Giddy Presents The Naked Truth: Is Going To Bed Angry OK?
I'm an AASECT-certified sex therapist and licensed professional counselor-supervisor based in Austin, Texas. I've been in practice for 14 years, including working in corporate settings, higher education and private practice.
If you have questions you want to be answered in future columns, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Privacy in all matters of intimacy is very important to me and any questions answered in this column will be entirely anonymous.
Enough about me, let's talk sex.
We have occasional fights and I heard that you shouldn't go to sleep without making up—but we do. Is that a major problem? What can I do?
Maya in Idaho
Let's start by saying sleep is a biological need and regardless of your mood, you should sleep at some point.
Society has tons of rules about what makes things right, but honestly, you are the expert on your own relationship. I love a good disagreement if it evolves into a productive conversation, and when it doesn't, take a beat and maybe a nap. I say it a lot in sessions, "With great fighting comes great F-bombing."
The notion of not going to bed angry has so many benefactors. I would agree that every day we wake up is a little piece of gratitude missed, so nobody wants to wake up angry. That being said, grow a set, shake it off and be grateful to wake up in the same pile of bricks with your person rather than holding on to who lost or won the argument. It is totally OK to disagree as long as respect is included.
My favorite little statement to giggle at is the term "makeup sex." What does this mean? I personally prefer to see sex and affection as a sweet moment of pleasure without the need for labels. Essentially, I prefer no stipulations.
Here's a simple example. If you want to quit smoking and you are not super sold on the idea, you might justify smoking only when you drink. So then you start drinking so you can have just a drag.
My point here is that you should thrive on the perspective that an argument does in fact represent that each of you cares. I had a phrase in this book I wrote that still turns me on: Hallway sex. "F-you, no F-you." It's the passion that feeds into the truth that each of you has not given up on the other.
All arguments need to have some productive boundaries. Set a timer for 10 minutes; divide by two and look out. If you change the language from "you never" to "I would like more of," you will both further the dynamic. It feels much less like an accusation and looks more like appreciation for the healthy in each of you. The argument may spark up passion.
Again, I'm not shy, so feel free to ask me anything. Remember, this will always be anonymous. If you have any questions about relationships, sexual activities or your partners, let me know. Tell me your first name and the state you live in so I can attribute your question. Please email me at email@example.com. We will always respect your privacy.