reader with a vanilla question: What to do about differing
libidos? We're a straight couple together 20-plus years, and
we've aged well. No weight gain, no radical changes in appearance.
We are open and loving, and I am cognizant of her needs and
feelings. Yesterday, I read an interview with Joan Sewell,
author of I'd Rather Eat Chocolate: Learning to Love My Low
Libido, and handed it to my wife and observed that this is
the new ideal: women laughing at their male partners and shrugging
their shoulders about women's general lack of desire. My spouse
can now point at this book and say, "You see, I'm normal,
and so are all of my friends, ha ha ha, live with it . . .
While I want sex daily, I get it maybe 5 to 20 times a year-and
I am lucky compared to some straight married men! Where are
the women you hear about who want sex constantly?
I haven't had a chance to read Ms. Sewell's book, NGU, but
I devoured Sandra Tsing Loh's review of I'd Rather Eat Chocolate
in the current Atlantic Monthly. (Loh's book reviews are worth
the price of a subscription.) And I'm saddened to report that,
according to Sewell and Loh, there's no such thing as a woman
who wants sex constantly. They don't exist-never did.
All that yammering about women with voracious sexual appetites
during Sex and the City's long reign of terror? A cruel hoax.
A figment of the straight-male imagination, a Big Lie picked
up on and promoted by self-serving female "sexperts" eager
to tell straight men what they wanted to hear. Women have
naturally lower sex drives, Sewell writes. It's a hormonal
thing. Testosterone makes humans horny, men have lots more
than women, so men are hornier-and all the Sex and the City
repeats in the world aren't going to change that.
So if straight women don't want sex-or as much sex-what do
they want? Chocolate, says Sewell, or a good book. Massive
amounts of carbs, says Loh, who approvingly writes of a lesbian
couple she knows. With no men around demanding sex, Loh's
lesbian friends are livin' the dream: "Teri and Pat have had
a special Monday-night ritual. They order an extra-large cheese
pizza," writes Loh. While they wait for their pizza, "they
settle in on the couch with large twin bags of Doritos. Each
chip is dipped first in cream cheese and then in salsa. Cream
cheese, salsa. Cream cheese, salsa. . . . The Doritos are
finished to the last crumb, and then, upon arrival, the pizza
as well." (No dessert is mentioned-I imagine it's just one
wafer-thin mint.) Teri and Pat are 50 pounds overweight and
suffer from "lesbian bed death," but for them, pizza-and-Doritos
night is "better than sex." Loh, who has a sex-starved husband
at home, is green with envy.
So the jig is up, NGU. For a while, women with high libidos
were normal and women with low libidos were freakish. Now
women with low libidos can hand their husbands Sewell's book
and rip open a bag of Doritos.
But there's a silver lining, NGU. Back when women with low
libidos were regarded as abnormal-way back at the beginning
of the month-it was fashionable to blame the man in a woman's
life for her lack of desire. For years, whenever I printed
a letter from a guy who wasn't getting any, or wasn't getting
much, mail would pour in from women insisting that he had
to be doing something wrong.
I called them the "if only" letters: If only she didn't have
to do all the housework, she would want to have sex. If only
he would talk with her about her day, she would want to have
sex. If only she weren't so exhausted from taking care of
the kids, she would want to have sex. If only he didn't ask
for sex, she would want to have sex. Well now, thanks to Sewell,
straight guys everywhere know that it doesn't matter how much
housework you do, or how sincerely interested you are in her
day, or how much of the child care you take on: She still
won't want to fuck you. So leave the dishes in the sink, grab
a beer, and go play a video game, guys. Your "if only" nightmares
Sewell's book is also going to restore straight men's dignity.
I was recently shown a new sex-toy collection for straight
couples, a basket of erotic goodies-"lotions and potions!"-clearly
designed for women who would rather eat chocolate. Edible
strawberry lubricant, vanilla body powder, chocolate genital
sprinkles. Lotions and potions? Try frosting.
And, my God, chocolate sprinkles for your cock? How humiliating
is that? It's the sex-toy equivalent of "porn for couples,"
AKA "the porn straight men watch when straight women are watching
them watch porn," and it's every dick-shriveling inch as unerotic.
Here's the message these tins of frosting send to men: She
would put your dick in her mouth if only it tasted less like
cock and more like cupcakes.
No more, guys-toss the lotions and potions. It's time to let
your dicks be dicks again.
One thing that hasn't changed in the wake of Sewell's book
is my advice to women with low libidos: You can have strict
monogamy or you can have a low libido, ladies, but you can't
have both. If monogamy is a priority, you're gonna have to
put out, i.e., regular vaginal intercourse and the occasional
tide-him-over handjob and/or blowjob, cheerfully given. If
all you wanna do is sit there and eat chocolate, you're gonna
have to turn a blind eye to lap dances and mistresses and
happy endings and the return of trade, i.e., gay guys giving
NSA head to straight guys.
And while low-libido women everywhere will point to Sewell's
book to justify their disregard for their husbands' needs,
just as NGU fears, Sewell herself is following my advice:
"Because Sewell loves her husband and knows that he, like
her, craves physical contact," writes Loh, "they eventually
worked out a contract both can live with. It involves handjobs,
lubejobs, and-when she doesn't feel like being touched-her
dressing up . . . and letting him watch . . . so he can finish
himself off by himself."
Oh, and guys? You need to accept those tide-you-over blowjobs
and handjobs just as cheerfully as she gives them. The one
thing besides hormones that contributes to female reluctance
to consent to sex is the expectation, on the part of the male,
that consent always means vaginal intercourse-except when
it means anal intercourse. If your hole were getting pounded
every time you said yes to sex, guys, you would say yes less
often. So broaden your definition of sex to include handjobs,
blowjobs, lubejobs, and masturbation in her presence or on
her person-these things count, guys, they're not consolation
prizes-and you'll get laid a lot more.
And finally, a word about a book I have read: In The God Delusion,
Richard Dawkins tears the intelligent design idjits into a
million little pieces. I feel bad about piling on-almost.
Hey, intelligent design idjits? If God really wants us to
have heterosexual sex only, and then only within the bounds
of holy matrimony, and if adultery offends Him so much-it's
a stoning offense, right up there with gay sex-how come He
designed men and women to be sexually incompatible?
Well, I should say that He designed straight men and straight
women to be sexually incompatible. Lesbian couples, with their
bags of Doritos, and gay couples, with our mutually insatiable
sexual appetites, seem pretty intelligently designed. Thank
My position on beating off to historically important images
of Anna Nicole Smith, or getting your ex-fundie ass laid,
didn't go over so well. Angry letters-most of them from Wolf
new Savage Love podcast is available for download every Tuesday