“We never have sex anymore.” “My wife just isn’t interested in being intimate with me.” “My wife has no desire for sex. What can I do?” These are the issues my male clients raise so very frequently that I wanted to dedicate this article to some sexless marriage advice for men. Intimacy is one of the most crucial components of a successful and healthy marriage, but it is also one of the most fragile. Relationship stressors ranging from professional to personal can all take a toll even without you realizing it, but if you are not careful you’ll soon have a sexless marriage on your hands. And let’s be real, sexuality is an important aspect of life. It goes so much beyond the act of sex, it is about establishing that connection and vulnerability that fortifies our ties with our partner. Don’t let an extinguished spark be the end of your relationship; rekindle that passion using these four straightforward sexless marriage suggestions to perk up the passion in your married life.
Tip #1: Understand the Psychological Development of Sex
We’ve probably all heard the phrase “men are from Mars, women are from Venus,” but when it comes to sex these differences between the genders truly stand out. Women and men really think about sex in different ways, and part of this divergence is owed to the basics of biology. A woman’s sexuality develops in the oral stage, when, as a child, she is mastering the art of eating. For men, however, sexuality emerges in the anal stage, when, as a child, he achieves toilet training. These might seem like events so early in our youth that they shouldn’t be so impactful, but it is indeed these very formative life events that result in women valuing the atmosphere and environment of a sexual act while men tend to fixate on the end resulting orgasm. This means that, from the very outset, women and men want very different things during intercourse, with men often downplaying the role of the “setting,” which in turn results in women downplaying the frequency of the “sexual act.” Result? A sexless marriage. Please note: It’s important not to overlook this difference between women’s and men’s perception of sex. The sooner you genuinely understand and have compassion for your partner’s point of view, the sooner you’ll be able to solve the issue at hand.
Tip #2: Respect the Setting
Tip #1 is a perfect lead into to Tip #2, because one quick way to begin to spice up a sexless marriage is to embrace and attend to the setting for sex. When we approach these settings in a half-hearted way, this lack of effort is sure to be noticed. It’s common sense, really: you don’t leave a bag of shoes on your front porch with a sign saying “for sale” and then consider yourself a successful shoe salesman, do you? The same goes for intimacy in marriage: you need to do the work to create the perfect setting, and part of doing that is to communicate what that vision is. A risk that men run into is creating a fantasy space that doesn’t align with their spouse’s image, so please be mindful of your partner’s needs to better cater to them. What really what needs to happen is not so much communication but rather sharing: an open dialogue between marriage partners in which men can learn what their spouses actually want, what arouses them, and what will make them want to engage in sex. Being open and sharing your inner thoughts and feelings can set the stage for sexual satisfaction and better intimacy in marriage overall.
Tip #3: Respect the Sexual Act
Let’s also keep in mind the sex act itself: many times, men and women are not explicit in their sexual needs, resulting in a disconnect between the acts performed and what will actually satisfy desires. Many men often are quick to share how important sex is to them but have not actually shared with their wives what that looks like for fear that they are burdening her with new expectations or demands. At the same time, men are sometimes reluctant to learn about what their wife wants from the sexual act, assuming instead that by stating no specific wants means she will enjoy anything. This is a surefire recipe, though, for a sexless marriage, as it doesn’t allow space for individual desires and thus can lead to spouses shutting off. Remember: sex is not a one-size-fits-all act, so take the time to find the combination that fits just right for you and your spouse.
Tip #4: Pull It All Together
The typical social pattern is that before sex and marriage we date, and during the dating phase we share all sorts of information about our lives, our beliefs, and our passions. This openness with another can fuel passion that eventually culminates in the sexual act and encourages ongoing attraction for weeks, months, or years to come. In failing relationships, however, a man might be ignoring the importance of the setting, not emphasizing his specific needs for the sexual act to his partner, or not listening to hers.
All good relationships are based on the ability to compromise, and in fact it is in this compromising that intimacy finds its strongest foundation. As a man you have to be comfortable sharing your sexual needs while respecting the sexual needs and setting requests of your partner, because without that “give-and-take” you are closing off an essential connection with that person and setting yourself on course for a sexless marriage. Open up and share what you need, but also make space to understand her desires, and you’ll be well on your way to promoting both a satisfying sexual relationship and overall intimacy in your marriage. Repeat as needed for a happy, fulfilling relationship that makes a sexless marriage a thing of the past!
To your emotional health,
Dr. Laura Dabney
If this article speaks to you and you’d like additional personal guidance please call 757-340-8800 to make an appointment with Dr. Laura Dabney now. To read more about intimacy, click here. To schedule an appointment, click here