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Live webchat with sex and relationship expert, Suzi Godson - Monday 7th November, 1 - 2pm

(72 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 03-Nov-11 12:48:18

Suzi Godson is joining us on Monday 7th November between 1 and 2pm for a live webchat where she'll be answering your questions on relationships and sex. Suzi is the sex and relationships expert for The Times newspaper. Her Saturday Sex Counsel columns have recently been published as a book and she is also the author of the The Body Bible, and the award-winning The Sex Book which has now been translated into fifteen languages. For the last year she has been editing www.moresexdaily.com, a free resource which aims to help couples sustain sex in long-term relationships. It hosts a wealth of news, research and advice from guest experts and it is also the vehicle for a major new survey into sexual frequency. The data will hopefully provide new insights into what some couples are getting wrong in their sexual relationships, and more importantly, what other couples are getting right.

Join Suzi next Monday (7th November) at 1pm or send your questions in advance to this thread.

teeschlurfenderdino Fri 04-Nov-11 10:12:31

Hi Suzi
Hope you can help! I have a loving long term partner and we have been together for 4 years. He is attentive and kind but we are having issues with differing libidos.I was quite scared when we first got together,having been badly treated by my previous partner,and I think the problem started here.My dp was very gentle and careful, did not like to initiate anything incase it wasn't what I wanted.I have now regained my confidence and would like to make love more often, and would love him to make the first move sometimes, but it seems we are stuck in the pattern of behaviour from the beginning of the relationship,and can't move forward.Also, he is having a particularly stressful time at work at the moment and seems unable to switch off, which is also not helping. Advice please?!

SexyDomesticatedDab Fri 04-Nov-11 11:20:10

Sex chat in the middle of the day??????????

Nothing to add but I like her column in the Times on Saturday.

milk Fri 04-Nov-11 18:48:52

Written it in my calendar :D

milk Fri 04-Nov-11 18:55:53

As a MNers I have to ask... how can I add Pom-bear into my sexual escapades? I was thinking how when licked they melt, but I do not know on which part of the body I should balance the bear, do you have any suggestions?

cheekychickenknickers Fri 04-Nov-11 19:01:49

Hi there,
Have name changed, sorry for not feeling brave enough to be myself.

DH and I have slipped into a once every couple of months kind of relationship.
We cuddle every day, fall asleep snuggled up and snuggle in the morning. We are very touchy feely, openly talk about loving each other, and often chat about wanting more sex. It doesn't materialise and we slip back into the rut.

I know that he masterbates, he knows that I do.

In my over analysis of all this... I want more babies, he DEFINATELY DOESN'T
I want him to have a vasectomy.. the best sex we have ever had was when we were trying for a baby or pregnant. and I think the lack of hidden anxiety about getting pregnant had been removed.

Help!!

cheekychickenknickers Fri 04-Nov-11 19:03:16

milk can you slip a [pombear] into your lady bits and get him to find it??

cheekychickenknickers Fri 04-Nov-11 19:03:34

bear

supadoula Fri 04-Nov-11 19:52:43

DH and I have no more sex life. I had a miscarriage 3 and a half years ago and have always wanted to have another baby since. He has constantly said no. Our intimacy is now reduced to a brief cuddle at night. He is kind with the children and cuddles them but I don't get any of that. Where do we go from there? We are moving apart.... Thanks

nenevomito Fri 04-Nov-11 20:29:31

I read this as live sex chat blush

bumbums Fri 04-Nov-11 20:50:04

My husband and I also have a poor sex life. We've never been red hot lovers but I was happy. Since having 2 children, the youngest being 2 and a half, I am a stone heavier and have a saggy belly and boobs. My husband is at the peak of his career and has the work life balance completely tilted to work.
He has said in the past that he doesn't find me as attractive anymore. He is a control freak and has always wanted to take the initiative as far as come ons go. So I learnt early on not to come on to him.
He's not a massively sexual person anyway. Unllike some men who are randy all the time; for him, the stars have to align, he can't be tired/stressed, he has to feel sexy too etc etc etc.
The affection has gone from our marraige because he never spontaneously hugs, strokes, kisses or touches me. I cuddle him sometimes and ask for a kiss.
We haven't had sex for 6mths. My coil strings were bunched up and I had to wait 3mths for a scan appointment to ensure it was in the right place, so no sex then, since then we've just not been in the mood for it.
How do we get our physical relationship back? I told my husband months ago how unhappy I was with our physical relationship and he's done nothing to improve things.

pink4ever Sat 05-Nov-11 08:27:40

Hi

Another one here who is not happy with their sex life. Dh isnt interested in sex anymore. We do it once a week and even then its only because I moan-alot!

He makes it pretty obvious he doesnt find me attractive any longer and he never cuddles or kisses me.

I have tried to talk about this,tried the usual stuff-suggested dressing up,role play,dirty talkblush but doesnt work. Dh will make an effort briefly but then he goes back to normal.

I am only 35 and want to be having loads more sex-any advice?

midnightexpress Sat 05-Nov-11 16:37:58

marking my place.

anyoldexcuse Sat 05-Nov-11 20:52:11

Similar to other posters, but coming from the other point of view.

I'm in a long-term, very loving relationship. We have 2 children, youngest is only a few months so it has been hard to find the time and energy for sex. He still fancies me and is keen to have sex often. But even aside from the time issue, I just don't seem to have any libido. I just don't feel like I need sex, but for the sake of my relationship I really want to get back into it and start enjoying it! Where to start?

madandunhappy Sat 05-Nov-11 23:00:17

Hi Suzi, desparately need your help. DH, for the past 3.5 years has had every excuse for not wanting sex - firstly i was pregnant, then he was unhappy at work, now he says he is worried about not satisfying me, so doesn't want to. I can't face the rest of my life without sex (i am 41, he is 55) but he finds every excuse for not being intimate. he says he love me, but i am so unhappy. Is it wrong of me to want a physical relationship? I feel guilty for wanting a "normal relationship".

DriveGone Sun 06-Nov-11 08:42:26

Hi Suzi
I hope you can help me, I just seem to have no sex drive anymore. I love my husband (we have been together for 11 years, married for 7) and find him attractive but I just seem to have no sexual desire anymore. I don't think it is him as I don't even masturbate or have feelings towards other men. I have two young children and constantly feel shattered. When we do have sex, I am often just thinking I would rather be asleep. My husband is very patient but I am worried this will drive us apart, what can I do to get things going again. Can you permanently lose your sex drive?
I hope you can help.
Thanks

chosenone Sun 06-Nov-11 19:03:51

hi Suzi
Any words of wisdom would be great

My issue is a type of sexual jealousy I think!!?? Ive been with DP over a year after a split with exDH. I worry about his sexual past and obsess over who/when and where etc. He is very reassuring and has stated now he's older and wiser he's having the most satisfying sex ever. We have both had promiscuous and adventurous pasts he is fine with mine, I wind myself up about his. Although we've openly talked about masturbation I also think about this, what does he look at? how often etc?? I dont seem to get jealous over anything other than sexually related things?? I hide it most of the time but it does bubble up occasionally and I know im usually being irrational

Thanks

FloweryTablecloths Mon 07-Nov-11 07:46:24

Hi Suzi

I am at work later so posting this now.

I am assuming this is a common problem but I find it really hard to separate the roles of lover and mother and hate for the lines to be blurred.

Have 2 young DC under 3 and feel e.g that boobs are for feeding atm and not for sex - which is a shame as they were amazingly sensitive (in a good way) when I was pregnant.

Also the idea of trying to have an "early night" wink and then one of the DC wakes up and can't switch between the two roles.

Any advice much appreciated on how I can flick a switch in my brain that makes it easier to not worry about being a lover and mother.

Thanks

ferfuxake Mon 07-Nov-11 10:38:06

I've been with my partner for over 10 years. We have 2 small children and we hardly ever have sex. And to be honest it only bothers me because I think we should, rather than because I actually miss it.

Logically I can see a while range of reasons for this situation - we had trouble conceiving our first child before success through IVF, but that was preceded by 2 years of fairly joyless sex aimed purely at conception. Since then we have been through the usual lack of sleep with young children; my husband struggles with depression, and has a stressful job; we are both overweight; and to top all that off we both probably drink too much. I also suffered a 3rd degree tear when I gave birth to our youngest, so I was quite anxious about having sex after that. I still care for my partner but to be honest (and this is the first time I've really admitted it) I don't fancy him, and I don't really think he fancies me either.

Is there any hope for us?!

Cussandroid Mon 07-Nov-11 11:03:22

Can you recommend any resources for couples where the woman is neuro-typical, and the man has Asperger traits?

The only books I have seen are patronising and aimed at people with serious autistic traits, as opposed to men who are only mildly affected.

Shakey1500 Mon 07-Nov-11 12:55:20

Hi Suzi

What are your thoughts on monogamy?

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 07-Nov-11 13:01:11

Suzi's arrived at MNHQ and is ready to answer your questions. Welcome to Mumsnet Suzi Godson...

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:02:27

Hi Everyone, I am chuffed to be here and am ready to answer your questions. Suzi x

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:04:53

Cussandroid

Can you recommend any resources for couples where the woman is neuro-typical, and the man has Asperger traits?

The only books I have seen are patronising and aimed at people with serious autistic traits, as opposed to men who are only mildly affected.

Cussandroid I presume you mean you want to find sex books or sex resources to do with Aspergers. I'm afraid I can't answer this one straight off, but I will do a bit of research and come back to with some solid leads tomorrow if that is ok. I know this link is to do with young adults but I think it is interesting www.opposingviews.com/i/romantic-lives-of-young-adults-with-asperger-s

SenoraTorres Mon 07-Nov-11 13:07:28

Hi Suzi,

have literally about 15 mins ago had a friend tell me that her and her partner have not been intimate for about 3 years.Imagine my delight at seeing on you mumsnet! Just wondering what you would have said to someone who had just told you this as I was pretty hopeless and only managed a sympathetic "oh".
Thank you.

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:07:46

teeschlurfenderdino

Hi Suzi
Hope you can help! I have a loving long term partner and we have been together for 4 years. He is attentive and kind but we are having issues with differing libidos.I was quite scared when we first got together,having been badly treated by my previous partner,and I think the problem started here.My dp was very gentle and careful, did not like to initiate anything incase it wasn't what I wanted.I have now regained my confidence and would like to make love more often, and would love him to make the first move sometimes, but it seems we are stuck in the pattern of behaviour from the beginning of the relationship,and can't move forward.Also, he is having a particularly stressful time at work at the moment and seems unable to switch off, which is also not helping. Advice please?!

Dear teeschlurfenderdino, When you met your partner you needed a certain style of lovemaking which was slow and gentle and 'on your terms', but now that you have grown in confidence (thanks to lots of TLC from your partner) you are ready to step up the tempo. Thing is, your Dp may have been better suited to the ‘vulnerable you’ that he first met, and in the same way that he coaxed you to confidence, you may now need to encourage him towards disinhibition. It is really important to be able to talk to each other about the way you feel. He may not even know that you have identified this change in yourself and simply pointing it out to him may change the dynamic.

Stress is a big issue for men - you can read a helpful article about the impacts of stress on the male libido here - http://www.moresexdaily.com/thesexthieves/stress/. But sex is a fantastic way of de-stressing, so if you can persuade him to use sex as a way of unwinding you will both reap the benefit. I know giving him a massage is not exactly fun for you, but it might help him to switch off, and I think these pouring hot wax afterglow candles sound like a lot of fun - http://www.exclusivelyeve.co.uk/product/133/afterglow_specialas/jimmyjane-afterglow-pouring-massage-candle-special-edition.html

When couples find themselves stuck in unsatisfactory sexual patterns one of the easiest ways to shake things up is to put yourselves in a different environment. I personally am a big fan of hotels. When it all gets too much with kids and work and the whole nine yards, holing up in a hotel bedroom with 24 hour room service is like a shot of adrenaline for a jaded relationship. There is a good piece you can read here (http://www.moresexdaily.com/7-reasons-to-love-hotel-sex/) about the joys of hotel sex.

Good luck and have fun. Yours Suzi

hotrodret Mon 07-Nov-11 13:09:28

Hi, Since having my two children (4 and 19 months) i have lost all interest in sex. By the end of the day when its time to go to bed i am shattered. Most nights one of the children has me up so i have broken sleep more often than not. When i go to bed i feel its my time, but i feel like i am on call 24-7, if its not the children needing me, its my husbands needs that need fulfilling. I almost dread my husband comimg to bed as i think 'is he going to want sex tonight? is he going to wake me up in the night? When i say i am going up to bed he sighs so i feel guilty, but i need to catch up on my sleep. He never gets up to the children in the night or ever helps with them in the mornings, even on days when i go to work and he doesn't. I think i resent him because of this, and think 'well why should i give you what you want when you don't help me' He keeps saying he is frustrated and i can understand that but the more he makes sex an issue the more i don't want it. I don't know if i need to see my G.P or what to do?

Dotty342kids Mon 07-Nov-11 13:10:52

Hi, similar to some of the others really, I find it hard to "find" my libido. If I'm being really honest I would rahter be asleep/ reading a book! We've been married ten years and my husband's sex drive is as enormous as it ever was and he constantly wants it to be more exciting / spontaneous / "dirty" / raunchy / frequent.
I try to keep up but after a month or two of putting extra effort in it just fizzles out again and then his dissatisfaction creeps back in and we're back to square one.
Can a marriage survive with two very different sex drives do you think?

Cussandroid Mon 07-Nov-11 13:11:14

Thanks, Suzi, if you could come back to this tomorrow, that would be great. Yes, re sex! grin I'm not the only MNer who may have an interest. Sometimes undiagnosed Asperger tendencies can be the unexplained reason for a man's apparent coldness and lack of physical affection.

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:12:10

ferfuxake

I've been with my partner for over 10 years. We have 2 small children and we hardly ever have sex. And to be honest it only bothers me because I think we should, rather than because I actually miss it.

Logically I can see a while range of reasons for this situation - we had trouble conceiving our first child before success through IVF, but that was preceded by 2 years of fairly joyless sex aimed purely at conception. Since then we have been through the usual lack of sleep with young children; my husband struggles with depression, and has a stressful job; we are both overweight; and to top all that off we both probably drink too much. I also suffered a 3rd degree tear when I gave birth to our youngest, so I was quite anxious about having sex after that. I still care for my partner but to be honest (and this is the first time I've really admitted it) I don't fancy him, and I don't really think he fancies me either.

Is there any hope for us?!

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:12:50

Cussandroid

Thanks, Suzi, if you could come back to this tomorrow, that would be great. Yes, re sex! grin I'm not the only MNer who may have an interest. Sometimes undiagnosed Asperger tendencies can be the unexplained reason for a man's apparent coldness and lack of physical affection.

You are welcome. I will enjoy researching this. Suzi

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:13:00

milk

As a MNers I have to ask... how can I add Pom-bear into my sexual escapades? I was thinking how when licked they melt, but I do not know on which part of the body I should balance the bear, do you have any suggestions?

Hey milk, Child-friendly-teddy-bear-shaped-deep-fried-melting-potato-snacks.... as a sex aid? So very, very wrong! Suzix

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:15:30

ferfuxake

I've been with my partner for over 10 years. We have 2 small children and we hardly ever have sex. And to be honest it only bothers me because I think we should, rather than because I actually miss it.

Logically I can see a while range of reasons for this situation - we had trouble conceiving our first child before success through IVF, but that was preceded by 2 years of fairly joyless sex aimed purely at conception. Since then we have been through the usual lack of sleep with young children; my husband struggles with depression, and has a stressful job; we are both overweight; and to top all that off we both probably drink too much. I also suffered a 3rd degree tear when I gave birth to our youngest, so I was quite anxious about having sex after that. I still care for my partner but to be honest (and this is the first time I've really admitted it) I don't fancy him, and I don't really think he fancies me either.

Is there any hope for us?!

Hi ferfuxake Thank you so much for posting this question. I think you have been really honest and that is not always easy. Firstly, given your circumstances I think I would be more surprised if your were interested in sex. It sounds like you have had a tough time and if your partner is depressed and stressed he is unlikely to feel particularly sexual. Although I strongly believe that it is important to try and sustain intimacy in a long term relationship , if neither of feels like sex, and neither of you feels that not having it is creating problems, then there is no problem. Sex ebbs and flows in long term relationships. Sometimes you have lots of it and sometimes you don’t, and right now I think you and your Dh should let yourself off the hook and accept that a goodnight kiss and cuddle is all either of you want or need.
On a more practical note, being overweight and drinking too much is, as you say, unlikely to be helping either of you. I know only too well how easy it is to get to 'wine o clock' and think "sod it, I’ll finish the bottle", but alcohol is a depressant, it packs on the pounds and it also suppresses the libido. Try cutting back so that you just drink on weekends. And is there any way you and your Dh could get into the habit of taking the kids for a walk, or to the park, so that you get some exercise together as a family? Or maybe you could take turns going to the gym in the evening. Getting fit would make you both feel better. Exercise helps alleviate depression and it is a fantastic libido booster too.Good luck Suzi

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:17:16

cheekychickenknickers

Hi there,
Have name changed, sorry for not feeling brave enough to be myself.

DH and I have slipped into a once every couple of months kind of relationship.
We cuddle every day, fall asleep snuggled up and snuggle in the morning. We are very touchy feely, openly talk about loving each other, and often chat about wanting more sex. It doesn't materialise and we slip back into the rut.

I know that he masterbates, he knows that I do.

In my over analysis of all this... I want more babies, he DEFINATELY DOESN'T
I want him to have a vasectomy.. the best sex we have ever had was when we were trying for a baby or pregnant. and I think the lack of hidden anxiety about getting pregnant had been removed.

Help!!

Hi Cheekychickenknickers, thanks for posting a question. Firstly, there are lots of good things going on here. You are snuggling and cuddling and touchy-feely with each other and that is a sign that your relationship is in good shape, but it also sounds as there is a HUGE big issue which the two of you have not resolved, and that is, whether or not you want to have any more kids. You say you do and he doesn’t, but then you also say you want him to have a vasectomy?

I’m not sure how many kids you have already, but there may be lots of very practical reasons why your hubby doesn’t want any more. Sure, making them is great fun, but the long term cost of raising a child is approximately 200 grand. That is an expensive way of getting your love life back on track.

I think it is healthy that you both know and accept that you masturbate. It is completely normal and I don’t think any of us have a right to police each other in that regard. However if you are both masturbating, and yet you both want to have sex, it sounds as if you are channeling your sexual energies away from each other to some degree.

Basically, I think you are both avoiding sex because you know there is an underlying conflict associated with it. What you now need to do is clarify, once and for all, whether you do, or don’t want more children. If you can come to an agreement on that major issue, then, as you say, you will eliminate a major source of anxiety for both of you. Either you go ahead and try for a last baby, or you sort out long term contraception, in which case you get to have lots of great sex and end up 200 grand richer at the same time. Bonus. Yours Suzi x

NessaRose Mon 07-Nov-11 13:19:32

Hi, my DH and I are both finding sex difficult after a very recent miscarriage. We both feel guilty when we try. Can you give us some tips to overcome this please? Thanks.

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:21:20

Shakey1500

Hi Suzi

What are your thoughts on monogamy?

Hi Shakey, I could write a novel on this one. Monogamy is only two letters away from monotony and you really do have to work to keep it going. We all have a tendency to take our partners for granted and to imagine that the grass is greener but I remember once being at an airport and I was watching my Dh helping an attractive woman with her bags. I stood back and I saw how enchanted she was and how attractive he was to her and it made me value him in a way that I had not done for a while. Sometimes we need to step back and look at how much we have and appreciate it. It is far too easy to allow yourself to be dissatisfied but the alternative is not much fun. Marriage can be tedious but divorce is hell.

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:22:37

supadoula

DH and I have no more sex life. I had a miscarriage 3 and a half years ago and have always wanted to have another baby since. He has constantly said no. Our intimacy is now reduced to a brief cuddle at night. He is kind with the children and cuddles them but I don't get any of that. Where do we go from there? We are moving apart.... Thanks

Oh Soupadoula, I do feel for you. I know miscarriage is unbelievably difficult to deal with, largely because people just do not understand the grief associated with it. Because the baby is unborn there is a tendency for friends and family to think that a couple should just “try again” but they don’t understand that sex and potential pregnancy become so tied up in loss, and those feelings are so painful, that often, you just don’t want to go there. I also know that when a woman has a miscarriage and sex does not subsequently result in pregnancy, it becomes increasingly difficult to find the motivation to do it.

You both need help to get past this and I would suggest that you talk to an expert to establish both the cause of the miscarriage and/or why you have not been able to get pregnant since. Then you need to make an appointment with a really good relationship counsellor (www.BACP.com or Relate) and both of you need to talk through how weird you feel about the miscarriage and what has, or more pertinently, has not, happened since.

I do think that if you could untangle your feelings about losing your baby you could create the space to rebuild your sexual relationship, but you do both need to engage in that process before things will change. You can get in touch with me at www.moresexdaily.com if you need more help. Yours Suzi

tireddddd Mon 07-Nov-11 13:25:02

Just wanteed to say thanks now, as am unlikely to be able to join webchat.
I'd never read your column or heard of your website, but I clicked on the link in the OP, and it's just brilliant. Rings so many bells, helpful without being patronising, doesn't pull any punches but not trying to be provocative for the sake of it....

Anyway, the reason I'm writing is that I was officially in a "sexless marriage" a year after having 2nd child within 20 months of having first. After 2 non-sleeping babies, and a year where both of us were under an immense amount of pressure at work, sex was the last thing on our minds. It just kind of slipped down our list of priorities, and then wasn't there at all.

But I read the article about why something that's enjoyable and free isn't done cos we can't be bothered. It gave me the confidence to just go for it and not worry about why it had happened.... (and also to know we're deinitely not alone or abnormal...)

We're still officially "sexless" (ie less than 10 times per year or whatever) but am working on it. And am loving reading the website....

thanks smile

(ps: am also a coward and have name-changed!)

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:25:40

madandunhappy

Hi Suzi, desparately need your help. DH, for the past 3.5 years has had every excuse for not wanting sex - firstly i was pregnant, then he was unhappy at work, now he says he is worried about not satisfying me, so doesn't want to. I can't face the rest of my life without sex (i am 41, he is 55) but he finds every excuse for not being intimate. he says he love me, but i am so unhappy. Is it wrong of me to want a physical relationship? I feel guilty for wanting a "normal relationship".

Hi madandunhappy, thanks for posting your question. It sounds as if your DH is having some serious difficulties with sex. It may be a reflection of depression or unhappiness. He obviously had kids later in life and he may be finding it hard to cope. However it sounds as if his reluctance to engage may actually be an attempt to hide the fact that his erection is not as firm or as reliable as it once was.

By the age of 55 occasional ED is normal - some of the causes include drinking too much alcohol, anxiety and tiredness - but three and half years of reluctance suggests something more serious. Ongoing ED can be a symptom of a of underlying illness such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol so your Dh does need to see a doctor. If there is a physical cause, treatment will resolve the issue. If the cause is psychological, he may respond to Viagra, Levitra or Cialis. Just knowing he can achieve erection will make him feel more confident. If things don’t get better you should consider psychosexual counselling (www.bacp.co.uk) to try and help you both get things back on track. Good luck. Yours Suzi

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:26:22

SenoraTorres

Hi Suzi,

have literally about 15 mins ago had a friend tell me that her and her partner have not been intimate for about 3 years.Imagine my delight at seeing on you mumsnet! Just wondering what you would have said to someone who had just told you this as I was pretty hopeless and only managed a sympathetic "oh".
Thank you.

Hi SenoraTorres, One of the Mumsnetters - madandunhappy - has posted a very similar question today and I have given her a fairly detailed response so have a look at that. It is obviously difficult to comment on someone's relationship without knowing a bit more. There may be illness, depression, infidelity or a failing relationship involved. If your friend wants help she could contact me through www.moresexdaily.com or she could write to me at The Times. I am always happy to help. Yours Suzi

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:29:06

bumbums

My husband and I also have a poor sex life. We've never been red hot lovers but I was happy. Since having 2 children, the youngest being 2 and a half, I am a stone heavier and have a saggy belly and boobs. My husband is at the peak of his career and has the work life balance completely tilted to work.
He has said in the past that he doesn't find me as attractive anymore. He is a control freak and has always wanted to take the initiative as far as come ons go. So I learnt early on not to come on to him.
He's not a massively sexual person anyway. Unllike some men who are randy all the time; for him, the stars have to align, he can't be tired/stressed, he has to feel sexy too etc etc etc.
The affection has gone from our marraige because he never spontaneously hugs, strokes, kisses or touches me. I cuddle him sometimes and ask for a kiss.
We haven't had sex for 6mths. My coil strings were bunched up and I had to wait 3mths for a scan appointment to ensure it was in the right place, so no sex then, since then we've just not been in the mood for it.
How do we get our physical relationship back? I told my husband months ago how unhappy I was with our physical relationship and he's done nothing to improve things.

Hey bumbums, Lots of men struggle to restore an intimate relationship with their wives after childbirth but this sounds more extreme. You have made it clear that you feel very unhappy about the lack of affection in your relationship, and if you DH valued you as he should, he would recognise that the absence of sexual intimacy makes you feel inadequate and rejected.

It can not be easy to live with a man who is both controlling and unaffectionate and there is, in my experience a certain, rather specific, kind of cruelty associated with withholding sex. Yes, there are a million valid excuses why a busy man might want to put off having sex with the mother of his children, but over a six month period? It is hard not to deduce that your husband gets some kind of kick out of denying you.

In my experience, men like your husband only want what they can not have, so the more you ask, the less you will get. I know it is hard with young children, but if you are determined to make this marriage work, you need to withdraw, both emotionally and physically, and work on building up your own self esteem, because you husband clearly isn’t going to help you.

You are obviously not happy with the way you look so do something about it. Get into sport. Have abdominoplasty. Do whatever it takes to make yourself love the way you look. Get out as much as you can. Hire a sitter or leave him to babysit. Take night classes. Do a part time degree. The more you invest in yourself, the more you challenge yourself, the more you distance yourself, the more he will begin to notice that the person he took for granted has pulled away and begun to carve an autonomous identity for herself. Once he realises that he can not control you anymore, I guarantee he will be begging for your attention.

Yours Suzi

SenoraTorres Mon 07-Nov-11 13:30:43

Thank you - will direct her to your website, it looks excellent.

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:32:32

tireddddd

Just wanteed to say thanks now, as am unlikely to be able to join webchat.
I'd never read your column or heard of your website, but I clicked on the link in the OP, and it's just brilliant. Rings so many bells, helpful without being patronising, doesn't pull any punches but not trying to be provocative for the sake of it....

Anyway, the reason I'm writing is that I was officially in a "sexless marriage" a year after having 2nd child within 20 months of having first. After 2 non-sleeping babies, and a year where both of us were under an immense amount of pressure at work, sex was the last thing on our minds. It just kind of slipped down our list of priorities, and then wasn't there at all.

But I read the article about why something that's enjoyable and free isn't done cos we can't be bothered. It gave me the confidence to just go for it and not worry about why it had happened.... (and also to know we're deinitely not alone or abnormal...)

We're still officially "sexless" (ie less than 10 times per year or whatever) but am working on it. And am loving reading the website....

thanks smile

(ps: am also a coward and have name-changed!)

Hi tiredddd, that is such a cute message and I'm thrilled that you like the site. I've been running it for about nine months now and I'm carrying out a big survey into sexual frequency in long term relationships at www.moresexdaily.com/the-survey/. If you can take a few minutes to fill it in that would be great. (That goes for everyone by the way)

I really want to be able to provide men and women with a more accurate picture of what is really happening in relationships. A lot of us feel we should be having tons of sex, but I think a more realistic idea of what everyone else in our age group is up to might take some of the pressure off. Ultimately, I aim to produce a book which has lots of positive ideas on what couples can do to restore an ailing sex life or make a dull one more fun. Do keep in touch through the site. Yours Suzi

nenevomito Mon 07-Nov-11 13:35:01

Hi - the physical side of my relationship with my DH has all but disappeared and I would say in the last 3 years we've had sex about 8 times in total (and I'm being generous there).

I think part of the problem is that its been so long that neither of us even knows how to go about initiating it any more.

any thoughts?

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:35:03

babyheave

I read this as live sex chat blush

Unfortunately I will not be performing live sex. Up for a chat though! Suzix

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:37:07

pink4ever

Hi

Another one here who is not happy with their sex life. Dh isnt interested in sex anymore. We do it once a week and even then its only because I moan-alot!

He makes it pretty obvious he doesnt find me attractive any longer and he never cuddles or kisses me.

I have tried to talk about this,tried the usual stuff-suggested dressing up,role play,dirty talkblush but doesnt work. Dh will make an effort briefly but then he goes back to normal.

I am only 35 and want to be having loads more sex-any advice?

Hi pink4ever, thanks for posting your question. Sexual frequency is a bit of a pet subject of mine actually. For the last year I have been carrying out a survey at www.moresexdaily.com/the-survey/ in order to establish a more accurate picture of sexual frequency in the UK. I have always been suspicious of the of the ‘twice a week’ statistic that is bandied around because that figure is a mean, or average, so it includes twenty year olds who are doing it five times a night as well as people who aren’t having any sex at all. I also doubt the validity of surveys such as the Durex global survey because it is mostly filled in by young men who want to brag about how much sex they have, so I don’t think the data is very reliable.

So far, my data, sadly, confirms my worst suspicions. The downside is that we, as a nation, are not having half as much sex as we pretend to. The upside is that it means you are doing incredibly well to be having sex once a week given that you are married, a mother and over 35 years of age.

If you think your Dh is not interested it may be because he feels you are being overly needy (see my advice to bumbums on autonomy and investing in yourself) and you might find that if you make fewer demands on him he may respond differently. Thinking through the situation from his perspective might also give you some insight into how and why he is behaving the way he is.

I don’t know your particular situation but I know that being a Mum of small children can be pretty boring and it is very easy to become completely Mumcentric. By the time your partner comes home from work you are craving adult company as well as reassurance that you have not turned into a lump of play dough. It can be a bit overwhelming for men and I know lots of guys who stay at the office far longer than they should simply because they can’t face the re-entry period when they get home from work. Is he feeling overwhelmed? And if he is, is there a way you could take the pressure off?

Best of luck with it all, Yours Suzi

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:37:46

NessaRose

Hi, my DH and I are both finding sex difficult after a very recent miscarriage. We both feel guilty when we try. Can you give us some tips to overcome this please? Thanks.

Hi NessaRose, Miscarriage is simply devastating and my heart goes out to you. Don't expect things to go back to normal because you are both still feeling bereaved and because sex is all mixed up with the baby you have lot it is only natural that it will be difficult.

I've done a lot of work with Professor Lesley Regan at the recurrent miscarriage unit at St Marys Hospital so I am aware of the impact it can have. I will drop Lesley a line and find out if there are any support groups that might be able to help in this particular context and I will post them here for you tomorrow.

Also, another Mumsnetter - supadoula - has posted a question about miscarriage so do have a look at that response.

Give yourselves time to grieve and take care of each other. And keep in touch if you need any more help. Yours Suzi

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:40:45

anyoldexcuse

Similar to other posters, but coming from the other point of view.

I'm in a long-term, very loving relationship. We have 2 children, youngest is only a few months so it has been hard to find the time and energy for sex. He still fancies me and is keen to have sex often. But even aside from the time issue, I just don't seem to have any libido. I just don't feel like I need sex, but for the sake of my relationship I really want to get back into it and start enjoying it! Where to start?

Heavens to Betsy anyoldexcuse, you only gave birth eight weeks ago! At that point I think I was still watching Loose Women in my nightie with cabbage leaves on my boobs. Give yourself a chance love. Your libido is on hold because you have a bigger priority at this particular moment, but once things settle down you will will bounce back. I have posted a column I wrote about this issue here www.moresexdaily.com/after-having-a-baby-i-dont-feel-my-body-is-sexual-anymore/ and it might help you to see your lack of libido in a more sympathetic light

In the mean time, when it comes to libido, don’t underestimate the power of responsive desire. I’m cutting and pasting a little extract from some work by Dr Rosemary Basson here. Her research suggests that in women, desire and arousal can occur after sexual intercourse has begun - in other words, having sex makes you want to have sex.

According to Basson, “women have many reasons for engaging in sexual activity other than sexual hunger or drive, as the traditional model suggests. Although many women may experience spontaneous desire and interest while in the throes of a new sexual relationship or after a long separation from a partner, most women in long-term relationships do not frequently think of sex or experience spontaneous hunger for sexual activity. In these latter cases, Basson suggests that a desire for increased emotional closeness and intimacy or overtures from a partner may predispose a woman to participate in sexual activity. From this point of sexual neutrality—where a woman is receptive to being sexual but does not initiate sexual activity—the desire for intimacy prompts her to seek ways to become sexually aroused via conversation, music, reading or viewing erotic materials, or direct stimulation. Once she is aroused, sexual desire emerges and motivates her to continue the activity. On the road to satisfaction, there are many points of vulnerability that may derail or distract a woman from feeling sexually fulfilled. The Basson model clarifies that the goal of sexual activity for women is not necessarily orgasm but rather personal satisfaction, which can manifest as physical satisfaction (orgasm) and/or emotional satisfaction (a feeling of intimacy and connection with a partner).”

Some feminists have interpreted Basson’s research in a negative way suggesting that it somehow gives licence to men to have sex with women who don’t want it, but she is a Director of Sexual Medicine at the University of British Columbia and a full-time sexual medicine physician at the Center for Sexual Medicine at Vancouver Hospital and I think what she says makes sense. I intend to do a more detailed piece on responsive desire for www.moresexdaily.com in the next week or so if you are interested in finding out more.

Yours Suzi

k4mi Mon 07-Nov-11 13:41:41

Hi Suzi,

I'll try and keep it brief. I am in a 2 yr relationship with a wonderful man who i have a deep and satisfying (in many ways) relationship with. We are expecting a baby in Jan and so my sex drive has recently plummeted a little...to be expected i think and we remain very affectionate. Before pregnancy we have always had issues with sex since about 3 months into the relationship. I love sex and under normal circumstances would happily have it 3-4 x per week. During pregnancy that's been more like once or twice a fortnight. My partner on the other hand is less sexual. He wants to be sexual but suffers from lack of desire. I don't believe this is about me (i hope) as although perhaps now it's different at 7 months pregnant i know when we do have sex he enjoys it and i know he finds me attractive. The problem is he seems to have no libido...or a v low one. He's not out with other women, into porn, pleasuring himself, gay or anything (we have talked openly about this) and i really just don't know what to do to help him increase his libido (which is what he wants). i think he feels like he is failing me / us.

What i am really scared of is the baby arriving and us not having the opportunity to have sex anymore and using that as an excuse...i know it will be a lot lot easier to put off doing and talking about once it arrives and so really wanted to try and address this more before then.

DP has been to the DR who has referred him for some counselling (thinks it stems from feeling under-confident) but the referral hasn't come through.

any advice on books/websites etc we can read?

NessaRose Mon 07-Nov-11 13:45:38

Thanks Suzi.

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:46:40

DriveGone

Hi Suzi
I hope you can help me, I just seem to have no sex drive anymore. I love my husband (we have been together for 11 years, married for 7) and find him attractive but I just seem to have no sexual desire anymore. I don't think it is him as I don't even masturbate or have feelings towards other men. I have two young children and constantly feel shattered. When we do have sex, I am often just thinking I would rather be asleep. My husband is very patient but I am worried this will drive us apart, what can I do to get things going again. Can you permanently lose your sex drive?
I hope you can help.
Thanks

Hi DriveGone, Small kids are a drain, but if you have lost your libido and feel permanently shattered you may actually be run down, depressed, or suffering from an undiagnosed illness. You really need to make an appointment with your GP to talk about how you are feeling physically, and most importantly, be brave enough to mention your loss of libido and the fact that you don’t even masturbate. Your GP will be able to assess whether he or she needs to treat you (depression, thyroid, hormones, virus, I can think of tons of reasons why you might feel this way) or whether you need to be referred to a specialist for more specific sexual help. I’m not sure where you are in the country but The Jane Wadsworth Clinic (www.imperial.nhs.uk/.../ourclinics/jane-wadsworth-clinic/) at St Marys Hospital in Paddington has a fantastic clinic which treats both the physical and psychological causes of low sexual desire simultaneously.

I know it can be very difficult to talk about personal issues and none of us feel comfortable talking about sexual difficulties, but if you don’t ask for help you won’t receive any, and often, just taking the first step and admitting that you have a problem, and that you need help solving it, can be such a huge relief that the situation begins to improve immediately anyway.

Talking about it will also take the pressure off your husband who probably feels responsible but does not know what he can do to help. Men are solution oriented. They like to be able to fix things, to make them better, to make them go away, so they find it very frustrating when they can’t help. If he knows you are going to see a doctor he will, at least, feel that you are moving towards a resolution.

Taking good care of yourself is very important. A good diet, not too much booze and exercise can all help to decrease tension and make you feel better. You don’t mention how old your kids are but is there any way you could get some time off? Have you got a kindly Mum or Mother in Law who would step in while you and your husband got away for a few days. See my note to teeschlurfenderdino on hotel sex.

Finally, libido is something that you can encourage. If sex feels like a chore I can guarantee you that only the most stubborn can last longer than sixty seconds with a splash of lube and a Plug-in Magic Wand vibrator. It is worth a try because orgasm is a fantastic way of improving your mood and it also helps you to sleep better and to feel more relaxed.

Best of Luck. Yours Suzi

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:50:17

chosenone

hi Suzi
Any words of wisdom would be great

My issue is a type of sexual jealousy I think!!?? Ive been with DP over a year after a split with exDH. I worry about his sexual past and obsess over who/when and where etc. He is very reassuring and has stated now he's older and wiser he's having the most satisfying sex ever. We have both had promiscuous and adventurous pasts he is fine with mine, I wind myself up about his. Although we've openly talked about masturbation I also think about this, what does he look at? how often etc?? I dont seem to get jealous over anything other than sexually related things?? I hide it most of the time but it does bubble up occasionally and I know im usually being irrational

Thanks

Hi chosenone, I think what you are going through reflects your own insecurities and I think to some degree, you may be transferring your fears about how you have both behaved in the past on to your partner. If you have both been promiscuous and unfaithful in previous relationships, what guarantees do you have that you won’t behave that way in this relationship? There are none. And that can leave you feeling quite insecure, but I think you have to listen to your partner and believe him when he says that he is older and wiser now. Unless your DP has given you cause to doubt him, you need to trust him, because otherwise you will end up sabotaging the relationship.

As for the whole masturbation/porn thing, I know it is very difficult to deal with. The idea that your partner is getting sexual pleasure from watching images of other women feels like a threat, but it isn’t real, and if it is not having a negative effect on his, or you, life, then it is not something that you should get wound up about. Yes, we have a right to expect fidelity from our partners, but masturbation is the sex we have with ourselves. We start doing it as adolescents and it stays with us for life. It is not realistic to expect that behaviour to stop because you are in a relationship with someone, and although the porn industry is vile, the only real difference between the fantasies you have while masturbating and the images your partner may be looking at, is that one involves having an imagination and the other doesn’t.

As an exercise I think it would be worth your while to write down all the positives and negatives about your current relationships. It would also be worth thinking back to your marriage and writing down the reasons why that was good, and bad, and why it eventually ended. Assign everything on your list a score out of ten - a plus score for poisitives and a minus score for negatives - and then tot up all the totals. So Dp remembers my birthday is +10 and Dp watches porn is -8 etc. Looking at the numerical difference between where you are in this relationship and where you were in your last one will reassure you that you are in the right relationship, with the right man and that the only thing you have to worry about is your own propensity to over-analyse.

Good luck. Yours Suzi

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:52:16

nenevomito

Hi - the physical side of my relationship with my DH has all but disappeared and I would say in the last 3 years we've had sex about 8 times in total (and I'm being generous there).

I think part of the problem is that its been so long that neither of us even knows how to go about initiating it any more.

any thoughts?

Hi nenevomito, I think you have hit the nail on the head. The longer you leave it the harder it is to get back into it which is why it is important to try and keep it going, even at a basic level. As Dr David Goldmeier, Clinical Lead for the Jane Wadsworth Sexual Function Clinic in London says, “once a couple stop having sex, even for a few months, they slip into ‘non-sexual relationship mode’ where it becomes very difficult to initiate sex. They, in effect, become platonic partners in a conspiracy of silence.”

It is also worth pointing out that in a long term relationship it is always the partner with the lower sex drive who determines the levels of sexual frequency in the relationship. If he or she doesn’t want it, it doesn’t happen and there is nothing the other partner can do about it. That is pretty unfair an leads to a whole host of bad feelings.

Couples who don’t have sex suffer more from depression and psychological problems. They also have more arguments and feelings of stress, worthlessness and low self esteem. And, inevitably, it is associated with increased risk of divorce and relationship dissolution. (Karney, 1995). And of course if a couple are not having sex with each other, they increase the risk of one or both partners eventually having sex with someone else.

In his book, Why Marriages Succeed or Fail, the psychology professor and relationship expert John Gottman describes long-term relationships as being “like the second law of thermodynamics that says that closed energy systems tend to run down and get less orderly over time”. What he means by that is if you do nothing to make things get better in your relationship, it will still tend to get worse, even if you don’t actually do anything wrong.

Discussing these issues honestly with your partner is the first step. You'll find some good guidance on my site www.morsexdaily.com and there is a fairly comprehensive book list there too. Make time for sex. I know we all think it should happen spontaneously but it won't. Arrange it all in advance. Get rid of the kids. Makes sure the bedroom is tidy and the bedlinen is ironed. Take a bath together. Light candles. Drink champagne (or cava in these recessionary times) and just go for it. There is no time like the present and no one ever died wishing they had had less sex! Yours Suzi

Dotty342kids Mon 07-Nov-11 13:52:51

Hi Suzi, not sure if you saw my question near start of this thread re. differing sex drives?

LeninGrad Mon 07-Nov-11 13:54:00

Loving your turns of phrase on here.

So, do you think there is just too much emphasis on sex in life? Things wax and wane, especially as you get pg and have kids and so on and surely that's fine.

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:54:34

FloweryTablecloths

Hi Suzi

I am at work later so posting this now.

I am assuming this is a common problem but I find it really hard to separate the roles of lover and mother and hate for the lines to be blurred.

Have 2 young DC under 3 and feel e.g that boobs are for feeding atm and not for sex - which is a shame as they were amazingly sensitive (in a good way) when I was pregnant.

Also the idea of trying to have an "early night" wink and then one of the DC wakes up and can't switch between the two roles.

Any advice much appreciated on how I can flick a switch in my brain that makes it easier to not worry about being a lover and mother.

Thanks

Thanks
This is a really interesting question and I think all Mums feel this way to some extent. The physical toll of having kids is enormous and you just don’t feel your body is the same at all. Also, breastfeeding is such an intimate experience and it feels weird to make the switch to being sexual, particularly when your baby is in close proximity.

There has been a fair bit of research into the link between breastfeeding and low libido and of five studies comparing the sexual experiences of women who chose to breastfeed against women who chose to formula-feed, four of them found that mothers who breastfed were less interested in sex, less likely to be having it and more likely to find it painful when they did. Breastfeeding releases oxytocin the bonding hormone and it is the number one passion killer. It stamps out feelings of arousal because in evolutionary terms, if a baby was being breastfed it was not in its best interest for its mother to have sex and get pregnant again. Basically, it was a way of ensuring that the baby would not have to compete for food.

Things will change once you stop breastfeeding but it may take a few months. There is not a great deal of research into the subject of sex after breastfeeding, but a study carried out in 1994 by a team at the University of Sydney found that within three to four weeks of weaning, those women who had been breastfeeding for six months-plus were feeling less milkmaid and more sex kitten. Phasing out breastfeeding often takes a month or longer and, even after the final feed, it can take weeks for the breasts to stop lactating. It also takes time for hormone levels to adjust, which is why, after weaning, so many women report feeling as if they have terrible PMT.

I wrote a column about this issue which is published in my book ‘Sex Counsel’ but I have posted it here www.moresexdaily.com/after-having-a-baby-i-dont-feel-my-body-is-sexual-anymore/ so you can read it.

PS: It would be great if you could take the survey here www.moresexdaily.com/the-survey/

LeninGrad Mon 07-Nov-11 13:57:54

And what is more, do you think the majority of us are meant to have the same lifelong sexual partner? I know the way society is organised seemingly makes that the most 'secure' option but do you think it's how it would be if finances and so on weren't so inextricably tied up with relationships?

k4mi Mon 07-Nov-11 13:59:52

Sorry Suzi, i should have also said we are both 30 yrs old.

Thanks

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 14:00:53

k4mi

Hi Suzi,

I'll try and keep it brief. I am in a 2 yr relationship with a wonderful man who i have a deep and satisfying (in many ways) relationship with. We are expecting a baby in Jan and so my sex drive has recently plummeted a little...to be expected i think and we remain very affectionate. Before pregnancy we have always had issues with sex since about 3 months into the relationship. I love sex and under normal circumstances would happily have it 3-4 x per week. During pregnancy that's been more like once or twice a fortnight. My partner on the other hand is less sexual. He wants to be sexual but suffers from lack of desire. I don't believe this is about me (i hope) as although perhaps now it's different at 7 months pregnant i know when we do have sex he enjoys it and i know he finds me attractive. The problem is he seems to have no libido...or a v low one. He's not out with other women, into porn, pleasuring himself, gay or anything (we have talked openly about this) and i really just don't know what to do to help him increase his libido (which is what he wants). i think he feels like he is failing me / us.

What i am really scared of is the baby arriving and us not having the opportunity to have sex anymore and using that as an excuse...i know it will be a lot lot easier to put off doing and talking about once it arrives and so really wanted to try and address this more before then.

DP has been to the DR who has referred him for some counselling (thinks it stems from feeling under-confident) but the referral hasn't come through.

any advice on books/websites etc we can read?

Hi k4m, I think your fears are absolutely legitimate because if sex was at a low ebb before you got pregnant, the chances of it being better after the birth are fairly low. However, if your partner really is under confident, you may find that being a father validates him in a new way and things might actually improve. Men who fall in love with their babies often become fascinated by the idea of producing a sibling and sex hots up rather unexpectedly.

Lack of libido in men is often confused with impotence or erectile dysfunction, but they are very different conditions. Men who suffer from low libido can often achieve erection but they have lost the desire to have sex, whereas men who suffer from impotence or erectile dysfunction want to have sex but can not achieve or maintain an erection long enough to do so.

Unlike erectile dysfunction, low sexual desire does not respond to Cialis, Levitra or Viagra and while Ed usually reflects an underlying medical condition, lack of libido can have a number of physical explanations.

You would be hard pressed not to notice the more obvious culprits — alcoholism, drug abuse, diabetes or obesity — but it can also be a side-effect of prescription medications, particularly those used in the treatment of prostate problems and, less frequently, it may relate to low levels of testosterone, an excess of the hormone prolactin or anaemia.

If there is no physical explanation then the cause is more likely to be psychological. Depression, stress, financial problems, job insecurity, sexual hang-ups, confusion about sexual orientation, guilt about infidelity or just common or garden boredom can all lead to low sexual desire.

I think your husband should chase his counseling referral and he should consider psychosexual therapy too. The Jane Wadsworth clinic www.imperial.nhs.uk/thejefferisswing/.../jane-wadsworth-clinic/ at St Marys hospital treats both the physical and psychological aspects of low sexual desire. There is also some good info www.moresexdaily.com. Good luck. Suzi

LeninGrad Mon 07-Nov-11 14:01:00

Oi, suzy, tsk, that was exactly the thing I was getting at but wrong answer smile Surely sex can take a backseat whilst babies breastfeed if that's how the woman feels. The problem is society doesn't say it's ok to prioritise in this way or to feel like this, and it is, absolutely ok. Women shouldn't feel guilty about it and it should be talked about more so men understand too.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 07-Nov-11 14:03:49

Suzi's happy to stay and answer the questions that came in before 2pm but won't be able to respond to any that are sent in from now on.

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 14:15:15

Dotty342kids

Hi, similar to some of the others really, I find it hard to "find" my libido. If I'm being really honest I would rahter be asleep/ reading a book! We've been married ten years and my husband's sex drive is as enormous as it ever was and he constantly wants it to be more exciting / spontaneous / "dirty" / raunchy / frequent.
I try to keep up but after a month or two of putting extra effort in it just fizzles out again and then his dissatisfaction creeps back in and we're back to square one.
Can a marriage survive with two very different sex drives do you think?

Hi Dotty342kids, sorry, had to pop to the loo!. I think this is interesting because differing libidos are a real problem. As I have said to previous posters, if both partners have lost interest it isn't really a problem, at least initially, but when one person wants lots of sex and the other doesn't it can cause real difficulties. There is no easy solution but you may need to reach some sort of a compromise agreement. Work out what you would both be willing to settle for and then stick to it whether you feel like it or not. Relationships are all about compromise and although we instinctively believe that we should not be persuaded to have sex if we don't feel like it, in reality, we probably persuade our Dh's to do things that they don't necessarily feel like doing either. I do think that where there is an identifiable area of conflict such as the one you describe, the way to work through it is to be honest and talk it out. Avoiding it is the worst tactic because it just leaves everyone feeling frustrated. Hope that helps even a tiny bit. Yours Suzi

Dotty342kids Mon 07-Nov-11 14:23:43

Thank you Suzi!

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 14:25:07

hotrodret

Hi, Since having my two children (4 and 19 months) i have lost all interest in sex. By the end of the day when its time to go to bed i am shattered. Most nights one of the children has me up so i have broken sleep more often than not. When i go to bed i feel its my time, but i feel like i am on call 24-7, if its not the children needing me, its my husbands needs that need fulfilling. I almost dread my husband comimg to bed as i think 'is he going to want sex tonight? is he going to wake me up in the night? When i say i am going up to bed he sighs so i feel guilty, but i need to catch up on my sleep. He never gets up to the children in the night or ever helps with them in the mornings, even on days when i go to work and he doesn't. I think i resent him because of this, and think 'well why should i give you what you want when you don't help me' He keeps saying he is frustrated and i can understand that but the more he makes sex an issue the more i don't want it. I don't know if i need to see my G.P or what to do?

Hi hotrodret, you are clearly angry with each other and it is playing out in the bedroom. I can totally imagine the conversations "You never want to have sex with me" " Well I wouldn't be so tired if you bothered get off your a* and help once in a while".

In his book, Why Marriages Succeed or Fail, the psychology professor and relationship expert John Gottman says that 69% of the things couples disagree will never go away or be fully resolved so couples need to learn how to argue in more effective ways. Couples often use topics such as money, sex or housework to fight for their deeper needs within a relationship. For example, rows about housework or being dumped with all the responsibility for the kids are often about unfilled needs for respect and worth. And arguing about how often to have sex is nearly always about feeling loved and cared for and deeper needs for connection and affection.

Viewed in that context, you want more kindness, more respect, more support. And he wants to feel that you love him as much as you love the kids.

I think you guys should think about talking to a relationship counsellor (BACP/Relate) because these cyclical problems that can wear a relationship down very quickly.

Good luck and if you need any more help get in touch. Yours Suiz

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 14:37:36

LeninGrad

Loving your turns of phrase on here.

So, do you think there is just too much emphasis on sex in life? Things wax and wane, especially as you get pg and have kids and so on and surely that's fine.

Hi LeninGrad, sorry you've been waiting a while - need to get faster at typing! I agree that sex does ebb and flow and there are times where other priorities are more important. For example, people react differently to pregnancy. I turned into a sex crazed maniac with my last child but not with any of the others. After wards however, I was hopeess. Doc say it takes six weeks, with me it was more like six months and breastfeeding, as I have pointed out in a previous post, literally kills female libido stone dead.

I don't think any of need to beat ourselves up about feeling less interested in sex after having children, but for all the reasons that I have pointed out here and written about at length on www.moresexdaily.com, sex is the glue that holds us together and differentiates the relationships we have with our Dh or Dp from the relationships we have with everyone else. Sometimes we can't be bothered, but if we want our relationship to sustain in the long term, we have to be bothered. Yours Suzi

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 14:44:32

Hi there, hope that was in some way helpful. I really enjoyed it and hope to be back soon. If any of you busy Mums have a spare five minutes I would love you to fill in my survey and pass the link on www.moresexdaily.com/the-survey/. I will be closing the survey in January and after that I will be collating the data and I hope to gather some really useful information about how much or how little sex people are having, by age, with lifestyle factors such as kids, work stress and even alcohol intake counted in. I hope you all keep in touch and I will come back tomorrow to post a few promised replies. Yours Suzi

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 07-Nov-11 14:47:39

Thanks to Suzi for staying and answering more answers - and for her thorough replies. And to everyone who posted questions. smile

SuziGodson Tue 08-Nov-11 11:19:45

SuziGodson

Cussandroid

Can you recommend any resources for couples where the woman is neuro-typical, and the man has Asperger traits?

The only books I have seen are patronising and aimed at people with serious autistic traits, as opposed to men who are only mildly affected.

Cussandroid I presume you mean you want to find sex books or sex resources to do with Aspergers. I'm afraid I can't answer this one straight off, but I will do a bit of research and come back to with some solid leads tomorrow if that is ok. I know this link is to do with young adults but I think it is interesting www.opposingviews.com/i/romantic-lives-of-young-adults-with-asperger-s

Hi Cussandroid
Ok, I've had a good look and there does seem to be quite a lot on the subject. I can't say whether the books are any good as I have not read them, but you can look them up on Amazon and see if you think they cover the kind of thing you are looking for. I also found several blogs covering sex, either written by people with Aspergers, or people living with a partner with Aspergers. There is also quite a funny video link out of the Penelope Trunk blog. Hope this helps in some way. Yours Suzi

Blogs

Penelope Trunk has Asbergers and she writes about sex in her blog here
blog.penelopetrunk.com/2010/11/18/what-its-like-to-have-sex-with-someone-with-aspergers/

Another blog about sex from a woman with aspergers - there is some interesting comments at the end too.
www.autisable.com/734667685/sex-and-dating-for-those-with-asperger?s/

A woman writes about her sexual difficulties with her Dh of 23 yrs who has aspergers and gets some good advice
www.dailystrength.org/c/Asperger_Syndrome/forum/9392259-sexless-marriage-help

Married To Asperger Husband - Leading To Sexless Marriage
www.experienceproject.com/stories/Live-In-A-Sexless-Marriage/988537

Some pretty straightforward advice here
www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Asperger_syndrome_and_adults

More young adult stuff
life-with-aspergers.blogspot.com/2009/03/teenage-sexuality-and-aspergers.html

Aspergers and uh SEX!
www.aspieweb.net/aspergers-sex-difficulties/

Books

An Asperger Marriage by Gisela Slater-Walker, Chris Slater-Walker
It gets good customer reviews on Amazon… here’s one

“If you're in an Asperger relationship, whether it be a new relationship or a long-standing one, then this book can be of use to you.
As 2 separate but interwoven tales, the authors take you through the all-too-familiar issues of communication, body-language etc. But they also dwell on how they've learned to cope with socialising as a couple, perceived 'rudeness' when ignoring people, and also how to deal with family life, housework, children, etc. Chris comes over as not that 'high-functioning', when they tell of his trials & tribulations at work, so this is not a rose-tinted story of a 'perfect' couple.”

The Asperger Love Guide: A Practical Guide for Adults with Asperger's Syndrome to Seeking, Establishing and Maintaining Successful Relationships (Lucky Duck Books)

22 Things a Woman Must Know If She Loves a Man with Asperger's Syndrome by Rudy Simone

The Asperger Couple's Workbook: Practical Advice and Activities for Couples and Counsellors by Maxine Aston

Aspergers in Love by Maxine C. Aston

Love, Sex and Long-term Relationships: What People with Asperger Syndrome Really Really Want by Sarah Hendrickx

The Partner's Guide to Asperger Syndrome by Susan Et Al Moreno

Asperger's Syndrome and Sexuality: From Adolescence Through Adulthood by Tony Attwood and Isabelle Henault

Loving Someone with Asperger's Syndrome: Understanding and Connecting with Your Partner by Cindy Ariel

SuziGodson Tue 08-Nov-11 11:37:09

SuziGodson

NessaRose

Hi, my DH and I are both finding sex difficult after a very recent miscarriage. We both feel guilty when we try. Can you give us some tips to overcome this please? Thanks.

Hi NessaRose, Miscarriage is simply devastating and my heart goes out to you. Don't expect things to go back to normal because you are both still feeling bereaved and because sex is all mixed up with the baby you have lot it is only natural that it will be difficult.

I've done a lot of work with Professor Lesley Regan at the recurrent miscarriage unit at St Marys Hospital so I am aware of the impact it can have. I will drop Lesley a line and find out if there are any support groups that might be able to help in this particular context and I will post them here for you tomorrow.

Also, another Mumsnetter - supadoula - has posted a question about miscarriage so do have a look at that response.

Give yourselves time to grieve and take care of each other. And keep in touch if you need any more help. Yours Suzi

Hi NessaRose

I'm afraid I failed to come across any revelatory support for couples who have endured a miscarriage but your hospital should be able to provide you with a counselling service. I am not sure where you live but if you google couple counselling after a miscarriage you will get links to several organisations and then you can work out who is nearest you. Or you can use the find a therapist link at BACP. BACP Seeking a Therapist - Explanation of theoretical approaches
www.bacp.co.uk › Seeking a Therapist

The Miscarriage Association run a helpline and BabyLoss provide information and links to specific support groups.

The Miscarriage Association
www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/
BabyLoss
www.babyloss.com/index.php

Info on men and miscarriage for your Dh
www.pregnancy-info.net/menandmiscarriage_rebuilding_relationship.html

I hope this is in some way useful
Yours Suzi

Cussandroid Tue 08-Nov-11 12:28:47

I can't thank you enough, Suzi - can't believe you found all that so quickly, either! I'll work my way through them.

thanks Thank you.

Cussandroid Tue 08-Nov-11 13:28:05

In fact, I'd also like to thank MNHQ for setting up the webchat, which has proved quite unexpectedly useful to me. smile thanks

SuziGodson Tue 08-Nov-11 18:58:25

SuziGodson

SuziGodson

NessaRose

Hi, my DH and I are both finding sex difficult after a very recent miscarriage. We both feel guilty when we try. Can you give us some tips to overcome this please? Thanks.

I got this back from the clinic today NessaRose

Dear Suzi

Unfortunately Rosemary and I can’t think of any support groups for couples to attend together, although there are support groups for women only to attend. We are aware of a counsellor called Shirlee Kay who has worked for the NHS and has experience seeing women who have experienced pregnancy loss. According to the website (http://www.coupleworks.co.uk/) they offer couple counselling and psychosexual therapy. We are hoping to start a support group for our recurrent miscarriage women in the New Year and have also been discussing how we can best meet the needs of partners so perhaps this is something we can think about.

‘The Miscarriage Association’ (www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk) is a great source of support for women and their partners who have experienced pregnancy loss and they also have a forum which appears to be very popular - there is a recent post on there regarding sex after miscarriage (http://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1600) and I have read numerous posts on there discussing relationship difficulties.

Hope this helps.

Best wishes

Lisa & Rosemary


Lisa Sharpe

Research Midwife

Recurrent Miscarriage Clinic

St Mary's Hospital

Hi NessaRose, Miscarriage is simply devastating and my heart goes out to you. Don't expect things to go back to normal because you are both still feeling bereaved and because sex is all mixed up with the baby you have lot it is only natural that it will be difficult.

I've done a lot of work with Professor Lesley Regan at the recurrent miscarriage unit at St Marys Hospital so I am aware of the impact it can have. I will drop Lesley a line and find out if there are any support groups that might be able to help in this particular context and I will post them here for you tomorrow.

Also, another Mumsnetter - supadoula - has posted a question about miscarriage so do have a look at that response.

Give yourselves time to grieve and take care of each other. And keep in touch if you need any more help. Yours Suzi

Hi NessaRose

I'm afraid I failed to come across any revelatory support for couples who have endured a miscarriage but your hospital should be able to provide you with a counselling service. I am not sure where you live but if you google couple counselling after a miscarriage you will get links to several organisations and then you can work out who is nearest you. Or you can use the find a therapist link at BACP. BACP Seeking a Therapist - Explanation of theoretical approaches
www.bacp.co.uk ? Seeking a Therapist

The Miscarriage Association run a helpline and BabyLoss provide information and links to specific support groups.

The Miscarriage Association
www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/
BabyLoss
www.babyloss.com/index.php

Info on men and miscarriage for your Dh
www.pregnancy-info.net/menandmiscarriage_rebuilding_relationship.html

I hope this is in some way useful
Yours Suzi

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