How to Make Things Better for Both of You
Photo by Danny G on Unsplash
I had the unusual opportunity (more on that in another story, someday) to get to meet quite a few men who were in long-term, straight relationships where sex was non-existent. I estimate I spoke with about 3 dozen men.
Overall these men felt rejected by their women, and they really did not understand why. They were bewildered by the sexual anorexia they were experiencing at home and tended to rationalize the problem as their wives’ biological lack of interest in sex. The relationship’s sexlessness emerged typically about 20 years into the relationship, further exasperated by the hormonal impact of menopause.
A few said their partners had been survivors of sexual abuse and never loved having sex, but most had had a satisfying sexual relationship for a number of years and were stupefied, stumped, forlorn, and despairing.
In our individual conversations, none of the men ever articulated any awareness or concern about their own sexual skill in the bedroom, or their communication agility and emotional intelligence in the relationship. When I mentioned that research shows these factors play a big role in women’s sexual desires and satisfaction, they typically responded that they felt that because the sex had been good and abundant at one time, they were off the hook for examining their own role in the disintegration of sex in the relationship. They had in common that they repeatedly absolved themselves of 90–100% of the responsibility- both in and out of the bedroom- in the relationship that contributed to the deterioration of sex at home.
And why wouldn’t they? Most of them loved their wives and had come to accept the pluses of companionship. They didn’t want to leave the women in their lives. Some wouldn’t leave because of the kids or finances. They just wanted to have sex again.
They could not stand the sexual drought and though desperate, they were trying to do the right thing and stick with their partners.
Having been thought of as one of those women by my former significant other, I knew these basically good guys were missing a crucial element or two.
Truth: Women get bored faster by the same old sex. They need variety. They want variety in the sex they are having with their partners and they want to have other sexual partners.
Truth: Men are more easily satisfied with the same old sex than women. They like their bread and butter sex and often may not have a lot of sexual range, despite their stated interest in variety. My former spouse was fond of his motto ‘no sex is bad sex’. Their lack of sexual skill and range clashes with their women’s desire for variety.
Truth: Men respond to a lack of sexual satisfaction in their partner by feeling a loss of confidence. Their insecurity translates as failure or rejection or both. Some men might be able to honestly explore improving communications at home, even after so many years together, and drawing out from their female partners what they want in the mattress magic department, but many men’s ego cannot take it and they withdraw, defeated.
Truth: Institutionalized sexism in science and medicine, has long dismissed women as having a lower sex drive than men. Seminal research that supposedly proved this point has been debunked due to sexist confirmation bias. Additionally this research also completely avoided the desexualizing impact of extremely high stress levels women experience at home and work on their sexual drive. How appealing would the specter of boring sex be to a woman who is sleep-deprived and overworked, without enough help or support to keep the marathon of work and home going?
Truth: Women, including myself, believed we were less driven by sex than men for a long time. Women bought into the false notion that our sex drive was subjugated to men’s sex drive, to the detriment of both genders, as regards heterosexual sex.
Truth: Women do not have lower sex drives than men; in fact, women possess the only organ in the human body whose sole function is pleasure, with no less than 8,000 nerve endings. Accordingly, women have a superior capacity for multiple orgasms and possess the wonders of the G-spot, thus leading to the widely accepted conclusion that women are innately more sexual than men. (It is no surprise that women are driving the movement of open relationships, throuples and ethical monogamy.)
Truth: Many women with a history of sexual assault/abuse have done enough healing that they want a good sexual life with a partner they love and trust. So don’t hold her past in a way that keeps you afraid of approaching her. You just might be making her past her present and future.
Truth: Men need to overcome their fear of women’s sexuality.
Unlike men who find their sexual drive and ability wane as they age, women can, myself included, experience a sexual re-awakening after menopause.
So, why the disconnect between women’s liberating, freeing, wild sexuality that they can now fully own, and the sexlessness that so many women experience in their long-term, heterosexual relationships?
Because they are bored!!!!!!!!
They no longer are willing to be passive, or sexually dissatisfied with their male partners, they want pleasure on their terms, having seen their husbands and partners demand no less than the same for decades, often without reciprocity.
As per Tracy Moore’s online article two years ago for the Dollar Shave Club, entitled Both Men and Women Get Bored With Monogamy — Just For Different Reasons:
“Newer studies of female sexual desire and arousal find that women crave more sexual novelty than men, and as a result, find monogamy stifling. Their reasons stem from social pressure, too — only from the other side of the fence. Unlike men, who are told they should always be rarin’ to go sexually, women are told they are innately less promiscuous and need stability and commitment over sex. Add to this the highly desexualized role of women as mothers and caregivers, and they may find it far more difficult to access desire and eroticism, or even reconcile pleasure they want for themselves when there are so many others to prioritize. But make no mistake: women are horny and bummed, too.”
“ “Traditionally we have interpreted a woman’s desire as less — she must have less of an interest in sex,” psychologist Esther Perel told GOOP about why women become bored with monogamy faster. “But no, it’s that women become less interested in the sex they can have. Put that same woman with a new person, in a new story, and suddenly she doesn’t need a role replacement.” ”
Women, myself included, want more foreplay, to change things up, to be enticed and lured, to experiment. We want to be treated really well by our partner out of bed first and then get into bed with an attentive, expressive, and imaginative lover.
In the online Guardian magazine article, https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/oct/04/untrue-wednesday-martin-review, the idea is further illuminated: “We were taught that men were the ones who needed variety, but the exact opposite turns out to be the case,” says Wednesday Martin [author of Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe about Women, Lust and Infidelity Is Untrue]. “Overfamiliarisation with a partner and desexualisation kills women’s libido. We used to think it’s only men who became sexually bored after marriage; turns out that’s not true. It’s when women get married that it’s detrimental to their libido.” ”
Martin continues, “A couple live together, their libidos are matched, and they have a lot of sex. But after a year, two years, maybe three years, what tends to happen is that the woman’s desire drops more quickly than the man’s. At that point the woman thinks, ‘I don’t like sex anymore.’ But what, in fact, is happening is that she is having a hard time with monogamy; because women get bored with one partner more quickly than men do.”
“ “So women are socialised to believe that they’ve gone off sex, when in fact they’re craving variety. Instead of being the brake on passion, says Martin, the female half of the long-term partnership is the key to a more adventurous and exciting sex life. ” ”
So guys, what kind of partner are you? Do you need to step out of your comfort zone? Are you getting good at the foreplay outside of the bedroom by being a helpful, loving, confident partner by her side? In the bedroom, do you ask your partner what she likes and wants in bed? Do you help alleviate her stress out of bed and lighten her load? Are you able to build the anticipation to make her weak-kneed? Do you know how to tease and make her want you? Trust me that these behaviors and actions go directly to your woman’s groin.
Or are you like a former spouse who will go unnamed, who could barely lift a hand to help around the house or with the kids, consistently for years put his own interests and desires before the wellbeing of the family, could only have sex stoned, never spoke or made any sounds during sex, never wanted to know what his partner liked sexually, and could not understand why she would pass on the same old impersonal sex even when she was feeling randy? If you recognize yourself in this description, you gotta step up.
Are you helping to create a space for experimentation and variety? If you are doing the same old, your woman is bored. Ask her what she wants, ask her to tell you her fantasies, ask until she trusts you want to hear. Tell her you really want to make it more about her as that turns you on- and mean it.
The Guardian article concludes that “ “Men really caring about what women want sexually makes a huge difference. We find that their menus are more varied than men’s. Men are shocked, but also gratified and thrilled, when they find out how sexually exciting we can be when we get past the inhibitions that have been socialised into us.” ”
Up your game, hombres. Remember that the two things women want most in the mattress magic department is foreplay and sexual variety. There are great toys and podcasts and entertainment to break through old patterns. Play with the sexual energy, be a considerate and communicative partner outside the bedroom, try some new moves and get ready for lots more, not-boring sex!