that time I used sex as a bargaining chip

I have a confession to make. I sometimes use sex as a bargaining tool in my relationship (I know, quelle horreur, right?!) It’s actually a form of bribery that I’ve gotten quite good at. My latest bout of no-sex-until-you’ve-done-this was due to a little issue I like to call “the song of the blue balls” aka snoring.

Sleep and I have never had a great relationship. She is distant, aloof and will not cooperate. She’s gotten better in the past couple of years but ever since I was young, I’ve found it hard to fall asleep and I usually wake up numerous times a night to rip myself out one of my crazy arse dreams that even CS Lewis would have been proud to claim.

This history of broken slumber and neurosis came in handy when I had a newborn because I was well-trained to endure the hell that is sleep deprivation but now I crave sleep like I crave salt crisps when I’m on a detox (well I have no will power to try a detox but I know I would really crave salt crisps if I did).

So I go and get myself a fiance that has a snoring problem, an actual odd-throat-doesn’t-work-properly-as-verified-by-specialist kind of snoring problem. His narrow throat creates vibrations that have literally registered off the official sleep chart. Sleeping next to someone who snores like this is painful and you suffer from an array of horrible symptoms that come with sleep deprivation such as desperation, serious rage, stingy eyes, dehydrated skin, increased alcohol intake, hallucinations...and you get the idea.

So we paid about $2200 for this metal and plastic mouth guard, which I affectionately nicknamed The Lifeguard. 

the lifeguard


It opens the throat passage and cha-ching stops the snoring! It’s all quite painful apparently until you get used to the feeling of having your jaw pulled but my life changed overnight in ways I can’t describe. I felt like I was being hugged by a warm, fluffy, salt crisp-making, sparkly cloud.

And so one morning the other week whilst my man was lovingly washing The Lifeguard in the shower as he likes to do, it dropped from his soapy fingers and upon hitting the tiles it cracked in two. He looked slowly up at me, then slowly down at the tiles and slowly up at me again. It was as if he saw his life flashing before him.

I stood there about to cry until my emotions turned to desperation and I heard myself snarling “you better drive to the goddam specialist this morning and get that fixed. There’ll be no SEX until you’ve done it!”

I turned on my heels, walked away feeling incredibly triumphant and thinking “I have so got you now. That Lifeguard will be back in your mouth in no time.”

But oddly enough my attempts to convince and coerce didn’t translate into a visit to the specialist so as the sun dipped on NIGHT 1, I felt all my anxiety and fear bubbling away. I went to bed an hour before the man-who-put-a-ring-on-it only to find my anxiety had peaked 58 minutes in and soon after there he was, standing at the doorway like a nasty shadow.

Before his head hit the pillow and he was taken by sleep, which usually occurs 30 - 47 seconds later (I know, #theirony) I reiterated my firm view on the future of our sexual relations: “YOU ARE NOT GETTING ANY SEX UNTIL THAT THING IS FIXED.”

So upon waking after NIGHT 1, this was my state of being:

Eyes: sting manageable
Headache: dull
Frustration and anxiety: manageable
Emotional status: sad and mourning the death of The Lifeguard

So the days passed and I badgered like a ranting, raving and nagging headmistress repeating my threats of sexual abstinence. I thought “this has got to be working! He must be getting so frustrated by now!”

But then day 3 came and day 4 and day 5 passed and I’d stopped talking to him, we were now communicating solely via my death stares and grunts and for good reason because the following only goes a very small way to reflect my dire situation after NIGHT 5 without The Lifeguard:

Eyes: sting so painful & bloodshot people assume I’ve been on the mother of all booze binges
Headache: excruciating because I had already taken way too many ibuprofen so was forced to go a la natural
Frustration and anxiety: immeasurable, like fucking off the chart
Emotional status: crying tired and angry

And then I realised that I was really horny so we had a quickie and now I’m screwed because it’s Day 8 and I need a new bargaining chip.