Libido & Frequency of Sex
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Libido & Frequency of Sex
Could someone please explain what exactly is sex addiction? Is
there a concrete definition, or is there only a vague diagnosis?
Does it actually exist, or is this a ''thought-up'' problem? Please
share your stories; I have no idea.
Sex addiction is as real a condition as addiction to substances.
There are quite a few ways in which it can manifest including
addiction to pornography (web and print), paying for sex, affairs
and quite a few other behaviors.
There are a number of 12 step programs that offer help to the sex
addict who is ready to receive help. One of the biggest in the
Bay Area is Sex Addicts Anonymous. The national website is
http://www.saa-recovery.org/ and the local website is:
To get an understanding of this addiction I recommend the book
''Out of the Shadows'' by Patrick Carnes. It does an excellent job
of describing this addiction and is helpful to both addicts and
people who care about them.
There are also a growing number of therapists who are familiar
wit this addiction and can provide support.
I dated a man for several years in my mid-20s who finally came to the conclusion he
was a sex addict. I was definitely in denial about it although he left many clues--
most of them intentional. The last straw was when I realized he was actually
sleeping with men. I realized I was putting my life at risk, so I ended the
relationship. I was very skeptical at first (is this an excuse for philandering?).
However, he sought treatment through a 12-step program, and while I'll never truly
trust him, he seems to have gotten much better. There are several movie stars who
check themselves into rehab for ''exhaustion'' who are going through the same thing
(I'm in a business where I know these things). I DO believe it's a legitimate problem
and that it takes many forms. Pornography, magazines, actual hook-ups. I wasn't
able to stay with this person because my trust was destroyed and I vowed never to
spend another night wondering when/if he might come home.
Happy to report I'm blissfully married to a wonderful, trustworthy man. If nothing
else, I took away the knowledge that I would never put myself in that situation
I hope things work out for you. It's a difficult road.
I'm not an expert on sex addiction, but my husband has tendencies that way, so I've
done some research. I really appreciate this quote I found online (sorry, don't know
The unique driving force behind sexual addiction is the attempt to escape the
natural, healthy need for intimacy. Some people escape intimacy more than others.
Some escape differently than others. But all sexually addicted people have one thing
in common: To some degree, every sexually addicted person flees from intimacy
and turns to fantasy to meet his or her needs for a healthy, loving intimate sexual
Google search: sex addiction. There's a lot of good information
Hi all. I'm happily married, have three sons, beautiful home,
good job, but of course nothing is perfect in this world. I'll
be 42 in March and I'm just not interested in sex anymore. My
husband is a wonderful, responsible, loving, tender man, and
that's why I feel so awful. He will not press the issue when I
don't want to but then I feel extremely guilty and sometimes
find myself simply giving so that he doesn't feel rejected. I
just don't know what's wrong with me and why I'm just not
interested. I'm not depressed or anything. I'm losing weight
for health benefits and I'm taking care of myself mentally but I
don't know what's wrong with me that I'm not interested in the
physical aspect of sex anymore. Has anyone else ever
experienced this? If so, what did you do? Thanks.
Please consider whether you are unduly fatigued, which will definitely cause decreased
libido (interest in sex). In busy mothers, this is a frequent cause. Rest and relief
responsibilities at regular intervals help a lot, although these aren't always easy to
Also, please talk with your physician. Being hypothyroid, which can be easy to fix, can
have a number of symptoms. Decreased sex drive is one. You might think about
discussing your wish for more interest in intimacy with your husband, just so he
doesn't pick up on subtle cues and feel rejected. Hope things work out for you.
This is quite common actually. (Ask Oprah, she knows!) I'm 39
and haven't been interested in sex in a long time. Check out
books and web sites and esp. this website:
http://www.newshe.com/transition/ And a book:
http://tinyurl.com/yqgjaw (There are lots of other books on this
subject out there.) A low sex drive can be due to mental or
physical reasons, or both. I also think it's ridculous that
people in our modern society expect us to be regular sexual
creatures, esp. with the same person whom we are living with in
such close quarters. This is an interesting social experiment.
Right there with you
What I found out was that I just wasn't interested in the kind
of sex I'd been having since I was like 20 years old. Our bodies
and feelings change, and when how our bodies and minds respond
to sex changes, we might have fun looking around trying to
figure out what *is* enjoyable for us. I would recommend surfing
around adamandeve.com to see if anything there seems interesting
for you or your husband to watch/use/wear or if it even just
gives you the extra mental picture to think about that can make
sex more fun for you and less like you're ''simply giving so he
doesn't feel rejected.'' I did that for a while, but believe me
my husband knew and it did bother him and even hurt his self-
esteem (which in turn made him a less enthusiastic lover, which
made me even LESS interested in sex- such a vicious cycle!).
SO I would suggest looking around their site and picking up
something to try right away since it can (but doesn't always)
take a while to ship, so then by mid-March when you can use this
coupon, you'll have a better idea of what's good for you and
your husband. Now everybody who doesn't want ''too much info''
can stop reading before I scar you: but as a wife who was
clueless and asexual not too long ago, I know that I would have
tried things out sooner if someone had shared some concrete
experience with me (vs. the vague ''just explore!'' stuff I was
reading). SO: these days when I think I might like to try having
sex that night, I'll wear these Kegel exerciser balls during the
day (that I actually bought to exercise for incontinence after
having one of my babies). When hubby gets home from work I have
him pull the exerciser out-- not very sexy, but it does start
the giggling, which starts the hugging and ''I love you's'',
which then makes the sex (even if it's just a tired quickie
before bed) feel more fun and loving and less like something I'm
pretty indifferent too, which is how I felt about it for a
while. And my husband says it makes him feel really loved that I
wear them during that day (or even just in the evening before he
comes home) because he knows that I'm thinking about him while
we're apart and love him enough to want us to have a happy sex
life. Best of luck to you in finding what you enjoy now-- you're
young yet, but still: don't expect sex to feel the same for your
body or mind as it did a few years ago, and I'm sure you'll find
things or even just thoughts that *will* make it better for you
than it is right now, just maybe in new and different ways.
You're not alone, to be sure. But, that said, I did spice up our sex life (it sounded
similar to yours) by taking a trip to Good Vibrations and getting some ''toys'' to use.
made my husband happy to see that I was trying - and me happy to have the variety.
One thing that helped a lot was a book of short story erotica - I take a peek now and
then and it helps me to get in the mood. Can't wait to see what others say. Don't be
shocked at the number of people who will say they do it every other night and love,
love, love it. I think there are a lot like you and I out there that just don't write
Dear Not Interested,
I can offer my experience as someone who lost interest AND as
someone whose spouse has. Please, please, PLEASE seek help.
This is not a good place, physically or mentally to be in.
I became really irritated, lost nearly all interest in sex, and
more when I went on a different birth control (the no period
for three months kind). I noticed the change in my patience and
mood, and boy did my husband. I immediately switched pills and
noticed a huge difference. I think hormones (from pills or our
own body changes) play a huge role. Please talk to your DR.
From a different perspective I can also tell you how
frustrating (in more ways than one!) and painful it is to be
constantly rejected by your spouse. We were in marriage
counseling for a year (and now I'm going myself) to work out
our childhood/marriage issues. This resulted in my husband
gradually and then totally withdrawing intimacy. I can't tell
you how much pain, anger and frustration this causes. I'm
hoping that things will get back to normal soon but please, for
the sake of your marriage, do something to get your sex life
back on track. Good luck!
Been There, Done That
If you are breastfeeding right now, it will help to know that breastfeeding releases
hormones that repress your sex-drive. Also, even women without trauma during
vaginal birth experience pain for a long time after giving birth. I couldn't have sex
without pain for well over a year after my daughter was born. Additionally, being so
sleep-deprived and exhausted all the time only compounds the issue.
So, I don't really agree with the implication that you are ''rejecting'' your husband
from some of the other posters. You are going through what most couples go
through the first year to TWO years after first giving birth. My husband and I
certainly don't have much of a sex life still, after 18 months (I am still
breastfeeding). When we do, though, it's great!
Perhaps there are some other ways that the two of you can ''make love'' that don't
require intercourse, so that your husband can feel loved and sexually nourished
(and you as well!) and you don't feel impinged or put-upon and in pain.
Best of luck
Still All The Way Back In The Groove
I am in a two-year relationship with a man ten years younger than I am (I am late
thirties, he is late twenties). We have been living together for the past year, along
with my elementary school-aged daughter.
At the start, our life together was wonderful: It was tender, passionate, and
seemingly perfect. We felt we were really meant to be, and he moved in about a year
after we began dating. At that time, however, he started avoiding having sex with
me, and now we almost never have any physical contact. He does not have any
erectile or medical issues--he is just anxious about sex and avoids it almost
completely (we have had sex once in four months). We started counseling about five
months ago, I have my a therapist, and he has his own therapist now too...but very
little actual change seems to be occurring.
I have always been an intensely physical woman, and this really has me reeling. I
feel rejected, unwanted, and hurt by his lack of attention. I have no intention of
having an affair, but I have realized that I recently began to understand the
rationalizations people make just before they ''step out'' on their partners--''my
relationship is great, except...'' I don't want to cheat, and I don't want to pressure
him, and I don't really want to leave him either. Does anyone out there have any
experience with this kind of situation?
Well,it sounds like you have a pretty serious problem on your hands. In reading
your post, I wondered if maybe your boyfriend was somehow inhibited from being
sexual now that he lives with not only you but your young daughter? You say you
are already in counseling, but the only solution I can imagine is to try another
counselor, perhaps one who specializes in sexual issues. As a woman in your
thirties you are at your sexual peak and it's going to be hard for you to be happy
in a relationship devoid of physical intimacy. Good luck to you.
Have you spoken with him? you dont mention that at all... and since the therapy,
has the topic been broached?
part of a romantic relationship is sex. if you want to be able to keep this
relationship alive, these things must be discussed lovingly and directly, but they
MUST be discussed. and NO it is NOT easy.
but if life was easy, we'd all be billionaires with ''perfect''
lives (what ever perfect is).
I don't have much advice for you, but I want to say to try not to take his lack of
drive personally (even if it does affect you adveresly). I have totally lost my
sex drive and it has always dropped in all my relationships after the more
passion-filled early stage of the relationship. It's just how my body is. My
poor and tolerant husband is the greatest and I would never want to have sex with
anyone else, but I just don't want to have sex with anyone. I'm so tireds with a
young toddler, I'm overweight and have mild depression and anxiety, all which
drops the libido. Perhaps his anxiety (and depression?) is causing this.
Please don't cheat. Wait some time for therapy to start having an affect (it can
take months and months). If things don't change after much counseling, it may be
time to leave. Just please don't take it personally. I feel such horrible guilt
and self-hatred over my lack of sex drive. It has nothing to do with my husband
and has everything to do with me and this may be the case of your boyfriend, too
Wishes to be free from the burden from having to have sex
Does you boyfriend show evidence of a mood disorder?
Depression and/or bipolar disorder can result in loss of interest in sex, and
often responds to medical treatment. Try and make sure that your boyfriend's
therapist is knowledgeable in these disorders and their treatment. This often
means a MD type rather than a counselor. Robert
I can relate to most of the posts. My wife, of over 30-years,
would be perfect – except for S-E-X. We had sex more often
before the kids and I can understand what kids can do to a
healthy sex life. However, our kids are grown but the sex
frequency is infrequent (Saturday or Sunday AM, once per week)
and boring (she doesn’t like to receive or provide oral, doesn’t
respond touch (not matter how gentle) and makes absolutely no
sounds or requests during sex). Little things that shouldn’t
matter become arguments because of sexual frustration – mine.
I don’t want to end the marriage because she’s been very loyal
to me (I went through a long period of depression) and we both
couldn’t survive without each other’s income – pathetic isn’t
it? I’ve tried everything -- nice dinners, long walks, get away
vacation, doing laundry (she doesn’t like the way I do it), I do
the dishes every evening, and was a “soccer dad”.
Whenever, I suggest we need to talk, or get professional help,
she says I get more than most men! I’ve suffered from low self-
esteem but getting rejected 6 out of 7 days in literally killing
You had my sympathy, more or less, up until that last line: ''I’ve
suffered from low self-esteem but getting rejected 6 out of 7
days in literally killing me.'' Sex once a week may be frequent,
or infrequent, depending on the couple; getting pestered EVERY
DAY about it is going to be a huge turn off.
Has your wife gone through any serious health crisis?
Ie:surgery etc or maybe menopausal,different types of
I had the same problem with my husband who was vey ill for 2
years. (including heart surgery) It was not until recently that
we were able to rekindle our sex lives. It drove me nuts as I
am only in my mid fourties. I actually started to get a
wandering eye. But anyway it took awhile but he was able to
gain his strength and confidence and now we are really enjoying
it. Remember her lack of interest probably has nothing to do
with you. Keep working on her to get her interested and keep
trying to get her to see a therapist.
I am sorry to hear of your unhappiness, but it might comfort you
to know that in my book, you are getting a decent amount of sex
(as to the quality, that is another story). My husband and I
have been together 20 years and have a very satisfying quality to
our sex life, but due to the usual reasons -- young kids,
fatigue, etc. -- we only have sex twice a month!!! I know my
husband would like more -- what man wouldn't -- but it is about
all I can manage.
As for the quality of your sex life, it really sounds like you
two could use some counseling. If she knew that you are on the
verge of leaving over this, it might jump-start her to make some
changes. No outsider can know the reason for your wife's
disinterest, but the fact she is still willing and able to have
sex weekly speaks to her love for and committment to you
I'm a married man at least ten years your junior, and I can
tell you are getting more than your average share of intimacy
from your wife. Also, you're not doing enough around the
house. You sound like a complainer. Grow up, start acting
like a man (make sacrifices), be happy and love your wife.
This is such a common issue with couples--differing levels of
I think open, caring communication is key. If you can't talk
about it, you can't find common ground.
One thing that has helped in my marriage is agreeing on a
mutually-acceptable level of frequency and sticking to it.
Doesn't sound very sexy, but it helps avoid that awful feeling
of rejection (for the person with more desire) and that awful
feeling of being hounded/harassed (for the person with less
desire). This needn't be a schedule, but just an understanding
of how much is enough. Sounds like you all haven't had that
sort of conversation yet.
Other things to talk about: where does her lack of desire come
from? Fatigue? Resentment? Just plain old biology? What can you
do to satisfy yourself when you are on and she isn't? What does
not having sex feel like for you? What does being pressured for
sex feel like for her? Are there things you can do together
that are sexual and satisfying but not full on intercourse? Are
there other areas of intimacy in which you are not as close as
you once were? What other aspects of your relationship need to
be tended to?
Your wife is correct that once a week is pretty good. This
seems to be the universal lament of all long marrieds. I know
from my perspective that the reason I never want oral sex from
my husband is because he is really really bad at it. I wish he
weren't believe me. He also is not the greatest kisser. What
to do? Divorce him? I work with what I have. I love my
husband and he is pretty hot to me still...just lacks some
skills. I think asking your wife what she needs without making
the discussion about what YOU need might help a bit. Do you
desire your wife or just sex? Your comment about the fact that
you need each other's salaries made me sad. If that is why you
are still together after 30 years then maybe you should start
talking about what you both want. Talking, in my opinion,
never hurts a marriage. Even if you are talking about why it
This is as much a heads-up to the many moms who post about their
reduced sex drive as well as a specific reply to the gentleman
who posted the query. I'm answering as a single mom in my 40's
who is also unashamedly a part-time ''provider''--I advertise on
Craigslist--I'm paid for sex and companionship by men from 25 to
65, mostly married, whose wives can't or won't engage in intimate
relations (some ever, some infrequently like your wife). I'm not
a ravishingly gorgeous siren; you couldn't pick me out in line at
the berkeley bowl. I don't do anything particularly skillful or
kinky; what I do is something far simpler, for which there is
vast demand: I authentically enjoy sex (albeit on a commercial
basis) with husbands like you.
More--many more--men get entangled in affairs than see a pro; the
repercussions of affairs, when they become emotionally involved,
have been well documented on this list. As someone with a very
strong libido (which is never extinguished by
disaffection--something i am always told is a ''male'' attitude), I
can relate to the frustration of being with someone who is
content with a much lower frequency or less variety of sex than
Whatever those of you reading this may think of me, I'm positive
I've seen more than a few husbands of happily married BPNers on a
professional basis. I try to send them home feeling satisfied,
desirable, and appreciative of their wives'strengths as well as
their limitations. If that seems threatening to the women on
this list, consider the fact that there are many, many willing
women with less firm boundaries--paid and unpaid--for your
husbands to avail themselves of in their search of what's
''missing'' long-term in your marriage. In my opinion, if a woman
is not willing to address either the underlying problems in a
marriage nor the possible psycho- or physiological reasons why
she doesn't enjoy frequent sex with a husband who desires her and
is committed to the marriage, then (if divorce is out of the
question) you as the husband are justified in discreetly
''supplementing'' your sexual needs with other women while your
wife keeps her head in the sand.
An Opinionated Hooker
It is not uncommon in marriages for one person to want sex more
than the other, but this sounds troubling, as your wife does
not seem to think there's even a problem. Some things to
consider for your own well-being are:
1) what seems like a comfortable amount of sex and frequency
2) when you do have sex and both enjoy it, what is happening
differently? Do you have a babysitter at those times so you're
not distracted? Are there certain things that she finds more
arousing than others?
3) how much general affection do you show towards one another?
I have seen couples where they have a low level of affection in
general, so when one person approaches another for sex, it
seems like a duty more than an extension of tenderness and love
that is ongoing and fluid. what is your need for affection, and
what is hers?
It seems like professional help might guide you towards a
solution, but without both people wanting to participate, it's
somewhat difficult to have a successful outcome. Maybe she
thinks that seeing a professional means there's something wrong
with her, but if you think about it, people go to medical
doctors all the time without shame or embarrassment. So why
should seeking couples help be any different? As for ''you're
lucky you're getting any sex,'' that seems like the sound of a
pressured, upset person who needs some understanding and
perhaps a little backing off for the time being.
Just some thoughts...
You indicated that your wife only wants sex once a week and that
being rejected 6 our of 7 days is ''killing'' your self esteem.
If you know that she only wants it once a week then why are you
asking for it every night? The effect is that it upsets you
unnecessarily and probably makes her feel badgered, so she has
sex with you on the weekend not because she wants to but because
she feels she owes it to you. Why not just let the romance
build up to the big night (or day) through romantic letters or
gestures and take your cues from her? Your self-esteem should
not depend on whether or not your wife wants it that night.
That's putting a lot of pressure on her and your neediness
probably turns her off. There should be many other ways in
which you nurture your self-esteem through factors you yourself
control. It is not healthy to rely to that extent on others for
validation. And it's not sexy. Just because your wife doesn't
want to get professional help doesn't mean YOU shouldn't get it
for yourself. Many couples have differing needs, but that
shouldn't break up an otherwise good relationship. It's part of
the normal process of compromise that healthy couples work
around. If your wife is ''perfect'' in all other areas, as you
say, you owe it to both of you to see a therapist on your own to
work out your self-esteem issues. And wait for your wife to
approach YOU when the mood strikes
I don't have an answer for you but I think that you need to clarify the reasons for your
desire to go to therapy. It seems she feels you're asking to go to therapy so you can
get more sex from her. From what you say, you are interested enjoying a mutually
satisfying sex life with your wife. Indeed, she probably has some issues to deal with
(and she may not even realize she does), but try coming at it from the angle of working
toward something that will make you both feel healthy, happy and satisfied.
With regard to the post by the sex worker, I must say that there
are a few more avenues to explore before resorting to a method
that could potentially destroy the good faith and trust of a
mate. I don't object to employing a sex worker as a general
means. In fact, this method would be preferable from my vantage
point as a wife because sex workers have been shown in scientific
studies to be much more careful than the general population with
regard to safe sex. From an emotional perspective, there is far
less likelihood of emotional attachment. Though I have had a few
girlfriends (who worked their way through school as exotic
dancers) relay more than a few occasions where the married client
lost his head and believed he was ''in love.'' But, this concession
would do little to ease my mind that my husband cheated on me.
And I might feel pissed that a chunk of our discretionary income
went to that end. If there was something physiological or
physiological that rendered me incapable of having sex with my
husband, I would be the first to suggest a pro. But I would truly
be outraged if my once-a-week encounter just wasn't enough. (This
is more than most SINGLE guys get.) Wives are pretty aware of
household finances these days, not to mention that uncanny sense
we seem to have when another woman has been too near. A missing
few hundred bucks is likely to be noticed, as is a change in
behavior or foreign scent.
You should try to see things from your wife's perspective. She
may need more LOVE, cuddling, empathy. Maybe even more time. (My
chores can intrude on my enjoyment of sleep, sex, dinner out,
etc.). Give it a try! Lighten her work load, cuddle w/o
expecting sex, ask SINCERELY what you can do for her-and do it!
Enjoy your desire and let it grow! I also agree w/ the “hooker''
response. It’s discouraging (and unappealing) to have someone
say, in so many words, if you don't have sex with your husband
on demand, I will, and and he'll pay me for it b/c
I’m “professional.” Neener neener. I’m glad you enjoy your paid
work. But let's be realistic. Most women enjoy sex as much as
their husbands. Some women are also living with men who can be
selfish. Someone who is getting paid for sex doesn't have to
pick up his dirty underwear, clean out the toilet, or ask him 17
times if he would please remember to come home on time Thursday
for the kids' school event. I don't know women who enjoy giving
all day and all night without having a little refreshment
themselves. On the flip side of the ''happy hooker'' idea, that
doesn't mean we all run out to get more satisfying sex somewhere
else (and god knows we wouldn't blow our hard-earned cash to pay
for it!) Most women/men understand marriage doesn’t mean sex on
demand, and is a commitment to the person/family, which usually
implies honesty, integrity, fidelity (other mutually-agreed-upon
lifestyles notwithstanding). Even my own husband is undesirable
sexually when he is oblivious to my life or our life together,
in or out of the bed. But when he's empathetic, laughs with me,
and pays attention to me and kids, I'm much more inclined toward
him. It even makes it easier to ignore the mess he left for me
in the kitchen sink (again). Try thinking from her perspective.
Find a therapist to help. Don't get defensive if you find out
that some complaints are legit. She doesn’t hate you, just wants
to make it better. Just like you
Editor note: a number of complaints were received about
the letter above from "an opinionated hooker". Those comments are
My husband and I have been married almost 9 years and together
for 13. We have a very good and solid marriage, lots of
respect, we share the workload of household and childrearing-,
and we rarely fight at all. We have a 2 1/2 year old son. I
love him deeply.
The problem is sex. Since having the baby, I don't care about
it, don't really notice when it's not happening. But he does-
and isn't happy about it. The other night I was talking with
him about how sad I was that we can't have another child-and he
suddenly brings up that we don't have enough sex..again! He
keeps track of how long it's been since the last time and
anything but actual intercourse doesn't ''count'' as sex.
Although he doesn't hound me for it, I know it's always out
there. Sex night is supposed to be Tuesdays but it frequently
passes without me noticing it, or me dreading it and trying to
find excuses to avoid it without saying ''no'' outright.
We've talked about how I feel sex is kind of ''dirty'' now (after
becoming a mom.) And how I'm embarassed to really get into it
when we're having it. I hate it when he talks dirty but he
still does it and I cringe with embarrassment. I like sex when
we have it and I get into it(most of the time) but it often
takes me a looong time to get into it and sometimes I don't
want him to touch me and just have sex to make him happy. We
probably have sex 1-3 times a month. I've also gained about 12
extra pounds in the last year so I don't feel sexy-even though
he tells me all the time I am. I think he's very attractive-so
it's not an aversion or anything like that.
I miss sex in a purely theoretical way. I know it's important
to the marriage and I feel guilty that I am not making him
happy in that regard. But I am just totally disinterested. I
have a therapist but I'm even embarassed to talk to her about
this. I've read the ''confessions of a naughty mommy' and that
just made me angry-how it all just works out in the end for
her. I want to want it-but I just don't.
Any suggestions for me? Has anyone else found sex to be
embarassing after childbirth? How do you get over it? Do you
just grin & bear it? Please-I welcome any suggestions!
Ask your doctor about this. I've heard that a topical cream is available to re- energize the
sex drive. This is more common then you think!
I don't have any answers for you. Just want you to know that you are not alone!! Since
having 2 kids, my sex drive is even lower than it was before kids (and that was low). We
haven't done it in months. My husband doesn't bug me about it too much (yet). We actually
joke about it now. We both figure that when we're both not so tired, we'll pick it up
again...like a long lost hobby (we have two toddlers). I guess the key would be to start
spending more 'alone' time together, which we never do. Are you and your husband able to be
together without your child at least once a week? Date nite? I look forward to hearing the
advice on this one anon
I did not find enough info in your letter to know for sure, but I am guessing as the child
is 2 1/2 that you are probably occupied dealing w/ him a lot. I was in massage therapy
training when I got pregnant w/ my child. From pregnancy through, oh, age
3 or 4, I not only was less interested in sex, (though that came back gradually, before 3 or
4, but not all at once) I lost all interest in massage therapy. Maybe I am lucky because of
Because I got the perspective that it was not really about sex, but about touch, and about
how much one person can handle before going into overload. I nursed and held my baby a lot,
and she was on me a lot as she got older, but less and less as she got older. The less the
kid was physically attatched/on/touching me in one way or another, the more my desire to
touch and be touched w/ others came back. Your child deserves as much of you as you can
possibly give him at this point, and if you still love your husband, and he you, then
hopefully you both can weather this out, as it will come back. It's better to give the child
what it needs now and assure your husband he is not in for a life of monkhood. If he wants
to accelerate the proccess, then finding ways to have someone else take the child on a
regular basis...grandma, playdates, babysitter, etc., for significant amounts of time that
give you the chance to recharge and actually want ot be touched again, this will help I
think. Good Luck
I felt similar to you right after I had my baby, but it started to fade. One thing that
happened that made a difference was at orgasm my milk would come out!
Combined with the sweat, and sometimes tears (the release of it all). It sounds funny, but
it made me feel like I was all one: mother, woman, sexual being, nurturer. I felt like the
primeaval woman! My husband thought it was funny and liked it. We brought humor into it
also. The other thing that used to happen was the baby would wake up right at the time of
orgasm (not from the noise) really bad timing! She must've known that something was going
on. Maybe there are different things he can do to make you feel more comfortable (like NOT
Anyway, I think you will get back into it, but maybe taking it slow and talking more about
how you feel ahead of time with your husband might help ease the pressure anon
First of all, it is really important to keep having sex - even if you are going through the
motions, you need to do it for him in order to stay connected and reassure him that you love
But I think you know this. Second, some reassurance - I lost my sex drive after the birth
of my baby too. It came back. I found two things that greatly affected it: the mini-pill
killed all desire, so we switched to condoms, and once I stopped breastfeeding my drive
greatly increased. Finally, you need to talk to your therapist about this -- if you're
paying one, you should get your money's worth and this is obviously an issue that should be
addressed. Good luck BTDT
Wow! I could've written this post. I know exactly how you feel and have the same problem.
After the birth of my daughter I was pretty injured so sex was just downright painful for a
It finally got better, but I was pretty much only interested in it to please my husband. My
daughter is now 2.5 yrs old and I'm pregnant with another baby due this October. (I got
pregnant again really quickly once I stopped taking the pill.) My husband has been very
sweet and patient about the lack of sex, but I know it bothers him. It's just so
uncomfortable again now while carrying the baby and I'm so tired at the end of the day after
working a full-time job, cooking dinner, and getting my daughter off to bed. What worked
best for us btw pregnancies was to use my daughter's afternoon nap time. I had more energy
then. Often I was just trying to satify my husband's desires, but I tried to not think about
motherhood and get into the experience while it was happening at least. Go easy on your
husband on this. Men do have a genuine need for sex more than women and nothing has changed
to his body the way it has with yours. I feel stretched to the hilt already, and as heavy as
ever, and I still have over
3 months to go. Sigh. I'm looking forward to reading what other posters have to say on this
topic. This is just to let you know you are not alone Also Anon
I feel hounded by my husband for sex too. I want to say, ''I'm tired, you jerk.'' I still
have a sex drive after kids, but he literally pesters me every day. Once or twice a week
would be just fine. I don't really have any advice for you, but I feel your aggravation!
Also, maybe there is something you can do to increase your libido so that you look forward
to your time together. Exercise makes me feel better about myself and more horny. Good
I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone! I have gone through exactly the same
as you once I became a mom...the lack of desire for sex. My husband and I did some couples
therapy which I believe helped us work things out. (My desire is still low, but I try my
best to get interested and have fun). When one partner desires sex more than the other, it
really puts a strain on the relationship, as I well know.
And yet it makes sense to take the time for eachother in order to save the marriage.
The book ''Passionate Marriage'' could be good for you to read. I personally would be fine
with sex a couple of times a month, but my husband needs more. It has taken us some work to
discover and respect eachother's needs.
Communication and working on boosting your desires should be beneficial. Good luck!
in the same boat
Oh My Goodness! I don't really have a solution, but I swear it was like me writing that
story. The ONLY difference is that Wednesday night is suppose to be our sex (hump) night.
And just like you, I make up every excuse I can & sometimes wait until he's sleep & creep
into bed. Wow! So basically, like you I will just wait & see what other people say to do. I
mean it's so gross to me that now when we do have sex I tell him to use a towel to ejaculate
in, I don't even want that stuff in me. EH!
I feel your pain, so this is really just to shed some light to tell you that you are NOT
Your situation sounds similar to ours. A combination of innate differences, life
circumstances, and medical issues have left us with very differing levels of interest in
sex, touching, etc. We have been dealing with this for more than 10 years, and although it
is sometimes still a struggle and a source of worry, we mostly have accepted the
situation--and that is, I think, because we compromise. We agreed on a frequency of sex (not
a night, per se, but a general figure) that would be acceptable to both of us, and we do
make a point of considering all forms of sexual intimacy, not just intercourse, as part of
our sexual life together.
I do have sex sometimes when I would rather not; I used to think this was awful -- but don't
we often do things we don't want to do for people we love? Likewise, my husband goes without
sexual contact when he would really like it. We try to respect each other's positions, and
give a little when we can.
We worked on this issue in couples therapy (difficult, but
worthwhile) and also read (together) a book called Hot Monogamy that was very useful at
reassuring us that our different levels of interest are A) very common and B) not
I think that loving couples can manage this situation with good communication, kindness, and
a willingness to compromise. Good luck!
You don't say if you're breastfeeding your son or not, but breastfeeding
does release hormones that dampen sex-drive. If you have not been
breastfeeding for a while, than this is probably not playing a role.
Either way, I strongly urge you to talk to your therapist about your
embarassment about sex. Doesn't it strike you as an interesting and
telling contradiction that, now that you are a mother, you see sex as
''dirty'' and embarassing--after all, you wouldn't BE a mommy without
it! That says to me that there may be something else going on, something
emotional-- regarding sex as dirty and embarrassing is something that is
*learned*, so you can UNlearn it, as well, but you'll need your
It may help you to think of it this way: a healthy sex-life (one that
you are enjoying, too, not just going through the motions) is important
to a healthy marriage, a healthy marriage is extremely important to the
emotional well-being of your entire family, including your SON. Your
relationship with your husband is the model that your son will follow
when he grows up -- so you have a big responsibility here, what kind of
example do you want to set for him?
Your therapist can help you (or, if your therapist can't, find another
therapist!), please give her a chance to do that and talk to her about
what is coming up for you, for your sake as well as your son's and your
Does anyone out there have experience using testosterone cream
(applied to the clitoris) to help with extremely low libido? I
have a prescription from my MD but am hesitant to actually use
it. Any advice (usefulness, side effects, better treatments
or, ahem, how-to) would be appreciated! Signed,
First the obligatory caveat about drugs as a last resort for this
sort of thing, blah blah.
Have you tried Wellbutrin? A little publicized clinically studied
side-effect is to enhance the female libido:
I'm a guy(55), my MD prescribed it for depression and *my* sex
life has reached new heights and a couple of lady friends swear
it has put a new bounce in their step. I had previously gone
through all the SSRIs which had a depressing effect on my libido
as well as other unpleasant side-effects. It's like the
difference between dialup and broadband ... Just make sure your
man can keep up (hoho).
If you want technique, try Clint Arthur's New Sex Now (DVD). It
has 4-5 star rating at Amazon:
Basically, it's G-spot massage. Watch it together and move your
sex life into overdrive. One friend told me 'I never knew a man
could touch a woman like that!!!'. I'll resist the urge to offer
a demonstration ...
Have fun ..
My wife and I are struggling (as so many are!) with balancing
full time jobs, two kids (4 and 6), managing a house and dog,
AND paying sufficient attention to one another. Invariably, our
relationship ends up last on the list of things to do. We are
both in counseling (individual and couples) and one of the
issues that has come up has been my wife's lack of sex drive. We
have heard that testosterone creams could be used as a ''libido
pick up'', but my wife is reluctant to try it. She has heard of
some side affects of the use of this unregulated product to be
both unpleasant and irreversible. We would like to hear from
other women who have had expereince with using this treatment.
My husband and I went through what sounds like the EXACT same thing. I did try
the cream, but stopped after a couple of weeks. It just felt artificial to my
Also, I started having violent dreams at night. I would witness war, murder,
shootings, all in darkness, in these dreams. Scary. Made me wonder how men live
in their bodies. Anyway, it was effective in raising my libido, no question, but I
felt like I was the one who had the ''problem'' that needed to be ''fixed''.
There's a lot
more to deal with than just low frequency of sex: sexual politics, individual
responsibility, priorities, all those good things.
In the same boat
When my libido plummeted in my early forties, I talked with my
gynecologist. She offered me a prescription for
Methyltestosterone 2.5 mg, a very gentle and natural form that is
safe for women and at the proper dose will not cause the
irreversible side effects.
I started out at one per day and noticed a bit of effect but not
enough to get me back on track. Now I take one daily and then one
additional approximately every other day for a total of 10 a
week. This is the maximum that she will prescribe to be safe and
it works for me.
Kaiser has to have this prescription compounded at an outside
pharmacy, and for some reason Richmond is the only pharmacy that
will fill it for me. My GYN told me that there's also a
manufactured testosterone supplement that's safe for women, but
I'll stay with natural as long as I can get it. I haven't looked
into the test patch for women since I'm happy with this.
Once I hit menopause, loss of estrogen began to cause me problems
with lubrication, orgasm, and libido, so now I use a vaginal
ring, ''Estring'', that locally and slowly releases estrogen which
is not absorbed systemically. It's made a big difference!
Also, Viagra can enhance sexual responsiveness for some women by
improving genital blood supply. Another option worth looking into.
run, don't walk, to your local bookstore and buy a copy of the book ''Confessions of
Naughty Mommy, How I found my Lost Libido'' by Heidi Raykiel. Read the book
yourself, don't just suggest it to her. Nothing is sexier than a husband who wants
solve a problem as part of a partnership :-) Bravo for posting. Haven't tried the
but this book was great--it really helped us.
I look forward to ending my child-birthing/nursing years so i can
get more testosterone cream! I did the oral medication--before
they had the cream-- and it was great but it had side effects and
I had to go off of it. But I have heard that the cream has less
problems. If a doctor recommends it and supervises it I think it
is worth trying for sure. Definitely would not do it without a
doc's careful eye.
Getting more cream soon
If the goal is to increase testosterone levels one thought is
some of the recent though debated research on how certain types
of exercise (namely high intensity)can increase testosterone
Ever since hitting about age 36 two years ago I've found myself
with the sex drive of an 18 year old boy. This has caused me
to flirt with colleagues, browse ''casual encounters'' on
Craigslist, and generally spend way too much time thinking
about sex when I should be thinking about my motherly, wifely,
and other more wholesome life activities. I've discovered that
sex of all kinds is certainly available to women in my
situation, but I've not acted on such opportunities. My
husband finds it amusing, he cannot keep up with me and says
(that's SAYS) he would allow me a limited excursion into a ''sex-
only'' experience, so long as it was protected and he got to
hear all about it. This goes totally against my rational side
and the monogamous values I hold in the bright light of day.
But then when an attractive man passes by, I'm all aflutter
again. Some days I think I need therapy and other days I'm
happy to feel so vibrant and alive. Is it all just raging
hormones? Will it taper? Am I the only otherwise happily
married mom and wife with this struggle?
It seems to me to be a sign of the healthiness of your marriage
that you have shared your fantasies and urges with your husband
and that he seems to understand. You express, however, some
doubt that your husband would be able to deal with the reality
of having another man fulfill your fantasies, and that's one
reason to exercise caution. It might damage your shared trust
and happiness. Have you considered how you would feel if your
husband decided to act on fantasies of his own? Maybe it would
be perfectly OK with you and maybe not, but it certainly would
be only fair if he tolerated sexual excursions for you. My big
worry for you (and I sympathize because I share your mid-life
sexual surge feelings, as you'll see in a minute)is that you
might underestimate the link between sex and emotion. I know
that in my case I was wildly attracted to a younger man. My
marriage was not as healthy as yours and I went on this extra-
marital excursion without telling my husband, so thte situation
is different in that sense. But once I was involved sexually
with the other man, I fell in love with him, and he with me.
It was an impossible situation and we broke up (to be honest,
he broke with me), and I have been heartbroken now for nearly
nine months. Our marriage is nearly in ruins because I don't
want my husband to touch me (and he did find out, so I feel
guilty for hurting him as well). I have the other man too much
on my mind. You may be completely different from me
temperamentally and able to enjoy casual sex. But I was able
to enjoy casual sex as a younger woman and I think I thought I
would be able to do that with this lover as well. I was
wrong. I am far from judging you or condemning non-monogamous
life in general, but I would urge you to think about the
emotional repercussions not only for your husband (which you
have already considered) but yourself and the other partner.
A very interesting situation you've described! My sexual energy
was also high high high in my 30's, but I was single and free to
do as I pleased with it without any conflict of interest. In my
50's, I still have a high sex drive, although nothing compared to
There is nothing intrinsically unwholesome about sexuality or, in
fact, in any expression of sexuality between consenting adults!
There's also nothing intrinsically wrong with flirting- it's fun
and, just for itself, harmless. And there's nothing intrinsically
wrong with surfing pornography or casual encounters for the
stimulation and fantasy of it, it's just that women aren't
''supposed'' to be interested in such things (and pornography is
mostly geared to men's interests).
Fantasy is great, and masturbation is great, and the two go
together very well. I myself have many sexual fantasies that I
don't expect to ever act on (as well as others that I've tried
out in reality) and they come in very handy in my relationship
with my fingers and vibrator!
It's good that you can be open with your husband about this, and
he with you, although it sounds like he may not be taking it
seriously to heart. But maybe it's really okay with him for you
to experiment and he enjoys the idea of being a voyeur in your
adventure(s), it may be titillating and arousing to him. Again,
anything is okay, nothing is intrinsically wrong.
One word of experience, quite a bit of experience- casual
encounters are more often sexually disappointing than not. Really
good sex is as hard to find as really good love! I've done them,
and have found that what I really enjoy is putting on a short
skirt and heels, going out on the town, and flirting with a
I have a (maybe) off the wall idea for you and your husband. You
could go out together, you could dress up as sexually
outrageously as you like, and you and he split up at your
destination (a bar or club?). You could flirt your little heart
out but know who you're going home with. Your husband could watch
you in action and get his titillation. Who knows what might
happen in the bedroom when you get home!?
Creativity is the spice of life!
Another sexed-up woman
What you are experiencing is completely normal.
Women reach their sexual peak in their early 40's.
Men reach their sexual peak in their early 20's.
Go to Good Vibrations and buy some fun stuff since this sounds more up
your alley than going and having some sexual experience (which could
wreck your marriage.)
Go buy some goodies and jill off!
Jillin' and chillin'
You are not alone. I am a 37 yo married mom of two and feel
just the same way. I have always been very sexually minded and
just thought this would change when I go married/hit 30/had
kids...etc., but that has not been the case. I think there is
an expectation in society for that to happen and often it is
taboo to bring this up (I'm so glad you did). It's not easy to
admit that we have these feelings, but I've come to accept
myself for the most part. Sometimes I feel really different
from the other moms/wives that are exchanging recipes, making
playdates, etc. when I have all these other thoughts running
through my head. Maybe there are more moms out there like us
than we think? Sexuality is a beautiful part of being human,
yet most people are too afraid to explore outside the box. I
think it's great that you can talk to your husband about this,
and that he is so open-minded. I am also lucky in that my
husband and I have been able to talk about this since even
before we got married. Over the years we have explored non-
monogamy at times. It has not always been easy, but it feels
more natural and real to us and I can't imagine closing off that
part of myself. Feel free to contact me through BPN if you wish
to talk further.
Same thing happened to me in my late 30's, with 2 kids and
a 12-year marriage, and just at a time when my husband's
interest in sex was greatly diminishing. All I could think
about was sex, sex sex. I NEVER had experienced that kind
of high octane desire, not even
when I was 19 or 20. In retrospect it seems like the
body's drive to have one last glorious chance to reproduce.
I was just driven by the hormones.
Living in a college town with all these
cute boys all over the place doesn't exactly help matters.
They ALL look cute. Anyways, after a couple years of
being tormented by constant sex crazed obsessions I ended up
having an affair (thank God I kept my head enough to stay
away from 19-year-olds). It was wonderful and it was terrible at
the same time. It broke up my marriage. I got married
again, and I am happy now, but going through a divorce with kids
is no fun. It really is a steep price to pay.
My advice would be: you have to be crazy to think
that you can have sex with no strings attached. Even though
your husband says he's ok with it, can you really predict how
things will turn out? What if you fall in love with the new
guy? What if you fall in love with the way you feel around
the new guy, and you want that more than you want your
marriage? It's complicated. Be careful.
I would not have an extra-marital experience as that would
probably damage your marriage even if both of you seem game
before the fact. As for the sexual desire, you are absolutely
normal! A recent study shows that many women, even in stable
loving marraiges, desire extra-marital sex and are extemely
attracted to others around the time they ovulate. As an
anthropologist, I can tell you that monogamy is difficult for
humans and even though men and women enter parnerships (or
marraiges) in many cultures to raise children, men and women
BOTH often have sex outside the marriage. The desire is
absolutely normal. My advice is to enjoy the sexual energy,
have sex with your husband (and yourself) when possible, perhaps
visit Good Vibrations on San Pablo in Berkeley and explore
getting toys or other things to enhance your pleasure (with and
without your husband), but don't have sex with someone else as
that might cause problems.
I don't know about what is normal for sex drive at mid 30's. I'm
in my late 20's, but I can say that I have been experiencing
something very similar in the second two trimesters of my
pregnancy. I feel like my sex drive is increasing in proportion
to my tummy. I too have surprisingly been noticing an increase
in male attention, focused on touching my belly. And I smile back
all the time now. Before I rarely noticed the attention and
hardly encouraged it. Normally I would never let a stranger
touch me, but now it's very exciting. Touching my belly. To
watch a man put his hand on my belly and hold it or rub, makes my
blood race. Unfortunately my husband is not nearly as open
minded as yours seems to be. You're lucky. Do you think in the
end though the jealousy will get to him and make his or both of
your lives difficult? I can't help but wonder. I say if he lets
you then wow, why not give it a try. If it backfires the blame
seems to be equally on him. But that's easy advice to give a
stranger, and I haven't let anything go further than some tummy
rubbing and feeling the baby kicking - but in my mind it goes
much further. The question is how would you feel after if it
goes beyond flirting or a mental thing. I've been struggling
with that myself. Should I take advantage of my raging hormones?
This seems like a once or twice in a lifetime opportunity that
maybe I shouldn't let slip by. Will I regret it later if I don't
act on it? Will I regret it if I do? Given my condition, do I
really have the opportunity to act out? Are these men actually
interested in more than just touching my tummy? You're probably
going through the same mental torture. Good luck.
As with many marriages, we are experiencing serious lack of sex
as parents. We have a 3 year old and 9 month old. I am still
breastfeeding, dealing with postpartum hormones etc, but during
another one of my husband and my late night fights after an
attempt at anything sexual, my husband said that my lack of sex
drive occurred prior to having children and actually at the
same time I was prescribed and starting using inhaled steroids
to keep my asthma under control. It has been about 7 years
since that first prescription and, my husband is right, that's
when my sex drive went out the window. But, it's also the time
we were married, starting having serious responsibilities
(mortgage, car payments)= less fun, more work, less partying,
more being married. Is the prescription a coincidence or could
it be a real factor in my lost libido? When I've mentioned it
to doctors, they just say, ''Well, this is quite common for new
parents.'' I don't want to hear that anymore. I want to make an
effort to make this marriage work, with sex. And, uh, I have
to breathe too.
Inhaled then exhaled my sex drive?
yes - I absolutely think you should NOT ignore the steriods as a
possible source of your lost libido - it may not be that they are the
ONLY reason, but as someone who has taken various sterios, inhaled and
not, over my life for asthma I think this is absolutely true. Sure, your
family situation plays a role, but steriods affect your body
systemically in so many ways, I think it's worth looking into.
I've also found that the anxiety increased asthma causes, and often the
(more obvious) side-effects of the steriods - for me acne flare-ups,
mood swings, etc... impact my sex drive as well. It seems that the
steriods just throw various sytems out of whack, and though it's not
extreme enough thatI instantly make the connection, looking back over
time I can see that there is a correlation.
Over the years I've been able to work in some homeopathic remedies in to
my asthma treatment and eventually decreased my reliance on the
steriods. Not sure if that would work in your situation but I'd
definitily explore your concerns with your doctor and do some research
yourself and check out your options. I have to say it's a relief to get
your groove back.
good luck on your mojo mission
Someone recently wrote in asking about how often couples had
sex, and saying that she and her husband, after 10 years, still
have satisfying sex 1-2 times a week, and still try new things.
My only experience with married sex (from a marriage now over)
is that it hardly ever happened and was boring when it did.
(What a surprise that we got a divorce.) I have come to realize
how important passion and passionate sex are to me, but I feel
fairly hopeless that these things stick around after about a
year. So I have several questions:
1. To the woman who wrote that posting I referred to: what in
the world are you doing that's new after TEN YEARS???
2. How many people out there experience real PASSION with their
partners after being with them for many years? (What I mean
by ''passion'' is a very intense emotional connection that may or
may not involve sex.) If you do, what is it like? Do you think
it comes from some deep connection you either have or you
don't, or is it something you can drum up by reading a book
like ''The Passionate Marriage,'' etc?
3. How many people experience passionate, deeply intimate sex
with their partners after being with them many years? And
again, do you think this is from an inherent connection, or can
you intentionally create it?
If such passion and intimacy are -- after being together for a
while -- really rare, I can't see bothering with marriage (or
other long-term relationship) again. I'm hoping to hear that
lots of folks have these things and that they are reasonable to
Many thanks for any stories from your own relationship that you
might like to share.
Yes! Yes! Yes! My husband and I have been married 11 years and together 15. We are very emotionally connected and passionate. Of course it ebbs and flows, and with a young child, we have to be more mindful of nurturing our relationship. There are periods in the last 4 years of ''just dealing with life's business'' and days when we hardly get any time together (just us two), but underneath it all, there is a strong love and respect and friendship.
I think that connecting with a person who is open enough to self reflect and be flexible to communicate about whatever needs to be discussed is key. I really believe that communication is the life blood of a relationship. Not feeling heard or respected is enough for me to make passion die out. I'm pretty amazed that we still feel a hot, physical attraction to one another after all these years!
Replying to your questions, I don't know if it's rare or if books help. For me, definitely working on myself during the relationship has helped, by that I mean trying to be more conscious of my behavior and how it affects my partner, trying to make internal changes that help our relationship while still being true to myself. We did start with a deep, spiritual connection, and now grow and change together.
Though, of course, some things do stay the same. I still have some of my annoying personality traits and so does my husband, I guess I've learned more tolerance over the years as well. I hope some of this might be helpful, it sounds like you want to hope and try again. I hope you do and I hope you are pleasantly surprised with a fulfilling relationship!
What an interesting question! And so much at the center of our lives. I've been having sex with the same man, my husband, for
15 years. It is not the same exitment then it was at the beginning. You're right, novelty wears off. But if I find my spontaneous desire to have diminished considerably, I find the pleasure I get from the act itself deeper (in all the senses of the term). THere is a sentence I read in a book that I always remember and that had had a big impact on me: ''love is a verb'', love just doesn't fall on you, you have to decide to love and to desire for that matter.
I notice that when I take the initiative I get way more exitement and now that the kids are older, it can pretty much be any time and anywhere. There are always new things to imagine: suddently sitting on your husband's lap as he scans the news on the computer and start nibbling at his ear, coming out of the bathroom with a new nightgown (or nothing at all), start with a foot massage, entice him in the kitchen while guests are in the living room.... that's what fun about beeing together long:
knowing exactly what the partner wants and playing semi-dangerous games. That said, my sex life is not heaven on earth, I've had difficult times (especially around 10 years of relationship), sometimes I'm not in the mood and it feels that his desire is imposing on me, but even in that case, I know that the physical intimacy will improve our relationship. This whole thing is very personal anyway and it takes 2 to tango, it might be a question of age too. There is no harm in experimenting anyway: try the bathtub, the shower, the garden, in the car... for me it's more new situations than new positions. Read books, explore and have fun!
Well..... is not common, but can be created. You have to have romantic vacations together; and forget about the children, period.You have to keep yourself up and he has to be willing to give you money for that purpose.It maybe be a possibility, that he was never mister right and you just simply grew apart.
Marriage is not forever, and does not come with a money-back guarantee.If you go with a forever sign on your forhead into the marraige you are setting yourself up for a bigger fall.Some marriages work for a long time, but it does not necessarily mean they are actually happy and having olympic sex.They simply have common goals and love each other intensely.My advise: Plan financially as you were single, keep your professional options open at all times,have only the children you mentally and physically is realistic for you to handle; you will be happier at the end.
Seen this before
Hi - i have to say i was also surprised and pretty saddened by all the responses about how often married couples were having sex. For me i love my husband and i also like him - he's my best friend but to keep the actual connection, the intimate connection i can only get that with having sex. It makes me feel closer to him. We've been together for 12 years and we try to have sex at least every other day - we make this almost a rule. Whether its quick and fast or drawn out the actual act of having sex and the release i think makes you want to have more sex...also for the passion part of your question, as i get older i also find myself exploring new parts of my sexuality i was maybe to shy or embarrassed about thinking/discussing before and that in itself helps keep things interesting. But all in all, i think what keeps it working best is i am attracted to him and i just like him a lot.
I met my first husband in college and was married to him for close to 11 years. We had very little passion after about 3 years. We still had sex pretty regularly, but as you said, it was kind of boring, at least for me, and I know my husband sought excitement outside our marriage. I considered it, too.
When the marriage was finally over, I dated (translation: slept
around) with a vengeance, probably to make up for all those boring years.
That's how I met my current husband. We've been together for 8 years now, with two preschool-aged kids, and there has been no lessening of passion. I don't so much find that we need new ''tricks'' to keep things interesting, but we continue to find one another sexy and as we age together. I think we just get a kick out of learning more about each other. I'd say we go at it 3-4 times a week, and on the days we're not actually having sex, there's certainly caressing, necking and other intimate behaviors.
There are two things of utmost importance: One, it's extremely important to marry someone you're sexually compatible with.
This is both in terms of frequency and ''technique.'' Second, and most importantly, you just have to make time for sex. I know everyone says this, but so many people just don't. There are nights where it would be easy to say ''I'm too tired'' or ''I'm still mad at you'' or whatever, but if you make yourself get into it, you won't regret it. How many people look back and say ''I wish I'd had less sex with my husband''?
Our grandmothers were right: sex is the glue that holds a marriage together.
Well, my husband and I have been together just about 10 years now, and the passion is still there. Not every minute of the day, by any means, but when we seek it together, it's definitely there.
It sounds like you are equating passion with the chills & thrills of a new relationship, and I doubt that condition ever survives the first year or so (unless you're in a long-distance relationship or one with lots of hair-raising up and downs). So maybe it's a question of expectations?
-- Passionate Wife
My partner and I have been together for 9 years (married for 4.5, but our relationship before marriage was a deeply committed relationship), and we still have lots of passion. I think it does come from a deep connection that we have, and a deep respect. He is constantly doing things that remind me of why I love him, and he says the same of me. We're still able to bring that passion into bed too. Part of that, I think, is that we don't really have sex that often (sometimes once every 2 months, sometimes twice a week), so it's not boring and we miss it when we aren't doing it (you know, absense makes the heart, etc...).
I think if you have a good connection with your partner, then you can work on the passion part. There's a good book by Harville Hendrix called ''Getting the Love you Want'' that helped my partner and I through a rough time, and working on the exercises in that book really increased our passion - but as I said, we had a solid foundation to start.
''Passion'' is such an abstract term--it means different things to different people. To some, the emotional highs and lows of fighting and making up feel passionate. To others, it's the intensity of being with someone new, or the giddy feeling of uncertainty or risk.
I've had 2 back-to-back long term relationships, one that lasted 9 years, and a current one that has lasted 7 years so far. In the first, I no longer wanted to have sex with my partner after a few years. In the current (we're married with a kid) I continue to dig it and we roll in the hay regularly. Because we have a 2-year-old, our interludes are often quick, fun bangs. When we have more time, we'll have deeply intimate sex that leaves me really physically and emotionally sated.
I think it's both inherent in the connection and also cultivated.
Comparing my two LTRs, a few things stand out that I believe strongly correlate with my sustained sexual interest or lack thereof:
1. Resentment makes me lose my libido.
2. Respect. My former mate behaved in his business and personal life in ways that made me lose respect for him.
3. Fitness. My current mate bicycles everywhere and it gives him this vitality that I find super appealing. My former mate didn't take care of himself, and it negatively affected his smell, touch, taste, appearance, clarity, and prowess.
4. Peer relationship. My relationship does not have mother/son or father/daughter undertones. We come together as equals/peers/lovers.
5. Freedom and trust. I thrive on a long leash with absolute, solid, mutual trust.
I firmly believe that sex doesn't exist in a vacuum. All these other seemingly unrelated things have a big impact. These are just the keys to my locks; you may have a different set.
I have been with my partner 21 years. We do have sex, but rarely - usually when we go away rather than at home.
Sometimes it's perfunctory. Occasionally it's awesome. I don't know why. Our conversation and connection is the same - often dull and patterned but occasionally amazing. I would love to have more passion and the newness of sex with a different partner, but I doubt I'll ever do that.
Why not? Why stay together?
Past passions have also either faded or been unhealthy. While I enjoy being alone, and long for more time alone, growing old with someone you love and who loves you is pretty great (esp when you consider the alternatives.)
Ideas for making things more passionate - I do recall hot sex after a particuarly sexy and provactive movie. And talking out fantasies gets things hotter for us too. We used to use sex toys more and still occasionally do.
I'm glad this discussion has been initiated and appreciate past posters honesty. I think many of us believe everyone else has more or different than we do. Perhaps some do, but not most.
It's helpful to have a window into this.
As someone who's been married over 10 years, I want to offer you hope that that passion can be maintained in a marriage if you take care of it. My husband and I had a passionate courtship, and continue to have a passionate marriage. I'm not sure if you can create passion where there wasn't any to begin with, but I do know that if you don't take care of it, it can disappear before you realize it's gone. Of course, the passion we share is not like it was in our 20s, but we're not the same people either--we have different demands on us now than we did then, and the passion is now deeper and richer in that it's both sexual and emotional. The things I think have helped us (beyond the usual respect, etc.) are:
-a weekly date-night out away from bills, to dos, and the children -holding hands and being physically affectionate in non-sexual ways when we're together -regular eye contact when speaking with each other (seriously, it's amazing how many conversations you can have while doing something else and not actually look at each other!) -greeting each other at the door when one of us comes home -going to bed at the same time even if it's to curl up and sleep -willingness to try different places, positions, etc. in our sexual interactions -willingness to drop what you're doing when the other person is feeling passionate -scheduling time to be intimate (I used to hate the lack of spontaneity in this, but it's a bit like exercise, if you don't make time for it, there never will be time) -letting go of/not building resentments I'm sure my husband would offer a different list, but these are the ones that help me to feel connected, and that help me to slow down enough from the to-dos to remember how passionately I feel feel.
hopeful for you
Passion is definitely possible after a decade together. My husband and I have been together for 10 years and have gratifying sex 2-3 times a week. I think the sex is better now than it was in the beginning. We know how to please each other.We know each other's body as well as we know our own.
We also tell each other ''I love you'' every day. Not as a way to say goodbye before hanging up the phone or leaving for work, but as a way to say ''have I told you today how much I love you?''.
The passion I feel for my husband is a choice. After a decade together, we have seen each other at our best and our worst.
There are things about him that drive me insane and things about him that I adore. I choose to see the things that attracted me to him in the first place (his wit, his drive, his mind, his butt).
I choose not to dwell on the things that I wish I could change (his stubbornness, his distractions, his snoring).
I am by no means a Stepford wife, but I enjoy doing things to please my husband. Do I have sex when I'd rather go to sleep?
sometimes. Are there days when I don't get a shower and the house is a wreck? sure. There are even days I could run kicking and screaming from the building - but I'd come back.
Of course it's not the same as it was in the first year - But, life happens. We have 2 boys under the age of 4, a mortgage so big it's scary, a house so small we trip all over each other, and much more padding around the middle than we anticipated a decade ago. But, those things fade away when we are together. He can still take my breath away with a kiss and he still makes me blush when he tells me I'm beautiful. These aren't feelings that I could drum up from reading a relationship book. They are feelings I choose to continue having.
I think that we do have a deep emotional connection, but I just think that comes from loving the life and family that we have created together. We cherish our relationship and we put priority on keeping our connection to each other.
I don't know if passion and intimacy are rare after a decade together, but I think it would be sad to assume that it would be and therefore give up trying.
My impression is that passion after 10 years of marriage is not common, but it is my belief that this is the case because of deep cultural wounds that we suffer as a society around sex and intimacy. After reading a wonderful book by an experienced and successful sex and marriage therapist (''Passionate Marriage''
by David Snarch), I truly believe that it is our fear of intimacy (of truly needing another person, and allowing them to know our deepest, innermost selves) that prevents us from sustaining passion in our relationships.
I strongly encourage you to read the book for yourself, and see what YOU think--it has made a huge difference to me and my husband (along with Harville Hendrix's, ''Getting the Love You Want'').
Ahhhh, making love last!!! The great quandry....OK, I'm interested in others. I'm weighing in as someone who has been married(to the same guy) for 27 years. We had a lot of sex for the first 5 or so years. Then, it varied...mostly friendly sex once a month or so for the next 10. Then, we stopped trying not to have a baby, and had a lot of sex for the next 5 years. We had our first child after having been married 20 years. Since #2, we are just good friends. Family bed, tired, fat, overly familial, but, we don't seem to have much of a sex drive...maybe we just aren't very sexy people anymore? But, if someone were nice to him would he go off with them? I don't think so....I used to feel very strongly about monogomy, but, now, if someone wanted to make him happy with sex, well, she could come live with us as long as she didn't want me to leave....I mean, now that I am old and tired....She would probably be nice to have around maybe help clean up and all....actually, I want to believe that I/we will be sexy again!
I remember passion.....
I've been with my husband about 10 years, maybe a little more.
We are passionate about each other, and mostly kind without repressing hostility, do you know what I mean? It's a miraculous thing to me because my parents were in the typical critical/withholding male - passive, fakey-happy female, and because every man I've been with before this was like my dad - abusive verbally, and in one case, physically.
My only complaint about our life now is that we don't have sex very often, but when we do we really like it, it's passionate, and intimate. But our relationship is I think the kind that you're describing as passionate, whether we have a lot of sex or not.
How is that possible? Hmmmm. Especially for a woman who was always attracted to abusive men...
About 20 years of therapy, recovery from alcoholism and food disorders on my side, and my husband is in therapy (recoving alcoholic, but we both have over 20 years clean and sober) and really likes therapy - he started it before we became a couple because he himself was in a relationship with an abusive first wife.
I firmly believe our coming together was divine intervention.
Also, we were friends for a couple years, we were in a band together and became friends and later best friends. He said he fell in love at first sight (sigh) and I didn't fall in love with him until much later. He was quite patient and a very good friend all that time, and still is.
I read a lot of books in the past about all these issues, so
those are very helpful. Also a shitload of therapy can help,
though my sister has had more than I, and has never had a really good relationship.
I would tell you if he had a brother, and he does, but he's married and is a very cold, critical person.
Also, I want to know about that woman who said they have sex a couple times a week and still find new things to try. Like what, after ten years??
LOVED your post as i have been wrestling with this topic my entire (adult) life. am 62 with 7 year old daughter (it's true). have had many relationships, tons of affairs, one marriage. common theme has been dichotomy of maintaining a relationship AND sexual interest over protracted time period.
you mention passion and intimacy as though they were inextricably linked. for me they are not. perhaps this is chauvinist of me, bred of male privilege. please feel free to share any and all views of this. i find passion for any new person to be definitely finite, although new people never fail to spark interest. long term intimacy, on the other hand, is for me not at all finite, rather desirable and necessary. so reconciling these two things remains a mystery. your post let me know, emphatically and wonderfully, that i am not totally alone in my confusion.
the marriage was somewhat a poster child for all this. we were together 17 years, married the last 6. when our girl was 2, her mom shocked us both by leaving me for reasons for which we will always disagree. but the passion/intimacy dichotomy was surely no small part, perhaps even more for her than for me.
no, there had been no unfaithfulness, at least not on my end.
though passion was long gone, intimacy was surely still there.
she decided she could do without it, however. she may well have since changed her mind, don't know for sure. when she left 5 years ago, i was so devastated (and surprised) i have been not even close to mustering anything new since. of course there is not much market for 62 year old with half custody of 7 year old; also his own business, hence little free time. also am not much in the corporate, cookie-cutter, conventional wisdom, cell phone, tv watching, drinking, crap eating, relgious mold. but that's a whole other story.
thanks again for a most refreshing, thought-provoking post. good luck and keep on keepin' on. please, never give up looking. without that life would truly be a bore, or so it says here.
Not common in my case.
You don't get passion by reading a book.
Personally, a lot of passionate relationships I had withered after 6 months or so. I think it's because after that time the new glow is off the relationship and you start to deal with the realities of being with another flawed person instead of a fantasy.
I'm also certain that me not having any idea of how to have a healthy relationship with another human being was also a large factor.
Committed relationships are hard work. Keeping long term passion in a relationship is even harder work. ''Hot'' relationships rarely (if ever) last more than a few months.
Personally, I think the French have it right...
Our sex life has improved over time (15 y). To answer the questions, 1. What are we doing new? Exploring things that we haven't tried before, perfecting our techniques in others. Some stuff might be a little edgy, but nothing really out there.
2. Do we experience a very intense emotional connection? YES. Does it come from inside us, or do we create it? BOTH. We did feel a very quick connection when we first met, and since then have put a lot of work into maintaining our relationship. We have good communication skills and take time to be kind to each other. Being intensely involved also means that when we argue, things can get very angry very quickly. Fortunately it also blows over quickly.
We probably have sex about 3x/week. Usually, 1 of those will be a quickie, and 2 will be medium-level. Once or twice a month we have a sheet-burning extravaganza. I think both of us are satisfied. To be honest, I think we fit the stereotype that he wants it a little more often than I do and maybe initiates it more often too.
1. I say yes to sex even if I don't feel completely in the mood. It's worth it because it makes him feel wanted and sometimes I get into it a little more than I thought I would. He really appreciates it, which pays dividends.
2. Use toys. Make up games. Try new outfits. Etc.
3. Neither of us has a perfect body, but we love each other's bodies.
4. Put love first. I am never too busy to give him a hug or a kiss as we pass in the kitchen. We spend a lot of time snuggling and cuddling without having sex. When he walks in the door after work, we are excited and happy to see him. I make a point of letting him know that he is appreciated and cared for. He does the same.
That last one sounds mundane, but I believe it has been the key to the strong passion that we still have when the bedroom door shuts. We do not take vacations or romantic weekends away from the kids. Things dried up a little during the time they were small; I think that time is hard on everyone. But as they got older, it came back.
Any effort you put into your sex life is worth it, short term and long term.
Well, I'm not sure it's exactly 'passion' after 24 years, and there have definately been hard times, lean times, I-hate- this/him-and-can't-wait-to-leave times (but-what-about-the- kids?), but what there is now is incredible intimacy, a closeness so deep that it defies description. We continue to learn about ourselves and about each other, as we grow, and the sex altho not as frequent as it was, is pretty great. That has also gone through cycles. It has been work. It challenges us to grow in order to stay interesting to ourselves and each other. I like feeling 'known'. Good luck.
Just want to weigh in on the other side, since I'm sure I'm not the only
one reading these things and saying, could it really be possible that
all these people are having all this great sex 3x per week? We are not
having sex so often, much less passion. I'd say more like once a month,
and we've gone for longer stretches.
(I'd like a little more, of course...) I've been with my husband for
almost 10 yrs, and I must say he's always had a lower libido than me.
After our child was born, we've had more marital troubles, which have
added to the relative lack of sex. That said, I have confidence that
eventually we'll work somthing out (I hope) and we'll have more passion
and sex. For me, more sex can only come with more intimacy. Though I
think we both enjoy it a lot when we do have sex. So don't feel bad if
you're among the group looking at these responses and saying, good god,
everybody else is having more sex than me! I think those of us on the
downswing just aren't talking much.
I had to chime in (despite the numerous other postings) with this
article I found at the Reuter's Oddly Enough news site: (it was too
funny, and perhaps close to home)
ROME (Reuters) - Thinking of buying a TV for the bedroom? Think again --
it could ruin your sex life.
A study by an Italian sexologist has found that couples who have a TV
set in their bedroom have sex half as often as those who don't.
''If there's no television in the bedroom, the frequency (of sexual
intercourse) doubles,'' said Serenella Salomoni whose team of
psychologists questioned 523 Italian couples to see what effect
television had on their sex lives.
On average, Italians who live without TV in the bedroom have sex twice a
week, or eight times a month. This drops to an average of four times a
month for those with a TV, the study found.
For the over-50s the effect is even more marked, with the average of
seven couplings a month falling to just 1.5 times.
The study found certain programs are far more likely to impede passion
than others. Violent films will put a stop to sexual relations for half
of all couples, while reality shows stem passion for a third of couples.
My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We have 2 young
children. I am a SAHM and my husband has a very stressful job.
In my opinion, my husband and I have a great sex life. We have
satisfying sex 1 or 2 times per week on average. We still
experiment and try new things. We did not have sex for about a
year each time I was pregnant and had a newborn, but between my
first and second child, and again now, we are having sex
regularly. Unfortunately, my husband feels like we don't have
enough sex. I really would like him to count his blessings and
feel satisfied with what we have. He thinks that other marrieds
have more sex than we do. So, what I want to know is: How often
do you and your partner have sex?
- curious about others' sex lives
First, there is no normal amount of sex. Second, you sound like
you two have a heatlhy wonderful sex life! I doubt most couples
have sex as often as you do, but I'm not an expert on this! I
lost all desire for sex a few years ago (i am 38 with a 15 month
old son) and my husband lost his desire when mine went. We
probably have sex a few times a year (you can count it on one
hand). He would like to have sex more often. I would be
satisfied never to have it again (except to create a sibling for
my son.) What is a normal amount of sex varies by person,
culture and historical time. I think people now in the western
world feel they need to have sex at least once a week to
be ''normal'' but I bet this is a modern western concept and that
many people throughout different cultures and times would not
agree. Anyway, all you and your husband need to worry about is
hwo much you two want and are you happy? Don't even think about
or worry about what other people say or do. That shouldn't
matter. Good luck!
It seems to me entirely irrelevant what is a ''normal'' amount of sex and how much
sex others have. The only issue in play here is how much you want and how much
your partner wants and how you work out together any necessary negotiations and
compromises if your wants are in conflict. It really is all about you (two) and
references to others' sexual practices and preferences are only going to complicate
the matter and confuse you (two).
I think once or twice a week is plenty. If we have that much, we
are doing well. We have 2 kids age 2 and 5 and once every 2
weeks is more the norm.
interested in what others say
WOW!!! You're having sex twice a week? And you have kids? A job?
a house to take care of? Please tell your husband to count his
blessings. I've been married for 16 years, have a pre-teen and a
teenager. Our sex life goes up and down. For about 2 years we
had sex maybe once every 2-3 months. After being in therapy for
many months our relationship has made some wonderful changes.
So, now we're having sex about once a week (and for ONCE my
husband is initiating....but that's another topic of discussion).
In my early 50's and going thru menopause I tend to
have ''windows'' of great horniness when I'm ovulating...so during
that week or so we may have sex twice a week....rarely, but
sometimes more...during the other weeks I have to be cajoled,
turned on in some way cause I'm truely not feeling it otherwise.
So, I think if you have kids and a busy life like most of us do
and you're having satisfying sex twice a week, that is
Please tell your husband he is VERY lucky in my opinion! He
should be thrilled he gets what he does! Most husbands are
lucky if they get sex once a week...
I am also a sahm and my husband has a very stressful job.
We have three children -- ages 5, 3 and 1. We have sex probably
about 3-4 times a week which I think is a lot. Basically, just
to be a nice person, I try to rarely say no to my husband. I'm
sure he would like to have even more sex :)
I'm interested in the responses to this question. Personally,
as a another SAHM 1-2 times a week with two kids sounds like a
lot more sex than we're having! Post first baby had sex 3-4
times a month, now 15 months after second baby we're lucky if we
have sex once a month. Partner works busy stressful job - I'm
exhausted all the time - don't have enough time to get stuff
done around without kids - don't have enough time for myself -
we always have stuff to talk about in the evenings - nap times
(formerly weekend sex times)aren't as long as they used to be
and more seems to happen during these times. My desire is
nearly non-existent, although I love my partner - sex just isn't
high on my list of priorities when we're alone. I'd love to
feel differently - but I don't right now and don't quite know
what to do to change it. SO. . . given where we are my partner
would be thrilled to be having sex 1-2 times a week. . . But,
then again, he says his best friend has sex in the middle of the
night 3-4 times a week - and they have three kids! But, I
haven't talked to his best friend's partner about their sex
life - wonder if her story would be different!
My husband is very satisfied with sex just a few times a year.
If your husband`s not happy with once or twice a week, perhaps
you could send him over to my place? I promise to return him.
Kidding! (Well, mostly kidding.....)
Oh. My. God. I can't wait to see the other responses to this one.
My own response: My husband would be so THRILLED if he and I were
regularly having sex MORE THAN ONCE A WEEK! We too have been
married nearly a decade and have two small children, and while I
work from home, he commutes and routinely gets home after 8:30 at
night. If we have sex once a week, we're in good shape--it's just
enough for him to feel we haven't fallen out of some essential
state of connection; and it's as much as I can muster, to be
quite honest. In the last year, however, we've had stretches
where we go two weeks before finding a moment that works for me.
I love my spouse, but I'm tired, I'm stressed, and the sex
connection simply isn't what it was ten years ago. I think your
husband has it good!
I could have written your post word-for-word! I don't know if
we are ''typical'' (if there is such a thing), but after 2 kids
and 10 years of marriage, my husband and I also have sex about
once a week, which is enough for me and not enough for him. I'm
interested to hear what others have to say on this subject!
By your subject heading, I was all ready to say that it is
completely unfair to compare sex lives, and that each couple has
to find their OWN rhythm and equilibrium. What is normal for one
couple may not fit for another, etc.
I still feel that way, but...
.. your husband gets laid 1-2 times a week after 10 years of
marriage and two children? And he COMPLAINS about this?
:cue hysterical laughter:
I share your husband's views on frequency of sex: there is never
enough! I constantly complain to my wife who thinks once week is
enough. I look forward to others replies on this.
It sounds like you are trying to get an answer for how many times a week
people are having sex.
Certainly this poll might give you an answer of a type. However
everyone will have various numbers based on what is ''normal'' for a
couple with two small children.
My concern is who is this information supposed to ''help,'' you or your
Do your peers establish what is ''normal'' or do you both establish what
is ''normal'' for the both of you?
I would suggest the following:
1) A partner is not bound or required to satisfy all of his or her partner's
sexual wants or desires. Everyone is different. One partner may have a
high sex drive while the other partner may have a low sex drive.
2) If your partner does not want to, is too tired to, does not have the
energy to have sex...then try masturbation.
3) Communicate with each other of your feelings concerning sex and
4) Do you set time aside to have time together that includes having sex?
Or is your having sex time more spontaneous?
5) If this is a real issue for a couple that is difficult for both of you try
some couple's therapy.
Talk to some of the people at Good Vibrations. They might have some
great advice or books or something that might be useful.
Sensible about sex
I'm sure you will receive quite a few responses here and I
myself and curious to see them. My husband and I were just
talking about this ourselves last week. As for you, once or
twice a week with two small children-that is FANTASTIC! My
husband and I both work and have only one small child and we
don't even come close to once a week. We are both pretty tired
all the time and wind up spending our time together cuddling in
front of the TV or sharing a bottle of wine and talking, we
just sort of relax together. When it comes time to go to sleep
we we usually wind up saying goodnight and going to sleep. So I
would say we wind up having sex once every three or four
weeks. I don't know if this is normal but I don't really miss
having sex too often right now and we don't resent each other.
There are times when we have sex twice a week but it is
definitely more rare. I'm so curious to see these answers
because most of my friends with small children seem to be more
in sync with my husband and me, definitely not every week.
I am a 50+ year old woman with 2 teenage kids, together with the
same partner for about 25 years. We have great sex 1-2 times a
week (once during the afternoon on the weekend and usually one
nighttime before sleeping during the week);occasionally there
have been periods it's more like 3 times a week, but rarely since
we had kids. I know he could have sex more often, and he
masturbates regularly. We both consider ourselves very lucky to
be having great sex with the same person for so many years, and
with no reason to think it will stop. There were some years when
the kids were babies or young that sex was less frequent--we were
so tired, and I was being *handled* all the time. During those
years it was maybe once or twice a month. These days, I have a
strong appetite for it, but definitely not every day, and my
partner mostly tends to let me initiate it (it's very rare he's
not up for it, whereas if he initiates, it's sometimes yes
I know you only asked for people's experience on the list, but I
want to say that this is a common situation, to have one partner
want sex more than the other. (And I think it's also common to
want to call on some idea of what's normal or expected, to get
one's needs met, instead of just saying ''I would like to have sex
four times a week'', or whatever.)
BTW, according to a fair number of surveys, American couples have
sex an average of around twice a week, slightly more often in
their twenties and less often in their 40s or older.
I'll be curious what comes up for replies....
sign me: if only everyone was having great sex once or twice a week!
I really do not know if there is any ''average'' amount of sex that a couple should
have. It is up to each couple. If your husband feels he should have more, maybe
that is true. On the other hands, we are perfectly OK with having sex only every 2 to
3 months or so. We still care and love each other, and feel fulfilled.
Busy mom of two boys
I can kind of relate. I was ill for most of pregnancy. I
started to feel better around the third trimester but then I
had major heartburn, hemmorhoids.... needless to say, I was not
feeling sexy, nor did I want anything penetrating that area as
I was trying to get things OUT!!!! I did, however, have
occassional sex (at least once a month) which I thought was
more than fair.
Post birth has been situational. Our child is now three and we
have more opportunity. My husband would prefer a lot more sex,
I am sure. Depending upon circumstances, we have sex at least
once a week, sometimes more, sometimes we may miss a week. Me,
I'll take sleep over sex, anytime! My husband, he can be sleep
deprived, stressed out, sick as a dog but still hornier than
ever.... I just don't get it!! I know there are some wives out
there who are mortified to think of their husbands
masterbating, but quite frankly, I would be thrilled if mine
masterbated more and relied on me less! This is not to say that
I am not flattered with my husbands attraction to me,
especially with my ''pudge,'' I just feel tired all the time and
don't want to subscribe to a sex ''schedule'' because things do
come up.... kids get sick and you're up with them all night....
I don't think I am any help here to you......
I'm curious to see what everyone has to say. I'm sure my
answer will be on the low end - for us, it's about once a
As you say, your husband should count his blessings. I would
like to have sex more than 1-2 times per week as well, but my
wife and I have sex 1-2 per month at best (6 yrs married, 2
kids under 6). Be happy with what 'he gets'. Sex is a woman's
perogative. Any argument to the contrary is wishful thinking.
I don't think there is a ''normal'' amount of sex. I had exactly
the same problem as you in my first marriage - I didn't want to
have sex as much as my partner (same stresses-kids work etc.)
and now find myself in a relationship where the tables are
turned. I'm the initiator and the one who would have sex more
often, which is about the same amount as I would have had
before, it is my partner who is fine with not so often. It has
been an eye opener for me as all of the arguments I used in the
past for not having to have more sex if I didn't want to, I now
have to imagine apply to us. I never press for more than he is
willing to have, I simply take care of my own needs by myself as
this is truly a situation of the shoe being on the other foot,
and here I am with not choice but to wear it. So, instead of
taking a poll to compare yourselves to others, why don't you
treat it as any need either of you has, that needs to be
fulfilled and figure out the way that works best for both of
you. You should acknowledge that he needs/wants more and vice
versa. I truly never knew what is was like to lie there all ''hot
and bothered'' unable to sleep while the other person - the one
who could give me relief - snored away by my side. Eventually (I
read it in some book) I realized it was my issue and figured out
how to take care of it, and that it was allright to do so. But
boy do I have newfound sympathy for my ex.
I believe in chemistry
Count yourself lucky. My guess would be that you are in the above average category.
With all the exhaustion of stressful jobs and raising young children, twice a week
sounds like a dream. If only my husband and I could muster enough energy up to do it
that often. We're probably in the 2-3 times a month category. Not totally satisfied with
that, but it is what it is right now. Don't worry. If you're both happy and satisfied, then
Once or twice a week? My husband would be so psyched! We've
been married 3.5 years, both work full time out of the house
and have one young child. Sex is about the last thing on my
mind and he's lucky if anything happens once or twice a month.
My partner and I have sex a couple times per month. We think that may be a bit less
than average for a couple together for 15 years, but we also think that it's the quality
and not the quantity that matters, so since we are generally satisfied with the quality,
we are happy. We have more sex on special getaways. We think if we had sex more
often it might be difficult to keep up the quality.
There was a survey in the news a few weeks ago that had it
broken down by age. For folks in their 30's and 40's, I think
the frequency was in the 60's, so your 1-2/week sounds average
to slightly above.
Here's another survey that has the frequency around 100+
times/year. Though given it's source, you might take this with
a grain of salt.
I'd say a ''normal amount'' varies wildly. I'd personally *like*
once a week, but I think we're closer to once a month and have
been for years now. I've nearly given up on trying to ''put the
moves'' on my wife and mostly just wait until she's in the mood
Curious about others too.
There's a funny sequence in the Woody Allen movie Annie Hall -
first his shrink asks him how often he and Annie are having
sex, and he says ''Hardly ever, maybe 2 or 3 times a week.'' then
there's the same scene of Annie talking to her shrink, who
poses the same question, and she says ''Constantly. Maybe 2 or 3
times a week.''
My wife and I have sex almost every night. It's awesome. And if
we're home together during the day, and the kids nap at the
same time, we have afternoon sex too.
More Sex Good
You have 2 children and are having sex MORE than once a week? And your husband
thinks that's still not enough? Consider yourselves incredibly blessed that you can even
find the time and energy and sex drive for 1-2 times a week. We have an almost 2 year
old and our goal is once a week - usually we're lucky if it's twice a month!
Having young children is the biggest disturbance to sex life.
You have way more sex than us (we had 3 kids in 3 years!) but
that is beside the point. The point is that your husband does
not feel satisfied and you do. Maybe he is not realistic or
maybe he is right. Discuss it together.
OMG! My husband would be ecstatic (literally!) if we had what you describe. He's
lucky if we have it more than a couple times a month. And usually I am so tired and
drained that ''the usual'' is all we can manage (no experimenting and trying new
things.) Your husband should definitely count his blessings. That said, if it's not
enough for him maybe you could ''supplement'' with other activities (I'm not sure
what is allowed to write here, but I think you know what I mean when I say activities
that are relatively quick and entirely focused on his pleasure.)
I'm a little jealous, but hopeful that we'll eventually get back to what you describe.
--anonymous, of course!
Once a week sounds like a lot, actually! We sometimes have sex
2-3 times a week, then we'll go a month or more with no sex, and
this feels right to both of us. We do have a lot of time just
holding each other in bed, so we're intimate all the time.
I think unfortunately you're not going to solve this issue this
way, though. My husband and I are lucky that neither of us has a
big sex drive, and we really mesh well that way. If your sex
drive and his don't match up, giving him statistics about what
other married people do isn't going to solve it.
You could have sex more as a compromise, but that's not really
fair to you if you're happy with the amount now. You could
encourage him to masturbate more (with or without you there) or
have more time for snuggling, etc.
happy with not much sex
Seems like ever since we got married things have slowed down to
2-3 times a week, and ever since the baby (19 months) two is the
average. It is still great and EVERY time we have sex we say ''why
don't we do this more often'' :)
Don't know how I missed the post about frequency of sex, but had
to chime in on this one. Having been serially monogamous most of
my adult life (I'm now 55) I have lots of experience on this one.
There is no 'normal' amount of sex, and as others have said, it
is only important to negotiate for those in a relationship, not
to compare to others. That being said, I think people are
essentially not very creative about 'negotiating' solutions. Some
possible suggestions: When one partner wants to and the other
doesn't, how about holding each other while one masturbates? How
about scheduling if you don't now, or not scheduling if
spontaneity is the issue. How about watching erotic videos? There
are many non-vulgar videos on DVD now, try Good Vibrations and
rent one. Even Drugstore.com has them! Be open to your partners'
wants. Sometimes desires don't mesh, but willingness to engage is
MORE THE ISSUE. You don't necessarily have to be crazy over each
idea or occasion, just willing to try and/or engage with the
other person. If you are wildly out of synch with your partner
(either frequency or methods) then more communication is key.
Closing off this area of a relationship is usually a recipe for
later heartache. Try to keep the lines of communication open,
even if only with humor. Humor is often sadly lacking in sex, and
it can be quite relieving to know that your partner has fears and
uncertainties also. You could agree that you're only going to
have quickies for a spell if you are exhausted or not in the
mood. You could use appliances to help you get there quicker if
time is the inhibiting factor. Be open to exploring all options
available to you with the focus on keeping your connection and
communication alive. Frequency or not, will be less the focus.
Connection, whether an agreed upon inactive participation, while
the other fulfills themselves, or other types of balancing acts,
will help smooth your relationship through times of differing
needs. Willingness to discuss is the key, and willingness to give .
Once in awhile while we are in foreplay my husband gets ''nervous''
and loses his self-confidence, losing his erection. When we do
have sex it is good and have been married over 5 years and have a
child. He says sometimes he puts too much pressure on himself and
starts worrying about things and then loses what we had. I try to
be supportive but then I get frustrated. We want to start trying
for a second child soon and I know he will feel pressure and it
might affect us. Anyone have suggestions? I love him and want to
help him any way I can.
Lots of positive strokes! Both physically AND mentally! Keep
up your end in bed to keep him going, but also work on giving
major compliments during and afterward! Don't be afraid to tell
him with either words or ''oohs and awws'' what he is doing
right! Men love compliments- stroke his ego! I called my
husband just yesterday morning (after 13 years of being
together!) just to say, ''Hey, remember last night? I can't get
you out of my mind!''
Best of luck!
How 'bout taking a trip over to Good Vibrations on San Pablo and
picking up some fun little sex toys? My husband and I have been
married for many years and have small children so our sex life
was faltering a bit. I put together a surprise basket of toys,
erotica, etc and things have been good all over again. And,
trying for a baby can take a lot of the fun out of lovemaking,
and add a lot of stress. Spicing things up could be just the
ticket. I can't wait to see what others write!
After years taking the pill, I am considering getting a tubal
ligation, as I know I do not want more children. My question
to readers who have had this done, is did your libido ''wake up''
at all after going off the pill? I am hoping that stopping
synthetic hormones might help. My doctor says it depends on the
person. But I'd love to hear any real experiences, especially
from women who have taken Yasmin. Btw - I have never found
the risk of pregnancy to be a turn on, as it is for some, so
please don't factor that into the equation.
I hope that this advice helps you with your decision. After the birth of my third child, we decided to go through tubal ligation. I am very happy with it! After the birth of my first 2, I had such a low sex drive that it became a problem.
I don't know if the tubal ligation changed anything, but my sex drive has returned, even though I am breastfeeding (although I did with the other 2 also). I was on the mini-pill before getting pregnant the 2nd and 3rd time and I did not see a difference in my libido. All I can say is that my libido has increased post-tubal ligation so I say go for it!!
Happy after tubal ligation
Many years ago, when the shot first came out (Depo Provera?), I got on it and promptly lost all desire. This was quite extreme since I had always wanted more sex than my partners. When I went off it a few months later, the libido came back. This doesn't specifically answer your question about Yasmin, but BC in general.
P.S. It is safer for the man to get the snip than the woman.
Any birth control pill will somewhat suppress your body's natural testosterone, therefore theoretically decreasing libido to some extent. Going off the pill will bring you back to your non-hormonally-suppressed libido, though your life circumstances now as opposed to before kids could affect it as well.
Haven't had tubal but am women's health NP
I have been with my partner for about 2 years now. We have
never enjoyed a very exciting sex life, but it has gone from
bad to worse. At this point, I am wondering about what is
normal in a relationship? I feel a bit abnormal in that I am
the one that seems to really be suffering over this and I am
the female half. I would like to have sex much more frequently -
a few times a week at least - than I am (which is currently
about once a month or once every couple of months). I do not
like to initiate it anymore as when I do, it's ends up being
completely focused on him: he is very passive.
While I realize that by societal standards, I am attractive, I
losing my self-confidence through this. I am wondering what to
do, I am wondering if this is normal and just something I need
to get used to, and I am wondering if it's me: it seems that
it's always men who want more sex than they are getting, not
women. Why is this happening?
Advice would be appreciated, as would any helpful reading
material or therapist suggestions.
sad and frustrated
People seem to seldom talk about this, but there are men who just
have low sex drives. I had a boyfriend who was exactly like
that, my best friend went through one like this as well and I
know other women that have had similar complains about their
mates. Too bad you didn't realize this was an issue until after
you married him.
I don't know what to tell you other than it's not your fault. IT
doesn't mean you are not attractive or desirable, you probably
are and with the right man you might be having sex every day.
Hopefully somebody here will be able to give you info as to how
to help your husband.
You are absolutely NOT abnormal. Everyone assumes it's men who
want sex all the time, an unscientific survey of my married
women friends, 27-45 suggest it's the other way around. Men
lose interest for a variety of reasons, and we're left
unfulfilled, feeling unloved.
My advice: find a new partner. Or get a lover, which will
probably lead you down the same path. Sex is important. It
makes your skin glow. There's a man out there now who will
think you're the stuff and be only too delighted to make you
feel like a sexy love goddess. Don't waste your time with a
tepid, uninterested man. Go get some and don't wait!
Mom who waited too long and now knows better.
Well, no one brought this aspect up, so I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents:
You mentioned that sex had never been all that passionate between you two,
even in the beginning. Usually, the beginning of the relationship is when
people experience sex as being very ''hot'' and passionate. You want it all the
time with your new lover. You feel like you want to be near them at all times.
Your new lover is completely facinating and everything about them is adorable.
You don't need as much sleep or food. You feel high all the time, especially
around them. This is the result of body chemistry - when we meet a new
''mate'' our bodies flood us with euphoria-enducing hormones. This is
evolution at work: if we feel very euphoric and ''frisky,'' our body reasons, we'll
have lots of sex with this new ''mate'' and be more likely to reproduce.
Unfortunately (or not), this hormone ''high'' will eventually wear off. We feel less
and less euphoric around are partner. Our desire for sex will lessen. For many
people, this feels like they are falling out of love. Unless there is something
deeper there, this is the point in the relationship (usually around 6 months to 2
years) when the couple is likely to ''break up.'' Couples that choose to stay
together will face the challenge of seeing their partner as more and more of a
flawed, normal human, rather than the amazing, perfect creature they were
in the early days. This brings up more conflict and is a huger issue than I
can go into here.
However, OTHER issues also come in to play for couples who stay together
after the drugs wear off. By far the BIGGEST is the issue of INTIMACY. Now,
your partner is getting to know the REAL you. This is scary. The longer we are
with some one, the MORE IMPORTANT that person becomes to us, even though
we aren't getting that same ''high'' as we did in the beginning, we still ge some
of those drugs when we're around our partner. The more important some one
becomes, the scarier it is for us (most of whom have been wounded by people
who were important to us at some point in our formative years, probably
deeply). So, we are feeling unconsciously scared and anxious. Not very
conducive to a lot of sex. AND if sex was not very passionate or frequent to
begin with (so, one of you has a low sex drive and perhaps the attraction
wasn't all THAT strong to begin with) then your sex life has even more strikes
So, yes, this is normal. The question is, what do you want to do about it? Most
relationships that don't hold a lot of passion usually end (these days, anyway),
so you may find yourself drifting farther and farther apart. That may be the
right thing for you. I think people are more willing to work on having a
fabulous, loving and mutually satisfying relationship with some one they feel
Okay, I guess that was more like 5 dollars worth, but I hope this was helpful.
Best of luck!
I've read the entries in the archives regarding sexless marriages, but
here's my personal situation I would like advice on.
I'm a woman in my 40s, married for over a decade, young kids, feel
somewhat ''hip'', open-minded, average East Bay type.
But my sex life makes me feel like some uneducated throwback to the
50s. I have never had an orgasm, and it's not for lack of trying.
(I have been to Good Vibrations, but it's overwhelming and the aura of
all the other ''comfortable-with-sex'' staff and customers just depresses
Now in combination with this, I have never been very strongly sexually
attracted to my husband (even before we married). I think I married him
for all the other reasons - common interests, outlook, background, etc.
And here we are, years down the road, and there hasn't been sex for
months. I feel nothing, just dead inside, when he even just wants to
I don't have any traumatic issues in my past. If anything, I was
comfortably naive until the appropriate age. Sex life pre-husband was
okay - no ''big O'', but certainly more passion and interest. But also sex
was never a comfortable topic for me and my female friends (could
never watch Sex in the City without feeling intensely jealous!!). I haven't
been able to mention this to my OB/GYN - too embarrassed - but don't
have any physcial problems with pain or discomfort.
So here I am, asking thousands of anonymous subscribers to give me
I'm thinking therapy, but who? Any particular kind? Pay another visit to
Good Vibrations? Or just let me know I'm not some pathetic freak...
Hi! Don't let others frustrate you, what you perceive others to
be rarely is. I'm in a similar situation, married only 5 and 1
child, but not terribly attracted to my husband, and not to
many others in the past (perhaps only one). I have met someone
in the past 2 years for which there is an overwhelming amount
of chemistry which I (almost 40) have never experienced before.
So that put in perspective that I am not fridgid, not crazy,
just hadn't met the right person at the right time. But this
issue might be seperate from not being able to have an orgasm -
if manual stimulation hasn't worked, nor magazines, videos, etc
(really, try them) I think going to a sex therapist is a great
idea. I don't have anyone in mind, but they have so much
experience with this (see, you're not alone) and have the
trained education to give you the best advice. Hope others have
specific names for you. Many hugs to you, don't worry, you will
find your inner libido!
maybe don't make it such a big deal. try getting a little drunk
together. maybe you can relax, experiment, and just see what
happens. try relaxing together frequently, and maybe just try
some new stuff. whatever you do, don't stop trying!!
No real advice here. I am looking forward to any responses that
you get however. I am in a very similar situation. I'm 35 and
have a young son. I *think* I had ''an O'' when I was 19, but i'm
so not in the know I'm not sure if I did or not. One possible
difference for me is that I can no longer arouse myself. I have
little to no clitoral feeling. Vaginal orgasm is a mystery to
me. Am I a tired, working mom or out of love with my husband? Or
is it sexual disfunction? Situations like our's can make your
mind work overtime trying to figure it out. I'm not a prude but
I've never been very sexual.
Again, no advice here. Just wanted you to know that you're not
the only one struggling with these issues.
Please, can someone direct us to a health professional who might
start us on the road to discovery?
I just wanted to let you know that you are not a freak and you
are not alone! I feel very much the same as you...my life is
pretty darn good...''hip'' mom with two happy kids, I'm just
over 40, with a loving husband, but I have never had an
orgasm with him or any partner before marriage. You didn't
mention if you are able to have an orgasm by yourself, or
not. I am able to orgasm, but for some reason, cannot out of
shyness or some inhibition, orgasm with a partner. Sex is
fun, but I cannot seem to let go enough to reach the big ''O''.
Anyways, I started to see a Psychologist to figure out why I
am the way I am and it takes time. (We just moved out of
state, otherwise, I would recommend my Psychologist).
There is a book that perhaps you might read called ''For
Women OnlyQ A Revolutionary Guide to Reclaiming Your
Sex Life'' by Jennifer and Laura Berman, who are sisters
and also doctors. I always feel like everyone out in the world
is having great orgasms, except me, but that someday I'll
figure it all out! I wish you well in your journey to finding a
more satisfying sex life. You are not alone!
You are not a pathetic freak! I am not in your situation, but
after having kids, and raising them, a woman can become
really drained. That might be some of what you are going
through. You might try exploring yourself sexually and start to
feel comfortable with your body and how it works by yourself.
Get a book that you can read in private if you need more info.
We are all different and have different reactions to stimuli.
You are unique, as we all are. Sex IS not, and SHOULD not
be like paint-by-numbers!! As far as choosing your husband
for the ''other'' qualities, that makes for getting along well
and functioning as a family which is REALLY important. I
don't know what the answer is, but therapy sounds like a
good idea. You have to interview several people to
determine who you feel comfortable with. I'm not even sure
where to get numbers from. You could try looking on the
Parents Network website and getting recommendations
This is a tough issue. I use to love sex but every since my
daughter was born, I have no desire for sex. I have tried every
excuse in the book to get out of it. But I'm going to give you
some advice that a girlfriend gave to me. ''Just look at it as 5
minutes out of a whole day of your time.'' With your spouse not
having sex for a while, then your encouter will not last very
long. Another thing that I have learned since I've given up 5
minutes of my day, is that he is such a better man afterwards.
Try it. The next morning after you have sex, he will be willing
to do anything you want him to do. Then make a game out of it. I
desinate wensdays as our day & we call it hump day. So I know
that that 1 day I have to give up 5 minutes of my time so since
I know which day he will be waiting for it then I get mentally
In some ways, I could have written your post, although I enjoy
sex with my husband. The difference? A vibrator! I would
suggest you take a deep breath and go back to Good Vibrations (or
go on-line) and purchase a vibrator. Try it out yourself until
you are comfortable (and hopefully enjoying it! ;-) ), and then
work on bringing it into your sex life with your husband. If it
means you are willing to have a more active sex life, I am sure
he would be receptive to the idea! Good luck!
You are not a freak. Let me tell you, I am 30 years old, have
had plenty of orgasms and have pretty much no interest in sex
now. I don't know why this happens, but it happens to a lot of
women. Most just will not discuss it. I'm going to hit on
your need to have an orgasm b/c that's all I can help you
with. My advice to you would be to go online and order a $10
vibrator. Do not pay more, the cheapest one will do. This way
you don't have to face anyone. They'll send it to you in a
plain package; don't worry it won't say ''Perv'' all over the
box. The misunderstanding with vibrators is that you have
to 'insert' them. You do not, just put it on your labia and
wait a few minutes. You don't even have to move. It's quite
simple. Be brave and don't be freaked out about it. Go in the
bathroom when no one is home and lock the door. You WILL have
an orgasm and it WILL be excellent. Maybe this will recharge
your appetite for sex with your husband. I wish you success
and the best of luck. (I wish I could talk to you
No sex?! How did you have kids??? (kidding) Well, it
sounds like you need to open up a little. Wait...no, i think you
need to open up a lot! Open up to the idea that it's high time
you educated yourself about ...yourself! Maybe another trip to
Good Vibes isn't a bad idea. My suggestion, call first, ask to
speak with an older woman (remember: this is an
anonymous call, she has no idea who you are), tell her a
little about your dilemma and ask about classes, books,
cosultations, videos...anything to get the ball rolling. Also, if
you don't own one already, GET A VIBRATOR!! Geez loueez!
Self pleasuring is the first step to a healthy sex life! If you
know your body and your expectations then the rest is a
whole world of new discovery just waiting for your boat to
come in! Rememebr: the folks at Good Vibes are
comfortable because it's thier job to create a healthy
environment, without judgement, fror people to shop and
explore. They are all trained professionals and most of them
have degrees in fields that concern sex. Make an
appointment to meet with someone one-on-one to have
them show you around the store and explain what certain
the toys do, or what certain books are about. They are very
accomodating and would never pass judgement on you or
your issue. Everyone opens up at different times. That
comfortable atmosphere is based on the fact that it's a
people-centric business not and 'adult store'. Don't be
emarrassed to talk with your doctor. I mean, c'mon, your
OB/GYN has tools and flashlights poking around inside
you... if you can handle that then a little conversation about
why you're unable to orgasm might be very insightful. And
might lead to some advice you could have gotten years ago!
I hope this helps! It's time to get under the sheets and
explore...because, i'll tell you, you're missing out on a whole
world of real excitement! (Seeing as Sex in the City is just a
bunch of actors and all....) Good luck!
I'd like to suggest a good, caring, non-judgemental therapist
who specializes in sex and relationship matters, Isadora Alman,
in San Francisco. She used to have a column in the San Francisco
Bay Guardian. www.askisadora.com. Good luck.
I'd like to recommend an excellent therapist for you, who can see you in person or
on the phone (which is more comfortable for some people, including me). Marlene
Winell is a Ph.D. psychologist in Berkeley who has a general practice with
individuals, couples and families. I found her to be amazingly helpful with sexual
issues - she's sensitive and supportive and at the same time direct and goal-
oriented. I was surprised by two things - my issue wasn't what I thought it was, and
I didn't realize things could change so quickly. Marlene will take the time to help
you sort out possibilities, including medical, and then probably do what she did with
me - go step by step to change things, which includes homework. Her number is
831-247-9650. I really wish you the best because sex is important. It's great that
you are making this effort and brave enough to be asking these questions. Oh, and
Marlene gives a short complimentary phone session to begin - so there's nothing to
lose by calling.
What can I do to stir up my husband's libido?
Do parents who work full-time and have small children have
Life's tough -- two kids under 4 years old and both husband
and I work FT -- but it would nice to have sex every now and
Years of depression, and sporadic use of anti-depressants,
have eaten away my husband's sex drive.
In the mornings he has the interest and ability, but the kids
are on us by 6:30/7 a.m., and my husband prefers to sleep
than have sex.
In the evenings, we're exhausted from life, and my husband
can't keep an erection.
Sadly, we've gotten into the habit of just reading in bed
I'd be happy to just cuddle in the dark, but he's never been
much of a cuddler.
Any dads out there tried Viagra?
My husband was offended when I suggested it, but I bet if I
persisted or offered others' success stories as evidence...
Any suggestions on how to resume our once-good sex life?
I really love my husband, and the first few years of our life
together (pre-kids), our sex life was great. He initiated it.
When he's into it and has an erection, he's a great lover. It's
just a lack of desire that's the trouble these days.
Wants To Get Some
I have heard good things about this book, although I haven't
read it yet (I'm the one with the low sex drive in my marriage --
I'm female so I can't give you advice on Viagra): ''The Sex-
Starved Marriage : Boosting Your Marriage Libido: A Couple's
Guide'' by Michele Weiner Davis. You can find it at amazon.com.
I don't have much advice to offer, but maybe some hope. My husband was
antidepressants for a long time (also on and off, with a long history
and depression) and his sex drive was totally gone for years. We were
parents of two young children, working full time. I thought our sex
over, but because my sex drive was not too high either and we did
cuddle a lot,
I did not suffe! r much. However, after being off antidepressants for
year, his sex drive returned, and now I am the one having problems
with him! Our sex life is very much alive and even better than it was
My husband has been off antidepressants for 5 years now, doing
psychotherapy instead, and he has been mostly fine. He has mild
refuses to take antidepressants, even if he acknowledges that they
him in the past. Maybe your husband should try an alternative
There is hope
There's a great book called Passionate Marriage by David Schnarch.
It's transformative and profound; addresses physical, emotional,
and spiritual components of sex and intimacy in a direct and
Making love with my husband again!
Dear Wants To Get Some -
I understand your problem - my wife and I had this as well,
right down to the antidepressants, etc. Viagra is poorly
understood and many men seem to prefer to joke about it than
really understand it. It has little to do with impotence - it
merely helps older men SUSTAIN their erection longer (as we age,
we're starting to loose the hormone that would normally do this).
I take Viagra currently, and I take only a small piece of one
blue pill (maybe 1/6-1/8; which I understand it not all that
uncommon) to get the desired effect (I chop up one pill at a time
and keep them in the container). This also help it be most cost
efficient. I used to worry about my timing before taking this,
which really caused a lot of stress and probably led to me
avoiding sex. I do have to 'time' the taking of this medication
as it lasts only a given time, but it is nothing compared to the
Cialis is now out there and I am considering trying it because
Viagra causes my face to flush, which can be a little
uncomfortable but is really a concern because I have some slight
Rosacea. Cliais reportedly acts more specifically than Viagra
and binds only to the receptors needed to sustain an erection
(rather than also those for facial flushing). Cialis' effect is
also supposed to be longer.
The other advice to give to your husband is that no matter
whether he is in the mood or not, it is important to keep up this
type of intimacy - it will make everything in your lives go a lot
smoother, especially with the everyday stresses of family life.
Even though my own interest in this has waned from when I was a
young man, I know my wife's interest is still peaking. And, when
I don't concern myself about my own climax (because I not
desperate for it) I find I am discovering all sorts of pleasures
and fulfillment that I t! hink are far more interesting . . .
A Man Who Has Been There!
Sounds like you and your husband need a regular weekly or
biweekly date. I suggest a weekend morning or afternoon so you
won't have to deal with end-of-the day exhaustion. If a sitter
is too expensive, find another family to swap babysitting with -
- you could probably hook up with some right here on the
Parents Network. But don't let the situation drag on. With all
the stress & pressure coming your way from work and kids, you
and your husband really need each other. You both deserve some
good loving. Good luck.
My wife and I have been married for 7 years. She is a wonderful
woman---kind and loving and generous in so many ways to me and
to our children. However, I feel I have lost a sense of what
constitutes a ''normal'' level of sex and intimacy in marriage. I
do know that I am unhappy with what we are experiencing now.
We have intercourse a few times a year, almost always on those
rare occasions we can go away for a night. Sexual intimacy
other than intercourse occurs once every month or two. Special
occasions--birthdays, Valentine's, Christmas, New Years--are
usually marked with presents and displays of affection, but
almost always that's it, even though I have told her how sad it
makes me that we don't make love even at these times. I kept
imagining it would improve--after the first baby, after nursing,
after the 2nd baby, after we moved into our new house, etc.,
etc. I should note that my wife became pregnant within 3 months
of our wedding, and our 2nd child came very soon after our
first. I have tried to speak with my wife about this, but she
gets very weepy and defensive, making real conversation
impossible. Most frustratingly, even after those instances when
I do make my unhappiness known to her, she makes no changes in
her intimate behavior. Of course, my frustration is
contaminating our relationship in other ways.
So, what is ''normal'' for two healthy, busy, stressed
professionals with two young children? I know there's a huge
range, but I need some affirmation that I am not crazy (or
confirmation that I am unrealistic) in expecting a bit more from
Thanks for your honest answers.
You're not crazy; it's reasonable to expect more physical
intimacy than you're getting, which is certainly lower
than ''average''. But neither is your wife's low sex drive all
that unusual for the mother of young children. Without knowing
more details, it's hard to make specific suggestions, but it
sounds like you need to find a way to explain your discontent to
your wife without making it seem like an accusation that there's
something wrong with *her*. It's a problem that the two of you
together need to find a way to solve to your mutual
satisfaction. That might mean going out more often, it might
involve changing birth control methods (hormonal BC, like
pregnancy and breastfeeding, can suppress sex drive), it might
involve some form of therapy. Or it might just mean you have to
initiate things more often or in a different way, with the
understanding that she is willing to go along -- I know one
woman who described it this way: If sex were food, it would be
as if it never occurs to her to be hungry. But when her husband
puts a good meal in front of her, she enjoys eating it!
My husband could've written your post a couple years ago, before
our children were even born. We also rarely had sex, and always
at his initiation. He was unhappy about it, became discouraged
when his advances were almost always rejected, and tried to talk
to me about it. I was so confused and wracked with guilt that I,
too, reacted defensively. I wanted him to be happy, I wanted us
to be close, but somehow I just couldn\325t do anything about it.
It was awful for quite a while. I tried to reassure him that I
still loved him, but understandably, he seemed unconvinced. He
finally just quit trying, and that made me saddest of all.
I started seeing a therapist because I was depressed, and I\325m
still trying to work out what\325s going on with my lack of
interest in sex. Our communication has improved immensely,
though, and I\325m able to discuss it with him calmly. Our sex life
has improved some---maybe once a month---though I doubt we\325re
nearly as active as most people. We\325re working on it, though,
and it does take work.
You didn\325t mention whether your sex life was ever satisfactory.
Since your wife is weepy when you try to discuss it, it sounds
like she\325s unhappy, too. If that\325s the case, it\325s about more
than just adjusting your expectations; it sounds like there\325s a
problem. I don\325t know if she\325s depressed like I was/am, but she
might benefit from talking to someone about it. Before I got
help, I was literally unable to do anything about our situation
even though I desperately wanted to. My husband finally said to
me, \322I won\325t live like this\323 (it wasn\325t just the lack of sex but
my general depression). It had never occurred to me that he
could leave, and the realization scared me into action. I\325m not
recommending threatening your wife, but she may be as paralyzed
as I was. It can get better, but your wife has to be able to
talk about it.
Best of luck to you. This is by far the hardest thing we\325ve ever
dealt with in our marriage.
Working through it
Right now, I'm on the other side of your situation. My husband
and I, up until our first child was born 7 months ago, had
regular and wonderful sex. And we had a lot of it. Now that we
have the baby and I'm still full-time breastfeeding/pumping, I'm
really, really struggling to want to have sex and to enjoy it
when we do.
Sadly, it's not working very well, despite the fact that I think
that my husband is extremely attractive and despite really
*wanting* to have sex. (I even dream about it more and more
often lately.) The reality, though, is that because of the
breastfeeding, I'm basically impotent. I think of it as the
female version of what happens to men later in life. No matter
how much foreplay we engage in, I can't get physically ready to
have sex--too dry. Even K-Y doesn't seem to help, nor does the
estrogen cream that my doctor prescribed. I think that when
women go through this after childbirth, we tend to think it's
because we're tired or overworked; we really should give more
credit to the hormonal impact--I'm convinced that this is the
Needless to say, this is hard for my husband, and it really
breaks my heart too, even though I think it's only temporary,
until I finish breastfeeding. The only thing that's keeping him
sane is a good, open dialogue about it, which I've worked hard
to maintain. I try to bring it up often, saying, ''you know, I'd
love to have sex right now, but I have to warn you, I may not be
able to.'' Of course, I encourage him to relieve himself and I
try to help out now and then.
It was difficult, though, for me to come to terms with the fact
that I'm unable to get it up, so to speak, at this point in my
life. And I can imagine that if these are your wife's reasons,
she may be afraid to express them and probably feels defensive
because she knows that it's hurting you but also feels there's
not much she can do about it.
My advice? Talk to your wife about whether or not this could be
a physical problem. (Is she still breastfeeding? The body is an
amzing thing, and women just aren't programmed to want to
reproduce when they're caring for another infant.) Perhaps the
estrogen cream would work for her. Also, she may feel insecure
about how she looks post-baby--I know I am--and there's nothing
like insecurity to put a damper on sex. Praise her looks as much
as you can, letting her know that you really do think she's
beautiful and desirable. She may feel that if she really opens
up, you'll notice that she's not as svelte as she used to be.
Hello. I am very sorry to hear those numbers... My wife and I
are on average 2 to 3 times per week although it is often Quick
after the baby and our toddler have fallen asleep (and just
before we fall asleep ourselves).
Everyone will likely suggest joint counselling. You need to do
something to work that out or you will definately be interested
in an affair or just occassionally hiring an escort or
prostitute. Good luck!
Your post about expectations about sex hit home (and made me
fear for a moment that you were my husband, all of a sudden a
subscriber, and sending me a secret message. Kind of like that
bad 70s song 'if you like pina coladas'). I don't have anything
wise to say, except we do have sex about once a week or week and
a half, but if it were up to me entirely it would probably be
more like twice a year, it is just that my husband has convinced
me that we need to connect in that way more often for the sake
of our marriage, to refresh it. So I kind of gin up the
enthusiasm, where I probably wouldn't bother, or even think of
doing so, if I were married to someone more like myself. 99
percent of the time once we are in the thick of it, so to speak,
I am happy we are. It is almost like there is a high bar of
inertia blocking my own inclination to get it all started, which
dissipates once we have actually gotten things going. Every
year or so my husband expresses disappointment in our sex life,
and sex issues are underneath I would say 5/8 of our not-that-
I think it is a cliche that I have heard that men (I know, not
all men) use physical intimacy to find and establish and
reaffirm love, while women (I know, not all women) use physical
intimacy to express it, once they already feel that way. That
definitely applies to my husband and me. Sometimes I don't want
to have sex because I don't feel all that close, while my
husband wants to for that very reason.
Good luck. I am glad you brought it up. I'm sure we should be
in therapy, and that you'll get lots of advice to do just that.
Is it scary to hear that I feel about therapy roughly the same
way I often feel about sex...(kind of a ''I know I know I should
but what a drag'' kind of feeling).
A woman with two children is spending all of her time giving and
sacrificing her own comfort, needs and desires. She does not
need yet another person who ''requires'' something of her. Nothing
turns me on more than a partner who recognizes this phenomenon
and is seen actively trying to help her ''replenish'' herself. A
deep feeling of being understood and cared for naturally comes
and with it a desire to give back to this ''angel''.
I just wrote an answer and talked about Dr. Berman and Dr.
Berman. Browsing their website, I found this link. You may be
As a 50 year old, married mother of 2 boys, I have to say your
expectations are NOT unrealistic, but can be hard to make real.
I don't think you said how old your and your wife are, but there
are many factors for a woman....menopause? that'll sure change a
woman's sexual desires, being busy, being tired....
I'm sorry that your wife won't talk about it, because I think
open communication is essential....
My husband and I probably have sex once a month....I feel like
it should be more often, but truthfully, I'm the one that has to
initiate this in our relationship as my husband, as wonderful as
he is, is very passive, and I'm busy and tired. We are somewhat
affectionate to each other though...that feels easy and natural
for both of us, I'd have to say.
I think without her participation there may not be a lot you
can do....you might try professional counselling and hope that
she may be open to hearing what you've learned in counselling.
Here's some data for you. We have two kids: 4 and 6 months.
We've had sex twice since the baby was born. In the year prior
to that, it was to get pregnant and then nothing else. In the
year prior to that, it was like once every two or three months.
Before we were married, there were times when it was on average
every day. I'm just operating on the assumption that things will
get better in a few years. There's lots of research out there
that says that relationships greatly suffer in the first five
years of child rearing and improve thereafter. If we had a good
sex life once, it's got to be possible again. It must be hard
not to be able to discuss this with your wife. My husband and I
are pretty open and understanding about it and kind of laugh
about how sad it is. Maybe you and your wife should try some
counseling so it's more comfortable for your wife to discuss
this with you.
You're right, there's a ''vast range of normal.'' What's
important is whether you and she want the same thing. Have you
asked her if she is satisfied - with the sex? with other
aspects of your relationship?
This inquiry could dig up a lot of stuff for both of you. It's
rarely just about the sex. Go to a counselor who can mediate
the discussion and help the two of you find perspective on
whatever comes up. Of course the mere suggestion of counseling
could be scary too, with the (incorrect) implication that
counseling is a step toward breakup. Realize that not dealing
with issues is really the destructive path, while counseling is
the path for togetherness.
FWIW: my partner and I went to four different counselors until
we found one we could deal with. In the end, we split up last
year, but with much better understanding of what had gone
wrong. I really felt it could have gone either way. Such
valuable lessons in life.
I may not be the best person to write as I have not really had
much of a sex drive for a few years, but I have done a lot of
research on sexual dysfunction in women. I feel really guilty
about not having a sex drive and feel like I am ruining my poor
husband's life, but he is so kind and sweet and so good to me.
I'm working on it.
First off, check out this web site by two women (Dr. Berman
M.D., and Dr. Berman Ph.D.) who run a clinic for women in L.A.
http://www.newshe.com/ They also wrote a book (''For Women
Only'') on female sexual dysfunction that would be very useful
for both you and your wife to read. There are many things that
will kill a woman's sex drive: depression, anxiety, exhaustion,
hormones (especially when nursing), pain during sex, past
surgeries and childbirth, unresolved psychological issues
regarding body self-image, past events or the relationship with
the partner, etc. Being overweight can effect sex drive also.
(Fat cells do something to bind and lock up free testosterone,
and testosterone is needed for sex drive.) Is she on the pill?
I used to have pain with intercourse until I went off the pill.
Your wife may be too exhausted for sex because you have young
children, or may have psychological issues that she is not
facing. She also may feel very guilty, like I do, which
suppresses sex drive even more. I would suggest that you get
that book I suggested, or a similar one. (There are several
good books out there. Check amazon.com.) If your wife is
willing, the book suggests that she get herself checked out
physically and the book suggests tests that physicians can do
and questions you can ask during the examination. You might
also want to try marriage counseling or she might want to try
counseling on her own. The solution might be as simple as
hiring a maid or a babysitter more often to give your wife a
break and to give her more energy. Regular exercise can help
too. Anyway, there is a happy medium out there where you can
both be content with the amount of sex you have. It may take
some work, but you two can find this place.
Don't worry about how much sex other people have. I think our
society and media makes us think that we should be sexual
animals all the time, which is unrealistic. It sounds like you
are very supportive too and this is the most important thing the
man can do. Keep telling her that you love her no matter what,
and just ask her to read a book or talk with a doctor, etc.
There are more and more resources out there to help couples deal
with sex issues. I hope this helps and good luck!
Believe me, more marriages than you think are dealing with this
issue. Your wife is TIRED, STRESSED, and very child-centered
right now and its VERY HARD for her to get out of this mode and
pay attention to adult needs - yours AND hers. She's getting
defensive because she knows you're unhappy, doesn't want things
this way herself, and despite ''knowing better'' can't find the
strength/perspective change to focus on you and HERSELF. DON'T
make things worse by finding sex elsewhere. HELP you and your
wife to find quality time - intimacy can be curling up on the
sofa and watching a movie when the kids are asleep or taking a
walk and talking. Don't make every act of intimacy ''have'' to
lead to sex, let things flow. More pressure isn't going to work
with your wife, its only going to make her more defensive. This
is one of those ''for better, for worse'' times'' in marriages that
you have to ride out - stick to being loving and understanding
(and creating special times) and she WILL respond (maybe some
time to pamper herself at a spa or something as well - to feel
attractive and SEXY again!!). Many women need to connect
emotionally before physically and right now the two of you
probably haven't spent alot of time on your emotional bond (this
is why sex DOES happen when you get away and are a couple
again). If you feel that bond is still there (just buried way
deep) it CAN come back. Hang in there.
How much are you helping her with not only the children but
the household? I remember being just exhausted washing clothes,
cleaning up while my husband just played with the kids. I remember
thinking, I just spent the day cleaning YOUR shorts, caring for
OUR children and now I must SERVICE you? I'm tired...good night.
She's tired. She knows your unhappy with this aspect of your lives.
She can't help it. She feels guilty but she just can't give more and
more. This may be why she cries when you bring it up, she doesn't
have a solution.
Skip the roses, skip the chocolates, and fold the laundry instead
without asking. Help CONSISTENTLY because you want to make her life
easier not because you want sex. If she's rested and happy and not
angry, she will find that place where she wanted intimacy. It takes
a long time though.
You might try a bit of lubricant on your wife - look in the
drugstore or someplace more exotic - it has made a world of
difference in my enjoyment of sex. I still don't have any sex
urge per se, but the results once we do have sex are very
satisfactory. I never would have thought I would need this as
it was never an issue, but time and hormones... Even during
sex, I don't necessarily feel like I NEED it (no pain or
obvious dryness), but it really makes a difference.
I just read everyone's advice to your question and am surprised no one
brought up what came to my mind the minute i read your post.
you mentioned that everytime you bring up the issue, your wife gets
weepy. you also mentioned that the last couple of times you had sex,
she got pregnant with your children.
could it be that she is afraid of getting pregnant again (perhaps too
much work with two children right now) ? it sounds so simple, but if
she's overworked (as all moms are) and stressed, she may not even
realize that this is why she is not interested in sex.
also, sex to me is not just intercourse. my husband and i, when we can't
have intercourse, do other things - oral sex, mutual masturbation, or
even just making out like in high school. you've got to be open to what
your definition of sex is.
Your expectations are not uncommon, but the reality of most parents' lives is
that they have a lot less sex than they had before they were married, and
usually a LOT less than the male half would like to have, given the choice. I
think the key is to give your wife a LOT of time and space to sort out her
feelings. She may feel inadequate at this time, when she has so many demands
placed on her from others (kids, husband), and is adjusting to her new role as
a mother. When a woman experiences motherhood, she may experience a
feeling of inadequacy as a parent that may then ''leak'' over into other areas of
her life, depressing her and draining her of courage and energy. Do your best
to try to soothe her--and above all, don't pressure. Be loving, and soothing
with her at this time. I know, it sounds patronizing. But I guarantee, it is what
she really needs. She, too, is grieving her lost sex drive.
Also, be aware that bearing children puts one's body in touch with the
biological forces that drive sex--namely reproduction. It may sound silly, but
once one has a child to take care of, nature has a way of trying to protect the
lives of mother and baby by preventing a new pregnancy right away (= no sex
drive in the mom). It takes time. You will be a better man for sticking it out.
One final word of advice--masturbate. Often. Ask your partner if she is willing
to participate with you--either by watching you, by talking to you during, by
touching you while you masturbate, or by mastubating simultaneously with
you. My partner and I masturbated together when sex was both physically and
psychologically uncomfortable for me, and it really re-energized our sex life. It
turned out that we both really enjoyed watching each other while being
responsible for our own sexual pleasure.
(Even now, after my sex drive has returned, he still asks for that sometimes).
He looked at (non-offensive/non-
violent) magazines, and sometimes we watched movies together for
inspiration. Good vibrations is a good resource.
Oral sex is a good choice, too. Sometimes, when in the depths of despair
about my lost sex drive, my partner would gently ask if he could do this for
me, and it was a most generous, loving sexual gesture. Make it clear that you
have no expectations that she reciprocate when you offer. Perhaps this will
help (even temporarily) put her back in touch with her own sexual feelings.
Good luck to you.
OK, I know my husband is unhappy about pretty much the same
thing. I've been pregnant and nursing on and off for the last
three years. I do know that nursing decreases my libido. And a
BIG downer on my libido is babies that wake me up up to eight
times a night. I just am too, too tired and wanting my sleep
to wake up for anything else. I'd be interested in all other
responses you get!
Very good article mentioned earlier:
By the way, in some parts of the world, a father is kept away
from a new mother for a period after birth (in some areas up to
a year) and no sex is allowed. For obvious reasons mothers need
to focus onthe child. I think biologically speaking sex
(reproduction)is least useful within the years after a child is
born so perhaps our system doesn't encourage it. Modern day life
with no support systems to raise children in and couples relying
on each other for everything including feelign good about
themselves, does of course. The article above gives great
Help! I'm looking for professional guidance that can help me
with sexual dysfunction/low libido issues. Its definitely more
than just being a working mother of a nursing, two year old.
Yes. I know that energy might be a factor. But sex with my
mostly, loving husband (yes, I know that description could also
be part of the problem) has increasingly ended in tears on my
part (after I give in once a month or so.) I'm not sure if I
should see a medical doctor or a therapist , or both. I can not
even arouse myself anymore. My husband and I are already in
couples therapy (things have gotton much better and we are both
committed to making things work). I do have a history of sexual
abuse as a child, but at 34 yrs. old I have never felt damaged
by those experiences. And please. I know that is a red flag for
most, but it has never been an issue for me. (There are many
people who have survived abuse and not been seriously hindered
as an adult right? I've never been able to connect that
experience with the hills and vallies of my adult life and
neither have past therapists.) I know all of the above sounds
like a lot of baggage. But, although sex has never been a strong
point for me, arousal has just very recently been impossible. It
does seem to be atleast in part, a physical problem. I have my
difficulties like anyone else. But, atleast today (a ''morning
after''), this is a problem I have to address once and for all.
Any reccomendations for treatment...doctors...life strategies
would be a beginning.
I would strongly suggest starting with your primary care doctor.
He/she should be able to offer you medication (like Viagra--it's
for women too!) that can help tremendously. I found that being
on the Pill lowered my libido significantly. Go prepared, with a
list of questions and thoughts, current meds that you might be
on, and an open mind. I bet you're right about the ''working mom
of a 2 year old'' issue, also though. I have a 2 and 4 year old
and I'm JUST starting to get my libido back. Good luck, and good
for you for asking for help.
Another low-libido mom
One thing to consider: libido issues can often be linked to physical
problems (all kinds of stuff -- diabetes, thyroid problems... the list goes
on and on). Do you have any other symptoms -- tiredness/lack of
energy, general depression, extreme thirst, weight loss or gain, anything
that seems unusual? Anything that showed up or got worse near the
time that libido issues got worse (even within a few months)?
Talk to your physician if you can think of anything at all that might be
I read with interest the recent discussions about gaps in a new
parent's sex life. So I wanted to pose a similar question to
this board: Is no sex always a marriage killer?
Our sex life died with the birth of our second child. After
about six months my sex drive returned, but his did not. He
will not consider counseling, much less Viagra. It's now been
three years, and I have cornered him twice in desperation to
tell him plainly that this is a very big deal to me and we need
to do something about it. He mumbles something about being
sorry, but he's just not into it anymore. He does spend a lot
of time on porn sites. Ordinarily I don't mind this, but it's
an insult when he's not giving me any of that interest. The
only reason I'm not having an affair is because I haven't met
anyone to have one with. I'm a 40-year-old mommy of two, not
exactly a stud-magnet.
All this said, every other aspect in the marriage is good to
great. He's a wonderful, attentive and playful father to our
kids. We get along fine - many common interests, close-knit
goals, mutual admiration. He cooks, he cleans, he sometimes
brings me coffee in bed on the weekdays! We have a harmonious
and happy home life, many friends, good extended family
relations, etc. It's like I've had kids with my funny,
friendly, cool and platonic roommate.
I don't want to get divorced. But I want to have sex and my
anger over this is spilling over onto my overall attitude. I am
fully aware of how destructive affairs can be to a
relationship. And ideally I'd have an affair with my husband,
who I used to have the best sex of my life with back when we
met. He is absolute in his desire to not address this issue.
Is there any hope for me? For us? Thanks for any advice on how
I can proceed.
Counseling counseling counseling. If your partner won't go, you
should go alone. This sounds like it IS a big deal to you, and
so you should deal with it as best you can, with help. Maybe
once you start going, your partner will eventually come along.
Even if he doesn't, you have a chance to get the tools you need
to decide what to do about your marriage.
Well, I'm in your shoes, too, except that I'm the one who is not
interested in sex with my husband. We had our two kids very
close together, so for a few years I could attribute my low to
no sex drive to hormones and parenting stress. A year or so
after our second was born, my sex drive miraculously came back--
but I still was not attracted or wanting to have sex with my
husband. During this whole time period, my husband has been
very patient, very understanding, and I also have been actively
trying to get my desire for him back, which it sounds like your
husband is not really willing to work on. From my experience, a
number of things could be going on for him, and it sounds like
he needs to be honest about what they are before you can make
decisions about how to get your sexual needs met. IF he is
looking at porn sites, it seems that he is not necessarily
without sex drive entirely, unless he is trying to revive it
through porn. From your brief description, he doesn't sound
depressed. ARe there underlying issues that came out for him
when your kids were born? Either in your relationship or his
childhood or earlier adult life? Does he have low self-
esteem/self-image now that makes him feel unattractive? There
are so many questions you could ask (and I'm sure have asked!)
But it seems your real question is can you go indefinitely
without sex? It sounds like you're already in a place where if
you happened to meet someone with whom you could have an affair,
you'd be tempted. Would having an open marriage be an option
for you? Instead of the deceit of an affair, you could discuss
the boundaries that such an arrangement would have. I've been
through my options-- no sex, affairs, open marriage--and while
none of them are 100% appealing, at times I think an open
marriage would work best, be least destructive, allow the
marriage to stay intact. But again, before you go there, I
think you need to understand what is at the root of your
husband's problem. Good luck.
I think it is really great that you are reaching out re your sex
life and your marriage. I am in a very similar situation with
my husband -- we have a wonderful marriage: a very high level of
communication, super supportive and fun, intellectually
challenging, and he is a fantastic father. That said, our sex
life causes us a lot of anxiety and stress (for a variety of
personal reasons), and so we both seem to avoid it. I do not
have any real answers for you, but I do have a couple thoughts:
first, I highly recommend two books, both by David Schnarch,
that are very helpful/smart (a) ''The Passionate Marriage'' and
(b) ''Resurrecting Sex''. I would read (a) first and then (b).
There are many books on sex in marriage, but these are SMART and
thoughtful and much deeper than most that are out there. And
they recognize that sex is not simply about being ''normal'' or
finding what physically works. The desire to have sex, (or put
differently, the ability to generate desire for sex), depends on
a whole host of emotional and physical things. And the books
give good examples of ways couples can change together. Second,
you might consider couple's counseling. You could go to a
counselor to work on the fact that you and your husband have
different priorities in terms of sex (and that is how you could
present it to your husband). It doesn't need to be judgemental
(sex is good, no sex is bad), but rather, how do we work through
this issue when our goals currently seem to be different?
Third, it has recently occurred to both my husband and myself
that while our marriage is wonderful in so many ways, (and we
both are responsible for avoiding sex), that if we continue to
avoid it, it will end up eroding all the wonderful things that
we DO have. So for us, (and I am sure it is different for
everyone), it seems clear that in order to preserve the marriage
and family that we love, we need to address these issues
together and find a way to enjoy each other sexually. When it
is hard to find desire (for example, when anxiety overwhelms
desire), it helps to have some other motivators to help you
address sex. Our motivator right now is love for each other and
the life that we have.
My heart goes out to you -- this stuff can be very hard. But it
sounds like you and your husband have a very strong base of love
and mutual respect to work from. I wish you the very best.
Good luck, from an empathetic wife
If you really want to have sex again and it isn't happening it
will deaden your marriage. It is one aspect of the
relationship that has to stay alive. Our sex life wasn't very
good before we had kids. How about yours? My husband has felt
very frustrated and put his energies elsewhere. I was glad you
mentioned that your husband spends time on porn sites because
that was a clue to me that he is still interested in sex. When
I haven't gotten my sexual needs met from my partner I have
turned away from him to sexual fantasies and soft porn websites
(it seemed easier-the whole kids, job, house thing is alot of
work). See what sex play on the porn sites he is atttracted and
have a real conversation about what he really wants-the sites
will give you clues. I finally told my partner what I wanted
to experience (yes, I felt very vulnerable and scared) but it
has completely opened up our sexual life and is helping other
parts of our marriage. Take a risk. Even if he mumbles and
grumbles, insist he talk about what he wants sexually and tell
him what you want. Be specific. Find a babysitter or take a
whole day off with the kids elsewhere. It really helps.
no longer frustrated
I know you will hear a lot of feedback on this topic. I just
want to say that is completely unfair of your husband to just
ignore you sexually like this. I think he might be struggling
with issues of sexual orientation or having an affair. I feel
he must be getting something from somewhere. To me, sex has
been the only thing (maybe chocolate, too) that has truly
relaxed me since I had my two kids. You deserve it--it is a
It's so strange to read this message, since I was just preparing
to write a very similar one of my own. I'm afraid I don't have
good advice for you, but I did want you to know that you're not
alone. Our situation is somewhat different as I was the one who
lost the interest (in sex with my partner, not sex in general),
but it's similar in that ALL the other parts of our relationship
are so great that neither of us wants to split because of it.
I, too, feel like I'm sharing my life and raising our child with
my best friend. For us, we've had an ''open relationship'' for
years, so either of us could seek sex elsewhere. Our lives are
so busy, however, that we rarely do, which sucks, because we are
both mostly living without sex. Could you corner your husband
yet again and explain that while you love him, it's not fair
that you should have to live without sex? Instead of sneaking
off for an affair, could you be open about your intention to
seek sex elsewhere? I can't imagine he's happier without sex,
either. Maybe you could both agree to seek sex outside your
relationship. I hope some of these replies are from people who
have figured out creative ways of dealing with their primary
relationship when it fails to fulfill every need. It's a hard
subject to talk about, and I often feel like it's our dirty
little secret. I've always considered myself really lucky that
I met someone with whom I get along so well, share so many
common interests with, who is a wonderful and adoring father,
etc. BUT I wish it didn't come at such a price. Good luck.
Firstly, you have my sympathy for what sounds like a very difficult situation!
Secondly, I cannot tell you if your marriage is doomed or not - NO one can,
and any one, including an experienced therapist, who tries to tell you that
they know, should be ignored. Every situation is unique, because the people
involved are unique. I suspect that lack of sex is *usually* a sure sign of a
doomed marriage, after all, sex is a very important part of a marriage and is
usually one of the main things that distinguishes this type of relationship
from a regular ''friendship.''
That said, most people will likely tell you to keep pushing for therapy. I'm
going to suggest an alternative, if that doesn't work.
First of all, please please please buy the book ''Passionate Marriage'' by
David Snarch. I found this book to be life-transforming. It addresses this very issue
eloquently, practically and insightfully, with REAL, practical suggestions
about what you can DO to address sexual problems in your marriage, not just explain
why they exist. And, frankly, he does a much better, much more intelligent job
of explaining where they come from than anyone else *I* have read.
Next, some very unconventional advice: I think if your husband is unwilling
to have sex with you and unwilling to work to change that, that he has to allow
you to find other ways to get your needs met. It would be highly unreasonable
(to put it VERY mildly) to object to you having an affair if he is not willing
to make love with you himself. I think that at the very least you should *discuss*
this as a possible solution to dealing with this problem - and it IS a problem!
It doesn't have to be something sneaky and nefarious, indeed, I am suggesting
openness and honesty. You cannot *make* your husband address this issue,
and only *you* are truly responsible for seeing that your needs are met. I
suggest to put it simply and sweetly (but firmly): I need sex. I would prefer
to have it with you. If you are unwilling to even discuss this issue, then I must
go elsewhere to have my needs met. I want to do this in a way that is not
threatening or harmful to you or our relationship, both of which I value very
much. What would work for you?
As for not being a stud-magnet - so what? You don't need a stud, you need a
lover. There are lovers for all kinds of women--my friend is a 46 year-old
single mom and has a fabulous and very attractive lover - also in his 40's, and
they have an abundant sex-life. She is not a super-model, she's just a lovely,
generous, thoughtful (and frisky) woman. You too can have an abundant sex
life - I am sure there are many men who would be happy to be lovers with you,
it's just a matter of seeking them out.
So, my advice may be unconventional, but I say it's better than either putting
up with not getting your needs met for the rest of your life (or until your
husband decides to address this, whenever that would be), or getting a divorce
from the father of your children and the man whom you otherwise find to be
If that part of my advice is just too ''out there'' for you, at least buy the
book. I promise you won't regret it --heck, I'll send you a copy, if you want - contact
the moderator for my email, I have an extra copy that I'll be happy to send
Wishing you the best.
I think your post indicates that the status quo is not going to
work long term, for you, anyway. So it does seem that you'll
have to find some way to address it, and that will have to
include him. It seems the first logjam to get through is
recognition on his part that you need to see a therapist
together or at least do something together to address the fact
that he is not meeting your needs. One place to start might be
with reading the book ''Passionate Marriage.'' It connects
sexual issues with other issues in a marriage in sometimes
surprising and enlighteneing ways. It may be that if you can't
get at your problem through the issue of sex, since your
husband won't discuss it, you might find another way in, that's
less threatening to him somehow. Maybe you could read the book
(or some other recommended reading) together as a way of trying
to investigate how to make your marriage work better for both
I was surprised by your post and had to wait to respond. I
can't believe that it's been 3 years since you and your husband
have been intimate. Different reasons immediately popped into
my head and I hope you don't mind if I share them with you. 1)
Is it possible that for some reason, he is not attracted to you
anymore (significant weight gain, etc)?; 2)could it be that he
has a medical problem (depression, erectile dysfunction,
etc.)?; or 3) could it be that he is trying to protect you from
something - could he have had an affair three years ago and
maybe contracted something that he doesn't want to pass on to
you? It feels weird spilling these things out but I don't know
why else he wouldn't want to be with his own wife. If all
these things check out and you initiate sex, what does he do?
Back off of you, make you back off of him? What about oral
sex? Have you tried that with him? Sorry to be so personal
but you brought it up, I assume you want suggestions.
If he is spending time alone watching porn (instead of being
with you) and your relationship is otherwise good, then there is
obviously something that is going on his head. To get him to
open up with you will take a great deal of patience and
understanding from you.
I know this is late but I thought that someone else might raise
it. It sounds like it is a possibility your husband has a sex
addiction. You can get information related to your situation
as the spouse at http://www.sanon.org/ and you can get
information on sex addiction from a number of websites
including sexaddicthelp.com. This website is set up by some
Bay Area psychotherapists who specialize in this area. It
might be helpful just to call one of them on the phone,
describe your situation and ask their thoughts on how to
proceed (if at all). Sexual addiction behavior tends to be
escalating. Good luck to you.
I have been married for 6 years to a wonderful guy, however, our
sex life is suffering. His sex drive has remained strong (and
seems to be getting stronger), but mine has diminished greatly.
Today he mentioned how it used to be 5 times a week (I reminded
him it was during our ''newlywed'' phase), then slowed to 2x a
week, then 1x, now once every other week on average (although I
disagree w/that last number--it is more often weekly than
biweekly). I reminded him that we are now parents (of a 16
month old) and that time is much more limited now. I am
starting to get resentful when he brings it up and seemingly
seems to say that having a child should not impact our sex life
at all. It makes me want to be less intimate, not more. Also,
he ordered 4 videos that came yesterday--3 on lovemaking/spicing
up your sex life, and 1 on massage. I found myself being angry
about them--maybe because he didn't talk to me first about it.
I'm honestly not sure, since I'm not a prude and own some x-
rated videos myself. I guess what I'm hoping is that someone
can offer me some guidance in how to get interested again in
sex. BTW, I can't blame it on post-partum anything--my child is
In addition, I have talked to other friends of small children
who seemed somewhat surprised that we were having sex as
frequently as once a week as they were not. When I mention that
to my husband, he just gets mad and accusatory and we end up
arguing. Am I/are we the only ones whose sex life has been
impacted since becoming parents--I think not.
Thanks for any helpful information.
not feeling sexy
for having a 16 month old you ARE having a lot of sex! Im so
sorry your husband is so resentful sounding. He must not have
many man friends who are dads. I would highly recomend couples
counseling. I hope he is open to this. However I had a similar
situation with my husband. I arranged it with my girlfriend (who
has kids and whom my husband respects) to start a conversation
with me about how tiring it was to raise small children and how
she and her husband hardly had any sex for 2 years. All of this
was in front of my husband. another of my friends happend to
start a similar conversation a couple of weeks later with out my
prompting. My husband overheard and became more understanding,
having heard it from these other ladies. About the videos: if
you don't want them around he should not have them around. It is
a matter of his respect for you
Your child may be adopted, but you are still the mother of a
small child, and it's exhausting! Add to that the
oh-so-frustrating changes that happen in your 40s. I'm in the
same place you are--often just plain not interested in sex.
My husband is a pretty good sport about it, and compared to
others we still have an active sex life. But there are times
when I feel like we are playing out that scene in ''Annie Hall''
to the question ''how often do you have sex,'' he answers,
''hardly ever, maybe 3 times a week;'' she answers,
''constantly, probably three times a week.'' There are two
things that have helped us. One is that we have talked with
a therapist about it. He understand a little better that not
wanting sex is not a rejection of him, and he gives me a little
more space. And I try to go for it a little more than I might if
left to my own impulses. Usually, I am very glad I did. One
more comment, I was discussing this with an older friend
who has older kids. She said, ''You do know that this is a
problem of having very young kids, don't you? Things will
definately get better.'' So I am optimistic.
Hi, you'll probably get lots of responses agreeing with you
because I know many of my friends feel the way you do. However,
I have a different perspective. I think sex (fairly frequent) is
a necessary and essential part of a loving relationship and it
is very very difficult to maintain one without the other.
In my 30s I lost interest in sex with my husband and it turned
out to be symptomatic of a larger problem - I was falling out of
love with him.
I am older now, remarried (for 5 years) and have two kids with
my new husband. I still feel extremely sexually attracted to him
and the only impediment to 5x/week for us is finding the time
&/or privacy with two wee ones in the house. There is no lack of
desire on either of our parts. I hate to sound like Dear Abby,
but I really think this is a make-or-break issue, particularly
if your husband is unhappy with your frequency, and you should
see a counselor to find ways to reconnect with each other. I
doubt it's solely about sex drive - there are probably
underlying resentments that keep you from wanting to be intimate
with your husband, and you really need to talk about these
things or they'll only get worse.
(And don't get me started on the 50 - 75% of married men I meet
at work who are ''on the make'' because they don't get sex at
Please do not argue. People who argue are not sexually attractive. According to
you your husband is a wonderful man, and you probably do not want
to spoil the relationship. Actually you are lucky - he wants you. You have a
young child, and this rather than age probably is the main reason for
not wanting sex. I would suggest to try to relax more often, and have a date
with your husband at least once a month. Exersize and healthy diet also
helps. Another thing I learned: do not discuss such private matters with other
women, it can only hurt you. Somehow things are often ''better'' in
other families, and comparing usually does not help.
have been there
I am seeking advice from other couples ( or wives) on
the delicate matter of sexual stamina. I am very
happily married to a husband I love and respect, and
who is a great father to our children. However, ever
since the start, I had the impression he did not have
the same sexual needs I did. To be more precise, we
would have intercourse 2 or 3 times a week, and for a
very short time. His erection doesn't actually last
very long and I did not tell him but I was often
unsatisfied. ( Whereas I had been with previous
boyfriends, who apparently found me attractive enough
to have intercourse with me for much longer than a
As these things usually do, ( and having children
didn't make it easier) it hasn't improved, and often a
whole week goes by without him needing intercourse.
The problem of his short erection period also remains,
and the disatisfaction I am feeling worries me for our
We are not American, so whereas a couple might
consider talking about this here, we certainly would
not - it would probably cause damage to our
I have heard of Viagra, like everyone else on this
planet, as a way to increase his sexual stamina, but
of course I could never discuss this with him.
This may get a few laughs, but has anyone ever
resorted to purchasing Viagra on the Internet and
using it in a discreet manner ( in the chicken soup)
with their spouse?
If you have, or can think of other advice, I would
To the person considering giving Viagra to an un-knowing spouse,
please do not try that! Viagra carries serious health risks for some
men, and like almost all drugs (especially new ones), should be taken
under the supervison of a doctor.
In the mean time, please know that most people can solve this kind of
problem by communicating. If you are really unable to speak to your
husband about it, you can still work on you own. There is a book by
Carole Altman available at Amazon that may help. It is called "You
Can Be Your Own Sex Therapist : A Systematized Behavioral Approach to
Enhancing Your Sensual Pleasures,Improving Your Sexual Enjoyment.~
She also wrote another book which is less of a workbook, more of a
voyeristic journey. But this first one, although not particularly
well-written, begins with a very helpful exercise which helps you to
really consider what it is that your relationship needs. If you just
take a leap of faith and try completeing the questionnaire, I
guarantee that you will discover something helpful. At the follwing
site, you may find other titles that interest you.
Unfortunately, it is considered reprehensible in this country to
administer prescription drugs to someone without his/her knowledge
(and without a doctor's having examined the person) for the purposes
of your own sexual gratification.
That said, you might consider spicing your (his!) foods with: Mexican
damiana leaves, saw palmetto berries, kava kava root, Nigella sativa
L. (Ranunculaceae) - Roman Coriander? (AKA Black Caraway Seed, its
active ingredient is Arginine), ginseng, lanceleaf periwinkle (full of
yohimbine) if you can't get actual African yohimbe bark, pignoli
"nuts," IF they are the seeds of the Italian Stone Pine (Pinus pinea
L. (Pinaceae), poppyseed cake or muffins using the seeds of the Great
Scarlet Poppy (active ingredient Arginine, bot. name: Papaver
bracteatum L. (Papaveraceae)), rocket seed, and/or cumin, and the
particular varietal of the Sarsaparilla root called Smilax ornata.
I do have a few other recommendations in the herbal area, just write
back to the list if you want more info, as I am too shy to give my
"real" name or email address on this topic. All of this is cooking
rather than doping, and if you like you can tell your husband it's a
special recipe to help you both feel romantic, or whatever, so as to
not feel that there's any question of doping left. He might be
pleased that you are doing special things to set the mood for your
evening. Cannibis also has an aphrodisiac effect on many people, but
since it's illegal, I wouldn't recommend that.
Try setting a very romantic mood in other ways prior to actual
lovemaking, including smell and texture as well as visual stimuli such
as soft lights or candles, possibly very "background" music, perhaps a
shared scented bath, a massage with sweet oil (not a good idea if he
will fall asleep instead!), scarves or other items that you both find
appealing, varied or interrupted positions (nothing too contrived or
uncomfortable, of course), or gentle teasing without actually bringing
your husband to climax. Although Altoids are very popular with some
couples at the moment, it does not sound like a particularly good
approach in this case -- of course, you could just chew one to make
your breath minty!
As for scents, in American men at least (this is a weird one), the
scent of pumpkin pie was found to be the greatest turn-on sexually out
of a large variety of scents which were tried in a university study.
The spices include ginger, mace or nutmeg (mace is the rind of the
nutmeg), cinnamon, and a few others, or you can buy it premixed from
the supermarket... or try a variety of scents out on him, only one or
two at a time, and figure out what HE likes best. Try to make the
time for your romantic evening distinct from your home duties, and
uninterrupted (important), almost an exotic adventure for both of you.
One other thing. Men tend to have better sexual stamina if they are
in good shape -- if he has not been exercising at all for some time,
not only is it dangerous for his health, but he will feel tired
(physically) more easily, and his sexual stamina will definitely
suffer. I have seen this in our own lives as well -- when my husband
is working out, our sex life is much better. I would day this for
myself as well, but unfortunately I have always been ready to go at a
moment's notice. Of course I married a guy to whom it's NOT all that
important :-) But he is wonderful(!!!), so for me the "once in a
while" nature of our sex life has been worth it. As it was for you,
before this guy, most of my relationships were intensely sexual,
whatever else was going on. I wish you luck. Before the baby, I had
worried that this sex-drive mismatch might eventually break up an
otherwise wonderful marriage. Now it seems less crucial :-)
I have to ask about the Altoids... What do you mean they are very
popular with some couples...?
The following recipes are from the aphrodisiacs page of altnature.com
and from another such page (ref given below):
You can make a "romantic herb drink" for your husband, as part of
increasing the general romance of your lovemaking time. Here are
KAVA DRINK: mix together in a blender; one ounce of powdered Kava Kava
root, two tablespoons of olive oil, one tablespoon of soya lecithin
granules and ten ounces of water. Blend on high for one minute. This
amount will suffice for 2-4 people.
Damiana can also be infused as "a delightfully strong tasting
cordial." To produce this `Damiana liqueur' soak one ounce of Damiana
Leaves, two tablespoons of Saw Palmetto berries, two tablespoons of
Angelica root and a l/2 tablespoon of vanilla pods in 750 ml. of
whisky. After one week, strain the mixture through a coffee filter
save the liquid. Re-soak the herbs, etc. in 750 ml. distilled water
for another week and then strain this second mixture. Heat the second
mix to approximately 80C and dissolve one cup of honey into the hot liquid.
After the honey has dissolved, remove from the heat, allow to cool somewhat
and then add it to the first (whiskey) mixture.
You must then age the whole thing for at least a month! One ounce
of liqueur, taken once a day for a few weeks should produce interesting
results. Herbs usually work in a gentle fashion so don't expect
instantaneous results. Indeed, because of their different metabolism,
some people may not experience any effects whatever, while others may
find the results too potent. Use these herbs in a respectful manner
and use them in moderation, over-indulgence or extended use may have
The following tea is from:
Tea: Combine equal parts of Damiana leaves and Saw Palmetto berries.
Reduce to a powder using a coffee mill. Use 1 tsp a day taken in
water or can be put in capsules.
This is a very vulnerable subject - having your sexual needs met. It
might be best to talk about this delicate issue honestly with him.
Communication in marriage is so important (in and out of the bedroom).
It will be difficult to dance around this issue. And it will be painful in
in the long run not to ask for your needs. If you don't ask, how do you
expect him to know or to even sense you are not satisfied (unless he
is a mind reader or has a crystal ball somewhere). You and your
husband can explore other ways to fulfill both your sexual needs
(the fun part!).
I hope you have the courage to honestly ask for what you want.
If you two haven't been talking about these issues before, it certainly
is hard to begin now.
One suggestion I could make as a man: you could be active and seduce
him for a second intercourse after the first fast one. He will need a
few minutes in between, but if you can get his erection up for a second
round, it probably will last longer than the first one.
I don't think that drugs or even herbs will get you what you what.
Eventually, you'll have to do what is probably the hardest for you --
communicate! Rather than try to fix "his" problem, which is likely
to be viewed as criticism and a blow to his sexual confidence, try
coming from a place of love and partnership and the idea of, together,
trying to make a good thing even better. If it's hard to get the
conversation started, maybe try reading a book (John Grey's "Mars and
Venus in the Bedroom" is light, non-threatening, and treats male and
female perspectives evenly - if you start reading it he might get
curious, and it's an easy '"browse"). Or, maybe try renting a
sensual movie (try "The Unbearable Lightness of Being"). If he likes
cooking or eating (easy enough!), I recommend a beautiful book called
"Intercourses: an Aphrodisiac Cookbook" - the pictures and quotes
alone might get him thinking in new and different ways. Stay
positive - show appreciation and give encouragement when even small
steps are taken in a direction that acknowledges your needs. Try
expressing (or showing!) your desire for change in a light and
playful way - it doesn't have to become a heavy "something has to change"
kind of conversation. You might (hopefully) be surprised at his positive
response to your initiative, and if you remember to come from a place of
love and appreciation rather than criticism, there's little chance you will
do any damage. Good luck!!
I read with interest the responses to the woman whose husband doesn't
have the same libedo as she does. I have the opposite problem. I am very
happily married to my best friend (we've been together over seven years now)
whom I love and find desirable. However, my ability to become aroused has
tapered off in the last few years, requiring more and more attention to
foreplay and my emotional state (e.g. had quiet time away from the kids,
not a stressful day at work, didn't read about the most recent massacre in
the newspapers). Now it seems that nothing works, despite my
and my husband's best efforts. My husband is very understanding and
never pushy with his desires, but I am growing increasingly frustrated
and I am afraid I may be psyching myself out. When we set aside time to be
together, I get performance anxiety. I don't know whether I should see a
gynecologist or a psycologist. Have any mothers out there experienced this
and do you have any suggestions? Thanks!
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