The Husband Files, Part I

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Recently, Double D and Ms. Cocktail were at my house for coffee and the conversation turned to sex.  Quite often, this is the case with women, at least, it is with the women I know.  Most often the topic is introduced out of frustration.  The female libido and the male libido do not really run on the same schedule.  Let’s be honest, the male libido is almost always turned “on” and if you ask a guy, he’ll tell you that the female libido is always turned “off.”  I would tend to disagree with that thought, but would concede that it takes much more work to get the female libido going.  We’re high maintenance, boys.  Are you really that surprised at this stage of the game?  Since I listened in more than I participated, it was decided that I should share the discussion in a post, from an observer’s point of view.

The conversation started with Ms. Cocktail talking about how the evening before had been an “off” night in her house.  As in, Mr. Cocktail snuggled up in bed and asked “is it an ‘on’ night or an ‘off’ night?”  To which Ms. Cocktail responded “OFF!” and rolled over and went to sleep without being felt up, rubbed, or touched in any way.

“What?” asked Double D.  “How did you pull that off?”  Ms. Cocktail went on to explain that she has agreed to be intimate with her husband every other night, but he is to keeps his hands to himself completely on the off nights.  Ms. Cocktail had explained this scenario to me and a few other ladies one girls’ night out a few weeks back.  We had all been taken very much by surprise.  Was there a written contract?  Did she have a lawyer present at the time the agreement was made?  What about non-sexual displays of affection?  What were the penalties if Mr. Cocktail didn’t hold up his end of the deal?  What if Ms. Cocktail gave it up on an “off” night?  Could she bank that for later?  We had so many questions and were quite dubious as to whether or not this experiment would work.

Nonetheless, the agreement that the Cocktails came up with is born out of frustration that many of us hear from our guys.  They aren’t getting enough “attention” from us and would like more.  We’re never in the mood.  We’re always tired.   Further, they not only want more “attention” but also want us to be in the mood when they are.  Hold it, just a flippin’ minute.  I am a firm believer that Mother Nature made the boys so unbelievably horny to keep the species from dying out, but at the same time, made the girls considerably less so as to keep us from overpopulating the world. A kind of natural system of checks and balances, if you will.  (As far as I can tell, the boys are already winning in that respect.)  In other words, our hormonal make up is soooooo completely different from theirs that I don’t know if it’s possible for us to ever be in the mood as often as they are.  It’s not our fault.  That’s not to say that we’re never in the mood, but it’s called basic biology, so knock it off, gentlemen.

Double D’s major complaint that afternoon was that her husband also wants more “attention” and for her to be in the mood more often, but she would like it if she didn’t feel like a piece of meat all the time.  For the moment, let’s just leave it with her husband has a very high libido and demonstrates this to Double D often in a variety of creative ways.  It was at this point in the conversation that things started to go off the deep end…

Our not so mature sides came out immediately.  Double D drew a picture of herself, coloring different body parts in red or blue.  The red zones are total “hands off” zones between the hours of 9 am and 8 pm, or any time someone under the age of 18 is in the room, and the blue zones are hands “only” touch zones.  Because the diagram is in all red and blue it has a little bit of a scary superhero look about it.  The superhero can be kissed, but please, only use your tongue if it’s your birthday.  She also discussed how to train the husbands to behave as desired (as if that would ever be possible) which took things way WAY off the deep end.  Should they be trained like one would train a dog?  “Treats” would be awarded for good behavior, but perhaps an electric fence type collar would be necessary in curtailing the undesired behaviors.  Maybe that’s too harsh.  Maybe just a squirt in the face with a water bottle would be better?

However, out of the silliness came some legitimate thoughts.  Double D does not want to be groped while her children are in the room and especially not when they are in bed with her and her husband on a Saturday morning.  She does not want snuggling to automatically be assumed to be foreplay.  Sometimes a snuggle is just a snuggle.  She often feels like a hug is interpreted as “let’s get it on this very minute.”  As she so adeptly put it “if you can hold a fart in through an entire four hour flight, you can go five whole minutes without putting your hands down my pants (or up my shirt, or both).”  Double D would appreciate compliments that have absolutely nothing to do with her body.  (In all fairness to her hubby, she does have quite the little figure, but I get her point.)

Foreplay for women is quite often comprised of completely non-sexual acts.  Compliments about a woman’s a$$ might not go as far as actually doing the dishes before sitting down in front of the TV.  “Just leave those, honey, I’ll do them later” when a woman is already up to her elbows in dirty dishes is meaningless.  You’ve already missed the boat.  The mood is dead.  Beating the woman to the sink before she comes down from tucking the children might get her thinking bedroom thoughts.  Folding laundry for a family of four (or more) and putting said laundry away in the correct places is something she may actually fantasize about.  More than once in the time that I’ve known her, Ms. Cocktail has mentioned that any time her husband comes down into the basement to help her fold laundry, keep her company, and talk to her, he gets lucky.  I would argue that he might carry all of the laundry up out of the dank basement and into the living room to help set the mood as well.  At one point during our recent conversation, Ms. Cocktail pointed out “if I come home and you’re mopping the floor, then JACKPOT!”  Why?  Because a lot of the things we do all day are mundane and boring.  If you take something mundane and boring off of our hands, that is going to get us going.

Now please don’t take the above comments as complaints that our husbands don’t do enough around the house.  That may be the case in some houses, and may not be in others.  It’s more about explaining what works for us.  You want us in the mood more often?  Guess what? Folding laundry, doing dishes, dealing with potty training, helping with homework, enforcing screen-time limits and a whole host of other SAHM duties are all flat-out mood killers.  Take a mood killer or two off our hands, we may just pop a movie in for the kiddos at two in the afternoon on a Saturday and give you a little extra “attention.”  If you leave all the mood killers for us to do, we’ll do them, but then don’t complain that we’re never in the mood.

That said, the only thing I might add is this, different things work for different people and the one thing I’ve learned in life is that men are far from being mind readers.  If you want something ladies, TELL THEM.  But tell them nicely, without being the queen of nagging.  “You never do the dishes” will never get you as far as “I might be less tired when we go up to bed if you help out with the dishes tonight” wink, wink.  Dangle that carrot ladies (and maybe some T & A, too), but then follow through. Everybody may just wind up enjoying themselves…

Jen

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