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Open Thread: Adventurous Married Sex


It exists! We promise.

Open Thread: Adventurous Married Sex | A Practical Wedding

One of the most persistent (and disheartening) narratives about sex and marriage is that it’s, well, non-existent. There’s all this wink-wink-nudge-nudge about the wedding night and honeymoon… but also the elbow-to-the-ribs-eh-eh about how your sex life is over (and by your, they mean the groom, always). But how can it be over when it just started? You were just winking, and now you’re ribbing. It makes no sense.

Is there some truth to this narrative? The evidence is inconclusive. But to accept it as inevitable does everyone a disservice. Sex within a committed relationship can be amazing, and even better than pre-marital sex. Whether it’s because you finally got to ditch the birth control that made you feel crazy, because you’re older, wiser, or more confident in your own skin, or because—most likely—you’re committed to making each other feel good (and so that’s what you do)… post-martial sex can be awesome. Why are so many people acting like it’s not?

Fun fact: one APW contributor who built her early career on her reputation as, um, a single girl about town actually sought out a serious relationship because the single girl sex stopped being so great. She wasn’t getting hers and felt like there wasn’t anything she could do about it with, you know, Ricardo from Australia, so she figured it was in her best interest to find someone to sex more regularly. Isn’t that the most romantic thing you’ve ever heard? Okay, maybe not, but it does throw a twist on the old trope.

Today’s open thread is about sex… and about keeping things hot. And if you’re finding it difficult to do that, let’s talk that out too. Where have you gotten more adventurous? What do you miss about pre-marital (and maybe even pre-relationship) sex? What’s your sexiest married sex story? Are you having a dry spell in the bedroom right now? Yeah, that happens. Let’s discuss. It’s your open thread so let’s get it on.

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Open Thread: Adventurous Married Sex | A Practical Wedding

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  • Hot Vacay Booty

    OMG. Just got back from a vacation. I had this fantasy we were able to make reality. We went to a bar and pretended we had just met, and hubby ‘picked me up and took me home with him.’ So hot and fun. The husband protested at first, but once we got started he got into it. We haven’t flirted so hard in forever!!!

    • http://namelessw0nder.blogspot.com/ TashaHolcomb

      How do you actually do that? Pretend like you don’t know someone really well that you already do? It sounds like I would just have a giggle fit the whole time, not sure I could manage it!

      • SarahG

        This sounds like such an awesome vacation, Hot Vacay :) Tasha: I think the thing is that you just go with the giggles and eventually they stop. You both realize that on some level you look silly, and that is OK, and actually kind of bonding. At least, that’s my experience with it.

    • AnonCat

      This is definitely something I’ve been wanting to try, but we haven’t yet. It sounds like a lot of fun. Especially since that’s something neither of us has ever done (pick someone up at a bar) being eachother’s first and only lover. Doing it on vacation sounds like a great idea. (So we don’t run into someone you know. I live in a large city that is like a small town in terms of running into people, and I think running into friends would make it less fun.)

    • Jay

      Omg I had this same fantasy. Except when we tried to enact it on vacation the front room of the hotel bar was full. So I went to the back of the bar. Which resulted in my guy not being able to find me (although I do think he could’ve looked around more).

      And I ended up talking to another couple for an hour, before looking at my phone with a message from him that basically said I can’t find you so I’m going to bed. Lol. Not the sexy times I’d hoped for. Hopefully we can try again soon.

    • MC

      HOT. I want to try this on our next vacation – which is our honeymoon.

    • Fantasies, toys, and bondage

      We’ve actually done this in our own living room. We will make drinks and pretend that we’ve just come home together for the first time. It helps (me) to be a bit buzzed when we do this. But it’s fun to make up a version of ourselves and just run with it.

    • Kayla

      Every year for our anniversary we go to the music festival where we met, “meet” each other again, and have ourselves the hottest first date that’s ever been.

      It’s funny how years into this plan we still end up finding out new things about each other during the flirting stage of our fake first date. I like it.

  • Post baby sex struggles

    I really struggled with painful sex for 6 months after having a baby. It’s been hard-fought, requiring physical therapy, but now that I’m not breastfeeding anymore things are back to normal. Anyone else want to commiserate on similar problems? Hope I’m not the only one. (IS APW interested if I wrote about this?)

    • Christina McPants

      It is not just you. Haven’t had the baby yet, but I’ve been listening to the Longest Shortest Time podcast and found their Facebook group (which is AMAZING) and this is a complaint I’ve seen from multiple moms. It may have something to do with when you start menstruating again? I’m not sure. Also, apparently coconut oil is a magic lube.

      • Post baby struggles

        Yes, when I started ovulating and menstruating again, it was like a switch flipped back on in my body. There were 5-6 months of just-ok sex after the physical therapy started working, and then when I cut out the nighttime feedings things got a ton better. I don’t even know how to describe the difference, and it was something I wasn’t aware of missing until it was BACK. It’s making me seriously consider a shorter time breastfeeding if we have a second kid, and hoping that doesn’t make me a bad mom, especially since I’d be doing it purely for my own self-image and sex life. Thanks for referring me to the podcast!

        • Sparkles

          I think cutting out on breastfeeding for your self image and sex life are super important, I would encourage you not to feel guilty about it if that’s how you decide to go in the future. I find I’m a much nicer person when we’re having regular sex, and I’m more in tune with my partner, I sleep better, I feel better about myself. How can all of that be a bad thing, for you or baby?

      • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

        My Dr. recommended coconut oil to help stretch the vagina in prep for birth so, magic I guess.

        • Anon

          I read something about being careful using oils as lube because they can go rancid in body parts if not cleaned thoroughly. No idea about the validity of this, but it stuck with me (pun totally not intended…ick).

    • Jennie

      As a birth & postpartum doula, I see this regularly (with clients who are open to talking about it). Post-baby sex is really hard for A LOT of reasons both physical and mental. I always encourage parents to be open with each other about where they’re at, what they need and for the person who just birthed, what is okay for their body and what is not. We encourage prioritizing intimacy in other ways if intercourse isn’t happening for whatever reason. And LOTS of communication.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Married 20 months, still dealing with painful sex. Babies are out of the question for us for now. My husband also deals with sexual dysfunction.

      Before I got married, I didn’t know problems of our persistence were possible. I wish people talked about it more. Knowing our situation was a possibility would have made it easier when we found ourselves there – or maybe I just wouldn’t have gotten married.

      • SarahG

        I’m so sorry to hear that. if it helps, one of my colleagues is a health coach dealing with sexual problems and she sees SO MANY young people who have pain during intercourse (we work with college students, or I’m sure she’d see a bunch of older folks too). It is a real and huge problem that many, many people have. My only suggestion is a sex therapist. And also just know that this is something that happens. Also, watch the Kinsey movie. Even Alfred fricking Kinsey had bad sex when he and his wife first got together. I hope it gets better for you and your husband!

      • anonymized

        Just wanted to say that I dealt with painful sex for years it was horrible and really killed my sex life for a long time but I got through it, and have had many happy sexy years without ANY issues since then. It’s possible that even persistent issues can be resolved or improved. Everyone is different, but for me, the hardest part was getting over the difficult loaded emotions that kept me from taking steps to deal with the issue but once I confronted the issue head on, things rapidly improved. So there is hope!

      • Anonymous

        I’ve been dealing with painful sex for years now, and have been to see a number of gynecologists and even a specialist in vulvovaginal disorders. I’m recently pregnant and just started going to a midwife practice for obstetric care, and the two nurse-midwives I’ve spoken with so far about my history of pain have been WAY better at listening to my symptoms and providing helpful advice than any of the gynecologists I went to before. So for anyone else struggling to find a doctor to help them diagnose and treat painful sex – it may be worth looking at midwife practices that also offer routine gynecological care.

    • Emily

      So, on my wedding day (not quite 4 months ago) i had a cyst just outside of my vagina so large and so infected that we drove straight to the hospital after the festivities were over.

      Since then I’ve been hospitalized three times, had surgery once, been to an endless number of doctor’s appointments, and had sex ONE time. Yup. ONE mostly non painful vanilla time.

      I’m stressed. He’s stressed. Neither of us have ever had any serious health issues, and now I basically have a chronic illness which most of the time precludes me from any activity.

      I was at the doctor just this morning getting two new prescriptions, & a referral to a physical therapist. Crossing my fingers now and hoping that appointment next week goes well, I’m really really tired of being hyper aware of my vagina, and not in a positive way.

      • SarahG

        So sorry to hear that. How awful! Are y’all at all interested in having non-intercourse sex, like oral, or mutual masturbation, or anything like that? Watching porn together? We do a lot of this stuff if I have some kind of issue down there (during a yeast infection or something like that). Just a thought; one you have probably already thought of!

    • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

      I don’t know about after the baby, but I’m already struggling with pregnant sex. I’m 23 weeks along. How do I feel sexy when I feel like a pregnant gorilla? Meanwhile my husband has lost 20 lbs since I got pregnant and looks hotter than ever. And I feel like if I don’t do it now, I’ll never have sex again because, well post baby sex issues.

      • Sparkles

        I wonder if you can talk about what your partner likes about your body now that you’re pregnant? I was really worried about how he perceived me once I got pregnant until one night he just opened up about how attractive he finds my pregnant body. He loves my bigger boobs, and my bump and talks about how my skin is softer. Your partner might like different things, but ever since that night I’ve felt so much sexier.

        • Erin

          That’s a really beautiful response- one every pregnant woman deserves from her partner. Thanks for sharing!

    • Catherine McK

      Please write about this!

  • moonlitfractal

    This is great. When I first got married people asked, like they do, if it felt different. We’d been living together for a while so I mostly told people that it didn’t. But that wasn’t really true. One thing changed immediately and noticeably: the sex got better.

    I think it’s similar to how, for many couples, marriage doesn’t feel different until the first fight. Fighting feels different if you know you’re both committed and the fight won’t be the end of the relationship. For us, after we exchanged vows, we felt much more comfortable experimenting, sharing desires and fantasies we may have felt self conscious about before the wedding, and asking for what we really wanted. On a more intangible level, there was just more trust (not that we didn’t trust each other before we got married, but suddenly there was extra!), and sex is always better with more trust.

    In the two years we’ve been married we’ve communicate better and gotten more and more adventurous, trying things that neither of us would ever dream of with someone we didn’t know or had only a casual relationship with. Not counting the living hell that is trying to conceive, things have gotten steadily better. Myth = BUSTED.

  • marie

    I find Dan Savage’s discussions of married sex to be interesting, insightful, and thought provoking. I particularly enjoy this commandment to married folk who want to practice monogamy: “You have to be whores for each other.”

    I rather like that within the confines of a monogamous marriage, my job in the bedroom is to specialize in pleasing in one person, and that that person is devoted to my pleasure, too. With my body, I thee worship, and all that ;)

    While libidos wax and wane, I like the idea of two partners doing their best to make each other feel satisfied and desired, in the bedroom and out.

    • Natalie

      Love Dan Savage. Don’t always agree with him, but love his work nonetheless. My FH introduced me to his podcasts early in our relationship. They were great for listening to as relationship-strengthening exercises on long car rides. We stop the podcast when there’s a topic one of us has strong opinions/feelings about and discuss. Amazing for learning more about your partner and yourself.

  • SarahG

    So, my partner of three years (marrying in one month, whee) and I are both very adventurous and open-minded people. In fact, we met in a BDSM club, because I was like “why not, I’m totally going to check this out” and he, well, really likes (some types of) BDSM. I have had the best sex of my life, hands down (or wherever) with him. We have tried… well, not everything, but A LOT. His open-mindedness is definitely one of my favorite traits of his. AND we recently hit a dry spell. He had upped his antidepressants, and I was in wedding doldrums, and just could not give a shit about sex. And one of the things that sucked about it was friends going “YOU GUYS? Have a dry spell? OMG. There is no hope for the rest of us.” To me, this said a lot about how people perceive us (wild and crazy and constantly doing it) versus the reality (very open minded, yes, but have sex once a week, on the weekend, when things are good, and often prioritize boring shit like finishing our porch rebuild over Doin’ It). I guess the point of this story was this: I, like everyone, am guilty of the “grass is greener” mentality — looking at other relationships and thinking “they seem so connected/in sync/in love/etc” and wondering if I stack up. And… there is no stack. Every relationship looks different from the inside. And we should all give ourselves a little break :)

    • Sarah E

      “There is no stack.”

      BRILLIANT

      • SarahG

        Aww thanks :)

    • Nicole Cherae

      “Every relationship looks different from the inside.”

      This is really important to remember.

    • Eharmony

      Also, so nice to read that sex once a week is a-ok. As newlyweds, we (he) sometimes think we should be doin’ it aaaallll the time, but I’m tired, yo! And I need to sleep! And what else are weekends for? Besides grocery shopping, of course (we don’t have a porch to finish, but maybe one day…)

      • anon.com

        About 3 weeks into marriage my husband said “We haven’t had that much sex lately.” We had had sex 3 times that week and it was only Thursday morning. When I pointed this out to him he said “Oh, I guess we have had a good amount of sex.”

        It’s all about perspective.

      • anony-nony

        Yep, regularity is very different! We have sex at least three times a week, and rarely go more than two days without. BUT our sex is very normal humdrum sex, not like what SarahG describes, so I’ve always kinda thought of us as pretty low on the sexy times scale. “There is no stack” indeed.

      • Sparkles

        This is actually one of the questions Meg suggests talking about before you get married in the book; asking about expectations regarding sex, how often, what are the rules, etc. I remember my partner and I talked about it and we were pretty much on the same page, but I also think it’s a pretty good question to continue revisiting. I’ve got a lower libido than him and since I’ve been pregnant I’ve been off an on with sex. So, I’ve reinitiated this conversation since, asked him what he thinks about how often we’ve been doing it, whether he’s satisfied, etc. It helps me to keep from second guessing him.

    • Ruth

      I love this! I met my hubby through a bdsm website too – we’ve always been open and adventurous – but we, too, have sex an average of once a week, sometimes less if life gets stressful – lately I’d been feeling insecure about that, comparing how we stack up to other couples, and I just loved what you wrote, “there is no stack.” Sometimes you really need to hear that!

  • Yes, anon for this

    My husband is clearly worried about this — we’ve only been married a little while and a couple times he’s said things like “I don’t want to be one of those couples that gets married and stops having sex.” I need to figure out a not-too-loaded time to have a conversation saying “you know, in our relationship, we’ve had real ups and downs, sexually, and the downs come when one or the other of us — which usually means you — is stressed. So how can we be self-conscious about avoiding that specific issue?” I think what happens is, you know when you’re super tired and all you want is to be in bed, but getting off the couch and going to the bathroom and changing for bed just feels like so much effort? That happens. I don’t mean that having sex is what feels like that kind of effort, I mean that literally, going to bed doesn’t happen until exhaustion has set in so completely that sex seems ludicrous. So just breaking that stupor of inertia is one of the challenges we’ll be facing on a regular basis.

    • Sarah

      yes, the couch! I will be thinking all day about sex with hubby but then come home from work and need some serious decompression time in front of the TV. Pretty soon I’m out for the count and there’s NO WAY I’m doing anything except getting myself to bed to sleep. I always tell myself that I’m going to do something before I get to that point, but I really do need my winding-down-alone time when I get home. So I guess I just need to set a time limit or something?

      • SarahG

        Dude, I have zero libido at night. ZERO. Morning sex is my jam (weekend mornings). Or after work, before dinner. I mean, if you’re a night sex kinda gal go for it, but there’s a bunch of other times to have sex that for me, at least, work better.

        • Yes, anon for this

          There are other times that work well for me, but they require planning. Bedtime is when we’re not wearing many clothes and are, well, near the bed. But yes, definitely times when we’ve planned enough to do it at another time, it’s actually been great. We should start setting appointments or something.

          • SarahG

            I actually read exactly that advice (put it in your planner) in The Ethical Slut. The author had the intials “FF” on her calendar (for f- Frank, Frank being her life partner I think).

          • MC

            I am a huge fan of scheduling sexy-time. Fiance was a little hesitant because it didn’t sound super sexy to him, and I’m a little more schedule-oriented than he is – but it’s nice to have that anticipation all day, and to feel like you can dedicate a solid chunk of time to it because you didn’t make any other plans!

          • moonlitfractal

            As the life partner of a Frank, I like this.

        • Sarah

          that’s true, I’m way more into morning sex. Sometimes that’s difficult because of work schedules or I am thinking about all I want to get done that day, but generally I’m much more excited about it in the morning. I have even told my husband “no, not tonight. Can you wait until morning?” He rolls his eyes, but it’s better than a flat-out rejection.

        • Jessica

          Before dinner sex gets my vote. It’s after work so a little make out action is great to turn off the brain, it’s before eating so you’re not bloated and it’s while both of you are able to focus on something other than productivity (at least in my world, obviously different for everyone).

        • Lauren from NH

          Let’s just say we have discovered the true purpose of the lunch hour ;)

      • Jennie

        One of the best breakthroughs for us, sexy-time wise was when we had the conversation that I do not usually want sex once I’m in bed for the night. I get into bed to go to sleep. It takes me a long time to settle enough to go to sleep and sex makes that process take longer (plus he’s laying there snoring). We’re most likely to have sex on weekends, in between meals & other activities. Or after dinner on a week night instead of watching a movie or going for a walk (that way there’s time to decompress from work, eat, then have sexy-time).

        • Anon

          Meee too! Apparently I have yet to make this breakthrough, because I will be cuddled in bed, winding down with a book and he’ll start doing the “kissing cheek, awaiting approval” thing. And I just want to say, seriously, right now? I’m tired, I’m relatively cozy, and I’m NOT feeling it. Where were you two hours ago? At not-bedtime? *sigh*

        • anony-nony

          Yeah, I think I need to have this convo with my husband too. If I’m lying in bed and it’s after 9pm, it’s definitely NOT to have sex. Plus, I have other issues with sex before bed (am I the only one more likely to get a UTI from that? Is that TMI?). He’s slowly catching on to this, but just having the conversation would be kinder.

          • Annonapotamus

            UTIs from pre-bedtime sex makes perfect sense to me. If I were to roll over and fall asleep after sex, that means I didn’t go up and urinate. Therefore, bacteria hanging out near my urethra, therefore, more likely to get a UTI. You cannot be making this up, it’s just too plausible.

          • Anonononononon

            We are into pre-bedtime sex, but I always always always get up and urinate after sex for exactly this reason! (Heck, I do that even when it’s not bedtime.)

          • Hiphopanonymous

            I do too, but the situation always strikes me as a bit unjust. I get up to clean up and he passes out by the time I get back. Sometimes I just want to recline into the post-coital glow and fall asleep too, but business…And then he’s snoring and now I’m awake and the whole point seems somehow lost.

          • Shawna

            So, I’m a family nurse practitioner, interested in women’s health, and have done a LOT of research about this…. turns out that urinating after sex does NOT prevent UTIs. So, feel free to go ahead and fall asleep with him in the glow, guilt-free

          • Shawna

            Also, women who take probiotics that contain lactobacillus, especially the refrigerated varieties (because they have more living cultures) get fewer UTIs. Urinating after sex, wearing certain underwear, holding your bladder (for example, teachers who don’t get bathroom breaks)…. none of that matters. It’s taking probiotics that matters. Go buy yourselves a bottle of these pills. =)

          • NewHere

            So….what’s the best way to prevent them???? I tend to get really terrible UTIs about once a year and have always associated them with sex. Would love to know if there’s something more productive I can be doing than drinking gallons of water and urinating right after sex!!

          • Aubry

            So probably TMI continuing but we don’t use condoms (I’m on BC) and I need to go pee and wipe up afterwards, cause, you know. It always bugs me in movies when they just curl up after and I’m thinking “WTF! Is there semen dripping everywhere? Did he just leave the condom on??”
            Luckily he likes to clean after as well so we have a bathroom chat and then go back for cuddling ;)

          • anony-nony

            Yes! Part of why I don’t like night-time sex is because it doesn’t seem… fair? that he gets to just enjoy the moment and fall into sleep in a natural easy way, but I know I’ll immediately have to drag myself out of this comfortable bed to clean up and make sure I pee, cuz if I don’t I’ll pay for it in a very painful and inconvenient way. If he’d ever felt what a UTI is like (and though I’ve explained it to him, he still doesn’t seem to get how painful they are) he wouldn’t ask for nighttime sex.

          • Anonononononon

            Oh that’s funny. I guess since we use condoms he has to clean himself first anyway so I never even though of that! =)

        • Anon (sometimes) gettin it on

          I’m so glad it’s not just me to choose sleep over sex. Most nights we get into bed, kiss goodnight, and roll over. But some nights my husband will try to start things. I won’t totally brush him off, but I kiss back with very little enthusiasm to point out that it ain’t gonna happen. When the alarm is going off in 7 hours or less and it takes me a while to get to sleep as it is, I need all the time I can get cozied up with my pillow. It’s rough, because we have staggered work schedules, but for a while we had a pretty good thing going on Sunday afternoons. I’ve even torn him away from a football game or two ;-) But 10pm on a weeknight? Forget it.

    • Nicole Cherae

      I’m the one in my relationship that lets the stress of life interfere with our sex life. For me it’s just hard to relax and feel connected when I’m thinking about paying bills.

    • Sarah

      Yup. We have this issue. Basically we focus on having great sex on the weekends or any time we spend alone during the day. At night, after work usually just doesn’t happen and I’ve learned to accept it and take what I can get on the weekends lol.

    • moonlitfractal

      I’ve found we can manage weeknights if we schedule a day or two in advance. That way we know not to get :too: comfortable with the couch and TV right after work. It works better if we go to it shortly after we’re both home, while we still have a little energy, then cuddle and watch tv afterward.

      • Hiphopanonymous

        This sounds like an ingenious plan. Hmm, things to put in motion.

  • Sarah

    For us it got slightly better. There’s something about being married that makes us feel like we’re “supposed” to be doing it, not in an obligatory way, but just like, this is what married people do. Blame growing up in a puritanical country and having some religious friends, but there was always that little twinge of guilt with pre-marital sex (even though we didn’t have any moral or religious qualms with it ourselves). Maybe it’s also because we’re less worried about an unplanned pregnancy, too.

    • CH

      Yup, I had this exact same experience. All of it. I’m so relieved to hear I’m not the only one!

  • Sarah

    Sex in relationships is so interesting. Its one of the things we’ve had to work the hardest on in our relationship, and we even started out in a great place. We had sex on our second “date” and both thought it was the best sex of our lives. Insane chemistry. After that, we dealt with my period problems (fibroids, which were JUST removed) and ME having a higher libido than him. Talk about weird feelings and ideas about masculinity and heterosexual relationships…ugh. Right now we’re in the middle of a month long dry spell, on doctor’s orders (I HATE IT!)

    Even though we’ve struggled with frequency, some communication issues and FEELINGS about sex, I’m having the best sex of my life. In so many ways committed relationship sex has been the best and the worst, I guess, haha. Best because of how awesome it is (AND IT JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER), worst because sometimes there’s miscommunications and hurt feelings.

    We actually used to fight about sex all the time, because he has a lower libido than I do and I’m pretty much insatiable…until, get this, we started a kind of funny/lighthearted sex spreadsheet to track how often we were doing it and our feelings about it. Turns out, I have an orgasm every time we do it, and we have really good sex every single time even if we don’t do it as much as I like. We haven’t had a single fight about it since starting the spreadsheet (with such entries as “Sarah came twice. Boom.”) I think because now I’m not thinking “well I’m pretty sure we’ve only done it twice a week in the past month and our relationship is dooooomed” and him thinking “we’ve done it three times this week already, when will she be satisfied?!” I dunno, we’re also kind of data-y people. It works for us, haha.

    • Jessica

      This is awesome. Boom.

    • Katie

      My boyfriend and I have been together for 7 years. We started dating in college (also did it on the second date…We were snowed in my dorm room during a blizzard! What else was there to do?), and we both had an insatiable sexual appetite for the first 2 years; it wasn’t out of the question for us to do it 8-10 times on a lazy day at home. We then moved in together, started full time jobs, I started a masters program, and we both just felt “meh” about our sex lives. It wasn’t uncommon for us to only do it once a month. At the beginning of the year, I asked my gyno about my low sex drive, and she recommened that I switch from the pill to the IUD and keep track of how often we have sex! I started using a period tracker app to denote sexy times, and it’s helped tremendously. Even when I wasn’t feeling it totally, I still would get a rush of satisfaction knowing that I could update my app. Whatever works I guess!

  • Jennie

    I’m curious about sex during pregnancy. I’m six months along, and sex is getting…interesting? Our stand-by positions are becoming difficult. In addition, while my husband finds the changes my body is going through very sexy, he’s afraid of hurting me because things are definitely more sensitive than they were before. I’d love to hear other people’s experiences with pregnant sex…

    • anon mom

      We did a lot of spoon position and girl on top when I was pregnant. Sometime in my seventh or eighth month, something just turned off inside though, and I became incapable of finishing. That was no fun. Good luck to you!

    • Emily

      For us, it’s pretty nonexistent. I’m 21 weeks and feel gross and tired. We tried P-in-V a few times and it was just so uncomfortable for me. Like it straight up hurt, no matter how much lube we tried. So we’ve turned to our old lazy-day standby: mutual masturbation. Pregnant orgasms are out of this world.

      • moonlitfractal

        I’ve also had some discomfort with P-in-V. The vibrator has been getting a lot of use lately, for a variety of different activities ;-)

      • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

        I’m 23 weeks. I feel tired and gross and fat and unsexy. And I have unfortunately not experienced this great orgasm thing that everyone talks about. Maybe my mind is too much in the way?
        Also he doesn’t ask for it because he wants to be sensitive to how I feel, but I feel unsexy so… Catch 22.

        • anonymized

          I’m still early, so not big yet, but even so, pregnancy is really not making me feel sexy. The physical changes are not helping. I normally get lots of pleasure from my breasts, usually that’s a key part of our foreplay, but now I can barely stand him touching them. Plus I’ve had some digestive trouble, so I usually feel bloated, gassy and uncomfortable. But it’s also psychological. I just see my body becoming more… functional… and for whatever reason that’s making me feel way less sexy. Now I think of my breasts as something to feed baby, rather than as a sexy part of my body. I appreciate that my body is nurturing a baby (or preparing to nurture a baby), and that makes me feel positive about my body in lots of ways, but it’s also apparently making it really hard for me to see my body in a sexual way. Really hope I get over this soon. Maybe it’s just first trimester hormones? I’ve heard some people say their libido goes down in the first trimester.

    • moonlitfractal

      Bent over the bed with room for the belly has worked best for me so far. At month 8.

    • Sparkles

      It’s tough, because I’m usually tired when we start and all I want to do is be on the bottom. Right now is his busy time of year, so middle of the day energetic sex is out. I’m at 25 weeks and he does fit on top if he stays mostly upright. Spooning is another good standby. Girl on top, doggy style works too (although this isn’t my fave). I haven’t gotten my birthing/exercise ball yet, but I think it would be fun to incorporate that if I could.

      My breasts are definitely more sensitive, which is hard because he really likes them, and they’re pretty important to my enjoyment. I just try to make it clear when he’s going too far, or before we start if they’re not having a good day, and offer lots of reminders, sometimes I try suggesting something else for him to do instead (e.g. my nipples are really sore right now, kiss me instead).

      I think with the whole body changes, it’s working for us to just be clear about what’s going on. So I’m really open about telling him when something’s working or not.

  • anon for now

    Cock ring. Blew the lid off our sex life.

    • Jennie

      In what ways? I don’t know what exactly a cock ring does….

      • anon.com

        A cock ring is awesome for all involved. It usually goes around the testicles and base of the penis in order to limit the blood flow, which makes for longer sexy times. you can get the vibrating kind so it adds a little extra something, and usually lines up pretty well with the clit if you’re doing it face to face. It’s well worth the investment!

      • anon for now

        Ours is a silicone ring that goes around the base of his penis, and helps give him longer lasting, harder erections. This means he’s more focused on fun sex, as opposed to maintaining an erection, and it’s a huge turn-on for me. It helps us both get hot fast if we’re aiming for a quickie, but it also helps keep things hot for longer if that’s what we want, too. We’ve only been using it for a few months, but it’s definitely helped make sex feel exciting and less like a chore.

    • Sarah

      Tell me more…haha

    • AnonCat

      Speaking of sex toys, I really dig our dildo. (We’re a male-female, cis couple). It’s definitely brought some extra excitement to our sex life. And just toys in general are awesome.

  • Jessica

    I’m just going to leave the comment here that my husband is coming back from his deployment in 3 WEEKS and we are going to be doing it in all the ways and I’M SO FREAKING EXCITED.

  • Sarah

    Oh um, I also recently discovered the joy of vacation sex…I didn’t know sex every day was even remotely possible until we took daily stress out of the equation haha.

    • emilyg25

      HOTEL SEX

      It’s the best.

      • Sarah

        What is it that makes hotels so sexy??? Haha

        • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

          For starters, the lack of everything else that makes your home stressful, and someone who comes in every afternoon to clean up after you.

          • Sarah E

            Except on that one memorable occasion of hotel sex when the housekeeper came in the morning and started walking in before we could yell “We’re here! Come back later please!” Thank goodness the room was designed such that the bed wasn’t visible from the door. We learned our lesson on “Do Not Disturb Signs” even when we think we’ll be checking out before cleaning time.

            But in general, yes- less stressful!

        • http://thinkweirdthoughts.blogspot.com Phira

          It’s that they have beds that are high enough for some more interesting positions!

          • Anon

            Wo-hoo!! I suddenly wish we were camping at the Holiday Inn next weekend instead of the national park… Next time!

          • Lawyerette510

            Quiet tent sex is one of the benefits of camping!

          • AnonJ

            Or loud tent sex in the backcountry when there’s just the stars and wilderness surrounding you…

          • Natalie

            or loud outside sex in the backcountry. Only weird when the jays and squirrels come over to check out what’s happening and then stay for the show.

          • Anon

            “Only weird when the jays and squirrels come over to check out what’s happening and then stay for the show.” This. We had a pika watch us once. Cute and unnerving at the same time!

            Any help/ideas for sleeping bag sex for cold weather camping? How do you get traction on the slippery fabric? How do you both fit in a single mummy bag? We manage to get it done, but it’s not…very graceful.

          • Kris

            Most sleeping bags can be zipped together into a double

    • AnonCat

      I love vacation sex. Definitely, we have so much more sex on vacations, because we aren’t tired and stressed!

    • Sparkles

      Yes! Why does it happen so often on vacation? Maybe there’s just less to DO doing the day?

    • Anon (sometimes) gettin it on

      MY GOD YES! I wore my husband out on our honeymoon. I guess that’s what happens when you make no plans :-)

  • Annonapotamus

    Embrace the different kinds of sex. And I don’t mean positions. There’s: sex, f*cking, making love, leisurely sex, quickies, lazy Sunday afternoon sex, ah-crud-about-to-get-my-period-so-get-this-in-quick sex, hotel/vacation sex, REALLY turned on beforehand sex, not-turned-on-until-ya-get-going sex, spontaneous sex, perfunctory sex, I want to be taken care of sex, rough and tumble sex, and on and on and on….

    • Anon

      Oh, good one, I love this! Also it’s not my favorite thing ever, but sometimes period sex is just… on the menu. Because we want to do it and my period will not stop us!

      • Sparkles

        Agreed, period sex should totally be a thing to try. It’s not as awful as it seems, the mess isn’t usually that bad if you’re not gushing (sorry for the imagery), and why should we not get to do it for 5-7 days out of 30? That’s just annoying.

        • http://thinkweirdthoughts.blogspot.com Phira

          I thought everyone had period sex and was surprised when a boyfriend didn’t want to do it. That’s when I most wanted to have sex!

      • Natalie

        Also, orgasms totally help with cramping. Not sure if it’s a distraction thing, or if the hormones released really do relieve pain, but there’s nothing like sexy time to reduce period cramping pain. Of course, I’m usually so cranky and unsexy-feeling that I don’t want sex on my period, but when talked into it it makes me feel so much better.

        • Zeff

          actually the opposite happens for me! Orgasms bring on the most wicked cramps.

  • emilyg25

    My husband and I were just talking about this the other day. I had a … um … pretty crazy life before him, and while sometimes I miss that pure, sexy urgency and lust, married sex is so much better. I love being comfortable. Not in a boring way. In a way that makes me feel more confident in my body, more beautiful, more wanted, and more willing to ask for what I want and to try new things. It’s just nice.

    • Anon for this

      God, so agree. I am like, STOKED for married sex, and I love our sex life now. It’s the best I’ve had, hands down.

    • emily

      Since me and my hubby do group sex.. one thing we say is how we love to be “slutty together” neither of us were crazy single people so to get to act like that together is totally part of the fun.

      • anonnnnn

        Can you talk a little bit more about how you got into group sex, especially without being “crazy single people” before? Like how did you figure out you were interested and how did you go about pursuing it.

  • anoncat

    One of our big challenges with sex is timing. As in, I would like sex at 2:30 am – 4 am. Basically, if I’m awake at that time, or wake up at that time, I want sex always. He would prefer to sleep during the night, and bone during the day. And when we keep sane hours of sleeping, we’re not awake at 2:30 am. And neither of us is interested in sex between say… 7:30 and midnight, we just want to fall straight to sleep. So we try to go for daytime weekend sex, before dinner sex, or I have blanket permission to wake him up for sex. He would rather not be awake at 2:30 am, but he’s very happy to be woken up in sexy ways.

    There’s a Jewish tradition that it’s a mitzvah (commandment/obligation/good deed depending on your understanding of tradition) to have sex Friday nights (the evening of the sabbath). I have no idea how people have sex after a huge celebratory meal, we tried for a few years, but gave up. We’re too full and tired after a long long week. But lazy shabbat afternoon sex is the best.

    We’ve only been married a few weeks, but I think partnered sex has overall, been great. (We’ve only had sex with each other, so no real comparison points).

    When we first moved in together, I definitely spent some time freaking out about our frequency (lots of dry spells) but then I realized we have plenty of sex, it just is in a weird pattern: 2-4 weeks of no sex, then 1-5 days of ALL THE SEX. (2-5 orgasms each with eachother each day, plus usually a few solo ones in addition). So we don’t have sex super frequently, because we’re usually too stressed out and tired, but when we do, we have a lot of fun.

    • Annonapotamus

      Do you chart your cycle? Sexytimes may be happening the most during ovulation, when you’re most fertile…

      • AnonCat

        This is very very possible. I don’t chart my cycle, (I did for a while, but we decided that we weren’t comfy with that as contraception right now, and it’s too much work for right now), but just thinking back, I would say that our sex-fests happen either during midcycle (near probable ovulation) or on low-stress times (vacation, school breaks, days off work, etc).

        • Annonapotamus

          Yeah, we don’t do it for trying to conceive/not conceive, I just realized what was going on and now use that info to leverage as much sex as possible during that time frame! (And to get less down on myself if I’m not feeling it as much during other times.)

  • Anon

    Woah, this is timely for me!
    So get this- my FH got me a gift certificate to a sex shop (Toys in Babeland, highly recommend!). At first I was kind of like- this is what he got me for my birthday?! But then we went to the shop and had a blast picking something out and I was so excited to use it we honestly probably could have had hot sex without it the first time! We got this thing called the Limon- it’s like a little vibrator-egg that gets stronger when you squeeze it. You can obvi use it solo but it’s designed also for your partner to use it on you. I LOVED it, total game changer. Those little buggers are pricey, but when it comes to vibrators you actually do get what you pay for. I could tell the difference between the last vibe I had that was on the cheap side, for SURE.

  • 10 long years

    I’d love to hear from people who’ve been with their partners for 10 years or more. After 2 kids and 10 years, sexy time for us is minimal. Part of it is scheduling, part of it is a lack of, uhm, enthusiasm…

    • Annonapotamus

      Not over 10 years, but almost 10, so maybe that’s close enough? I personally feel least enthusiastic when it’s been a while and then I feel pressured. Like, “Oh, no, it’s been too long! What’s wrong with us!? *freakout*” It’s hard to be enthusiastic in that context. So I’ll find a way to “kickstart” things going again, and then I settle down and feel better/more excited about all of it. Inevitably, life gets in the way and things slow down again, but then we can just start it up and the cycle begins anew. That’s been my experience, anyway. Before, when I read too much into the down part of the cycle, it was Terrible.

      • AnonCat

        We’ve been together 8 years, although we’re newlyweds. Anyways, I agree with the previous poster that the stress of “it’s been a long time” is not an aphrodisiac.

        When we’re in a slump, and running low on enthusiasm, I like to kickstart things by reading a lot of sexy stories (whether romance novels or erotica, just stuff that turns me on). And not necessarily jumping straight back into sex with my partner, but holding on to that sexy/horny energy as I start to get it back, and focus on just pleasing myself for a few days as I start to get interested again, and then start pack into sex together.

        • Annonapotamus

          Yeah, reading is a great suggestion. “Sex” is in my head, most of the time. If my brian’s not there, my body won’t get there.

      • Anananananon

        Oh, I so hear you on the “it’s been too long” pressure. The worse is if it’s been awhile, and I’m not really feeling 100%, and then he suggests sex, and I’m not really in the mood and I feel terrible that I’m declining, and (spiral spiral spiral).

        Ironically, during these situations if I can just let it all go and really be okay with not having sex (he is super good with not putting pressure on me) and just concentrate on “hey, here’s my naked partner” sometimes it loops around and I am interested again.

        Concentrating on how we’re doing the amount of sex that’s right for us, versus comparing to the rest of the world, really helps me out. It doesn’t matter if average is once a week and we’re at once a month as long as we are happy with it.

    • anonymous

      Yeah, that’s us. Married 10 years, super in love, super disinterested in sex of any kind (at least I am disinterested, and I haven’t heard a complaint). Like it kind of gives me hives and headache just reading about it. It’s like it’s become a foreign language for me, I just. don’t. get it.

      • Annonapotamus

        Just curious- do y’all want to be having more sex? Or are you fine with things as they are and feel more like it’s pressure from society?

        • 10 long years

          I want it. And I think my partner wants it. But neither of us want it as much as we’re told we’re supposed to want it.

          • Annonapotamus

            Gotcha. I think for me there was this shift where before it used to be we had sex because we had this Really Strong Lust, now it’s more like we want it because we want it. Does that make any sense? So I totally get where you’re coming from. It feels like it’s a bit of a letdown from what we had before, and I had to reframe it for me to feel better about it. I generally do now, but I still have pangs of wishing it was like when we were teenagers and it was so easy to get turned on. Basically like: before, I got turned on effortlessly and got off effortlessly. Now I still get off effortlessly, but I have to put effort into getting turned on first. Which is a little WTF? If you’re not already turned on, it’s kinda hard to care whether you orgasm or not. Why get all hyped up just to return to stasis? But the science says after you live with someone that long, your body begins to perceive them as “family” more than “lover.” And as we all know to avoid incest and all the bad stuff that comes of it, your body is not turned on to “family.” So you gotta kinda trick your mind. I dunno, rambling, but I hear you.

        • Anonymous

          For me it’s just not an interesting way to spend time anymore. I’d much rather talk with him or read or play with the baby. It’s become confusing to me to see so much time spent on “how to get your groove back” or whatever. These days I find myself thinking “why would I want to want something that I don’t…want?” It’s like it’s all become a bizarre thing other people do with their time. No judgement, at all! Just not for me right now.

      • 10 long years

        Yeah. Somehow I got less comfortable with my partner over time instead of more. Part of that is hard times baggage but also I think it’s because I have more to lose now. Casual sex was easier for me.

    • yep

      That’s us. Together 10 years, having sex for 5, married for 4, one kid. The kid and work stress are the things that keep us from having as much sex as we’d like. We both wish we had more time to ourselves individually to pursue hobbies and relax, and it seems like that time takes away from the time we’d otherwise spend as a couple and having sex. After we’ve each spent time relaxing separately, there’s no more time for us at the end of the night.

  • Anon for this

    Okay, this question came up in pre-marital counseling while we were discussing sex, and I’m interested to get your take on it! This is going to sound kind of silly, but- if you are into trying new things, how do you know WHAT to try? I honestly feel like there could be things that we’d like, but- where does one look for such things? Anyone know of good books or other resources?

    • AnonCat

      I like reading about stuff for this. So reading collections of erotica, reading blogs of sex educators, reading Dan Savage’s blog, and also visiting a sex-positive feminist sex toy shops (like Good Vibrations, Babes in Toyland, Smitten Kitten, etc). These shops usually have good collections of toys, and books and films (both stories and how-to’s).

      • Anon

        Years ago, my sex drive was almost completely non-existent as a survivor of sexual assault who hadn’t really worked through any the related trauma. I found Babeland (babes in toyland) when I searched sex-positive sex toys or feminist sex toys or something like that. They’re AMAZING. I had my first orgasm in years with them and my husband and I have been treating ourselves to a little toy or game every so often when we notice we’re getting into a rut. They are so nice and helpful and have great customer service (I’ve ordered online and also live walking distance to their Seattle shop, so we sometimes stop in just for fun). The nice (and also hilarious?) thing going into the store was being able to go in and test (on our hands) different lubes and get advice from the educators there about what works best for different situations.

        They have a really big range of toys/games for people who want to really experiment and people who want to just spice things up a little without going too far out of a comfort zone. They’re also (I think) queer owned and really friendly toward all sorts of relationships as long as people are consenting and having fun!

    • Sarah

      Can I suggest porn? It wasn’t until I started watching some porn and experimenting with what turns me on inside my own head that I got more ideas of what to try in bed.

    • moonlitfractal

      My husband likes to look at the r/sex subreddit. I enjoy reading the comic Oh Joy Sex Toy (ohjoysextoy.com). Both of these link to additional resources. I also totally recommend shopping online for sex toys together. You can each point out things that look fun. We started out shopping at AdamandEve.com but have lately been looking at more specialized sites.

      • MisterEHolmes

        Extra plug for ohjoysextoy! Particularly their recent post about the sex quiz, meant to be taken by you and your partner (though you may need to look up definitions beforehand…)

    • Fantasies, toys, and bondage

      I’ll second the suggestions for porn or erotic literature. While I like the idea of porn in my head, I’ve yet to take the leap to watching any. I leave that to my husband. I prefer to read mine and finding out what turns me on in reading has definitely helped in exploring what turns me on when acting it out.
      We have always been adventurous together, so wandering sex toy shops (either online or in person) allows us the ease of grabbing something and saying, ‘want to try this?’ and being able to have an open discussion about it.

    • Anenome

      I started listening to podcasts about sex. There was one called Sex Is Fun that sadly had ended but was really great. It looks like the archives are still available here http://sif.sexisfun.net/. They also published a graphic novel about sex that is pretty cool, plus some sex games. I like Sex Nerd Sandra too http://www.nerdist.com/podcast_channel/sex-nerd-sandra-channel/.

      I started listening to them when we were long distance, and I would listen in the car while driving to be together. It was great at building anticipation about being together, and also helped me start conversations with my partner about sex. It was easier to say hey I was listening to this podcast what do you think about this than to try to bring things up on my own at first. .

  • Sarah

    Does anyone have experience with being the higher-libido partner in a hetero relationship? We’ve pretty much got a handle on those issues now (it took a while, ha), but its not something I can talk about with people. Most/all of my girlfriends have never had this issue.

    • Anon

      Ugh, there is totally this pervasive idea that men always want to do it. I’m sure this is more common than you think! And I’m sorry- your girlfriends have had this issue! They really have never wanted sex when their partner did not? I don’t think so.
      Sometimes I get pouty when my FH turns me down, and one time he actually had to remind me- “I’m allowed to say no!” It was like- oh. Right.
      One thing that sometimes works for me: If I’m in the mood and he is not, I will ask him if he will just humor and me and help me get off without having sex. Often once he sees me turned on it does the trick and he gets turned on too. Other times he just helps me get off, and that’s it, and that’s alright too.

      • Sarah

        lol it took me a while to stop being a pouty-pressuring ass about it, basically until I realized that the issue goes both ways. I would call a guy an asshole for not taking “no” for an answer… It also took me a while to get over feeling unattractive. Now I’m in more of a state of acceptance. This is the way he is, this is how our relationship works kind of thing. We just try to keep open communication now, and sometimes he’ll just do me, like you said, or he’ll turn me down but reschedule. We’ve both really had to examine how we were reacting to each other. Complicated stuff man! And yeah, my girlfriends don’t admit to having ever had this issue when I try to talk about it. They do not seem to understand it…

    • mari

      I am higher libido than my man as well, and we’ve also mostly got a handle on it. I sometimes get panicky when I realize I can’t remember when we last had sex, but I can usually remain reasonable enough to think through all the life circumstances that make that so (being tired, working late, house projects, etc.) so I can remember it’s not b/c he or I or both of us are not interested.

      One of the things that helped me was returning to masturbation. When we started dating and were having sex every night or so, I rarely “took care” of myself – probably for at least 2 years. Sometime around when we got married, I suddenly sort of “remembered” that that was an option… and I think it has actually done wonders for my sex life with my husband. I realized that by NOT masturbating… I had sort of lost touch with knowing what it took to make my body respond. And it sort of primed me for when we did have sex… I can actually come faster or more reliably with my husband because I’m used to doing it on my own. So I highly suggest masturbation (to everyone, always) but also as a compliment to your sex life with your partner. I think it’s also good for trying out things (toys, fantasies, methods) that you’re curious about but not ready to share yet.

      • Sarah

        Yeah, totally. What is most important to my mental well-being about it is that I have to remember that we’re not not having sex because *our relationship is doomed* or because *he’s not attracted to me* but because he’s stressed at work and my mom has been visiting for a week…etc. I really have to make a conscious effort to keep all extenuating circumstances in my mind before I leap to relationship judgments, haha.

        I’ll have to remember the thing about masturbation…I don’t do it anywhere near as much as I used to. I’m not sure why, even!

        • mari

          Same. I still occasionally get upset when I think we’re heading into a sex lull, but it really helps to have a supportive partner willing to reassure you and work through it and make the effort (even though it’s really BOTH of you who have a hard time staying awake for bedtime sexy times.)

          I am curious too if others “forget” that we can take care of ourselves outside of our partnered sex… It’s a lifesaver for me, because it bridges the gap between what I need and what I get from my partner. Plus, it’s just my sort of “alone time”… It’s something to do when you’re bored, or turned on but lazy, or alone or whatever.

          • Sarah

            Oh that reminds me of one thing I’m struck by with committed relationship sex, is how much his preferences, over time, are influencing mine. For example, I used to be the kind of person who would literally do sex whenevs, wherevs, and now because he doesn’t like having sex after a meal, or when it’s past 10PM, I don’t like it now either. Slowly, over time, I’ve noticed us merging preferences? It’s made things easier at least :)

            His attitude about it is what really made all this workable though, he’s super reassuring and proactive, which just makes allllll the difference.

          • Anon

            The masturbation thing is interesting. I just don’t really care for it- I used to, but now that there’s a pretty reliable source of satisfaction and access, I’m just not that interested. My partner is very encouraging of me to take care of myself, cites the classic “if you don’t know how to please yourself, then you won’t know how to communicate what you need.” But, I don’t feel like we’ve had any miscommunications at key moments. It just feels better with him than by myself. Sexy time, for me, also starts in my head and I wish he would do a little more to stimulate that erogenous zone first. We’ve talked about it and for whatever reason that’s just a harder spot for him to reach than the more tactile areas.

          • Anonynerd

            “Sexy time, for me, also starts in my head and I wish he would do a little more to stimulate that erogenous zone first”
            THIS. I can be so in the mood and then something will turn me off… like discussing his mother’s Colonoscopy or his gas and… womp womp.

        • Kris

          Have you considered inviting him to cuddle/keep you company when you have “alone time”? It might help you feel more connected/loved/not-in-a-doomed-relationship if you have husband snuggles with your orgasm (and he gets wife snuggles and a fun show with no performance pressure, which might be great for him)

    • Lauren from NH

      We have had this issue. Though more environmental/behavioral than due directly to his libido. My partner loves to work out. If he had the time he would probably work out twice a day a couple times a week and in the past he has gotten carried away and done just that. Problem is that routine doesn’t leave much time or energy for sex. We have better balance now, but it gave me major stress for a while when things were out of balance. Sex appeared to be low on his priority list which I took a little personally.

    • Alyssa M

      This is a HUGE issue for us. It’s actually the only major on going problem in our relationship. There’s actually an essay or open thread or something about this in the APW archives and reading it helped me SO MUCH. It really helped me to separate the socialized bullshit about male sexuality from the conversation about getting both of our needs met.

      We still have to constantly negotiate, but at least now I’ve stopped myself from thinking that something must be wrong with us/me/him. Stopped tying my self esteem to our sex life. It’s taken a lot of pressure out of the situation too.

      None of my friends got it either. They kept assuming/suggesting medical issues or mental health issues. They’d simply never had a partner with a naturally low libido.

      • Sarah

        Even though we’ve stopped fighting about it in the last several months, we still have to constantly negotiate. I get it! I’m kind of glad there’s someone out there that gets it too.

    • Anon

      I am in this situation for sure. Our problem seems to have come from him being uncomfortable with his masculinity and how it relates to his libido. Basically I was always waiting for him to initiate and always saying yes even if I didn’t want to. Then I would feel really bad because I felt like I couldn’t say no if I wanted to have sex at all and he felt bad because he wasn’t sure if I really wanted to or not. Well what has helped us is exploring some of the Dominant/submissive relationship relationship dynamics. We have found he relates to a more submissive mind set (hence the conflict with his masculinity) and I relate to a more dominant mind set. You guys this has been incredible. We haven’t done anything that different from our normal sex life, but basically we talk before hand, then I say what I want and when and he does it and we both feel great about it. I would actually encourage anyone to explore the BDSM information thats out there. I was amazed by how well consent is explained (something we should evaluate all the time) and how these resources promote communication and healthy relationships.

    • Anon5

      I am the higher-libido partner in my marriage, and I also was the higher-libido partner in my last relationship before this one. So I have experience with handling this badly, and then more recent experience with handling it well. Here’s what I’ve learned did and did not work (YMMV).

      What did not work: Comparing my relationship to what I see in sitcoms, where the man is always the attempted-seducer and the woman is always the gatekeeper. Comparing my actual relationship to an imaginary ideal relationship in my head, where my man showers me with rose petals and is overcome with passion at the sight of my naked body. Comparing my current relationship to the first month of the same relationship, when everything was new and shiny and different. Keeping track of who initiates the sexiness. Trying to hold out and not initiate the sexiness until my partner initiates the sexiness an appropriate percentage of the time. Picking fights about it. Having repeated long emotional late-night discussions about it.

      What did work: Reading The Sex-Starved Wife and The Sex-Starved Marriage, and having a therapeutic cry grieving the fact that my sex life doesn’t look like I imagined it would. Asking myself if I am satisfied with the quality and quantity of sex, initiator-issues aside (I discovered that I am). Reminding myself that men are just people with different levels of libido and other priorities in life besides sex, and that is cool. Reframing my self-image as someone who is a seducer and an initiator, and noticing that that is pretty awesome and badass and sexy. Reframing my image of my relationship as one where I might be the more-frequent initiator but we are both happy and satisfied in bed generally. Keeping track of how OFTEN we have the sex, so that I can see it DOES happen enough for me to be satisfied, without keeping track of who initiates. Noticing that when I treat sex as a joint project rather than a scorecard-of-initiating, I am way more awesome at noticing and appreciating the hell out of it when he does initiate. Developing low-risk ways to initiate so that no one feels too rejected (we like “hey, want to have sex?” or “I’m about a 7 on the wanting-sex scale right now. You?”). Having occasional short non-emotional during-the-day discussions to check in about whether everyone is satisfied with how things are going. Masturbating as a fun side activity.

      Obviously, this will be different for every couple, but for me it was a big reframing project. It didn’t happen overnight, and I think it worked because there is a frequency that works for both of us, but I can now say that I am absolutely thrilled with my sex life, 9 years into my life with my guy.

      Finally, as a side note, we’ve recently discovered that under certain circumstances (trying to conceive) my husband’s libido outpaces mine, and I think it’s super fun and hot to admire his stamina in those cases! So, just because you’re the higher-libido one now doesn’t mean it’ll always be that way. Life has a way of mixing it up.

      • Sarah

        Wow…this is the best thing I have ever read about this issue…thank you so much. You’ve given me a lot to think about. And I’ll check out those books.

        I think we’ve recently moved past having long late-night tearful discussions about this. I feel like I’ve recently gained some acceptance and understanding. Especially because I’m going through a sort-of low libido period right now, which is very strange for me. I also recently started actually keeping track of how much we do it, and you’re right, if I look at it, charted out right there in front of me, we do have enough sex for me. Before, I was more acting on the *feeling* that we don’t do it enough, not the facts of the matter, if that makes sense.

        Also the fact that you’re 9 years into your relationship gives me a lot of…hope? Encouragement? I don’t see too many models for our type of sexual relationship that work out…and then of course you read Dan Savage and other people who say that if your libidos don’t match up from the start then you’re doomed.

        • Anon5

          Glad it was helpful! I love Dan Savage, but he’s probably not experienced quite this same weird disappointment of thwarted sexual expectations in hetero relationships, which I think is a different (but sometimes coexisting) problem from an unreconcilable frequency preference difference. I think The Sex-Starved Wife is the only place I’ve ever seen this type of disappointment addressed, and I’d highly recommend checking it out. Good luck to you!

    • anonoctopus

      I always have this experience when partnered.

      I’m better at dealing with it initially now, so that we don’t get into the chasing dynamic where they feel pressured and I feel rejected and everyone is grumpy and we have even less sex. I like having sex meetings fairly regularly where we devote an hour a month to talking about how sex is going, why we like having sex, if we want more/less sex, we should try this new thing, etc. We keep a running google doc agenda.

      I also find it helpful to try to balance the kinds and amounts of sex we are having through the magic of scheduling, like, once every few months I would like to spend all morning and part of the afternoon in bed, and that’s a good thing to schedule. Or, scheduling going to a play party together twice a month, or asking if they could wake me up with sex sometime this week, or scheduled for Friday he propositions and we flirt via text all day. I’m happier with less sex and more variety than with more sex that all falls into our easy/comfort pattern. Keeping a big running list of ways we like to have sex/want to try to have sex also helps with this.

      Also, having sex scheduled makes me way more graceful when rejected. Partner rejecting me with compliments about how irresistible I am and what he would do to me if it was on the schedule today/not conflicting with him saving the world/insert lewd joke here, also is fun when we are in a good dynamic. We both laugh, I have something to masturbate over, and he gets to feel witty.

  • Anon

    Um, so I’ve had a sort of embarrassing regression to teenage levels of self-consciousness recently. I went off birth control because it was making me miserable, and ironically, not interested in sex AT ALL. I’ve always had mild issues with acne, but going off the pill must have done some crazy stuff to my hormones, because…it’s just awful. My back…my face…I am so horribly self conscious, to the point where I don’t want him to see me from behind O_O He is pretty hurt by my resistance to letting him “see” certain areas (he’s a very visual/tactile person) even though he understands why I’m self-conscious. He still seems to like what he sees, even though I don’t! How do you get over something like that? I know we’re in it for the long haul and it doesn’t really matter if a few months of our sex life are tainted by a less than perfect appearance, but it’s making it so hard for me to feel attractive. Anyone had this sort of issue and how did you get over it?

    • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

      I don’t know the answer but, solidarity. I totally understand. How do we get over any body image issues? How do we feel sexy when we don’t feel sexy?

      • Anon

        I wish I knew :( This is honestly my biggest sex-roadblock. I find my guy really attractive still, and I don’t really have any problems “getting there” it’s just…mental stuff. I am so hard to convince, even though I know I’ll enjoy myself, because I just don’t feel sexy. I spend a lot of time focusing on “can he see {insert body image hotspot}?” when I should be focusing on “Yay, sex!”

        • Anon2

          I’ve certainly felt this way (usually about my weight) and often if these negative feelings are lasting longer than a few days, it helps if I talk to my partner about it and directly ask her to be more vocal in her appreciations. If I can be honest and vulnerable enough to say that I’m not feeling sexy but want to try to get over that so that I can FEEL sexy and satisfy my partner’s needs, she is more willing/understanding to tell me that I look sexy, that I’m turning her on, that she wants me — and hearing the words often goes a long way to get me out of my own head and more in the sexy moment.

    • anon

      I have a similar problem and totally understand…besides keeping things under the covers/in dim light, sometimes wearing clothes that make me feel sexy and keeping some of them on for a while helps. For example, I just bought a sexy, silky kimono thing that makes us both feel turned on and I can keep wearing it during sex but it doesn’t diminish from his tactile/visual needs.

    • MC

      If it’s possible, visit a good dermatologist!! I finally went to one and she gave me a prescription lotion that helps a TON. I know lots of doctors will prescribe hormonal birth control for acne but there are some other great options out there. For years I beat myself up for feeling insecure about my acne and tried to pretend like I didn’t care, but once I finally went to the derm I felt so much better. I know doctors aren’t an option for everyone but just being proactive about it in general helped my confidence a lot.

    • anono

      I have PCOS and tried going off the pill (on which I had great skin) for libido reasons, and it was bad news after a few months, including developing really bad acne, like nothing I’d had in my life. Even after I went back on the pill for various reasons, the acne was not resolving much after several months. What eventually REALLY helped, quickly, was doxycycline from my dermatologist. I took a pill for 30 days and also since then have used Benzaclin topically on my face, although I’m not that consistent because it’s a pain in the ass and bleaches my bedding and pajamas. I get an occasional zit before my period and still have some minor bumps covering my forehead, but overall it’s so much better. If you can tolerate doxy (I didn’t have any problems at all; supposedly some people get stomach upset, and you can get skin darkening (patchy) if you get a lot of sun exposure while you take it–it was New England winter when I took it, so not a problem!), it might be worth looking into.

      • anono

        Also, many primary care docs will prescribe doxy. You don’t necessarily have to go to a dermatologist.

        • Kelsey

          I’m on birth control now, but a few years ago, when I had a different idoctor/insurance, I was on minocyclin (sp?) for acne. It made me sick to the point where I had no apetite. My doctor put me on a slow release antibiotic (solodyne, I think) instead and my tummy issues went away.

    • Aubry

      I had the same experience with BC. I went off of it about 2 years ago to try the copper IUD. I wanted to get off the hormones. Well, I discovered that my non-controlled periods seriously suck (turns out those cramps I got as a teenager that put me on BC in the first place – yeah, still there). And my skin went to shit! I have never had pimples, never when hormonal, not as a teenager, nothing. Well, apparently that was all my amazing reaction to BC. My solution was to go back on the Birth Control after a year and a bit. Mostly for the reasons mentioned about how my uterus hates me and wants me to suffer, but also the skin.

      Whenever I feel bad about an area of my body (and in fact most times cause it works for me), I try this mental exercise where I imagine what is going on sexually but with me looking exactly how I want to. Be it 6 pack abs or non-rolling back when in back-roll-inducing positions, I imagine him touching me but without any of the pesky reality of the human body folding etc. Basically i just picture in my mind everything that is happening most of the time, otherwise i find side thoughts sneak in. I’m a person who gets easily distracted and then the libido disappears entirely.

      One more thing mentioned below is clothing. A cute T-shirt with a mini skirt and no panties is super hot for me. Even better to keep it on the whole time! Or nighty, teddy, kimono or whatever you like. Good luck!!

  • Anon

    Can we talk about period sex for a minute? This is, inconveniently, the hottest time of the month for me, while he, understandably, isn’t into it. The whole rest of the month my needs drop off and we wind up having sex only during the weekend. Has anybody else experienced this?

    • AnonCat

      I often find I’m pretty horny during my period. Since I’m an observant Jew, we’ve made the conscious choice not to have sex have period sex for religious purposes, so I mostly masturbate. (I do have other horny times of the month though).

      That said, maybe there are ways to reduce the ick factor for him. Some things that might help: using condoms, taking a shower and rinsing accumulated blood out, playing with dildos and fingers? Have you talked with him about what icks him about about it? It sounds like talking with him to find a way to get your needs met is in order.

      • Anon

        I think he said something to the effect of it looks like a murder scene… To which I responded he just needs to watch less gory tv! All joking aside, I think it freaks him out to see his penis covered in blood- we’ve tried some of the tactics you suggested, but it’s kind of come to a gentle stopping place. I was curious how others handled it, if they experienced it, etc. I appreciate the feedback and might try to re-try/newly employ some of these suggestions moving forward.

        • anonymoustoo

          I’ll offer to do the cleanup on him, too, if I think it’ll be bad. I think my guy appreciates that as a way to help him get over the icky blood factor.

    • anono

      Yes my libido is definitely highest then, but he’s not really into it. We’ve done it before, and we don’t do it much in general, but it’s annoying that the one time I’m REALLY into it, it’s not as attractive as a time for him.

    • Molly P. Kopuru

      My period totally came right as we were about to start fooling around last night.

      I think my husband might be up for it in the shower or something but we’ve never tried period sex. I just… Can’t.

    • Anon

      I um *cough* have this problem. The solution is hands >_> For me anyway.

    • Sarah

      My dude used to be very resistant to period sex. Necessity, exposure and time have largely done away with his icky feelings about it :P I would slowly introduce the idea and ease into it, if you can convince him. Maybe just do sexy stuff while you have a tampon in at first, then do it on your lighter days, etc etc. My fiance now pretty much goes “oh look blood, lets keep going” whereas he used to be much more squicked out by it, haha.

    • anon

      We do period sex, but normally try to bridge the gap as to the day before it comes and the very last day so it’s not so bad. Since I’m on birth control, I can predict down to the day it is going to start and end. We just try to find other ways to turn each other on rather than oral sex : ).

    • Anon

      FWIW, sex only during the weekend sounds not bad to me! ;)

      My suggestion would be to talk to him about it. Does he know that’s the hottest time for you? (Maybe that could be a game changer). What it is about it that puts him off? Is it something that can be addressed?
      Good luck!

    • http://www.amberwilkie.com AquaAmber

      My husband is pretty ok with period sex, which is nice. I’m the one that’s afraid he’ll be grossed out. Doing the – um – prep work myself helps with the whole thing. He just gets to hang out for a while. We also employ plenty of laughter, when necessary because, yeah, it kinda looks like a murder scene but he just came (and me too), so it’s all good.

    • honeycomehome

      You could try softcup. Not all menstrual cups are great for sex (Diva Cup isn’t, I think), but those that are designed to sit high and don’t have those little poking tails are less likely to be felt by your partner.

      I’ve never tried, as I tend to feel bloated and gross and not at all interested in period sex, but I’ve heard it works!)

    • Sparkles

      My partner used to avoid it, he still does to some extent, but has gotten better about it. I was able to change his mind by doing it in the shower with him while I was on my period, and starting on the lighter days. That way there weren’t mess issues (not that there usually are, the mess isn’t always as bad as it seems like it’s going to be), and shower sex is different.

      • What What

        Shower sex is what we do. Or bathroom counter sex, jumping into the shower after. I’m usually not terribly in the mood when I’m on my period, as I think it’s icky. However, if he really wants it and starts telling me all the stuff he really wishes he could do right now. . . .to the shower we go.

    • Fantasies, toys, and bondage

      We used to have it all the time when I had a period. My birth control now means that I barely spot every now and then. But, when I did have a period regularly we would still go for it. In part because I was extra horny and in part because my periods have always been fairly light on birth control. I’ve found that cleaning myself before really helps in terms of keeping the mess down. We also work it out by keeping wipes by the bed so that we could clean up immediately after.

    • anonymoustoo

      We cope with this by taking turns instead. I do something for him, and then he sticks around while I use a toy. Not ideal, but intimate in its own way.

    • anonoctopus

      In my limited experience guys getting more used to dealing with period blood in general helps, eg. dealing with the blood-stained sheets or towels and throwing my reusable pads into the wash (and probably also the fact that I’m ridiculous and will body paint with blood while I’m waiting for the shower to get warm). And starting with manual with gloves and towels. But I also don’t really partner with squeamish people, so that might not work for most people.

      Also, we always use gloves and the stained towels and dental dams and condoms and female condoms and wipes as necessary to reduce mess.

    • Anon

      Amazing! Thank you all for the replies – really appreciated!!

  • Molly P. Kopuru

    We have been married 3 months and the sex is really good (better somehow) but still not as frequent as my husband would like. I just don’t always feel up to it (or I’m tired) which is something I’ve been trying to work on. I’ve changed my birth control recently thinking that might have something to do with it, so we’ll see. Generally it’s around once a week, though. Which is about where it’s always been.

    I don’t know if that’s normal for a newlywed, but there you are..

    • AnonCat

      I think that’s perfectly normal. I think a wide range of frequencies is pretty normal.

    • Sarah G

      I did some research on this and found a research piece claiming average frequency for married couples was about 1.2x per week. As a once a week gal myself I found this reassuring. But I think it also just shows that there’s huge variety (because 1 is the average) and we should feel ok about that!

  • Anon for this

    I need suggestions for porn that isn’t terrible. What do you guys like?

    • mari

      Ugh, most porn is terrible (but I watch it and skip through the unpleasant to me parts). My favorite is actually erotic comics. I recommend Slipshine (www.orgymania.com I think) – you have to subscribe, but you get access to a crapload of really diverse (and often very sex/female/body positive) comics. It’s more for the first month, but that’s b/c they figure you are using more bandwidth looking at the backlog of comics. My favorite artists are Ovens (Lin Visel) and amanda lafrenais…

      An extra bonus is that comics tend to have decent plot lines in addition to hot sex. Double bonus if you’re into sci-fi/fantasy elements… they’re easy to find in erotic comics.

    • http://www.amberwilkie.com AquaAmber

      I’ve always been a huge fan of Literotica (www.literotica.com) – more free stories than you can possibly imagine. Sort by best-of to get out of the stories so badly written you can’t even get through them. I like to put some on my Kindle and pretend I’m not reading dirty stories on the metro.

      • mari

        I second literotica as well. Also, thank god for kindles. I would never buy a romance or erotic fiction hard copy, b/c I’m embarrassed. But God help me if the wrong person opens my kindle account.

        • Anon for this

          I actually just got a kindle! Can you lock those things?! Ha.

          • Amanda

            You can! I have a kindle paperwhite and it has a pass code on it precisely for that reason ;)

    • MisterEHolmes

      It’s not porn, but does have great resources and material and sometimes reading the totally informative stuff is enough to get me interested: http://www.ohjoysextoy.com It’s so great! And bonus reviews of toys!

    • Anenome

      I subscribe to filthyfigments.com, which is an erotic comic site by women artists. I love it, they have a little bit of everything and at this point there is usually a new update posted every day. I haven’t had much luck finding porn I’m into, but I’m super curious about https://makelovenotporn.tv/. So far I haven’t been brave enough to check it out but the concept appeals to me.

  • Foreplay?

    Can we talk about creative ideas for physical foreplay? I’m in a heterosexual cis-gender relationship (I am female). My husband and I have good sex, especially when we’re both already horny going into it, but sometimes I desire sex on an intellectual level, but struggle to help my body catch up and get turned on physically. My go-to used to be having him kiss and lick all over my body – but that stopped feeling good after he grew a beard. I know it seems like the obvious solution is to shave the beard, but we both love it (for him, it boosts his confidence about what he perceives to be a ‘weak chin’, and I do find it sexy!). I also don’t find fingering or clitoral stimulation enjoyable when I’m not already horny. I’m struggling to think of other options for physical stimulation to get turned on.

    • Anon

      Feathers? Silky scarves?

    • Annonapotamus

      Instead of licking you, can he run something…else… all over your body?

    • Sarah

      I really like nipple play for getting horny if I’m not there already.

    • AnonCat

      We honestly haven’t figured this out that much. My main solution is trying to get super horny before. I feel like it’s all a mental game for me. When I’m 85% horny mentally, I haven’t found much physical that will get me to 100%. Sometimes we just jump in to p-in-v anyways with some lube and that usually gets my mind and body there. Whereas, when I’m 100% horny, my body’s in also.
      I would say mostly foreplay kind of sucks. Either we’re crazy horny and it’s not really foreplay, it’s just part of the play, or it’s kind of boring and doesn’t work well.

      • anon

        this has kind of been my experience, too — physical stuff always feels like a crapshoot if I’m not partway there already. I feel bad about always needing to look at sexy pictures or something if I’m starting from 0.

    • someone

      This is a good question… our foreplay routine has become just that, routine. It’s gotten kind of boring (not that it isn’t enjoyable) but I’m not even sure what to try to mix it up a little. I suppose we really ought to discuss it together, but I also don’t want to offend him, and I already turn him down too much (why is it already so late every night?). Even when I make an effort by wearing something sexy or trying to make the first move, as soon as we settle into bed it turns into “now we kiss, now we do this, now we do that, now we’re doing it” and loses the excitement.

      I have found, however, that I seem to be most eager when I’ve watched or read something that has some sexual component, even if it’s just alluded. Maybe that’s a start?

      • Nicole Cherae

        There’s an erotic blog I read sometimes and it gets me in the mood. Why not try playing out some of the things you read.

      • Aubry

        may I recommend the kushiel’s dart series. Seriously, the best thing to happen to my sex life in a while.

    • Nicole Cherae

      Maybe work on foreplay outside of the bedroom. Sometimes the anticipation/teasing can be a huge turn on.

    • Anon

      As far as the beard goes, instead of having him cut it off, maybe have him grow it longer? I think there’s this middle ground with beards where they are super scratchy for a couple of weeks, and then they get longer and lay flatter and are soft. If he keeps it closely trimmed, that might be part of the problem.

    • MC

      Fiance and I did long-distance for a good while, and so we got REAL good at phone sex. Sexy talk is a good way for us to get in the mood, as well as sexy texts/e-mails if we’re planning on having sex after work. Those aren’t exactly physical techniques but they help my body catch up to my brain.

      • AnonCat

        Somehow, I find phone sex really fun and hot and sexy talk in person only occasionally so, but usually it feels awkward. Not sure why. I love phone sex though. (Since we started out long distance)

    • Anon

      Sometimes when I’m not feeling into it too much, I find I get really horny licking him or going down on him. I just let him lay back and enjoy, and I get super excited.

      • Anonymous

        Oh my gawd, going down on him turns me on like nothing else. I don’t always like doing it, but once I get going… I just wish that I loved the same treatment. I don’t know why, but it just doesn’t do it for me when he does it. He feels bad about it because he loves to go down on me, but it’s not my favorite thing. And those conversations are always tricky and I can’t seem to figure out what to tell him to make it better. :(

        • Anoncat

          I too get super turned on giving my sweetie oral. And while I enjoy him going down on me, it’s so hard to tell him how to get it just right, it can be a little exhausting. But I generally do try, because I feel like I’ll figure it out and it’s worth it.

    • Fantasies, toys, and bondage

      I struggle with physical foreplay. If I’m not turned on, I don’t want him touching me too much down there because it feels weird. And I have to be really turned on for me to even think about oral. What I find helps is to get mentally turned on first. So, I’ll read some erotic literature or fantasize prior to hitting my husband up for sex. I’ve found that if I can get myself going first that I can ease into physical foreplay, though I still have him go slow with lots of kissing and all over light caresses before diving in to any erogenous zones.

      • anonnynonny

        OMG yess this is exactly it. I was kind of thinking there was something wrong with me. Super helpful to see others’ brains/bodies work this way, too.

    • lady brett

      this may not be at all your thing, but a lot of s/m things can be done on a very light level that provides some sensation and may (or may not) be sexual without involving anything really directly sex-related, as a starting point (fingernails, spanking, blindfolds…). (i think sometimes there is this idea that you can’t be into something “kinky” unless you are “hardcore” that leaves a huge gap between “vanilla” and “bdsm” that could provide a lot of fun for a lot of folks)

    • anonoctopus

      Does touch in general help you? We will often trade back rubs and foot rubs (with nice smelling lotion or oil) while watching porn and making out. We also like to play wrestle/tickle-fight.
      I second sensation play, metal toys with ice water and hot water on hand are fun, if labor intensive, and can feel similar to licking.
      What do you like about the kissing and licking, the pressure? the touch? the attention? the temperature? You can probably recreate some of that in one way or another.

      Also, we’ve instituted a general rule that my genitals shouldn’t be touched until I ask for it, and that actually helps me get turned on faster because I know I won’t have to push him away. I generally find that making consent more explicit helps with most problem areas that crop up in sex.

  • Beans

    I know this is all about pre-marital, post-marital sex but can I just jump in and tell you how good post-baby sex is!? I’m 4 months postpartum and holy Moses it got good. My husband and I have always had a very, um, robust sex life but I am shocked at how good it’s been since baby. I think it’s a shame that the same mentality about sex after marriage is perpetuated once you become a parent. Why don’t we embrace how these things might make it better? I’m more comfortable with my body, more in love with my partner, and we co-sleep so hubs and I have to stay, er, creative. :-)

    • post baby sex struggles

      Jealous. And just curious–are you breastfeeding?

  • anónima

    So we are getting married in the spring! Yay! We have taken pre-marriage prep with church. We have a happy home together. We have a plan. Everything has fallen into place.. except the sex. I had crazy amounts of sex in my last relationship. I am latin and am very sexual, he is not but is working on it. It took practically a year into our relationship (after getting engaged) to figure out that his libido is down and its difficult for him to stay hard because of the SSRIs he’s taking. Because of stress and anxiety of wedding planning he is sticking to his pill until after the wedding so we are excited to see what him actually having an orgasm will be like. He will work on finding a better medication to keep him happy but to improve our sex life (reboot? actually have one?) when things are more stable. Its funny how life works out. I always refused to think I’d marry a man who isn’t the world’s greatest in bed.. but I adore him and there is no one else that I’d rather be with.

  • anono

    Does anyone else sometimes feel ‘left out’ or just sort of wondering what they’re missing out on when you hear other people or pop culture at large talk about how important and awesome sex is and how they’re horny all the time?

    My partner and I had a lot of lust when we first got together (duh), but after he got on antidepressants (I was already on them), and he started school, and there was family illness, mom died…it didn’t stay that way in terms of intensity (duh). However, the sex, though less frequent and frenzied, did get better overall. We’re super intimate, emotionally and physically. Feeling that comfortable is a real turn-on At this point I want to have sex more than my partner, but what’s weird is with birth control and antidepressants, my libido and ability to climax are really compromised, so it’s on a more cognitive level that I want to have a vibrant sex life. Partly I think it’s because my arousal feeds off of his a lot. And everyone likes to feel desired. But he doesn’t feel much fire. I get a little insecure that he doesn’t feel passion for me like that. He likes sex when we have it, and he doesn’t have any sexual dysfunction related to his meds, thank goodness, but he’s just not that horny now. And he loves the cozy deep love we have and time we spend together, and he’s not motivated to change his meds at all to potentially revive his libido a bit. Well, anyway, overall things are awesome between us, but I think hot sex is such a fun thing you can only share with your partner (in my personal world), so I’m taking action to try to develop other strategies so I can get off BC and my meds, and then with at least one of us being really horny physically, we can bring the other alone. I know this is all normal and I’m not worried, just hope we can increase the spice. We’ve talked a lot about it, including everything in this post, and he’s working to initiate more, too.

    • anono

      and fantasies? what is that? i’m not seriously asking, just saying, i don’t think about sex much at all, and at least not in that way. where do these fantasies come from? is there an incantation I can recite so they come to me? lol

    • Anon

      I think that there’s this idea out there that the sex that you have is tied to the overall stability of your relationship. If you’re not having sex a lot something is wrong! No no no! I hate that. There are so many factors (liked the ones you mentioned) at play.
      FWIW, just because you are seeing all these comments about how much people love sex doesn’t mean that they are having more than you, or that it’s any better than what you are having! I love sex with my fiance, and we have it about once week. I love sex but I’m definitely not horny all the time.

    • Anonymouse

      Yes! I often feel like I’m being told that if my sex life isn’t fantastic, or if I’m not spending most of my spare time and energy trying to make it fantastic, it means my relationship is bad. Sex is only one aspect of a relationship, it’s really important to some people, and less important to others.

      Our sex life is meh, mostly because I have never been able to orgasm during sex with another person. Masturbating to orgasm is easy (during-sex masturbation is possible but not that great and pretty difficult), and getting turned on with another person is easy, but my body just stops there. I think getting aroused enough to orgasm requires a great deal of internal focus, which is easy while alone and very difficult with another person. If I could manage to get to that point during sex, it would be by totally mentally shutting out the other person, and what fun is that? So my husband feels like he’s not doing a good job, and I feel terrible because he’s working hard to make me feel good and not really getting anywhere. I’ve told him that he’s doing everything right, and that it’s my fault, not his, but I don’t think he really believes me, and I know that getting to make me orgasm would make our sex life way more enjoyable for him. I think we can make the whole situation feel better by talking about it more, but I don’t think we’ll ever have mind-blowing sex, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean our marriage is broken. (Ugh, but after writing this all out I think I should see a sex therapist or something. But my marriage is still good!)

      • anonmole

        I wasn’t able to orgasm with a partner until I bought a vibrator. Have you tried using one during sex? A small bullet vibe is all it takes for me, but we have bought others to provide some variety. :)

        • Anonymouse

          Interesting… I’ve tried a vibrator, but not for a long time, and not with my husband. He’s suggested once or twice that using one might help and I’ve poo-pooed the idea. Maybe I should give it a try!

          • AnonCat

            I definitely recommend giving some toys a try. I’m trying to learn to use a vibrator to see if it will facillitate orgasms during intercourse. I really enjoy being penetrated (but NOT much motion on the penetrating object) while getting off, so we’ve have fun with dildos before/after intercourse, where he can help me with that while I get myself off.

            I’m a little bit the same way in that to get off, I usually need to be very focused on some fantasy in my head. But I definitely feel like I have orgasms “together”. Usually, after lots of hot play and p-in-v sex, we roll into a sexy cuddle, and I get myself off while fantasizing intensely but it feels like part of sex together. Also, sometimes it’s hard for me to feel okay about letting go and fantasizing for how long it takes, but it can work for him to eat me out while I relax and let myself fantasize. Even if I’m a little less mentally present with him, he’s still getting me off and enjoys that.

          • Anomaly

            OMG- I am glad someone else needs to fantasize. I feel guilty about not being present but can’t get off otherwise.

          • Pickles

            I totally agree! I stay present for most of sex but to really get off I have to fantasize. I sometimes feel guilty about it too. But ultimately, he is the one making me come. I just have a little story in my head that helps it along. Sometimes I even fantasize about him or some other sexual experience we had together while we’re having sex. That’s sounds weird, I know. But it works. Whatever works, I say!

      • post baby sex struggles

        I’m one of those lucky women who never had trouble reaching orgasm during penetration…until I couldn’t achieve penetration. I also felt that pressure to put tons of time and energy into having OMG THE BEST SEX LIFE EVAR. But there came a point of diminishing returns with my physical therapy. Once penetration was possible, through it required ‘warming up’ with a dilator and lots of deep breaths and patience from husband, sex reached a plateau where it was ok (and that was the biggest relief because I was afraid it was gone forever) but it wasn’t great. I was super unmotivated to do anything to make it any better though. Finally we let it coast there until I stopped breastfeeding and now it’s amazing again. Anyway, ‘meh’ sex is better than nothing and it’s a stage we probably all go through. You shouldn’t feel guilty about settling for mediocre sex for a while because we can’t all maximize every aspect of our lives all the time.

  • http://cheriarmour.com Cheri @ Overactive Blogger

    I love this topic :)

  • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

    One thing we learned, making baby sex can be very much not sexy if you let it. So that was when we’d light some candles, get out the sexy clothes, I’d make sure my legs were shaved. If we have to put it on the calendar then we use the days leading up to it as some long run foreplay.

    We frequently comment to each other that married sex is awesome. Because when your chests squeeze together just right to make farting noises or you burp, that’s totally cool. And when I’m having a bad day and feel absolutely broken from infertility, being with my husband can make everything good again. Married sex is awesome.

    • Hiphopanonymous

      You’re not broken.

    • Trying

      I’m late to this thread, but was wondering if someone would have brought this up. We’ve been trying for about a year now and it’s been a struggle to keep it from feeling like we’re having sex tonight because we HAVE to have sex tonight. The whole rest of the month, our sex life is just as great as it was before, but those few days feel really unsexy.

  • Can’t believe I’m posting

    Can’t believe I’m posting this, but it’s APW, anonymous and I’ve had a glass of wine. I frequently have trouble getting in the mood. Even when I’m mentally in the mood, often I have trouble feeling physically aroused. The thing that consistently gets me going is talk of spanking. However, immediately after (and before) this makes me feel weird and uncomfortable (mentally). So I get in a big catch-22 circle of knowing what will work (and he’s into it) and feeling guilty/bad about myself/something that that sort of thing is what works. Help! (To be clear, he’s nothing but supportive and reassuring, as he was before we got married. Just wants me to like sex as much as he does!)

    • Sabrina

      Have you tried to explore WHY you feel guilty about the thing that makes you feel aroused? I spent a long time fighting similar feelings in myself over things that aroused me until I really did some work and found the root of those feelings. At the end of the day what ever happens between two (or more, or just one) consenting adults is nothing to be ashamed of. Your brain is your biggest sex organ, and you can make it work for or against you. Good luck , and for the record I also think SPANKING IS TOTALLY HOT.

    • Annonapotamus

      Dovetailing off my comment above as to types of sex: sometimes I want to be a bad girl (spanking is perfect for those times!) and other times I want to be a good girl (and literally be told what a good girl I am during sex). Sure, at first I felt a bit uncomfortable about it, but I think this is the point of this open thread. That with married sex, you may feel uncomfortable, but if your partner loves you, you’ll both go with it and have an amazing time. It’s a really special feeling to bask in the glow of post-woah-that-was-weird-but-just-what-I-wanted-and-s/he-gave-it-to-me sex. I want lots of fun spanking for you, but I also want that totally loved unconditionally no matter what you just did in bed together feeling for you too. I’ll bet that’s exactly what your fella wants for you too. I’ll bet this is more about worrying that you’re somehow too “weird” than the spanking itself (mostly ’cause spanking isn’t that weird, haha!).

  • Fantasies, toys, and bondage

    One thing I would say is essential is being willing to talk about fantasies with each other. My husband and I started out really honest before we ever got married. He was into bondage and eased me into it. Now it’s something we share that really has helped, umm, bond us closer together. Recently, we’ve overcome a tougher spot sex wise and that was by once again diving into fantasies. These aren’t necessarily ones we will act on, but just talking about them in the bedroom spices things up nicely.

    I would also say that investing in toys is fun if you can get over the awkwardness of buying them. We like to visit sex stores anywhere that isn’t where we live (his job is fairly high profile, mine is not but I interact with a lot of people daily) and just browse. We rarely by anything anymore, but that’s because we own the higher quality versions of most of what is out there anyway. Online shopping is also a lot of fun, though perhaps more likely to result in a box showing up at your door after a night of drunken browsing.

    • moonlitfractal

      Seconding shopping for toys together online. It’s a great way to get in the mood, and something sexy to do when you’re tired from the week and don’t have a lot of energy. Though, to be honest, after an hour or so of browsing we’re usually feeling much more energetic.

  • Eh

    When my husband and I decided to start trying to conceive we needed to figure out how to have more sex. Neither of us were complaining about our sex life but our normal routine was unlikely to lead to me getting pregnant. I work days and my husband works afternoons so I am generally sleeping when he gets home from work (and we rarely have days off together). We don’t see each other much and when at least one of us has no energy. For the last couple of weeks (since we started trying) we have managed to put the effort in to have more sex. It has also been way better than our previous non-baby making sex.

  • Ruth

    I love this thread! So glad there’s a place to talk about this stuff! For the most part, married sex has been amazing. We recently started trying to conceive – and the sex has been magical; I think there’s an even deeper level of trust now in our partnership, and apparently trust=mindblowing orgasms – who knew ;) The only problem is, though, that though unprotected sex is really working for me erotically and emotionally – it’s not working for me physically – I’ve had two incidents of bacterial vaginosis since we ditched the condoms 4 months ago and am having symptoms again. Condoms had been our main method of contraception. I’d previously had infections during a period when I had an IUD – I’d blamed it on that – but now I’m afraid that my vagina just isn’t reacting well to having sperm inside it. It’s really pissing me off – because otherwise, I’m enjoying the sex we’re having so much and am really excited about conceiving. Has anyone else experienced recurrent BV after unprotected sex? I’ve tried all the things – 2 different antibiotics from the gyno, probiotics, cotton underwear, std testing (negative) etc…it’s not helping. It just seems so crazy that something so natural – i.e. f*cking in our natural state, would be causing health problems!

    • anonmole

      There is such a thing as being allergic to semen. Some women have a hypersensitivity to some of the proteins in it.

      • ruth

        I’ve heard of that. But I know it’s incredibly rare. And my symptoms aren’t the classic semen allergy symptoms – redness, swelling etc… It’s more bv or yeast symptoms. I’ve heard of lots of people having bad reactions due to their birth control method, but it just seems so crazy to be having a bad reaction to sex itself. I think the stress of recently moving is probably a factor, upsetting the normal PH, etc.. I’d like to find some natural way of getting things back in balance, because the antibiotics have side effects

        • Anon

          We were using condoms and BC and then I got an IUD and we had a big talk (and got re-tested just to be sure) and ditched the condoms too. The next 6 months, I had 4 yeast infections and BV twice. The doc was sure it wasn’t the IUD but said going off birth control can do that sometimes or it might have been the adjustment to no condoms.

          I was starting to get pretty frustrated, but my doc suggested around month 4 to wait until 6 months had happened to make any decisions. Haven’t had a yeast infection or BV since the beginning of April! Maybe you’re also just going through a (shitty) transition.

          It was totally worth it now though… :D

        • Holly

          I had my first yeast infection ever a couple months after I got my IUD. The doctor treating me said, “Oh, yup, that’ll do it.” Also, we always use coconut oil for lube. It is antimicrobial naturally.

    • Anenome

      So this is going to sound weird, but do you use water-based lube? I have an IUD, and we started using a new lube and I started getting recurring yeast infections and couldn’t figure out why. I was doing the pee after sex thing. My doctor told me that some water based lubes are bacterostatic, which means they inhibit the growth of bacteria, which sounds like a good thing, but she said it can also mess with your natural vaginal microflora. She suggested sticking to silicone lube, and so far I’m infection free several months later. I’d never heard of this before, and I was curious and searched online to see if I could find anyone else talking about it without much luck.

      • moonlitfractal

        Huh. I had a similar problem when we stopped using condoms exclusively and it improved when we tried changing lubes. Maybe this was why.

    • Not Sarah

      I’m on the pill and so eventually, we started using condoms not all the time, and then I started getting yeast infections! They were terrible. I did two things and haven’t had a yeast infection since:
      1) I started eating 6 oz of yogurt most days (so 5-7 days a week)
      2) I switched to entirely cotton underwear (instead of nylon) for about 28 days a month

  • anon test

    test

    • anon test

      oooh, I didn’t know I could do that! Thanks!

  • emily

    We have gotten into group sex… with both genders and various combinations of each. Has it gone sour? Once – yes… but we got through it. Why do we want to keep at it? Because we both think it is just sooo freakin hot. It makes me want him MORE after.. makes we want to feel and be with just him more because he gets my body and my head better then anyone else. We also keep up with role play and bdsm… we watch porn tother… we talk about the things we might try and then maybe do them. Sometimes we’re not as intimate as often aswe should be so we try to aknowledge that and change how we go about the whole process.
    We have fun.

  • Anonyme

    We’ve been married for about a year and have had a lot less sex than prior to being married, but that is mostly because I have developed pain during sex (don’t worry I’m in the process of trying to get this fixed) and it has made it both physically and mentally challenging for both of us. My husband has been completely supportive, but I know he would like sex more often and I feel terrible that I essentially never want it, because I know it’s going to hurt. We do non-penetrative stuff a lot more now, but I feel like it gets a bit old and I really just want to be able to go at it with the same vigor that we did when we first started dating.

    I’ve never had a huge sex drive so it’s always been a bit of a mental challenge to get into the right state of mind, but it’s even harder now that there is pain involved. I am really tired of feeling guilty (my own doing, not my husband’s) and disappointed and like it’s always a fight with my brain to get into it. I hope once the pain goes away, this won’t be such a challenge. We’re talking about having kids and I want to at least be able to enjoy that process! C’mon!

    • Anonyme

      Oh, but I will say that even with the above challenges, I do feel better about our sexual communication now compared to when we were dating. We have our own little language that has developed over the years and it cracks me up. Little words or phrases that mean certain sexy things to us and nobody else.

      Also, I have said this before here, but I will say it again: Porn Forts. It is exactly what it sounds like – you build a pillow or blanket fort (or any fort of your choosing), then you hunker down inside and watch some porn and get freaky in your secret little lair.

  • :(

    This sounds awful and shallow and makes me feel super crummy, but I’ve really struggled with my partner’s weight gain. We met in college where we were both athletes and were super fit at the time. Fast forward a few years, new jobs, new house etc and we’ve both gained wait for sure; but he’s packed a ton onto his gut and i just find it so…not sexy. I find it so much harder to be physically attracted to him and it just makes me want to cry because everything else about him is so great. Even worse, is he’s still far and away not the heaviest guy I’ve ever been with but I just can’t seem to get past the weight. Am I just being shallow? Anyone go through the same thing?

    • Anon weight gain

      Yup. Same thing happening here. I have no idea how to deal with it… especially in a way that doesn’t make me seem like an ass.

    • Ruth

      You are not alone. I’ve been having the same issues with my hubby. The only difference is that being overweight has perennially been a challenge for him. I too feel shallow that it bothers me (especially because i had him checked at the doc, and he’s in good health (the doc seemed almost pissed) – he’s just chubby by nature. But it made me feel more shallow, because it’s aesthetic as much as a concern for his health. The thing that’s helped me over the years is just to keep in mind that there are lots of different ways to get turned on – he’s not the kind of guy I can just look at with his shirt off and get hot – but he makes me so hot with the things he whispers in my ear, the fantasies he shares with me, the way he knows how to touch me, etc… so our sex life has been great. It just doesn’t “look” like how I thought it should look. It’s still hard though. He put on even more weight recently due to the stressful few months we’ve had since moving – I’ve commented on it and ended up hurting his feelings. It’s something I’ve realized I have to be really sensitive with – because he’s sensitive about it. It’s hard. But everybody has something they struggle with about their partner, I guess

    • Anontoday

      Oh my goodness, thank you for saying this. I can’t tell you how much I have been beating myself up about this. I’m like Ruth, my husband has sort of always been a tad chubby even though he works out every day and eats fairly healthy. For some reason it drives me crazy that he is overweight when he eats less than most other guys I’ve been with. It feels really unfair to me, but doesn’t bother him as he tries to focus on his health instead of his weight. The fact that he has such a healthy outlook on the whole thing makes me feel even more shallow! It makes me feel truly AWFUL that I am not immediately turned on by him.

      Honestly, it helps a lot to just know I’m not alone and am maybe not a horrible person for having these thoughts! I wish I had something to say that would be helpful, but I haven’t found anything except remembering all the absolutely wonderful things that make me attracted to him on so many levels.

      • Mellie

        Dang, I’m the girl version of your husband. Due to health issues I eat ~97% paleo and because I like it I do 4-6 days of Crossfit or competitive kettlebell training per week, but I have always just been kind of chunky. Haven’t experienced an ounce of weightloss from giving up alcohol and grains and refined sugar, but at least it helped with the health issues…?

    • Anonononon

      Is there any part of his body that you can focus on that *does* turn you on? I’ve struggled a bit on and off with finding my husband “cute” rather than “sexy” even though the actually sex is really good. I find that it helps to focus on a physical part that I’m really into (examples: his butt, how his skin feels) to get turned on. Sometimes I think we get the message that we’re supposed to be super turned on by our partners by default. For many of us (especially after a 10 year relationship!) that simply doesn’t happen automatically.

      • AlsoAnon

        That certainly works for me- my partner is on the other end of the spectrum, more petite than I usually find attractive. But he works out constantly and has great muscle definition, so I focus on his ripped abs and arms instead of his boyish stature and toothpick legs.

  • Ann Nonymous

    Hi everyone. This was very fortuitous timing, this article.

    My fiancé and I moved in together about three months ago. We have his kids (7 and 13) with us half the time. Before this, we had two separate apartments, and the kids were with him a little bit less.

    So, we’ve had less sex lately. I know this because I downloaded an app to track my period and it also allows you to record when you have sex. This is presumably for fertility reasons, but I’m tracking it because I’m curious.

    Till we moved in together, we had sex on about 66% of days in the month. August will be closer to 35%. I know this is still lots-ish, but there was a drop-off. (Yes, I’m aware of how insane it sounds to be reporting percentages.)

    It’s me. I feel less like having sex. I don’t know why. I love being close to him, but I never (well, clearly, based on the numbers, not NEVER, but less often) feel like “yeah, let’s go have sex!” Honestly, I’m like “My GOD, do I love cuddling on the couch and watching Netflix!” It’s not that I DON”T like sex–once we’re doing it, I’m always glad we are–it just doesn’t occur to me as much.

    I don’t care for it because I feel like part of my identity is that I like sex a lot. And my fiancé has noticed and I think worries that something is wrong, that I’m unhappy or something. (which I have tried to assure him is not the case. Honestly being in our house together, being together, it makes me happier than I’ve ever been.)

    Has anyone else gone through this? Is this normal? Am I making a big neurotic deal about nothing? Anyone else have thoughts on this sort of thing?

    • moonlitfractal

      Sounds pretty normal. Moving in changes relationships. Maybe seeing each other more often has taken away the pressure to make every encounter special or sexy, giving you more time to enjoy other aspects of being in a relationship.

    • Sarah E

      Sounds normal. I go through cycles of wanting more/less sex. The constant is that I’m a very tactile person. So some of my sexual desire really IS rooted in just wanting to as much physical contact as possible. If I can attain a huge amount of couch cuddling, a lot of times I’m perfectly content with that without any sexual activity transpiring. And sometimes I’m agreeable to sex largely because I just want to drink in some skin-to-skin contact, sexual arousal optional.

    • HipHopAnonymous

      “My GOD, do I love cuddling on the couch and watching Netflix!” – This made me laugh out loud! Totally relatable, totally true, totally funny. Oh also, totally normal.

    • Heather

      late to the party, but this: “It’s not that I DON”T like sex–once we’re doing it, I’m always glad we are–it just doesn’t occur to me as much.”

      That’s always been my normal. I’m glad I’m not alone, even if it’s new for you!

    • Ann Nonymous

      Aw, thanks everyone for replying! Makes me feel reassured.

    • Nicole Cherae

      When my bf and I moved in together I think there was a definite drop off in the amount of sex we had. Now that we’re in a long(ish) distance relationship I think the sex is better and my sex drive is up.

  • Anon

    Thank you for this great topic! We’re not big resolution people, but for 2014 we resolved to have “more adventures, more sex, and more adventurous sex.” We took leaps of faith and changed jobs, got engaged, got married, and have been having a great time with the sex – most of the time. We experience a lot of the same stuff everyone’s talking about and it’s great to feel less alone! And get good ideas!

    • Sarah E

      Great resolution, or the greatest resolution?! (Hint: the latter)

  • anonnynonny

    Thanks for this topic (and all the comments!). My FH and I have been together 4 years, and we definitely aren’t having sex as much as he wants. I always feel like the problem — my anxiety is a constant presence and I have chronic headaches, thanks to the anxiety. He’s very sweet about it, but it clearly worries/frustrates him; on my end, obviously, feeling like “the problem” doesn’t do a ton to make sex more, well, sexy. Any recommendations for dealing with those peripheral physical things that make sex sound un-fun (headaches, pain, whatever)? (Giving oral is often too painful.)

    • Anon

      I had some pretty awful emotional/anxiety issues for about two years and it made sex really tough. Feeling like a problem or an inconvenience is the worst aphrodisiac on earth, I have so been there! A lot of communication was the only thing that got me through it.
      If pain is getting in the way, could you maybe get him interested in helping you feel better physically, outside of sex? I don’t know how well this works for headaches, but massages when I’m feeling a lot of pain (I have back problems) are so wonderful, and they provide that direct-contact and intimacy. When I’m just flat-out of commission, I am usually still up for using my hands and a lubricant. Could this be an option?

    • MC

      I have chronic migraines and anxiety issues, and acupuncture works wonders for me. Like, I went from having regular low-intensity headaches once or twice a week with a big, head-splitting migraine once or twice a month, to almost no headaches. Fiance was skeptical about if acupuncture was actually a thing, but once he saw the benefit, he is super into it.

  • Anonymoosette

    I’m the lower libido one, and the most helpful thing for me has been realising that just because I don’t feel like it right now doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy it when we get into. Works really well for all those times when he’s keen, but sex is not really on my radar – doesn’t mean I don’t still say no sometimes, but it helps me to remember that I don’t have to be in the mood straight away to still have a good time.

    The other important thing is to expand your definition of sex! Just oral = sex. Hand jobs = sex. Other creative sexy activities = sex. One of our go-to moves is for my man to get off by rubbing his penis up and down my butt crack (sounds weird, but apparently feels good) while we’re having a shower together. It’s a good compromise when I really don’t feel up for penetration. Still sexy, still achieves an orgasm for him, with no stress on me or the relationship. But possibly not so easy if you don’t have a generous butt like me…. ;)

  • Another Anonymous

    So we’ve been having a dry spell and it’s been awful. Partly it’s me–I’m exhausted by 10PM and don’t want to start, and if he does and I try to go along with it, I fall asleep. :- He comes home from work and needs to “decompress” which means go to the bedroom and not come back till I insist dinner’s ready–he’s napping, or playing with his phone. The napping also means that he’s not tired when I want to go to bed, then we get up really early and he’s tired, starting the cycle all over again. I expressed my issues with this habit but it doesn’t seem to be improving…it ends up just this stupid wasting of time on both our parts and then it’s so late we don’t do anything other than go to bed.

    He’s also on some meds and started a new one fairly recently. While the abovementioned issues and my grad school have wreaked havoc for awhile, I’m starting to wonder if it isn’t maybe the new medication–he’s been having trouble keeping things going and finishing, which starts to make me feel crappy and both of us feel like it’s a pointless exercise…

    Anyone have these issues with meds like this? I’m not even sure how much it’s helping the issues it’s been prescribed for–he seems about the same level of unhappy, but now our sex life also sucks….sigh.

    • joanna b.n.

      Alls I have to offer is commiseration of having slogged through times like this. For us, at least, the time passed. But this – “having trouble keeping things going and finishing, which starts to make me feel crappy and both of us feel like it’s a pointless exercise…” is all too familiar!!!