Am I the only woman out there in my 20's that has little to no sex drive? I know intimacy in a marriage is so important, so...we do IT :) BUT...I could do without, am I crazy? Should I see a Dr.?
I really love the depth of some of these questions. It is nice to know I'm not the only one who could "go with out". I have no questions to add but I am interested in your answers.
March 11, 2010 7:49 PM
I could live the rest of my life without sex! sorry!
I am also with anon #1. There is a web-site called decreasedsexualdesire.com that has some information that might be helpful...I'm also glad that I am not the only one in my 20's that could really "do without"!
I'm with anonymous #1. I could do without. My questions are: How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop? And if you ruled the world, would everyone get free cupcakes? ;)
I am so sorry that this post has been soooo long in coming! Go ahead and scroll down and you will see why. Sheesh! So, you asked for it, here we GO!
HUGE DISCLAIMER #1: THIS MAY VERY WELL BE A MEDICAL ISSUE and I do not (in any way) want to give someone a huge list of “things they can try and do to improve their sex life” only to make them feel like a failure/big ole heap of bad-wifey-garbage over something that is NOT WITHIN THEIR CONTROL! I think that is one of the worst things we women do to one another. If there is a medical issue (depression, high levels of stress, severe hormonal imbalance, etc.) it needs to be addressed medically (and NOT Lolally). I think a visit to your doctor and a candid discussion about what you’re thinking/feeling/going through is always a good idea. If you feel this may be a medical issue, OR if you have been sexually abused, don't you dare read this post! It's not for you! Go here instead.
HUGE DISCLAIMER #2: The assertions made in this post DO NOT extend to cover the following: 1- Abusive jerks (physical, emotional or otherwise.) 2- Men who show NO INTEREST in nurturing a healthy spousal relationship. 3 – Men who are lying, cheating sociopaths and are unable to love and respect anyone other than themselves and their own selfish desires. The men who I am talking about (and championing) in this post are good men. Your relationship may be rocky for reasons that both of you are accountable for, or your relationships may be great, or average, or somewhere in between. But, if you are married to a good guy who is loyal to you and your family (despite the fact that there may be current turmoil or “disconnect”) keep reading! I have a lot to say to you. If you are married to someone in the categories of 1-3, RUN! Head for the hills! Find a great guy, and THEN come read this post that is all about lovin’ the good ones!
HUGE DISCLAIMER #3: Dear anonymous #1, good question! Look how many women you TOTALLY helped by letting them know that they are not alone! The WHOLE first part of this is not technically "for" you and certainly not an attack on you. I want to make that crystal clear. I wrote the entire first part to give everyone a little shift in perspective and sort of lay the ground work to answer your question (which is boldly labeled PART III waaaay down in the post!) So don’t feel attacked. I simply wanted to share a perspective that has really changed the way I look at my marital relationship, and that I hope will change how other women view theirs as well.
It’s something I’ve been meaning to address for quite some time, and it’s a fairly relevant “lead in” to your wonderful question! (And, if I’m being honest, MOSTLY aimed at the crazy, husband-bashing chicken heads that make up my Baby Center “August Babies 2010” birth group.) I know by the very tone and nature of your question that you are a wonderful person and wife who just wants to live her best life possible – and I think that’s awesome! That goes for pretty much all of my readers! Since “Sex Posts” aren’t really going to be my regular gig around here, I just wanted to address some of the ungrateful, husband-bashing crazies I have encountered as well. You know, and get it all covered in one big ol’ post! So take some and leave some, and feel free to rip my head off in the comments section if something strikes a nerve ;)!
HUGE APOLOGY #1: Upon further inspection of this incredibly lengthy blog, I thought it appropriate to apologize ahead of time, because I think this is not so much a “blog post” as it is a lengthy chapter from my first self-help book titled: “Housewife on Fire: The Mad Ramblings of a Staunch Anti-Feminist living in a Modern World.” A book that is sure to be loved and hated (and will probably never see the light of day lest I decide to self-publish, which, if I’m being honest, will be a cold, cold day in hell.) I think the writing of this post has taught me that I am a staunch "husbandist" rather than anything remotely resembling a feminist! Ha ha! So if you're hoping I'll play the "we refuse to be oppressed women and just have sex with you because it makes you happy!" card, you may want to go read a different blog... one about kittens, and rainbows, and butterflies, and women who hate their husbands and can justify their misery articulately, and, you know, other happy-ish things (although I personally think that good sex can be a SUPER happy-ish thing).
So, it’s LONG folks! and at the end of it, some of you will probably want to yell at me and egg my house, yet, if this bothers you that much, there's clearly some truth to what I'm saying -which then bugs you - right? I suspect your husbands will want to hug me and send me flowers and chocolates – and guys, I’m just stating for the record right now that that would be totally inappropriate. You can simply thank me via “anonymous” comment at the bottom of this post.
Now, this first part may not apply to some of you at all, but read it for some perspective and there will (hopefully) be some useful suggestions for you within as well!
as for the rest of you… (deep breath) here we go!
I think the most important thing we can do to change our sex lives for the better is simply to get some SERIOUS perspective and change our attitudes. It really IS that simple! If you could come to a deeper understanding of just how much having a genuine, involved, and regularly intimate relationship with his wife means to the average man, I think it would change everything.
Part I: For women who may need a little...perspective
For many women, sex is: Yawn….hmmmm?....oh again? We just had sex 2 weeks ago.... Meh, I’d rather spend the next ten minutes blogging, doing the dishes, or staring blankly at the wall, but fine, okay.
For men, sex is: almost as necessary as breathing.
And no, I am SO not buying into the whole “they physically NEED it or they will have a ‘medical problem’” idea. I once toured a lovely monastery nestled in the Heber Mountains while on an 8th grade field trip. This monastery was full of MONKS and these monks had vowed to be celibate in um, every way, for the rest of their mortal existence, and wouldn’t you know it? Lo and behold, as I wandered through their lovely abode, I found that not one (NOT ONE!) of those monks had turned an abnormal shade of blue NOR had anyone dropped dead at the altar, in the herb gardens, or any other place on the property due to the obvious lack of well…you know.
They were wonderfully distinguished men who sang and had devotionals and prayer 5 times a day, tilled gardens, studied the word of God, and even kept bees and made their own honey. Their own honey. How cool is that? I bought a delicious case of cinnamon honey there that I still find myself crying out for in the middle of the night. (And then the hubs is like, “Who is this ‘honey monk’ guy you’re moaning and groaning about?” and things are little awkward there for a bit…) I want to be a monk so bad sometimes. Monks are unreasonably cool. But I digress. What I’m saying is: They had full lives according to the lifestyle they had chosen. No one was dead (or even sad, for that matter). But your husband didn’t sign up to be a monk. Why? Most likely because he preferred a life full of happiness (and yes, lots of sex) with you! (And you should be flattered, because if I was a dude? Nu-uh, no crazy, high maintenance chica for me! (And yes, I can call us crazy chicas because I, Lola, happen to BE ONE in case you haven't noticed!) I would have opted for peace, quiet, prayer, meditation, herb gardens, and a lifetime supply of cinnamon honey...I'm just sayin...)
So, as far as reducing men to pathetic, physically needy sex nuts – I refuse to do it. They have FAR more dignity than that. But they DO want to connect with you, to pleasure you, to live out the DREAM of being wanted, and craved, and NEEDED by YOU. Why? Because they LOVE you and want you – and isn’t that WONDERFUL? I cannot even begin to tell you how thrilled (and grateful) I am that I am married to a man who wanted to commit his entire life to ME! (Me! Fancy that. Why me? I’m seriously not that great – and yet, he thinks I am the greatest thing since sliced bread. I have him totally fooled.) It’s fantastic!
This is a very good point to ponder:HE CHOSE YOU!
(Wait...wait...ponder it...pond-e-r- it.... good. Moving on.)
Instead of living “the George Clooney or Colin Farrell single life” which is chalk full of the dreamy possibilities of one night stands, girlfriends who will keep the fantasy alive (and who they can easily kick to the curb when they don’t) and guilt free, “John Mayer style” Porn addiction that leaves them surfing the web all the live long day in search of just the right image to do the trick (ew, ew, and triple ew!). Instead of all of that, he decided he wants to build a life with you! YOU! (Yes you, because you are just that hot, and smart, and funny and deep and generally wonderful in every way.) He met you, and got to know you, and after awhile THIS (or a version very similar to it) is what he said to himself:
“Who needs dozens of promiscuous/low self esteem women, the ability to make and blow money on whatever I want, the right to shower less than once a week, and the freedom to play Xbox Live with all of my college buddies for 24 (or more) hours straight, when I can build a life with the girl of my dreams?”
Yep. That’s (more or less) totally what he said.
And do you want to know why he said that to himself?
95% of the reason is because he thought you were an amazing person (and he was so right on about that – right?) and because he was super attracted to you (obviously) and he thought that you’d be an awesome mom (if children are something you both agreed that you wanted) and the list goes on and on…
and 5% is because (get ready for this one) he thought that you would ALWAYS want him as much as you made him THINK you wanted him in the days leading up to your engagement!
(Yeah, I’m talking to you. Don’t think I don’t know about the late night make-out sessions where your luscious lips and various levels of hungry physical contact MORE than assured him that you were going to rock his world in the bedroom for years to come. There’s no fooling Lola. I know your tricks. I’m not accusing you of anything insanely dirty, I’m just saying – the “pre-marriage” vibe has A LOT to do with why your husband was so excited/willing to take those vows.) He thought “Man, this chick digs me, and I totally dig her, and we are going to embark on a wonderful lifetime sprinkled with passion and chemistry!” (Ha! Little did he know…)
It was that relationship, (the hot, passionate, make-y out-y one) and that deep physical/spiritual connection with you that made him… (perk up now, I know I’m wordy, but this part is crucially important) COMMIT HIS LIFE TO ONE WOMAN AND ONE WOMAN ONLY. This is a huge deal.
Why? Because it means he is trusting you and only you to fulfill his needs (which are admittedly totally different from yours but this does not make them LESS VALID whatsoever).
LET'S TALK ABOUT NEEDS, SHALL WE?
YOU need (or simply want) someone who will support you (financially and emotionally)
YOU need someone to listen.
YOU need someone to serve you, show they care, and love and WANT to spend time with you and your children.
YOU need someone you can confide in and trust.
YOU need someone who won’t embarrass you in public or alienate you from your family and friends. Someone supportive of your social life and your desire NOT to look like you married an idiot… know, things like that.
And, if your husbands are anything like my husband – he fills all of these needs on a daily basis, plus a few extras that you may (or may not) take totally for granted. Now, on to what he needs:
HE NEEDS your companionship, to feel like a successful provider, to be appreciated for his hard work, and many things similar (or identical) to what is listed above.
AND HE NEEDS sex. Not just any sex. “My wife loves me, and WANTS me, and needs me to make her day by having sex with her" sex. Yup. That kind. The kind where you get dressed up (or stripped down), pull him into the bedroom, and – yeah. The kind where he isn’t reduced to begging like a lost puppy (oh the degradation…) for something that you should WANT to give to him because you love him so much, you can’t even stand it.
HUGE HALT IN THIS CONVERSATION. I CAN ALREADY HEAR SOME (not all) OF YOU SCREAMING AT YOUR LAPTOP SCREENS. CALM DOWN. THIS IS GOING TO BE THE WORLD’S LONGEST POST, BUT I WILL GET TO YOU. (and yes, I HAVE had this said to me before) LET’S START WITH:
What? So I should HAVE to have sex with him because he “gave up” unlimited amounts of promiscuous sex and crap-loads of personal, nag-free freedom all to be with me?! (This is said in a very angry, accusatory tone, in case you couldn’t tell.)
Yep. But if you are saying “HAVE to” then I’m fairly certain you are missing the point and really need to read the second and third parts of this blog (as well as the rest of the first). Next question.
You just don’t understand! My husband is NOT like that! He does NOT fulfill all of my needs, so why should I have to go out of my way to full HIS?! ESPECIALLY when I don’t even FEEL like it? Gah!
(I’m so glad you asked)
Has someone being a turd-y selfish jerk to you ever made you want to do something wonderful for them? (Being that Gandhi and our dear Mother Theresa have both gone the way of all the earth, I feel fairly confident that most of my readers, and most inhabitants of our planet, will be answering NO.)
Yeah. Exactly. It makes you mad, or hurt, or resentful. And most of us live our lives in a re-active manner (even though we should strive to rise above allowing the actions of others determine our personal conduct…we are usually humans who get mad and want to get even – present company/ blog-writer totally included/guilty.) We are often mirrors reflecting back whatever comes our way.
If your husband comes home self absorbed, and moody one evening, it takes you about 3.2 nanoseconds to shift your mood to mirror his. The problem is, this can create a vicious cycle and if you’re not willing to deny pride (which is 100% your enemy in this, and nearly EVERY situation in life) and move out of petty attitude-reflections and into the healing mode of unconditional love and acceptance, your relationship will never change. You have absolutely ZERO power to change ANYONE or ANYTHING outside of yourself, and yet, you have infinite power to change yourself (and the world around you) via your attitude.
A little walk in HIS shoes:
Think of something that means the very MOST to you. The thing that makes you feel loved, and wanted, and balanced, and happy.
Now imagine that your husband is the only person who can give it to you.
Now imagine, that he simply WILL NOT give it to you (even though he knows how much it would mean to you) more than once every two weeks(…if that!) no matter what. He won't listen to you when you need to talk. Won't take the trash out. Won't help with the kids. Won't take you on a date even though you could REALLY use some downtime. He just won’t do it. Not more than once every two weeks anyway...
And it’s hard to put yourself out there and ask, because chances are he’ll deny you, and this denial feels not just like he’s withholding a gift, but also like he is rejecting you personally, and this will all but crush you, and so you just wait…and hope…and wait…and pray that he’ll want to give it to you sooner…but the weeks just drag on with no change.
Now add to that the fact that he now places conditions on giving it to you (even though we all know that he should love you enough to want you to be happy and should therefore freaking GIVE IT TO YOU ALREADY !!!!) And let’s say that those conditions were: The house must be and remain immaculate. You must always be in the mood to help and serve. You must be able to read his mind and know what his needs are and fill them without him even asking for it. You are not allowed to be human, or moody, or EVER have hard days. The children need to be kept happy and well groomed at all times…and then maybe, just MAYBE he’ll consider giving you your gift…but only once every two weeks. And he’s also only going to do it grudgingly.
He sounds like an abusive jerk, that one! How dare he “withhold” the most basic needs for your happiness?
Can you smell what I’m steppin’ in? Yeah, just reverse that scenario, fill SEX in the blanks, and you have an example of how 90% of households run in America. (Okay, maybe not 90%, but hey, you asked “Lola” not “Down to earth, boring, ‘I actually meticulously research statics’ *said in a very nasally voice*' girl.” I don’t know her blog address, but I’m pretty sure it’s BOR-ING!)
With the amazing, continued influence of feminism, we’ve somehow convinced ourselves that men should deny women NOTHING. That when we say jump, the ONLY acceptable answer is “How high?” and when it comes to sex (or ANY of THEIR needs for that matter), well hey, we are liberated, intelligent women, NOT pathetic sex slaves to be lusted after!
Well guess what? It’s not degrading to be intimate with the person who dedicated his life (and committed to give complete fidelity) to you. It’s degrading to do it for money OR with someone who clearly doesn’t respect you (and there are certainly husbands that fit this category), but if we’re talking about the kind of guy that I’M talking about – well then, that guy deserves a little more consideration.
A second little walk in HIS shoes:
Have you ever gotten all prettied-up, done a bunch of wonderful things for your hubs all day (praying that it would get him in the mood) and tried to pull him into bed only to have him say:
"Not tonight, I am so tired, and so stressed, and I have a headache, or I'd rather play XBox and unwind..."
If you answered YES, and this has happened more than once, you give me your address RIGHT now and I will come slap him upside the head FOR you! However, I suspect that most of you are saying...
1. "I've never done that so I wouldn't know. "
2. "He would never ever, EVAHHHHH turn THAT down!" (I know, right!?)
So, in an effort to "take a little walk in his shoes" I asked myself:
"How I would feel if I made the efforts listed above (or heck, if I just snuggled up to him in bed, tickled his back and said that I wanted to get it on) and he turned me down?"
The answer is: HORRIBLE. I would feel ugly, and unwanted, and rejected on a really deep, and vulnerable level. And I would wonder what I could do to be more beautiful, and better, and more worthy of his love. I would worry about pornography. I would worry that he was having an affair. I would be haunted by the fact that he preferred blowing pretend video game character's heads off via Call of Duty or Halo 3 to having sex with his wife. It would be disturbing. I would trust him less, and I would feel MUCH less safe ever trying to instigate it again.
Then I asked myself:
"How would I feel if he turned down sex 3 or more times a week?"
The answer is: IT WOULD DESTROY ME. I would absolutely stop trying to instigate. It wouldn't change the fact that I wanted to be loved...it would just make me too emotionally paralyzed to ask for something that I desperately needed. The fear of rejection is very real, ladies. It's real, it's powerful, and it is painful, and most husbands deal with it WAY more often than is fair. (And to be fair to YOU, they deal with it way more often than you have ever realized!)
If they were women, they would gripe about it, TELL YOU about it, and make you go to therapy. But they're not women. They don't work the way we work. Instead, they suffer in silence, and do their best to love and support and grow closer to you. And yes, some of them give up, feel bitter, and maybe even stop giving you the things you need or helping around the house... but I can't say I would act any differently in their shoes. I can honestly say that I would not stay married to my husband if he turned me down on a regular basis. We would grow apart.
If a GUY divorced his wife on the basis of "not enough sex" most people (including me) would think he was a horrible person. But I'm just saying that I would probably be the same way if the hubs showed no interest in being intimate with me! It would destroy me. I don't know how much more bluntly I can put it. Destroy me. I would feel pathetic and unloved. And I don't think it's too far-fetched to think that it is destroying them too.
And do you want to know what the amazing thing is?
Most of them STILL love us enough to endure it! Crazy, right? Try to wrap your head around that kind of love... go ahead. TRY.
Then I tried this question on for size:
"How would I feel if he never instigated 'it' so I always had to, and then when we DID do 'it' I could tell he wasn't into it?"
The answer is: Really bad. And unwanted, and unloved, and pretty much all of the things I would feel if he rejected me outright, though maybe BARELY on a lesser level. (barely though). Men don't just want our submission, they want our involvement! They want us to want them as much as they want us! Is that so much to ask from your spouse? I would hope not...
So, HOPEFULLY a little perspective can help ALL of us start to think about sex differently. I know that perspective has worked wonders for me! I love my husband so much, and he gives me SO MUCH, that I am desperate to give him everything I can. And I am so grateful that the thing he wants most is me. How amazing is that!? Did you read what I just said? We might want trips to Europe, a great new bag, a night out without the kids...etc. But the thing he wants most in the world is a wife who loves him and wants him! I love husbands. Husband are the best!
Part II: For women who have totally the wrong attitude (Anonymous - this is NOT for you. The rest of you- don't get upset/offended if this sooo isn't for you either, mmmkay? But women with the wrong attitude deserve answers and attention too!) I heard a fake reader yell the following at her laptop:
"Well my husband doesn’t work hard enough, he plays too many video games, and he NEVER wants to be home with me and the kids. Why should I have to do nice things for him when he clearly sucks?! "
I need to answer this in three parts:
1. You sound a bit pissy, self-absorbed, and from what I can gather, you are a fairly huge nag. (hey, I’m just saying…did you even hear the nasty tone of the imaginary question I just pretended you asked me?) I wouldn’t want to hang out with you either. And your kids are probably neglected and unhappy, and you’re home is probably a messy, contentious, chaotic, miserable place to be. Your entire universe is a product of YOU, and it’s entirely within your control to change it, and I would recommend doing just that. No one likes to be nagged. No one likes being in a place that feels chaotic, unhappy, and most importantly: a place where they don’t feel like they are appreciated or accepted for WHO THEY ARE. (and if you can’t feel accepted and loved within the walls of your own home, especially by the one person you loved enough to commit your entire life to…then where the heck CAN you feel like that?)
And nah-nah-nah-nah –NO. Nuh-uh. Don’t you go getting all “repressed feminist” defensive on me and defiantly proclaim “We don’t need to go back to the ‘repressed… awful…evil 1950s’ where a perfect home, appearance, dinner and family was EXPECTED of all those poor women!”
I’m not saying we should go backward. I’m saying we should move forward and embrace the liberation we have in 2010, and use that freedom to make our lives beautiful if for no other reason than the fact that we want, (no, we demand!) to live beautiful lives rich with love, passion, joy, and happy homes! Yay us!
2. Stop talking crap about your husband to your friends and family and anyone else who will let you gnaw off their ear for a half an hour or so. (Except for me, of course. Totally feel free to write in and tell me ~anonymously~ about how unsatisfactory your husband is, because how else am I going to know that I need to tell you to stop doing it if you don’t write in and tell on yourself in the first place? I know, right?!) No good comes of trash talking your life partner. Plus, there is nothing nasty you can say about your husband’s behavior that won’t immediately reflect poorly on you. (And oh man, can you even IMAGINE how you’d feel if your husband ran his mouth off about you? I can imagine how well that would go over. WWIII. That’s how well.)
Do you realize that no one can respect someone who trashes their spouse? All WE are thinking is: “Well you’re the genius who married him!” (And then I take it one step further and add something like: “And he’s not too bright for marrying someone who SHOULD have his back – but clearly doesn’t.” for good measure, just because I’m extra judgmental and mean-spirited like that.) Don’t be crushed though! Don’t beat yourself up about past discretions. Today is a new day. You can TOTALLY stop doing it, like, right now! And you can sit down with him (nicely) and tell him you want things to be different from now on, and you can make a plan, and change for the better, and life can still be AMAZING for both of you! Then you can be that annoying girl who writes blogs all day about how great her hubs is, how lovely her simple life is, and how her future’s so bright, she’s gotta wear shades, and yay you!
3. …and FINALLY! (please refer to the question again if you’ve forgotten it by now) Because you guys are in a rut. That’s why. You’re in a vicious cycle of “He doesn’t, so why should I? She doesn’t, so why should I? I know, let’s just be resentful and miserable for the rest of our ever-lovin’ lives with only the comfort of knowing that we both think we’re RIGHT to keep us warm at night!” I mean, yeah, who wants to be HAPPY when you can feel (miserable and) RIGHT?
Wait, did I just hear you decide that you’d rather be happy than right? Yay! Wait, what’s that? You don’t know what to do to turn things around in your relationship? I have a simple and (I think) very practical suggestion.
Here’s what you do: Read the rest of this post (I am as wordy as the day is long, but I may have another tip or two up my sleeve…) then, clean the house, make arrangements for the kids, write him a letter (a non-naggy, non-judgmental, non-blame-y blame-y blame game letter) that says something like:
I love you. I want our relationship to be one for the history books. I want to make you as happy as you can possibly be, and I want to reach a fullness of joy as well. I want us to communicate our needs (kindly, thoughtfully, open-mindedly, non-judgmentally) all of the time so we are both always getting our needs met. I want to be your best friend. I’m sorry that in the past I have: (nagged, withheld sex, nagged some more, said unkind words, made you feel like you were failing me…allowed our home to become a freaky circus show and bacterial breeding ground rather than a sanctuary where our family is nourished a strengthened, and fill in the blank here_______) I want to start clean and I’m willing to work hard, because you mean everything to me, and our marriage is worth fighting for.
Love, (insert your name here.)
Now, put the letter in the envelope, send him a text at work saying that you can’t wait for him to get home so that you can rock his world (okay, not exactly those words, but ya know, send whatever you think he’ll like), get into something sassy, and when he walks through the door – pounce!! (and do him a HUGE favor, and don’t just “do it” – but “like it” as well- yes, they are in fact, not morons and CAN (in fact) tell when you’re not into it. So, be into it. (More on how to do that in a moment).
Then give him your heartfelt letter. Share a big hug, (and a good cry – you know, if he’s the emotional type - ) and then have a candle light conversation about all the wonderful things the two of you are going to start doing for each other to “start fresh” and make the rest of your lives unbelievably passionate, joyful, and fulfilling.
"Well why do I have to do everything? Why shouldn’t HE do all that?! "
Wow, you are one tough cookie. I sort of want to shake you and yell at you a little bit right now, but I won’t. Here’s why YOU should do all that:
1. Because he doesn’t read my blog…and you do (maybe not for long, but hey, while I have you here…) And you are more than welcome to give him my email so he can thank and thank and thank me later, by the way.
2. Because you’re the bigger person! You can do that, right? You can swallow your weird sense of pride and even more skewed/unhealthy concepts of “feminism” and “female empowerment” and begin a new journey on a path toward a life of happiness, romance, and love everlasting, right? Of course you can! (Or, you can opt to call me stupid and subservient, and decide keep your warm, yummy pride, but I do hope you understand that I fully intend to call animal control and report you 40 years from now when you’ve taken in your hundred and sixth cat and are stinking up the neighborhood. No offense or anything, I "get" the 10 cats thing, but 106 cats is just unsanitary.)
"What? So, if I don’t do all the stupid stuff you say I should do, I’m going to be a crazy, lonely cat lady? Are YOU calling me a crazy cat lady in training?!!!!!!"
Yep. (Now, none of you have to get all worked up and ask this in the comments section., because you know my answer is: “Yep.” But the good news is, you don’t have to choose pride, and crazed, irrational feminism. You can choose a “Yay for kittens ,and rainbows, and great sex and joy!” relationship instead. Isn’t that wonderful?) Moving on then...
HERE IS WHY I THINK THE CURRENT STATE OF SEX FOR MEN IS SO SAD:
Because connecting with his wife (in a sexual way) is SO important for most men, many of them are willing to take WHATEVER they can get. This includes dead fish sex, annoyed-wife sex, desperate “Well, can you please just help me out then?” non-sex, and resentful-wife sex, once every two (or three – yeee-ouch!) weeks.
That is a primary difference between men and women, and it automatically puts women in a position of power (and not necessarily in a manipulative or positive or negative way right out the gate…it’s sort of going to depend on what you DO with that unintended power shift.)
But here’s something you may (or may not) realize: guys don’t actually want to settle for you settling or “getting through it.” Sure, THEY’LL CERTAINLY TAKE IT, because gosh, they’ve got to “breathe,” and they love you, and want to be intimate with you, and if it’s between “that” and nothing, well, obviously they are going to take “that” – no matter how cold/dead/resentful “that” may be at times. But it doesn’t mean that it’s their ideal situation. I don’t think we always take time to see that.
You want a tidbit from my personal life though? You know the hubs? – SO not havin’ it. No dead little fishie for him. No thanks. He’ll pass. He has said from the very start “If you don’t want it, I don’t want it.” He is simply not interested in cold fish sex. *Which in my defense, I have NEVER given or offered to him. But he has heard about it through work friends who were suffering in that area. He came home from work one day long ago, very early on in our marriage, and told me about a conversation he had had with some of the sales reps at work, and then he simply said:
“I really never want to have dead fish sex, okay? If you aren’t in the mood, I’d rather you just say no, cause that would be pointless and degrading, deal?” And I said: “Deal!”
And that gave me a lot of insight into how MOST men must feel. No guy wants to feel like some creep molesting a corpse. He wants to enjoy a mutual exchange of love and good (or entirely too awesome for words) feelings with that amazing girl who made out with him (and nibbled on his ear a little bit, and told him, or implied through her actions that she wanted him b-a-d) on his parents’ couch so many years ago. I think a lot of guys probably think it stinks that their wives tricked them…
I’m just sayin’.
…and yes, I know that you “didn’t mean to,” and that being a mom and a wife, with kids, and a home, and pets, and callings, and jobs, and PTA, and no sleep, and nutty hormones, and all sorts of things vying for your attention at any given moment is HARD. It is so hard. And I know you’re trying. But the most important person in your life tends to get back-burner-ed amidst the chaos that IS your life, but your love, and relationship and marriage is the LAST thing that should ever get back-burner-ed, because it is the all-important foundation for everything else!
And by the way, if you’re wondering how it really feels “on the other side,” just ask any woman whose husband would rather look at porn than his beautiful wife. And whose husband would rather have fantasies, by himself, in a dark room, with imaginary women than have a real relationship with the woman who lives with him. I’ve had friends that have gone through it, and it’s heartbreaking. And it has ended their marriages. (And now they are happily married to great guys who like being with real women (yay!) But that sort of may give you an idea of how awful it must feel to be unwanted.
And while opting to blog, sleep, do the dishes, watch tv, insert activity of choice here_____ INSTEAD of being intimate with your husband is not (I repeat, IS NOT) the equivalent of having imaginary sex with imaginary, low self-esteem, fatherless, molestation victims whose pictures can be found plastered all over the internet, it still hurts. It’s still rejection. It still sends the message of “I would pretty much rather do anything other than be intimate with you (and this includes vacuuming, blogging, talking on the phone, and scrubbing the toilet).” And that message has to be painful…especially when you’re getting it from the person you love most in the world. That’s all I’m saying. Okay? Kay.
So, now, on to (bah da da dahhhhhh!)
Part III: For women who are AWESOME, and love their husbands, but aren't necessarily lovin "it."
Am I the only woman out there in my 20's that has little to no sex drive? I know intimacy in a marriage is so important, so...we do IT :) BUT...I could do without, am I crazy? Should I see a Dr.?
March 10, 2010 1:06 PM
According to the fairly large response to (and interest in) your question, I think that it is indeed safe to say that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! (Yay! Isn’t it great to know that you’re not alone?) I think it is. Well, sort of great, except for the fact that it means that LOTS of women– instead of just one- are suffering through or simply “enduring” sexual encounters with their husbands rather than thoroughly enjoying them. I would like to see more women loving themselves some seriously awesome intimacy, because sex makes me really happy. And it makes my marriage really happy. And I really like you (and you and you and you) and I really want you to be happy and sexually fulfilled too! (Yay us!)
But NO, You’re not weird, or flawed or wrong for not loving it! You are normal and it’s okay! (But let’s see if there isn’t SOMETHING that can be done – hm?) We are different from men! Sex isn’t as necessary for us. There are a handful of (very lucky) women who have libidos to beat all other libidos and that is great for them. (And, in case you were wondering, NO I am not one of them! Not even close.) But I do love being intimate with my husband, and I’ll tell you why: First, we have EXTREMELY open lines of communication (Who, me talk a lot and tell him exactly what I need and how I feel? Shocker!) so he, knowing what my needs are, works really hard to fill them, and this makes me love him and appreciate him and want to fill his. And second, I tell him what I want (and don’t want) in the bedroom, tune out the rest of the stress in my life, and commit myself to being fully present and in the moment with him. And it works wonders for our relationship! (Way more on all that like, right now.)
I can definitely appreciate the fact that you know how important intimacy is, and therefore do “IT.” But I think that all women deserve to LOVE it at least as much as their husbands do (because, you know, we can ‘O’ longer, stronger, more often, and more effectively than our male counterparts…so we should actually want “IT” more than they do…you know, technically.)
These suggestions are being made in the hopes that women who don’t have a medical/hormonal reason for not loving sex can maybe have a little shift in consciousness and find ways to enjoy (and even, dare I say it? … CRAVE.) you know, sex.
1. Try to get a better self image, or at the very least, come to an understanding of how sexy your husband thinks you are. A huge (as in astronomically ginormous) damper on a woman's libido is poor self image. In our world today, we are bombarded from all sides with airbrushed images, rampant plastic surgery, and unreasonable expectations of perfection. Well, someone ELSE'S definition of perfection, to be exact. Thanks Playboy! Thanks Heidi Montag! Thanks MTV! Thanks multi-billion dollar diet industry! Thanks pulled/peeled/inflated/liposuctioned/tanned/bleached "Real" Desperate Housewives of Orange County! Yay you! Way to perpetuate the lie that women should strive to reach a masochistic and altoghether unreachable (not to mention unhealthy) standard of (ew) "beauty!"
All I can say is, love yourself the way you are. Your husband does! Ask him. (Seriously, ask him.) And then take his word (and only his word) for it. And really believe it. And own it. And decide today that you would NEVER (ever ever ever) want to be one of those women - even if you could. Because they aren't real. They are lying to themselves and they are lying to you. They aren't happy. Do you think that people who would mutilate themselves to that extent - all in the name of "hoping to be accepted by society at large" are happy? I would venture to guess not.
Real is beautiful. Kind is beautiful. Intelligent, confident, and funny, is beautiful. So is being a happy, positive, encouraging wife and mother. Being the kind of wife that can make her husband feel like a million-billion bucks (and yes, yes you can...every time) should make you feel beyond beautiful. And that's just right thinking. So start doing some right thinking. Your hubs thinks you are sexy. So sexy, in fact, that he decided that he only wants to be with you - so what does that tell you? Right. You're perfect, just the way you are. Now believe it. And let that belief trickle into every single thing you do.
2. Instigate! Instigate! Instigate!
Are you sick and tired of having your husand make an advance and then suddenly having to get "in the mood" out of nowhere? Well then, stop letting him instigate. You do it. For some reason, women (myself included) don't like to be "acted upon." Blame it on the generations of pain and grief that women endured throughout past centuries all as a result of being acted upon...blame it on the rain, blame it on whatever...we just don't seem to like it. I don't, anyway.
When I instigate "it" with my husband (which, is a lot) I love it! (Which is why I do it a lot) I feel like a sexy seductress. I feel in control. I feel like I am choosing to have an awesome and fullfilling sexual experience, because indeed, I AM CHOOSING it! It's so great! It will make your hubs' day too. The fear of rejection is probably there EVERY time he tries to instigate. How great would it be if he just got pounced on every once in awhile? (Or very often rather than once in awhile?) I will tell you how great. Very great. That's how great. (It will get you all hot and bothered too - I'm telling you.) Try it.
3. Try to lower your stress levels.
Ha! I know, funny, right? You, a mom, with like, a million things to do and not nearly enough time to do them all... and pressure to be perfect…and “blog-envy” pressure/issues from blog-stalking women who are chefs, photographers, vixens in the sack, and the best moms on the planet. Yeah you, lower your stress levels, ri-iiiight.
But really, stress is a huge libido-killer. It makes it hard to focus, let go, and really live in the moment. And while you can’t reduce stress completely, (or even significantly) I would recommend just detaching for a while and really giving yourself over to the experience of being with your husband. Being in the present moment (and the present moment ONLY) is key to a great sexual experience. Practice meditation if you have to. Learn to silence your crazy, crazy, mind. You will be shocked by the effectiveness of it!
4. Ask for what you want! Be specific!
Are you telling your husband EXACTLY what you want? Are you (very nicely) saying “I don’t like that so much.” “Not there.” and “Oh yeah, do that.” and “Ooooo, right there.” and “Right there some more.” and “Oh yes – that please!” and “That please again!”
Are you doing that? Because I happen to know that a lot of women don’t. And I think that it is hugely important. (Like, so huge.) Tell him what you want! He really can’t read your mind! And hey, if you actually dedicate just a little bit of time to feeling things out, discovering what you really like (and really don’t) and then communicating those things to your partner so that 100% of your time together is “all good” you will be richly rewarded! This should yield huge dividends. (at least it has for me..every time!)
Plus, if you do it nicely (as in, not snippy/abrasive in any way) it will make your husband’s day! You want to know why? Well, I’ll tell you. Because your husband pretty much bases his entire sexual experience (okay, and often his value as a man/provider/husband) on his ability to pleasure you. This is another reason why it is such a major bummer when you’re “dead fishing” him (see Part I if you have no idea as to what I’m talking about).
When you are telling him what sends you over the edge AND also alerting him if he does something that inadvertently “brings you back down to earth” he won’t be bugged – he’ll be ecstatic! It’s like you’re handing him the map to the Holy Grail! That’s one of the reasons some men are obsessed with finding the mysterious “G” spot. They want a sure thing. They pride themselves on knowing that they know just what their woman needs. Plus, they are desperate for you to enjoy “it” in the hopes that this newfound enjoyment will result in you wanting “it” (translation: HIM) more often. So tell him! (Nicely, please...in a sexy voice ;)
5. Rediscover that lovin’ feeling.
This is another huge one. When you met and dated your hubs – you were super totally into him, right? Well what has happened since then? (Oh yeah, kids, nutty hormones and about 37 other things you could list off hand). So, like I said in my oh so enlightening “stress” segment, do your best to tune out the world, set aside the stress, and remember why you love this man and should totally want to jump on him when he comes through the door.
The other day I got home from a busy day of meetings and errands and realized that Bella's collar had been changed from Tiffany Blue to Powder Pink. Then I realized that is was because the hubs had bathed BOTH of the dogs while I was gone. Now, you have to understand our arrangement. These are my dogs. I told him I would bathe them. He loves them and does a lot to care for them as well, but when we got them I told him that I would do that part. Then I got pregnant, and sick, and tired, and busy, and crazy, and NOT bathing them had been eating at me for 2 weeks, but I didn't have the strength to do it, and I wasn't going to go back on my commitment to be the "washer of the dogs" (even though he would have never cared or uttered one hint of "I told you so..." or " you said you would...") So yeah, coming home to freshly bathed dogs nearly made my heart burst. I didn't take it lightly. I threw Kort into jammies and then bed so fast it made his head spin and then I jumped on the hubs. Because that was a hot, hot, freaking sexy thing that he did, and I wasn't going to take it for granted or let it go unnoticed for one second. You shouldn't either. Your hubs probably does a lot of great things for you. Notice them. Dwell on them. Let them remind you (daily) what a great guy you married. Let them get you excited about being with him.
6. Never (EVER) have resentful sex.
Never. I cannot emphasize it enough. Don't do "it" out of obligation - ever. It will mess you up. I didn't want to kiss that guy in my neighbor's basement when I was 16, but I did because I felt like I had to, and it messed me up. This can have an equally damaging effect in marriage. I know I am saying a lot about how much you SHOULD have sex with your husband, but none of that includes resentful sex. Don't ever participate in such a spiritual, connected, vulnerable act when you are feeling resentful or like you don't want to be touched. Honor those feelings, and if they persist to the point where you are only having sex once every two weeks, you need to get to the bottom of them (therapy, talking with your hubs, doing more romantic things every week, de-stressing your life, setting boundaries, you name it - start working toward a solution.) There have been times when I haven't wanted "it" and on those nights, I have said so. And it was fine. You may think that you have control over what you're feeling, or that it's "just sex" and that it's with your husband and... No. Don't do it. Get to a happy place, and then do it. This may be as simple as focusing on all of the wonderful things he does for you, and reconnecting with the intense feelings of love and appreciation you have for him, and it may be as complex as seeing a doctor. Either way, do what you've gotta do!
This is not to give you just one more excuse for why you should ONLY have to be intimate once every two weeks, rather it is a strong warning to be true to your feelings when you don't want to be touched, and also to get help if these feelings come around much too often. For me, these feelings are very rare, but I honor them when they are there.
On this same note, don't ever do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or violated. It will mess you up equally as bad. We all have different "limits and boundaries" as to what is and is not okay, and it is hugely important to respect those. If something unpleasant has already taken place, you need to talk candidly with your husband about it (and possibly even to a professional counselor if it affected you deeply and you're having a hard time getting over it by talking it out with your hubs.) Your husband isn't your enemy and he would probably be sad to hear that he did something that made you lose trust - so talk to him and get it behind you!
7. Get your emotional needs met.
Communicate the importance of those needs in a loving, non-hostile manner. You can even write a letter to your hubs (like the one I suggested to crazy/hostile chick.) Tell him, "I want to be with you, and want our love life to improve and be fantastic. I want to do "it" more. I think some things that you could do to help me reduce stress/feel more romantic would be to: help with the kids without being asked, take out the trash, and make-out with me twice a week or give me a massage without expecting things to go further, and take me on a date (just the two of us) once a week...etc" Then talk about what you can do for him!
This is going to be a huge shocker to all of you, I know, but I find that literally talking my hubs' poor little ear off is HUGELY therapeutic for me. (ha ha! You never would have guessed, right?!) It lets me shrug off the day, release stress, have a great sounding-board for problems I am facing, and totally validates my feelings regardless of how nutty or invalid they may actually be. The hubs is an expert listener and non-advice giver. It is like, a huge aphrodisiac for me! Figure out what's important to you and then share it with him.
8. Fake it till you make it.
Don't feel sexy? Act sexy anyway! I am the furthest thing from "sexy" according to the traditional definition of the word. I am the girl next door. I am "classy." (Well, in my opinion anyway...) I am "pretty" or "beautiful" (well, in the hubs' opinion anyway). I am NOT "sexy" or "hot" during 98% of my general existence, not ever. But the hubs certainly doesn't seem to mind when I pretend that I'm "sexy" and "hot" during the other 2%. I whisper sexy things in his ear. I make sexy noises when he does something very right. I give myself over to experiencing intimacy with him, and the end result is very, very sexy. Fake it, and in no time, you won't be faking anymore. You'll be that girl. For 2% of your life anyway... (Don't fake your 'O' though... never, ever fake that - why would you tell him he did something right when he didn't? Then he'll just keep doing it wrong! No, no, this is a training grounds for good, hot intimacy, not an opportunity to practice bad acting. ;)
9. Mix it up.
Sex does not have to be a 45 minute routine consisting of make-out time, foreplay time, sex time, and post-cuddle time. (To be fair, I am sort of like a guy and don't have any use for post-cuddle time...ever...in fact, it would drive me nuts!) But if it's important to you, make sure that element stays intact. Many women (myself included) let the concept of "time" stress us out. I don't know that we can change this. We should try, but... if we can't get past it, we need to get around it. I would recommend having sex (the happy and not resentful kind) 3 times a week. Each of these "times" does NOT have to be the 45 minute session listed above. It could be more like 1. A fun quickie. (Where you instigate, throw him on the bed, and 5 minutes later - you're both refreshed and done, and you don't have to stress about not getting your sleep, or not answering your emails, etc) 2. A long, intimate, 45 minute session where you really reconnect, relax, and enjoy each other 3. A fifteen minute session where it's meaningful, intimate, but not drawn out into the middle of the night.
Don't be pushed into a routine based on what you see in movies, read in books, hear about from other people, etc. If you don't like to cuddle, don't cuddle. If you need more foreplay - ask for it (nicely, of course). If you need less foreplay, say that too! Talk it out as a couple and decide what is important to each of you (making sure that you honor and respect the other's needs regardless of whether or not YOU identify with or understand them - excluding anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or violated - of course.)
10. Make one more crucial shift in perspective.
Don't have sex because your hubs needs it. Don't have sex because it's important. Have sex (but only amazing sex) because it is your right as a human (and spiritual) being. Have sex because it feels amazing and it connects you in a way that nothing else can. Have sex because you deserve to be happy.
You may look at other relationships with envy and say "I want that, but don't think it will ever be possible." But you're wrong. If you are married to someone you love, and they love you, anything is possible. You may have to work at it, but soon that work will give way to other things. Joy, pleasure, closeness, fulfillment...you name it. It' is an eternal truth that we CANNOT find any of those things outside of ourselves. They are all within - waiting to be birthed into your life through you and only you. There is no other way. Your hubs can't do it. Neither can your mom. Neither can I. You can seek and find teachers (books, blogs, therapists, spiritual leaders) to lead you on your way, but the journey is ultimately up to you. You can have everything that both of you have always wanted. Everything that you admire in other people. Everything you have always imagined. It's all yours for the taking...and maybe this has been no help at all - but I hope it has - at least to some extent!
If you need a fresh start, a huge, heaping pile of humility is going to be your best friend. (I have found that it has been mine over the past 9 years...sure, I pretty much just used up the crapload of leftover kindness/humility that the hubs has dripping from every pore in his body 24 hours a day...but hey, at least I was smart enough to soak it up and give it back to him...right? I get credit for that much, don't I? ;) Pride is your #1 enemy. Never forget it. If you approach your husband with the sincere desire to build the sex life (and regular life) of your dreams - he is not going to let you down. (Maybe even read this together if you think it might help him see where you're coming from and where you want to go.) No decent guy in his right mind is going to say "What? You want a happier marriage, a closer friendship, a healthier companionship and MORE sex? Nah - I'll pass." Seriously, if you approach it the way I have suggested you approach it (kindly, non-judgementally, and sincerely) he is a NUT not to jump on board! And you (unfortunately) may have bigger problems than this blog post is equipped to address if that's the case.
Don't start by saying "You do this wrong and if you stop, everything will be good." No, no, no. Start with kindness, self-evaluation, and a willingness to drop EVERYTHING from the past that is not important. Lots of people have ordinary marriages, but that's a choice, and the great news is, you get to choose any kind you want: miserable, lonely, hostile, ordinary, okay, great, or supremely satisfying in every way. Totally your choice. If your husband is COMPLETELY resistant to working on it, or abusive, or uninterested in playing nice even when you have LOVINGLY shared your hopes and dreams for a better marriage (and more sex) with him, then yeah - I can only speak for myself, but I am not all that interested in "wasting the pretty" on someone like that. I have a lot of love to give (and probably a lot of "pretty" years left in me... have you SEEN my beautiful grandmas?) and I am NOT interested in wasting them on someone who isn't receptive to my love and efforts, and has basically decided that holding me back suits him just fine. That's just one opinion though. Mine.
When we take marriage vows, we are trusting the other person with our very LIVES. If it turns out that think you made the wrong choice, that stinks (and I mean that sincerely). I would have a very honest discussion with my spouse and say "If you aren't interested in making our marriage work, I am very eager to move on and find someone who is." If you have children, you should do EVERYTHING you can to make it work, but some guys (in rare circumstances) are sociopathic, unhappy turds who AREN'T going to change and don't care about what you want or need. If that's the case, I would be running for the hills baby! In my opinion, a man who is selfish, angry, and hell bent on taking you down with him is just as bad as a man who cheats. Maybe worse if the guy who cheats is sorry and trying to make things right and your guy is still just being mean with no end in sight... But I digress - we were talking about wonderful guys, now weren't we?
So yeah, I guess that's about it. (What? Just that tiny little blip of a blog? - you say...) I am now ready for a discussion! Let's talk. What did I miss? Did you even make it this far? Do you have to break it up into smaller, more digestible portions? Are you sorry you even asked?! Are you tired of me yet?
Let the anonymous comments roll!