Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • It could, on the surface, be an argument about almost anything: what time to leave for the

  • airport, who forgot to post the tax form, where to send the children to schoolBut,

  • in reality, in disguise, unmentioned and unmentionable, it is typically the very same argument, the

  • no-sex argument, the single greatest argument that ever afflicts committed couples, the

  • argument which has powered more furious oblique exchanges among lovers than any other, the

  • argument that right now, explains why one person is angrily refusing to speak to another

  • over a bowl of Udon noodles in a restaurant in downtown Yokohama and another is screaming

  • in an apartment on an upper floor of a block in the suburbs of Belo Horizonte, why a child

  • has acquired a step-parent and a person is crying over a bottle or at their therapist's

  • office. The real injuryyou have ceased to want me and I can no longer bear myself

  • or youcan't be mentioned because it cuts us too deep; it threatens too much of

  • our dignity, it is bigger than we are. In the darkness late at night, time after time,

  • our hand moved towards theirs, tried to coax them into a caress and was turned down. They

  • held our fingers limply for a moment and then, as if we were the monster we now take ourselves

  • to be, curled away from us and disappeared into the warren of sleep. We have stopped

  • trying now. It may happen once in a blue moon, a few times a year, but we understand the

  • score well enough: we are not wanted. We feel like outcasts, the only ones to be rejected

  • in this way, the victims of a rare disease; nursing an emotional injury far too shaming

  • to mention to others let alone ourselves, the only ones not be having sex in a happy

  • sex-filled world. Our anger aggravates our injury and traps us in cycles of hostility.

  • Perhaps they don't want us in the night because we have been so vile in the day; but

  • so long as our hand goes unwanted, we can never muster the courage to be anything but

  • vindictive in their presence. It hurts more than being single, when at least the neglect

  • was to be expected. This is a sentence without end. We can neither complain, nor let the

  • issue go. We feel compelled to fight by proxy about anything we can lay our hands on: the

  • washing powder and the walk to the park, the money for the dentist and the course of the

  • nation's politics, all because we so badly need to be held and to hold, to penetrate

  • or to be penetrated.

  • It is in a sense deeply strange, even silly that so much should hang on this issue, that

  • the future of families, the fate of children, the division of assets, the survival of a

  • friendship group, should depend on the right sort of frottage of a few centimetres of our

  • upper limbs. It's the tiniest thing and at the same time the very largest. The absence

  • of sex matters so much because sex itself is the supreme conciliator and salve of all

  • conflict, ill-feeling, loneliness and disinterest. It is almost impossible to make love and be

  • sad, indifferent or bitter. Furious perhaps, in a passionate and ardent way. But notalmost

  • alwaystruly elsewhere or beset by major grievance. The act forces presence, vulnerability,

  • honesty, tenderness, release. It matters inordinately because it is the ultimate proof that everything

  • is, despite everything, still OK. As ever, so much would change if only we could be helped

  • to find the words, if we could fight our way past our shame, if we didn't have to feel

  • so alone (this should be proof enough that we aren't); if we could point to the problem

  • without fury, without humiliation, without defensiveness; if we could simply name our

  • desperation without becoming desperate, if the one who didn't want it could explain

  • in terms that made sense and were bearable and the one who felt cast aside could explain

  • without surrendering to vindictiveness or despair. We would ideally, alongside physics

  • and geography, learn the basics of all this in our last year at high school, learn how

  • to spot and assuage the no-sex argument with an in-depth course and regular refreshments

  • throughout our lives. It is the paradigm of all arguments. Those who can get over it can

  • get over pretty much any dispute; those who cannot must squabble to the grave. Were our

  • species to learn how to do this, the world would be suddenly and decisively calmer: there

  • would be infinitely fewer fights, alcoholic outbursts, divorces, affairs, rages, denunciations,

  • recriminations, civil wars, armed conflicts and nuclear conflagrations. At the first signs

  • of no-sex arguments, couples would know how carefully to locate the words that could address

  • their sorrow. There would not always be an answer but there would always be the right

  • sort of conversationand, on a good day, the endurance of love.

  • Our Pillow Talk cards help prompt us to share our intimate desires.

  • To find out more click the link on your screen now.

It could, on the surface, be an argument about almost anything: what time to leave for the

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 US argument injury furious proof presence upper

Arguments When There Is Too Little Sex

  • 20 0
    Mayu Okuuchi posted on 2020/01/22
Video vocabulary