From Cosmopolitan Magazine: Have you heard? Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for President of the United States, said he loves to grab women by the pussy. Not entirely unrelated: I’ve never been less horny in my entire life.
I haven’t had sex in weeks. After considering why and how this election is threatening to ruin my previously amicable (even enthusiastic) relationship with sex, I think the problem is twofold. On one hand, the thought of being touched by my husband, a man, after spending day-upon-neverending-day listening to Donald Trump’s sexually assaultive language, is not a pleasant one. On the other, we are both so obsessed with the election that our combined anxiety is killing our sex drives.
Instead of retiring to my boudoir to engage in a garden of sensual delights with my husband (quick missionary followed by a [bubblegum] cigarette), I stay up late into the night, refreshing FiveThirtyEight in hopes that my benevolent/merciless overlord Nate Silver will bring some rest for the weary (in the form of blue states).
“Did you see Trump gained on Hillary in Utah?” I say to my husband who is as far away from me as humanly possible on the other side of our king-size bed (read: almost falling off). I’m lying down and also sweating, probably because I’m about to have a stroke.
“Yeah, I read that on WaPo. Did you see Barron Trump was kicked out of 4H for cyberbullying a cow?”
“That was The Onion. OMG we’ve become those people who share Clickhole articles haha I want to die in a fire,” I respond with a forced laugh. Then we both pop extra Ambien and blessedly slip into darkness, clutching our phones, fully clothed and barricaded by pillows — another night of restlessness and absolutely no sexual congress.
Vanessa Marin, a San Francisco-based psychotherapist specializing in sex therapy, says this part of what I’m experiencing — the lack of boning via election/impending apocalypse anxiety — isn’t uncommon. “A lot of people are simply sick to their stomachs about the current political climate in the US,” she says. “It’s hard to feel desire when you’re feeling disgusted, scared, nervous, frustrated, or angry.”
While I can’t find a term for this phenomenon, I’m pretty sure the phrase is “I’m-Stuck-in-Hell-So-I-Can’t-Get-It-Up.” It’s the thing that happens to people on shows like Survivor where their nether regions basically shut down because they’re so stressed out by the challenges. That’s me! Even though Hillary is polling ahead right now, I’m plagued by the thought that that sneaky loose cannon could make some weird comeback — he’s been doing it his whole life! Did you see the Frontline documentary?! (You really should; it’s great. Watch it tonight instead of having sex.) And don’t get me started on the down-ballot races! (That’s a phrase I never used before September of this year!) (I know, I’m part of the problem.) I’m so stressed out about making it to the November 8 finish line that I’ve forgotten what an orgasm feels like. There’s no room in my brain for that delicious memory now that it’s filled with statistics of Hillary’s victory margin.
I’m not alone. Friends and family members alike (OK, just friends; I don’t talk to my family about sex) told me they also feel the stress of this election cycle building a wall down the middle of their bed. One lady friend in a long-term relationship said that she wasn’t necessarily opposed to sex, but that she just didn’t have the time between refreshing David Fahrenthold’s Twitter and worrying about all the ways in which we’re all gonna be screwed if Trump wins. Spoiler: It’s not the orgasmic way.
Still others tell me they suffer from another kind of election-related sexual paralysis — one I’ve also experienced: Being so repulsed by Trump’s comments that a self-generated protective cobweb is forming over my vagina.
“Every time I try to get in the mood, I just picture Donald Trump’s face over my boyfriend’s and I want to Hulk smash,” said one friend who was happily married before this election cycle began. A currently single pal shared that she felt her vagina glue itself closed when she read Trump’s comments about Mexicans being rapists; she hasn’t had the time or inclination to DIY-it back open yet. Another married friend said, “When you’re watching Donald Trump say ‘grab them by the pussy’ on repeat, it doesn’t exactly put you in the mood.”
It can be fun to joke about this terrifying election but mainly because if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. Maybe forever. In reaction to the infamous pussy-grabbing comment and the multiple women who’ve come forward claiming that Donald Trump sexually assaulted them, Kelly Oxford shared her story of sexual assault on Twitter and invited others to do the same. The response she received was overwhelming and devastating.
To be really real for a minute, as a woman, all of this cheering on of sexual violation makes me think about every boy who grabbed me in middle school, every predatory subway fondler, every guy who’s yelled, “nice ass!” before following it up with, “Like I’d ever touch you anyway, fatty!” when I told them to back off. It makes me think of the time I was 18 and so excited to go to a club, and within minutes of being on the dance floor, had a man stuff his fingers in my vagina. I didn’t know what to do and so I just ran away. I love my husband very much and he is truly one of the most decent humans I’ve ever met, but sometimes I look at him during this election, and I want to say, “I love you, but please stay away from me right now.”
It’s not just women who are scared sexless (h/t Carrie Bradshaw, probably). Marin says, in her experience, men are affected too. “A lot of people might stereotypically believe that women are more ‘sensitive’ in general,” she says, “but I haven’t found that to be the case with this particular election. Men’s libidos can be just as sensitive as women’s.”
I asked some male friends if their experiences backed up Marin’s assertions. One married man told me that he and his husband had to institute a “no MSNBC after 9 p.m.” rule in order to save their sex lives. They are stronger than I.
Another guy I quizzed about his election-related sex life (I’m fun at parties!) told me that, no, the election hadn’t affected his bedroom dalliances. But, lo and behold, later that night I awoke to a text from him that read:
“I had a sex dream and then it morphed into one in which trump was screaming ’for our country’ and beheading people. Thanks.”
Read the rest of the poor womyn’s story here.