Not tonight dear… I have a headache.

There are two base stereotypes that exist in the world of sex that pop up over and over, in advertising, movies, and daily conversations: men are horny all the time, and women rarely want sex.

I’ve heard some statistics that say the average man thinks about sex every seven seconds, but I’ve never heard any to say how often women do. A fair number of my male friends say seven seconds is a very conservative estimate, but sometimes I have a hard time believing that. Sure, I think about sex a lot, but it’s in bursts, and I’ll admit I distract easily. A sampling:

…oooh, I’d like to have my nipples played with while someone’s going down on me, maybe have my hands tied above my head, pulling at the bonds tying me, oh look a shiny quarter!, what in my room would work best for tying someone to? I could go for some chocolate right now, rub myself back and forth across someone all covered in baby oil, geez, my ear’s really itchy, have him sitting on a couch while I go down on him and torture him, I need to remember to call to book the cat’s vet appointment…

And that might occupy me for a half hour or so, depending on how thoroughly I flush out those concepts. I mean, calling to book the vet appointment is a pretty involved process, and I need to think it through rather carefully. But I digress (ooh, shiny object!).

Sure, it can be pretty concentrated sex thoughts for some time, but then it’s off to grab the bus to work or chat with friends or sleep through class, and my mind tunes elsewhere.

While I think (and talk and write) about sex an awful lot, I’m not in the mood for it as often as most would think, or as often as many of my friends are – guys and girls alike. I’ve always figured I must have a somewhat low sex drive; I’d likely be perfectly happy getting some two or three times a week, on average.

At the same time, while I’m not always necessarily in the mood, I can usually either be convinced into it, or I can think myself into it; the imagination is a wonderful thing, as is someone who knows what I like and knows what they’re doing.

But that’s neither here nor there, and it’s the king of rambling that comes from writing late at night (and being easily distracted, not that I am… oooh, Clodhoppers). What I wanted to vaguely address this week was the factors that go into determining what makes one “not in the mood,” and reactions to them, good and bad.

It was said be one ex-boyfriend of mine that nothing short of losing a limb would cause him to not want sex, and even then he could likely be persuaded. I don’t make the claim to speak for anyone by myself, but I can be put off sex much more easily than that.

Ironically, a headache isn’t usually one of the culprits. It’s usually more the ailments that leave me feeling ill-at-ease overall and uninterested in bouncing around all over someone; stomach upsets, backaches, death… those are more the kinds of things that will have me saying somewhat cautiously, “Umm… could we just cuddle tonight?”

I should rephrase; saying it “cautiously” makes it seem as if I fear retaliation in some form of another from my current paramour, and that’s not the case. It’s more a matter of conditioning after the first boyfriend I slept with (the one responsible for the terrible, awful, no-good first time), for he was prone to whining at great lengths and until I gave in when I ventured, “How about another time?”

This is a course of action I do not recommend when your partner, be they male or female, asks if you can just cuddle tonight; it’s far from an endearing trait, believe me.

Nonetheless, what do you do if you’re raring to go and your partner would rather just sleep, or vice versa? Personally, I have a few courses of action, and it all depends on your comfort level with your partner, and how he or she would react to your chosen actions.

1. Take care of your own business: If your partner would be okay just holding and kissing you while you get yourself off, then by all means enjoy. I’ve asked boyfriends in the past to get themselves off while I cheered from the sidelines, and generally somewhere through the procedure I wind up turned on enough to jump in and turn it into an entire event. Whether this happens to you or not, your partner is getting an orgasm, you’re getting a break, and it’s a win-win situation all around.

2. Give it up and just go to sleep: A course of action I’ve employed in the past, and occasionally wished that partners would do as well. It’s not as if the two of you will never have sex again, right? What’s going one night without?

3. Whine until your partner gives in: Oh, wait. We covered this one. Bad idea, leads to resentment on your partner’s part, and likely bad sex on yours. Moving on.

4. Storm out in a huff, go down to the bar and start drinking, then bitch and moan to all who’ll listen (or happen to be within unfortunate earshot) about what a selfish, unloving partner you have. Be sure to sulk the next time you see them, too.

Well, it’s difficult for me to sit down and tell you what the causes are for being out of the mood; they’re circumstantial, they’re arbitrary, they’re the parents coming home at the really wrong moment. Once again, my writing appears to have gotten away from me – really what I wanted to talk about was the different things that men and women think about when they think about sex, but no one wanted to give me a straight answer. No matter.

As for me, I’m off to bed. Believe it or not, I really do have a headache… so tonight, is it okay if we just cuddle?


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