Why Won’t My Wife Have Sex With Me?

In the beginning, there was sex. And it was good. And there was more sex. And it too was good…

My wife and I began our relationship as any two relatively awesome people do: we were friends for a while, long distance. Then we met and got into a relationship—and had some awesome sex. Pretty much every day. We got married, and this sex continued.

As an aside, know this: 1. My wife loves me very much, and I her. 2. I’ll try to be the least pornographic I can in writing this post. But that will be hard. Wait. There’s probably a pun in there…


Then my wife got pregnant as the result of this awesome, great sex. I definitely had my “I don’t want to bruise the baby” thinking cap and underwear on, which probably contributed to our general feeling about sex falling off the to-do list of our lives. We were all about the baby, and our sex lives were made even more unavailable by my booking tons of work as an actor that year. I worked my ass off.

We tried to be intimate and physical, but it wasn’t the same. Simultaneously, I was feeling like the most masculine guy I’ve ever been. I impregnated a woman. I am man. Boom.

And she was even more beautiful to me, so it was difficult keeping my hands to myself. Pregnant women don’t glow. They radiate, like stellar objects. There was definitely a trimester where things picked up, but things always felt really tentative and a bit disconnected. To be honest, I think we were both so excited about our future son, that our future and present sex took the hit, falling victim to our best laid plans. I really have to stop with the entendres…


After Finn’s birth, I gave my wife and her chocha the time they needed to recover from their natural delivery before diving back into things. You know, two days. Joking….

I knew it was probably smarter to let her come to me and ensure she felt better about her recovery. But that’s where it got funny. She didn’t. I could tell that the pregnancy/birth experience was one of those “this changes everything” deals. So we carried on. She tried her best to breastfeed and stay awake, and I just kept eating.

I gained a total of 30-40 pounds from the beginning of her pregnancy to Finn’s first three months of life. So I wasn’t looking my sportiest, manliest best, whatever. And this won’t sound good, writing it now, but I was transforming into a woman: soft and curvy.


So, as I stated in “Pregnancy Weight Is Ugly,” I worked my ass off again, but literally. I quit sugar, I dieted, I worked out again. I tried to shove my physical life back into this new fathering life, and it was hell. I would workout at home in front of Finn in his little swing contraption. I took him on hikes. I went to the gym sparingly and without any sleep. The worst part was: when you don’t sleep, your body doesn’t change as fast. So it took double the work.

I texted this image to my wife while prepping to audition for Superman. It worked like kryptonite.

But I did it.

I worked for hours and days on my body to get fit, mostly for myself and my career, but I’d be lying if I said those were the only reasons. I really wanted to do it so my wife would find me attractive enough to want to have constant, ridiculous, while-Finn-was-asleep-in-the-other-room monkeysex with me.

But I didn’t get that.

I mean we had sex, and it happened more often, I guess. But the change was even more evident. Maybe my awesome foreplay needed help. Walking around bottomless in our room used to do it, but it barely raised an eyebrow now. My patented phrase “JumpOnIt” didn’t seem to fire things up anymore, either. Doing naked jumping jacks? No dice. Maybe it was the fact that sex meant something else now, it meant a means to a painful end.

So now I don’t know what to do. I love my wife. I just want her to rock my socks off a little more, ya know? Can someone email her about this post and tell her I’m ready for her. Anytime. Any place. Thanks.

This post first appeared on www.HowToBeADad.com

About Charlie Capen

Charlie is a colorblind actor/musician/ writer/dad living near the outskirts of Los Angeles. Raised in captivity atop the hills of San Francisco as the son of a roaming radio DJ father and executive power mom, he knew as a child that children were more important than adults. Though he has played many roles as an actor, his biggest part and hardest gig will be to pass himself off as a decent father. Charlie blogs at HowToBeADad.com


  1. Talk to your wife, help her out, make sure she helps you out too because this isn’t a one way street. If she isn’t willing to work it out with you then it’s time to move on if it gets bad (most will try though I’d say). There are more pressures to deal with, less energy, etc after having kids and for her the body will also have stuff going on putting a damper on things as many comments above say. First step though is talk to her about it.

  2. Depending on the delivery experience and the first months she might still be a bit mentally overwhelmed. I agree talk to her. If you don’t know where to start I would say download the Gottman apps, all of them. Love maps is always an easy one to break out anywhere. She probably also wants amazing intimate moments with you but might feel stretched too thin to be present. Be patient, supportive and keep talking to her. Connecting is much hotter than birthday suit time.

  3. Women have strong darwinian instincts to lose attraction for any man they have already had children with. Their subconscious desire changes as if something inside them were saying, “you have already GOT those genes.”

    Some women can over-come biological boredom just like some men can resist variety-temptations, but husband-fathers feel ugly and incompetent because the woman who used to desire him, just doesn’t anymore. Basically men assume that women lose desire because the husband-father did something to irritate or disappoint, but she just won’t feel that kind of desire, until it is for a different guy.

  4. Her body went from young & tight to – stretch marks, nursing boobs, & a va-j j that has passed a 2 liter… She’s exhausted, self conscious and her ENTIRE F***ING IDENTITY went from hot chic to hot wife to MOMMY… She either has no confidence or she is stuck on the Mary side of the Mary/Eve identity that women are constantly having to live up to. Once you are a mommmy, you MUST NEVER BE A BAD GIRL AGAIN, (or so some msg we get tells us). For some of us, it takes YEARS to get our groove back. Once baby stops nursing, she might even try anti-depressants for a while. Best of luck to you both!

  5. I feel your pain, brother, only I’m experiencing what you are going through as the wife. I guess it can happen to both men and women. There is definitely something that happens to the the attraction factor post baby. As a lady who has gone thru the experience of new parent with my husband, I, on one hand, never want to do that again (be a new parent). On the other hand, my body is screaming to get physical. I think my husbands body might be too, but we’re both too scarred by the experience to mentally connect or let go enough to physically connect. This should be easy ( I remember being a 20 something and being able to get sexy if someone so much as looked at me). Why is it so hard with my partner now?
    A friend of mine solved this problem in her household by removing the pressure and expectation of needing something from each other that is just too hard to provide right now. She proposed her and her husband have an open relationship, as in “if I’m not doing it for you, and you’re not doing it for me, then why not find partners who can? And meanwhile, let’s do everything in our power to be kind and loving towards each other, maintain our friendship and our household dynamic so that our kid can grow up in an environment where the adults are happy, independent, responsible and working together to maintain a balance. ” Open relationships are really uncharted territory in our society, but I’m seriously considering it.


  1. […] out in a humorous complaint where we commiserate with each other (like Charlie Capen’s “Why won’t my wife have sex with me?”) but in a bona fide deep conversation with another man or group of men, I’ve never heard […]

  2. […] When I read Charlie’s piece, “Why Won’t My Wife Have Sex With Me?“ I was immediately struck by two things. One? Damn, Charlie and his wife were really really […]

  3. […] In the aftermath of the birth of his first child, Charlie’s efforts to Jump On It haven’t been scoring with his wife. See http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/why-wont-my-wife-have-sex-with-me/ […]

  4. […] In the aftermath of the birth of his first child, Charlie’s efforts to Jump On It haven’t been scoring with his wife. See http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/why-wont-my-wife-have-sex-with-me/ […]

  5. […] Why Won’t My Wife Have Sex With Me? – Charlie Capen writes: “In the beginning, there was sex. And it was good. And then there was more sex. And it, too was good. And then…” […]

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