PopCrunch was fortunate enough to nab an interview with modern sex-god Athol Kay, author of The Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011. In the book, Kay does the unthinkable. He makes married sex seem hot. And yes, even us PopCrunchers who are promiscuous with our Hot Women were left a little star struck at this guy who’s living everyone’s dream. You know, the dream we’ve all come to think is a myth. Frequent sex in marriage. Ultra frequent sex. Ultra frequent hot sex. With a woman he knows and trusts.
The man just might be onto something.
Athol, you claim to have had sex with the same woman over 5,000 times. That’s just insane. Doesn’t it ever get boring?
It seems amazing looking at it as a number yes, but it’s really not an achievement we set out to do. We just started our marriage off by having sex together every day as a default setting without even discussing it. If someone was sick, or exhausted or had a good reason not to have sex, then we passed on sex that night. We also had some longer breaks when Jennifer had a high risk pregnancy and after her breast biopsy (benign but ow!) experiences. But we had to have a reason not to have sex, rather than trying to find a reason to have sex. Sixteen years later it all just starts adding up into this massive number.
We’ve found that we go on surges of exploring something new in bed together and that is more interesting and exciting, but we also have periods of reaching a sort of sexual plateau together. I’m more of a high stimulation partner than she is, so I got frustrated with her sometimes, but we’ve adapted over the years. Overall though, our sex gets better and better as the years go past.
Have you ever been close to cheating on your wife? Have you ever felt sustained attraction to another woman during your marriage?
Yes I have. I’m a normal guy and I’ve had a couple opportunities along the way. I have plenty of background attraction to women all the time…if the woman in the red dress walks by – I look. That’s all pretty normal. I have however had sustained attraction to other women twice now to the point where it became serious and interfering with my relationship with Jennifer. The first one I just kind of stumbled into accidentally and got in deep without understanding the process of what was happening. She just kind of faded away because I didn’t really know she was waiting for me to make a proper play for her. I had analysis paralysis and the problem solved when she exited.
The second time around I was far more aware of what was going on and what I needed to do to seduce her. Plus I had an enormous crush on her that to be honest disturbed me greatly; it’s appalling to feel like you have no control over your feelings for someone. I’d be home and things with Jennifer were fine, I’d steel myself not to react to the other woman, but as soon as I was in the same room with her all the steel would turn to jello. I’m just very fortunate that in a few key ways we are not compatible and that always got in the way of really progressing things. But my emotions were hooked into her for well over a year. So if people ask, I’d say I had two emotional affairs, no physical. But believe me when I say they were regrettably bad things for me to do and very hard on Jennifer.
The bright silver lining to those experiences though, is that they really propelled me into thinking about sex and relationships. I’ve gained a lot of practical insight from them and researched endlessly all around the topic. One of the places I visited was www.talkaboutmarriage.com and that was both the place where I decided I couldn’t destroy Jennifer by cheating on her, and where I discovered I was good at helping people deal with cheating and sexual issues. It was Talk About Marriage people that first asked me to write a book way back in 2009. I started the blog Jan 1st 2010, and here I am with a book in 2011.
Many of us grew up with the idea that “strange” sex is the best sex. What are your thoughts on this? Is sex better after you’ve learned each other’s preferences and have a history together?
Most people crave high stimulation and memorable sex at least once in a while. One way of getting that is to have sex with new partners, or illicit sex or swinging or whatever. But for a married couple, you have to consciously understand that need for stimulation and just go do something sexually new and interesting together. Over time our preferences change and grow anyway. Our sex has gotten a lot rougher in recent years, if I’d done that in our first few years of marriage she would have freaked out. Back in my twenties I couldn’t stand having my balls touched, now I like it. You learn and grow together, but should do it consciously.
You say that frequent sex (at least twice a week) is the key to a happy marriage. But what about husbands and wives who aren’t attracted to each other any more? Will sex fix all of their problems or do they need something else?
There is a big element of use it or lose it here. Once couples stop the sex for whatever reason, it tends to stay jammed in the sexless marriage mode until something really shakes things up. If you go two weeks without having sex together, without a clearly identified problem that you can both point to, the marriage is in serious trouble. Two weeks turns into two months, then into two years so easily. If you hit two weeks you really should say “no really, what’s going on here?” Things like “I’m too tired” are just lies and rationalizations to cover up something… which is usually a lack of attraction.
Attraction is always a huge problem and that’s because attraction is not controllable. A wife can’t will herself to want her husband. A husband can’t will himself to want his wife. The attraction problems can only be solved by the person that is… well, unattractive. The central theme of the book is showing husbands how to be more attractive and pull their wives’ sexual interest right back on them.
If you had to send one message to all of the men out there in low-sex or sexless marriages, what would it be?
That what ever you are doing to try and get sex, isn’t working. If you’ve had sex once in three months, what ever you did during that three months will only get you sex once during the next three months. You just have to say “look this isn’t working, I don’t know how to fix this, I need help.” Obviously this is where I say “buy my book!”, but really doing anything different would be better than keeping on doing what isn’t working.
If you could say one thing to all the young guys out there who think marriage is a joke (or at least a recipe for a messy, costly divorce), what would it be?
Actually the young guys are right in many ways. Marriage is a risk and it’s a greater risk to the man than the woman right now the way divorce court plays out. However there are also risks in not marrying as well. The best woman you ever met your whole life might leave you if you don’t marry her. Family when done right is amazingly valuable. Friends are great and all, but it’s funny how when the bad stuff really happens, it’s your family you see more of than your friends. The worst part of divorce isn’t the child support or alimony checks, but that your little family is gone. Having no family toward the end of life can be a cruel, lonely way to die.
You seem to be a man of science. So why is marriage so important? Why not serial monogamy which seems a lot more natural?
Serial monogamy sounds quite nice doesn’t it. It certainly sounds nicer than endless-strings-of-divorce-and-family-disruption which is the practical reality of serial monogamy. Natural doesn’t automatically mean better either, plenty of viable and very functional things we use aren’t natural at all. The Internet isn’t natural. Public education isn’t natural. Flushing toilets and running water aren’t natural. Monogamy isn’t completely natural either, but it’s functional and vital for a stable society. Societies without the bulk of the population respecting monogamy tend to turn rather nasty or simply collapse over the long term.
You are committed to evolutionary biology and psychology, and yet your overall message would be well accepted by religious people who want to save the institution of marriage. Do you think these groups can get over their bias against evolution and accept the core message which is just simply: frequent, great sex is at the core of a great marriage.
When your marriage is going down the toilet, you will try anything to fix it and simply won’t care what the advice that works is based on. People will fix their marriage first and worry about the fine points of the theory of evolution vs creation later. I already have many, many Christians telling me I’ve either saved their marriages or restarted their sex lives. I’ve been told I’m doing “God’s Work” dozens of times already. I just take it as a compliment, it’s not something I went looking for, it just keeps cropping up. The odd one is when I’ve had non-religious people very sheepishly tell me I’m doing God’s Work. I think people just assume I’m a Christian sometimes because I have many of the same pro-marriage values.
Many, many Christians struggle with their sexual impulses to have sex right now, and when you’re faced with a real opportunity for sex, many young Christians don’t find religious argument to be compelling enough to pass it up in the moment. I think having me come along and rather directly state a bunch of purely practical non-religious reasons for monogamy, back it up with science and explain ways to make marriage sexually hot, is going to be very comforting to many in the church. I am an atheist, but a sympathetic one. Marriage is a large area of common ground and I’d rather see stable, happy, sexy Christian marriages than see them suffer divorce.
What is the number one problem in modern marriages? Is it just that people stop trying to be attractive?
Yes it is. Too many people see getting married as the finishing line when it’s really the starting line. You can’t let yourself let yourself go and complain they don’t want you anymore. Marriage is endless courtship.
Let’s end the interview with your number one tip for hot sex.
It’s kissing. The more you kiss each other, the better the sex is. I don’t mean to kill the romance vibe here, but male saliva contains testosterone that the female absorbs and it makes her hornier. So kiss a lot! At least ten seconds of sustained kissing a few times a day. It’s truly amazing what it will do for a couple.