Why Is Mainstream Media Trying To Normalize A Sexless Society?

A recent article from The New York Times called “Can a Sexless Marriage Be a Happy One?” explores the concept of married couples going about their life and raising a family without having sex with each other. This idea isn’t looked upon as a tragedy, but rather as some kind of empowering act.

By Gina Florio4 min read

In the article, a couple named Michelle and John share details about their sexless marriage – at least, it’s sexless for months at a time. Michelle and John's relationship began in 2005, sparked by instant chemistry at a party. Their early years were marked by intense physical connection, but their dynamic changed significantly four years ago following a difficult childbirth experience for Michelle. Since then, her fear of pain has led to long periods without sexual intimacy. After becoming parents, the couple endured a year without sex, and now they often go months between sexual encounters. 

For Michelle, the possibility of non-monogamous arrangements is off-limits, largely due to the pain of witnessing her parents' marriage dissolve due to infidelity. John respects this boundary, understanding the deep emotional risk involved in pursuing fleeting desires outside their commitment. Now that they share a one-bedroom apartment, their opportunities for privacy are limited. Each has adapted by finding personal time for sexual release – Michelle masturbates in the mornings, and John masturbates at night while watching porn. This arrangement allows Michelle to explore her own body and discover what brings her pleasure, as she struggles to reach climax during intercourse with John. 

There Is Growing Support for Sexless Marriages

The writer of this article argues that the understanding of sex within marriage has undergone profound changes, shifting from a focus primarily on procreation to being viewed as a crucial element of marital happiness. In the 1990s, as the sex positivity movement gained traction alongside emerging therapeutic practices such as couple’s counseling, there was a heightened emphasis on the importance of regular sexual interaction in sustaining a healthy marital relationship. This period saw experts encouraging couples to actively cultivate their sexual lives as a cornerstone of marital strength, which by the 2010s evolved into strategies like scheduled sex to maintain intimacy and, by implication, prevent marital discord.

Recent years, however, have witnessed a significant reevaluation of these established norms. More couples and therapists are challenging the once prevalent assumptions about marital arrangements, including the necessity for couples to cohabit. Sharon Hyman, leader of an online group named Apartners, which supports couples living separately, observes that members often report improvements in their sexual relationships when they spend time apart. Hyman advocates for the recognition of diverse, healthy relationship models, emphasizing that there is no universal formula that suits all couples.

This evolving perspective is partly a response to the diminishing tolerance for what psychotherapist Esther Perel describes as "boredom" in the bedroom. Perel argues that maintaining a sexual spark requires novelty and mystery, elements that are often diluted by the familiarity of daily domestic life. Through her podcast Where Should We Begin?, she assists couples in navigating their sexual desires and fantasies, encouraging them to see each other as individuals and to explore new ways of connecting sexually.

As these discussions evolve, there is a growing resistance to the traditional emphasis on sexual frequency within marriages. For instance, recent studies indicate a general decline in sexual activity across various demographics in the United States, with younger generations engaging in sex less frequently than their predecessors. The reasons proposed range from the isolating effects of technology to shifting conversations around consent, influenced by movements such as #MeToo.

Alongside these changes, alternative relationship models are gaining traction. For example, the 4B movement and concepts of "platonic life partnerships" redefine the necessity of sexual and romantic connections in life-long commitments. The 4B movement, originating in South Korea, is a social phenomenon that represents a radical shift in the traditional views of women's roles in society. The "4Bs" stand for "Bi (no childbirth), Bon (no marriage), Bu (no dating), and Boo (no sex)." This movement emerged as a response to the intense societal pressures and rigid gender roles that are deeply ingrained in South Korean culture. It began gaining prominence around the mid-2010s, fueled by the growing frustrations among younger South Korean women regarding issues such as systemic inequality, gender-based violence, and the overwhelming demands of balancing career and family expectations.

The 4B movement is part of a broader wave of feminist activism in South Korea, where younger generations are increasingly vocal about challenging and rejecting the conservative norms that dictate women's lives. This includes the expectation to marry and have children, which many believe limit their personal and professional opportunities. By advocating for the rejection of these traditional roles – childbearing, dating, marriage, and sex – the movement encourages women to focus on self-empowerment, independence, and personal growth.

Even though South Korea has some of the lowest birth rates in the world, many women still believe that it’s worth rejecting marriage, sex, and children while risking their ethnicity literally dying out, as fewer and fewer people are procreating. Social media has played a crucial role in the spread and popularization of the 4B movement. Platforms like X and Instagram have provided a space for women to share their experiences, organize, and mobilize. 

We’re also seeing the rise of something called “boy sober,” a trend on TikTok that encourages women to take a break from dating men. The concept was popularized by comedian Hope Woodard, who coined the term to describe her own decision to abstain from romantic or sexual relationships with men. The trend quickly gained traction among TikTok users, who began using the hashtag #boysober to share their experiences and support for the idea. This movement is part of a broader cultural shift where individuals are choosing to prioritize supposed self-care and personal growth over traditional dating practices.

The "boy sober" trend reflects a growing sentiment among many women that stepping away from dating can be a form of empowerment. It allows them to focus on their own needs, ambitions, and well-being without the complications and emotional labor often associated with relationships. This choice is seen not as a permanent rejection of dating, but rather a temporary detox, giving individuals time to reassess what they truly want from relationships and life.

It Benefits Nobody To Normalize Sexless Marriages 

Experiencing a sexless marriage can feel isolating and shameful, creating a sense of loneliness and self-doubt about the strength of your relationship. However, sexless marriages are more common than many realize. Professionals often define a sexless marriage as one where couples engage in sexual activities fewer than 10 times a year, and some definitions consider a marriage sexless if a year has passed without sexual intimacy. According to a 2018 study, over 15% of married Americans reported no sexual activity in the last year, with 13.5% not having sex for the past five years.

This prevalence might even be underestimated due to the stigma associated with discussing your lack of sexual activity. Katie Gilly, a licensed marriage and family therapist, suggests that nearly half of the couples she encounters are in sexless relationships. This figure might be skewed as those experiencing a lack of sexual intimacy might be more inclined to seek therapy, yet it underscores that many couples face this issue.

The reasons for a sexless marriage vary, including depression, health issues, hormonal imbalances, and significant life changes. While it's normal for the frequency of intimacy to fluctuate throughout a marriage, a sustained absence can have detrimental effects on the relationship. Sexual connection is a vital component of a healthy, fulfilling marriage. Without it, a marriage can struggle, leading to loneliness, resentment, frustration, and a sense of emotional and physical disconnect.

The absence of sexual intimacy can diminish the distinctiveness of a marital relationship, reducing it to something more akin to a deep friendship or a roommate situation. This is problematic not only because of societal expectations that men have higher sexual needs, but because sexual intimacy is crucial for both partners. It enhances commitment, reduces the likelihood of divorce, and boosts self-esteem. Thus, maintaining a regular sexual connection is essential not only for personal fulfillment but also for the health and vitality of the marriage itself.

So why are so many women being encouraged to live in a sexless marriage? It seems odd that “experts” are trying to frame a sexless marriage as an empowering act, rather than a sad outcome. This sudden reframing is made out to be a beacon of independence and feminism, but it’s really just another way to lead women – particularly wives – into despair, loneliness, and isolation. Although it sounds like a blackpill, you could argue that this is yet another way that our society wants to lead women down a destructive path that will make them more susceptible to brainwashing and more accepting of extreme politics that are rooted in leftist feminist ideology. Just like women have been convinced to buy into hookup culture, body positivity, and significantly delaying marriage and motherhood, they’re being convinced to settle for sexless marriages, as if it’s going to benefit them. It’s yet another chapter in the upside down that makes no sense to us – but to the mainstream machines in power, it works out great because it just makes women even lonelier and more susceptible to influence. The unhappier we are, the easier we are to manipulate and control.

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