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 Post subject: Too sleepy to have sex
 Post Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 12:25 pm 
Too sleepy to do it?

@ DM / Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A recent study from the United States claims that nearly half the population is too sleepy to have sex. Many Americans, it seems, prefer to watch TV for one hour before going to bed, after which they are presumably too sleepy to seek comfort in the bodies of their partners.

Another report claims that a similar crisis exists within Japanese marriages. Many Japanese men, it says, are too tired to have sex and many marriages therefore remain sexless. TV was not mentioned in the Japanese report. But Japan’s social system requires after-work socializing, and presumably many Japanese wage-earners return home too exhausted to think of making love to their wives.

Sri Lankans are usually smug in their attitudes to sex. They prefer not to discuss it at all. But I suspect that the situation isn’t any better when it comes to many of our marriages. Many people spend anything from two to four hours commuting from home to work, and return home with time just for dinner and a bath before going to bed. Low-calory diets would only increase their levels of fatigue, and love making must be a luxury under such circumstances.

This writer can only believe that this is a sad state of affairs. In the developed world, people have achieved success by working very hard. As a consequence, they no longer have the time or the inclination to indulge in what may be called one of the undeniable pleasures of marriage. No one will claim that a marriage will cease to exist if there’s no longer any sex in it, but let’s face the hard truth – it won’t really be the same thing. If one spouse is crippled by an accident or disease, that’s a different matter. Love will come to the rescue. But, when both partners are healthy but prefer TV or computer games to sex, there’s something definitely wrong with the scale of priorities.

What if TV and electronic means of entertainment didn’t exist? Would people have drunk themselves silly before retiring to bed? It’s an interesting proposition. Take our own villages. A generation ago, when many villages had no electricity and even a battery-operated radio was a novelty, families had their dinner early and sat in the verandah chatting before going to sleep (sleeping by 9 p.m – 10 at the latest – because there was nothing to do).

This was the era of large families, seven, eight or more children per family being pretty common, and you don’t need a PhD in anthropology to work out that couples were sexually active for a good part of their married lives.

I’m not attempting here to subscribe to the theory that pastorals are obsessed with sex (put another way, it isn’t just pastorals who are obsessed with it. If you live in a city, take a good look around). That idea may have originated with Robert Knox, who had a few interesting things to say about the sex lives of Kandyan villagers. But it isn’t just Westerners who perpetuate such attractive theories about village life, be it up country or low. The Cannes-award winning film “Sulanga Enu Pinisa” by Vimukthi Jayasundara, for example, is being taken apart these days by our film critics for just such a view of our villagers. Much of the time, it is claimed, they are engaged in sex, illicit or otherwise (not having seen the film, I can’t say whether this is true or not about the film. After all the controversy, I look forward now to seeing it – surely it’d be a sin to miss an award-winning film with so much sex in it?). Before anyone points out that the maker of this film lives in France, let’s remember other quality films such as “Bhawa duka”, Dharmasiri Bandaranaike’s film, which discussed the sex lives of our villagers in scathing detail.

Let me get to the point at last. If TV had been there, our villagers would have been spared a lot of embarrassing detail. Today’s border villages do have TV, but not having to commute six hours a day maybe the undoing of these villagers. After all, nobody’s lambasting the sophisticated Americans and the Japanese for giving up sex for TV. Now that smaller families are the norm, sex has lost its primary motive force, and TV may indeed look to many as the less stressful form of entertainment.

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