So many puns in that heading right? That’s a deliberate play on words to make light of a very difficult and incredibly common problem for couples and singles all over the world. When it’s too hard to find your horizontal happiness due to any number of things, including:
- Visting house guests (especially inlaws!)
- Older Kids at home (who don’t realise you are still sexually active and you don’t want them to know…)
- Medication affecting libido (but you really do need it, right!)
- Stress (the reason for just about everything in life not going to plan)
- Time challenged (who wants a quickie for the sake of it every time)
- Aches and pains (finding extra creativity sometimes still won’t cut the mustard)
- Menopausal related issues such as dryness (lube, lube, and more lube (groan)
- Being without a partner – for what ever reason that may be.
Did I miss anything?
I saw the movie The Book Club last week and it tackled a few of these issues, but let’s look at one in particular. Being without a partner. When someone is in a relationship and that ends suddenly or unexpectedly, including when someone dies, the issues of celibacy can affect some of us quite a lot. I remember when I was first widowed a the age of 31, I was also pregnant at the time, and had enjoyed a very healthy and regular sexual relationship with my husband. Then he was gone in only a matter of weeks, and while ALL that went with that was just awful, my hormones due to the pregnancy were totally out of control too. Blah!!! Widowhood sucks at any time of life. Nuff Said on that point for now.
Being without a partner unexpectedly, when physical intimacy, nurturing, and sex in general is no longer readily available can be a tough thing to work through, and not one easily talked about with friends and family either. I know, I’ve been there! Fortunately in this day and age, having toys, battery operated or otherwise, is an acceptable thing for many people, and strongly encouraged by many medical professionals too. As Gore Vidal famously put it, ‘Sexuality poorly repressed can unsetlle families; sexuality well repressed can upset the whole world.’ If sexuality and all it’s nuances are not dealt with adequately then repressing these can affect you in all kinds of ways.
Ok, I’m simply saying, sometimes the need to release certain physical tensions is a basic human need, not merely a desire or want.
So, masturbation and/or paying a professional for certain services are both relatively safe options. More so than casual dating or one night stands are. How many of us have entered short term or unsuccessful relationships simply because we needed to be nurtured emotionally and sexually and so were vulnerable to the less than perfect opportunities presented. Long droughts or enforced celibacy is not a lot of fun, and the alternatives are often highly undesirable.
As we age and advance through things like menopause or a host of other ‘girls and boys plumbing issues’ in our mid-later years, we need to remember to:
- be kind to ourselves, (and if there’s a partner involved in this issue, be kind to them too), and
- find ways to deal with these issues that work for us. And I mean really work. Getting creative is often enough, but maybe you need to bring in some outside help.
What does that look like?
There are many options – and some you may not have thought of, or have discounted because it’s just too ‘out there’. But let’s explore this a bit more. First, you can use professional services if you want to, and I have nothing against this if it’s with quality safe professionals who are simply there to provide a service. Whether it’s a massage with a ‘happy ending’ (or not,), or a professional escort, sexual therapist or even just a regular clinical massage, we need to remember that physical touch is important. Without it we can easily wither up and die – quite literally.
Massage is in fact an ideal way to get that physical touch you might need, but also a great head massage from your hairdresser, foot care by a podiatrist, or pedicurist is also going to give you some human touch that is kind and nurturing – it’s about connection.
An escort, and some of my survey results indicate that both men and women will pay for this kind of service, will give you a lot more than just benign touch if that’s what you need. Company, care, cuddles, and no emotional issues mean that this is also something some couples will encourage for each other too, because there is no chance of the paid escort becoming a ‘steal my man away’ type of issue. And I know of several couples who have expressed this as being an ideal scenario for their relationship when one has been gravely ill.
(I know some reading this might think that’s bizarre, but truly, unless you’ve been there, please reserve your judgement for now.)
Masturbation, digital, and oral sex are also ways to cope with sexual unavailability if one partner is physically unable to perform in terms of intercourse, or if there is no partner. Toys are also part of what’s on offer. But for any of these to work, either with or without a partner, the key to success here is simply to suspend your personal judgement or beliefs about these things, if that’s what holds you back, and do some research about what might or might not work for you personally, and as a couple.
I wish you happy exploring, with delightful discoveries that perhaps what you thought this might entail is in fact far more enjoyable and common than you may have expected. You might even find your elderly neighbour standing in line with you at the local sensuality boutique waiting to pay for their fun-time purchases, or that the UPS delivery guy drops the same modestly wrapped packages off to your sister!
#HorizontalHappiness starts with you first, research second, and talking about what you want, desire and need with your partner.