Soul searching

My girlfriend has new spiritual beliefs that don't allow her to have sex with me unless it's for procreation.

By Cary Tennis
June 20, 2003 11:27PM (UTC)
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Dear Cary,

I have a big problem. My girlfriend has totally changed due to her new spiritual beliefs. She now believes that in order to move to higher spiritual levels, she cannot engage in any sexual relations, that sex is only for procreation and to have sex of any kind would cause her to waste her spiritual energy. She wants me to join, but I can't. I respect her desire to become more spiritual, but I cannot agree with her on not having any sex. I can't foresee us living this way together.


Otherwise we seem to get along pretty well. At times it seems like we were meant to be together. She says that she doesn't see being with another man. Although sometimes our sarcasm or jokes rub each other the wrong way, sexually it was very good, and initially it seemed that we were on the same page, but no longer.

I have a son (11 years old) with me half of the time, and she's uncomfortable with him around. He's been a good kid around her. She's been putting herself through school (B.A. and master's degree in the past three years) and has amassed a large student-loan debt ($80,000) but doesn't seem to be concerned about saving for the future (we're in our late 40s). I have some concerns about money issues, but they don't seem as big as the sex issue.

She seems to go through stages. For a long time she was taking SAM-e for her mood swings, then stopped. Then she was on the Atkins diet for weight control. Then taking coral calcium and other hyped-up nutrients.


I'm thinking that this spiritual thing won't last, but it's been lonely for the past three months.


Dear Help,

What is she looking for? She's looking for some kind of answer, right? Sure. We all are, right? Well, sort of, but not really. I mean, we're all in the same boat, none of us knows what happens after we die, and none of us really knows how to stay happy all the time. But some of us are content knowing what we don't know. We'll keep trudging along, enjoying the ninth-inning wins and the amazing encores, and gritting our teeth through the long speeches and the mothers slapping their kids in the supermarket.


But people like her, the seekers, they're looking for that one perfect channel; they figure if they can tune it in and get it adjusted perfectly once and for all, life will stop going up and down. They'll be set. Of course, every channel they try turns out not to be that good after a while. But the cable company keeps adding new channels, and she can't help subscribing, hoping this new channel is going to be the one she can leave the set on all the time. You and I know that's not going to happen. We've flipped through the remote. It's not like we don't know what's out there. No channel is that good.

If there are things about her you really like, that's great. But as you say, if her new religion doesn't let her have sex with you, that's not going to be a satisfactory arrangement.


I've done my share of searching for some dependable solution. What I've concluded is that the more dependable the solution, the worse it is. For instance, heroin is about as dependable as you get. You do some of that, you've got the problem licked. And that's the problem right there.

I'd say to her, if you're willing to live here in the world with me and the 11-year-old, with the playoffs, with the seagulls out by the landfill, the turbines whining in the power plant after midnight, the bags of groceries and the hunger, the insects and the insect repellent, the good nights dancing and the bad nights dancing, the impossibly warm glow and the impossibly bleak hangover, the whole 500 channels, then let's live that way.

But if she's got to keep looking for that perfect channel, I'd say let her buy her own TV.


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Cary Tennis

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