Have your career and go down too

February 14th, 2007

dead fishAccording to a new book by psychiatrist and academic Anita Clayton, careerwomen make worse lovers. We’re too stressed and too wiped out from all that go-getting and overachieving to get it on. Plus, we’re unhappy with our sex lives but often in denial about it. And if we’re hetero, we probably don’t let on any of this to our partner. Instead, we dutifully perform our womanly duties and pull a Meg Ryan so he thinks we think he’s still got it in the sack.

Some excerpts from a recent Richmond Times-Dispatch article about Clayton’s book:

…she cites a study that showed 43 percent of women are unhappy with their sex lives, “which doesn’t seem bad unless you believe, as I do, that the other 57 percent were lying.”


Women, especially working women, are more stressed and tired than ever before. Women’s overburdened lives alter the libido, she said. And there seems little motivation for women to change.


“We have incorporated the belief that beautiful people have the best sex…. I think that pressure has ratcheted up.”

To Clayton’s credit, her book, called Satisfaction: Women, Sex, and the Quest for Intimacy, looks as though it’s genuinely aimed at helping women achieve the big O rather than stripping them of their careers. (I’ve only read the promo copy.)

I will be the first to admit that when I’m crazy-busy with work, right after sleep and exercise, sex is often the first thing to go. But if I’m happy in my relationship and my partner is too, I’m not sure why I should care, unless the agenda is to push me into making babies. And whatever happened to pre-dawn, morning, or weekend sex? All viable solutions to the so-called “not tonight” problem. Plus, I didn’t realize I was supposed to think that only the Paris Hiltons of the world have great sex, but I promise to get right on that.

I know that if you’re a parent, all the roll-in-the-hay rules can change. So, tell me, singles, parents, single parents, do you think career and coitus (and family) can coexist? Or like the good doctor implies, are we all just in deep, deep denial, letting our lube and vibrators languish and taking our work to bed instead?

Entry Filed under: Overworked and underpaid

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Janna Cawrse  |  February 15th, 2007 at 11:23 pm

    I’ll go with the satisfied 57, thank you very much. Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a, well, something bigger than a needle in my…

    But what I’m really writing to say is that the title of this blog post is the BEST ONE EVER. Do they give pulitzers for this shit?

    Gook luck at your reading this weekend. Sorry to miss it, especially if it promises to be this dagnabbin’ funny.


  • 2. Michelle Goodman  |  February 18th, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    thanks, janna. sure, i’ll take that pulitzer, ha. ;) hope you can make the next reading. and photos from the 17th coming up shortly.

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Hi, my name's Michelle Goodman and I've been freelancing since 1992. I'm author of My So-Called Freelance Life and The Anti 9-to-5 Guide. Read my full bio here.

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