We’ve all done it, haven’t we? Put a video on for the kids on Saturday afternoon and gone upstairs for a shag?
It’s become enough of a ritual in our house that the kids know that when mummy and daddy are ‘resting’ they shouldn’t come bother us unless it involves blood, guts or vomit. And if one of them does come up and I’m wearing a nurse’s outfit and fishnets, John answers the door and deals with the pressing problem of “Sausage hit me, what shall I do?”
But you expect adults, especially parents, to applaud your efforts to keep your marriage alive. But they don’t. Take my friend Daisy, who has a six year old daughter, but who's had no luck getting pregnant with her second child. She’s an obsessive thrift shopper and, I guess, wishes she had a three year old to buy stuff for, because she’s always buying cute outfits for Sausage, but also stuff for Scarlett and me. And she’s always dropping round at odd hours with bin bags full of thrift store stuff for us, which I'm very grateful for. Usually.
But this time John and I were in mid-session when we hear the doorbell. I say, “Oh, it’s probably Jehovahs. They’ll shove off in a moment.”
But it was Daisy, with ten tons of thrift store finds and she wasn’t going away anytime soon. And she kept ringing the doorbell. So John puts on his clothes, goes downstairs and opens the door.
Daisy says, “Bad time?”
He says, “Kind of. We were having a shag.”
Then I hear her get all flustered like he’s just said, “We were having a gang bang upstairs with six Latvians and a horse.”
“It’s just that I wondered if Emma wanted to come to this dinner party I’m going to later.”
So I scream down the stairs. “Yeah, I do. Why don’t you have a cup of tea until we’re done?”
But she was already haring out the door. We thought it was quite funny that she was embarrassed, but actually it was good that she went, because I think I would have found it a bit inhibiting, having her sitting in the front room while we finished off.
Anyhow, later I go round and see Daisy and she says, “You know Emma, I think you should find another hobby instead of sex.”
Daisy’s always talking about sex like it’s a well, and that hers has almost run dry now. For her, sex was great in her twenties, but now she’s kind of lost interest in it. She’s kind of sick of it. Which I don’t get at all, because for me it’s the exact opposite. I don’t think I enjoyed it, I mean, really enjoyed it, until I turned thirty.
“Come on, it’s a great hobby,” I say. “It’s quite energetic and it’s also free.”
“But aren’t you getting a bit obsessed with it?”
“Obsessed? I think three or four times a week is pretty normal.”
“Three or four times a week! I’m lucky if we do it once a month. But seriously Emma, I think you should look for something else to do. I know, what about taking up painting again?”
“Yeah, I might.”
I was a pretty good painter once, and I do sometimes think of starting it up again, but I know that Sausage would just mess up all my paints, so I’m holding off for now.
“I mean, what’s the point of all this sex? There’s no end product.”
I laughed. “Like obsessively buying clothes and plate sets is any more productive.”
I wouldn’t mind if Daisy was a puritanical American, but she’s an Argentinian for God’s sake! She should be laissez-faire about bursting in on her friends having sex.
Frankly, I think sex is one of the most productive things you can do. You usually end up in a good mood afterwards, and more relaxed, with a sunnier outlook on the world. I don’t think there’s anything to beat it. Apart from having a really good meal with excellent wine. That’s pretty much up there with the great sensual pleasures.
But frankly, I don’t get some people’s attitude that it’s a waste of ‘productive’ time. What do you think?
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