When someone wants to be with you, when someone chooses you over someone else, when someone invests their time and energy into pleasing you, it's a tremendous compliment.  I mean, at the very least you come away from it feeling reasonably desirable and attractive, because who wants to have sex with an unattractive person?  On an emotional level, sex makes you feel good. 

It's been proven that sex increases levels of "feel-good" chemicals in your brain like dopamine and oxytocin.  On a purely physical level, sex makes you feel good.  

When something goes wrong in the sexual relationship and the sex becomes less frequent or even stops, neither your ego or your brain chemicals are being stimulated.  You're left with a void where once there was a steady stream of validation and chemical stimulation.  That does NOT feel good. 

Logically, one could list dozens of perfectly valid reasons why someone wouldn't be as interested in sex as they once were, but our brains don't operate strictly on logic.  We're very irrational, emotional beings.  It makes sense that we perceive that void as emotional and personal when it quite frequently isn't.

A spouse can be the nicest, most caring person in the world - the best parent and life partner you could ask for, but if they don't make you feel the feelings you've become accustomed to (and are actually hardwired to crave), you can be left feeling... well, pretty crappy.

Add to that the fact that most people agree that everyone has sexual "needs," and you're left wondering why your spouse isn't taking care of your needs.  After all, if you were disabled, wouldn't you think you could count on your spouse to help take care of your needs?  That leads to frustration with your spouse which could very well dampen things with them even further.  

So not only are you not getting your needs met, but specifically, your own spouse isn't meeting them.  You're biologically designed to want sex, and you're not getting it.  You want to feel desired and you don't.  It's a recipe for disaster.

If this story has a moral, it's this:  If you're holding out on your spouse for whatever reason, for crimeney's sake, go give them some head.  It certainly can't hurt.

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2 Responses Jun 12, 2008

Me too...<br />
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And I agree with GH, go love your partner...I have had the most amazing intimate moments during times of grief and strife with partners. The love flows and you end up closer.

Like "ddd", being and thinking sexy on my own always leaves me in a constant heightened state of arousal, there is no other way to explain it. And not getting any after being aroused also leaves me how "ddd" explained; moody, hungry for comfort (and fattening) foods, and no concentration. All I'm thinking about is how I can get my rocks off. Seriously.