A Reader Participation Post
This question came in from a reader:
My husband and I have been married for 4 years and have not had sex for 3. This is NOT for lack of MY trying. He has given me numerous varied reasons why he doesn’t want to have sex. I wrote them out and came up with 39 different excuses! We have discussed it MANY times & even seen a counselor, but this has still not improved. I know he realizes that I need sexual attention, but he does nothing but make (unfulfilled) promises. He is not having an affair, but I am ready to leave him & or have one of my own. I am a sexual being & I CANNOT live like this, but I DO want to save our marriage. WHAT DO I DO? — Hopelessly Horny
Wow. Readers? Please be kind. I can feel the controversy brewing and I haven’t even posted this yet.
I’m also conflicted about the right answer here. I want to tell Hopelessly Horny that a marriage is about more than just sex. It’s also about an emotional connection. It’s about support. It’s about touch. It’s about a lot of things. And I’ve heard from quite a few readers here who have celibate marriages, mostly for medical reasons. They’ve told me that a happy marriage can indeed be had even if no hanky panky is going on between the sheets.
That said, sex is the one thing you can do with your spouse that you can’t do with someone else (assuming you aren’t in an open marriage or flagrantly cheating).And assuming the husband doesn’t really have erectile dysfunction or some other medical condition that he is keeping secret from his wife, it seems downright selfish of him to hold out on her for three entire years. And for those of you who are about to accuse me of being sexist, read my past posts. I would say the same thing if he were a she.
Back to the other hand, though, I’m thinking again about the married folks who’ve written to me about their happy but celibate marriages. They’ve been able to make it work. If they can do it, then it begs the question: Is something more global wrong with Hopelessly Horny’s marriage? Maybe the marriage broke first, and then the sex life broke, you know?
Readers, I need your help, okay? These are only two tips I can come up with –and both are hopelessly lame.
* Get a drawer full of sex toys and take pleasure into your own hands. For instance, some sex balls are in order. Read my review about these wonderful devices here. And I would also recommend a Jumping Jack as it looks as if it just might be better than the real thing.
* Examine your marriage and do everything possible to solve the non-sex related problems. It could be that lack of emotional intimacy is triggering the lack of sexual intimacy.
Readers? Got anything that is not quite as lame? Bring it on!
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.