Very quick ‘two things’ update this week. An amazing piece of writing on intimacy, followed by a weird rant in the Guardian about marriage. Click, read, comment etc – and if you do spot things that you think I should be featuring in my Monday posts, then please do recommend stuff in the comments.
Good thing: Andrew Gurza’s ‘price of intimacy’
This gorgeous article by Andrew Gurza, is incredibly moving, and all the things that get me in the heart about a really good piece of writing.
“I spent weeks quieting the voices in my head telling me that using the services of a sex worker was not a good idea. Would this be the only way I could find intimacy? Would someone even want to do this with me, or would he only view it as a charitable opportunity to help a cripple? Despite all these questions, I sat in my apartment reflecting on my nearly year-long celibacy. It was time to take care of myself.”
I’ve interviewed Andrew before, and I think his work is amazing. He’s a Disability Awareness Consultant whose passion is making disability accessible to everyone. He is the Founder and Co-Director of Deliciously Disabled Consulting, a company, brand and movement that aims to make the lived experience of disability accessible to pop culture. If you like the piece above (and why wouldn’t you?) please do follow him on Twitter as well.
Bad thing: commitment as necessity
This article about marriage and good sex in the Guardian annoyed me last week. The author talks about the fantastic effect marriage has had on her sex life, which is lovely. But in discussing how brilliant it is for her, she ties herself into weird logical knots explaining a ‘prevailing narrative’ that I’m not entirely sure exists:
“That’s because the prevailing cultural narrative for women my age – I’m 27 – is that our teens and 20s are for sexual adventures: the try-before-you-buy approach. Our early 30s are for being just as flirty, perhaps a wee bit pickier, and for forging ahead with our careers. Eventually, when we get bored with playing the field and crawling home at 4am with a hangover that lasts three days, we settle down, have babies and start listening to Radio 4.”
Far more common, to my mind, is the pressure to get married, have babies, and fit yourself into the ‘happy ever after’ narrative before it’s too late to do so.
I love that she’s happy in her marriage. Equally I love that others are happy outside marriage. Far more, I would love it if we didn’t insist on using ‘marriage’ as the benchmark by which we understand relationship ‘success.’ I’d appreciate it if we stopped equating monogamy or one particular decision as ‘success.’ I’d like us to accept that what makes you happy at one point in your life might not give you the same joy forever.
Most of all I’d like us to stop pretending that everyone’s happiness looks the same.