Opinion

Ask M: The Sexless Marriage, Insta-Stalking, & BDSM Betrayal

0
Ask M: The Sexless Marriage, Insta-Stalking, & BDSM Betrayal

Hi. My wife and I have been married for twelve years but we don’t have sex anymore. We’re good with our marriage, jobs, life, etc. No kids and not much to get in the way with exception of our energy levels. After a long day of working we’re beat. She used to initiate more but hasn’t in a long time. I worry it’s my fault. On our last vacation together, I got drunk and said that she would never be as pretty as she used to be. I didn’t mean it as an insult, I just meant she wasn’t getting any younger. It was stupid and I shouldn’t have said it. I don’t think that’s why we don’t have sex, but I’m sure it didn’t help. I guess I’m wondering, do you have any advice for a couple who is happy and content, but who has lost the sexual spark?

-Sexless Marriage

Remember those first months of dating? There’s all this uneasiness about how much you like each other, and tons of mystery and excitement about where you’re headed and what the future holds. You spend the first year doing all you can to build trust and negate threats to your blossoming relationship. It’s your first spring awakening together and there’s nothing quite like it. You enjoy a hot summer of sex, metaphorically speaking of course, when after the limerence phase is over, the autumn of life sets in. You’re eventually hibernating in the contentment of winter—hopefully cuddling at the very least. I get it. It happens to most couples. But now it’s time to revive your relationship and revitalize your erotic charge. The key to marriage is falling in love over and over again—with the same person. It’s time for your second spring awakening. 

There is no magical answer to solve this. Sure, rev up the novelty, do something dangerous together, go away on vacation, try a bunch of new stuff. We’ve all read the magazines and their redundant suggestions. But those are quick fixes to something that requires a lifetime of nurturing. Erotic intelligence is learning how to manage the paradox between love and desire, mystery and familiarity, ecstasy and disaster, comfortability and anxiety.

Contentment is easier to maintain than the potential disaster of initiating sex. Initiation is tied into self-worth. To desire someone, you inherently believe you are worthy of having them—in other words, you have to own the wanting. And who wants to own something with potential rejection attached to it when there’s an array of other enjoyable activities you can do together, without potential rejection involved? That’s where you have to be brave, dear Sexless Marriage. You have to be a man and take action!

When we’re first taught about sex, our hormones are raging and erections seemingly fall from the sky! As we get older, our bodies change, our sex drive changes, and life happens. Similarly, when we’re in the first throes of a relationship, sex feels spontaneous. But as the years add up, the reality is that we have to plan sex and be intentional about it. When we have planned sex—or maintenance sex as I like to call it—then the spontaneous sex can happen. Look, I know plenty of people who give excuses as to why they don’t go to the gym: too tired, too busy, too fill-in-the-blank. But I’ve never met one person who regretted going to the gym after the fact. Sex is the same.

With regards to your drunken ramblings, two things. First, words are like toothpaste. When you say them—drunk or not—you can’t take them back, just like you can’t put toothpaste back in the tube. Perhaps your words were a part of why she stopped initiating, but more than likely, she simply doesn’t feel desired anymore. And this is something for you and all men to take note: women need to be desired the way a flame needs oxygen or a desert needs rain. When was the last time you stared at her deeply and told her how beautiful she was? Grabbed her by the hips and pulled her in close to you, just to smell her skin? Kissed her passionately on your way out the door, as if it was the last kiss you’d ever share? When was the last time she caught you incapable of taking your eyes off her? Even if you aren’t going crazy over her like when you were first falling in love, act like it. Make the effort to make her feel like she is the most beautiful, wanted, extraordinary creature to ever grace your presence. Make her feel like you can’t control yourself around her. The more you engage in these efforts, the more these feelings will eventually become authentic, building more passion for you both. And that, my friend, is when the revitalizing second spring awakening—and hot sex—happens.

__________________________________________________________________________________

I met the cousin of the groom at my best friend’s wedding. We instantly hit it off and the chemistry is insane. We’ve been on four dates and slept together twice. The sex is amazing. However, last weekend he took a trip to attend another wedding. I saw on a mutual friend’s Instagram story that he was dancing and flirting with another girl. We haven’t had the talk yet but it still really got under my skin. How do I know if he’s sleeping with other girls?

-Anxious & Confused

Maybe instead of drawing conclusions and making assumptions based on someone’s Instagram, you could behave like a real woman and ask him. I know, I know—asking someone directly instead of assuming from their social media is almost as retro as picking up the phone and calling instead of texting. But it’s also the grown-ass-woman thing to do. How many people have you danced with that you haven’t slept with? And furthermore, even if he is sleeping with other people, I’m curious what meaning you will assign to that potential reality. Would it mean that he’s a man whore, that he doesn’t genuinely like you, or that you’re not enough? When we assign judgement and meaning to ourselves, based on others’ actions—or lack thereof, we get in trouble; that is not loving yourself, BB. And FTR, you are absolutely enough! Either keep enjoying the time you spend with him and see where it goes, or meet in person to have the talk. Just don’t do it via text.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Hi M. Last year I got involved with a very experienced woman who led me explore sexuality in ways never before. She introduced me to BDSM and exhibitionism. I reveled in the joy and pleasure I discovered. When she turned out to be a user, a cheater, and a liar, I dumped her. Now I feel foolish and dirty and I don’t want to explore my sexuality anymore. What should I do?

-Hit Hard

Dear Hit Hard,

Your situation isn’t about sexuality, it’s about interpersonal integrity. Someone conned you so you’re angry. And rightfully so! But there’s a difference between feeling angry now and being dirty then. You clearly didn’t do anything you regret, you just regret the circumstances under which it all evolved. You’re not hurt over your sexual choices. You’re hurt over your relationship choices. There’s no need to condemn or judge your newly found sexual proclivities simply because of the inadequacies you discovered in your partner. Think about this: What would you do if you fell off a horse, which you later learn had a broken leg the entire time you were riding it? Do you give up horseback riding all together, or do you find another horse and get back up and ride? The choice is yours.

Have a question, comment, or wild story to share? Email Mal aka Ms. M. at AskM@centerforeroticintelligence.org

Mal Harrison is a clinical sexologist, coach, and the director of the Center for Erotic Intelligence

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

More In Opinion