Passionate Lives

Bored in Bed!


What do you do when you've become bored by the sex your partner wants to have and don't know how to talk about it with them? Jassy addresses a couple of ways to approach this with your partner, but please remember that a brief blog post will not do justice to the complexities that show up in any sexual relationship.

Dear Jassy:
My husband and I have been married for 5 years. In the beginning, our sexual relationship was fine. We were very attracted to each other, and we had great sex together - leastways, it was okay sex. I enjoy sex a great deal and consider myself a very sexual person. I've had several sexual partners prior to my husband, and some of those relationships were very sexually inventive and hot, hot, hot! 

My husband was hot-to-trot in the early months of our relationship, so for the first two years (we married a year after we met) we had sex 4-5 times a week. Sometimes he would initiate and more often I would. We have an active social life, inidividually and together, and decided early on that neither of us wanted to be parents, so we have a great deal of freedom to come and go, have weekends away frequently and take vacations together whenever we can.

In the last few years, I've grown really bored of our sexual relationship. I have tried hinting to him that I would like to try something different, but he just won't budge. He becomes very defensive, and irritable and says that he's still enjoying it and he can't understand what's the matter with me that I'm not enjoying it too. Our initiation schedule has changed around drastically - I never initiate sex now, and am really only having sex with him so as not to hurt his feelings. I've avoided having weekends away together in the last year or so, because he always expects to have sex and I'm just not interested. The problem is not that I'm not interested in having sex, but that I'm not interested in having sex with him. I'm in my early 30's and think I'm fairly attractive - I get hit on quite frequently when I'm out with friends, and I have to confess that sometimes I've been tempted to take up some of the men on their offers. I am not the cheating type, and I do love my husband very much. I just don't feel much sexual desire for him these days and don't know what to do about it.

I have enjoyed the common sense approach you have towards people and their problems, and would appreciate any insight you may have into my situation. Before you say anything, yes, I do understand that my husband and I would benefit from couples counseling.  

Thank you for any light you can shine on the problem my husband and I are having.

Signed: Ms. Bored in Bed  


Dear Ms. BiB:
It's hard to be one half of a couple for all kinds of reasons. But interestingly, the first six months don't tend to be that challenging, right? The making out and the sex can be fabulous and, even if it isn't, it's so exciting being around that new person that the constant state of arousal you're in seems to make up for their lack of technique, their inability to talk about sex, possible shyness and reluctance, or numerous other ways in which your new person isn't perfect. But once the rot sets in, it seems to really set. 

I can't tell you the number of folks who walk through my office door and confide in me that they don't enjoy having sex with their partners, and that they are only "going through the motions." When push comes to shove, they can come up with all kinds of reasons why they don't want to have sex - but the truth is that most of us want to have sex if it's the kind of sex we want to have. You are clear that you want to have sex, just not with your husband. Your problem is that if you don't start getting clearer with him about just how disgruntled you are feeling about your sexual life together, you are going to end up talking to lawyers. In the long run despite the discomfort you may feel, it's infinitely preferable to have honest conversations with our partners about our sexual lives than it is to dig deep into our savings accounts and credit cards to pay lawyers for costly divorce processes. 

You don't go into the kinds of sex you do enjoy having, but I'm going to guess that you and your husband have different sexual styles. I'm also guessing that to some other woman, your husband's sexual style would be their idea of heaven on earth. It's just not rocking your world, right? So, it's worth figuring out what you do want (and it's surprising how many folks haven't given this much thought!). The idea of sexual styles was developed by a brilliant man called Charles Mosher. There are three main styles, and usually folks can see themselves either clearly in one style or else a combination of two. There's no "right" or "wrong" style - they are all just different and all valuable. The trick is finding a way to work with the style that you have if your partner's sexual style differs greatly from yours. Trancers tend to be easily distracted when having sex. They tend to like diffuse or no light, are easily put off by sounds outside the room and within, and aren't the greatest "talkers" in the boudoir. They are into the visceral experience of being sexual - body contact, the dreamy quality arousal gives them. On the whole, their sexual fantasies appear somewhat esoteric. "Well..when the sunlight hit that woman's hair...the way her hair gleamed ...I felt warmth in my body..."etc. Partner Engagers are the big time romancers in the crowd. They are the rose-petals-on-the-bed-folks; they will look into your eyes, murmur sweet (and not so sweet!) nothings in your ear; they are all about the relationship between themself and their partner; their sexual fantasies have themes of partnering, emotional intimacy and connection. They like candle-light, want to see and be seen. Role Enactors are what I like to call the "Mile High Folks." They are creative sexually, have numerous ideas of things they want to try, are sexually adventurous and will try anything once. They are the folks having sex in the elevator, in a crowded train, in the bathroom 1 mile up in the airplane! Their sexual fantasies are wild, creative and varied. 

My suggestion is that you go back to your husband, armed with the information about sexual styles, and be willing to have the conversation about what really (and I mean REALLY) turns you on. What was the best sexual experience you ever had with your husband? What made it good? What do you not like about what he does? What do you particularly like? How do you like to be approached? Is there any way that the two of you can overlap styles so that it's more satisfying for both of you? 

If you get stuck and need help with the conversation, look on the American Association for Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists  and look for a sex therapist in your area. 

One final word - I'm glad that you've resisted the urge to cheat on your husband. This would just make a complicated situation even harder. Talk with him now, before it gets any worse. You deserve to have the kind of sexual relationship that you both find satisfying.

Good luck!


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