Advice: Marry for Sex or Stability?Posted: September 1, 2015
Dear Miss Sunshine and Shy Desi Boy,
I’m in a bit of a dilemma and need your help. I’ve been introduced to three boys as potential marriage prospects (rishtas). I am not attracted to two of them and find it hard to imagine having sex with either of them. While both boys are virgins and have very good careers and other good attributes, I don’t have a very open relationship with them in terms of communication. They are of a traditional mindset which I am not.
The third boy whom I’ve been introduced to is not a virgin and is also not well settled in his career. He has had sex with many women before. However, I am very attracted to him and can imagine myself having sex with him. The only problem is that I am a virgin and find it hard to trust him with his past sexual history and am worried he may cheat within marriage. I have been able to talk to him about everything from money to even how frequent he would like sex with me if we do get married as well as his previous sexual history and my concerns regarding the same.
Is attraction very important to enjoy sex? Do you think it is possible to have a fulfilling relationship with someone you are not attracted to? I know financial stability is also important. I’m just confused as to whether I should marry for money and comfort or marry for love…considering life it not really a fairytale.
Thank you for your help.
Sex or Stability
Miss Sunshine replies:
You can have both sex and stability, but there is no guarantee of either. Personal finances have cycles of boom and bust just like sexual passion. If there is anything I’ve come to understand about the nature of good relationships it’s that the things that make them last are not the things that necessarily make life easy or comfortable. Lasting marriages require a commitment to make them last, first and foremost. Lasting and happy marriages also require deep mutual respect, dedication to reciprocity and mutual fulfillment, and values and lifestyle habits that are harmonious. Sexual attraction is very important, but that too is contingent and unstable it can grow and it can shrink.
You are right to be worried about sex, and I don’t think you should marry someone for whom you hold no sexual attraction, but sexual desire can be generated and nurtured. It’s just that you can’t know these things until you’ve tried. Your approach leaves you with a number of blind spots and so you’ve resorted to trying to make educated guesses in the place of informed decisions. You can’t possibly estimate one man’s fidelity based on the number of women he’s slept with. Very good careers can mean very little if someone is irresponsible with money.
I know very little about your situation, but I know that these aren’t the last three men in the world. I’d recommend that you continue to spend time with the men who interest you. Perhaps a longer courtship will give you the time to develop the things that facilitate sexual attraction like friendship, trust, enjoyment of one another’s company, a little flirting! If none of these men can hold your interest enough to want to know them more, then keep looking.
Shy Desi Boy replies:
Here is an ugly reality that we need to change: men are given the space in our society to insist that they want (even need!) an attractive partner but women are often stigmatized when they try to do the same.
My advice is that if you are not attracted to two of the men, do not go for them. I know others will tell you differently—that attraction grows, that looks change, that sex is not just about looks. So what—the question is what do you want? I have been in a sexless relationship and trust me—it feels awful. It causes low self-esteem and leads to constant fights. If you are already not feeling it with two of the people you are meeting, why do you think it would change?
I think good sex on marriage requires that at some level, you are attracted to your partner—it may not be his looks—but there has to be something about that person that will make you want to be intimiate with him.
The third person you spoke about seems promising. But a few things. First, his sexual past. Ask yourself why you like that he has had a past. Do you want someone experienced? This could be a good thing but it can be challenging too, especially since you have not had sex before. It is encouraging that you are both already open enough with each other that you feel comfortable talking about a topic like sex. Believe me, that is rare.
Second, his possibility of cheating. Just because a person has a past does not mean they will cheat. The real question is how does this man view his past sexual experiences? If he is still on Tinder or if he thinks about going on Ashley Madison while married, then obviously I would be cautious.
Third, his career. I would not worry about where a person is at when you meet them. What matters is where they are heading. If this person has ambition to make something out of his life and is committed to making you happy (and yes, sexually satisfied), then I say go for him. And if society tells you this is not the type of man that you should want, remember this: when has society ever given advice to women that is not patriarchal?