A post on CafeMom's blog TheStir made it to HuffPo, where it attracted my interest. Of course any time someone mentions sex addiction, I'm all over it. Unlike many in my industry, I agree that there is, indeed, such a thing as sex addiction. I also know from my practical experience observing couples in trouble, the vast majority of time what gets flung around as "sex addiction" is actually just normal sexuality viewed from a the perspective of a low-desire spouse. I've seen real sex addiction in action, and it's not pretty.
What "The Stir Bloggers" (because nothing lends credibility to a story like the anonymous plural) mention in her article, however, is not sex addiction. You can read the piece yourself, but the headline is that this woman married a dude, who is by all accounts a good husband and father, but . . . shudder . . . he wants sex. With her. Every day.
Apparently Cupcake couldn't handle it. She expected his libido to fade in conjunction with hers like "normal" people, but he persisted in being a regular guy . . . which means that he wants sex with his wife every day. After years of dealing with his daily initiation and her usual rejection, she couldn't stand (or understand, apparently) why he might get frustrated. She starts to pray he has an affair, but he's . . . shudder . . . a loyal husband and father, and despite his wife's apparent frigidity, he still loves her enough so that he's not going to give her an out by cheating on her. "I wished he would turn to other women, but as the long-suffering husband, I don’t think his psyche would allow for it." It doesn't enter her pretty little head that he might just be, y'know, a good husband and father . . . it has to be his ego and mental state (Beta) that she takes issue with. He doesn't cheat because he's not man enough to cheat.
He turns to porn and she's hopeful . . . until he starts realizing all of the other sex their not having, too. That just makes it worse. "The porn further warped his sexual expectations, and his bitterness at my continued reluctance to be physically intimate with him more than three or four times a week grew." Further warped his sexual expectations . . . as if his expectations of a healthy sex life were already warped.
But he still won't leave her. He still won't do anything to cause a divorce because he's a stand-up guy. The fact that she's no longer attracted to him isn't going to make him back out of his commitment. He committed. She committed. There are kids involved.
Only Cupcake just . . . can't . . . take it anymore. She cringes at his touch. Her hamster is spinning: how do I get out of a relationship with a man I don't find attractive anymore if he won't cheat?
"Try Sex Addiction", the Hamster says.
So wanting sex with your wife every day - which the vast majority of husbands are guilty of - is enough sign of "sex addiction" to give this woman the rationalization she needs to destroy her family. Because her husband "thought he owned my body" (the same body she presumedly had the day she married him and committed to being in a monogamous sexual relationship with him) he was a mentally ill monster who deserved to have his children ripped from his home. Finally, he gets so mad . . . he hits a pillow.
Not her. Not a kid. Not a wall, a window, a walrus or a whale, he hit a freakin' pillow and his wife -- who had been habitually rejecting him for months if not years and denying any responsibility in the relationship -- freaks out. That's violence. A Beta lost control. He's a sex addict, the Hamster whispered. He's dangerous, the Hamster whispered. You can do better, the Hamster whispered.
It didn't matter that "The kids were anxious a lot." Fuck the kids' lives - this was her body she was dealing with. Nothing was more important than that. "A few months after the pillow-hitting incident, I hired an attorney and filed for divorce. I moved out with the kids with nothing but the photo albums, some clothes, and my car." Spin, Hamster, Spin.
And the happy ending to the tragic story of one woman's struggle not to live up to her commitment to herself, her husband, her children, and whichever deity is applicable?
"Then all hell broke loose, because all of a sudden I was the heartless bitch that left her devoted, loyal husband without just cause. I’ve been called a whore to my face. I’ve lost friends, and acquaintances look at me with pity reserved for those that are making major mistakes. I’ve been told I’m ruining my kids’ lives, but the truth is that they’re doing better than ever."
Uh . . .what? The kids are doing better than ever because mom doesn't have to have sex with dad anymore and live in a stable household?
Really, what kind of message does that send? To her daughter it says "if you don't like something you committed to, you can find some excuse to leave - and you don't have to have sex with your husband". To her son it says "women are fragile, flaky creatures who cannot be trusted to live up to their commitments or be held accountable for their actions, despite their insistence on equality - and you had better watch it, because if you piss off your wife you'll lose your kids, too".
And when it comes to her recovering, getting back in the dating sphere again post-wall, hoping to sucker another Beta into a commitment, she's going to have to deal with the response to "Yes, I divorced my last husband because he wanted to have sex too much."
I don't foresee a lot of second dates in her future. Therapy, yes.
This is what Eat Pray Love looks like, fellas, with a vicious twist: she turned a healthy male sexuality into a creeping, destroying mental illness, and in order to claim "I’m doing better too. My body is mine again, and I will never again let someone convince me that I don’t have total ownership over it" this woman was willing to sacrifice the lives of everyone in her family. Her husband will be bitter and angry, her children will be resentful and hurt, and her friends in the Matrix will offer her support while secretly delighting in her misery. All so she could feel like she was in control of her body again.
I'm certain that will bring her daughter some solace when she's being eyed by a succession of her mother's future boyfriends. I'm sure that will soothe her son when he flips out in rebellion or collapses into sour emohood in revulsion, once he understands exactly what happened to his childhood.
This is a FAIL. This is what happens when you let the Hamster drive the bus. How are we, as men, supposed to take feminism seriously when we're supposed to a) afford women equal respect but b) can't trust them to live up to their commitments? This woman's body was hers. It was hers the day she chose to marry her husband, and after that it was community property, as was his.
His demands weren't abusive, they were merely frequent. Her tarnishing him as a Sex Addict - essentially pathologizing male sexuality - was a cheap shot straight from the Hamster Wheel . . . and you can bet dollars to diaphragms she's going to regret it bitterly herself someday.
So how did the public respond to this victimization? While there were plenty of "atta-girls", of course, there were some choice ripostes:
"Ahhh yes..women are the perpetual victims..its always the guy's fault.I often encourage every single guy that i know not to walk the plank (get married) because at any given time for any given reason he can lose everything because a d@mn woman decides that she wants out or that she's unhappy and viola: even if he was faithful/and husband of the year--he has nothing.Any dude who wants to get hitched these days is a glutton for punishment and a masochist."
"So you marry young, stupid, & fast then get upset that he has an average, normal male sex drive?!? then after not having sex with him bc you're too tired (despite him working & being tired too) you're mad he's taking care of the issue himself!?!?!? then you whine about wanting him to cheat- which if he had this would be a boo hoo pity, pity poor me article. I can see why the author didn't put her name next to this article. it's an absolute disgusting embarrassment - Nice way to skate your part in taking the easy way out of a marriage, also give it 5 years with your new relationship & we'll see this same poor me bs bc he will want a healthy, normal sex life "
"Oh my, the excuses women come up with to divorce..."
"This is a perfect example of a woman who should never have gotten married. She says that the sex should die down after a while. WHY? Who says? I'm positive her husband didn't say that. In fact, I'll bet my ENTIRE paycheck, life savings AND retirement, that she NEVER uttered a word about her true feelings about sex to her future husband! So, they are going at it hot & heavy all the time. He's thinking, "This is great, she can keep up with me." And all the time, she thinking, after "I do"; I won't have to ever again. Typical frigid shrew that doesn't express herself, and then blames the guy because of her lies, her shortcomings."
"This is whats wrong w women today. They trap these men under false guise and then complain when they are the ones who change. They dont do the same they did in the beginning. Maybe the writer was the one w a low self esteem to jump like that w anyone. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but the world was a better place in the 1950s when women did submit to their husbands n stop trying to emasculate them and rule the house."
"I'm a male and really found your article informative [from a male perspective). My ex-gf left me similar to how you left your husband. I'm sure he had no clue and was crushed emotionally [like I was]. Even though he was physically stronger than you, you held the key to his heart emotionally. I wasn't there but I do believe that after you married him, you had second thoughts about what "forever" really means [and that's ok]. We have a right to change our minds about how we feel in America. IMHO, a stronger women could have tamed him if she truly loved him for who he was. I just think the flame went out for you but he thought he married the women to spend his life with."
From a therapist:
"Without wanting to offend you it appears you continue to take the "victim" role in this marriage gone by and I have read little about how you share or take responsibility for the failure of the marriage from your end? Instead you seem to blame it on his sex "addiction" best wishes" Ouch.
"once again, entitled women that are too busy with themselves to recognise their husbands physical needs for intimacy, not just sex. seriously girls put out ffs and you might keep your husbands happy. men are pretty simple beings"
"I understand her ex-husbands frustration completely. Woman don't understand that sex to a man is a need not a want."
"Despite the effect this will have on the kids I think the real winner out of this is your husband. I could not imagine the drain it would take coming home to someone with your outlook on life after a hard days work."