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January 28, 2008

I Swore Off Sex for a Month

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DAY 6: Confession, absolution. But do I trust the priest?
I had to come clean to Kerner. He responds that we're not the first couple to have amazing sex while on the detox. But I'm beginning to think the big secret is just the thrill of the "you can't have me" game. Kerner swears there's more to it than that, and if I see it through, there will be lots more sex like that in my life.

DAY 10: Taking it like a man
I think back to (jerk) exes who would have been irritated if I had withheld sex for any amount of time — and would have flirted with other women in front of me, as if to say, "Well, you're not giving me any." But Fred is a grown-up, and I'm relieved he isn't giving me any of that blue-balls crap.

DAY 11: Just the four of us
Tonight in bed, Fred and I cuddle, but I draw the line when it goes too far. It's like a boxing match — nothing below the waist, buddy. I wonder if my sexuality will atrophy from disuse. Is this what happens to people with kids? Is the next step mom jeans?

I start reading a book, and Fred follows suit. It's the first night I don't feel guilty for not having sex. Nor do I feel unattractive or rejected. I feel comfortable. And I recognize that we're silently connecting — without sex.

DAY 15: So deep, it hurts
It has always surprised me that Fred is affectionate, since he didn't grow up in that kind of environment. I tell this to Kerner, hoping to get Fred some extra credit.

"It's great, but it's interesting that he skips foreplay," he says. "It's possible that 'aboveground,' he's making an effort to be loving, but 'underground,' there are fears of the emotional intimacy that comes with sex." I panic: Am I in a relationship with someone who can't connect? Then I remember how good I felt when we were just reading in bed.

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