Thursday, January 23, 2014

Two Ways Marriage is Broken & How My Startup (Helped)

Get ready because I'm going to be blogging about love, sex, marriage and startups more frequently. The intersection between these four topics is never talked about. And frankly, busy, tech-savvy folks need to know they have help when they need it most.

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Marriage, as love, is a loaded word. Its definition has a deeply cultural context. It’s a ritual, a recognized union or legal contract between spouses. It’s an agreement or contract establishes rights and obligations. But it’s principally an institution which intimate and sexual relationships are acknowledged.

Throughout the several marriage and renewal of vows ceremonies my husband and I have had, I had mixed reactions from participants and on-lookers. A majority of people who greeted us were congratulatory. Some were disillusioned with the idea of marriage. They’d gone through messy divorces. Hated their former spouses. Wished they’d never done it.

Since starting a site dedicated to the love and sex lives of couples in 2012, I’ve also heard this many times: “If I only had your site during my marriage, I think I would be together today.” Sustaining deeply fulfilling love and sex lives in long-term relationships is difficult if not nearly impossible some days. So it would seem there are two gaps in marriage. The premise and the actual marriage itself.

The premise of marriage

First, the premise of marriage is broken. Why couples believe is their purpose for getting married. Again, it’s cultural. (This means each one of us controls what it means to our marriage.) Of lately, what some argue is Instead of thinking of our long-term love as just that, western couples think about the short-term expense of the engagement ring and the wedding.

And I understand. I’ve had my own share of impatience for the difficult times in my long-term relationship. I’ve been asked by at least one family member when we’ll get ‘officially’ married. In front of God. Versus actually having a strong relationship--which is the harder part.

The one question we should be asking is, “Why are we getting married, anyway?” One article suggests maybe we should re-think the idea of marriage. In order to change and move forward the institution, let’s change the premise. The purpose. Marriage as an institution about love and sex. Because marriage is so deeply ingrained in culture, that means we have control over what it means to us and how we practice it.

I like Jill Filipovic’s definition, “It's a choice, entered into because two people are committing to build a unique social and legal relationship premised on mutual respect, love and a shared life vision.”

Sexy marriage in practice

But let’s not forget the sex. One of the top reasons for divorce, sex has been one of those taboo topics for too long. Something that’s just supposed to, “happen” on your wedding night (and throughout your marriage). But instead of happening, millions of couples live in sexless marriages. And when we do have sex, it’s pretty much always the same. According to the Kinsey Institute, 70% of couples admit the only position they do consistently is missionary. We’re a society of bored, unsexy married couples.

One quick thing which I can't even fully issue is the inequality issue. For example, for whom is the sex even for? We've heard we should have sex everyday for our husbands time and time again. We women supposed to put out to please our husbands. Again, according to Jill Filipovic, “The Douthat-approved model is marriage as a unit of transactional economics, where women get financial security from a male partner and a male partner gets sex and someone to take care of his home life.”

What we're doing at my new startup, Passionly, is invite both partners to think proactively about their love and sex lives in the context of marriage. Sure, less couples are getting married, but that doesn't that show us we need to be re-thinking marriage?!

Enter Passionly: the thinking couples hub for your sexiest marriage

Besides differences in our ideas of the purpose of marriage, the practice is other broken area of marriage. Even couples with the best of intentions have no clear direction. The problem is, as it stands, there are few tools to help keep marriage sexy. Sure, there are dozens of books to read about communication. And volumes of books are dedicated to sexual techniques, seduction and foreplay. But when it comes to finding the time. Creating schedules and sending each other loving and sexy texts, things fall flat. Other obligations get in the way.

What’s more, the women's perspective is so many times lost. Those ever-present, "please your man" ideas from "sexperts" that simply may not understand the context of today's modern relationship. From women-centric porn recommendations to communication balanced with sexual ideas, we’re excited to help couples just like you re-think your marriage. We have therapist and psychologist-driven one week to one-month long sex and love challenges, an archive of 300+ articles on everything from BDSM to pegging. Everything a couple could think of to re-think every aspect of their own marriage.

Our closed beta has garnered approval from numerous participants. For example, one beta subscriber said, "I love the progression of the challenges, and I like the whole tone of the website - it approachable, like a close friend made the site for you."

The world’s first love & sex dashboard

We count our calories. We measure our friends and social status. Isn't it time to measure and improve our love lives?

But our love and sex lives are far more complicated, so they can’t be counted. At Passionly, we don't think so. In fact, we think being able to communicate why and how you feel, you increase your emotional intelligence. We think you’ll have a happier, sexier and more healthy marriage when you actively think about what you want. That when you challenge yourself and your spouse to dig deeper sexually and emotionally--you’ll get more out of your relationship.

Join us in re-thinking marriage. We need beta participants!

Would you like to be part of the revolution that’s changing the way we think about sex and marriage? We need beta subscribers. Join us and change the face of marriage. Sign up on our Launchrock page here.


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