I laughed when I saw that ‘sex spreadsheet’ that guy had prepared and posted on Reddit a week or so ago, to show his wife how many times she’d spurned his advances and the reasons she’d given him (link below).
I laughed, because the truth is, in many cases, women could compile a whole dossier of man-excuses, ranging from “I need to mow the lawn,” to “I’m too tired – can it wait ’til morning?”
The myth of the woman who nightly spurns her partner’s advances because she’s ‘got a headache’ is part of a old, worn-out cultural stereotype that sits alongside the dragon-like mother-in-law and the embittered spinster. And created, in my opinion, to cover up the fact that there are just as many guys with low libidos as there are women, if not more. How convenient to transfer all of that ‘failure to perform’ over on to women, who are generally to afraid to counter that claim by saying they’re really into sex, for fear of being called ‘sluts’.
Well I’m saying it. We’re into sex, and quite often, guys, you just aren’t.
You’re the ones with the headache.
I really did used to be with someone who preferred to leap out of bed to mow the lawn in preference to morning sex. And don’t think that’s just the case with men of a certain age. I dated a guy in his twenties not so long ago who got annoyed with me and yelled, “you just want me for sex!” one night when he was already in my bed. Well, yeah, honey. What sort of twenty-something guy wouldn’t be into that?
Turns out, quite a few.
And it’s not just me reporting this. Friends have told me similar stories, where their partners literally bat them away if they initiate sex, or the guy they’re seeing just can’t, or won’t, keep up with their sexual demands. I always used to wonder why one of my long-term partners used to be hugely affectionate in the supermarket, yet actively avoid any PDA at home. We used to laugh about it, after he’d be frolicking away in the aisles and be all over me at the checkout. I thought it was a quirk of his and found it endearing. Sort of. Then recently, I read an article by someone who was married to a guy who did the same – he admitted to a therapist that it was because the supermarket was a safe area where a demonstration of affection couldn’t possibly lead to sex. This guy had real issues due to a troubled childhood, but still, this explanation really struck a chord with me. Of course!!
I also have a theory I call ‘hangover girlfriend’: that some guys just want you around for those moments when they’re knackered, to chill out. They’ve been out with the boys, drank too much, clubbed too much, worked too much, played too much – done everything too much – so that when it comes to seeing you, they’re not up for anything except staring at a TV. Or sleeping. Usually at the point where you’re raring and ready to go. (I’ve also had a similarly frustrating experience with holidays – after all the golfing weekends, skiing holidays and ‘boys’ nights out’ have been fitted in, funnily enough there’s no money or time or holiday allowance left for the lady. And yet, the Bank of Boy is always open. The irony is that I’d have probably enjoyed the boys’ holidays a lot more.)
As Dr Kate Davidson says in a Guardian article about marriage (link below): “Men want someone to come home to, women want someone to go out with.” She is so right.
I think that Reddit guy has opened a whole can of worms by publishing his spreadsheet. Because if the ladies decide to record and publish all those instances of sexual disappointment, we can maybe overturn the age-old myth of the Lady Headache.
I think guys need to know that despite what we might say, we think about sex a lot of the time, we fantasise over hot guys (or gals) walking in front of us down the street, we picture them doing things to us or us doing things to them, we get turned on reading erotica on the tube, we watch porn, we approach and are approached by guys (and gals) in bars and have casual sex with them, we don’t feel slutty afterwards – we feel good. We’re playing a very similar game to you, but the difference is, your game is a spectator team sport and ours is largely a game of solitaire.
But just know that we’re doing it.
Because we can.
And it might some day end up on a spreadsheet.