Dear Readers – Following are two of the many responses to "No Touch" who said his wife had “no interest in sex,” (April 9):
Reader #1 – “I’m a woman in her late-40's and understand completely that some women could care less about sex. This doesn't mean they don't love their husbands, just that we’re built differently than men. Life gets busy with work and kids and it's easier to not bother, than make the effort.
“My husband and I were in this rut for many years until we started talking about it. I realized how important sex was for him and started to make the effort because I love him and want him to be happy. (Men: take note that he also makes every effort to make me happy too, even doing housework sometimes!)
“Initially, I'd say, “Yes” for his sake but gradually spoke up about what worked for me too. I was surprised at how much changed, and how fun it was to see his reaction when I’d "attack" him unexpectedly!
“Our marriage got better in so many ways and we continue to have a great sex life.
“COMMUNICATION is key! It's sometimes awkward to discuss sex, but share how much you love your spouse first and don't blame him. Stay open to discussion on what you can do to change the situation.
“We found the Sinclair Institute’s education videos, which got us talking. Their team of professional sex educators and therapists explore many common problems.”
Ellie – Readers should first explore the website to know more about this approach.
Reader#2 – “You wrote, “I do not have sex with her unless she comes to bed without full nightclothes on.” What’s your interest here - love, sex, or control?
“Sounds like you’re dictating terms, and your bag of resentment’s getting pretty heavy from carrying all those grudges around.
“Half the fun is getting those clothes off. You said: “I’ve trained myself to not get aroused around her, by never touching her in bed.”
“Well, that won’t get her blood flowing hot for you.
“Just because she doesn’t initiate, I don’t think there’s any clear message here that she could not care less if she ever had sex with you. Perhaps her upbringing was that the man takes the lead.
“How about if you forget who initiates, and concentrate on what YOU can do to re-kindle some flame.
“Sex isn’t a 10-miute interlude for a woman. It’s a deep and emotional attachment of loving, in the days prior to that act.
“Have you made sure she gets a few good hugs every day, when unrelated to sex? Do you tell her what you appreciate about her, and that you love her, morning and night? Do you rub her neck or feet after her long day?
“For a woman, especially a mature one, sex might well be more in the mind and heart than in her chasing after you into bed.
“If you’re travelling more, do you call or text often to keep in touch? And what business do you have discussing your private sex life with your beer buddies?
“Have you kept in shape, shaved and flossed before climbing into bed. Or wonder why she’s not hot after you? Is she important to you at all? Quit keeping score. That’s the first step back to a healthy relationship.”
Ellie – Good advice, though laced with sarcastic frustration at some men’s seemingly clueless approach to sex with their wives.
I’m 13, 5 foot 1, 97 pounds. I’m taking a summer trip with much swimming involved, but not comfortable with my body. I also have some hip-area scars from self-harm.
Would it be smart not to swim, in case my scars show? Would it be wise to lose some weight? How can I do so without dieting/starving?
I’m hoping you’re past whatever prompted your self-harm and now understand your responsibility to yourself and those who love you, to do yourself no harm. Focus on building a healthy self-image, no matter your weight (which my research finds is well within the normal range, dieting unnecessary).
Swim. Participate in sports that help you appreciate and respect having a healthy, active body. Females and males alike have bodies with unique shapes, shades, and skin types. Your own body type makes you special. If you can’t value yourself, ask your parents to get you counselling help.
Tip of the day:
Instead of keeping score on who’s initiating sex, couples need to start talking openly, without blame.