October 27, 2008

Talking To Your Wife About Sex

For some reason, talking about sex is a very sensitive subject between couples. You'd think that since we have no problem actually doing it that talking about it just couldn't possibly be a problem, but it is. We tend to keep our distance from quality conversations about sex and just focus on making jokes about it (much like the topic I wrote about here). Just like every other aspect of marriage, however, only open communication can lead to positive change.

Last week I read an article on MarriageActually.com called "Pillow Talk: Sexual Communication In Marriage" (linke here). It was a very helpful article on how to talk to your spouse about your sexual relationship, and it got me thinking about how open my wife and I are in our marriage about the subject of sex.

In the article the author mentions seven questions for each spouse to ask and answer about their sex lives. Questions like, What would show you that I'm interested in your sexual needs? and What do you need me to do more often? are pretty blunt, and definitely not the kind of conversation you can just throw in after the "How was your day at work?" question. In my experience in this area I've learned two things. The first I read somewhere a long time ago, and the second I've observed myself.

First, NEVER talk about the quality of your sex life right after you've made love. Doing this only leads to defensiveness, disappointment, and distance between you and your wife. It is so important to talk about your sex life with each other, but it is so important that you do it far removed from the act of love itself.

Second, no matter how awkward or out-of-place bringing it up may seem, take time to talk about your sex life with your spouse. I've had to do this several times in my marriage, and it has been difficult to take that first breath and let her know that I wanted to talk to her about sex, but it has always been worth it. I tell my wife that I want to continue to learn her better, and so open conversations about sex allow us to make that happen. Maybe actually schedule a "check-up" time would be helpful for you; something like "Can we do a verbal check-up on our sex life every three months?" would be a helpful agreement.

Remember, communication is both information and presentation. If you don't present the information correctly, it will not be communicated correctly. Though this is true in every aspect of communication, it especially is helpful in regard to improving the physical intimacy in marriage.

I would love to hear about how open you and your wife are in the area of sex, and anything you've learned about discussing such an important topic with your spouse.


  1. Okay. This is great, but how does a wife go about talking to her husband about sex. And what is a wife to do when her husband seems to have lost interest? (no, there's not another woman, just a lack of interest in sex)

    I could really use some solid advice on what to do other than outright begging for some physical attention.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. My wife absolutely does not want to talk about sex. I have tried probably 15-20 times in as many years of marriage and she always gets irritated. Not at the conversation, we never get that far, but just at the fact that I ask to talk about it. We talk about everything else in life, we communicate a ton about everything but never about sex. Sometimes I feel like I'm having a secret affair with my wife (not at all in a good way), because it's the one thing that we can't talk about. Sex is something done and never spoken of again. Sometimes it's great and I feel she's really present with me and enjoying herself, but more often it's lousy and she's just waiting for me to get off of her, but no matter the outcome that's where it ends and it's like we're supposed to pretend it didn't happen. She won't even cuddle afterwords, just get her pajamas on as quick as she can.
    What do you do with that? I've prayed that my sex drive will just go away so we can put the whole thing behind us and just enjoy the rest of our marriage.

    1. We have been married 14 years with two children.your situation sounds just like mine.no cuddling at all.we only have intimacy once a month(if that).when I ask she gets mad and says that is all I want.! I am a good father, supporting husband and do a lot of the house cleaning.she does take medicine for seizures which at 34 can have an affect on drive.I am patient and tried diffrent ways suggested, but to no success.I love her and she is beautiful..she wont go and talk to her doctor and she says her drive is dead!!! We talk about it but it ends there!!! I FEEL FOR U..hope everything works out....

  4. To the last anonymous comment,

    I am very sorry that sex has been such a sad subject in your household. I hope the few words I have to say might provide help begin a healing process.

    If you woke up in the middle of the night and realized your house was on fire, you would not hesitate to wake your wife up. You wouldn't say, "Honey...it's time to get up...can we talk about something?" You would get her out of bed as quickly as you could because you understood the severity of the problem.

    I think in this situation it is just as important for you to be as assertive. This is something you understand as affecting the marriage, so you need to deal with it quickly. She might not appreciate it at first (as she wouldn't appreciate being woken up at night), but she will be thankful that it was dealt with in the future.

    As I have done before, I strongly suggest that you two read a book together. The book linked in the side bar comes with a women's version too, and those book are invaluable to a marriage relationship. I also suggest the book The Gift of Sex: A Guide to Sexual Fulfillment, which is a great way to reintroduce sexuality into a marriage.

    Your wife might not want to talk about this, but you need to tell her that you both will talk about this because you feel it is negatively affecting your relationship.

    I pray some of this helps. Your sex drive will not just go away, God wanted you to have it, and he designed sex in your marriage to be great.

    Keep us updated (and you can use the contact form in the sidebar).


    A Husband

  5. I too have the problem my wife doesn't want to talk about sex.. and just as the poster above says... I bring it up and we don't get to communicate... SHE ENDS THE CONVERSATION... So I feel for the original poster... For those of you who have an understanding wife who stops to actually listen, being assertive might actually work...
    I too have been dealing with this for 15 years... finally got her to go to counceling after I left her.
    That is the extreme it took for my wife to even acknowledge she was destroying our relationship. Try getting your woman to read the book "The Sex Starved Marriage" it defines my life exactly...
    We are working on it... it is a slow process... for both of us...

    1. I would suggest you get out now because it will not get better. I stayed with my wife in spite of nearly no sex, and it eventually became no sex at all for past 13 years. I feel I was cheated out of a real marriage and now it is too late.

  6. An absolutely fabulous book to get hold of is


    First time Canadian author, married for 32 years.

    You can order the book online!!!

  7. I have a similiar situation with my wife, but there are a few other details that seem to make it more difficult to wrap my head around. We have been married only 2 years and have no children. My wife is a very strong willed person, and is often anxious and defensive. I have talked to her about the frequency of any sexual contact, but it never ends well. We have sex an average of 1x per month. Now she wants to have a baby. The screwed up thing is, she only wants to have sex when she is ovulating. I want to have children, but I am worried that I will be stuck in a sexless and eventually loveless marriage. I know if I havce a child with her I am making a life time commitment. Sometimes I think that I am just being a coward by even staying with her. And sometimes I think that this is just how marriage is, ups and downs. I'm worried that this is to young of a marriage to have such problems. What do I do?

    1. Getting pregnant is easier for both partners when there is more sex regardless of ovulation. She probably thinks that if you ejaculate to much you won't have enough strong semen to get her pregnant, but that isn't entirely true. It is true the healthier the semen the better chance for pregnancy, but if you are not ejaculating enough it will weaken your semen; too much, and your count is thin. The same for her, also. She will produce more eggs, and healthier eggs if she's having sex on a regular basis. There is also the possibility that she isn't getting pregnant because her body is rejecting your semen. Her body will more readily accept your semen if it is introduced to her more often. If she truly wants to get pregnant with you she needs to have more sex with you for these and many more reasons. Also, most men masturbate, and the more sex she is having with you the less likely you will be to waste your semen. Ask her to research it with you as a way to get her to talk about it, and when I say research I mean don't settle for one person's theories. My prayers are with you that it is God's Will that you become parents soon.

  8. i have a simalar situation except my wife doesnt want to have sex at all shes 25 and im 24 we should be haveing sex but we have sex maybe 2 or 3 times a year and its really puting a damper on our marriage and she doesnt want to talk about it or any problem for that matter and i really dont know what to do i need help talking to her about sex and marraige she avoids any situation that we have when i try to talk about it

  9. I've written this before, but I think there comes a time in a man's marriage when he has to stand up for what he believes is important to him and his marriage, even if his wife disagrees. If your sexless marriage is affecting you negatively (which it should) and you are avoiding dealing with the issue because she freaks out about it, you need to be stronger than that. It would be no different if you started withholding a need she had in the relationship (security, love, etc.); she would need to make a stand so that what was needed to be fixed could be fixed.

    There comes a time when counseling is needed, where a third party is either able to help validate your feelings or help challenge you to see what part you may be playing in the problem. Sometimes it takes a man to say, "We have some issues that I really think we need to work out, and that's why I've scheduled an appointment for us with..." Or to say, "I've been looking for a better way to express what I'm feeling, and I found that the author of this book says it exactly right. We're going to read this together."

    All this must be done in love, but it must be done. If your wife will not stand up for a good marriage, then you're going to have to. In love, be the leader that takes your marriage where you know it must go.

  10. I have tried everything for the past nine years to get my wife to talk to me about sex. I have tried for years to get my wife to talk to me about anything. I feel my marriage is suffering because of the lack of communication. I am also afraid that if it continues, my love for her will diminish. We are all human. And humans need contact with other human beings through communication and sex. If we cannot (if she cannot) communicate with each other or make love, what is the point in continuing this relationship?

  11. Hey Guys,

    While I am relieved to see I am not alone in my situation, you must realize that communication is the first step in solving any marital problem you may have. We've been in counseling for almost three years now and are just getting to the point where we can talk about restarting our sex life. Before that the only time she wanted to talk about it was when she was drunk, and that was VERY bad. Our counselor helped us overcome the communication problems first and foremost.
    We now can have sensible discussions about everything, except sex. It's gotten to the point where our relationship is so great everywhere else that we see sex as a possible interruption to our happy lives and just avoid it altogether. Unfortunately, that only works for so long.
    My idea, throw a little humor into it. Try breaking the ice by not treating sex as a concrete wall. Laugh about it, talk about crazy things you've read about, or whatever it is that will lighten the subject. Good luck to you all.

  12. I've tried this maybe two times in my marriage : it only leads to tears (yes, from myself, more frustration ..) and, in short, an argument instead of a conversation, 'cause, hey, I'm the one who's having a problem, not she...

    1. It is never true that only one person has a problem in marriage. Because if one has a problem it is up to both to find a solution, or the marriage is a bust...
      Take it from someone that is divorced once already because we both had a problems, and she refused to help find a solution for any of them. I eventually told her to get out of my house. She did, and filed for divorce within a week. That was April 18, 2001, and now I'm happier than I have ever been, and I'm going on 2 years engaged to a wonderful woman.

  13. It's your fault, no it's your fault and the game goes on. Grab the bull by the balls (or is it horns)I forget, any way sit down and say what's on your mind when you'r finished, say now its your turn. What are they gonna do divorce you, deny you sex. Common were all adults here (well may be). YOU have sex together(well may be) you raise your kids together, so why not talk together.

  14. My husband hasn't had any sex or intimacy with me fo almost 30 years. Weve been married 40 plus years. He thinks I'm boring ,very prudish and not at all interesting. Some may say hes gay or into porn but hes not. He never goes any where, and has little use for computers or telephones. He has no friends and all he would rather do is be left alone. He talks to no one not even me unless its absolutly necessary.

    1. Sounds to me like a hormone imbalance. See if he's willing to try Testosterone treatments.

  15. there isn't enough room for me to explain everything. i'm 40 and have been married to my wife for almost 9 years. right now, today my relationship to my wife is great. we couldn't love each other more. our bond is tight and i couldn't imagine a life without her. we enjoy a great life, have no kids and are both professionals. but, i have been in recovery now for 2 years from a heroin addiction. she should have left me to die, but she didn't. she saved me. before i went down that road our sex life was great. durring my addiction i was left emotionless and dead inside. i lost my sex drive, along with my will to live. for about 4 years i was not there for her. but for the past year we have regained the love and closeness that we once had. the only thing missing is the sex. i know i have broken her trust and it's not an easy thing to fix. i have the feeling that she resents the fact that i left her alone for so long. now whenever i try to initiate sex it's almost as if she enjoys rejecting me. as if it's a passive aggressive way to punish me. we share such a close bond, and a loving bond and i make the effort, which isn't hard, to show her how much i care. i am sensitive to her needs, even sending her flowers for no reason. but when the time comes to be physical, she makes me feel like i'm doing something wrong. when i try to talk to her about it she sys she is too tired or has work to do. but she has plenty of time to go to spin class or the gym or the other activities we enjoy together. it's like sex is at the very bottom of the list. and every once in a while we have sex, it's a reward for something i have done right.
    now, i know some people will assume that she might be having an affair, but there is zero chance of that. if she was seeing someone else, i would know. i've never had to worry about that, even when i was sick. we spend most of our free time together.
    lately i have been reading about this stuff on the internet. i keep putting off talking to her, thinking she is just about to come around and stop punishing me. leaving her is not an option, nor is cheating on her. i just don't know what to do.

    1. Since you have said that she isn't entirely shutting the door on having sex, it may simply be that she's tired. Study her. Pay attention to details. What do you do to win the rewards? (Don't answer here. The questions are metaphorical, and for you to think about.) To win a reward from a person it's all about that person, so make it all about her. What puts her in the mood. What relaxes her enough to revitalize her without putting her to sleep? What smells relax her? Does she enjoy a massage? Do you massage her feet? These are just a few of the things that you need to study, and a foot massage performed the right way can be the fastest way to earning that reward most often. If you make it all about her, she will eventually make it all about you. God Speed :)

  16. It's just like a parent trying talk to their teenage daughter about sex. The bad thing about it is I can have a better conversation with her 15 y.o. niece when I talk to her about boys and having sex. My wife isn't sexual at all. It's gotta be the upbringing. I've never seen affection shown in her family. I've never seen her parents hug or kiss. I've never been able to get anything out of her. Whenever I try to have a conversation about sex it turns into an argument.

  17. Communicating with my wife about sex is very hard! I find it is very difficult to be direct without her feeling like she disappoints me. I find when I try to talk about our sex life she ends up taking it personally and get hurt because she doesn't feel like she meets my needs. I have even tried giving a list of things that make me feel loved, but then she feels like these things are optional and not really necessary to our day to day relationship.

    I did make a small break through. I find texting removes the emotional component. I texted my wife that we need to start communicating about our sex life and what our needs are and she wrote back that she understood with no emotional out burst or irritation. My next step is to sit down together and text each other question and answers about our intimacy, maybe establish a baseline about what each person considers a sexual need. The only rule: No Talking.

  18. I am so tired of how men have to do all the work to get their wives to have sex. We need to grow up, we need to help around the house, we need to be patient, we need to be soft and tender. Guess what I have done all that, flowers, diamonds, cars, lake front cottages, big homes, horses, caressed her softly not groped her, did the house work, hired a maid, exotic vacations, brought her tea every night for YEARS, breakfast in bed for months. Its all bullshit, women today want EVERYTHING but contribute nothing. They want men to behave like fictional romance actors, they live in fantasy land.

    1. All I can say is that I am sorry this was your experience. In all the years I've been married I've never denied my husband sex once. I have had sex with him whenever he has wanted and I instigate sex with him as well all the time. We have had problems but I have never felt it appropriate to deny sex as a means of dealing with problems. I am not saying all women should and could be like this; I've just been fortunate to be able to do it so far and I hope to continue. It hasn't really ever been a burden either, which helps. Whatever the reason has been that you haven't been able to connect with her better on this level, I'm sorry and I wish you luck. Not all women are like that, however. Please either continue to seek help to try and resolve this or do something to find yourself in a relationship that has this component. It's not good for you live this way.

  19. I have been married to my husband for only 1 year and we really struggle with sex.

    We have an incredibly loving relationship and are extremely close and well connected apart from when it comes to having sex.

    When we first started seeing each other (5 years ago)we did not have a massive amount of sex and at the time I thought it was just because we were learning about each other and as the relationship became more developed that we would have a better sex life because we would be more in tune with each other. Sadly this has not happened.

    I want to talk about sex but he says that it is much more of an issue for me than it is for him.

    Basically when we have sex I find it almost impossible to become aroused and feel sexy with him. He does not do anything wrong, but I find it hard to focus and just enjoy it. Then I get this anxiety that because it is taking me so long to get aroused that he is loosing interest. It is a vicious circle because the moment I have this thought it is impossible to enjoy it.

    The other reason we are having problems is because he is extremely quiet during sex. I have no idea whether he is enjoying it or not. Sometimes I am not even completely sure when it is over. There is nothing fulfilling about it for me because it feels as though my body is just fulfilling a mechanical need for him.

    Sex is very important to me and when he initiates sex I never turn him down because I really don't want him to think I am not interested and if I started to turn him down I worry that he would stop trying. I try to initiate sex as often as he does.

    Part of the problem is that many of my previous relationships have been with confident, dominant men, who mainly feel very comfortable talking about sex. They have also all been communicative during sex and have made me feel like I am desired. For a woman this feeling is more likely to make us feel aroused than anything physical.

    I am naturally submissive (although enthusiastic) during sex. I am so worried that I have married somebody who is also very submissive and that this balance cannot work. The other thing I do not understand is that I have never seen him with anything pornographic...he never makes a comment about any celebrities he fancies or desires. I thought that men were supposed to be hard wired to think about sex all the time?

    My husband is a wonderful man and I love him very much indeed.

    We are hoping to start a family this year and like a previous poster I am very scared about 1) Having a child if our relationship is doomed to fail in the future 2) Getting pregnant and having a child which usually makes even a healthy sex life suffer.

    If anyone has any thoughts I would be very happy to hear them.

    1. I could almost believe that I was your husband, but I'm not married... Yet, I'm workin' on her. :) I am extremely silent. I'm not sure why, but when I try to make noises it feels unnatural, and I begin to go flaccid. There have been times that I have made a small sound, and my partner says she loves it because it makes her feel like she has finally pleasured me thoroughly. It doesn't necessarily mean that he is totally submissive, but it can come in handy when you're trying to be quiet so the kids don't hear you, and walk in to see what the commotion is all about. I love it when she's loud, and I know that she'd love for me to be loud from time to time, and perhaps one day I will be able to, but don't think for one minute that he's not enjoying what you do just because he's quiet... On the contrary, he's probably having the time of his life. In this manner, yes, the problem seems to by yours alone, but he ought to try to help you feel like what you are doing is pleasing him. I try to communicate with my partner by touching and caressing her, and I imagine that he does, too. Have courage, and keep up the good work. :)

  20. It sounds like many people can relate.

    I'm turning 29 and my wife is turning 27. We've been married almost five years. Sex took a nose dive when we were engaged. At first I thought it was just the stress of pharmacy school. Then she graduated, and it didn't get any better. So I blamed work. Then I blamed myself for wanting sex. Then I blamed her again.

    It took me a while to realize that she just doesn't prioritize sex. Work comes first, then relaxing with tv or movies, and then sleep. If he has an urge maybe I can fill it or maybe she will masterbate.

    I had to learn that as much as we want marriage to be a unified front, we will always be individuals. We can't change that. So I made it known that because of her priorities, I won't give her kids. It's not a game, it's knowin what priorities can do when kids get stuck in the middle.

    So now I have a fantastic fantasy life and some seven meds. I'm joining the army and dcreating private investments. The best part is knowin that this to shall pass and I have a shot at a beautiful thing with a woman in the future.

  21. Wow. I knew I wasn't alone but I relate to just about every post.

    I absolutely love my wife. We're the best of friends and are great parents to our son. We're both professionals as well along with other part time jobs (the military reserves for me, a professional organization for her) that include a significant amount of individual travel.

    Despite the time apart, we've not only managed to hold a marriage together and be the best of friends, our relationship has never been stronger. We laugh a lot, we do chores together, we actively approach parenting as a real team. We're both very supportive of each other's goals in life, as well as our shared goals.

    Then there's sex. Over the last 13 years we've had some difficult heart to heart talks, but the lessons we've learned and the goals we've set seem to never last more than a month. I feel like our sex life is like a diet. Sooner or later life happens and we get off the diet. Then months later we're "fat" again and try to "lose weight" again. It's seems like we can't just find a way to have a healthy sex life.

    And just about all that has been said above happens. We stop talking, hesitating to bring it up for several reasons:

    1. We feel like we're nagging bringing up the same thing over and over.
    2. We don't want the other to feel disappointed or hurt because we are and we're compassionate enough to not want the other to feel as bad as we do.
    3. We feel that the other is just going through the motions to satisfy their spousal duties.
    4. As soon as we feel the other isn't into it just as much for their own satisfaction, we're immediately turned off and do our best to just get it over.
    5. We try to recreate that one time a year ago when the sex was fantastic and are dissatisfied when we can't.
    6. We realize that months have gone by and neither has mentioned sex so we assume that we're either not needed or we're not worth the effort (masturbation is easier)
    7. Then the ultimately dangerous thoughts come to mind and our insecure immaginations take over. She's found someone else that makes her feel more desired and sexier than I can.
    8. She needs someone else to validate that she's attractive and desirable. So what's the point in trying if I can't even compete?
    9. Then I start to notice other women that find me desirable, sexy and attractive and it's like a drug.
    10. Then we talk about all the above over a few gut wrenchingly honest discussions over a few days only to have it in the back of our heads, that in 4 to 6 months we'll be right back where we started.

    How does a couple who are so in love, so in tuned with each other, so close in friendship and support break this cycle that's repeated itself for years?

  22. I lost my 4 years marriage during June. My husband left me with so many pains and since then i have been heart broken and shattered. I have contact 6 spell casters and 2 of them has rip me off my money without any result. I have emailed so many sites online looking for a good spell caster till i was directed by a 26 years old woman to AYELALA SHRINE At first i never believed him because he was requesting for some amount of money to buy items, it took him three weeks to convince me and something occur to mind and i said let me give him a trial.I was very shocked when Ruben called four days after i sent Prophet Osuls the items money. He apologies for all he has done wrong and i am very happy that we are together today because he proposed to me last night. I will advise you contact Email: ayelalashrine@gmail.com María

  23. My wife and i of twenty years have what i would classify as an average sex life. She wants to have sex as much as i do. The only difference is that she just wants to do the usual predictable things we always do. I want to fully tap into our sexuality and she dont want to talk about it with me. She dont mind me telling her what turns me on or different things ive read or watched or done but she never opens up about herself. But my biggest problem is that when we are around others and the topic of sex comes up she becomes someone i dont even know bringing up things shes watched or seen or reacts differently to what others bring up. It always throws me for a loop. I dont mind the things she brings up. I just dont understand why she witholds that side of her to me.

  24. I just discovered this site today, and I really like it. When I saw this topic, I was intrigued, so I began reading and then read all of the responses. To say the least, I was very surprised at what I read. I hope it doesn't come across as if I'm bragging or gloating or out of touch, but I am just not able to relate to what I've read about a lot of saying that they cannot talk to their wives about sex. I just assumed that everyone was able to talk about this with their wives. My wife and I discuss sex all of the time; (we joke that it is our favorite topic of conversation). Anyway, I cannot imagine not being able to talk to her about sex or any aspect of sex or anatomy, etc. We've had really long and detailed discussions (especially on road trips) about sex, fantasies, likes, dislikes, anatomy, curiosities, what we'd like to try, what we'd never do, etc. We are very compatible sexually, and neither of us are embarrassed to tell the other something that we thought or read or are curious about or dreamt about. In fact, as far as I know, neither of us are embarrassed to tell the other ANYTHING. I read through the section about masturbation in marriage and again was really surprised at what I read and how a lot of people responded. She knows that I masturbate (as I know that she does) and we are both fine with it. In fact, we even joke about it and tease one another about it. Mostly, she teases me, since I do it a lot more than she does, and we always tell the other when we have done it; we don't believe in secrets. I'm not interested in porn, as nothing out there turns me on like she does. On the off chance I happen to see it, I usually just roll my eyes and think, "Why would I want a Big Mac, when I can have a steak dinner?" Again, I'm not trying to brag or disparage others; I'm just surprised that so many people don't have the ability to talk to their spouses the way I do. I honestly thought that everyone had this type, or a similar arrangement within their marriage. Now, I'm wondering is our arrangement unusual? Should we be more inhibited by this or private about it? I can't imagine not being able to talk to her about this. In fact, I've already told her about this site and the topics I've read on it, and we had a long discussion about this over dinner tonight. I always thought that we the norm. Maybe, I'm wrong. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoy this site and the topics and am glad that I found it!

  25. How about having a wife that is a sex talker for part time income but hates sex with me. We didn't even have it on Valentine's Day. I am a great husband, which she tells me. Just no sex. I am the blue man's group of balls.

  26. I want to thank Dr. Ekpiku for getting my lover back to me within 48 hours. When my lover left me i was so tired and frustrated till i search the internet for help and i saw so many good talk about Dr Ekpiku of Ekpikuspelltemple@live.com and i decided to give him a try and i contact him and explain my problems to him and he cast a love spell for me which i use to get my husband back.If you want to get your lover back contact Dr. Ekpiku via email: Ekpikuspelltemple@live.com Dr. Ekpiku the great man that is able to bring back lost love