THE DESEXUALIZATION OF THE AMERICAN MARRIAGE/A SEXUAL-SYSTEM EXAM: GETTING INTO THE SEXUAL “SWING” OF THINGS
I’ll tell you one thing. We are so in tune with each other that it gets us in trouble. If I’m really down on a given day, then he is down. We get down together in minutes. We just reflect each other perfectly, almost like one mood together. We are like one tree in the wind. The trouble is, we can’t help each other if we are each other.
WHEN ONE PARTNER IS EMOTIONALLY HOT, THE OTHER GETS HOTTER, COLD MEANS COLDER FOR OTHER
A FEEDBACK LOOP IS INTACT. PARTNERS HELP TO STABILIZE ONE ANOTHER, AND ADJUST TO AND FOR EACH OTHER
TENDING TOWARD -TENDING TOWARD
Does your marriage have a “marital-stat,” a type of emotional thermostat in which one partner can help the other to back off of an argument, to cool down, and one partner can help to bring up the other partner when emotional support is needed? The presence of a good marital-stat is like a good sense of rhythm, a fine-tuned thermostat in your home. When things get cooler, the thermostat calls for more heat. When it is getting hotter, the thermostat calls for a little cool air. Is there a lack of rhythm, with emotional heat in one partner causing the maladjusted marital-stat to call for even more heat from the other partner?
Scientists refer to this idea of rhythm as cybernetics, the study of feedback, of ecological and systems maintenance through some mechanism of automatic adjustment, heating up and cooling down, going faster and slower in corrective responsives cycles. In a sense, this chapter on the marital system is about sexual cybernetics. Intimacy and sexual interaction serve as the feedback instrument. Super Marital Sex Opportunity Number Two, presented at the end of this chapter, will show you more about how sexual cybernetics works.
The couple at the dinner table scored toward discord. The wife needed someone to bring her up, to help her readjust, someone sensitive to her personal crisis. The husband only depressed her further through his own disenchantment and his incomplete solution to their sexual problem (his own quick sexual release). The marital system was not being adjusted, just allowed to freeze up in the absence of emotional warmth and intimacy.
The husband required someone to cool down his hot reacting style, but the wife was incapacitated emotionally, sensing but unable to help with her husband’s overheating.
Too rapid and immediate adjustment, too much rhythm, can result in marital instability, too many adjustments to allow for comfortable patterns to emerge. A thermostat that goes on and off too soon and too often eventually breaks. Marriages need time to adjust too.
In super marital sex, couples have their marital-stat working well. They are able to maintain a comfort zone together. The frequency, type, and intensity of their sexual relationship seems to adjust itself automatically, just as a real thermostat is not noticed when it is doing its job. When sex gets too hot, resulting in conflict, even pain (dyspareunia), readjustment occurs. When sex gets too cold (desire-phase disorders and incompatibility), readjustment takes place, and warmth returns. Things do not have to get too hot or too cold before the readjustment occurs. The thermostat, marital-stat, seems very sensitive. Seldom is anyone left crying at the table or angry as he or she drives to a Softball game.