Dating love marriage and sex in the church
‘For me it’s a bit like living near the Tower of London.
You don’t go and visit it because you think there’ll always be another time to do it, so you just keep putting it off.
We do make choices about the way we spend our time, to some degree, even if it is something like watching two hours of TV in the evening.
We just tell ourselves we’ve no time for sex, but actually what we’re doing is choosing TV over our husband.’ It’s not hard to understand why, however.
The diary results were both poignant and compelling.
While women wrote of their dismay and resentment at being ‘pestered’ for sex, most men, she discovered, forlornly documented the fact that they were continually refused sex by their wives, feeling trapped in a sexless marriage where physical intimacy was doled out, as Arndt puts it, ‘like meaty bites to a dog’.
While 60 per cent of 30-year-old women wanted sex often at the beginning of a relationship, within four years this figure had fallen to 50 per cent and after 20 years it dropped to 20 per cent.
‘After a full day’s work there’s usually a million things I’d rather do instead, from reading a magazine to, well, sleeping.For sex therapist Bettina Arndt, the question of whether or not we should be moving physical intimacy closer to the top of that to-do list is increasingly pertinent in a society of spiralling divorce rates.Last year, the highly respected psychotherapist asked 98 couples – from 20-year-old students to those who’d been married for more than 40 years – to keep intimate sex diaries in which they recorded every detail of their behaviour in the bedroom.I do feel guilty, and it’s often on my mind, but I’m so tired from everything else I have to do that I can’t stoke the fires.I just want some time for me.’ Her friend Eleanor, meanwhile, likens sex within her own marriage to living close to a major tourist attraction.