It’s on to the next post about identifying a LL partner.

We’re getting close to the end, aren’t we?  But not quite as close as you think, because I’m going to add another one at the end that I’ve never discussed before.  That mystery should help a bit with the suspense of this series.  On with the show…


9. Sex is not worth the effort. Often there are many obstacles to having sex, including work, schedules, physical stress, children, intramarital tensions and other factors that make sex a goal that seems far away. For the LL person, there is a very finite amount of energy that should be expended towards sex. If there are conflicts or obstacles, sex quickly gets put on the back burner. Circumstances sometimes warrant this, but the HL partner will almost always find ways of overcoming or working around these obstacles. The LL person will allow circumstances control and ultimately crowd out time, energy or thoughts of sex. They are often too tired for sex. The HL is more often too tired of NOT having sex!


If you want to see people jump through all sorts of hoops and expend a ton of effort for minimal return (if not misery) watch them at Christmas time.  Going to the mall around the holidays is an exercise in watching people attempt the impossible; buying happiness.  And they persevere and persist year after year.


Recently, a radio station and Six Flags Over Georgia got together and decided to offer free admission to the mega amusement park for the day.  People started arriving at 3:30 in the morning and they had to close the gates by 6:30!  The interstate system was backed up in both directions for miles as people drove in sometimes from neighboring states!  These people were willing to endure a lot of inconvenience and hardship to save $30 or so.


And that is what this one is about; a willingness to overcome inconvenience and obstacles in order obtain pleasure or even for the pleasure of others.  For a HL individual, sexual pleasure could be compared to getting a free ticket to Six Flags only without the long lines.  However, those of us in clashing libido relationships, we still have to endure a considerably long wait before we can get to the actual ride.  Now imagine getting up early, enduring the traffic and the crowd and the long lines only to get to the roller coaster and discover the ride is closed.  This happens all too often to many of us.


The LL individual, when it comes to sex, has virtually no perseverance at all.  Anything can supplant naked time and it almost always does.  The slightest sniffle, the slightest disturbance in the environment, or the slightest slight will transform the promised experience into a cruel disappointment. 


For the most part, a typical HL person will jump through countless hoops to satisfy a long list of conditions and preconditions erected by the LL in order for them to be approachable on a sexual level. But it all must be done carefully in order to avoid the slightest appearance of prrreeessssurrre! 


A very frequent complaint from LL individuals it this supposed pressure that the HL individual puts on to them through expectations.  So even if a HL person satisfies the conditions, such as having all the chores done, setting the right mood, having the kids in bed at a decent hour or hiring a babysitter or making sure everyone is adequately fed or making sure the LL has sufficient energy and reduced stress, this can all come to nothing because the LL perceives this as adding pressure to them.  In other words, by intentionally removing obstacles and stresses the HL unwittingly ends up adding stress to the situation.  Too much effort, planning and preparation ends up derailing the whole thing.  Planning a romantic sexual encounter seems to be unique among all other experiences where there is such a thing as too much preparation.    This basically puts the HL in an impossible bind where they absolutely can not win.


Many HLs will back off entirely, in the name of decreasing the pressure only to find themselves in the imitation bind.  Sex is forgotten entirely, and while the LL experiences less performance anxiety this does not translate into more sex.  It turns in none.


The prize for effort and hoop jumping goes to our good friend FTN.  The man goes through rings of fire, using superhuman imaginations and efforts and the best he can hope for is a side salad.  He seems to put the best face he possibly can on the situation, and more than once has gotten caught in the prrrreeessssurrrre bind.  Cabin in the woods + hot tub = pressure.  Kids to the grandparents + hotel room = pressure.  Scavenger hunt + hotel = pressure.  Tent in the living room + scattered rose petals = pressure.   Romantic music + candles = pressure.  Pressure, pressure, pressure.  FTN’s imaginative effort is the Jan to Autumn’s Marcia Brady psyche.  It’s all about her, but she gets wigged out if it is too much about her.


The Low Libido is the most fragile and delicate of things.  Doing too little can be damning.  Doing too much can be even more damning. 


As if this wasn’t maddening enough, consider what happens on the extremely rare occasion that the LL initiates.  In this situation, the HL usually reacts with some amount of appreciation if not enthusiasm.  But at the same time, if they open their mouths, they could get themselves in serious, serious trouble.  The HL is still totally in the power and at the whim of the LL person.  Say or do the wrong thing and the whole thing can come to a screeching halt.  I’m thinking of a scene in American Beauty where Kevin Spacey’s long suffering character looks like he might finally get something from his wife when suddenly she became preoccupied with the beer bottle he had in his hand:


Lester is sitting on a chair, his feet up on the coffee table. She asks him whose car is out there, and he tells her that it’s his – it’s the car he’s always wanted. She asks where the Camry is and he tells her he traded it in. She starts to continue their argument, but he cuts her off, telling her she looks great. She sits and asks where Jane is. He tells her that she’s not home, and goes to sit next to Carolyn on the couch. Suddenly, in a softer tone than he’s ever used with her before, he asks her when she “became so joyless.” With a teasing undercurrent to her voice, she tells him that “there’s plenty of joy in my life.” Lester asks her what happened to the girl she used to be, reminding her of the crazy things she used to do. He starts to kiss her neck, and she moans softly. She begins to lean into him, but then suddenly notices that he’s holding a beer bottle and comments that he’s going to “spill beer on the couch.” He gets up, the mood killed, and tells her it’s “just a couch!” She tries to justify herself by emphasizing how expensive it was, but he shouts again that “it’s just a couch,” slamming a pillow into it repeatedly. He unleashes a torrent of words at her, trying to get her to see that this “stuff” is not more important than life. Carolyn runs upstairs, looking like she’s about to cry.



The wife was screwing someone else, so one could argue she wasn’t a LL per se, and the argument could be made that Lester was the one who got off track.  But you can see how easily it can happen.  Why the hell does she care about the beer and the couch?


The biggest problem with the Low Libido becoming derailed is when the derailment is never fixed.  Often, life gets in the way.  The kids get sick or the car breaks down or something happens.  When things like this happened while dating, the couple would either make alternate plans or take a rain check.  That rain check would be ultimately cashed at a later time thus the lost opportunity would be made up.  But this is not the case with the LL in a clashing libido situation.  The rain checks go uncashed and the HL person is left dangling and hurt.


Anyone else heard this one?

“I would have been willing tonight, if you would/wouldn’t have _________?”


This is the ultimate bind.  We never know when the LL might be approaching readiness, and often we are lead to believe that we have done something to upset and ruin our chances.  For my part, I do not buy that lameness.  It is a cruel ploy, even if it might be true.  I was once told that she might have been ready except that I happened to yell at the cat.  My reply of “I don’t believe you.” wasn’t appreciated but at least I was spared from that particular ruse again.     


Initiation and effort represent a couple of double binds where it is damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don’t.   About the only way out of these binds is to sit down, talk about it and have it out.


But then, we run into the ultimate of the LL binds, which we’ll cover in #10. 





6 Responses to “Effort”

  1. Tom Allen Says:

    Good take on this, Digger. Nice work.

  2. FTN Says:



    Gack, you used my least-favorite two words, “Pressure” and “Expectations.” I’m sitting here thinking of positive “sex” stories I could give you in rebuttal, but for every positive one, I can also think of a negative one. Bah.

    Kids are the biggest excuse — “they’re pulling on me and whining all day, and at the end of the day, I’m not feeling very sexy.” But alas, there have been times when the kids have been removed from the picture, and it doesn’t magically change a lot.

    Regarding the “pressure,” though… I talk (and debate) with Autumn about this, and she is often aware that she brings much of it on herself. She reads between the lines of things I say, and she’s often assuming things that just aren’t true. So she knows it’s an internal struggle of her own, most often. So I guess that’s one positive step.

  3. Tom Allen Says:

    “they’re pulling on me and whining all day, and at the end of the day, I’m not feeling very sexy.”

    Dr. Laura (yeah, go ahead and roll your eyes) has a good take on this: most men work all day in very stressful jobs at which they have to worry about being passed over for promotions, or not getting an expected bonus, or even getting fired or laid off. So, why don’t they come home and say “I had a bad day, I don’t feel sexy.”? It’s especially galling that these men will come home and their wives will say “Oh good, you’re home. Now you can watch the kids and give me a break,” as if the guys had not done anything at all for the last eight or ten hours.

    Bottom line is that the job stress thing is just an excuse for some people.

  4. trueself Says:

    I swear, Digger, you must be looking in on my life with W. How else could you have nailed his behavior so accurately? I can’t count the times that we’ve managed to have some alone time with N at camp, or at the grandparents’ house, or with friends for the night, or what have you, only to make him feel like there is more “pressure to perform.” Aack. I’m not expecting a “performance” just a bit of nurturing loving physical intimacy. Well, I’m not expecting anything anymore. Life did become easier in some respects when I stopped expecting intimacy from W.

    And yes, I have heard the “I would have been willing last night if you [fill in blank from choices below]” all too often.
    “wouldn’t have fallen asleep before I got to bed.” (2 hours after me)
    “would have told me you wanted to.” (as opposed to the other 4,938 times when I told you I wanted to and nothing happened)
    “would have come to bed with less clothes on.” (you couldn’t ask me to take them off, or even helped with the process?)
    “wouldn’t have snuggled and made me so comfy I fell asleep.” (sorry I thought that snuggling and kissing would lead to something other than sleep)

  5. diggerjones Says:

    FTN, just living with such a swell guy must be tremendous enough pressure for Autumn! You’re lucky you get any at all!LOL! Seriously. it doesn’t matter whether the pressure is of her own making or yours, the result is the same. You manage to overcome such obstacles, while she succumbs to them, as Tom sort of explains.

    However, my job is distinct from home, and I have no problems spending as much time with the kids as she might want or need. But that’s not going to be translated into more sexual desire on her part. Like you say, it’s just an excuse.

    Trueself, I feel the frustration. Those kinds of mindgames are just another form of abuse. If there was a possibility and it slipped away for whatever reason, the only reason to tell you would be to make a raincheck and state intentions for future behavior. But that’s not why he’s doing it. He’s trying to push his guilt over on to you.


  6. find a used car Says:

    Interesting blog, im definetly a HL person!

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