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A Conversation on Not Having Sex With Your Partner

Transcript

Dr. Judy:

Opinions. We all have them, especially when it comes to love and sex. So what happens when two people who've never met get to share their opinions in an open and honest conversation? Maybe they learn something about the other person and maybe they learn something about themselves.

I'm Dr. Judy and this is "Well, In My Opinion." Today, we're asking the question, "What if you could never have sex with your partner again?"

Gentel:

I mean, they can help me. I can't really satisfy them. Can I? I mean, I can kiss him.

Jesse:

That’s a noble as a noble thing, but if you think about down the line and you'll never have sex with your partner, you're deprived of sex for the rest of your life. Cause you're not going to cheat on your partner, right?

Gentel:

Yeah. I'm not going to cheat. That's like breaking up with someone who has a terminal illness.

Jesse:

That's true. Like I said, it's noble, but is it plausible?

Gentel:

That's maybe when the open relationship could… I don't know.

Jesse:

Also it depends on if you just started dating someone or if you've been in a relationship with someone for a long time. If you've been in relationship with someone for a long time and they all of a sudden were unable to have sex—let's say they became a quadriplegic or paraplegic—would that be a reason to break up with them? No, absolutely not. That would be a really unethical thing to do.

Now, if you're unable to have sex, 1) that does open the door for temptation, 2) it hampers your sexual drive. And honestly that can have a huge implications on your mental state, you wellbeing, your happiness, and not everyone's programmed for that. So at the same time, if someone was like, "You know what? This is making me really unhappy and I feel the need to have sex." That's a huge human response. And it's about communicating that to someone and being upfront and honest. I would try and make it work. I would do everything I could. Get creative.

Gentel:

I mean, that's what you would have to do now. If that doesn't work and you feel like the creativity is out the window, and you're thinking about stepping out on that person, then you need to have a conversation. And yes they would have to respect that. But then in my mind, if I put myself in their shoes, I would be like, "Well, yeah." I would feel bad within myself because it's something I can't help. You know? So you’ve got to deal with a bunch of emotions. It's just going to be kind of a roller coaster.

Jesse:

Yeah. Emotions [sings]. That's what I’ll be feeling. We’d listened to that every day, going through it. That's a hard one.

Gentel:

Yeah that is a hard one.

Dr. Judy:

So who's having the most sex worldwide? It's Greece, with an average of 164 encounters per person per year. The least: Japan, at an average of 45 encounters per person per year. But no sex ever again? It seems like that would be pretty challenging for humans everywhere.

Bruce:

I think I could stay with someone if they couldn't have sex again.

Jamie:

Would you be monogamous or would there need to be an agreement that you could explore your sexuality outside of the relationship if your girlfriend could no longer have sex?

Bruce:

I would be monogamous.

Jamie:

For the rest of your life?

Bruce:

I mean, we'd have to find ways to try to pleasure each other other ways.

Jamie:

So long have you been with that person? At what point in your relationship? Do you have kids and you have this full life in other ways, or is it like we've been dating for three years and I just proposed to you and this happened? I think that changes the context too, don't you?

Bruce:

It really sounds bad if you say "I'm not going to be with you because we can't have sex anymore.” You know what I mean? That sounds like a gut punch. I'm not going to be with you because you can't be intimate with me in a certain way, so goodbye. We do need that primal feeling of "I'm going to hunt you down and I'm going to, you know—” It's just like a primal thing for men and women.

Jamie:

You’re gonna hunt her down?

Bruce:

No.

Jamie:

I'm just teasing you. No, but I know what you mean. Sexual urge is a real thing that doesn't just go away because you can't have sex with your girlfriend anymore.

Bruce:

Right.

Jamie:

So how do you make it work? For me, I think if it was early in the relationship, I might absolutely be like, "You're going to have to be cool with me having boyfriends." Have to have that conversation. Like, "I'm in love with you, but I also need to have sex."

But yeah, like you said, sex is a big deal. That's why we're all here talking about it, right? Yeah.

Bruce:

Yeah. It's tough to picture never having sex with your person again.

Jamie:

Yeah.

Bruce:

To think about myself not filling that need with another person? It's kind of hard ‘cause it's something I want to keep doing.

Jamie:

Yeah, and don’t you think you get a certain amount of your sense of self and pride and self-confidence from your sexual experiences with another person?

Bruce:

Testosterone.

Jamie:

How would that affect you? There's so many things that are wrapped up in human sexuality beyond just the act of sex. So you want to feel sexy. You want to feel engaged in that way. And if you never got to have that, it could actually make you a crappier person. Cause you didn't get that sense of self from it.

Bruce:

What about other ways, say oral?

Jamie:

Sure.

Bruce:

You know? I mean, is that enough?

Jamie:

I don't think so.

Bruce:

No?

Jamie:

I think so. I would like to think that would be enough, but…

Bruce:

Yeah, it's something, it just feels different. It feels different.

Jamie:

Yeah, there’s a total different connection. For sure.

Bruce:

What if you were the person who wasn't able to have sex again, and then the person wanted to have that conversation with you and how would you feel?

Jamie:

Oh, I think you first would be so sad that you couldn't fulfill that for that person.

Bruce:

Right. But would you fight for him to stay or would you fight for him to be like, "Hey, you can go find your own"?

Jamie:

No, I would be like, "Absolutely. I totally understand." I mean, "Fuck you, because I'm more than that." But also I understand. I think you'd be both. You'd be mad, cause you like to think that people are with you for more than sex, right? My sense of humor or whatever. My creative spirit.

Bruce:

But that's not going to propagate the species.

Jamie:

No. We got enough humans. We don't need any more. We've got plenty for now. But yeah, no, I think it would be difficult early on. If you've been with somebody forever and you have kids and maybe you're only sleeping together once every couple months anyways, who cares? No big deal at that point.

Bruce:

That doesn’t sound fun.

Jamie:

Well, you know, it happens in long-term relationships.

Bruce:

You have to make time.

Jamie:

You don't think people in their sixties and seventies aren't knocking it out every day anymore.

Bruce:

I guarantee there’s people who keep it alive.

Jamie:

Yeah. Probably.

Dr. Judy:

Unbelievably, there are many marriages and long-term relationships out there that are defined as sexless, and the definition is that you haven't had sex in probably the last year or so. The problem of course, with sexless relationships is that sexual intimacy is one of the ways you grow and bond as a romantic partnership. Without sex, you lose a very important part of that bonding process, and while you still may feel very familial to that person—maybe they're even your best friend—you take away the part of the relationship that's really special that makes it romantic.

If it's because one person has a health issue, that's kind of a different thing, but if the person doesn't have a health issue and perhaps it's emotional issues that are holding them back from wanting to get sexually intimate with you, then you need to see a professional and work it out and see if there's a path forward.

I'm Dr. Judy and this has been "Well, In My Opinion."

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