Posts Tagged ‘sexless marriage’
Practically Sexless Marriage? Laurie Watson Advises
“Brad” wrote to me because he and his wife “Angie” are in a practically sexless marriage. I consulted AASECT-certified sex therapist Laurie Watson, author of Wanting Sex Again: How to Rediscover Your Desire and Heal a Sexless Marriage, to offer some advice. Obviously the couple’s problems are too complex to solve with one blog post, but I hope that Laurie Watson’s advice and, her book can help Brad and Angie take the first steps towards developing a sexually vibrant relationship.
other hand, have offered and made myself available to her sexually. Despite being willing to attend to her needs, she has rarely reciprocated that willingness. 95% of my sexual release throughout my sexual history has come from masturbation.
small house for financial reasons.) When I ask how I could help resolve these issues or make suggestions for solutions, she generally discounts them or said she’s at a loss about what to do.
depressed, too. We’ve always struggled financially. I lost my job during the recent recession and was out of work for over a year. I am now working full-time but my wages are substantially lower.
I want to turn things around, if it’s not too late. I feel as if I’m running out of time. How do I go about improving the passion and sensuality between us? I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that the only person I can work on is me. I cannot offer advice or solutions where it will not be wanted or accepted.
In marriage, often one spouse is the pursuer, easily expressing needs, wishing for closeness, attention, and sex. The other spouse becomes a distancer, wishing for more space. Distancers often feel smothered by pursuers, who, in turn, feel starved by distancers. It can become a tug-of-war. Sexually, it can feel desperate. Examining the ways you have balanced closeness and distance might start to change things between you.
You both had an enjoyable sexual experience in a hotel, away from home, boomerang adult kids, bills, and the endless call of things to do. I congratulate you on finding a formula for great sex. As often as you can afford it, schedule a hotel rendezvous and indulge in relaxing, satisfying sex.
You’d like Angie to initiate sex and show that she desires you. Like many women, she may be more receptive, willing to be convinced, but not to initiate. Your wife may need your male energy and urgency to get her started.
Yet now more than ever, you need the reassurance that you are virile and desired after prostate cancer. How to do this without crowding the space between you and making her back up?
Try being a great seducer! The hotel adventure probably worked because you initiated a creative space for relaxation, intimacy, and sex. The chase and seduction are a good part of the turn-on. Often a woman’s craving for sex doesn’t kick in until about halfway through the experience. Then suddenly her aroused body says, “Yes, I do want sex!”
Men shouldn’t be responsible for all the work on the sexual relationship, though. Women can prompt themselves with fantasies, anticipation, and memories of exciting past love-making sessions, coming to bed mentally primed for arousal.
Prostate cancer brings its own set of challenges. Luckily, you still have desire and you still have some erectile ability. The sooner men start on penile rehabilitation post-surgery, the better their eventual outcome. Your deep pelvic pain, more common immediately post-surgery, absolutely necessitates a visit to the doctor to rule out infection, inflammation, kidney problems, and nerve damage. You may also need treatment from a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic pain.
Culturally, men are conditioned that they are good lovers if they have big, strong erections. But most women do not experience climax through penetration – only 15-20% ever do in intercourse. You can be a satisfying lover with manual and oral stimulation. With enough stimulation, men can reach orgasm with or without an erection – those are completely separate functions.
You have mentioned that your wife struggles with depression, as do you. It would be good if you both saw a therapist, seeking treatment for depression as well as your relationship issues. Even a single consultation would help a therapist see where you are stuck as a couple and guide you.
— Laurie Watson, LMFT, LPC, AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, is the author of Wanting Sex Again – How to Rediscover Your Desire and Heal a Sexless Marriage. She blogs for Psychology Today Online in Married and Still Doing It. Laurie guest lectures at the medical schools for Duke and UNC Chapel Hill on sexual function/dysfunction. Director of Awakenings – Center for Intimacy and Sexuality in Raleigh, she maintains a full-time clinical practice.