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My husband never initiates sex

Tagged as: Sex, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (1 May 2022) 4 Answers - (Newest, 6 May 2022)
A female United States age 30-35, anonymous writes:

Me and my husband of 2 years hardly have sex. We discussed it before and he said i should initiate it more if that's what i want. I started initiating it here and there, but it doesnt feel natural to always be the one initiating it. So sometimes i dont and then it just doesnt happen. Sometimes we go like 3 weeks with none at all.

I know he's got a working member as sometimes when we do go at it we go several times in one night, but its very occasional we have nights like that.

I offer him random blow jobs just trying to make his day because i know its been a while but then he cant get off after 20 minutes and it confuses me. Like how can someone who can go 5 times in one night not get off after a week of nothing?

Im starting to feel undesirable because i have to pursue him in order to get anything.

He insists hes not masturbating which has crossed my mind but if he is he does a super good job at hiding it. Like hed have to be speaking out of bed or something super nuts to be doing so because we have identical schedules. Which would make no sense, ive literally encouraged him to have at me anytime even in sleep. He just seems to have no interest. Hes 29, is this normal?

Ive noticed he has testosterone booster pills in the med cabinet but theyve been there for two years seemingly untouched. He never much opens up about things. He also mentioned a long time ago that he basically jerked off his whole relationship with his ex. So it seems it could be one or the other really.

It became a big discussion last night because we started doing it and then out of no where he went soft and stopped and said he had a headache, then rolled over. Just out of no where. This is like a few days after the 20 minute blowjob that didnt do anything for him.

We watched porn a few times in the bedroom together over the years and did some role playing on those nights, and every now and then he hints that that was fun but thats the closest to initiating he does.

Earlier when we had a talk about it things got heated and we got into it about how much initiating i should be doing compared to him and how often i should be on top etc. I am on bottom a lot but im far from lazy. Ive been on top, and every other position there is, and ive introduced a lot of kinks into the bedroom.

My issue isnt even so much that im way more in the mood for it, if that were the case id just continue being the only one pursuing it. Its just that i feel like im not turning him on enough or something. I feel as though guys are kinda built to have actual sexual needs compared to a woman who has emotional needs and my emotional needs are to feel sexually attractive and wanted by my partner.

Am i wrong for feeling that way? This post has so many questions to it.

View related questions: blow-job, his ex, in the mood, porn

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (6 May 2022):

No you're not wrong. This is outside my pay grade -- you need couples therapy. Probably a women would be better, guys don't like to talk about not fucking their wanting wives to another guy.

But I will address the blowjob. Pretend you're 5 different women taking turns. Maybe even playact that you are. Each has a different technique. One goes real deep, another swirls her tongue, another sucks the tip and actually blows on it some. one uses no hands and slurps it. one combines a handjob and a BJ. He's not unusual not cuming with a BJ, I've heard that before -- but never with mine. LOL.

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A male reader, Fatherly Advice United States + , writes (2 May 2022):

Fatherly Advice agony auntOP asks, "Am i wrong for feeling that way?"

This was a really long post and an even longer answer from Emmy. I'm going to chime in because you need more than one answer.

First looking at your ages,29, and early thirties, your sex drive as a couple seems low. stretching out to 3 weeks without action is unusual. While there is no "right" level of sexual activity, the fact that you are unhappy indicates that at least for you, sex isn't frequent enough.

Your title and first topic was about initiating. It's a pretty big thing. I liked that you said, " it doesnt feel natural to always be the one initiating it." Instead of it doesn't feel right for a woman to be initiating. As a man I get that one a lot. Women are more reactive sexually so the man should always initiate, is the party line. But what you pointed out is very true even for ego driven men. When one partner is doing all of the initiating, that partner man or woman starts to feel like they are unattractive, or some sort of pervert. Really both partners need to have the courtesy to initiate at least some of the time.

There are many reasons people don't initiate. My top of the list reason is because the person initiating takes a risk, the risk of rejection. If you don't ask you can't be told no. Some men have recorded and published rejection rates around 80%. That kind of thing is brutally damaging to the ego. Many men in that situation stop initiating. Most likely this is not your husbands problem as you are interested and driven.

Another common reason that is probably closer to home is the, sex just never crosses my mind, reason. A lower drive person may go 3- 6 weeks without even thinking about sex. Stress, work, family, kids, etc, only makes that worse. Also there are some drugs (prescription, and illicit) that have this as a side effect. I actually induced a several month long erasure of my drive by taking a certain anti depressant. I didn't even care that I was getting none. An honest review with his doctor could help. But, it could just be the way he is.

Yet another reason is religious shame. If you ask for sex, then it is pretty obvious that you have been thinking about sex. Some people have been shamed so often that they have trained themselves into low sexual drive.

Now about those testosterone booster pills. They don't work. There are some vitamins and supplements that are important to men's health, but if you want to increase your testosterone level you use a cream or an injection.

So looking over everything you have written it seems to me that your guy is just one of those guys with a low sex drive. It is most likely Just the way he is. If you verify it with his doctor, can you accept and believe it in your heart? Because, that is the only way for you to get through this. You have to believe that it is normal for him to not have a lot of sexual desire. That he actually isn't like the stereotypical man. When you stop expecting him to be what he isn't, you will be able to stop worrying that you aren't attractive to him.

TLDR,1) Normal doesn't apply to everyone. Short of a medical diagnosis, there is little you can do to change him. 2) He does need to make it a priority to initiate with you enough to make you happy. Even if he has to write it on his calendar. 3) Yes, a headache can kill a boner. 4) Is there anyway he can reduce his stress level? even yoga?

Advice: Have his testosterone level checked, it costs around $200 in he US. Define you emotional need in specific times and quantities. Tell him how it feels at the time he rejects an advance. Reduce the stress in his life, even the performance anxiety.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 May 2022):

I am the OP i havent gained any significant weight myself. Ive always been extremely under weight though.

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A female reader, EmmyApple United States +, writes (2 May 2022):

I don’t think we have enough info to give you a solid answer but the real problem here is the lack of communication. It sounds like it’s hard for you guys to talk about this without things getting heated because of feelings of defensiveness, blame, and shame.

My husband and I went through a similar period where our sex life dwindled. In our case there was an elephant in the room that was really hard for me to acknowledge: my body weight :( It’s normal for a woman’s body to change a lot in 2 years of marriage. In my case I settled into a sedentary lifestyle, stopped being active, started snacking a lot more and having bigger portions. It all happened so gradually that it was easy to ignore the changes. But I basically got too comfortable and stopped taking care of my fitness - I “let myself go” so to speak. I know this is really hard to talk about but you should try to think about how your body has changed. It’s totally normal to gain weight after marriage and it’s nothing to feel ashamed about! But you should be aware that men are very visual/physical and sometimes even a small change in the woman’s body can effectively kill the guy’s sexual arousal. :(

In my case I sent from a slim and healthy 145 pounds on our wedding night to around 220 pounds after 2 years. I’m only 5’2” so being 220 means a BMI of 40 - just slightly into the “obese” category! I knew for awhile that I was a little overweight but “obese”? I’ve been a bit chubby throughout my life, it’s just the way I’m built, but I never thought I’d be obese. It was really hard for me to acknowledge just how much I had changed. But my husband obviously noticed. But he was afraid to say anything at first because a woman’s weight is such a sensitive topic. I felt an immense amount of shame and embarrassment because I never thought I would be the woman who lets herself go like that.

We couldn’t talk about the elephant in the room and our sex life dwindled. I have the unfortunate genetics of carrying most of my fat around my tummy. So I’ve always had a roll of fat there and a bit of love handles but I used to control it with spanx to help such in that far and smooth out my belly. After gaining weight my waistline had grown a lot and was just too big for that. My belly fat was becoming super noticeable no matter what I wore. I lost whatever feminine hourglass shape I had, because my midsection was so big now.

Now some guys love larger women but usually what they like is a big butt and big boobs. Jiggling stomach fat is a major turn off for most guys. I was super self-conscious about it and tried to find lingerie that would hide my tummy better but the larger you get the fewer sexy options exist for lingerie. What I was able to find didn’t make me feel sexy or confident at all :(

My husband obviously felt very turned off by all the fat once it started becoming noticeable. I know he is the kind of guy who prefers a slimmer woman. I constantly caught him looking at pictures of skinny models on Instagram or watching videos of skinny girls on YouTube. Of course he denied it but he was clearly ogling them and touching himself. Like those videos got him so aroused but I real life woman in bed with him wasn’t arousing? I felt so, so angry at him for being so shallow. Guess what? He felt angry at me for letting myself go.

We danced around the issue for so long and finally we blew up. He called me a pig. I called him a pervert. It was awful. I thought our marriage would fall apart. But when we were finally able to talk about the weight issue instead of running away from it, we were able to find solutions.

I am acknowledging now that I am overweight and it’s dampening our sex life because my body doesn’t arouse him anymore, and that’s not his fault and it doesn’t make him a bad person. I am trying to lose weight now but it’s challenging because I’m too out of shape to really work out and I stress eat for comfort so dieting is also really challenging for me.

The good thing is, through communication we’ve been able to improve our sex life even with my weight being what it is. We had to learn how to talk about it without shame, blame, anger, or heated emotions, which is quite difficult! I started to learn more specifics about what he likes sexually and be able to give him that. We started using new positions that help him enjoy more of the things he does like about my body (especially my boobs, hehe) with less of what he dislikes.

A big thing that helped us is letting videos of super sexy models be part of our sexual experience. Basically, they get him super horny and then he’s eager to initiate with me. At first I hated him looking at skinny women because I felt so inadequate compared to them. Now I have changed my mindset and I’m thankful we can watch stuff like that, that gets him really aroused and ready to go. You mentioned that you had incorporated porn into your sex before with good results because it made your husband more aroused and more active. So I think you may have a similar dynamic here.

Also, good lingerie is a must. It’s expensive but necessary. And not just one outfit but you need to have many and a lot of variety. Men are visually stimulated but they also get bored easily so you need to mix it up. Pleasantly surprise him with new pleasures like oral or even just rubbing him a bit when he doesn’t expect it. Like what if you randomly start sucking on him while he’s laying on the couch watching TV? Find ways to give him pleasure that are new and exciting but without any pressure for him to perform!

Okay, so I’ve told you my story. For me, my weight gain was our big issue. I don’t know if that’s your issue or not but I wanted to share my story because it’s very common - like a lot of women gain weight after marriage and it’s hard for us to talk about it or acknowledge the impact that can have on sex, because there is so much shame around weight gain. We need to let go of the shame and talk about it!

My guess is that one of three things are happening: he’s turned off by a change in your body and/or you aren’t satisfying him sexually and/or he’s self-conscious about his performance. It could be any of those things or a combination. He doesn’t know how to talk about it without embarrassment or offending you. My advice is to try something new and different that will give him pleasure without pressure to perform. Work on your body, dress sexy, Learn what he likes and learn how to satisfy him and his attraction to you will come roaring back. :)

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