SHARONA: Hey, babe.
DEREK: Hey. Welcome home. Happy anniversary.
SHARONA: Anniversa—oh, shit, that’s right! I’m sorry—
DEREK: It’s okay.
SHARONA: No, I was thinking about this for a while, I had this whole thing that I wanted to do with like candles—
DEREK: Ooh, candles.
SHARONA: Yeah, and like this whole romantic dinner.
SHARONA: Hold on, you know what? I bet we still could.
SHARONA: Yeah, it won’t be, like, all-out with the steak and stuff, but I bet I could whip up that pasta thing—
DEREK: Yay! Pasta!
SHARONA: We could both slip into something nice.
SHARONA: And then later maybe we could… you know.. slip out of something nice.
SHARONA: What? What is it? What’s up?
DEREK: Nothing, I just…
SHARONA: You don’t want to? It’s been a hot minute. Hey. Is something wrong? Derek.
DEREK: It’s just…
SHARONA: Look, I don’t want to pressure you or anything, but… Is something wrong?
DEREK: No. No, it’s just… I don’t want to. Is that okay?
SHARONA: Yeah, no, that’s fair. That’s fair, you’re not, you know, you’re not in the mood or whatever, maybe you’re just not… in that space.
DEREK: Sharona. That’s not it.
SHARONA: What? What is it?
DEREK: OK, so… now don’t take this the wrong way, I don’t want you to be, like… This is not about you, OK?
DEREK: I think I… don’t actually like sex. Please, don’t think like, that’s not a reflection on you, I mean you’re not the only person I’ve had sex with, right? I’ve tried, enough though I, I mean it was more just curiosity, I think, than lust, and then it just became more about expectations, you know, and about I want to make this person happy. And I do. I do want to make you happy. But it’s just, I don’t actually get anything out of it for myself and that makes it…
SHARONA: It’s not fair to you. That’s what you’re saying. Yeah, no, that’s… I’m sorry.
DEREK: Hey, you don’t have to be sorry—
SHARONA: You’ve never, like…
DEREK: And I’m not saying that, like, that I didn’t want to? Like, not that I didn’t want to, you know? Just because I didn’t… I know that you like it.
SHARONA: And I mean, you’re not bad at it. Like, at all.
DEREK: I picked up some tricks. You know. I paid attention. Tried to.
SHARONA: Did you ever… I mean… It just, it always seemed to me like you enjoyed it.
DEREK: And I did. I did. Just not… It’s not me.
SHARONA: What, like it was some other person enjoying it?
DEREK: Like I was putting on a—no, that’s not—
SHARONA: So it wasn’t really you enjoying it?
DEREK: That’s not what I—
SHARONA: You never actually wanted to have sex with me.
DEREK: I did. I did want to have sex with you. I just never wanted to have sex. As me. But now… I’m just, I don’t know, I’ve been starting to realize… I need to be me. And part of that is, you know, cutting back on the parts of my life that are not… me.
SHARONA: Well, you picked a hell of a time to bring this up.
DEREK: I’m sorry.
SHARONA: I guess if I’d actually gone all the way and done the candle-light dinner beforehand, this would be…
DEREK: I mean, we still could. I’d still like a candle-light dinner, just not…
SHARONA: So you’re saying the romantic stuff is fine, you just don’t want the sex?
DEREK: I like the romantic stuff. But yeah.
SHARONA: So hold on. Let me get this straight. You’re not actually breaking up with me?
DEREK: What? No! On our anniversary?
SHARONA: Wait, wait, so… You want a relationship, just not the sex.
DEREK: I have to be true to myself. And… I do love you. I want to be with you.
SHARONA: Just not physically.
SHARONA: Well, I do like sex.
DEREK: I know.
SHARONA: I really like sex with you.
DEREK: Thank you. And I mean, maybe I could…
DEREK: I don’t know.
SHARONA: I thought you just said you wouldn’t.
DEREK: Well, I don’t know. Maybe, like…
SHARONA: I like sex. Derek. You know me. I like sex, I like it often, I like it rough, I like it sensual, I like variety. I like doing it with the person that, you know. What are you actually asking of me?
DEREK: I’m not asking anything—
SHARONA: No. No, you are. Because you say you want a relationship. But you don’t want sex. You want me to be celibate.
DEREK: That’s not really the same thing.
SHARONA: It is to me. I love you, but—
DEREK: But you love sex more.
SHARONA: Hey! That is not fair!
DEREK: Isn’t it, though?
SHARONA: You’re asking me to compromise in a way that… I mean, I shouldn’t have to make that kind of… Do you want me to have sex with other people? Is that it?
DEREK: Oh, is that what you want? You can’t get your sex inside the relationship, so you use that as an excuse to—
SHARONA: What excuse? I wouldn’t be doing it if you didn’t—
DEREK: If I didn’t what? Force you to sleep with other people?
SHARONA: Why is it more virtuous not to have sex?
DEREK: That’s not what I’m saying.
SHARONA: Yes, you are. I like sex. You don’t like sex. You want to be in a relationship with me, an exclusive relationship with me, but you don’t want to have sex. You want me to compromise my values—
DEREK: That’s not fair—
SHARONA: I’m not judging. Not yet. Just wait, I’ll get there. This is an assessment. Having sex is a value for me. In my value system, sex is a good thing. It is a way of connecting, it is a way of enjoying someone’s company, and tehre is nothing wrong with wanting it and wanting it a lot. Those are my values.
DEREK: What about being with me? How does that factor into your “values”?
SHARONA: You don’t value sex. Obviously. Sex is not important to you. That means we have a different value system. I do love you. But for you to expect me to give up sex to be with you—
DEREK: I mean, now and then, sure—
SHARONA: But you just said you don’t enjoy it! Do you ever enjoy it? Why would I want to have sex with someone who isn’t enjoying having sex with me? That’s not fair to you because it’s not really consent, and it’s not fair to me because, I mean, what does that make me? What does that say about me, having sex with someone who doesn’t really want to have sex? But if I can’t have sex… How is that fair to me?
DEREK: Are you breaking up with me? Is that what’s happening here? I… God, I can’t believe it, I can’t believe you’re breaking up with me because I don’t want to have sex with you.
SHARONA: I want to have sex, Derek. Consenting, adult sex. What’s wrong with that?
DEREK: Can we still have romantic dinners? Long walks on the beach?
SHARONA: Derek… You need to be with someone—
SHARONA: —who appreciates—
DEREK: No! Stop it! I love you! Don’t you love me?
SHARONA: What does that mean? To you, I mean? I mean, I know what it means to me.
DEREK: What does it mean to you? That you want to have sex with me? Is that it?
SHARONA: That is part of it. If I was having sex with you and not doing all the gooey stuff, yeah, no, that wouldn’t be love, either. But without the sex…
DEREK: What’s the point?
SHARONA: There’s something missing.
DEREK: That’s still a shitty attitude.
SHARONA: And pretending to want sex just to be with me isn’t? Look, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with not wanting to have sex. You’re just… you’re not the person I thought you were. Just do me a favor. Next time you… when you do find someone. To date. To be romantic. Don’t pretend you like sex just to—
DEREK: I won’t.
DEREK: Do you think that…
DEREK: Do you think I’ll find someone?
SHARONA: Someone else who wants romance but not sex? I don’t know. But in this day and age… I guess we know they’re out there.