"Would you like some sexy times?"
She looked up from her book. "What?" I rather like the faces my wife makes when she's incredulous at me. It's somewhere between you're adorable and you're goofy both of which are true and I wear proudly on my sleeve
"Would you like some sexy times?"
"Why are you asking?"
"Because my more subtle ways weren't working so I figured I'd just be direct." I started nuzzling at her neck. "Why be coy?" Coyness can lead to disatisfaction if we aren't being obvious enough. I get enough self-inflicted disatisfaction already, Chastity notwithstanding.
I don't write about Chastity that frequently. It is, frankly, one of the Virtues I struggle with the most. It is, in part socialization and part lack of research adn part lack of reflection. The former informs the latter two and I step around the big, hulking, mass of Chastity to read up more on Temperance. Because drinking is my Fuck It Virtue.
See what I did there? (I’ll probably do it again so stay sharp)
Any way, that’s as bad a pun as it is a reason not to do a thing I have committed to doing. So let’s maybe look closer at Chastity, huh?
Chastity, sex, and love, and maybe some Cocoa Puffs.
Virtue, more broadly, is about engaging with our innermost selves in a direct and honest way. It is about understanding the difference between impulse and need, destructive and regenerative behaviors, adn getting to the root of our own happiness and fulfilment. Virtue is fostering a healthy understanding of ourselves and our impact on the world. Keeping that in mind, that we are one of many and we're all trying to be good people, any particular human drive can be understood and should be embraced in a way that makes us more whole.
Chastity, more specifically for me, is about directness and honesty in sexual desire as a component of love. It's that intersection that is chaste love is at its best but I think Chastity can exist with love only. For that matter, sex can exist without love, it's just not something that works for me. It's just not Chastity how I define it.
Love and sex can be two of the most powerful drives a person has and the most powerful drivers of human behavior. The desire to procreate can be waaaaay stronger than many would prefer. And because of how screwed up we can get about it and how screwed over people can be by it, we place enormous emphasis in it.
With intense emphasis comes the pressure of Chastity as a Thing What Beckons To Me and society tells me I can adn should be having more of. And if I’m not, Woe Be Unto Me. Now not only is it a Beckoning Thing, but a whole mental Thing on top of it. If you’re getting either, there’s got to be so,ething wrong with you. If you are, you probably aren’t getting enough, and there’s something wrong with you.
And if you are getting enough, what are you a giggolo? Go take up a hobby like model trains. There’s nothing sexual about trains and tunnels.
The simple truth is that sex is great and a way for two people to interact that can be a positive and beneficial thing for both parties.
Here's the crux: Its ok to like it and want it.
What do you mean it's OK to like sex?
I mean it's ok to like things. Like in general. We’d all do well to remember it is ok to like what we like.
American society has this bizarre psychic competition between instant gratification and self-denial. The push of "wanting anything is bad" and "have another piece of cake" is the root of so many personal struggles. We somehow believe that satisfying ourselves in any way, let alone sexually, is going to drive us to ruin. You had one piece of german chocolate cake, you terrible person, you might as well eat the whole damn cake.
Or is that just me? German chocolate cake is delicious.
I'm not here to argue that eating an entire cake is fine and you should give in to it's caky ways. Far from it. I’d argue doing that occasionally can be healthy, albeit stomach churning but ike anything else, there's a point at which too much becomes detrimental.
My personal struggle with Chastity is less about the "I want all the sexin’s” and more with the push and pull of gratification and self denial peppered with the difficulty of asking another person if they're interested in having some sexy times.
It takes two (or more) to sexy times
I don't like to inconvenience people. I want to be self-sufficient and useful all on my own, thank you very much, and no I don't need any help. Ever. I'm super human. It's fine. I can carry this whole thing myself. It's fine.
And then I drop the thing and have to acknowledge I need help anyway.
Sex is super tricky when our first desire is not to be a bother. I think this may be more strongly an introvert thing where we tend to first consider our presence burdensome to begin with. Having to break through that initial barrier is hard enough but then engage in something as goofy as sex with someone else? Goodness, that's rife with so much Awkwardness that maybe I should just be quiet and continue to read this comic book.
We'd rather self-deny and suffer in silence than have our needs met.
And yes, a lack of sex is an existential problem for most people. Maslow's Hierarchy of needs places sex at the base along with food and breathing. There's some amount of controversy about it, namely how culture influences base needs or the existence of asexuality in humans, psychologists generally agree that sex should be placed closer to water and wifi than to self-actualization.
Not having enough sex can distract us from being our better selves ands that's exactly why we're all here, reading about my semi-awkward sex life - to be our best us. But, remember what it was like in high school? Where everything was so sexually charged? It was distracting, right? And not just in a "they've got a nice butt" sort of way. More in a "I'm thinking more about sex than this test, A squared plus B squared equals Nice Buttz squared, oh dear how much time is left..." sort of way.
It can still be like this even as adults. Or especially as adults where we have more control over our sex lives. We can devote a portion of our time to the acquisition of sex that places it at odds with maintaining a healthy life. And even when in a stable relationship, we can get just as obsessed with sex despite there being a more accessible supply (phrasing it like this is weird). You still have to engage with another person to get sex.
Would you like to engaging in the healthy chaste loves with me?
Which brings us back to the “you’re both goofy and adorable look” I was receiving from my wife.
My engagement with Chastity as a Virtue is about self-realization and mitigating my tendency to deny myself any sort of pleasurable experience. That sex requires another person means I am far more likely to deny myself than try to engage with my wife. When I do get past that, my first instinct is to toss a softball.
How often have you tried to be subtle about the "I'd like some sex, please," interaction? Like, you try to be intetionally affectionate, like that nuzzling I started like 1300 words ago, with your partner but they are distracted reading. Their brain is in a totally different train tunnel than you so they don't notice? You get discouraged and grab your own book?
Yeah, that's me like every time. Add to it that I'm fairly affectionate with my wife to start and "upping the ante" is as meaningless as it sounds.
So, what's the very best way to get the thing that you want? It was in the header for this section. Go check!
Yeah - ask for it. People aren't mind-readers and we don't get the things we don't ask for. The direct approach is often the only certain way, awkward as it may be. At least saying somethig doofy like “would you like the sexy times” keeps the mood lighter.
This is absolutely something I've said to my wife because "sexy times" is disarming and cute and saying "would you like to have sex with me" is neither sexy nor fun. However! The latter will get your point across and you'll get a definite Yes or No. Ambiguity in sexual congress is not OK.
William's Rules for Sexual Congress.
So what exactly does this mean for us? What’s something actionable with Chastity? Taking just the sexual desire component, there are two things about which we can be better to start.
First, we have to acknowledge that we are humans and humans generally want sex. And that’s ok.
Chastity Virtue step one: It’s ok to want and like sex.
Tell any residual guilt to get the Duck out of Fodge.
Secondly, remember that you don’t get the thigs you don’t ask for. I have said it before and I will say it again: people can’t read minds. Our partners, as much as they love us, cannot scoop out our thoughts.
Chastity Virtue step two: We owe it to ourselves and our partners to be honest and direct with them about our wants and desires.
All healthy relationships must include direct communication if they’re to survive. It’s not easy but the best things in life rarely are. Practice makes perfect, right, so practice being honest with yourself and your partner(s). What's the worst that could happen - you could get what you want?
You don't get what you don't ask for. So! Are you an introvert and agree or disagree with this or an extravert who also worries first about being a burden or disruption, let me know. Or do you think sex and love MUST coexist? There's a feedback form at the right (if you're on a desktop, laptop, or larger tablet). Else, it will be at the bottom of this page on a smaller device.
While I write this blog to better understand my own place in the world, I want it to be useful for you too. Use the quick feedback form to send me ideas for posts, places where you disagree with me, or what have you. The more you engage with me, the better this website can be for both of us!