Due almost entirely to my own experiences and those I have read about on TTC boards over the last 8 months or so, I am worried for the future of the human race. No, let me rephrase. I am worried for the future of those of us 'blessed' enough to live surrounded by technology.
What I am about to write may come across as biased, anti-male, or even anti-technology - I assure you that is not my intention. I am sure that there are just as many women out there who engage in these kinds of behaviours. I am only speaking, as I said at the beginning, from experience.
I have written before about frequency being a bit of an issue for us. There seem to be quite a few women in the same situation across all the TTC boards that I read. It seems that, for some of us at least, TTC isn't just a matter of OPKs and temp spikes, but of a constant cycle of persuasion and rejection.
A quick search about men with low drive and the impact on conception will yield lots of astounding theories. Does he really want a baby? Have you tried dressing up for him? Have you tried doing it how he wants? In amongst all this, there are a lot of results pointing to low testosterone levels, and I am still not convinced that this isn't true for us. All the signs or symptoms are there, but you can't force a grown man to ask the doctor, right? Along side this though, there are many behavioural patterns that I believe impact the whole area of intimacy, only to be brought to the fore when TTC.
Men who are too tired or stressed.
Men who are just not interested in sex.
Men who are not in the mood.
Men who feel pressure to perform.
Men who just need to reply to this email or complete that task for work.
Men who just need to reach the next save point or beat that lap time.
I have come across many women trying to cope with any number of these behaviours.. It was pretty eye opening to see the huge number of posts on one marriage board (not specifically regarding TTC, just sex in general) who said they were frequently turned down for sex in favour of video games or web browsing. This is where my worry kicks in. These men have only really had access to cheap personal computing for the last half of their lives, what about all the young boys born today who will have an ipad in their hands before they can even speak?
There's a whole lot of literature about the effect of the instant reward structure of many games and other electronic entertainment (gambling, videos, etc) and none of it is very encouraging. Worse still, as I mentioned earlier, it's about intimacy in general, not just sex. It's bad enough being continually turned away and rejected for sexual intimacy, but when this is backed up in every other area of life it can be demoralising. Not being able to go out for dinner because there's a new DLC level pack that's just been released. Being late to a party because the next save point was ages away. Having to leave a day out early because he hasn't had a chance to play all day and feels like the day will be wasted if he doesn't get in a few laps.
I am not saying that video games or technology are the root of all evil. I know that there are many who can moderate their use and technology enhances their lives rather than engulfing it. I know that there are many other factors at play.
I also think selfishness plays a big part. Every time I see someone saying they were rejected because their partner wasn't in the mood, it saddens me; I know exactly how it feels. Every day at work we do things we aren't 'in the mood' for because we know that's how relationships are built and maintained. But we seem to think that it's ok to tell our partner that their needs are less important? I have read more posts than I care to remember written by men who have said blatantly that they have rejected their partners' sexual advances because they found it easier to 'take care of themselves' than put up with the needs or desires of another person.
I know there is much more to all of this than simple "Video games bad. Sex good." If you and your partner struggle to be sexually intimate, especially while TTC, what is the issue that gets in your way? How have you tried to address it? I'd love to hear from others.