Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sex Poll Wrap Up

I don't know about everyone else but I have been riveted by the sex poll results. And not so much by the results in particular but how all over the board they are. I think we all get caught up in stereotypical thinking and it was interesting to see how different everyone's answers were.

Here is how it broke down...

Here's How Frequently You All Are Having Sex:
27% several times a week
22% once a week
16% several times a month
11% once a month
22% what? I don't know what you are talking about

Here's Who You Are:
3% single
97% partnered or committed
46% children under 5
21% children over 5
20% partnered less than 5 years
22% partnered 5 - 10 years
27% partnered over 10 years
22% stay at home parent
33% two working parents

I tried to poll for the demographics thinking that would help to reveal something about frequency but NOPE. I would need to do one more detailed poll in order to really see who fell into the "what? I don't know what you are talking about" category versus the "several times a week" one. But here is what I do know for sure. I started this poll on the weekend and immediately those two categories were the front runners... at times flip flopping first and second place. Once Monday came around I thought maybe the working force out there amongst us would change the votes in the direction of more sex.... well it didn't happen. Sex frequency seems to have nothing to do with how long you've been together, how many kids you have, or whether or not you work outside of the home. Purely individual... who knew?!? I would have bet serious money that "once a week" would be the front runner but I suppose my subconscious has been tainted by the media in that regards. I also thought having little kids and staying at home would coincide with less frequency (I'm pretty sure those facts were impeding the Furious sex life). So there you have it. I'm posting a new sex poll later tonight. Anything you didn't get answered post in the comments and I'll try to include that in the poll. What I want to know now is how many of you are satisfied with your sex lives.


P.O.M. said...

Yeah. Looking forward to the new poll. I was thinking the once a weekers would win for sure. Maybe I'm just tyring to make myself feel better. ha!

Mrs. Furious said...

I have taken lots of detailed sex polls of the people I know and once a week was what most people would tell me... now I wonder if they were lying ;)

Mrs. Furious said...

The new poll is up everyone!

Nutmeg said...

I've got some serious sex issues caused by long term childhood trauma.

I enjoy sex a lot when I manage to have it... unfortunately I don't manage to have it very often.

I told my husband all about how this would turn into a problem... before we started dating really seriously, before we got engaged and before we got married. So he's had fair warning, but it is still, obviously THE major stress in our otherwise VERY happy marriage.

That said, I have other friends who have had even LESS sex than we do, since the birth of their child, and they don't have the problem I have... so that makes me feel a little better! And all those "what are you talking abouts" are making me feel better too.

Mrs. Furious said...

I'm sorry.
I believe I was molested as a young girl (by my father's roommate who did later turn out to have molested his daughters so it seems likely) I of course can't really recall but have suffered years of nightmares about it ... interestingly once I heard about his daughters when I was about 23 I put 2 & 2 together and stopped having the nightmares. I'll of course never know for sure and that makes me crazy. When Kid was little I would freak out if Mr F was alone with her and have to keep checking on them... I knew he wasn't doing anything but I was compelled to check... it broke Mr F's heart but I couldn't help it I had strong feelings that no man could really be trusted. So I'm pretty sure it did happen. I'm better with that now and she is older and past the age when it happened to me... I'm just realizing this while I write it... I'm sure that is very much related.
Anyway I was also date raped twice.
I think bad sexual experiences are actually pretty common unfortunately and may very well have more to do with all the low sex and or frequent sex poll results since people can have the opposite reaction.
Yuck. This is probably the main thing I really haven't worked out all the way in therapy yet.
Thank you for sharing.. weirdly it made me have to think about this stuff that I usually don't deal with.
I'm not in anyway trying to trump you or anything.... and if it would be helpful feel free to say what you need to say or whatever.
And I hear you. I told my therapist last week how many people had responded "what ..." and she was NOT surprised. Sex is a big issue and requires a lot of vulnerability.

Nutmeg said...

I have never been able to afford enough therapy really to delve into my problems. I usually can only go for 12 visits etc surrounding an exacerbation of my depression. The first time it happened my therapist straight up told me we didn't have enough visits to delve into my problem and we should scrap it (I was molested for several years by my older brother and some of his friends on occasion. A result of a relatively unobservant due to drug use mother and obviously my brother was mostly to blame)

When I was pregnant and found out E was a boy, I was sort of upset because the idea of possibly EVER having a girl with an older brother really makes me nauseous. Yet another strike against a second child!

I know... it's upsetting to know that so many women are the victims of some type of sexual abuse. And don't worry about trumping me. I think anyone who's really had bad, bad stuff happen to them (and my brother is just one part of the bad), doesn't really gloat about it! As you probably understand I can talk freely about this, but I haven't really dealt with it. I think it sort of shocks people that it's so easy for me to say. But it's just my life. I have never told my mom, but other than her, I'm very open about it. I am who I am and I am really pretty happy with that person. I wish I didn't have major depressive disorder and an anxiety disorder and sleep dysfunction, but I've got one heck of a sense of humor and I think I'm a really kind person.

I did not intend to hijack this, just wanted to express that it's nice to find a place where I don't feel so much like a freak. Even though I'm totally a freak in a good way. :)


Mrs. Furious said...

I really am sorry.
But gee you sound a LOT like me.
I was literally just lying in bed trying to get the baby to bed thinking about all the shity stuff that happened in my life and then (like usual) not really being too upset since I like myself and I am who I am because of all the crap. You should read the last question I answered on the Q&A post. I was talking about how easy it is for me to be completely open with the facts of my life and yet I am still a pretty emotionally guarded person. I relate.
For a long time I have wanted to be a foster parent but the potential for an emotionally and or sexually abused child coming in and then potentially acting out sexually with my girls keeps me from it... and I hate that since I really want to do it but I know I can't. Same thing goes with having a male sitter... I cannot fucking do that even though intellectually I know it would be fine.

This makes me wonder though... are people drawn to this blog because they can relate to me and therefore have a higher chance of having had a bad childhood in some form...
or is having self absorbed drug abusing parents really common?!?

emmyjw said...

I think way more people than will ever admit have had those type of experiences.Interesting point about people going to one extreme oe the other too.I had a male babysitter who molested me,only one time thank God,when I was 7.I never told.Later there was a date rape also and I went off the deepend as a teen,drank at a lot of parties and had sex when I didn't really want to because I felt like I had to in order to be wanted by anyone...YUCK.I now have a really great sex life with my husband,but it took a long time,we have been together for 15 years.Nutmeg you are amazing and I am glad you can at least talk here even if therapy is out for now.I am struggling with depression too,it has been really hard to admit it and ask for help, but I finally did.I hope E. is doing better,I've thought of you often as you are waiting for tests and Dr appoinments.

Amy said...

Wowzers ladies. Sorry you guys had to go through that, and to some extent, still are. I can only imagine how those kind of experiences can play out in your relationships.

My sister was date raped, and ended up having to be rushed to the ER due to a tubal pregnancy that had ruptured. She almost died, evidently. My parents knew nothing about it all until that night that they took her there (and I didn't find out until I was an older adult). She has suffered from major anxiety issues and panic attacks, and at one point was an agoraphobic (couldn't leave the house). She relatively okay now though...after years of therapy and medication.

Anyways, it's off the sex poll topic, but just an example about how sex can affect different areas of your life.

As for me. We range from once a week to 2-3x a month. We may tap it a couple times a week here and there, but for the most part it still averages out to a handful a month. Sex is just the last thing on my mind these days. I'm tired, I go to bed before him, and by the time he retires my body does not want to move. The times when we do it a couple times a week are usually right after my period, so we don't have to use those damn pesky rubbers. I can't stand them and many times they are literally irritating to me. (TMI coming up)Then I wind up with the itchies which further puts off any chances of wanting to have friction there!

The other issue we have is that we have sex more often when he is gone working 14 hr days/7 days/week for 2-3 months then when he is off and around all the time. I guess it's the fact that he's around the house irritating me more when he's off!

Am I satisfied right now? Mmmmm, yes. No. I am fine with the amount. I am not a crazed horndog these days so it is fine with me. I would like to have it more for the hubby's sake. I like making my man feel like a man...and I've told him that if he were to come to bed AT the same time as I do then he might get it more. So if the lack of sex was a real frustration for him I'd be seeing more of him before passing out.

I'll leave it at that for now (long enough response!). I'm very curious to see how much my libido (supposedly) increases in the 40's....only a few years to go.

Mrs. Furious said...

how are your relationships with your mother and brother now?

I'm sorry to hear about your molestation and date rape. Mine happened when I was going through a similar phase... much worse could have happened to me I was being such a complete idiot I'm lucky I'm not dead. I often think about that time and just hoped to God my girls don't go through a similar phase.

emmyjw said...

I know what you mean,I shudder to think of any of my kids doing the STUPID things I did,and I know it is only by the grace of God that I am here to talk about it. I have a lot of insecurity and anxiety crap from my baggage, but I too like myself as I am and know that I'm OK. I do know that I will not ever assume my kids are fine and not doing anything stupidlike mine did,they did their own thing and were clueless which to me felt like they didn't care.I know now that isn't true and I wouldn't want to pain them with all the crap that went on but I also know that I need to be very present for my kids.

Mrs. Furious said...

" So if the lack of sex was a real frustration for him I'd be seeing more of him before passing out."
lol... probably true.

what does your husband do by the way?

and I think that is makes complete sense that you'd have sex more when he was busy working. When Mr F was around all the time it was much easier to A) either have on going dumb resentments about the help/lack there of or B) think that we didn't have to make time for intimate time because we were always together.

Amy said...

Hubby owns/operates a truck / tractor (8-wheel bulldozer). Basically, he pushes silage (cow feed) for the dairies. I don't know how they do it in the midwest, but if you've ever seen tall, long piles covered in plastic at a dairy, that's a silage pile. So, he works when the crops are harvested: mid-March thru mid-May, then again mid-July thru Oct.

For us...I think it's more "A". I definitely hold on to those little resentments and can't forget them where sex is concerned.

Nutmeg said...

Amy, there's a little evolutionary biology behind having sex more often when your mate is away a lot. For reasons I won't detail, but are probably pretty clear, males are at a high evolutionary pressure to not raise someone else's offspring (be cuckolded). Because sperm are cheap a man who is away a lot will be willing to toss some extras into the fray, just in case his mate has strayed, as that will help diminish the chances that he'll be cuckolded. Of course, that's just why HE would want it more. You probably just are more willing because he isn't irritating you! :)

Emmy, thanks for your thoughts. We are somewhat anxiously awaiting our visit with the specialist. I'm sort of afraid we'll get laughed out of the office, but that's because I have a weird medical history myself and haven't had some really disturbing symptoms of my own taken seriously for a long time. My husband thinks I'm crazy!

Mrs. F, of course sorry to hear that you too had to go through this. I don't honestly remember much about growing up because things were so bad on so many fronts, so I sympathize there. I think having drug addicted absentee/abusive parents isn't as common as the sampling here might suggest... although who TALKS about that, really. I just read the last question you answered and I see myself in a lot/all of what you said.

Part of the problem with suffering inscestual abuse is that sex which doesn't come along with lots of emotional ties is actually not that difficult. In any relationship I've ever been in, the sex has been plentiful and free of anxiety for me until I start to really feel safe in the relationship and trust the other person... then WHAM, my skin crawls when I get touched, nausea, anxiety attacks over the mere possibility that he might WANT to have sex. This is really hard for a partner because things WERE normal, so what happened?

Fortunately, by the time I got married, I knew this about myself and warned him before we even got to that point. I said things seem fine now, but they won't be later, I promise.

I also had a period of time when I was relatively promiscuous, and for me it was taking control that was important, not being loved. I could manipulate a man and I was in control (I obviously WASN'T in control, but I felt like that and that was powerful for me.)

As far as my mom and brother go... well. My mom is crazy (like...bipolar/borderline personality crazy) but she is around and funny and sometimes very helpful (the problem is obviously unpredictability, however). She doesn't know and I am not going to tell her, because of the previously mentioned instability. My brother has drug problems etc and he remains in touch with me. 5 years ago when he would call me it would really set me back... the other problem with incestual abuse, the abuser sticks around and shows up at family functions and you are expected to love him. My biggest problem now is that my mom wants to know why he and I aren't closer... she wants me to feel bad for him and his depression and his substance abuse problems and his anxiety, and how badly my dad beat him (I'm not sure why she forgets he beat me too). I've got no good answers for her and so I just listen to her and pretend to be interested in all of my brother's "problems" when honestly, I couldn't give a shit. We inhereted the same crappy brain chemistry and we grew up in the same crappy house and I had it worse because of HIM. I pulled my life together so I don't really have any sympathy, thanks.

Additionally it GALLS me that he went through all the steps and all this therapy when he was in drug treatment centers and went to sessions with my mom and got all "honest" with her, but managed to leave that out.

So... I think with respect to my brother, I'm kind of over being traumatized by his presence in my life, and I've moved on to being really profoundly angry. With my mom, I'm remaining in the role as most responsible party in our relationship, but I don't see what I would gain by telling her.

Nutmeg said...

And sorry to bring the mood down! I'm usually the life of the party!

Mrs. Furious said...

"With my mom, I'm remaining in the role as most responsible party in our relationship"
Yes I can most definitely relate to that.
Mr F just said "crazy parallel style"... yes but minus the beatings and incest and that is a lot of shit to deal with and I can't even imagine having to keep your brother in your life.
What would happen if you did tell your mom?
Are you afraid that she won't believe you or are you protecting her?
Wouldn't it help you to avoid your brother if you could?

as for this...
"the sex has been plentiful and free of anxiety for me until I start to really feel safe in the relationship and trust the other person"
I find this is quite a common scenario... obviously your reaction is understandably strong but I think there is a subtlety that goes on for many with sex and emotional vulnerability that is somewhat the inverse of the socially accepted norm. Sex with no emotional involvement is a different thing altogether.

Mrs. Furious said...

I have no idea how they move grain here... CRAZY... that is completely out of my realm of knowledge. I don't drive by too many dairies (none) so I don't know.

Marie said...

TOTALLY off topic, but am feeling better today and was going to try your bread recipe (we are out of bread and cooking sounds better than packing everyone up to go to the store!). Just wondering how long homemade bread lasts? I usually make rolls, and they are gone within a day...not sure we can eat 2 loaves that quickly!! Do you think I could freeze half the dough for another time? Hmmm...

I will add that I think having small kids (toddlers, babies) puts a damper on the sex life. I'm so tired after taking care of them all day, even if I WANT to, I don't..kwim? And then there's the late night wake-ups, and forget about it if your co-sleeping...we find the best time is if dh and I are both home during the day, we take advantage of naptime, or if the older girls don't nap will drag out the paints and set them free while we go "clean our room"....

Mrs. Furious said...

we do kind of eat it all in about 2 days (its good). But I don't see why you couldn't either just make half of a recipe or finish kneading it and divide it in half and freeze it. If you do let me know how it turns out.

"while we go "clean our room"...."
good one!

Amy said...

i think it's interesting to see these results because i think despite what you say, there is something you find abnormal about your sex life. And, to see that other people are answering similar to you means that there are lots of other people out there doing the same abnormal things that you are. my friends and I talk about this subject a lot (surprise surprise, men), and have found a lot of similarities despite the fact that we all LOOK like relatively normal and healthy people. i've decided that a normal sex life is whatever you're doing. period.

Mrs. Furious said...

hmmm... I don't know what you are referring to. I don't think I said our sex life is normal. Although after doing the polls I do think it is normal now.
Our main issues are frequency. And once you get in an infrequent cycle (straight up if Mr F and I went to bed at the same time and in the same bed things would be better) then I think resentments or rejections (even if unintended) can keep you in that cycle... we work very hard to address those but until the baby is sleeping our sleeping situation is not helping matters!!

Mrs. Furious said...

forget that.... I read the emphasis on "you say" to be literally about me and now I see what you meant. Sorry.
Yes I agree with you. Clearly as is evidenced by everyone's willingness to do the polls and the online and offline feedback I got... everyone is somewhat worried that what they are doing is not normal (or enough).

P.O.M. said...

Not related to sex, but I have to pipe in here - I think having drug addict/absentee parents is actually more common than we think. Especially our generation. I'm in my 30s and I think you are nearing yours :) My parents were hippy-like free lovin' smokin' pot and having weird parties with guys who drive yellow corvettes and wear big gold chains. Then pot turned into coke. Then divorce. Then coke turned into speed for one parent. Ever been around anyone who does speed for over 10 years? Not fun.

Maybe just in California, but a lot of my friends parents had drug issues too. Of course we all hide it so well to fit in with the Jones'.

Mrs. Furious said...

Yes I was going to say something similar yesterday. I actually am in my 30s... just incredibly young looking ;) My parents were young hippies and yeah there was lots of pot and then once the 80s hit things definitely progressed. My dad is in the entertainment industry so you know drugs abound. He actually had us grow "cigarette plants" with him when we were little. Let me tell you I was SHOCKED to see that it was pot on a "Just Say NO" video at school in 3rd grade... that was a little traumatizing. My dad still smokes pot and I don't care about that it bothers me more when he is drinking. My mom doesn't use herself but needs to be involved with addicts. The heroine addict she was with for 6 years starting in my highschool years was the winner of that bunch. Her current husband is nice but a gambler. Not too coincidentally I married a man who has NEVER taken a drug in his life.... sadly my brother is drawn the other way.

Nutmeg said...

POM... yes... I agree. I'm in my thirties (Though I seriously look 16). My mom has definitely been smoking pot since she was in college. She never did "harder" drugs (but also did hallucinogenics) though smoking pot several times a day really screws up your ability to be an observant involved parent. My father never did drugs, as far as I can remember. He was a terrible alcoholic though.

As I mentioned, I don't think any of my friends growing up had parents doing these kinds of things, but who seriously talks about that... especially as kids. I recall thinking several of them had such betty crocker moms and spent a lot of time at their houses. But what goes on behind closed doors? I'm sure no one thought my dad was an abusive alcoholic or my mom was always high.

michelline said...

This makes me wonder though... are people drawn to this blog because they can relate to me and therefore have a higher chance of having had a bad childhood in some form...

Somewhat. I can in no way compare to your childhood, but mine was still not exactly sunshine and lollipops. My mother abused me mentally and physically until I was 18 when I told her if she touched me again, she'd never see me. I went through black eyes, welts from clothes hangers, etc. When I was a senior in high school, Chris got to see her abusing me and was shocked because he comes from a family with no spanking at all. To know that his girlfriend was getting kicked in the head was quite an eye opener. My stepfather (#1) did drugs and because of it lost a few jobs and we were constantly moving from one roach infested trailer to another to avoid eviction, but only smoked regular tobacco at home. At least as far as I know... I do know that I was pretty good at rolling cigarettes at 8!

or is having self absorbed drug abusing parents really common?!?

Maybe not drug abusing parents, but the self absorbed...

My mother and I NEVER discuss my childhood. All the bad things never happened. I'm lucky in that I'm not the type of person who needs therapy to make it. I was lucky to find Chris when I was 16 and he's been my touchstone to reality sometimes. His parents were the first happy marriage I had ever seen.

Oh - and people are drawn here because you write very well about things that are generally very interesting. And you have cute kids!

Mrs. Furious said...

ooh be careful...

being in therapy is NOT a sign of weakness.

I cannot think of one person I have met who wouldn't have benefitted from therapy. You don't have to be mentally ill to benefit... heck you don't even have to be depressed.

Saying you never talk about with your mom about your abuse is how you chose to cope but it isn't an emotionally healthier way than dealing with your feelings.

I'm sure you didn't mean it to sound like a judgment but there are a lot of people out there who DO feel that way or fear they would be viewed that way and it keeps them from getting the help that they need.

Robin said...

I am drawn to your blog because it is funny, well written, and I can relate to the craziness of staying at home with two young children. It is nice to know that other people (you and the other commenters) are going through the same growing pains as I.

My childhood was very normal. I was never abused, mentally, physically or sexually. I never realized until now how fortunate I am that none of that happened to me. I am so sorry that you ladies had to go through that.

Re: drug use. I am 35, and my parents didn't do drugs although my father was an alcoholic. (A pretty benign one. He was emotionally unavailable, but never abused us. He was a decent guy. He passed away when I was 17 from diabetes and alcoholism.) My mom has told me that a couple of their friends pulled out some cocaine at their kitchen table one time and my dad kicked them out. It was the 80's and my dad rode Harley's and had a bunch of "motorcycle friends." So the drugs were there, but my parents for whatever reason weren't interested. My mom and I have talked about this, so I am pretty sure they weren't doing stuff that I wasn't aware of. My mom and I have a really good, open relationship. Again, I didn't realize how fortunate I am.

Mrs. Furious said...

I guess I should make it clear... that I do in fact know how common drug abuse/alcoholism really is. Sometimes I'm speaking more rhetorically.
I have found it interesting how often it comes out here.... but that maybe more do to the fact that I am open about my situation and so people feel more comfortable sharing their situations as well.

No one who met my parents would think they were anything but educated caring parents. That made it worse.

Mrs. Furious said...

I'm sorry to hear about your dad. :(

michelline said...

being in therapy is NOT a sign of weakness.

Jeez. I keep offending you today:( But honestly, I didn't mean it is. My MIL is a LMHC and I know how important therapy can be. I just feel that it's not something that's necessary for me. I am sure I could completely benefit from it, but I've managed to find my own work around. Having found Chris and his parents at a very early age (16) was immensely helpful to me. Not everyone is that lucky. Chris is remarkedly well put together. I really envy him at times for his ability to know how to talk to people and not have everyone misunderstand him.

Re not talking to my mother about the traumas of my childhood - I don't really see the benefit. My mother has her reasons for what happened and I can understand them. Not agree with them, but sympathize with what she went through. Her mother has gone through 8 husbands. Nothing she put me through compares to what she went through. Who will I help by bringing up the past? Maybe me. But probably not. I'd definitely hurt her and everyone else in my family.

Mrs. Furious said...

My point wasn't that you needed to talk to your mom. I've got a crazy mom and have a similar understanding of her limitations.

My point was more regarding therapy. Now I'm a huge believer in therapy and have no hang ups about it... obviously that's why I am a therapist ;)

My point was that for you you've chosen not to talk to her and that works for you many other people have other needs and for them they may need a therapist to talk to in order to deal with the ramifications of such severe abuse. Saying you're lucky that you don't need therapy is subjective. You've lived your life and you are happy with your choices you'll never know if therapy could have helped/would still help if you haven't actually tried it. My fear is that made it sound like being in therapy is a negative and I hate for people to think that.

Mrs. Furious said...

this is what I think I want to say...
Therapy is often (if not mostly) viewed as a "treatment", as something you do when you don't have a good family or support system at home, something you do as a last (or close to it) resort.
I don't agree with that and think that is a very misinformed understanding of what therapy is.
Therapy is actually at its best when it is ongoing and preventative. Therapy allows you a safe place with a removed unbiased 3rd party who can help you navigate your inner conflicts and motivations without it hurting someone else's feelings. Therapy can help validate your experience and allow you a place where you can feel your feelings and then find a way to move on. Therapy can help you find coping strategies for the destructive dysfunctional relationships, etc.
When you are training to be a therapist (especially within the analytic circles I was educated in) it is considered irresponsible practice if you are not in therapy yourself... how are you to help others if you can't distinguish your own projections?
I believe that knowing yourself thoroughly is pretty much the point of life. To know and feel and allow yourself to grow and let go and own all of you. For me that is a daily pursuit.
Therapy has much more to offer than crisis management. And it is the fortunate few who have had the opportunity to take advantage of it.

Nutmeg said...

Mrs. F... So well put.

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