Fucking

Yes, that’s pretty much the theme and part of the title for chapter 10 of Schnarch’s Passionate Marriage. Anyone who has read this book knows that Schnarch uses the word fuck fairly freely but not gratuitously in his writing. Some might argue it is never appropriate to use the word but Schnarch starts of by explaining why and how he uses it.

As for me, I will fling that word out on occasion just because of its nature which is aggressive, lascivious and salacious at the same time. It’s precisely the way it grabs the imagination and emotions which makes its judicious use effective. But it loses its power with over use. When I was in the Army, it was pretty much a standard adjective to describe anything and everything to the point where one pretty much ceased to hear it or even realize they were saying it. “Grab your fucking rifle and a fucking rag and then clean the fucking thing for a fucking hour or so before it is fucking chow time.” “Pass the fucking salt” just rolled off the (fucking) tongue too (fucking) easily while in the (fucking) chow hall.

Now that I’ve totally desensitized you or turned you off, we’ll proceed to the word’s real meaning as opposed to its abuse and misuse in the military.

Schnarch breaks it down by first talking about doing the other person and about being done. The elegance of doing someone is in the fact that both partners are essentially giving but it is done in different ways. The partner doing the doing is being sexually generous in their actions while the partner being done is being generous in their response. Those of us who struggle with intimacy know the barren landscape of both when it is absent. In fact, when we actually have sex, we are doing something but it isn’t necessarily each other. At least with masturbation we are doing ourselves. But in the emotionally fused relationship there is such a minefield around sex with so many rules and boundaries that it is almost impossible to really cut loose.

I can’t really do Arwyn because she has so many narrow boundaries. If she even lets me on top, it’s pretty much confined to a little kissing and some in and out. There is no erotic touching and no licking allowed at all. I need to stick to the script and it involves coming pretty much as quickly as possible. And as far as being done, I don’t know if we’ve ever really even approached that ever. So I’m wondering if I would even know what to do if it ever happened. Would I even be able to handle it? Would I be able to enjoy it? I have no idea, except it would be a shocking experience. I’d need practice to actually learn to enjoy it, I think.

The essence of doing and being done simultaneously is fucking. There’s really no other term that captures the aggressive, desirous and carnal nature of it. As Schnarch quotes D.H. Lawrence “The woman who doesn’t have at least a bit of harlot in her is a very dry stick, indeed.” There is lots of fucking that takes place in the world between married people but unfortunately most of it is done with and to people who are not married to each other! For some reason, our culture almost instantly turns married sex into some sort of insipid, tepid, luke warm experience. Suddenly we’re supposed to be “making love” and the art of fucking becomes profane. However, the reality is just the opposite. As soon as a couple stops fucking, they inhibit their desire, their passion and their constructive aggression and eroticism sort of whithers up, dries up and gets blown away by other competing priorities.

The most notable example of this within our little blogging circle is Tajalude and her husband Brady. From her past posting, we see that Taja really, really would like Brady to just take her and fuck her occasionally with some degree of carnal passion (actually, you won’t see that because she’s flushed most of her archives but trust me). We saw that Brady often responded positively to Taja’s passion when she decides to take control and do him. If I’m reading her correctly, she’d like a bit of reciprocation in kind from him. But for some reason he doesn’t do it, and it might be a fear of his own aggressive nature. I think us men sometimes have our aggression socialized and censored right out of us. The good news is that we can learn to channel it into our passion but we have to be confident and differentiated enough to do it. Emotional fusion can kill male carnality the same way it kills desire in women. There’s comfort in routines and safety in not rocking the boat too much.

The emotional fusion goes both ways. Taja really gets anxious about Brady’s disengagement and she pulls away in order to lessen her own emotional tension which probably makes him feel more anxious. And next thing you know, there is emotional gridlock. If he could learn to deal with some actual good old fashioned fucking, he could foster the growth of his own differentiation and learn to take the lead a bit more. The whole trying to have a baby thing probably really tests the marital machinery even more. There’s some stellar potential for growth if they could both learn to get along a bit better, forget about making a baby and just fucking fuck.

Taja, along with many of her other female bloggers, nicely illustrates another point Schnarch makes in this chapter that I might otherwise totally not wrap my mind around. That is that women generally have a better understanding and comfort level about doing and being done than men. My experience has been exactly the opposite but he points out that he gets more feedback at his lectures from women. The topic of sex and sexuality is more often discussed in women’s magazines than men’s. Women tend to have more of a comfort level when talking about body fluids and orifices, according to Schnarch. And I’ll admit that sometimes it really is hard to fully appreciate the fact that women might enjoy anal sex, although not as difficult as those men who have not reached the developmental milestone of having their own anal regions penetrated. Penetration is something men seem to have a more difficult time with, along with getting our minds around menstrual flow, tampons and the like.

I still have a difficult time with this particular section of chapter 10. While many female bloggers seem to be very much in touch with their own carnal eroticism, most of the guys on my blogroll are married to women who are exactly the opposite. If there is some deeper erotic energy in there, it’s been pretty well hidden.

Perhaps I should spend a minute explaining what fucking is not. It is not manipulation or doing things to intentionally hurt the other person. It is not rape. Fucking is not a perversion and it is not something that is inherently profane. It is not using a partner as a receptacle or a scratching post. It is not subjugation, violation or subordination. It is tinged with aggression and power, but it is not pitted against a partner. The power does not minimize the other person but maximizes their enjoyment through projecting desire in a strong and confident manner.

The fantasy of fucking involves being ridden hard and put up wet. It is doing and being done until both partners are exhausted. It is rigorous, vigorous and virile.

D.

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10 Responses to Fucking

  1. Square1 says:

    I have to say I agree with almost everything in here. I wish a different term could be applied, but I understand the necessity of something that captures the gravity of the subject.

  2. Dave says:

    Interesting, and some of this is exactly right- when Lynn and I fuck, and it’s what it should be, there’s the whole carnal let it go do each other thing going, and it’s wonderful.

    I’m pretty lucky in that respect though, we’re pretty suited for each other, in her own understanding of what she wants and needs, and my willingness to try to give that- and the reverse, I am able to tell her what would be good, and she’s open to trying that too.

    Maybe more than just “pretty” lucky, huh? Very much so indeed!

  3. FTN says:

    Hmm… Two things:

    “I think us men sometimes have our aggression socialized and censored right out of us.”

    That part is so true, and it’s often never more evident than in the church itself. We’re socialized to be nice guys! Testosterone and aggression are bad! Sex isn’t talked about, because as long as you wait for marriage, it’ll be great, right?!

    Also, I’m not sure I could totally agree with the idea that women have that much more of a comfort level with everything sexual. If Schnarch is seeing that at his lectures, that’s because he’s only seeing the type of people that go to sex lectures or sex counseling! I have no doubt that there are groups of women that are “comfortable with being sexual,” but to be honest, I don’t know if I know any of them. And I *know* my wife doesn’t know anyone like that, because she sticks to the motif that the only women that ARE like that are the tiny group that are around on these blogs!

    Digger, would you consider some of the sexual things that were happening much earlier in you and Arwyn’s relationship to be “doing” (or fucking, which is hard for me to even type)?

  4. Katie says:

    “The fantasy of fucking involves being ridden hard and put up wet.”

    Towel, please. 😉

  5. Desmond Jones says:

    Well, I think great sex, in whatever form, involves a high degree of mutuality, whether it be agressive and passionate ‘fucking’, or relaxed and sensual ‘lovemaking’, or what-have-you. And that’s the thing that can be hard to get to. It’s easy, from my own experience, for the two of us to sort of be taking care of ourselves on each other’s bodies, if you know what I mean. It’s a deeper level to look after each other – ‘do’ each other, if you wanna say it that way – and do it together.

    And, I do resonate with the notion that men get their aggression ‘socialized and censored right out of us’. I just finished ‘Wild at Heart’, and that was the thing that just burrowed into my soul and wouldn’t let go. . .

  6. diggerjones says:

    It’s just a word, Square. But it is a powerful enough one and useful enough one that can easily become diluted with overuse, like in the military. That’s why people use it overly much. I thought of you while writing this because you do recognize the power of words in your own writing and had asked something about it one of your earlier posts.

    Glad you didn’t get too bent about being made an example of Taja! I was hoping that I didn’t go too far astray.

    Yeah, Dave, you are *highly* fortunate! Too fortunate, in fact. Maybe we can get you more conflicted in the next installment!

    I know that it seems like these women who like sex are like aliens to you (and me) FTN, and seem to be in the minority. But I’m not totally buying it. I think women have a keener sense of penetration than me. I also think that women like our wives are hiding more than we think. As far as what we did earlier, I might sometimes think of that as fucking, but it wasn’t really. It was her dealing with her anxiety about our relationship and me being Lizard Man and enjoying the sensations. We were not *doing* each other, tho, really. We were doing *something* for sure and at the time it was enough. See my post about XH on Unsolicited Advice. Reading his post, you can see that while they are doing more activities than either you or I, he still suffers from the same basic lack of intimacy.

    Katie, what shall I do with you?!? You really could be a good sex blogger.

    Yeah, I do get the mutual masturbation thing, Desmond, and Schnarch refers to that as sort of using your reptilian brain, or the nonthinking part instead of the neocortex. It’s easy because it allows us to avoid all the stuff that can shut us down, threaten us and cause anxiety. As far as John Eldridge, I’ve read parts of it, visited the website and linked to an interview of his where I get the gist of his message. He’s got a lot of good points.

    D.

  7. Trueself says:

    Doing and being done at the same time. That’s what BJ and I have together when we are together. I have never had that with anyone else ever, particularly W. W was (when he cared for sex at all) much more interested in getting me to the big O so he could have his and get over with. That, in my book, has nothing to do with fucking or lovemaking.

  8. C-Marie says:

    There’s just something about that word… it’s aggressive, it’s bold, it’s primal,
    hot
    direct
    forceful
    expressive
    taboo
    commanding
    passionate
    animal…

    Yeah, It fuckin’ rocks.

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