Sex on Shabbos is great. According to the Talmud, even mandatory. But what about the other days of the week? What happens if the spark isn’t always there for both partners?
All human beings have different levels of sexual desire. Like a fingerprint, our sexual desire is unique and fluctuates at various times of day, week, month, and year. To expect our romantic partner to be on the same page at the same time is asking a lot. It’s like expecting our partner to crave mushroom and pineapple pizza at 3:15 in the afternoon. The other partner must assess: pizza or no pizza? Now, if you also like pizza and it doesn’t matter the topping or time of day, then you are in good shape. But if you prefer salad, and only at structured meal times, then there is some negotiating and compromising to be done.
So how do we best compromise to satisfy our needs for both pizza and salad? Or rather, how do we negotiate how often to have sex? First of all, let’s discard belittling terms like: low desire or no desire. One partner may have more sexual drive than the other, but this does not mean the other partner suffers from a disease of low sexual desire. One person simply likes it more or less than the other.
Now for simple math. On a scale of 1-10 at any particular time of day, each person in the partnership needs to honestly assess his or her sex drive. One means absolutely no hunger, no drive. 10 means you may die if you don’t have a sexual release. Realistically, many of us only reach 10 when we are in the throes of thrilling foreplay.
Let’s say the particular time of day is 3:15 and one partner has a craving—for sex, not pizza. She honestly assesses herself and rates her sex drive at six. Her partner weighs in and claims he’s at four. If the sum total equals 10 or higher, go for it. Four is not very high, but it’s the mathematical compromise made by both parties to commit to the betterment of the relationship. Here it becomes about teamwork. Partner A plus Partner B aligning together for the sake of the third entity, the relationship. Both partners using simple math to assess if sex is the right activity to fuel and nourish the relationship at that moment in time.
The hardest part may be honestly assessing where you are on that numerical spectrum. The second hardest part may be communicating those numbers to one another. But with some practice and teamwork, you can both use simple math to determine if it’s time to get sexually intimate.
If this doesn’t sound terribly romantic, stay tuned for next week where we discuss how to spice up our simple math. In the meantime, give into your sexual desire and have a sexy Shabbos.