Dr. Susann Kobasa researched what she calls “psychological hardiness.” She found that men and women who showed commitment to their own development, felt control over their life, and continued to be challenged by changes in their day-to-day life enjoyed a degree of psychological, even physical, immunity to stress. My interviews supported this, and I extended her “three C’s” to “Ten C’s of Working and Still Being Sexual.” Here is the list as it evolved from the couples’ interviews. You might want to score yourself on a 0-10 points system for each item, with 10 indicating that you are near perfect on a given item and 0 meaning you don’t enjoy or manage that aspect of working at all.
1 Are you challenged by your work? When problems occur at work, do you feel excited and activated rather than overwhelmed and helpless?
2. Have you maintained a balance between commitment to work and commitment to self, including family, life, loving, and sexuality?
3. Do you have a sense of control over your work and family life? Does that sense of control allow you to feel that you are running you instead of being run by things and events?
4. Do you feel competent at work and still maintain a feeling of competency at home? There was a direct correlation between feelings of competence in bed and at the desk or counter at work
5. Have you maintained a sense of concern for your job and those persons you service? Are you still concerned for the job you do? Some people deal with work stress by adopting an “I could care less, I put in my time” approach that only worsens their stress and may affect their sexual life as well
6. Have you maintained your ability to communicate at work and home both professionally and intimately? Some people spend all their communication energy at work, leaving little for intimate exchange with the spouse.
7. Do you feel a sense of connection between work and home? To be healthy, life must be an intergrated system. Are you able to integrate working and loving, sharing feelings about both in both places? Being a “completely different person” at work than at home is one clear symptom of increasing stress and an ineffective strategy of adjustment to one place or another.
8. Are you careful both at home and at work? If you find that you are having several little accidents, forgetting your turn-off on the expressway after driving the same way for years or slamming your finger in the same kitchen drawer, you are showing signs of poor balance between work and loving. Are you aware of being careful?
9. Do you have a feeling of being complete at the end of the day? Things are never done, but you should have a feeling of closure when the day ends instead of thinking about tasks left undone or new tasks coming up.
10. Would your colleagues and your family, particularly your spouse, describe
you as cheerful? Is your report of “Good Morning!” when starting the
day at work or home a greeting or a ritual? “When I walked into work,”
reported one of the wives, “Sam came up and said, ‘Hey, a smile is the
one curve that straightens everything out.’ He’s lucky I didn’t straighten
his mouth out with a punch.” Are you more cheerful than this wife?
Happiness and the desire to be intimate are interconnected.
Any less than 80 total points, and work or career is probably getting in the way of a super marital sexual relationship.
All ten C’s are needed for super marital sex, so practicing them at work and in daily living is necessary if they are going to be present in marital intimacy. Here is the same list presented as the C’s apply to super marital sex. Use the same 0-to-10-point scale and see how your scores compare.