It’s Just Sex, Dammit!

28 Jan

letter This weekend we lost some friends.

The news came in the form of a phone call from one of the parties involved. It was a sad goodbye, letting us know that our couples/family friendship, which we both enjoyed, was no longer. Their marriage was over. The culprit, of course, was sex.

I won’t pretend to empathize with either party. The pain they both must be going through is beyond my frame of reference. I won’t belittle it by offering platitudes. All I could do was offer condolences, reaffirm the “you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do”, and re-emphasize that although the nature of our friendship will never be the same, my love will still be there, unchanged.

The totality of the news, taken in all its context, left me feeling ugly and defeated. Couple friends where the moms, dads and kids all get along simultaneously are hard to come by, and that loss was enough to put a damper on the day. But it was also a blow against faithful, committed relationships in a way that makes you feel sad and dirty at the same time.

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What is this grip that sex has over us? Yes, I’m a scientist. I understand the evolutionary importance and the irresistible limbic-system drive to procreate. I understand the biological rationale for sprinkling sexual implications into every aspect of our lives. I understand the neurochemical rewards we receive for having sex — how it feels so damn good it incentivizes more of the same behavior later. I appreciate that it is such a primitive, bare-bones, evolutionary drive that it sits right at the center of the collective psyche of our species, and for that reason it’s a really easy place for all the broken bits of our lives to manifest themselves and express themselves in our sexual behavior. It drives Kings to lose their kingdoms. It drives Presidents to impeachment. Countless families are torn apart by it. It makes actors cheat on Elizabeth Hurley.

For crying out loud, it’s just sex.

How much time in our lives do we spend actually performing sex, compared with everything else? Even a pr0n-actor (deliberate type-o to ward off unwanted google searches) who goes to work and has sex from 9-5, that’s only 40 hours a week (assuming no overtime) which boils down to less than 25% of all the hours in a week. To spend even 1% of all the hours in your life having sex you’d have to spend roughly 90 minutes a week in the act of lovemaking. Though it’s certainly within the realm of possibility, married couples with kids will tell you (with a wink and a smile) that 90 minutes a week is a good week.

TO SPEND EVEN 1% OF ALL THE HOURS IN YOUR LIFE HAVING SEX YOU’D HAVE TO SPEND ROUGHLY 90 MINUTES A WEEK IN THE ACT OF LOVEMAKING.

For something that takes up such a small fraction of the totality of what we do with our lives, how do we let it have such a grip over the rest? Entire industries revolve around sex. Those that don’t are infected by it whether they admit it or not. It’s everywhere. It’s inescapable; and yet, the success of my day has more to do with what the traffic on the freeway is like, rather than whether or not I had sex the night before. The emotional implications, the domestic implications and the health implications of our sexual practices seem ridiculously out of balance given everything else our lives require of us.

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There are a thousand things necessary for a successful day and a successful life. Balancing the checkbook. Reading to the kids. Visiting your parents. Maintenance on the house. Laughing. Resting. Playing. Growing. Learning. These are the things of life. These are the things that determine whether we are fulfilled, whether we are successful in life. None of them require intercourse. And yet still we venerate sex as the ultimate goal in life, as if everything else is just a way of occupying time between sexual interludes. We high-five our friends when they “got lucky” or “got some” or “got some action” as if to say “Well done. You got that taken care of. Now you can move on to all the other stuff.”

Granted, there is no better way to foster intimacy with your partner than sex. It connects you and makes you vulnerable and draws you together with another person like no other way can. But when considering intimacy, it isn’t even necessary for that (blasphemy, I know). Imagine the potency of your partner gently running her fingers through your hair, or down your back. Picture those moments when you’re lost, looking into your partner’s eyes, and neither of you has to say anything. Think for a moment on the lasting rewards of gently holding hands, or on the way you can totally lose yourself in a deep, committed kiss. These too are the things of intimacy. Because of them, even if you never knew sex, surely you could still know intimacy.

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To be cold and clinical, the only thing sex is absolutely *REQUIRED* for is baby making… and even in that case there are exceptions.

THE ONLY THING SEX IS ABSOLUTELY *REQUIRED* FOR IS BABY MAKING… AND EVEN IN THAT CASE THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS.

Last night lying in bed, after more than 10 years of marriage, I asked my wife “Do you trust me? I mean do you *REALLY* trust me?”

“Of course I do” she replied. “I wouldn’t have had three kids with you if I didn’t.”

She’s no dummy. The idea of me stepping out on her is laughable. First of all, even if I wanted to, there is no opportunity. I work from 7am – 6pm and I’m home within minutes for dinner. There are no real “nights out with the guys” or “business trips” which could be a cover for a clandestine meet-up with someone else. She’s all up in my life in a way that doesn’t allow for secrets. That’s just the way it is. Add to that the fact that in real life, guys like me just don’t get girls like her. She’s WAY above my station. She’s smarter than me. She’s more thoughtful than me. She’s a better parent than me. She’s more likeable than me. She’s infinitely better looking than me. She would have no problem finding a replacement for me. I, on the other hand, could never recover from losing her. Finally there’s also the fact that I am totally in love with her. She fills my cup completely. I look across the table at her and I can not imagine a better life.

And then she went and had my babies, and with each one I fell in love with her even more.

To lose all that for the fleeting, momentary, primitive, physical gratification of an extramarital tryst would be the height of insanity – even if I had the desire.

Which I don’t.

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It serves no purpose to play the pious blogger, and I’m conscientious about coming across that way. I don’t think I’m any better than anyone else. I am a relativist at heart and I can appreciate that it takes two people to be in a relationship. You can never know what’s going on behind the curtain in a relationship you aren’t part of, or what’s going on under the hood in a life you haven’t lived. But I will say this:

If somehow the act of sex was cleanly extracted from my life leaving everything else intact, although it would be incredibly disappointing (and as laughable as it may sound) my life in its entirety would be relatively unaffected. Everything that I need to get through my day would still be there. The love, the intimacy, the laughter, the living of life…

I’d just have to find some other way to fill that 1% of my time.

-Dork Dad

226 Responses to “It’s Just Sex, Dammit!”

  1. kjysten January 28, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    WOW! You are wise beyond your years. Think of people who have major handicaps – diabetes, wonky heart, multiple injuries, chronic pain. Sex was nice while it lasted, but LOVE, true love,trumps that all to hell. AMEN :>

    • Tee January 30, 2013 at 11:01 am #

      So true. Love and friendship. Trust. That’s what anchors a relationship.

  2. neal January 28, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    Sex, I think, plays a different priority to different people, for legitimate reasons. I know people (married, even) who self-identify as a-sexual. And other good people (monogamous, even) who truly mark their days by the quality of their next sexual interlude. It’s probably worth noting that the spectrum of sexual frustration/desire is huge, and partners need to be thoughtful about the relationship’s needs, and not merely their own.

    Also, I can imagine other things that happen only briefly that still feel very important, perhaps even indispensible? (proposing, being present for the birth of a child, attending ballet recitals, saying “I love you”).

    But fundamentally, I agree with you, and I think this is a thoughtful, well-written argument for the kind of intimacy that builds happiness and stability in families and for children. If more people could live the way you describe, the world would truly be a better place.

    • dorkdad January 28, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

      Thanks, Neal. Being a dad with a daughter certainly makes a man out of you, doesn’t it?

      • neal January 28, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

        It certainly makes something out of me. Possibly “man,” possibly other things.

    • Chika Efobi January 31, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

      This piece was so beautiful and peaceful. You are very wise indeed. I shall follow your blog right away. Well done :)

  3. Anonymous January 28, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    Thank you Sam, xxx

  4. my27stars January 28, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    I, too, have never really understood the appeal of extramarital relations. Easiest way I look at it, it’s like a drug. There are the addicts in life who just don’t care how or what so long as they get it, but there are also the people who are just curious without regard to consequences. They make one move to try it out, then the thrill of getting away with it or the excitement of a fantasy life or whatever else drives them just keeps wanting more and more.

    It sucks when these problems that are someone else’s affect you so much. I’m sorry for your family’s loss of couple-friends. I hope that some of your friendship can be salvaged through this.

    And your view of your wife reminds me of how Jake speaks of me. If she’s as amazing as you say, and I’m sure she is, she probably feels pretty close to the same about you.

    • dorkdad January 28, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

      I get a thrill from putting that little extra *umph* into being a dad, and the sparkle I see in my kids’ eyes when it happens. Every time I do it I want to do it more and more. I can’t control it sometimes, and I fully acknowledge that sometimes it goes beyond the boundaries of what most people would consider healthy.

      I should write a blog about all that.

      • my27stars January 28, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

        I hear you COMPLETELY there! Borderline absolute obsession with your kids, oh yeah – I’m there. It’s just such an awesome feeling to have created a person and to be their provider. I want nothing more than to keep Doodle laughing and smiling and learning and loving, always. :)

  5. larva225 January 29, 2013 at 5:26 am #

    In all seriousness, this is a magnificent and somehow sad yet proud at-the-same-time post. I suppose I’ve spent a whole lot of time thinking about this more with the spin of homosexuality and how entire groups of people are treated/legislated (or not) by other groups of people (or not) for something they do with such a tiny percentage of their lives. No matter what side of the coin you’re on, it’s absurd.
    Clinically, as you’ve so eloquently stated, this crapola is part of our evolutionary biology. Perhaps we’re vain to think we can control it based on social norms and expectations. That being said, as humans we have largely evolved away from some of the fundamental portions of the definition of :”species.” Despite our vestigial structures (appendix, anyone?), most of our evolution is cultural at this point. Faithfulness, dictated largely by culture, is ultimately about control of yourself.
    Like you, the idea of having the time for a dalliance (even if I had the energy/interest/inclination) is laughable. I also trust my husband implicitly. He could have very well written a great deal of the homage to your wife, less a kid or two. I’ve always assumed that the death of a marriage/relationship “because of sex” wasn’t always just about sex, but about that greater intimacy you talk about.
    Well done and I’m sorry about your friends.

  6. Sebastian January 30, 2013 at 8:05 am #

    Good job!

  7. rkutchjm January 30, 2013 at 8:17 am #

    So well said. You brought tears to my eyes. Your relationship in today’s world is a rare moment in time. Your writing is excellent. Use of the cartoons really made the piece work well. After reading this, I cannot help but follow your blog.
    Thank you.
    Rob

  8. DesiValentine January 30, 2013 at 8:18 am #

    My husband and I talk about sex and relationships often, partly because, you know, we have one, and partly because we’re at an age when divorce rates tend to rise. Friends we did group dates with, back in the day, are fighting over child support payments and others are just quiet and sad. Anyway, my point is that I think you’re right. Sex is a big deal, but not THAT big of a deal. Not a bigger deal than our marriage.

    Guy friends of ours joke that my husband works in a candy store – he’s a tech a small university with a 7:3 girl to guy ratio. There are A LOT of (very) young women bouncing and slinking and giggling their way through getting educated all around him, all day. My girl friends half-joke that I should be worried. I’m not. He’s water and air to me, and I’m at least that much to him. And we’re so involved in each other’s lives, any attempt at an affair would be immediately obvious. And we’re both too smart to sacrifice everything we’ve built together for a roll in the hay. That said, we’re not dead – we’re both attracted to other people. I don’t expect him to keep his eyes to the floor all day, and I think it’s hilarious when those little girls hit on him. But our love is bigger than that, you know?

  9. purpleperceptions January 30, 2013 at 8:50 am #

    You need a name change. You don’t sound anything like a dork, at all, at all. In fact, my dad’s not even one fifth as sensible as you are. I propose an undork-ment!!

  10. alienredqueen January 30, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    You raise some excellent, valid points. It definitely gives me another perspective I never really thought of (specifically the percentage of time we actually engage in sex relative to other things.) That said, this post sort of hits home and is ironic at the same time, in that I just blogged a week or so ago about the importance of sex in a marriage (or lack thereof). I won’t post a link in these comments because I usually hate when people do that, but if you’re interested, please feel free to stop by and check out the post (“Fancy a Roll in Ze Hay”) as it’s relative to this one. And congrats on getting pressed!

    • alienredqueen January 30, 2013 at 9:18 am #

      PS: what I forgot to add is the most important part, I think the reason sex is so important to so many people, especially when it’s viewed from an intimacy point of view, are the implications a lack of sex-life with your spouse can have on the other aspects of your life. It can leave the stilted partner feeling unattractive, lonely, or unloved, and that’s why lack of sex in a marriage is a problem that may bleed over into other areas of one’s life. (PPS. You and your wife sound a lot like my husband and I in terms of the strength of your love and relationship. ) :)

  11. camdenstables January 30, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    I believe it is important like salt (although most recipes seem to require 2%). If it were not there it would make a huge difference to flavour and preserving the batch.

  12. josefkul January 30, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    Well said Dork Dad. I agree completely, some of the highest levels of intimacy and satisfaction in relationships are found in older populations in which sex is barely an afterthought. Sex does not equal intimacy.

  13. rami ungar the writer January 30, 2013 at 9:30 am #

    I think I’d actually benefit more than a little if I didn’t have to worry about sex. One less pressure out of my life, and I could focus on more important things, like writing quality fiction.

  14. ellebonze January 30, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    “If somehow the act of sex was cleanly extracted from my life leaving everything else intact, although it would be incredibly disappointing (and as laughable as it may sound) my life in its entirety would be relatively unaffected. Everything that I need to get through my day would still be there. The love, the intimacy, the laughter, the living of life…”

    I appreciate your thoughts but I must disagree. There is nothing clean about such an excision. When sex disappears from a marriage or our lives we lose part of our humanity. We do not cherish it enough. It is in fact, underrated. If we rated it more highly we would be aware of how it has been cheapened and prostituted by the media. We would take more concern with our partner’s need and our own view of personhood. It’s not “just sex.”

    • workhomebalance February 3, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

      I agree with you ellebonze. Take it from a woman whose husband says the same thing, there’s nothing special and loving about removing sex from the relationship. Eventually, the other aspects of intimacy leave the bedroom and the rest of the marriage, too.

  15. Todd January 30, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    Great article, and I agree with you that sex is no reason to break up a marriage. I do think, though, that sex (or the lack there of) is more of a symptom than the disease. As you said, it opens up a level of intimacy and vulnerability that can be hard to duplicate.

    There are medical reasons that can create problems for couples to get intimate. My wife had breast cancer three years ago, and we found other ways to keep intimacy alive through a very difficult time (and it still causes problems). That can be almost easy to overcome because you know the culprit.

    There can be a lot of other problems that block that level of intimacy and go unspoken through poor communication or a damaged relationship. These can be harder to overcome. The sex becomes a scapegoat for some much deeper hurts. If those had been resolved or at least acknowledged, I don’t think sex could bring down a marriage.

  16. cookie1986 January 30, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    Your perception of your wife and your obvious love and admiration for her is beautifully romantic. She, too, is lucky.

  17. The Siren's Tale January 30, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    Such a great post that really puts it in perspective. Many of my friends who married right out of high school are one by one divorcing over sex. Not getting enough, getting too much, too kinky, too boring – you name it, sex is the issue. I don’t understand all the rumblings about it… at the end of your relationship, what really matters? All the sex you had or the memories and love created? I’m voting the latter.

  18. Melissa Barlow (@mcbarlow36) January 30, 2013 at 9:57 am #

    Share this post with your wife, and I’m pretty sure you’ll be having sex soon, whether you want to or not…Very sweet!

  19. Naked Lola January 30, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    is ‘pron’ a euphemism?

    • dorkdad January 30, 2013 at 10:27 am #

      It’s a deliberate misspelling (the “o” is actually a zero) to ward off unwanted google searches.

      • Naked Lola January 30, 2013 at 10:30 am #

        That’s hilarious. I mean, not to say your piece isn’t well-written. It is.

        I’m just thinking about furtive prawns now, and it’s amusing.

  20. thesuitcaseundermybed January 30, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    This is beautiful!

  21. Kimberly Scott January 30, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    What an a great, honest and intimate piece of writing. It has now been a couple times for my husband and I that we’ve seen a couple fall apart, whose lives are so intertwined, over an affair. Infidelity is a complicated subject, but you deliver a darkly comedic and bracing perspective. Nice piece!

  22. H! January 30, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    I agree :)

  23. ResilientMetamorphosis January 30, 2013 at 11:30 am #

    This was a great read! It’s refreshing to see some men can openly communicate their feelings about their amazing wives! And 1%? This post was just fantastic.

  24. Tegan Tallullah January 30, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    I admire your love and commitment to your wife, despite what you say I’m sure she’s lucky to have you. However I can’t help commenting that everyone’s attitude to sex is different. For many, a positive sexual interaction with their loved one actually does make their day a lot better. Lack of this for whatever reason does actually upset many people, even if you don’t feel this way. For many, myself included, it is right up there with laughing and reading and all those other things you mentioned. Also there are plenty of studies that show a healthy sex life does in fact reduce stress, increase health and increase life – length. In other words, it is one of those things that help us have a good life. (:

    • reikipixie January 31, 2013 at 12:03 am #

      I agree with this sentiment, but thats basically within a relationship – when someone seeks sex outside of a relationship, its usually because they either dont communicate with their current partner or they cannot feel a complete commitment to that person and need outside stimulus for whatever reason – some people feel they are inadequate in some way, and seek reassurance from others in order to prove they aren’t, rather than confiding this insecurity in the person who matters most. Others just are not with the right person and will keep sleeping around regardless because they fear change and being classed as single, even when they tell people they are in order to sleep with them. Monogamy doesnt seem to be popular these days!

      • Tegan Tallullah January 31, 2013 at 6:58 am #

        This is all sadly true. I do think if you cheat in your partner it means you can’t of truly loved them… I feel lucky everyday that I’m in a trusting relationship. (:

      • reikipixie January 31, 2013 at 7:12 am #

        me too!! extremely grateful…. :-) glad you have that too…it’s rare.

  25. twindaddy January 30, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    Count me in as one of the people who doesn’t get it. I wouldn’t risk my entire life for a few minutes of pleasure with someone else I don’t even love, like, or know. It’s stupid, really.

  26. candra1983 January 30, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    I´m impressed by that post, really! You got it all, the volutional theoriy, the neurobiological thing, as well as the the stand of sex in our daily life. It´s kinda fascinating what evolutionally was meant to ensure life can take so much about people lives, isn´t it? I think the big problem about is what you mentioned about having high fives when someone “shot a goal” and stuff like that. It´s the lifestyle. I mean, look at those teenagers. Those who admit that they´re still virgin are the “loosers” and that´s the problem. There´s not healthy relationship anymore between sharing some really intimate lving moments with someone and the wanna be cool or kick for the moment. I like your last sentence a lot. Having other intimate moments can be even more joyful with the right person than just having sex for the kick.

  27. Dounia January 30, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    This is a brilliantly and beautifully written post, from beginning to end. I think a lot of relationships would be better and a lot of people would be happier if more of them thought like this. This is also a very sweet love letter to your wife – very deserving of being freshly pressed! Thanks for sharing these thoughts, and congratulations on being freshly pressed – the more people who read this, the better!

  28. Lisa Shaw January 30, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    When you’re happy AND you’re having sex, sex takes up less than 10% of your mental energy. When you’re not happy and not having sex, it takes up about 90%. I loved this post, and appreciate very much that there are men like you in the world who love their wives, love their families, and have their priorities in the right order. And, if you were not so happily married, sex would undoubtedly have a completely different level of importance to you. So I’m glad that you’re happy. :-)

  29. jtiegs January 30, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    I agree with redalienqueen & elle; sex is of utmost importance and is connected to every other aspect of our being (how we view ourselves, our confidence, tensions with all those around us, interactions with each other). Sex permeates our very being, is the entire lifeforce of the world-it’s impossible and disheartening to depreciate its power and beauty. As ellebonze said, sex has been degraded (both by media and taking a basic scientific view) and we would do better to realize that and laud and respect sex more than to it turn a cold shoulder, having allowed others to cheapen it for us. That’s not to say one should just write sex off as the culprit and be done with it, but rather that it is important to realize just how essential sex is to our lives and to thus work with each other when there is some discrepency in expectations, desires or needs.

  30. Lawrence Grodecki January 30, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    Thanks for the very relevant post, though I have to wonder whether your friends marital breakdown was just about sex; it seldom is, though ‘sexual infidelity’ is often the grenade that blows it all apart.

  31. Sandy Sue January 30, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    I generally skip the Freshly Pressed posts, but wow! I’m so glad I came here. What a thoughtful, open look at a pervasive problem (and cartoons, too!). It makes me hopeful for the human race when I stumble across such men.

  32. juliegreenart January 30, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    Very sweet and interesting indeed. Thanks for the read :) It is very relevant and I want to see more posts like this and on this topic.

  33. Samantha January 30, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    This is excellently written. There are so many factors, and it’s true, some people are on the side of the spectrum that they have little to no desire and some that have a lot. But it can be worked through if you love one another enough, and the love behind the sex is what keeps the relationship going. As someone else says, it’s a symptom rather than the disease.

  34. mdprincing January 30, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    Well put, I think our belief systems have a lot to do with the way our thoughts wrap around the subject of sex. To some it is merely an act and to others it is much deeper and emotional. Sex is not love, but love makes sex amazing

  35. servilia1 January 30, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    Great post on an even greater topic. I only have a brief moment here on my break, however I will say from many men and some women who I have had conversations with it is more then just the physical aspects of sex. Many couples lose that beautiful spark, the staring into each other eyes, the gentle caress, and even being able to talk about intimacy. Human beings need connection physically, emotionally and mentally. Unfortunately after a decade of marriage many (not all couples) fall into a routine of complacency and domestic partnership. http://socalmistress.wordpress.com/

  36. fireandair January 30, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    As someone with little to no interest in sex with any gender, I can say it would be nice if more people shared your attitude. Sex seems to be the only way that other people bond deeply with one another, which can be irritating in the extreme because I would still like to bond closely with someone, but the ways that I am capable of bonding with others are devalued and considered trivial and unimportant by the rest of my entire species. And the one and ONLY act that means “intimacy” to them is the one thing I just have no enthusiasm for at all. It’s a fundamental and total disconnect, and it’s a right pain in the ass sometimes. Occasionally I feel almost as if I were meant to be born on a planet where the dominant species reproduces like a coral or something, and instead I got stuck here with a bunch of hormone-crazed monkeys. o_O

  37. Jason Ministries January 30, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    Enjoyed your post. :) I agree that our western culture places a lot of focus on sex, and does so (at times) in an unhealthy or “over-the-top” manner, but one angle that you didn’t address as to the possible “why” is the spiritual connection that takes place. I truly think this is why relationships are strengthened by sex or destroyed by sex. It’s an act that takes two people beyond the physical, and into a deeper, more focused place of intimacy.

    • dorkdad January 30, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

      I see your point, but don’t share your opinion. Religion/spirituality is by no means universal to the human experience. Hopefully intimacy, love and commitment are.

      Those with no sense of spirituality don’t love their partners any less, and certainly don’t feel less connected to them.

      Spirituality as part of a physical relationship is like anything else. Some people are into it. Some people aren’t. But it certainly isn’t necessary, or even wanted, for everyone.

      • Jason Ministries January 30, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

        I can understand how you could think in that way. Not every person understands that we are all both a physical being and a spiritual being. Whether realized, or not, our spirits are involved in every aspect of our life. Again, thanks for your post. I enjoyed it.

      • reikipixie January 31, 2013 at 12:11 am #

        religion and spirituality are not one and the same – every body has a spirit within it, and spirituality is in part about that spirit within us and acknowledging that, and what the spirit needs in order to function and keep the body going. If your ‘spirit’ is low, your body becomes weaker, tired, dysfunctional…this is why when you are happy, it is said that your spirit soars. you have more energy etc…and the spiritual connection between two people is what deepens the sexual experience. religion doesnt come into it…and i think this was the point Jason Ministries was trying to make. :-)

  38. gavinrourke January 30, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

    Love that picture of Batman getting married in his costume. Ha ha ha!

  39. olracuk January 30, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    My wife told me that if i wanted an affair, she would have to organise it for me! I’ve no time and/or energy, and when I have down time wifey keeps me busy with post-it reminders and chores. :(

  40. jlorenzo93 January 30, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    Very amusing post and blog in general! May I present myself as your new follower? :)

    http://earthwithouteh.wordpress.com

  41. themorningmug January 30, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    Wow. This is a great post. It’s so true. We idealize, fantasize, obsess over sex. While it is great, it’s not what life is about. I understand this more than ever now…

    The husband and I have a 10 month old, and sometimes we are just too tired for sex. But we hold hands in bed and I think about the moments we had taking care of our little girl…WAY more sexy ; )

  42. Scribbler January 30, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

    Beautifully written piece on a subject that I do not think is talked about enough. I wish the best for your friends and I hope things work out well.

    Adieu, scribbler

  43. reaching4hishem January 30, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    Love this! This is perfectly written by a true husband and father. I tell ya what: your wife is just as lucky to have you. I’m sure she agrees. You have hit several nails on the head with this post. Wonderful!

  44. natalietrust January 30, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    Sexual addiction played a significant role in the end of my marriage. I have spent years trying to figure out what causes a person to put sex above everything else in their life. The lengths people are willing to go to for sexual gratification is alarming.

    You captured the topic of sex brilliantly. Thank you.

  45. slepsnor January 30, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    This is a very well thought out and well worded post. You sound like a husband that guys should look to as an example of what to do right in their marriage. As for the topic of sex, I always got the feeling that the reason it takes up so much of people’s time is because there’s a strange taboo about it in our society. It brings an odd feeling of living on the edge and being bad that many people thrive off of.

  46. Drew January 30, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

    I do agree with what you’re saying about the actual act of sex, but I think it’s not sex that drives people to cheat. It’s probably always a lack of intimacy, feeling rejected/ignored, or not feeling satisfied in some way. Having sex with someone else is probably about redeeming yourself in some way (albeit a confused and wrong way), to regain confidence or something.

    Otherwise, why would someone cheat on Liz Hurley?

  47. perniche January 30, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    That is a pretty ballsy statement. True and saleable at the same time. Good sex can’t fix a bad relationship and bad sex can’t ruin a good one. This is not the choice of the chicken or the egg. The relationship always comes first. Nicely done.

  48. ChereeKate January 30, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    Fantastic post! I really appreciate the idea of a marriage thriving on intimacy rather than just the physical act of sex. In my opinion I believe the act itself becomes far more meaningful when based on mutual feelings of love and intimacy.

    I just hope that my husband and I are still as much in love after 10 years together as you appear to be.

  49. alishasomething January 30, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

    Thanks for saying what is on so many people’s minds.
    Sex isn’t about selling cars or hamburgers (though commercials would have us think otherwise).
    I like that you wrote this as a husband, as a father and as a real man.
    If you can be a “dad” to more people than just your biological kids, maybe some young ones out there could learn a lesson the easy way for once.

  50. mcjbt January 30, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    Nice :) true that sex is just one form of intimacy.. which goes to say when you lose sex it does not mean you lose intimacy.

  51. mikafry January 30, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

    Good read and highly publishable. Thanks for sharing!

  52. chefdaddy1 January 30, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

    “Yo”‘ I like this it’s pretty cool. I never thought of it that way, it makes you wonder about that 1%.

  53. elizabethbennett2 January 30, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

    Wow. Your wife is a very lucky woman. Thank you for sharing,…and for proving that there are still decent men out there.

  54. RJ January 30, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    Loved this!

  55. gmariclay77 January 30, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    That was very heartwarming and sweet but darn it I don’t believe it for a minute…. she’s reading this blog isn’t she? And giving up 1% of your life? Really? that’s pathetic for a married person…. hehe…… (my lame attempt at humor)

  56. kilaheem January 30, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    that made me laugh when you said your wife was better than you at all those things

  57. magdalene2012 January 30, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    It is funny that I read your article when I was thinking something along those lines over the weekend. What is it about sex that makes us do those weird things? It is truly 1% but I think if you did not not have it with someone you shared a great life with you would miss it. When I think of the whole marriage thing – 99% of it is bills, sharing space, running around with shopping, kids, friends, cooking dinner, putting out garbage… but with the right person, it is all a great package!

  58. emilymymuse January 30, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    Reblogged this on emilymymuse's Blog and commented:
    Different perspective on that phrase. One that I agree with. I could spin it a different direction but tonight with my thoughts on my 13/13, baby making plans, a boyfriend who hasn’t had his epiphany yet I think this blog is perfect for my mood. I want to “fill someone’s cup completely” not just have their spoon stirring me around.

    • dorkdad January 30, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

      To my knowledge I have never been reblogged before. I’m touched. There is no higher blogging praise.

  59. Aisha January 30, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    I just tweeted this, hope you don’t mind.

    I totally agree with the points you’ve given as sometimes my thought process has wandered along those lines but I think it’s something you discover later in life. I don’t know how old you are but based on the fact that you’re married, you have 3 kids and you seem very wise, I’m guessing you’re a lot older than I am (I’m 21). You have the advantage of hindsight but I believe being 20-something is an age where we’ve only just managed to escape from the raging teenage hormones we didn’t know what to do with and absorbing whatever the hungry profit-making magazine giants are feeding us but we’re slowly easing our way into adulthood and discovering our purpose etc while subconsciously worrying about being a bachelor or a spinster.

    So the image of sex being the sole purpose of life is kind of understandable.We will only discover that there’s more to life when we eventually take control of our lives, get a strong sense of who we are and understand what we’re actually living for. It’s a continuous journey.

    • dorkdad January 30, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

      Of course I don’t mind.
      I’m touched.
      I’m 39 years old.
      I’ve always had a strong sense of who I am, even in my teens and 20′s.

  60. Abeer January 30, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

    *applause*
    Well written! Its so strange that most of the times, people have thebest in their lives and yet they are not terrified to jeopardise it all in the name of sex/attraction/middle age crisis. Its just plain sad.

  61. tayleer January 30, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    Reblogged this on 1/4 red 3/4 brown and commented:
    Interesting thought I came by when I was blog hopping.

  62. LK Hattinen January 30, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

    Great post, but I’m sure your wife doesn’t feel that she could replace you any easier than you could replace her :)

  63. rlynnarchie January 30, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

    A great article and really love your illustrations.

  64. LuciL January 30, 2013 at 11:25 pm #

    Reblogged this on Luci's Log and commented:
    This made me chuckle at work and he has a lot of interesting things to say, I advise…read it!!

  65. sintaamelya January 31, 2013 at 12:57 am #

    Reblogged this on blackladylike and commented:
    cool explanation—

  66. ranaasem January 31, 2013 at 1:22 am #

    Reblogged this on ranaasem's Blog and commented:
    Amazing

  67. moodsnmoments January 31, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    dear dork dad,
    loved your blog…loved it all….i have this thought in my head all the time….that its just sex….that’s that….nothing beyond that…sex doesn’t necessarily mean intimacy…it, as an act, is just carnal…and if it is without feelings…then there is no question of connection!!!
    whenever such arguments would play on my mind, i would wonder at first, then later shun them out of my mind…thinking that am being too priestly but so many people believe in what I do.
    Congratulations for having struck a chord among so many of us…and kudos on being fp!!!
    moodsnmoments!

  68. dhonour January 31, 2013 at 2:07 am #

    Bravo!!

  69. philosophirish January 31, 2013 at 2:14 am #

    Nice piece but my spidey senses are tingling. Indulge me if you would…

    You write: “For crying out loud, it’s just sex.” Not sure what you mean by ‘just’ here, though I’ll presume you are attempting a sort of physical reductionism so beloved of scientists these days(!). At the very least, you’ll surely concede that sex ‘means’ far more than the physical act of copulation – it is embedded in structures of meaning/significance that are vast and constantly shifting.

    “How much time in our lives do we spend actually performing sex, compared with everything else?” Again, it’s about more than the ‘act’ of sex. Desiring it and seeking it in the intersubjective world accounts for a good deal of its significance.

    “And yet still we venerate sex as the ultimate goal in life, as if everything else is just a way of occupying time between sexual interludes.” But aren’t you a scientist? Don’t you understand “the evolutionary importance and the irresistible limbic-system drive to procreate”?! I would say that we venerate the ‘satisfaction of desire’ as an ultimate goal in life. Sex happens to be the typically preferred route, but formulating what (or who, or how) we desire is the foundational motivation.

    “The idea of me stepping out on her is laughable. First of all, even if I wanted to, there is no opportunity.” An interesting non sequitur! Why would you move from a consideration of sex and sexless intimacy to thoughts about the impossibility of cheating on your wife?! Methinks the blogger doth protest too much (joke)…

  70. elliotclaire January 31, 2013 at 2:48 am #

    Great, enlightening read especially that it’s coming from a man’s perspective. Thank you for sharing and congrats on the FP!

  71. Sandi January 31, 2013 at 3:06 am #

    A wonderful post – but I couldn’t help it, I looked at all those comic-book wedding pictures and thought … Marvel and DC need to find artists who can draw veils that don’t look crazy! :)

  72. denimfish January 31, 2013 at 3:25 am #

    Enjoyed your post!
    However perhaps you are making a big assumption that the reason your friends and others who break up is about ‘just sex’ Whilst it may appear that way on the surface I’m sure the truth is that their marriages were no so harmonious as yours and no matter how hard they may try to compromise and work it out, it simply does not or cannot work. The break up of a marriage for another may well be for the support, intimacy,(not just sex) holding hands, friendship etc that is lacking or unattainable in their current partnership.

    You and your wife are indeed very fortunate to have all these things wrapped up in your marriage but sadly this is not always the case no matter how hard each individual may work at it and those who are successful should cherish it.

    I am sure there are some people who simply cannot be faithful to one person and have numerous ‘just sex’ affairs but I think they are not typical and the breaking up of a long term partnership especially where chldren are involved is a very painful, multifaceted and complex life event that is not based on ‘just sex’.

  73. tamberrinoartstudio January 31, 2013 at 4:23 am #

    Loved this! :)

  74. ButterNut January 31, 2013 at 4:42 am #

    My husband and I went through a 3 yr-no-sex-period 11 years ago and we’re still together. Due to health reasons our sex life is varied, some months lots and some months almost none – all dependent on his testosterone levels.

    But we’ve never lost that intimacy – and we’ve been together now for 22 years.

    Sex is good. But it’s not all.

  75. Ritu KT January 31, 2013 at 5:46 am #

    One of the best things I’ve read about Sex or relationships. I do not think extra marital affairs would be a problem if everyone valued their partners like you do (or at least I got the impression). Loved loved loved your take on this issue that plagues many realtionships today. (I know I’ve said it already) Following you now :)
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  76. segmation January 31, 2013 at 5:55 am #

    I agree that sex is good but not everything. Thanks for blogging. Looking forward for more from you!

  77. bramptonfacials January 31, 2013 at 6:01 am #

    simply fabulous, bang on! let the good times roll, and yes sex is fabulous but so is intimacy which take a lil consideration and actually being nice to each other :) love the article.

  78. rebeccafisseha January 31, 2013 at 6:57 am #

    This was an awesome read! And you’re absolutely right, the happiest marriages I know are often the ones where the guy got lucky big time to get a gal like that to marry him!

  79. Cancer in My Thirties January 31, 2013 at 7:30 am #

    Terrific post! You are a great writer.
    If every guy had your attitude I believe the world would be a better place. I know so many women who expend time and energy wondering about their husband’s activities — and for some, it is with good reason. Imagine the energy that could be saved if all guys shared your attitude about cheating!
    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed — I am looking forward to reading more of your work!

  80. kartwheels January 31, 2013 at 8:17 am #

    Dorkdaddy, I am a mom and a woman and I like what I see here! I live in a remote cabin in the Sequoia Forest with my DH and our 5 year old daughter and although it allows more time for that 1%, after 15 happy, laughing (mostly) years together, we don’t always have the time or energy to roll around in bed at all hours like we used to.
    I think your writing style is excellent! I just started writing about my own adventures in homeschooling and being a mom on the loose, and your blog is one of the first I have come across that made me want to click to follow. Good luck and best thoughts!
    Karen

  81. 35andupcynicismonhold January 31, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    hello… this is one of my best reads in the last two months. thanks for putting those thoughts to words and for sharing… regards. :)

  82. The Course of Our Seasons January 31, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    My husband and I just had this conversation – Starting off with me asking -” Do all men cheat? And -so why don’t you?” Not that I want him to cheat – and I am not the least bit concerned about it, but it just seems like that is all we hear about – from the news and from our friends and acquaintances. I found your post so refreshing and I appreciate many of the comments from your readers. Very thoughtful write. K

    • dorkdad January 31, 2013 at 10:21 am #

      I want to be very clear that I went out of my way not to incriminate one party in the relationship over the other. I was very careful not to name names, or even indicate gender. Remember, you don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes in a relationship you’re not part of, and you don’t know what’s going on under the hood of a life you haven’t lead.

      • The Course of Our Seasons January 31, 2013 at 11:01 am #

        Sorry I didn’t mean to presume that was the situation. My husband and I had just recently had a conversation about fidelity and infidelity in relationships, and that is just how our conversation started. I really think it was the news about Gen. Patreaus that started our talk. Again, I appreciate your post and sorry if my comment was misunderstood.

      • dorkdad January 31, 2013 at 11:07 am #

        No apology necessary. I’ve got friendships with both parties I need to maintain and I don’t want to inappropriately air anyone else’s dirty laundry.

      • The Course of Our Seasons January 31, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

        My best to your friends and to you and your family – it is difficult to go through this with people you care about. K

  83. Pretty powerful…it’s all about the bigger picture as you mentioned herein. There is so much more to life than that 1% indeed! Sometimes I think it’s a cover up for something else…an excuse if you will or an escape goat. Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

  84. SSSensational January 31, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    Reblogged this on Ryuu's Den (Epicdemic) and commented:
    True love trumps all, AMEN!

  85. frenchfryfreak January 31, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    Reblogged this on Coherent Babble.

  86. This doesn't just happen to me right? January 31, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    Great job!

  87. winterqueen129 January 31, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    Reblogged this on Winterqueen129's Blog and commented:
    I agree

  88. supashmo January 31, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    Very interesting and very cool. I’m not sure what is is about sex that drives us so crazy, but I’m fairly certain it’s the lies we tell ourselves about sex. Sex will make everything better, sex will make me an adult, THIS sex will be better, the quantity of sex is more important than the quality of sex, sex will make us even (revenge). We try to make sex fill some void in our lives and only post-coitus do we realize, oh…the problems are still here.

  89. susielindau January 31, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    Great points! I have been married for 25 years and I gotta tell the sex thing gets better as you get older. Was that TMI? I think it is getting through the hectic years with kids that may be a bit hard for some. Many of the couples we met 12 years ago are no longer married. I think that a sense of humor and compassion goes a lot farther than sex any day!
    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

    BTW- Typo alert – feel free to delete this sentence and update the comment. I think you meant “porn” not “pron…”

    • dorkdad January 31, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

      I did, but it’s a deliberate type-o (the “o” is actually a zero) to ward off unwanted google searches.

      • susielindau January 31, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

        Ohhhhhhh! How cool are you! I would never have thought of that….

  90. Ruth January 31, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    You make some good points – I think that I could stand to lose sex completely from my life. I think my relationship could probably survive it.

    But…

    For me, the word sex encompasses most sensual intimacy. Often, when one says the lack of sex is to blame, it isn’t a comment on the lack of regular intercourse, but a comment on a lack of sexually charged intimacy. Fingers through the hair is sex to me. It’s just the start of sex. Maybe not today, but sometime this week. It lets me know that he cares, and cares in a certain way. Ask a homosexual couple how they define sex, and you’ll get a very different answer than if you ask a heterosexual couple. Now I don’t know the circumstances behind the split, so I can’t know whether or not the sex was a clean cut from the relationship, or a symptom of waning intimacy.

    As for me, I’d be wondering whether or not it’s worth it to call it a marriage if the sex was gone – legally, that’s grounds for divorce. He’d just be my best friend. And in my opinion, best friends do a better job parenting if they aren’t sexually frustrated beings trying to share a bed.

  91. morgansherrah January 31, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    We’d certainly have more free time, if we didn’t have sex ^^ (assuming we were born in the first place).

  92. Mr. E January 31, 2013 at 6:01 pm #

    Great post!

    I believe it becomes “just sex” when the relationship is failing. Like a canary in a coal mine. The act of sex doesn’t change but the feelings behind it do. It is the intimacy, trust and communication which keeps a couple together.

  93. Madge Madigan January 31, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    Some people can resist, some can’t. To some it’s a drug. To some it’s just “meh”. Good blog.

  94. inspiredlivingkc January 31, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

    Kudos for appreciating your wife how you do, your marriage sounds inspiring!

  95. mindfulmod January 31, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

    Wow, what a thought provoking joy-ride this post was to read! I’ve never read a post on Freshly Pressed (Congratulations BTW) as deserving as this one, bravo! It’s been a long, long time since I’ve stumbled upon such unadulterated truth!
    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!
    I look forward to reading more from you…

  96. mindfulmod January 31, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    Reblogged this on MINDFUL-MOD and commented:
    Nothing but the truth…
    A fantastic read, though I’d share it with you!

  97. Evelina Galli January 31, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

    I did enjoy your sense of humor :)

  98. Jessica February 1, 2013 at 1:30 am #

    I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anyone come out and say this. But I’ve thought it myself. And I’m glad someone else has, too.

  99. wifeyna-mommypa February 1, 2013 at 2:17 am #

    thank you for strongly believing on the thngs that you ahve written about. The world needs more of you.

  100. wifeyna-mommypa February 1, 2013 at 2:19 am #

    …the world needs more people like you! (bad-bad typing!)

  101. ttanvi February 1, 2013 at 2:55 am #

    Absolutely agree with you. I wish more people thought this way. Great post..and congrats on being freshly pressed! Cheers :)

  102. Jamie February 1, 2013 at 3:31 am #

    Many people use sex as a barometer of ‘how the relationship is going’. I myself haven’t made up my mind yet if its a fair measurement. Some days I think sex never lasts other days I think rubbish it should be spectacular after 10 years. Thank you for the awesome post.

  103. divyeshr February 1, 2013 at 3:44 am #

    Just brilliant n so true. The bit about wife trusting u n bits, is like i am looking into a mirror

  104. OyiaBrown February 1, 2013 at 4:55 am #

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

  105. thethinkingofthoughts2013 February 1, 2013 at 5:59 am #

    I love the way you spoke about your wife. How lovely. I would love it if my husband said that about me.

  106. Terri L. Spilman February 1, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    This story is great! And, 90 minutes a week? Mr. Laughing Mom would be envious! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

  107. MrsTarnished February 1, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    Well said! You and your wife have a strong marriage and are very much connected. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed

  108. ceejaedevine February 1, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    You say you’re a scientist? And you say this? “Those moments when you’re lost, looking into your partner’s eyes, and neither of you has to say anything…” Our world would be a better place if you could clone yourself. I’m like you, sex is not that important, but for some people it is. Your wife is a lucky woman. Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed!

  109. gabbyhawthorne February 1, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    Definitely glad you shared those thoughts–although as the purveyor of a new blog entitled “Have Passport; Will Bang” blog, I feel a bit silly! Perhaps my problem is that I haven’t found that “cup overfloweth” relationship (yet); maybe it’s too many dull relationships heightened with great sex that are bringing me down.

    Things to think about…

    -Gabby

  110. Elsie Crain February 2, 2013 at 1:32 am #

    bravo…you are so much like me in your thinking. wow I really am glad I’m following your blog. This is my first read. And I will say wow and some people put the act higher than the person…you would never diss your wife…cause you see her for real as an individual with feelings and you don’t want to lose her. Lots of people won’t open themselves up that much. KUDOS…so how old are you? Please tell me you aren’t younger than me…

  111. stephenis February 2, 2013 at 2:28 am #

    Dear D0rkDaddy,

    Before I humbly offer my deeper thoughts on the matter (Yes, I too am a scientist), I must tell you how surprisingly refreshing and pleasantly coherent your post reads. It’s a perspective that is largely under represented, and has been mostly drowned by the seemingly insatiable sexuality as portrayed in our media.

    I post very rarely, but when I do, I post long-form, deeply researched, (I hope) thoroughly considered posts on various topics. My only rule is that, I must present a novel or new idea or perspective as part of my post. I am telling you this, because I am about to post on the topic of modern relationships, infidelity, the balance of power between the sexes and an entertaining narrative on the current state of affairs (no pun intended) and a look at societal trends.

    It would mean the world to me if you would read that post, before I post it, since you have a fairly rare and uncommon point of view. If you are interested i’ll give you the password to the post on Stephenis.com (you may find my first posts interesting anyway).

    Regarding the statement “it’s just sex dammit” along with the obviously heartfelt analysis, I would be doing you a disservice if I did not present you with my honest thoughts.

    Let me say that I suspect you hold the same views on the matter, but perhaps, based on your daily experiences have redefined your priorities and understanding on the matter.

    I say this because I detect a (yes it’s ever so subtle) hint of contradiction in your beliefs, and perhaps a degree of rationalisation. You make the argument that sexuality plays a very small part of our adult lives, and present your belief that it’s importance is dwarfed by the “higher” pleasures and pursuits. It’s is almost as if you are attempting to belittle it’s impact in our lives.

    This is clearly not true. (Let the popularity of this post stand as corroborating evidence)

    Then on the other hand, you demonstrate that you are clearly aware of it’s undeniable powers upon the fate of many around you. That it can alter the course of a president’s, a Pontiff’s, an entire segment of people who are homosexual, their lives; and that it’s burn can be felt very close to home, in the disruption of your familial relationships and friendships.

    I would argue furthermore, that the relative state of calm and companionship that you share with your partner, is not a result (mostly) of your fidelity or your intimate moments spent together, but that it is a result of two far more powerful forces. The most powerful is that of mutual trust. This is something that is so rare in modern times as for most people to have forgotten what it even is. It is not trust if all the evidence is aligned, or if there is no temptation, or if (as you confessed) there is a lowered opportunity of betrayal.

    Trust is only present when those things are absent. When someone has ample temptation, ample opportunity, and the evidence may be deceptively condemning. That is when trust is useful, and most needed.

    The other force, (perhaps, in turn, creating an environment conducive of trust) is that, as you have confessed openly, there is a great imbalance in the balance of power in your relationship. Your partner is (as I am sure you honestly and proudly admit) mush smarter than you, better with your children, more attractive than you, and actively all encompass-inly involved in all aspects of your life.

    I have no doubt, that someone, so greatly benefiting from the imbalance of their relationship, has a lowered probability of infidelity, and is satiated and able to appreciate the satellite and rewarding aspects to life and love.

    Let me, as a thought experiment, from one scientist to another, pose the following scenario:

    The prevailing wisdom in society, is that the partner that is the cause of a relationship imbalance; that is the partner that to some or other degree is smarter, wiser, more attractive, wealthier (amongst many other traits) than the other, is most likely to be the one to commit the betrayal against their partner.

    We can all agree that in general, men who are unbalanced and more wealthy, more powerful, more attractive then their women, are more likely to have affairs, and vice versa for beautiful, powerful, intelligent, wealthy women.

    Then if that is the case, in your relationship, it would be more likely for your partner to have the opportunity, temptation and freedom to be unfaithful. It would on balance be more likely for her to “cash in” her surpluses than you.

    I am sure that it is not her “pre-meditated” scheme to betray your trust. But who can say temptation will never come knocking. Who can say, there will not be a situation where several forces act simultaneously against her defences; perhaps right after you have had a disagreement, perhaps right when she may be (hormonally even) feeling the need to be noticed to feel beautiful, perhaps the situation may be aggravated by alcohol or even exhaustion, maybe there will be plotting third parties who are complacent in constructing as much of this moment of weakness as possible (I call just about any romantic comedy to mind), perhaps she has been unknowingly repressing fears of ageing, perhaps ….. – a million times and human weaknesses can here be listed, and a million times before, they have been exploited.

    If you were then to learn, that she was with another man or men? If she betrayed you? If she did so after you were so faithful and fulfilled. If she broke your years of mutual trust. If she left you alone, gone from you as a friend and support. If you were now short, not just one, but all your friendships, held with other married couples. If you were suffering, for no fault of your own. If your family bonds were severed and raw. If you were a victim of self doubt, now asking yourself about your possible inadequacies, asking yourself (introspectively) WHY?!?!

    Then…

    Only then would there be value for me to again ask you : “Is it just sex after all?”.

    Is it?

    You would find yourself in the exact position that millions of men have found themselves before you. Men that were once in the very same position that you are now in, and who held the very same views you now hold.

    Your argument that the force of sexuality over your life, is not worth embracing, and should be treated as a secondary force of nature in lieu of the “higher” pleasures, is probably a little sexist (I say that without any accusation or judgement whatsoever). I say that since, this is the view that most women hold (many of them commenting above), and they risk bearing the same scarring wounds of it’s hurtful wrath.

    They too, agree to under value and deny the force of human sexuality, the level of respect it demands, they too openly value the other pleasures in life, and many do so at their peril.

    So long as Trust and Intimacy and Companionship and Love are pivoted on the wedge of sexual fidelity, to deny ones’ duties to the sexual nature of adult relationships, is to gamble with those most valuable fruits of a relationship.

    Heed my warning, and follow my advice, given with the honourable intention of reinforcing the values you hold dear, and with the loving hope that you may have eternal mutual fidelity:

    You are a sexual creature, your partner is a sexual creature, you have had sex before, you will have it again! Then why not doubly-redouble the flames of your sexual furnaces, why not, as with everything else in life, pay it the significant cost of focused and dedicated effort that it demands, why not value and habitually enjoy the exploration that often results in acquiring new tastes, why not push the boundaries of mutual satiation?

    For if you do not do this, you will be more at risk of bearing the scars of sexual disregard.

    It takes effort – lots of constant effort. But let me tell you with confident assuredness, that it too has rewards, rewards beyond the cost of your efforts. The flame is there, I promise.

    As a scientist, I will remind you, that the two modes of self-fulfilment; that is, the mode of primal indulgence, and the mode of appreciation for the finer or “higher” forms of enjoyment, are NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE!

    To explore both, in my opinion, adds to the enjoyment of each, as a result of the increase in contrast of those pleasures.

    Stephen is.

    • dorkdad February 2, 2013 at 7:55 am #

      You misinterpret what I mean by “It’s just sex”. I don’t undervalue it’s impact on life, society and relationships. In fact I mention specifically how out of balance it seems to be given how little time we spend engaged in sex compared with everything else in life. A more accurate, if less interesting title for the post would have been “It’s just 1% of your life (if you’re lucky)”

      As far as all the hypotheticals you postulated, I let my wife read them and after a beat the only response she could come up with is “We’ll that’s just crazy.” I guess that’s the benefit of being in a committed, trusting relationship. All the background noise, all the doubt goes away and you can focus on the other 99% of your life without the distraction of suspicion.

      As far as imbalance is concerned, those words of mine are my wife’s only contention with the piece. She would refute them all and say the exact same things about me. It seems I hold her above all others as she does me. Another benefit of a committed relationship.

      A final point: the three-children-factor. When both parents are committed, involved and invested in a way that only comes from the totally selfless love of parenthood, the bedlam and chaos (warfare?) of child-rearing brings the adults together in a way you could only compare to brothers in arms. The experience galvanizes the relationship and fortifies it. The shared trauma gives the couple a unique bond that nobody outside the foxhole could ever completely understand. In our case, it just makes our relationship stronger. Where the parenting is concerned, we flat-out wouldn’t survive without each other.

      We can play the science game all we like, but it is possible to over-think some things. After all, isn’t that the point of getting married — to formally declare your ultimate trust in your partner so both of you can move on to use your relationship as the tentpole upon which both of you will build the rest of your lives together?

      A committed relationship is not a committed relationship if an individual sees the notion of infidelity as even a remote possibility either for him/herself, or for his/her partner.

      Trust — it’s faith, not science.

      • MoMabie February 4, 2013 at 8:28 am #

        I love being intimate with my husband. I’m pretty sure that he’s in my boat on that one. But, respectfully, I enjoy everything with him. As rushed as our lives can be, is it that odd that the few minutes we find on common ground I want to talk with him?

  112. carlo February 2, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    I loved your article. Especially after considering sex was invented by bacteria 1 billion years ago, and brought to perfection by a crab’s ancestor who lived 425 million years ago: the colymbosathon ecplecticos. If it weren’t for this little horny bug, we – and many other species – wouldn’t even exist.

  113. Sony The Booklover February 2, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    I read this article and thought this guy was way too good to be true–because he got in a nutshell. Relationships take work and after 15 years with my hubby. I’m so glad he still smiles at me the way he did when we first met. So I don’t know the reason your friend strayed but I think he got something from the other party he wasn’t getting at home. Not to blame anyone but once those thoughts appear its time to get outside help.

  114. louella001 February 2, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    This was a good read, good-guy. Thank you.

  115. hitchy February 3, 2013 at 1:40 am #

    Wonderful reasoning :) I loved the post :)

  116. blah blah blonde February 3, 2013 at 4:24 am #

    What a refreshing post – thanks!

  117. Yasmin February 3, 2013 at 5:19 am #

    Reblogged this on Flash Faction and commented:
    Was just talking about this today…lots of very good points made here and some parts that I could really relate/agree with.

  118. perspectivesandprejudices February 3, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    I loved this post so much and had to share it with my fiance.. If more people thought the way you do, the world would be a much simpler and happier place… Looking forward to reading more of you!

  119. lauralanni February 3, 2013 at 11:49 am #

    You are a lucky man in a special relationship and you are self-aware of the value of your family. Good for you and congrats on the FP!

    I bought it all – until the end.

    Now, I’d like to call your bluff: “…although it would be incredibly disappointing…my life in its entirety would be relatively unaffected. Everything that I need to get through my day would still be there…”

    I triple-dog-dare you to scientifically self-test your claim. Go a year without the 1% (a month even!) and then report back to the WordPress readership how big that 1% dent seemed when you were in the middle of the Grand Canyon of it.

    Looking forward to your report. :)

    • dorkdad February 3, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

      Been there, done that. Three times even.

      After each kid it was at least a six-week drought. Piece of cake. We were together for a hell of a lot longer than that, and therefore well-practiced in being intimate without intercourse before that dynamic ever entered our relationship.

  120. HMCWriter February 3, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    I often hear people say: ‘well, we don’t have sex anymore.’ If the conversation continues one is likely to find that there has also been a loss of passion and intimacy. I agree that sex is just sex, but if there is no touch, or physical acknowledgement from one partner, when the other desires it, you are going to have a hard time. Unfortunately we are not all wired the same and have different desires depending on our brain chemistry, securities and insecurities and depending on our perceptions and constructs of what a relationship is supposed to be like. If we talk to each other and try to accommodate some, we are more likely to find ways around any difficulty (notice I said ‘more’ likely). I love this blog- thank you :)

  121. armingenica February 3, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    Hi!
    It truly is just sex. I never understood people who would trade up everything for a few minutes of hot, sweaty, carnal, animalistic action.
    It is just sex.

  122. tomatoeraincow February 3, 2013 at 7:49 pm #

    Thank you for such a great insight. :) This is a really, really good post.

  123. mymotionpicture February 4, 2013 at 4:29 am #

    Lovely thought mate.. :) and very true!

  124. MoMabie February 4, 2013 at 8:17 am #

    I love reading honesty. My husband and I receive compliments in out marriage on a regular basis. We figure, ‘it can’t be that hard if we’re doing it right!’ Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed, marrying up and finding someone that probably feels like they did, too.

  125. st sahm February 4, 2013 at 9:20 am #

    I was all huffing and puffing at your title and then realized you’re a pretend hard ass.
    What a tender homage to your wife and family. Love this

    • dorkdad February 4, 2013 at 9:22 am #

      I doubt it would have got as much attention if I’d used the title “It’s Just 1% Of Your Life.”

      But that’s sortof the point, isn’t it?

  126. bizzieizziedays February 4, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    Greetings Dork Dad,

    This piece was AWESOME and spot on in my opinion!

  127. diarydilemma February 5, 2013 at 12:38 am #

    Love this post, you are completely right that it is ” just sex ” Its refreshing to hear a man of a 10year marriage admit your love so openly!

  128. gingerjudgesyou February 5, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    Lovely post!

  129. kirstylskilton February 5, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    This is the best thing I have read in a long time. While reading this I found myself thinking about my relationship and smiling uncontrollably. Thank you :)

  130. mother niche February 5, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    This just put all of my thoughts and frustrations into one, very well-written article. Thank you for this, following you right away.

  131. authorjanebnight February 5, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    I very much admire that you would stay in your relationship even without sex. I have to say that I have personally had more then one relationship that I ended because of a lack of sex. It was never the actual sex that I felt slighted on. It was all the other stuff. It is hard to feel attractive when your boyfriend groans every time you look at him amorously. It is hard to feel close to a man and loved by him when he doesn’t want to take part in a physical relationship.
    I understand that age, time, kids, etc get in the way of intimacy. And I am not saying people need to have sex every day (or even every week) but I do feel like after a certain amount of time being in a sexual desert is too much to handle. When my partner and I went 4 years having sex an average of 3 times a year I knew it was time to call it quits. It would have been different if we were just old or busy but we were not even thirty at the time.
    I am just saying here that I think there are circumstances where a lack of sex really can ruin a relationship. When it does it usually isn’t actually about the act of sex itself but what it represents in the relationship.

  132. Living in the moment February 6, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    This was probably one of the best blogs i’ve ever read! Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, your love for your love, and for enlightening me.

  133. Carol Dunnigan February 6, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    I’m forwarding this to my husband! lol

    • dorkdad February 6, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

      Don’t get me in trouble. (c;

  134. fweshboiz February 7, 2013 at 2:18 am #

    Reblogged this on My Blog.

  135. The Wombat February 7, 2013 at 7:52 am #

    Reblogged this on rabidwombatzombie and commented:
    I love this…

  136. shenrydafrankmann February 7, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    “If somehow the act of sex was cleanly extracted from my life leaving everything else intact, although it would be incredibly disappointing (and as laughable as it may sound) my life in its entirety would be relatively unaffected. Everything that I need to get through my day would still be there. The love, the intimacy, the laughter, the living of life…

    I’d just have to find some other way to fill that 1% of my time.”

    I dare you to try it. I have been married 20 years. We need to talk.

    • dorkdad February 7, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

      Been there, done that… 3 times even. With every kid there was a 6 week drought.

      • shenrydafrankmann February 7, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

        LOL — I have two kids. I remember those droughts. Try going a year.. or two… or more. That happens more than what you might think or know. Then it really does come down to the type of thinking/coping you write about. That is realistic. Until you get it, it will drive you nuts!

  137. LukeT February 7, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    Good read that man, nice one.

  138. twentysixandpregnant February 7, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    From one married mom to another married dad – thank you.

  139. Olori February 8, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    “And yet still we venerate sex as the ultimate goal in life, as if everything else is just a way of occupying time between sexual interludes.” Wow! The state of your mind is just profound. I wish people didn’t attribute so much importance to sex. Thanks for sharing this.

  140. Collin Garbarino February 8, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    Great post. Great perspective.

  141. rubensymons February 9, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    Great post, Sex without love is really hard to intellectualize. Love is all that matters.

  142. globetrottermama February 9, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    hmm…I can’t imagine life without that 10% of my life. No matter how emotionally fulfilling my relationship may be.

  143. momofthree1983 February 10, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    This is what marriage and love is all about. Sex is great but love is far better and sex is only a mere part of it.

  144. gravittyshatters February 10, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    Great.Very wise of you to bring this thought so brilliantly!

  145. kevdrex February 10, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

    Excellent. I can totally relate to virtually everything you wrote.

  146. Ronald Joseph Kule February 11, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    Sex is the “added inapplicable” is the il-logic of spiritual beings running human meat and flesh bodies with urges to procreate built into them.

  147. Sam February 11, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    Too many “that is so true!” moments as I read your post. Thank you. That was a good read.

  148. kronquillo February 11, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    high five from a fellow dork

  149. candyzoccoli February 13, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    This post just seriously made my day.

  150. DouglasMB February 14, 2013 at 5:09 am #

    great post man!!!

  151. Mike February 14, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    By all accounts we’re a rare breed but you express it so much better than I could. There are some huge similarities between your relationship and mine but big difference – it’s not always the man who strays. Yet the contentment you describe so well in your denouement is still possible for us neo-singles. It is truly all about knowing what’s important. Excellent well-written article – well done.

  152. cidvicious5 February 16, 2013 at 12:44 am #

    I am in love with this piece!!!!

  153. jordanjaybrodsky February 16, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    Reblogged this on More is More and commented:
    Sex. I’m a fan. A huge fan. Beatles-style fandom. But I will say, Dorkdaddy makes one helluva point here! Check it out.

  154. ditchingmycomfortzone February 17, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    What a great post! If more people realized the truth you wrote here, maybe the divorce rate wouldn’t be so high. People loose sight of what intimacy and marriage truly are.

  155. mas3398 February 17, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    If you have sex because you want to have that experience, then you should not judge it being wrong or right, it is just an experience. It feels good, and if both parties are in agreement, then there is nothing wrong with it. What does love have to do with it anyway? Relationships require love, fun one-night stands are what they are. fun. no attachments.

    • dorkdad February 17, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

      Unless, of course, it ruins your marriage.

  156. Chuck February 18, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

    Actually…I’d say you just don’t get it. Sad in a way…but I can see the “blissfulness” in the thoughts. But then, I’ve had to deal with the “honey I slept with…” confession before. You are indeed, fortunate. Good luck and enjoy

  157. J February 19, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    I’m not sure I agree that sex is ever “just sex” any more than ANY act of intimacy with your beloved can be boiled down to “just…” Sexual intimacy requires a vulnerability that few other situations can match. Yes, the time spent in the act of sex takes up such a small percentage of our physical lives while taking up a disproportionately large percentage of our emotional lives, but I believe that’s because it is, by its vulnerable nature (in one sense) a very efficient vehicle for answering the questions we silently ask ourselves about our bodies, our feelings towards our partner and his/her feelings towards us.
    “Does he accept me, despite my flaws?”
    “Can I satisfy her needs?”
    “Am I safe with this person?”

    These and a host of others are questions we unconsciously ask ourselves about our relationship. For better or for worse, we look to sex for the answers. So should we try to fight it? Or should we try harder to skillfully use it as the (potentially very effective) communication tool it can be? I suspect the answer lies somewhere in the middle.

  158. echocardiogram February 20, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    I’m glad you said it – although many won’t get it. I loved reading this!

  159. dylzrecentes February 20, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    This absolutely made my day! :D
    Aside from revealing a few bits on married life and sex, this article is really funny.
    I haven’t had “some” yet and your blog confirms that I definitely shouldn’t hurry to “get some.” haha
    Cause come to think of it, your absolutely right. I’ve lived without sex and my days have went on, and I’ve moved on without it. So no hurry and no pressure then, I guess.
    Great blog!

  160. CJGarcia207 February 21, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    Heed my warning, my friend. Sex isn’t the only evil sprite threatening all that you hold dear. My concern lies with your unbridled praise of your wife and lackluster view of yourself. Perhaps you were just making a point but you sounded just like me … before my divorce. http://osonice.wordpress.com – Emotionally Unavailable – hint; Wanda Zatara’s alias.

    • dorkdad February 21, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

      CJ, I appreciate you taking your valuable time to respond to my blog post. Let me assure you there are no “evil sprites” that either me or my wife can identify. I showed your comment to my wife. She laughed out loud. She can’t be bothered to reply to these sorts of things, but I think her exact words were “‘Emotionally unavailable’… Hah! That’s a laugh.”

  161. Mia Wallace February 22, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    You, Dorkdaddy, are a superhero amongst men for being able to even see things that way. Kudos, breadcrumbs, and a like/follow. Brilliantly spoken.

  162. badgerthoughts February 27, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    I agree with the vast majority of what you say, and find myself fortunate to be in a similar relationship. I will say in response though that sex isn’t “just sex.” When reading your commentary regarding your friends’ marriage falling apart, I infer from your writing that it was sex outside of the relationship that caused the divorce.

    From my own observations and readings, the sexual infidelity is just a symptom of the problems in the marriage. Physical intimacy is a gauge in most (but not all) romantic relationships for how well things are going. When a physical distance comes up, there are usually emotional issues at hand that need to be dealt with in addition to the carnal issues.

    My wife and I have issues come up, but we deal with them. Most of my friends that I’ve seen go through a divorce have either not had the courage to deal with the problems, or simply decided that the trouble of fixing the problems wasn’t worth the reward. I truly hope you and I never find ourselves in that position. We’re lucky men.

  163. Denise December 21, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    Love the blog but have to disagree , sex is necessary for balance in marriage, and it is the finesse in a person and the glue in a relationship. Without sex you’d become one of those a-sexual beings who just exist without any umph! And end up living vicariously through your kids!
    From a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and writer but a woman above ALL else.

    • dorkdad December 21, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

      Oh, Denise. I respectfully submit that you are so, so wrong about that one. The glue of my relationship with my wife is the conversations we have and experiences we share. The sex is just a bonus that comes around when everything else in the relationship is working well. To say otherwise is to cheapen the depth of true companionship. How then would you account for the disabled, or the elderly? Surely they are capable of having deep, profound, rewarding, intimate relationships without the sex.

      Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying sex doesn’t have value. I’m not saying I wouldn’t notice if it disappeared. But I’m saying there is so, so much more to life and a healthy relationship. When compared against everything else you need for a rewarding life, the sex-component seems to be ridiculously over-emphasized.

      Give me a lifetime of trust and intimacy any day over a lifetime of mind-blowing sex (although if given the choice, I’ll take both thankyouverymuch).

  164. rimamandwee December 22, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    Reblogged this on rimamandwee and commented:
    Not only do I love this analysis about how sex seems to take over the lives of many and our entire culture while taking up seemingly none of our time, I love the intent of this father, as well as the comic book references to his point. Well done, Dorkdaddy. I’m happy to have stumbled upon your page.

  165. Cheri December 26, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    Reblogged this on The Sexy Cynics.

  166. stellasvirtualcafe January 3, 2014 at 8:16 am #

    I was asked recently, and jokingly, by a single male friend if I would consider an affair with him. I replied, “That would be the quickest and most efficient way of ruining the lives of the five people I love most in the world.” My husband and I have four kids and have been married for 21 years. Our lives are not always ideal, but our relationship is built on a strong foundation and has, so far, withstood everything life has thrown at us, and that we have thrown at each other. The strongest relationships are the ones in which the respective partners can ask themselves, ‘What if we had to live without sex, for health reasons or spiritual reasons, or what have you?’ and the answer is, “We would survive. We have enough of everything else.” I appreciate greatly what you say here about intimacy and about the way sex seems to pervade our culture. Very refreshing read.

  167. kalijaya51 January 5, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    Support Thank.s

  168. twistedfetish January 7, 2014 at 11:07 pm #

    Wow, there´s nothing I can say that hasn´t already been said. This moved me, it has given me, and I bet a lot of the people that have/will read this, moments of introspection as to the weight we give something which ultimately bears so little (1%) of our physical time

  169. aqilaqamar February 6, 2014 at 5:15 am #

    Reblogged this on Iconography ♠ Incomplete and commented:
    cool article

  170. Parham March 14, 2014 at 8:52 am #

    WOW!! I WILL FOLLOW IT!

  171. Ronald Joseph Kule March 14, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

    Congratulations on your fluid writing style! Sex is overrated, and sublimating the urge into creative work more rewarding. Besides, I’d rather hold my wife’s hand, knowing we’re in love than worry about keeping up with the Jones’s who are thrown together in bed because of messages out of Madison Avenue: SEX, SEX, SEX!!!

  172. Newly Wed, Not Dead April 24, 2014 at 7:10 am #

    This is amazing. My husband and I watched “Fatal Attraction” yesterday which, of course, led to a conversation about cheating. He said, “why would I ruin my marriage for one night of sex for someone else?”

    Thanks for showing me there are at least 2 men out there who aren’t totally sex obsessed and willing to cheat for a quick dalliance. Awesome post!

    Alexa — http://www.newlywednotdead.com

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