Dear Readers – My Live Chat on Why Sex Matters, February 20, had so much participation that there were many leftover questions:
My boyfriend (two years) is a great guy but not that interested in sex. He’s very successful, works long and hard, then needs a workout or some hard sports activity to release tension.
He gives little time to just being together alone. We’re either out with a group of friends or he’s asleep.
He says not to worry about our sex life; there’ll be plenty of time for it when we’re more settled. We have had okay, but not great sex sometimes, just not often enough to make it more satisfying. Does this matter, as I do love him?
It matters. When it comes to passion, if not now in the still-early stages and without kids and mortgages, then when? His theory that sex can wait is self-centered, directed to allow for his interests only, and ignoring anything you think or feel.
Also, by not having sexual release often, he’s not experiencing the chemical effect (oxytocin) that orgasm produces, which scientists have proven would make him a more loving, affectionately bonded partner to you.
Art Markman of University of Texas has said:
“Couples that are the happiest tend to be those with the best sex lives.”
If you don’t increase the sexual contact now, you’ll be home alone a lot more over time, while he seeks more sports and work instead of intimacy.
I have a higher sex drive than my wife, and she says she can’t change. I resent this, and get angry, and then she gets annoyed and says I go distant, when I’m actually fuming inside. Why does she get to call the schedule on sex? If it’s important to me, shouldn’t it be important to her too?
Yes. It’s wrong and unfair for a person with lower sex drive OR a person with a higher one, to call the shots.
It’s crucial to the relationship that there be compromise on both sides. Both of you CAN change somewhat. If one of you insists there’s nothing to discuss, then that’s a power play that says something’s very wrong in the relationship.
But before you believe you’re totally innocent here, consider this: The something WRONG could be a thing such as demands from the high-sexed person, threats of taking it elsewhere, temper tantrums, etc.
OR, also wrong, would be the stubbornness of the lower-sexed mate, the cold turning away. If either or both of these descriptions apply to you or your wife, you should get to counselling together to try and have this conversation with a therapist’s guidance…. IF you want to stay together.
My stress level is soaring these days as I lost my job and we’re having trouble paying our bills. I just can’t seem to turn the worries off for sex, though my husband isn’t affected that way. He says the added stress is all the more reason we need to have sex, that it’s a release, but if I can’t get into it, how does that help?
There’s an old saying, Try it, you’ll like it. OK, maybe at first you’re too uptight. But staying tense and anxious won’t resolve the money worries any faster.
By contrast, relaxing and regaining a sense of good things in your life – like a loving partner – can give you more energy and confidence needed for your job search and getting through this tough time.
My husband used to be more affectionate with me and with our children. But ever since he was diagnosed bi-polar and went on medication, it affected his libido and we have sex a lot less, maybe once in a couple of months.
I do understand he can’t entirely help that, but I think it affects his whole personality that we don’t bond in that way.
Of course it affects his personality not to feel closely connected. Go with him to his doctor and discuss the meds he’s on… if it’s unavoidable that it affects libido, ask how other couples handle this.
He may be embarrassed by any resulting erectile dysfunction. You can ease this by trying different ways to be intimate together without intercourse.
So many people are on meds for mood disorders and depression that any sexual side effects are not new or surprising to doctors; so don’t feel awkward asking about this.
Tip of the day:
Couples need to talk about their attitudes towards sex as openly as how they feel about lifestyle.