Part 1 of a Five Part Sex Advice Series
A regular reader emailed me, saying, “All of my married female friends talk about sex like it’s a disease you can catch. They whine and complain about their husbands wanting to get it on. Am I crazy for loving sex? Who’s abnormal, them or me?”
On the same day, a friend emailed the following quote:
“Marriage has many pains, but celibacy has no pleasures.“—Samuel Johnson (1709-84)
Apparently Samuel didn’t know about this thing called The Celibate Marriage.
I have a take on sex and marriage that isn’t always very popular among women. It’s this: sex is good. We should all try to have more of it. If you don’t want to have sex with your spouse, something is wrong and it’s probably one of the following 8 problems.
8 Reasons Why You Don’t Want to Have Sex
You are not attracted to your husband. Has he let himself go? It’s really okay to talk to him about various turn-offs that he can take steps to do something about. Does he need some more work in the brushing and flossing department? Would you like him to do something about those nose hairs? Do the two of you need to start a fitness program together? Would you like him to dress up every once in a while? Those ratty old sweat pants with the paint stains just aren’t doing it for you? He can’t know that you need these things unless you ask. Believe me: if he thinks he’s going to get rewarded for trimming his nose hairs, he will trim his nose hairs.
You have equipment failure. If sex is uncomfortable, mention it to your gynecologist. You might have endometriosis or another condition that makes sex uncomfortable. If vaginal dryness is an issue, try organic coconut oil. It’s safe. It’s effective, and it feels like the real thing. It’s better than any vaginal lubricant sold at any store. Seriously. I’ve tried all of them. Just don’t use it with condoms because it can break down the latex.
You have an underlying medical problem. Usually, it’s depression, but any number of other health problems can completely obliterate your sex drive. It’s worth getting a full check up.
You are embarrassed by your naked body. Do something about your body image, then, because it’s probably ruining more than just your sex life. I suggest the following. 1) Go to the beach or a swimming pool. Check out other women who are larger than you. Ask yourself, “Does she really look terrible?” The answer to that question, if you are looking at a truly confident woman who carries herself well, is, “No. She looks great.” 2) Start a health program that will allow you to feel good in your body. Note I did not say “diet program.” Some of the most tortured women wear a size 2. They don’t need to lose weight. They just need to learn how to feel good. So get fit. Eat healthy, and do other things that allow you to feel healthy. 3) Stand naked in front of your husband. See what happens. He likes your naked body, and he can prove this to you without using his words. 4) Have sex with the lights on and with your eyes open. Do this as often as needed, until you feel good about yourself. 5) Ask him to tell you that he thinks you are sexy and beautiful, because he really does think this. He just forgets to tell you, because he thinks you already know.
You work too much. Stress and exhaustion can obliterate your sex drive. Instead of feeling horny, you just feel tense. Learn to interpret tension for what it is: You really need to get laid, sister! Trust me. An orgasm is the best tension release there is. It’s better than running. It’s better than meditation. It’s even better than wine and chocolate. Also, do something to reduce your stress load. Delegate household tasks. Make it a firm rule that you will not work at night or on the weekends. Build relaxation into your daily routine. Make it your goal to always be a little bit bored. Your drive will return.
You were sexually abused. Whenever men tell me that their girlfriends or wives “don’t like sex,” my first question is always, “Was she abused when she was younger?” I’ve yet to get a “No.” Past sexual abuse can really do a number on your sexual psyche. Even if you think you are “over it,” you probably aren’t. This is a complex topic, and I delve deeper into it in Sex Advice: Part 2.
You don’t feel adored by your husband. Sex requires a certain amount of vulnerability. If your spouse belittles you whenever you are out of the bedroom, it will be difficult for you to let your guard down and relax in the bedroom. It takes a full 24 hours for a woman to get in the mood. If your spouse does anything during that 24 hours to annoy you, it’s an automatic turn off as far as sex as concerned. Explain this to him, and take some time to teach him how to romance you. If you feel absolutely adored by your husband, you will want to have sex with him.
He doesn’t know how to please you in bed. If his idea of sex is crawling on top of you and banging away until he’s done, then I can understand why you’d rather be filing your nails than lying underneath his body. You can do something about this though. It starts with you. Spend some time pleasuring yourself. That’s the only way you are going to figure out what you like and need. Once you’ve become a Jedi Master at bringing yourself to orgasm, teach him how to do the same thing. Also, give him the book How to Give Her Absolute Pleasure by Lou Paget. Lou is a woman, by the way.
Did I miss a good reason not to have married sex? Do you wish I provided more advice? Do you have a sexual issue that I did not address? Do you have a suggestion for something you’d like me to explain in a future blog? Do you disagree with every single thing I wrote? Email me or leave a comment.
A professional journalist, Alisa Bowman is the author of Project: Happily Ever After, a memoir of how she saved her marriage, and coauthor of Pitch Perfect, a must-read if you've ever had a sense of dread tie up your insides before a speech, presentation, or conversation. If you enjoyed this post, you will no doubt love her updates on Facebook and Twitter.