7 Sex Problems that Could Ruin Your Relationship

Between you and me and 10 million other people who read this blog: sex is important.

In a good marriage, sex is the icing, not the cake. But who wants a cake without icing?

You shouldn’t marry for great sex, but you must have good, regular sex to prevent the marriage from lapsing into a business partnership.

I’ve been with my wife for 10 years, and at this point, with two little kids, we have sex once a week. This is down from the “every time we saw each other” set-up from our first 2 years together, but more than many of our friends who also have kids.

Somehow, just by making a conscious effort to prioritize sex every week, we have an arrangement, that, for us, is mutually satisfying. For a relatively vanilla couple with relatively low libidos, we have managed to avoid these 7 sexual pitfalls that can derail even the best marriages

You shouldn’t marry for great sex, but you must have good, regular sex to prevent the marriage from lapsing into a business partnership.

Take a look and let me know if any of these are familiar to you.

    1. The couple no longer has sex. Surprisingly, you can be in a sexless marriage and still have sex. Therapists define a sexless relationship as one in which the couple are physically intimate less than 10 times a year.
    2. One partner doesn’t feel sexually desired. Feeling wanted and desired is a huge turn-on, especially for women. When a partner fails to reassure a woman of her desirability, their sex life naturally takes a hit.
    3. There’s a breakdown in intimacy after an affair. Broken trust after an affair can be a hard thing to mend and your sex life will take even longer to restore,
    4. There’s no physical attraction. “Sometimes, it’s a matter of one spouse letting themselves go,” said Moushumi Ghose. “Obviously, life happens and the daily stressors of work, marriage, and having a family can take its toll, but people who are no longer physically attracted to their partner sometimes take it as a sign that their partner has given up on themselves and their relationship.”
    5. Physical barriers to sex become a scapegoat. There are plenty of physical and health-related reasons couples stop having sex, from premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction, to pain during intercourse for women. These problems should be addressed with a doctor, but there’s usually some emotional work that needs to be done by the couple as well.
    6. Sexual interests and fetishes are laughed off. When your partner opens up about how they want rough sex or to role play, the worst thing you can do is disregard it or laugh it off.
    7. There’s a desire discrepancy. This poses a big problem for most couples because the lower-desire spouse holds all the control of the couple’s sex life, whether they realize it or not. “Sex mismatches are at risk for affairs and divorce if not addressed, since the more sexual partner often can’t imagine living the rest of their lives this way. After all, they committed to a marriage, not a life of abstinence.”

    Speaking openly with compassion for your partner is truly the best way to relationship-proof your marriage.

    It’s not easy to broach these subjects, but they are corrosive if you bury your feelings out of fear of making waves. Speaking openly with compassion for your partner is truly the best way to relationship-proof your marriage.

    Which of these issues has affected your relationships? What could you have done differently to create a different result? Your thoughts, below, are appreciated.

Join our conversation (38 Comments).
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Comments:

  1. 1
    Lee

    This is sadly on of the reasons I laugh at those who claim they are too “tired” after work to have sex. You’re one of the factors which is causing your marrage to fall

    1. 1.1
      Stacy

      @Lee

      Personally, I think being tired after work is a quite legitimate reason. My sister is a nurse who works 12 hour shifts. Sex is the last thing on your mind when you’re on your feet for half a day (and she doesn’t even have kids yet). After I work my 9 hour days, drive an hour home, tend to the kids, etc., I am not trying to throw down. Sorry but any reasonable partner should understand that.

      However, the good news is that there are 24 hours in a day (and that includes early mornings) so you should be able to make it work at least a couple of times per week minimum.

      1. 1.1.1
        Bob

         

         

         

        Sorry but any reasonable partner should understand that.

        Ouch. This kind of self-righteous preachiness is lethal. What if hubby wants sex MORE after the 11 hour workday and parental duties? “Should” any “reasonable” partner “understand” hubby’s needs in which case SHE decides TO have sex despite her fatigue? Or “should” hubby “understand” hers? Who gets the priority? Exhausted wife? Horny hubby?

        1. Stacy

          Sorry Bob but exhausted trumps horny. What part of this could possibly be self righteous? IF I work 9 hours a day at a demanding job, come home and make dinner (for him and the kids), then do much of the cleaning up, how on earth would I be remotely horny? If he wants sex, then he should have no problem preparing dinner.  I am not saying not to have sex, I am saying that MOST times, having a demanding job and expecting to do duties that pertain to children and housekeeping (which, sorry but, most women are still primarily in charge of) would mean that husband needs to understand that his HORNINESS may have to wait either at a later time or at a time when her schedule is not so demanding. Yet you call that self righteousness? And the horny husband is what exactly?

      2. 1.1.2
        Bob

        Personally, I think being tired after work is a quite legitimate reason. My sister is a nurse who works 12 hour shifts. Sex is the last thing on your mind when you’re on your feet for half a day (and she doesn’t even have kids yet). After I work my 9 hour days, drive an hour home, tend to the kids, etc., I am not trying to throw down. Sorry but any reasonable partner should understand that.
        Howeverthe good news is that there are 24 hours in a day (and that includes early mornings) so you should be able to make it work at least a couple of times per week minimum.

        How does this math work?

        You work 11 hour work days + do child care 5 days a week and feel you shouldn’t have to have sex on all those days- each is an >11 hour day- so how are you gonna have sex >2 days per week?

        What if you’re not in the mood on the weekend?

        1. Lee

          bob gets it (high five)

          when you get into this mindset that he should understand and you have total control when/if we can have sex you’re indirectly punishing your man for being loyal.

        2. Stacy

          @Bob

          Let’s see: there are early mornings, lunch time (yes, we can find ways to do this and I think it’s hot), SOMETIMES (but rarely  – that whole exhausted thing at all) late at night, and anytime on the weekends. If you can’t find a way to bang me to let out your horniness in any of those times, then I don’t know what to tell you. Noone is trying to control sex. But one cannot expect to do almost everything and still be in the mood. This is the complaint of most women that I personally know. You want a wife who earns a good income, is a good and active mother, a good housekeeper, and she must be in the mood to f*** you anytime you want? Puh lease.

      3. 1.1.3
        CMV

        I never really understand the “too tired” explanation.

        It’s sex. I’m never too tired for eating or breathing. It’s not a chore – it’s a bonus.

        1. Emily, the original

          CMV,

          I never really understand the “too tired” explanation.

          And if you move very strategically, it doesn’t require that much physical exertion to get the job done … unless you want it to last longer and be more “robust.”

    2. 1.2
      L

      I think you have to prioritize sex but it is certainly legitimate to feel too tired too. I know that when I was working full time and caring for a toddler and a nursing newborn I was definitely too tired.  But I agree with EMK that you should prioritize to 1x per week at least.  Otherwise you risk moving into the 1x per month or less category which can be damaging for a relationship.  The partner can certainly help too – with 1x per week you can get some rest in to feel less tired and a caring partner can help make that happen – e.g. Get up early with the kids or watch the kids for a bit while you nap.  Mine didn’t do that and of course I was exhausted all the time.

    3. 1.3
      Adrian

      Hello Lee and Bob,

      I am asking a question not attacking you.

      My question is… Why are you fighting against Stacy’s comment?

      She “only” said that she’s tired after work and a busy life; she did NOT say that she does not try to find time to have sex with her husband… She even gave good examples of making time for him.

      I know plenty of straight men who work long hours, clean the house, and take care of the kids so sex every day is not on the time.

      Perhaps I am wrong but your comments just come off as if you are more intent on lashing out at women then you are at actually trying to understand what Stacy was saying.

      1. 1.3.1
        Stacy

        @Adrian

        Thank you!

        And I was talking about my hypothetical husband but yeah…lol

        1. Adrian

          Hi Stacy (^_^)

          Yes I remember that you a not married but I also know that you speak very highly of your boyfriend. You don’t cheat AND you have multiple options of better looking and more successful men that want to date you but you don’t even consider such things because you love your boyfriend. But more importantly because you would not consider that better looking, taller, or richer man a trade-up.

          I think when “some” guys come on here and attack all women, accusing them of being selfish it is because they just can’t see that “most” women like you Stacy want to give to the man you love Not just receive.

  2. 2
    Karen

    I sadly suffered from nearly all the reasons listed above in my last marriage. I have a high libido my ex husband did not. Yes children can be a factor in finding the time and energy to be intimate with a partner/husband but that never was an issue for myself. I loved him and believed by being sharing that part together was what one did as a committed relationship. Over 25 years of marriage, he lost interest in that element in turn then so did I. I put my energies into raising our children and running 26 miles a week! I tried talking to him years before and he told me ‘ I’m 37 and that’s just what happens love’ the feelings of resentment grew from there. I asked him to get some medical advice he refused. At the age of 40 he was diagnosed with diabetes. I did my own research and discovered that this condition was a significant factor in our unfulfilling sex life. Unfortunately by that point I was no longer interested in sharing his bed or the marriage. I think at that point I felt it was just a little too late and I gave up. I’m now with a wonderful man who is definitely on my​ wave length we talk openly about sex, our fantasies and desires his libido does not quite match mine, then again it’s the quality not the quantity that concerns me these days!

  3. 3
    Blondie99

    This is a problem in my relationship.  My partner has situational delayed ejaculation.  Basically for over a year he could only reach climax by his own hand and even then it would take over an hour.  Nothing I did worked.  I asked about his porn and masturbation habits as I thought this could be an issue and he admitted to heave use for ten years.  He agreed to stop to see if it worked but nothing changed! Sex was horrible and left me feeling insecure.  He would have to shut his eyes and conjure up porn images while I was in the room! And we had just started dating so it’s not like the sex was getting old or I changed my looks!  It was so impersonal I could have gotten up and left the room and he would not know.   He also had a very low sex drive or so I thought.   But actually he had a drive for porn and masturbation just not me.  He refused to get help and lied about stopping.  Finally I caught him continuing to use and confronted him.  It was at that point he stopped both and within 2 weeks he was able to reach orgasm by me!  Funny thing is we sought counseling after and every single provider told us it was not the porn or masturbation.  They offered meds, said he had anxiety told me I should let him watch porn during sex or that I was being controlling.  We did try everything else nothing worked.  Clearly they were wrong as giving it up did.  They were very resistant.  That being said he still can’t reach orgasm from intercourse and unfortunately the sex lacks intimacy still.   The years of use really screwed him up.  The lying made me unable to trust him.  I should note I never had an issue with porn before this.  I’m not a prude and would watch Ruth all my exes.  But I had no idea the damage it could cause to some men.  When I started reading on the no fap community I was astounded with the young men suffering with all forms of dysfunction from porn!  Unfortunately for me I cannot marry someone who has this issue so if he can’t have normal sex with me we won’t be getting married.  The problem is I’m not happy and I could never be with this type of relationship.  I think many people think it’s superficial so they tell themselves sex is not all that big of a deal.  But if we are honest with ourselves it likely very much is. I only write this because I am hopeful that other young men will get the message that porn can kill your sex life later on in life.  Many men think that viewing it daily or even several times a week is normal that all men do it and that when they get into a relationship they realize they can’t and it’s effecting their sex life. Likewise women can’t figure out why their man has no interest in sex and blame themselves. Marriages end.  I truly recommend reading your brain on porn.  I am not a religious zealot or prude.  I’m just a girl who wants a normal sex life and can’t commit to a relationship where there is none.,

    1. 3.1
      Flounie

      This is my partner on soooo many levels!  He has admitted to being single for many years and was used to porn and maturation.  He was in a ldr for 18 months and after it ended, a therapist suggested he stayed in the relationship for the sex (their sexual chemistry was unmatched). He visited her often during their relationship.

      He’s in a ldr with me right now and we see each other maybe once or twice a year. Tbh, he tries but the sex isn’t memorable. He has a low libido but he’d watch porn daily.  He doesn’t when we’re together but he loses stamina during intercourse or he can’t climax.  He can climax no issues if he does it himself.

      He blames nerves but I suspect it’s the porn use.  He’ll get hard in the morning for no reason but he can’t climax and he’s fine not to climax.

      1. 3.1.1
        Luka

        Might be the porn use doesn’t help guys in general but seeing your girlfriend once a year is also a huge issue. Its like re-losing your virginity each time. Most normal guys who aren’t studs and haven’t slept with dozens of women will be nervous the first few times with a new person. Your boyfriend is never getting beyond that stage by seeing you so infrequently.

        Just out of interest how long have you been in this relationship?

        1. Flounie

          We’ve been together for 2 years and if I really followed Evan’s advice we wouldn’t be together anymore.  From the beginning he made it clear, no marriage and no kids.

          Stupid me, as we fought through our challenges, I would say it was for the best because he didn’t believe in those two things.  That’s when he’s said on occasion “icant be a dad because I had a bad parents, but if I had to choose someone to have a child with, it’d be you”

          As for marriage, he blamed his parents divorce as to why he doesn’t want to get married.  However! If I move across the world for him, he’d marry me.  That’s the condition.  Again, that isn’t much of a proposal or offer since I made it clear I’m not moving.

           

          Recently, I went onto dating sites and the guys I matched with that were average or had hair, didn’t respond to my messages.  At most all I had was interest from a divorcee with two kids and most likely was lookng for fwb…

           

          So there you have it, I’m settling because this is all I can get

    2. 3.2
      Chris

      Probably to an extent the porn has “reprogrammed” his response. However its not that he has a normal libido which he is somehow redirecting through porn and masturbation. By the sound of it the main problem would be a very low libido, perhaps combined with erectile dysfunction.

      Masturbation is far easier than actual sex when you are consistently losing your arousal. He still has some libido, just not enough to make sex easy or satisfying. Yes stopping porn and masturbation would definitely help (and has helped by the sound of it), but even without the porn, the sex life still wouldn’t be that great. Not unless the underlying problems or low libido and/or erectile problems are dealt with somehow.

      1. 3.2.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @Chris

        Porn can actually induce erectile dysfunction.  The syndrome is known as PIED.  There is growing evidence that porn rewires a man’s psychological response to sexual stimulus to the point where he needs novelty in order to achieve and maintain an erection.  Couple PIED with normal or lower total and free of testosterone levels, and a man is in trouble in the bedroom.

        With that said, any man who is experiencing low testosterone should be tested for total and free testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), and estrodial (E2) levels as well as blood glucose and lipids. There is usually a health reason behind male low libido.

    3. 3.3
      Adrian

      Hi Blondie99,

      No disrespect intended but…

      Are you a real poster or are you just someone who has come onto this site with an anti-porn agenda???

      I only ask because a year is a long time to be with someone like the man you describe above… You yourself admitted that the relationship is new so why continue to date a man who “constantly” makes you feel so insecure???

      You also admitted that you are unhappy YET you still dated and continue to date him???

      1. 3.3.1
        Marika

        Is this Adrian, Adrian? If so, good to have you back! When are you coming down under, mate?

      2. 3.3.2
        Emily, the original

        Marika,

        When are you coming down under, mate?

        Sounds like a pick up line!  🙂

        Adrian,

        Hi Adrian! Guess what? I’m going back to school for a semester! Just 2 classes. I’ve been out of the career I trained for for a number of years and I need to update my skills. Me … at 46 … among the 20-somethings! HA  I’m thinking it will be more interesting than being among the 40-somethings.

        1. Adrian

          Hi Emily,

          I can’t wait to hear about your observations of the mating game when people lack the maturity to control their emotions and just act on pure instinct like most college students do.

          I am currently learning a lot watching them during my time back on campus.

        2. Emily, the original

          Adrian,

          Good to see you back on the Evans’s blog. How is your schooling going?

          I can’t wait to hear about your observations of the mating game when people lack the maturity to control their emotions and just act on pure instinct like most college students do.

          I could use a little evidence of instinct! Or pure romanticism. Between this blog and Susan Walsh’s blog Hooking Up Smart, it seems us oldsters spend a lot of time determining the “cost benefit analysis” of asking someone out. We’re very cautious.

           

    4. 3.4
      John

      What does “situational delayed ejaculation” mean? My guess is that you delay your ejaculation when your with a woman and don’t delay it when your alone. This phrase or diagnosis sounds like it was coined by an armchair psychologist.

  4. 4
    D_M

    Ladies,

    Please, I beg you, stop with the porn red herring. A guy that is checking for updates on his favorite site weekly, does not have a low libido. He is more than likely not being honest with you about what is going on in the bedroom. Talking about shortcomings can sometimes poison the well. Even though sessions might not be up to snuff, there is the possibility that talking only makes it worse. I have rationalized it in the pass by saying, give the relationship time, she is tired from work, etc…. In the end, some folks are just mismatched in this area.Young and old alike, we all make time for the things that we want to do regardless of how busy we claim to be. Have any of you ever said: Hey babe, if you take care of V, W, X, Y, and Z, I am all yours?

    1. 4.1
      Kevin

      As much as i will agree with u on the issue of women making excuses to not have sex, watching porn can do 2 negative things that effect your real sex life…for 1 masturbation becomes an easy route to take which becomes a viscous cycle…but wat you dont realize is that it takes away some of your drive to enjoy that intamcy with your partner…for 2 like some women have said it can make it hard to be aroused if you no longer can enjoy “normal” sex because once you are addicted to porn you are no longer enjoying “normal” sex (2 or 3 position 1 on 1)…

      1. 4.1.1
        D_M

        Well Kevin,

        I guess we are expressing different ends of the bell curve. I would like to express my deepest empathy to folks that are afflicted in this manner. Maybe it has to do with the various reward centers in the brain, but I can’t see how Ms. Palmer could ever be a substitute for titillating intimacy. How do you even get to an ear lobe, behind the neck, or the small of the back in a solo session? The improvisational style to which one should endeavor to during joint sessions, can never be duplicated flying solo. I guess it boils down to how each individual defines intimacy. This is one of those conversations that isn’t discussed openly among the boys, so it’s hard to know who actually suffers from diminished performance because of solo sessions.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @D_M

          It is very easy to become addicted to porn.  Porn does not require anything from a man.  Masturbation is quick and easy.  On the other hand, women are lot of mental and emotional work.  Friendship with a woman becomes infinity simpler when sex is taken off of the table.  It puts a man back in control of his life, and that is what PMO is all about, control.

  5. 5
    Adrian

    Hi Marika (^_^)

    Yes this is me.

    First I must say that I was just thinking about you and the rest of my “beige date” support group (^_^).

    I just listened to Evan’s podcast on settling vs compromising yesterday and I keep thinking what would Marika, Malika and the others classify the beige date as? And how does Evan’s warning against the pitfalls of chasing chemistry over compatibility add to the mix? Are we being foolish by refusing to give a chance to a date that has everything we always wanted (even their looks) but we feel no chemistry with them?

    …   …   …

    I have a question that I would love to hear some opinions on concerning the listed bullet points in the article above

    B. How does a man make a women feel desired sexually WITHOUT making her feel objectified? As a woman how do you make a man feel desired sexually?

    D. How do you tell a person that loves you that their weight has caused you to see them as less attractive? How do you tell the person who loves you that the style and way that they dress from day to day and especially in the bedroom has caused you to see them as less attractive? I have noticed that most couples STOP trying to attract, and sexually entice their partner after about a year of dating, we stop giving them the very things that caused them to physically desire us in the first place.

    F. I have never heard of a partner laughing off a request when their loved one has a sexual fantasy but I have heard plenty of stories where the partner indirectly shames their loved one for saying out loud that they want to do certain sex acts (like the guy who lies to his new girlfriend about watching porn because he knows most women will “morally” shame a man for it). Another thing I hear about often is the partner that approaches their loved one about trying something sexual and they get an immediate shut down with a quick, “I don’t do that.” So my question has more to do with how do you react or deal with the “negative” way your partner responds or makes you feel when you confide in them your sexual desire and they reply with something like, “Ewww! I’m not a slut!” or “NO! I’m never doing that!”

    G. In many of Helen Fisher books she states that: “In the lust stage of the relationship both men and women have heightened sex drives (this is why they want to have sex everyday with their new partner) but once the lust stage fades both people’s sex drives return to their normal default states.” So what should a person do that loves their partner but a year into the relationship their partner doesn’t give them the amount of sex that they crave? I personally feel that demanding a person give you more of their body when they don’t want to is very very wrong but at the same time I don’t believe we should deny our own wants to make another happy.

     

    By the way I am currently reading Helen Fisher’s book “Anatomy of Love” she updated it for 2016 and  re-released it. I was very surprised when she stated in the book that current research shows that sex is now the main reason for couples breaking up and divorcing.

    Back in 2006  everything I read on why couples break up and divorce pointed to sex being only 4th on the list, first was money problems and the stress it caused, second was lack of communication, and third was boredom.

    I wonder why sex has become the dominant reason for break-ups in the last 10 years?

    Another thing that I have noticed about people is that if you say that you left a relationship because a person did something bad, people are very understanding and supportive but if you say that you left a “good” relationship because you were getting sex but not the type or amount you wanted then people are very critical. As if it’s not about you doing what is right for you but you doing what everyone thinks right should be.

    It reminds me of the conversation that Emily and I had a while back about when we talked about a woman making a man wait a few months for sex and then if after finally having sex with her he doesn’t think she is a good sexual partner, most people would assume that the man was only after sex or that he is a bad person when in reality he just did not want to spend his life with a person who would not try to give as much as she receives in the bedroom.

    1. 5.1
      Marika

      Great to have you back, Adrian 🙂

      Those are some high level questions! I can only comment with any real authority on two of them.

      First the beige date..sigh.. The problem with the beige date in my view is that it leaves you thinking, where to from here? If you have a friend who’s a bit ho-hum on one catch up, you have this whole shared history to know that generally s/he is great company and clearly they’re having a bad day. You’d even probably ask if everything was okay. Not so with a stranger. Are they normally so low key? Do they have problems relating to people? Are they enjoying this date or not? What’s going on..aghhhh!! And it’s not like you can say, hey, so are you normally more fun & interesting? You’re really hard to read.

      That being said, I’d always give a beige date a second chance if they asked, but usually they just fade away. No real answers here, but it’s just frustrating. They probably are great, and just a bit nervous, but as the woman you can’t go chasing them down for a second date, so you rarely get to find out. Also, I give my all on a date: try to be consistently fun, kind, interested, funny, playful, dress nicely etc., so when they rock up with bed-head and a crunched shirt and are pretty low key, don’t flirt, don’t ask many questions etc, it’s a bit frustrating.

      In terms of the feeling desired thing, women have a very good radar for this. If a guy is sleazy and creepy in his attentions, you viscerally feel it. It feels like you’re being violated & it makes you want to get away. If a guy shows interest without being sleazy, but in a fun and playful way, that’s awesome. It’s really hard to describe, but I don’t get the sense you’d be in any danger of being someone who objectifies women. You know that song that has the line “so suddenly I’m in love with a stranger” the bit where he says “ohhhhhh damn”. That’s adorable. That look where the man is like a bit taken aback by how lovely you look and appreciates your attractiveness without being like “I want to be on you” (hehe, line from Anchorman).

      I think men are more straightforward in how they like to be told they’re desirable. “You look so hot”, “I want you right now” etc seem to work. But I’m happy to hear your opinion.

      Not sure if that helps. Glad your blog jadedness passed! (credit to ScottH).

    2. 5.2
      Jeremy

      Hi Adrian.  A couple of comments (that might land me in some hot water, but what the hell…)

       

      First, regarding objectification – I think this is a bit of a red herring.  It is my observation that most women desire a bit of what men consider healthy objectification.  They want to be desired for their bodies among other things (though not exclusively), but ONLY by men whom they find desirable.  When undesirable men express admiration for their bodies they find the objectification undesirable.  When the man is desirable, his desire is desirable.  If a woman dresses up in lingerie to seduce a man and he doesn’t react to her body with desire, she will think something is wrong with him.  So worry less about objectification, as long as a woman’s body is not the ONLY thing you desire her for.

       

      Second, regarding frequency of sex – don’t ever feel bad about letting a partner know if you feel the quality or quantity of sex leaves you unsatisfied.  If you are in a monogamous relationship, that partner is the only person you are having sex with – and it is each of your responsibility to satisfy the other.  That does not mean that either of you should shame or coerce sex from an unwilling partner, but rather that if the partner is unwilling to at least try to reach a compromise with you, the relationship will be highly problematic.

       

      It’s funny how we view sex as something so completely different from any other aspect of marriage/relationships.  I don’t always feel like going to work in the morning, but I know that if I don’t do it, my life and the life of my family will suffer in a number of ways.  So I put my desire to have a day at the beach second to my adult priorities.  Not that sex should be seen as a chore – ideally it would be seen as a pleasure.  But let’s be real – in a monogamous relationship, meeting the needs of one’s partner IS an adult responsibility – for both the man and the woman.

      1. 5.2.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @Jeremy

        They want to be desired for their bodies among other things (though not exclusively), but ONLY by men whom they find desirable.

        You just touched upon something that I find to be very frustrating.  I have lost count of the number of women on dating sites who have profiles that contain language such as “not looking to hookup” and “please write about something other than my appearance.”  I take these desires into account when contacting a woman.  If a woman just wants to have a fun date, I am cool with it.  However, what I find to be amazing is how many of these women quickly change their tune after we meet.  They want to escalate touch and be objectified, which is frustrating because I make my decision to ask a woman out based on how I perceive the date will unfold at that point in time.  If I am looking to get physical, I avoid women who have this language in their profiles.  I contact these women strictly because I feel that I may enjoy their company for an evening; therefore,  I am not interested in escalating things. There is nothing like having to tell a woman “no” to her offer of sex.  The look on a woman’s face where she hears a man utter this word is priceless because most women reflexively believe that a man will say, “yes.”  It is kind of like a woman does not want a man objectify her until she qualifies him in person, and then if he does not, she assumes that he must be gay.   This kind of inconsistent behavior is why men think that all women are at least a four on the crazy scale.  Men do not send mixed messages when it comes to being objectified.

  6. 6
    Stephanie

    In every one of my past relationships, I’ve had a higher sex drive than my partner — which I can deal with if the discrepancy isn’t massive.  However, there are a significant number of relationships in which I’ve turned sex down on many occasions because a partner has decided that “greater libido” means “is up for mostly/only quickies”, “happy to engage in other flavors of sex that’s bad-painful for her because she’s not turned on”, and “is totally ok with lack of effort by the male partner.”  I can make up for lack of sexual compatibility to some degree by fantasizing intensely, but don’t have the bandwidth if it’s been a long, tiring day.

    Yes, I’m aware of the existence of quality lube; no, it’s not particularly helpful when I’m not turned on, and even less so if I’m coming to resent my partner’s selfishness in bed, being shamed for having to fantasize (esp if he’s not kinky), or (in one case) being told I’m “emotionally abusing and manipulating him by denying sex”.

    Years of reading online sex and kink fora and my own experiences suggest that a distressing number of men who are otherwise rational seem to think that they possess a magical penis, and that they must be good in bed since they enjoy sex and are sometimes willing to engage in half-hearted foreplay.  Bzzt!  Thanks for playing… I can work with some degree of ED but not with entitlement, laziness, and/or the dark side of the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

    The above is why I no longer date for non-sexual compatibility ONLY, as was the case up until my early 40s (I’m 48 now).  The set of childfree-or-kids-grown, non-smoking guys on my city who are kinky or quasi-kinky in some of the right ways, monogamous, mesh well with my creative-intuitive-analytical software engineer personality, and are in the roughly 80% of men I don’t find visually unattractive — appears to be small.  But I’ll continue to hold out for someone who meets my bare-minimum criteria because feeling miserable in an unfulfilling relationship sucks far more than being single, unhappy about that, and free to make the effort to change the situation.

    So… OKCupid’s algorithm  has been a reliable predictor of whether I’ll find a guy interesting to talk to, and almost always, whether he’s kinky.  A guiy who turned up this past week matches me at 96% and lists _Secretary_ as one of his favorite movies, so I’ve been figuring that we’re at least reasonably complementary in our bedroom orientations.  But last night, out of curiosity, I looked at the questions we’d both answered — we match at 100% everywhere but in the “sex” category… where the match is 48%. Hmm.

    I’m not grilling him about this or pre-emptively canceling our first date (which he took the initiative to make!  yay!) as I’m not quick to judge or classify people until I have a lot more data than a dating profile and a few emails.  Sometimes there’s important context  and/or a person has grown and changed since they answered the relevant questions.  But if there IS mutual interest and potential compatibility in other areas, it’s something I’d need to get a good sense of within the first 2-4 dates.  Doesn’t have to be a perfect match/chemistry, simply “good enough.”

    1. 6.1
      DeeGee

      Stephanie said “In every one of my past relationships, I’ve had a higher sex drive than my partner…

      The problem that I have always faced in all of my relationships so far, is that I have a significantly higher affection drive than any female partner.  And this has always been problematic for me.
      To explain what I mean.
      I love cuddling, spooning, caressing hair and head, giving foot rubs and back rubs and massages, I have taken courses on both tantric touching and tantric sex and I enjoy giving that to the woman that I am with.  It is not unusual for me to spend eight hours or more in one day on a weekend and one or more hours before bedtime on weekdays with a willing female partner giving her constant attention with all of these means and modes of affection.
      If this is to also include sex play, which it does lead to with some women that I have dated, it is nothing for me to give them multiple orgasms often using a wide variety of methods and/or toys.
      But with every woman I have ever been with yet, none of them are ever willing to reciprocate in even the smallest amount.  Even for just the methods of affection listed.  My experience has been that every woman when she is treated to this, just becomes a selfish human sponge.
      For me it has left me feeling empty and unfulfilled in every relationship I have had so far.
      Maybe I need to see a therapist…  🙂
      That would be funny if it were not so true.  Perhaps Evan should do a blog post of differences in affection drive in a couple (maybe he has already and I haven’t seen it).

  7. 7
    Sylvana

    Men – learn to actually, truly pleasure your partner, and you’ll never have to worry about her not wanting any or making excuses again. And make sure she actually feels safe expressing her sexuality.

    As much as sex can feel nice without it, ultimately it’s the orgasm and resulting feelings afterward that keep people wanting more.

    Short of medical reasons (just like for men), there should be no reason a woman should not want sex.

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