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How on earth do you talk about sex?!

(56 Posts)
NNN20 Fri 28-Aug-20 08:58:20

Some of you may find this weird but I cannot talk to my husband about sex. Well, more accurately he won't talk to me about sex.

We've been together 16 almost 17 years. We got together at 17 & 18 and lost our virginities together. I'd had another boyfriend before hand but our experience didn't go beyond kissing and over the top of clothes fumbling whereas my husband hadn't even kissed anyone else.

We took a while to work up to him being ready for sex, about 6 months, though within 3 months together we were doing everything else so I took it to be a confidence thing.

When we'd had a few drinks he'd be a lot more loosened up and open to trying more things and as a result we did most things and the sex was plentiful and pretty damn good for inexperienced teenagers.

Over the years to due to general life (ie kids, houses, work) the quantity of sex has declined rapidly to about once a month at best, once every 6 months at worst.

I'm the first to admit that I've always wanted it more than him. Now whether this is a confidence thing or not I don't know. But I feel a bit embarrassed about this. I'd quite happily have some form of sex every day, whereas he's admitted he's not that bothered anymore and doesn't want it that much.

I told him I want (and crave) a lot more sex than we are having. He just said he doesn't feel the urge for it and when we do have sex it's boring. I then asked him what we can do to improve things but he just won't talk about it, he says he can't. I don't want to spend the rest of my life wanking alone when I'd much rather my husband made me feel that way.

We were so regular once and enjoyed it so much and now it's like he doesn't want it and this his enthusiasm was all for show and to keep me happy. He will go and brush his teeth, wash his hands and have a shower immediately after sex too which makes me feel dirty and disgusting. There is no need to do this as I shower each night before bed so it's not as if I smell (or taste blush) bad surely?!

Any advice for someone who's stuck at what to do next? How on earth can I get him to talk more?

I feel ashamed and embarrassed and feel like a sex pest and pervert for wanting sex this much, typically it's the man with the high sex drive. I've spoken to my friends and they say they wish their husbands wanted it less so I feel the odd one out.

What do I do?

Ps: please don't move this to the sex topic as I've not been a member long enough. I used to be a long time member but shut my account down when it got hacked and had to rejoin. Thanks

OP’s posts: |
cabernetchampignon Fri 28-Aug-20 09:13:35

From his point of view, it could be that he won't talk about it because he doesn't really want to do it.

Why doesn't he want to do it more often then?

Here are the possible reasons:

Genuinely doesn't like it.

Cannot do it for physical reasons.

Cannot do it for psychological reasons.

Lastly, the one that hurts most, doesn't want it with you.

NNN20 Fri 28-Aug-20 09:17:57

@cabernetchampignon I just wish he would talk to me. I'm not a nasty person and would genuinely want to hear what he has to say.

He did once say (when drunk) he wished he slept around a bit before he settled down so he knew what it was like with other people, so I think you may be right with your statements

OP’s posts: |
xtinak Fri 28-Aug-20 09:22:39

I think lots of couples go through the issue of mismatched sex drives so you are not alone. I also think all these stereotypes about men and women really don't help. Would he ever agree to couples counselling?

NNN20 Fri 28-Aug-20 09:24:45

@xtinak nope. I've asked and his response was "if we can't talk to each other then what makes you think we can talk to strangers"

Yet it's him that won't talk hmm

OP’s posts: |
User856334967 Fri 28-Aug-20 09:26:09

I think you are in a difficult position as he doesn't want to talk about it, doesn't seem bothered by the lack of sex and said it was boring! While not even trying?

I wish I had an answer for you, I really do. I would be feeling as hurt as you are in this position. When you say it used to be regular and really good, how long ago was this and how long did it last?

Has he considered going to the doctors to talk about his lack of sex drive?

You are NOT a sex pest or a pervert. I have a high sex drive. Once a month would be frustrating as hell for me. And I think it might be a myth that men always have higher sex drives I could be wrong though As an aside , do you use sex toys in addition to sex?

NNN20 Fri 28-Aug-20 09:30:04

@User856334967 I'd say it was regular till our eldest was born who's now 12. Went through a dip after that due to difficult delivery then got back to almost normal. Then lost a pregnancy at 4 months 7 years ago and it's dropped to these levels now. Even when we conceived our youngest who's 5 we did it once and then found out 10 days later I was pregnant.

I use toys alone but he won't use them with me. We used to use soft bondage stuff but he said that was inappropriate once we had kids so stopped

OP’s posts: |
NNN20 Fri 28-Aug-20 09:30:49

@User856334967 and no he hasn't been to the doctor. I doubt he would either

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User856334967 Fri 28-Aug-20 09:45:42

I didn't think he would go to the doctor. Honestly he sounds sexually repressed with certain views and ideas about sex that are difficult to challenge. He doesn't think soft bondage is appropriate now you have a family? My worry is actually that he thinks it's inappropriate with the mother of his children. Which is different. He washes himself after sex? He says it's boring? I'm assuming as a way to shut you down from talking about it? He needs counselling but he's not going to go for it at all.

Meanwhile you get vanilla sex 2-12 times a year at 34 years old? How many times have you broached the subject with him?

The good news though is that you've been together 17 years and it was good for around ten years? with a gap of the birth? Potentially, you could get it back but it would have to take both of you on the same page and he doesn't sound like he's bothered at all.

xtinak Fri 28-Aug-20 09:48:29

It sounds like he has more of a psychological block going on, but if he isn't going to talk about it then actually figuring out what that is and moving past it will be tricky!

What about if you switch your focus away from sex for a while - because he's probably feeling under pressure and more likely to close off the issue the more you press it - and just focus on renewing your relationship in other ways? Doing new things together, travelling, having fun, experiencing some of the things you maybe missed getting together quite young? Also doing the things he enjoys, whatever that may be. You would have to really do it for its own sake though, not clearly trying to do things in exchange for sex because that could make it worse! It's a long term strategy, but maybe if you recconnect and get excited by one another on another level then a gateway to a better sexual relationship will follow.

I am no expert though.

cabernetchampignon Fri 28-Aug-20 09:53:44

Maybe ptsd due to pregnancy loss?

NNN20 Fri 28-Aug-20 09:57:00

@User856334967 I did think it might be the whole Madonna / whore complex. Dirty sex is fine but not for parents? I really don't know. I've tried talking a few times and it improves for a month or so then drops back off again.

Part of me wondered if he was shagging someone else but then Covid hit and he's not left home for 4 months and it's no different so I now don't think it's that.

@xtinak I hope it didn't come across as pestering him, I have now stopped trying and don't talk to him anymore. I've cried a lot as I feel so rejected my husband doesn't want me. We tend to go a lot better sexually if we have a night away from responsibility but part of me wonders now if that's because he feels he has to. I wish I knew the answers.

OP’s posts: |
NNN20 Fri 28-Aug-20 09:59:18

@cabernetchampignon I did wonder that. He has an unhealthy obsession about me getting pregnant. Every time we sleep together he asks where I am in my cycle and if I could get pregnant. He's adamant he doesn't want more children which I'm happy to accept. I can't )for a variety of reasons) take hormonal birth control but he won't have a vasectomy so we are reliant on condoms which I wonder if that causes issues too

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Babdoc Fri 28-Aug-20 09:59:36

Well you have some choices, OP.
1) Spend the rest of your life in resentful virtual celibacy.
2) Divorce him and seek a partner who actually wants to have sex.
3) Take a discreet lover. Or “side dick” as my DC’s generation call it!
My interpretation of your DH’s attitude is that he’s having a classic midlife crisis.
He wishes he’d played the field more when young before settling down with you. And he subconsciously blames you for that, unfairly.
He possibly hopes you will leave him over the lack of sex, so that he will be free to shag around without the guilt of being the one who ended the marriage. That’s why he won’t discuss it - because it would reveal him as the bad guy in all this.

NNN20 Fri 28-Aug-20 10:01:18

@Babdoc I also thought that. I wish he'd tell me if he didn't want to be with me anymore. I'm a big girl and I can take it

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Babdoc Fri 28-Aug-20 10:01:38

And his fear of pregnancy is because it would tie him to you and the marriage for longer or make him look even worse for deserting you with a baby.

NNN20 Fri 28-Aug-20 10:02:59

But the thought of being with someone else now terrifies me. I now have major body confidence issues where he's rejected me so much. And I wouldn't want a side dick or anything. My brain won't compute having sex without commitment. I'm not judging those that do but it's not for me

OP’s posts: |
ErickBroch Fri 28-Aug-20 10:03:14

Could it not simply be he doesn't want to have sex as much? You say he won't talk about it but in your OP he literally said he doesn't have the urge that often. I am the same and there's nothing wrong with me. I am not saying you have to live with this forever - but someone's libido being lower than yours is a valid reason.

NNN20 Fri 28-Aug-20 10:04:43

@ErickBroch I know. Maybe I didnt write it well but he says he doesn't want it much because it's boring. Which is why I want to talk to him about it, see how we can make it better for him and he might actually want it more if he enjoys doing it

OP’s posts: |
nannymags Fri 28-Aug-20 10:07:13

I think you would benefit from therapy to work out how you feel and what you want. Also to work on your body image

You’re husbands lack of answer IS an answer.

Wishing you luck xx

User856334967 Fri 28-Aug-20 10:07:19


Of course it's a valid reason, but the OP equally has a valid reason to talk about this in her thread as something that is concerning her. As her husband thinks that shutting down their sex life without much discussion is an okay thing to do.

Babdoc Fri 28-Aug-20 10:07:44

I would advise you to think about your own best interests, OP, rather than guessing at what motivates your DH’s horrible behaviour.
What would YOU like to do to resolve this? What would restore your happiness and self esteem?
And how long are you prepared to live in the current unsatisfactory circumstances, hoping for some crumbs of sex and affection from DH? How would your confidence be after 20 years of this?

Regularsizedrudy Fri 28-Aug-20 10:09:57

It sounds like he has some very deep-seated issues and strange ideas around sex. He sounds very repressed with the whole not using toys etc. Is your pleasure not important to him? No one should have sex they don’t want but he owes you the decency of talking about it at least.

xtinak Fri 28-Aug-20 10:13:09

It's sounds really hard and no wonder you feel so down about it. I'm sure you've dealt with it well and not pestered him at all. I'm just imagining he could have become hyper sensitive over it, but not because you've done anything wrong! From what you say, maybe nights away are better because it helps to you both from your parental roles, which in his mind has some sort of conflict with sexuality. I bet that's a common thing and I bet there's ways to get past it. Have you ever read or listened to Esther Perel? It might help you feel better to listen to some other couples dealing with similar and different issues. Or you might hate her which is fine too! grin

cabernetchampignon Fri 28-Aug-20 10:13:48

Maybe take the sex off the table for a time (one month, longer ?) and focus on your hobby.

Meet people and have fun.

I'm not saying flirt or anything but it may be that your body needs a reboot from the ground up.

Once you gain some confidence back and make and he feels the pressure to perform is off things might go back on track by themselves.

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