From Abby Dryer to Marvin Gaye

When Abby first posted about addressing sex on GoodHusbanding, she stated that sex is “such a racy subject”. The internet tells me that the definition of racy is “lively, entertaining, and sexually titillating.” Well that sounds mighty nice, doesn’t it now? Ahem. Directly after that, she states that sex is “a very important part of marriage and shouldn’t be ignored” which sounds, in contrast to the first part, awfully serious. In the comments to the entry, readers use the words/phrases “open”, “keep it classy”, “dirty”, and “essential”.

So… what is it? Racy? Serious? Dirty? Can sex be classy? I’m a simple girl, so I’m just going to say yes. Yes, yes, YES.

Yes to Intimate. Vulnerable. Romantic. Passionate.

Yes to Dirty. Kinky. Raw. Rough.

Yes to Soothing. Healing. Comforting. Tender.

How many of you take the song Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye seriously? I think Austin Powers may have ruined it for the masses, but I, personally, think its a genuinely fantastic and very personal song. Now, it’s sexy sounding for sure – it *is* a song about a middle-of-the-night rendevous, after all – but what is he really saying? Here are some lyrics from two of the verses:


“Whenever blue teardrops are fallin’
And my emotional stability is leaving me…


“Baby, I got sick this mornin’
A sea was stormin’ inside of me
Baby, I think I’m capsizin’
The waves are risin’ and risin'”


Well that’s actually depressing. Thanks, dude. But then he says:

“And when I get that feeling
I want sexual healing
Sexual healing is good for me
Makes me feel so fine, it’s such a rush
Helps to relieve the mind, and it’s good for us.”

And here I’m just going to say it again … YES. This song WORKS for me. I get it. I can totally see where my man Marvin is coming from. YES. Okay, so I’m lovin’ it over here. But let’s talk about it for a minute – this kind of sex that Marvin is singing about here … what kind of sex is it? Healing, for sure. But what does that mean? Is it tender or energetic? Urgent or patient? Loud and wild? Quiet and gentle? I think you know what I’m going to say here … YES. Sex can be healing no matter what kind of sex it is. (I don’t know ’bout ya’ll, but angry sex is definitely worth shakin’ a stick at, and is my favorite way to get over a silly disagreement.)

Of course, not all sex is healing, because sometimes, we just don’t need to be healed, thank goodness. But if sex can be healing, then why can’t it be classy? Should it have to be classy? What if fast and urgent is really what someone needs right then? And then, if sex doesn’t have to be classy, even when it’s healing  sex, then why does talking about sex have to be limited to what is classy, e.g. “very stylish and elegant”? (Although, I imagine that there are lovers out there in the world that manage to make “dirty” and “stylish and elegant” the same thing, and find it very therapeutic.) Sex can be anything you and your partner need it to be. I’m not talking about kinks and fetishes here, that was the last entry. I’m talking about the personal and emotional approach to any particular love-making encounter.

I notice that I just said ‘love-making’. Honestly, I think my brain was just looking for another word besides ‘sex’ which I’ve used a million times already. But it occurred to me that the name that a couple gives any particular rendezvous helps define it, at least within our current social construct and social expectation. “Making love” is stereotypically associated with the passionate, intimate type, my first list of words up there, and also with the third list. “F**king” would be a good fit for the second list of words. Many couples also have their own fun/secret/special names for sex. Can f***king be classy? (You knew I was going to ask that, didn’t you?) Your homework for today is to stretch your mind – break away from the social expectation here, and imagine how “making love” and “f***king” might, in some situations, be the same thing, and how they both can be Sexual Healing.

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