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. Youíre 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 canít even use words like masturbate in front of their partners, let alone share in the act together. If we donít 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 ďmedicalĒ 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 itís 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 arenít 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


Carole R.
Carole R6 years ago


K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

David Ross
David Ross6 years ago

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Lika S.
Lika P6 years ago

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.

Charles D.
Charles Dale6 years ago

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.

Kathleen Kubic
K K6 years ago

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.

Charles D.
Charles Dale6 years ago

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

Never underestimate anyone.

Jon Hoy
Jonjon Hoy6 years ago

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

Charles D.
Charles Dale6 years ago

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.

Susana G.
Susana Green6 years ago

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!