5 Tips To Avoid A Sexless Marriage
I was recently at a luncheon with several highly cerebral and dare I say it, really attractive, fit and sophisticated women in their mid 30's to late 50's. We were at this event for an editorial meeting, but as is sometimes the case with like-minded women the conversation organically shifted towards our roles as wives, mothers and yes women.
And then something quite unexpected happened; several women, at first with trepidation and then with extreme gusto as if admitting such was relieving this weight off their shoulders said they would be content to never have to roll over and take one for the team- aka their husbands. And once the first confession was uttered the floodgates were untethered- and many of these women began to unload their lack of desire or affinity for sex with their husbands. In fact one woman even admitted that she and her husband had not had sex for several years.
Apparently, according to my friend Sandra Telep, this sort of marriage without sex in the Lesbian community is known as Lesbian Bed Death (whether myth or actual phenomenon) and is basically a sex-less marriage (without the legal marriage part in most states).
Other women I've had this conversation with- who shall remain nameless- have admitted that the dry sex spells in their marriage can be attributed to a number of things-- medications, physical illnesses which preclude them from having intercourse, fatigue, true lack of any sexual libido or a spouse who is no longer interested in sex.
Personally I've experienced some dry spells in my marriage and while I can't say that we've gone years without consummating our marital vows-- one thing I know for sure is that even when sex got put on the back burner we always maintained a physical intimacy .
According to Tina B. Tessina, PhD, (aka "Dr. Romance") psychotherapist and author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage (Adams Media), celibacy in marriage is possible, if both partners want it, but it's dangerous. It leaves a huge gap for someone to be tempted into an affair; because sex is a powerful drive.
Dr. Tessina offers these 5 tips to avoid a sexless marriage:
1. Learn to talk to each other openly and honestly. Sex is an extension of the other communication between you, and if your talking shuts down, so will your sexual contact. You need to feel good about each other to want to be close.
2. Don't get stuck in roles. Take turns being the one to initiate cuddling, and making the moves that bring you into contact. If only one of you initiates, he or she will soon get resentful. Work out signals, like a lit candle or a flower, to announce your interest non-verbally.
3. Don't say "no" for silly reasons. The partner who gets turned down too often will soon turn off. If you don't have the time or energy for a complete sexual experience, offer to do whatever would feel good to you: a massage or cuddling. Find ways to satisfy your partner when one is not as interested as the other.
4. Don't punish or manipulate your partner by withholding sex. If you're hurt or angry, talk it out and resolve the problem.
5. Lighten up --Make sex as fun and silly as possible, and have a variety of options. Vary the places you have sex: try the rug in front of the fireplace, a beach towel on the kitchen floor, your secluded back yard or any other place that's safe and interesting. Create variety with fantasy, costumes, sex toys, a vibrator, massage oil or anything else you enjoy.
So have you ever been stuck in a no sex marital funk?