Imagine the scenario. You meet someone and fall in love. The only slight flaw you can perceive in your relationship is that your partner doesn't really enjoy food as much as you do. You like to partake of a wide range of cuisine, from the exotic and adventurous to the plain and simple. They might grimly chew on a celery stalk now and then but if they could take a pill to replace a meal, they would.
This aside, all else is bliss so you go ahead and set a date for the wedding.
Fast forward a few years and your partner no longer eats at all. It seems they have discovered a meal replacement pill after all! A few vitamins and a smoothie will keep them going indefinitely. You, however, still hunger for pasta, pizza or steak. But they find food distasteful, unappealing and would rather not join you for dinner. Not only that, but they would rather you didn't eat at all, despite your love of and passion for food. You end up watching Masterchef on YouTube after they've gone to bed and eating trifle in the toilet while they are at work. Something entirely healthy, natural and necessary has suddenly become a source of secret shame.
A preposterous situation, of course. Yet I know of a depressingly high number of relationships where this scenario actually occurs, only with regards to sex, not food.
While I am perplexed that people with pre-existing mismatched sex drives still go ahead and get married anyway (how they can possibly think this will be sustainable in the long term is a mystery to me) I do understand that there are occasions in life when sex drives will become unsynchronised, for whatever reason. The thing that truly baffles me is the attitude of those partners who say, "right, I no longer enjoy or want sex with you, and not only do I not want you to go off and have sex with anyone else I also do not want you to exhibit any signs of sexuality at all. If I detect any indications you might be turning to masturbation to satisfy your entirely understandable and natural urges I will be unreasonably upset and you will feel guilty and ashamed."
It is so immensely unfair, so monstrously unjust that I am amazed anyone puts up with it. Yet they do. Generations of men (for, sadly, it is often men in this unenviable position) have had to spend hours pretending to walk the dog or plant seedlings in the potting shed simply in order to have a wank in peace.
Cuddles, I have been told, are important. Affection. The occasional foot massage. These, apparently, go a long way to subduing the raging torrents of passion that yearn to be unleashed in a sexual frenzy. Perhaps they do. I am unconvinced. If all you require from a partner is comfortable companionship, unquestioning loyalty and non sexual affection then really you should be looking for a dog, not a spouse.