IS THERE SEX AFTER MARRIAGE? by Carol Botwin

IS THERE SEX AFTER MARRIAGE?

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Among the recently married, the answer would seem to be not much--though long-timers might have trouble recognizing the pattern of almost immediate and continuing decline in sexual interest presented by Botwin's experts. ""The high frequency of sex in the beginning of relationships may actually be the abnormal state,"" several attest at length--pointing to anxiety as an initial ""turnon,"" to the subsequent surfacing of dysfunction problems, ""small repulsions,"" communication barriers, and what-all. Pregnancy can create further estrangement; child-rearing interferes with spontaneity and privacy; the ""age-thirty crisis"" brings restlessness, dissatisfaction; adolescent children arc sources of domestic stress and competitive, ""time is running out"" feelings. And while some few couples ""may experience a renewal of passion once children leave the home,"" others are beset by middle-age insecurities--female loss of attractiveness, male fear of impotence, an array of inhibiting health problems. Then, ""when a couple is past sixty, the full flower of prejudice against sex in old age blossoms""--though reference is made to the counter-indicative Consumers Union report, Love, Sex, and Aging. The second half of the book, following this broad view of sexual malaise, consists of the usual all-purpose counsel: ""Try making sexual overtures at different times and places. Try different positions""; beware of attitudes from the past (unrealistic expections, old taboos). Then there's the well-known fear of intimacy, incompatible ways of handling anger, one or another form of power struggle (including the breakfast-table wrangles of health-food-nut Jeanne and bacon-eater Eric). Such things are said to escalate, and so they may--but persons concerned with a partner's lack of sexual interest, or their own, would be better advised to look to one of the standard sex guides (like Theresa Crenshaw's Bedside Manner). This is a dim, glum model of marital sex, accompanied by generalized prescriptions for all sorts of marital woes.

Pub Date: March 21st, 1985
Publisher: Little, Brown