Sex in relationships

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Sex in relationships

Post by Conreezy on Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:56 pm

So I'll just throw this out there. My wife and I have been together for 8 years now, married for two, almost three. But I'm bored.

I really don't have a lot of reason to be. My wife is very attractive physically--in fact, she and I both are without a doubt the most sexually appealing we've ever been. Our schedules are not easy to navigate, but that's improved a lot over the past year or two, so it's not like we're not available for each other. Still, things have slowed down in the sex department, and I know that's to be expected, but the weird part about it is that I'm not really that worried about it. So what ends up happening is that she complains and I end up feeling guilty.

I feel guilty because I have attractions to other people and she doesn't seem to. (Mine are nothing all that strong or threatening, but they exist.) I feel guilty because I know why she doesn't initiate very often--when she has, I didn't take her up on the offer. She's not much for subtlety or flirtation, and when I mentioned that her attempts were a bit heavy handed for me, she took it kind of personally. I try to be delicate with those things, since her self confidence can be so fragile.

Maybe that's the crux of the matter: I feel like I spend so much time dancing around her anxieties (and my own) that I start to miss old-fashioned, unemotional lust. I'm sure she has that feeling at times, too, but the imbalance makes me feel like an asshole. Like I'm living up to the terrible stereotype of the sex-hound male.

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Re: Sex in relationships

Post by Enail on Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:28 pm

I'm not sure I'm understanding this correctly, so let me know if I'm missing the point, but it sounds like A. you find the way she initiates a turn-off, and B. the whole subject is kind of fraught to the point where it's exhausting and makes you just want to check out?

Do you think it could work to mention ways you would find it hot for her to initiate? Not in response to something you don't like or to anxious discussion about it, but just on its own as kind of a "you're hot and I'd love this..." That way it might give her some tools for how to initiate without creating extra rejection, but also maybe sidestep the anxiety a bit and just be about something (hopefully) straightforwardly positive for the two of you?

And I'm sure you know it but maybe it's good to hear it from an outside source, being attracted to other people is just a thing that happens and nothing to feel guilty for.
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Re: Sex in relationships

Post by Caffeinated on Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:19 pm

That's rough. Sex stuff in a long term relationship can get really tricky, and little things can build up over time. Some of the best advice I've seen about this kind of thing has been from Emily Nagoski. One such post on her blog is here: http://www.thedirtynormal.com/blog/2010/07/19/differential-desire/
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Re: Sex in relationships

Post by Werel on Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:32 pm

Enail wrote:Do you think it could work to mention ways you would find it hot for her to initiate? Not in response to something you don't like or to anxious discussion about it, but just on its own as kind of a "you're hot and I'd love this..."
That's my first thought. Ask her for something.

Reminded me a lot of this Savage Love letter:
Now, maybe your husband has no clue what he wants. But that's still no excuse for "Your blowjobs bore me. Fix it! Creatively!" ... "Be creative!" in this context isn't just unfair, it's paralyzing. Putting all the responsibility for busting out new tricks on the shoulders of the person whose blowjob/assfucking/bondage skills have been criticized rarely results in the criticized person busting out new and mind-blowing blowjob/assfucking/bondage moves. A destructively criticized sex partner is apt to shut down.
If your wife is not so smooth at initiating, and embarrassed about being not-so-smooth, and has a history of painful, embarrassing rejection every time she pulls her not-so-smooth moves, it's hard to imagine how she wouldn't shut down. I have to agree with the advice to start by requesting something specific, and eating it the fuck up if she gives it a shot. Give her the very nice gift of seeing you be super into something she's initiating (I am not above advocating that you play it up, even if your mind is not earnestly blown). I have to imagine it'd help her be slightly less anxious about your sex life, and a partner who's not constantly terrified of rejection/failure is a partner who will have more sex with you. Plus, if you do this a few times, maybe you will find something awesome that she's good at/really works for both of you.

Also another confirmation (from another woman, even!) that attraction to other people is just a normal thing. It actually seems more unusual to me that she's not attracted to people besides you, but I guess some people just have suuuuper-monogamous lizardbrains?
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Re: Sex in relationships

Post by Conreezy on Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:51 am

I'm not sure I'm understanding this correctly, so let me know if I'm missing the point, but it sounds like A. you find the way she initiates a turn-off, and B. the whole subject is kind of fraught to the point where it's exhausting and makes you just want to check out?

After thinking on it all day, I'm sorry that I wasn't clearer initially. The overall point was that I'm finding myself less interested in sex with my wife, which I see as a problem. Not because I'm going to leave her or cheat on her or anything, but because I know it makes her self-conscious, which makes me feel like a failure of a husband. Honestly, between work, school, maintaining the home, having some semblance of a social life, and being active in my relationship, I feel like I'm being pulled apart in so many ways that I'm just phoning it all in. But I don't want to shortchange her.

You know, I could be a lot better about vocalizing my appreciation of her advances. She's really not as bad as she probably fears--she just approaches it a bit more mechanically than I do, so I can see things from her POV. Good point on that, guys.

[quote]Also another confirmation (from another woman, even!) that attraction to other people is just a normal thing.[quote]

Thanks. Having thought this over, I think my issue is much more emotional than physical.

It actually seems more unusual to me that she's not attracted to people besides you, but I guess some people just have suuuuper-monogamous lizardbrains?

No, she's attracted to other men, she just almost never mentions it and that kind of weirds me out. I wouldn't take it as disrespectful or an indication that she's untrustworthy. It would make me feel a lot better, in fact--like less pressured to be everything to her, if that makes sense. Anyway, I have no idea how to broach a subject like that, and I'm not sure how much good it would do anyway. It would likely make her feel bad.

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Re: Sex in relationships

Post by Werel on Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:47 pm

Conreezy wrote:Anyway, I have no idea how to broach a subject like that
Werel wrote:Ask her for something.

Just a thought. Make it fun. Shrug
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Re: Sex in relationships

Post by Enail on Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:43 pm

Honestly, it sounds like you've just got a ton of stuff on your plate, and that's bound to be hard on a relationship in one way or another. You're only human, give yourself a bit of a break!
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