SATC Week: Love, Marriage, and Libido
Carrie poses the question, “What Happens after You Say I Do?”
When Carrie worries that she and Big have become a little too “Mr. and Mrs. Married,” how many couples will hear their own complaints?
Popular opinion has it that as the years pass and the honeymoon fades, couples fall out of the habit of sex—and that what sex they do engage in becomes routine, even a chore, rather than an intimate and exciting act. It may be that sexual desires shift into something gentler, more platonic, as relationships progress, or that our biological clocks wind down as we grow older (however much those E.D. medication commercials may suggest otherwise). But it can become a problem when one partner wants more than the other does, or when both yearn for something in the bedroom but aren’t talking about it.
Surveys suggest that most people do prefer marriage over the supposedly sexier single life. The odds an adult prefers wedlock are 1 in 1.33 (75%), as compared to 1 in 5.56 who prefer to be single and date and just 2% who wish to remain single and not date.
Unfortunately, adults who responded to an ABC poll reported that the quality of their sex lives does correlate negatively with the length of time they’ve been married. The odds they have sex at least several times a week worsen from 1 in 1.39 (72%) if they’ve been married for less than three years (like Big and Carrie), to 1 in 3.13 if they’ve been married for ten or more years. And the odds they would label their sex life as “very exciting” decrease from 1 in 1.72 (58%) to 1 in 3.45. There is some extrapolation in these assumptions—an expectation that those who report low sex rates are expressing low sex satisfaction as well. The responses, however, may alternatively reflect an equal tapering-off of sex drives or already-low libidos for both partners.
The danger is, of course, that one or both partners will be tempted to find excitement outside the marital bed. That’s the big question posed by Sex and the City 2. Carrie’s clearly thinking about straying, and she’s not alone: the odds an ever-married or cohabitating adult who has not cheated fantasizes about doing so are 1 in 3.33. The odds a woman who fits that same description—including the infamous Ms. Bradshaw—actually cheated: 1 in 9.09.