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Ask the Loveologist: Our Sex Life Keeps Getting Smaller

Ask the Loveologist: Our Sex Life Keeps Getting Smaller

 

I have been married  for over 10 years, but my wife and I have an increasingly hard time communicating about sex. She seems fine about it, but I am not. I always thought we would grow sexually over time, but  our sex life just seems to get smaller. She has so many dislikes, like receiving oral, she says it will never happen. I just don’t understand why. Could you help me/us. I’m new to this getting help thing. You’re my first attempt.

Thanks for taking the courage to reach out and find ways to open up the dialogue and experience in your sex life. Many couples suffer from the problem of leftovers in their sex lives- which is the few behaviors that are left over from all of the avoidance and fears that often grow instead of lessen the longer we are with our partners.

Equally common is the diminishing conversational ability that we have about our erotic selves.  Many people can’t even use words like masturbate in front of their partners, let alone share in the act together. If we don’t embrace and work to love our fears about our sexual selves, they end up putting us in a small cage where physical intimacy shrinks to try to stay within the lines of our fears.

To be fair, these fears and inability to even know our erotic selves are trained into us early. Looking back in history, this negative sexual training was brutal with the most outrageous of “medical” equipment used to keep boys from any erection at all. Many religious institutions still relate physical pleasure and sin. Our culture is practically schizophrenic in it’s approach to sexuality with the youngest of girls sexualized in media of all kinds and yet a total inability within many families to acknowledge the emerging sexuality of our own children.

Asking questions is the best first response. Giving yourself permission to want to know about your sexual self and cultivating a real curiosity about what is pleasurable for your partner is a healthy ground to build on. Of course, you cannot force anyone to respond but inviting them into a conversation and be willing to listen to their fears and internal judgments is often the first step to thawing out a space that can be frozen in time.

The sexual health space is full of amazing voices that offer a range of therapeutic ideas and practices. My favorite include Tammy Nelson, David Schnarch, Ian Kerner and Debby Herbenick. All of their titles are available online. Sometimes adding some other expert voices in your exploration can dispel the biggest fear that most people carry around that their desires aren’t normal. Becoming willing to explore our erotic selves is a leap we make when we feel safe in our relationships and in ourselves.

There might be other parts of your relationship like sarcastic communication habits or unwillingness to show up for each other that is inhibiting your sex life. Remember that an expanding intimate life is usually a reflection of what is working in your relationship.

More from Ask the Loveologist:
Masturbation Mistake?
Looking for Happiness
Sexual Initiation and Rejection

Read more: Ask the Loveologist, Blogs, Health, Love, Men's Health, Relationships, Sex, Women's Health

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Wendy Strgar

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family.  In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy,  she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative adviceIt has been called "the essential guide for relationships."  The book is available on ebook.  Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13- 22 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

32 comments

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8:57PM PST on Nov 21, 2011

Noted.

4:18AM PST on Nov 8, 2011

Thanks for the article.

2:53AM PDT on Oct 13, 2011

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11:33PM PDT on Oct 10, 2011

Let's see. While many women can't orgasm w/o oral stimulation, many of us are taught from a young age that sex is a dirty gift you wait to give your husband on the special wedding night. It's kind of creepy we're taught that.

Sex in it's self gets seen as dirty from the female point of view. But then, the boys are let off the hook by the "boys will be boys" club. If this particular husband really wants to be able to enjoy giving his wife oral sex, he's got to do his darndest NOT to be overly manly, and be a pure gent.

At the same time of it feeling more dirty, many times it's the fact that we feel it's too intimate AND too impersonal at the same time, that we cannot orgasm that way either. To have someone's face in our very most private area makes it to intimate, it can make many women self conscious. Because the rest of the body is pretty much ignored, particularly the face, it's impersonal at the same time. It makes it hard to "let go" and enjoy the orgasm. Maybe women need more permission to enjoy, even if it's looking at images that appeal to them.

Also, for the men, to receive oral, especially if you want her to taste you, make sure your diet is good to ensure that your jizz isn't nasty. Try to ensure you back off of the salt, garlic and onion, and eat a lot of fruit, especially pineapple and other sweet fruits like bananas, mango, etc.

Charles, I'm assuming you mean well. Your comment on allowing you to go down on her was inappropriate.

8:43AM PDT on Oct 9, 2011

Kathleen Kubic... I do know that most women prefer having an orgasm from oral sex over intercourse and that most women need stimulation of the clitoris in order to achieve orgasm. This shows that I DO know what I am talking about concerning these 2 statements.

I do know I can please SOME women since I already have. That is a fact that inspires confidence.

Also, take your OWN advice. You don't know me. You don't know anything about me. You seem to be making assumptions about me. That makes you a person who likes to give advice and also a hypocrite, since you do what you accuse others of doing.

I also know that what I said in my 1st post was some humor on the subject and it seems you have a problem with sexual humor. Try not being so serious and see the lighter side of sexual humor.

Let it go? Why, because you say I do not know what I am talking about? The fact that MOST women would rather have orgasms through oral sex over intercourse and the fact that clitoris stimulation is needed by most women in order to achieve orgasm is reported by WebMD under Sexual Health. Let it go? Lol...yeah right.

8:15AM PDT on Oct 9, 2011

Charles - You don't know her, you know nothing about her. Assuming that you could please ANY woman is not confidence. You are making the assumption that every woman enjoys the same things and that is so far from the truth and so very narrow minded. Let it go. You really don't know what you are talking about.

8:27AM PDT on Oct 8, 2011

Jon Hoy...There is a difference on flattering oneself and being confident.

Never underestimate anyone.

5:36AM PDT on Oct 8, 2011

Charles D. Don't flatter yourself being a perv on care2.

9:57PM PDT on Oct 6, 2011

I took it as she did not want to receive oral from her husband. Most men love giving and receiving oral and if the wife is not into either, get counseling and if that does not work, there are women who love getting and giving oral. There are more women who you would be more sexually compatible with. The women I went out with for a few years at a time, never had a problem giving oral or receiving oral. They were nice, pretty, smart women and they are out there. Some women have sexual hang ups. Stay clear of them.

6:32PM PDT on Oct 6, 2011

Why would a woman want to have a man come in her mouth? That fella should visit a prostitute instead of asking his wife to do something so gross. That isn't going to make her love him!

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