Our Sex Life Used to Be Great, Then We Got a Stop Sign

Our sex life wasn’t always bad. For a while there it seemed like we had sex frequently in a well-lit, neutral-toned bedroom. We’d get under the thick comforter of our white king-size bed, our blemish-free legs playfully dangling out. From there it would erupt into a close-up of her fist tightly clutching the sheet. But since the stop sign, I haven’t been able to shake the feeling that our relationship is just going through the motions in some cliché existence that anybody could use without fear of copyright infringement.

The moment we met at work, I knew there was chemistry. She was an attractive yet accessible customer-service representative wearing a headset and always smiling directly at me against a contemporary office background. I was a well-groomed businessman fixated intensely on my laptop, surrounded by a team of deeply engaged colleagues. When I looked up, she flashed me a smile that said, “Would you like to take a brief customer satisfaction survey?”

Over time however, things started to go downhill. Instead of me lowering her confidently on the bed, holding her raised right leg against my hip, leading inevitably to hot, royalty-free suggested sex, or at least tips on what every man needs to know about how to satisfy a woman in bed, we’d find ourselves in our underwear sitting apart, me on the edge the bed rubbing my temples, her leaning despondently against the headboard slightly out-of-focus behind me.

Despite obstacles, we still managed; that is, until the stop sign. We were all ready for our usual brightly lit midday romp. I was wearing a tight-fitting undershirt that accentuated my muscular body, and she had her hair down. As I turned to kiss her, my face was met by a big red sign in her hand. Even though it said ‘STOP,’ deep down I knew it meant, ‘8 Signs You’re Trapped In A Sexless Marriage.’

Was it my fault? I was skeptical. After all, if I’d had erectile dysfunction, my penis would have turned into a downward-pointing banana against an off-white backdrop. Just to be certain, I checked with an authoritative-looking doctor standing confidently in a lab coat with his arms crossed. The fact that he had a stethoscope was all the assurance I needed to know there was nothing wrong with me.

Karen and I are taking some time apart now, which is probably for the best. I still hope that one day we’ll end up happy and grey (but still incredibly attractive), standing on a picture-perfect tropical beach wearing linen and tenderly half-embracing while pondering either prescription medication or our retirement savings. But for now she’s staying with her family in their department-store picture frame.