On The Morning Of A 40th Birthday, A Couple Unenthusiastically Check Their Phones
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I Haven't Had Sex In Years. And I Don't Plan On Doing So Any Time Soon

And I'm OK with that.

I’m not having sex. I haven’t had sex for a number of years now. I don’t plan on having sex any time in the future. And, most important — I’m OK with that.

Thousands of men and women aren’t having sex. They are happy not doing so but feel something is wrong with them due to perceived pressure from society and social media to believe that EVERYONE is and should be doing it. Yet, according to Christopher Ingraham of the Washington Post, 2018 was a record year for adults not having sex — for the full 365 days. While credit is mainly given to an aging population and more people finding themselves “unattached,” I for one fall into a different category — I simply have no interest in sex anymore. Period.

I’m trying to remember when it started. It’s not that it happened so long ago, but nonetheless, although my memory tells me it was a gradual decline in my level of sexual activity, I’m pretty sure it might actually have happened in more of an overnight kind of way. Sure, maybe uterine cancer and a subsequent hysterectomy played their part. Or, before that, menopause. Or before THAT, a bit of extra weight around the middle, fatigue, work stress … the list could, in fact, go on and on.

According to a recent British study, “Women are more than twice as likely as men to lose interest in sex in a long-term relationship. Indeed, 34 percent of women surveyed revealed they had lost interest for three months or longer in the previous year,” and for women the loss in sexual desire peaked between the ages of 55 and 64. Oh well, I’m one year too early — I’ve always been an overachiever!

Interestingly enough, menopause isn’t what’s causing the lack of interest in sex. Researchers from the University of Southampton and University College London note “poor physical and mental health, a breakdown in communication, and an absence of emotional closeness are largely to blame.” And herein lies my thesis: None of those reasons apply to me. They might apply to you. They might not. And that’s all OK. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you, and your partner, are satisfied with your decision not to have sex, for whatever reason, be it on a “best of” reasons list or your own individual grounds. Society not only shouldn’t pressure you into having sex, but also shouldn’t make you feel you have to be accountable with a justification.

An important disclaimer: If you’re not having sex for a reason other than simple lack of interest — poor communication with your partner, physiological dysfunction or some other cause — and you WANT to be having sex, then naturally you might want to address those concerns if you’re interested in resuming your sex life. Or if one of you wants to be having sex and the other doesn’t, surely you might want to look into that, as well.

In his article, Ingraham suggests other reasons for the sex drought that seems to be trending upward. Among these, the economy apparently might play a role. While I can’t say this has had any effect on my choice of a life without sex, it does underscore the reality that many of us simply aren’t having sex and that there are as many reasons for this as there are people who find themselves in this position (no pun intended).

Now, here’s the kicker. I have a committed companion with whom I’m very much in love. Luckily, he feels the same way I do. We’ve been together for 13 years, previously enjoyed a fulfilling sex life and, well, you know the rest. Full disclosure: We’ve never really talked about “it,” and although that perhaps isn’t a very healthy aspect of this evolution in our relationship, I do know he feels the same way I do. The only difference is, his why-I-no-longer-want-to-have-sex list is not really the same as mine (a different type of cancer, 12 years older than I am …), and that list, too, could go on and on.

All I know is that I’ve come to the realization that the decision to have sex or not solely rests on my pillow — no one else’s. Ultimately, we all need to do what’s right for us — and our partners. Maybe my feelings on the subject will change, maybe they won’t. In the meantime, my cat, Netflix and a good book are keeping me perfectly warm at night.

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On The Morning Of A 40th Birthday, A Couple Unenthusiastically Check Their Phones
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