By: Elle Stanger
Q: In the last year, I’ve gotten a new job and it’s very physically and emotionally demanding, and my fiance of three years complains if we go longer than four or five days without sex. I love him and still find him very attractive but I feel like I’m constantly putting on a show at work, so when I come home I just want to relax with my companion.
A: It is legitimate to be “touched-out” by the end of a long day or week, and people who are engaging in empathic or emotional labor carry unseen burdens and deal with invisible loads. (hehe, loads) As an adult entertainer, I am usually too tired in my pussy, heart, and mind when I head home from shift, and I cut myself some slack because of it. People who work in healthcare, child care, elder care, sex work tend to be very at-risk for emotional burnout, and having children, pets and relationships exacerbates the likelihood of running out of fucks to give by the end of the day.
Unfortunately, Americans tend to measure labor and productivity by the quantity of tangible goods produced, and those people have a difficult time providing space for those of us who need time to heal after a tough shift of peddling intangibles and wading through other people’s tears. I would provide him with some reading about the impacts of emotional labor: sorry about the clowns in the introduction!
Ask him for other ways that you can unwind together, baths and snuggling CAN lead to sex but they certainly don’t have to. And because I’m a proponent of mindful honesty, I suggest practicing the sentence; “Pretending to care about my clients is stressful and exhausting and I don’t want to fake interest in you either.”
If he’s feeling neglected due to the decrease of touch and closeness that you two are able to share in the last year due to the strains of your job, encourage him to self-pleasure. I bought my ex-husband a nice masturbator when I was pregnant and couldn’t stand to be penetrated, and we were both grateful for it! Hug him more. Look him in the eyes, and tell him you miss him too, and that you wish that capitalism didn’t limit the amount of time that people are able to spend with their loved ones.