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They told me I was committing a cardinal sin in my relationship.
I'd expected a good amount of sex advice from the French.
Of course we still wanted to rip off each other's clothes at that point. I began a reporting journey around the world, during which I crowdsourced answers to the question of how to be a wife.
We maintained that intensity and fervor as we prepared to walk down the aisle nine months after the day we met, a new hot-and-heavy record for me. A married-sex rut would be even worse than a dating-sex rut. I interviewed hundreds of women across 20 countries, ostensibly talking about marriage, but more often talking about sex.
Orthodox couples have sex only during specific times of the month. It keeps the passion stoked." I kept a running list: Be the captain of your ship, behave like your husband's mistress (from the French, naturally), don't wear shitty sweatpants, keep the bathroom door closed, have less sex to have better sex, make sure to make time to have sex, keep the damn phone and computers out of the bedroom (from those wicked-smart Danes). If the mere suggestion of taking a sex break did this much for his libido, I wondered what an actual break might do. At the very least, I could try to pee with the door closed.
I'd wondered if this was a way to maximize fertility, but my assumptions were shot down once again. During the times we have sex is when all of the hormones are right for sex to be very enjoyable for the woman," an Orthodox woman around my age (married for more than a decade) told me. Acting the part of the mysterious mistress in barely-there lingerie was another matter entirely. I could maintain that last vestige of mystery in our marriage.
And, truth be told, the bathroom really is incredibly small.
But then one leaned in to me and whispered, her breath hot on my cheek, "You get on top. I'd long fretted that perhaps monogamy simply isn't a natural state for humans, and I looked to the French, a culture that is much more accepting about extramarital activities, for guidance. "No, I do not." After a sip of wine and a long draw on her skinny cigarette, she softened. I didn't bother to explain to her that the bathroom in our San Francisco condo is small, and peeing with the door closed makes me claustrophobic, and that I had invested a good amount of money in Lululemon athleisure pants, which technically were sweatpants that hugged my butt.
It's quieter." Isn't being with the same person, night after night, for the rest of your life, well, boring? But when I asked a coterie of wildly sophisticated Frenchwomen with perfect bangs and sweaters that fell effortlessly off their shoulders whether allowing affairs was the secret to stoking marital passion, they looked at me like I'd suggested they murder puppies. "I don't really understand sexy lingerie," I said instead.
Strong words coming from such a patriarchal society.
The Maasai women hailed the importance of making time for sex, no easy task for them.