New research says that less than half of UK adults are satisfied with their sex lives. No shit Sherlock. That’s because, since the day it first launched in our lives, we were missold the product. James Bond taught me sex was all sardonic older men whose arms you melted into at the raise of an eyebrow. But Judy Blume taught me it could also be about ginger pubes and meeting someone your own age that was also a bit nervous. Yet Salt n Pepa suggested it was all about aggressive thrusting, and parting legs and winks to camera. But maybe that’s because they were from the hood in New York and I was from Portsmouth. The School Nurse did the banana and condom thing once after PE. I remember my friend whispering: I’ve had sex. Nurse: Did a boy put his penis inside you? Friend: Euuuwww. NO. Nurse: That is sex. Us: Oh.
So, lots of mixed messages – but one consistent one. Sex is important. Sex is big. Sex is the Holy Grail. Master a fabulously dirty and active sex life and well, you’re hot stuff. It’s only when you are in your thirties that you realise that actually someone has been playing a little joke all along. Sex isn’t like it is in the films. Or the books. Or the Salt n Pepa videos. Its just sex. Its something quite fun that you do sometimes to make life a bit better and its quite easy once you know how but takes a bit of practice but you can have a giggle and an orgasm at the same time. But, that’s it. Really. Great sex is not up there with like, a good job, an amazing holiday or being a generally decent person. It’s just shagging. As Caitlin Moran said: “Cats do it on shed roofs every night.” Its not complicated. It’s a bit of a laugh. Muckin abaaat, as we say in Pompey.
The research by Relate went on to say people feel under pressure to have “amazing” “spontaneous” sex and feel so depressed if they don’t, last month half of the people questioned didn’t bother at all.
Listen. This “amazing” and “spontaneous” sex life will not Complete You. So can we stop pretending it will please? It’s the Salt n Pepa thing again. (I blame them for everything.) NO ONE is having this “amazing”, “spontaneous” sex all the time. Not the friends who are always smirking at each other when sex comes up in conversation. Not the hot young couple you know in their twenties who look like they must always be at it. Even Magic Mike really prefers his carpentry. Whatever you are doing or getting, as long as you and your partner are pretty content, that’s fine. Sex lives ebb and flow, so do libidos, so do you’re other interests. And yes, sex is about time constraints. Sometimes we’re just too busy and it feels like another job. Something we can easily pick up again when we want because, well, it’s like riding a bike. Sure, if you have a problem with it and it’s bothering you then practice, research, read up, worry. But if nothing is wrong and you just prefer a bit of look you make me a cuppa tea and put Peppa Pig on for the kids and Ill meet you in the bathroom for a quickie to full on Fifty Shades cable ties then you’ll get nothing but a high five from me.
Whatever works for you. And if you don’t want to do it at all, here’s a thought, don’t. Go and read a good book, go out on a boat, piss yourself laughing with your best friend, book a spa day. They might not make you cum but I guarantee you’ll have a bloody good time.
– Esther Harris