It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you follow up either by commenting or by writing your own post and then linking up. Today I want to ask the question: Do you try to avoid sex?
I know for a significant portion of you, sex is stressful because your husbands don’t seem to have any sex drive. I’ve written posts for you here and here, and I do feel for you! But for many others, we’re tired of being pestered.
See if you can relate to this tongue-and-cheek sketch my husband and I filmed:
That was the story of the first few years of my marriage (though I didn’t decorate with Tampax!).
But I just hated the fights that we would get into if we didn’t have sex enough.
Or if it wasn’t fights, I could still tell he was mad at me, or hurt. And I didn’t want him to be hurt, because in my mind what he was saying was, “I love her, but only if we have sex a lot. If we don’t have sex very much, then I have to withdraw from her.” So I felt like he was punishing me and that his love was conditional.
Of course, I was giving him the same message, because to him, I wasn’t loving him, either (because we weren’t making love enough). But I still figured that if I could just stop him from expecting anything, then we could get back to a “normal” relationship where we relate in the way that two people who enjoy each other’s company should. So I tried to avoid sex as much as possible by making sure he never thought it was coming.
I’m not sure I did this consciously; but it certainly happened. I stopped kissing him. I wore really ugly stuff to bed. I complained about how tired I was and what a headache I had constantly (I’m surprised he didn’t try to admit to a hospital or something). And to me, it worked.
But here’s the problem:
When you spend so long trying to get him turned off, you never have time to figure out if you want to be turned on.
I was so focused on making sure nothing ever happened that I never opened the door, even a crack, to my own sex drive.
And then when we avoid sex we miss out on intimacy, and fun, and release, and all the good stuff that we can get from sex.
Now, of course, part of the reason that women stop wanting to make love is that for many of us it just doesn’t feel very good. I’m going to film a video soon (hopefully tomorrow) talking to men trying to explain this problem. And I’ll have some thoughts on how you can communicate this to your husband better, too.
But for many of us, if we decided to jump in with enthusiasm it would feel good, because for women, our sex drives are largely in our heads. We don’t tend to be “turned on” before we start making love. We become aroused once we start. And if we make sure we never start, then we’re cutting off an important part of our lives.
I received one particular response to a survey question that I asked when writing The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex that has really stood out to me. I even quoted it in the book. The woman said:
My husband of [over a decade] has a very high sex drive. I had no idea before we got married that our sex drives wouldn’t be hte same–he says he wouldn’t have married me if he’d known. (But really, how was I to know?). And in order to “turn him off”, so to speak, and not have him asking twenty times a day, I gained weight. I thought that if I was fat he’s leave me alone–really his needs and the constant asking made me feel as though I had no other options. So here I am, obese and a huge disappointment to him. All because I have a low sex drive.
My heart aches for this woman (and her husband), because I don’t think it had to be this way. There could have been compromise, and they both could have understood each other’s needs better. But I do believe that many women find that “I’ll never get turned on as often as my husband“, so the answer is to turn him off. But there is another alternative. Why not work on turning ourselves on?
Let’s get a positive attitude about sex, and learn how to prepare for sex throughout the day. I’ve got lots of advice in that post from the 29 Days to Great Sex series on how to do practical things during the day so you’re in the right frame of mind later.
So today, here’s a challenge for you: If sex has become a source of tension, because he wants it more than you do, then instead of avoiding sex, why not spend today trying to get ready for tonight? I wonder what would happen if we spent as much time trying to get ourselves in the mood that we do trying to get our husbands out of it?
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