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. 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.

  2. 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!

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. I will have sex with you if your wife is OK with it. Other than that… Uhmmm… why don’t you talk to HER??? How am I supposed to know why she does not want sex with you? Good Luck with that.. (pretty sure your wife will not be OK with me having sex with you so… bye byee sexy).

  7. I get it. It is no long spontaneous. And because of that it becomes an act.

  8. I’m surprised to not see any responses here noting that you should simply TALK to her about it! Many people don’t realize this but not all suggestions are self-evident and communication is REALLY important. The next time you two have some alone time, why not bring this up with her?

    “I really appreciate how hard you are working to raise our beautiful child, and I admire that in you. I wondered if we can chat about what kind of needs you have in the bedroom – we both enjoy sex and I know how busy you’ve been and I’ve been so let’s work on a solution together because it doesn’t change the fact that we both have needs”

    I also suggest doing this in the morning or something because she will probably be completely petered out by night time. But seriously, more couples just need to openly state their needs and come to a solution together – it’s not as hard as it sounds!

  9. Short version: If you want your wife to have sex with you, focus on your wife, not yourself.

    TL;DR version: In addition to what Kathy said (which is right on) about doing the dishes, running the vacuum, helping around the house, etc. being sexy and a turn-on, you must realize that your wife’s self-image has been turned upside down and inside out, quite literally. A year and a half ago, she probably felt pretty great about her body; then pregnancy; and things got bigger, which is fun for a while, to be sure; but near the end of pregnancy, a woman’s body is not hers anymore. I mean that her body is unrecognizable to what it was a scant few months ago and that her body belongs to the baby inside … who is on his way out.

    Childbirth ain’t no joke. And it changes a woman’s *parts* forever. Things have been torn and healed, but will never be the same as they were before. Ways she used to feel pleasure aren’t pleasurable anymore. Things that used to not get a reaction now feel wonderful. If she’s breastfeeding, it can actually hurt to be touched there. And then there’s mushy tummy and saggy breasts and stretch marks. She has a new body and has to reestablish her relationship to it and love of it. And you can help her do that.

    Look back through your essay. How many times did you focus on your wife’s needs and pleasure? How many times did you say “I”? Give her some pleasure (a nightly backrub or footrub; the chance to take a long bath or shower; a night of unbroken sleep (this will mean you’ll need formula or to prepare by asking your wife to pump a few bottles so you don’t have to wake her up); clean bedsheets; cunnilingus) without asking for anything in return.

    Tell her she’s beautiful. Touch her like she’s magic. Dance with her in the kitchen. Pick her up into your arms with your newly toned muscles. Kiss her deeply. Rinse. Repeat.

    You’ll get laid.

  10. kim holleman says:

    Hey Author,
    Did it ever occur to you to maybe, oh i don’t know, perhaps um, OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND TALK TO YOUR WIFE ABOUT IT?

  11. Read what the women say above. mdhriggin says it all. Please get out of your own head: This, hey, don’t I look sexy enough stuff is so misguided. Maybe looking at sexy is what YOU need, but can you actually see what your wife needs at the moment? Your wife totally loves you, but she would love you a whole lot more if you became a little less focused on your abs and more on what she is doing daily to keep the baby alive. Help her out. Relieve her of some of the oppressive responsibility of caring for a baby. If her head can clear out and relax a little, you’ll be getting lucky. But buddy, it is not all about YOU anymore.

  12. This post is infinitely discouraging. Are most men this immature? Why not just *talk* to your wife??? And Kathy’s touching post makes a lot of sense. A new mother now has two dependents on her body, constantly clawing her. It makes me fear that despite all the talk, men marry women in hopes that they’ll use them as consistent sex dispensers. Why not try to understand her position? Or at least ASK her when she’ll be ready?? And truly, the working out while she deals with the baby is a big put-off.

  13. Not entirely an answer to your questions but this is a very interesting interview with Esther Perel I read just yesterday. It seems kind of appropriate to share it here with you. Especially since it seems to contribute to the discussions going on on the Good Men Project. Wish you all the love and intimacy you want in the New Year! http://thesunmagazine.org/issues/456/a_more_perfect_union?page=1#.Ur93E9Rz1PY.facebook

  14. just a shot in the dark but um, what if y’all try…
    talking about this directly.

    you definitely have the basics down. no entitlement or shame. just a question and a desire for intimacy with her. habla con ella, dude.

  15. ..coming from a girl perspective…
    why is it her who should come to you?
    the woman has to be feeling good…but if you arent making her feel sexy loved and wanted as a sexual being she isn’t going to “jump on it”
    its easy for us to think about “me..come to meeeeee” but i read an article that pinpointed how that is the problem…its supposed to be about the other!
    so maybe if u start treating her like a beautiful sexual being she will reach out..
    but dont do it with the intention to have sex..but jus enjoy some intimacy..the rest will follow

  16. You said you’ve been waiting for her to come to you. You have to realize that when a woman gives birth, her body changes phenomenally, which wreaks havoc with her self-esteem. Her entire identity has changed. Think for a moment how it would feel if there was once a man who could not keep his hands off of you, but now that you’ve had a baby and your body has changed he no longer approaches you at all. It may appear to her not that you are being patient and waiting for her to be ready, but that you no longer find her attractive.

    And also what everyone else has said is true. I have three children myself, and after an entire day and night of being touched on every side, not having a single moment to myself even to go to the bathroom or shower, the last thing I want is more touching. Mothers give and give and give every second of every day. They need to feel wanted again, and they also need some space. Watch the baby and send her to a movie alone now and then, and make sure you show and tell her that you still want her and still find her attractive.

  17. Wendy M. Macey says:

    Check out Ian Lerner’s book, “Love in the Time of Colic.” Excellent book buy a rockstar sex therapist on sex after children 🙂 Highly recommend it!

  18. Don’t listen to Kathy, genuine desire cannot be negotiated, you don’t become a man by listening to women http://therationalmale.com/2011/08/25/the-desire-dynamic/

    • Finally, some rational advice. She has had a baby; there is no going back on this one.

    • And you dont get sex with that attitude. if you want your partner back, you have to be a partner. Listening to those with experience (Kathy) dramatically increases your chances of success. You don’t tell Tiger Woods to screw off when he’s offering golfing tips.

  19. Here’s the thing, my friend: she’s exhausted. While you’re at the gym sculpting your bod, she’s washing dishes and changing diapers. While you’re out working your butt off, she’s busting hers raising your son. A man who washes dishes and runs the vacuum is infinitely sexier than one with abs and a big pay check. Don’t wait for her to ask you do something. Pick up the sponge and get it done. That will turn her on.

    PS. Because you suddenly got into exercise and are never home, she may think you’re cheating. Pregnancy is amazing but it is also great at ruining your body image.

    • Yeah dude, what Kathy says. I doubt this has anything to do with her physical attraction to you. Best things you can do: help with the house, help with the kid, tell her how beautiful you think she is, even when you don’t, let her get out and spend some time with her friends.

    • Kathy nailed it, 100%. ^^^^^^

      In addition, she may just be what is called “touched out”. It’s especially common while breastfeeding but I still experience it with having two little ones (4 and 18mo). They are touching me ALL THE TIME. Sitting on me, hanging on my leg, tons of hugs and kisses and lap sitting. Which is great but sometimes at the end if the day, the thought of being touched anymore just makes me feel annoyed instead of desired.

    • Every single word of this! 100 times!

      This is a very common thing, the thing that a new mother wants more in the firsts few months with the baby is SLEEP. The thing that a new dad wants more is sex. (I’m not saying it’s a bad despicable thing.) Do things around the house so she can sleep like a rock for hours. Share the house chores. One of two things will happen: you’ll be exhausted too, so you won’t want sex either 😀 or she will be rejuvenated — and you will be exhausted ah ah
      In the post partum period with hormones all over the place, prolactin, nursing, sex drive takes a step back, add exhaustion to that… it’s not about you. Her body needs to adjust. And a baby is hard work.
      Share the tasks with her, don’t make her feel like everything is on her shoulders. Be comfortable with her post-baby body. Pregnancy takes a toll on your body and you may feel self conscious about the changes. You may feel different than before.. even just little tender gestures like massages or cuddles in front of the tv, those things will show her that you have no problem with her PP body.
      Bow chicka wow wow..

  20. I know when my son was first born I no longer felt attractive enough- no help from his father of course but when you realize your body goes through some changes notnallmofnthem reversing as early as others, or at all. It may really lower the self confidence require to feel “sexy” again which then makes monkey sex less appealing because your focused on how you look.
    I will assure you in time that newly together sex life did return- however part of the contributing factor was then re baby became a toddler allowing mom n dad more alone time with him not being so demandin of every waking and non waking hour.
    Good luck to you both hopefully you can rekindle that spark!

  21. While I cannot speak for all women, as a working married mother of two, here are the reasons:
    1. She’s tired. Not I just pulled an all nighter tired, but I just created life from my body tired. That weariness is all encompassing, even months after having the baby. Because then there is the breastfeeding, the worrying, the chasing after, the stamina to discipline and handle the tantrums and arguments. It is constant. Most nights, sleep beats sex. Even great sex.
    2. She hurts. Pregnancy and childbirth hurts, and continues to hurt after the baby. Your back, your legs, your shoulders, your breasts, your genitals. What used to feel great during foreplay and sex doesn’t anymore, and your body responds differently.
    3. She’s busy. Having a baby changes your brain (scientific research backs this up). Women who have had children are better at long term planning and multi tasking – because they have to be. You have to plan about when to go to the store around the baby’s feeding, changing, and sleeping schedule. If you are off more than 10 minutes, havoc happens. And just the number of chores that come with having a baby. Even with awesome spouses (just like mine), women are thinking a few days or weeks ahead about what needs to get done, and fitting sex into that plan is often challenging. And that’s what she is doing. Fitting it into a schedule. This is not a slight to you men – we still think you are sexy. But at 2pm in the middle of nap time on a good day.
    4. The baby takes all her intimacy. Babies and children need touch. Constantly. It is part of the bonding process. Babies and children, even those not cosleeping, lay on or with their mothers as much as they can. Its part of the women-child bond. Great fathers also touch and hold and kiss their children, but it is different. Children tend to go to mom when their is a boo boo, when they are scared, when they are tired, etc. And good mothers hold, touch, kiss their children. But that uses up mother’s desire to be touched occasionally mothers just need their physical space from being a source of intimacy.
    5. She does not feel pretty, sexy, or desirable. This is not to say she has low self-esteem, how she sees herself has changed. She is, in some respect, a cow – a source of food. That does not make one feel desirable. It makes one feel like a source of food. So the innate level of sexual tension that probably used to be between you two is now gone. Walking around naked or doing naked jumping jacks won’t get on her radar anymore – neither will making sexual innuendos.
    6. She loves her child. Sorry dads. You may have been first on her list before, but not anymore. All mothers are in love with their children. Completely, helplessly in love with them. You probably are too, but that’s part of this issue. A mother will ignore your needs and her needs for the needs (or possible needs) of the child. So if it is a choice between a quickie during nap or cuddling with the child while they sleep, most of the time the baby wins. Because you are an adult and can take of yourself.

    So, you want to have sex with your wife? Here would be my advice. You take care of getting a qualified babysitter that she can trust. You send your wife to the beauty parlor to get a massage, her hair and nails done. You clean the house and take the baby to a playdate. When she gets home, leave the baby with the very qualified babysitter in the clean house and take her to a nice restaurant where she does not have to make any choices (unless she wants too) and treat her like a goddess. Allow her to make the phone calls home to check on the baby as much as she wants to. Take her to a musical, a stroll or carriage ride in the park, treat her to chocolate covered strawberries (or whatever her favorite desert is). Take her to a fantastic hotel, soft music, candlelight, etc. Take your time and ask her what feels good and not good anymore, as this may have changed. Spend a lot of time on foreplay again, like you did when you were first dating.

    You don’t have to do this all the time, but start with this and then spend more time with foreplay. But this is why.

    • Know what happens when mothers so often put the needs of the child in front of the relationships needs of both mother n father? It fails bigtime. The best advice I saw was to make time for you both, do not ignore your partner just to look after the child otherwise you’re dooming your relationship. Too often it happens that someone ignores their partner and dumps all of their energies into a child, resentment grows because the other partner has now become a friend, not a lover.

      It’s really simple. Humans in relationships for the most part need regular emotional, physical, and sexual intimacy. Having a baby is NO excuse for letting sexual intimacy die down, there are activities you can still do even if tired. Make the damn effort, problem is too many relationships fail because people fall into an easy habit of forgetting to take care of their partner. Get a babysitter for a few hours and make time to have couple-time. If you’re sore? Then help him/her masturbate, find a way that doesn’t involve major energy or pain. If you’re feeling insecure? It’s your job to fix your issues and re-engage with your partner because it’s unfair to them to have your issues ruin their sex life too. Sure mental n physical health isn’t always great but at least try work at getting better.

    • You are dead on! This guy has a child under the age of 2…chances are his wife hasn’t slept in over 2 years! She’s tired and when given the chance to have 15 minutes more of sleep or sex she’ll pick sleep. It has nothing to do with him at that point. However…all that time he spent working out…how much time did he spend taking his baby in the morning so she could sleep in? Doing the shopping or cleaning so she can take a break? How much of the child care or home care did he take over so that she didn’t go from one full time job to several? Tired. Very very tired. Sexy isn’t flat abs…sexy is a husband who will do the dishes and watch the kids while you sleep in. Sexy is a man who will cook dinner so that you can cuddle with that cute baby on the sofa and watch tv. Sexy is a man who says, let me do that honey because I know you are tired. That is sexy. And yes, that is foreplay to a woman! Not walking around with no underwear.

  22. I had a similar problem in my marriage and, i attempted to fix it in a similar manner. at one point we went over a year without any action. I started biking big time and lifting weights. in my case, the more i improved myself the worse the situation became. She finally admitted to me that she hated her body. my self improvement made her feel even worse about herself. somehow sex was a shameful reminder to her of how out of shape she was. I couldnt find a way to repair the problem long term. I hope you have better luck.

  23. I have no idea what to suggest. My boyfriend and I are childfree so sex is pretty constant. You’re good-looking. Good luck to you both. Sorry I wasn’t more helpful.

  24. And that is why monogamy is unreasonable.

    • kim holleman says:

      it’s only unreasonable to people who find it unreasonable, and it’s totally reasonable for those that do. your opinions aren’t for putting onto other people. did it ever occur to you the he didn’t want to fuck someone else, that the ENTIRE point of this article was about that?

  25. check out marriedmansexlife.com

  26. Charlie, I’m a mum of 5, I found this article on my husbands phone because he typed in the EXACT same thing you’re asking. Honestly you’re story sounds similar to ours after the first child. It certainly did mean, sex can have a painful end in 9 months time. It took a while but after I lost over fifteen kilos n got some sanity back, the sex came back too, not as frequent or random. But it came back to a satisfying level for both of us. Even tho u tell us we r beautiful n all that, it comes down to us needing to feel n believe its true, for ourselves…you know. My hubby hangs it out n expects my world to stop n hop on it….uh uh, gotta work for it from now on, help ease our wifey work load, put our feet, let us nap I’d we get worn out, be tentative and nod and even pretend to understand y we grouchy or tired n u will get laid I promise

    • FlyingKal says:

      If all this is only (or mostly) because the wife doesn’t get the support that she needs, both emotionally and practically, in day-to-day life, I wonder what her own incentive and responsibility to have an open, actual communication with her husband is, and trying to resolve this in a mutual understanding?
      Instead of shutting down, shutting him out, and leaving him to figure it all out on his own without the slighest clue and where every mistake in the approach gets magnified like a hundred times.

  27. Really appreciate your honesty here. I’m sorry that’s things aren’t going so well as you’d like. My one question is, regardless of how much you’ve physically changed/ improved…. how is the connection/ emotional intimacy going with your wife?

    I know times are a bit more difficult with a baby in tow, but has your emotional connection/intimacy with her changed? If so, you may want to work on the deeper cause of why she won’t have sex with you. In most cases, it has nothing to do with your physical attributes or how much weight you’ve gain but more on a deeper and emotional level.

    All the best,

  28. Inquisitive says:

    I think it’s sad what everyone is going through. I also think it’s important to not make generalizations. You don’t know what’s going on in other people’s bedrooms and you shouldn’t judge. Just because your specific wives or husbands seem unappreciative or selfish doesn’t mean that all men and women in relationships are like this. I’m happy that people have an opportunity to vent their frustrations through this forum but please cite your experience as your experience, don’t implicate every other heterosexual couple in the world into your misfortune.

  29. Well Im not married with no kids, but there are so many different situations to this one subject alone. I mean some women just dont desire sex at all. With or without kids. Some women call it being selfish, but when u have a good man at home who takes care of u, does’nt cheat on u, loves u unconditionally, is romantic and all that, and all he is asking for in return is some loving and she denies him. I dont cant what you say, you are gonna loose him and rightfully so. This is if the coulple does’nt have kids of course and that just makes it a whole lot easier. Some women just try to use that as a control thing and she deserves to be dumped. And they wonder why now men dont wanna get married and only look for consenting women for sexual relationships only.

  30. MayAsWellBeAMonk says:

    It’s frustrating reading the comments because there really doesn’t seem to be a good solution for this problem at all.

    Men complaining about not having sex (including me), and women complaining that they don’t get help around the house, more money, more conversation, or more X. Frankly, the more I read, the more I’m convinced that women don’t really know what they heck they want. At least many of them.

    I’m 33 and my wife is 34. We’ve been married for a few years. My wife is a stay-at-home mother. She made the decision to quit her job and be a stay-at-home, and I supported her in her decision, both financially and verbally, and I let her know if she wanted to stay at work, that I would support that decision, too.

    I admit to having done my share of drifting apart during the pregnancy. I catered to her needs financially and by waiting on her, bringing her meals every single day, as she was in bed most of the time. But we didn’t talk. She didn’t make much effort and neither did I. However, since then, I have gone to great pains to correct this for her, yet she’s not reciprocated with anything whatsoever.

    She has spending money, though I pay all the bills.
    She has free time on the weekend as I essentially spend all of my weekends playing with our son, save the two hours I’m doing the grocery shopping.
    She receives gifts and flowers sporadically (i.e. not just on holidays, b-days, etc.) Nice gifts. She likes jewelry, she gets it. I pick it out myself and surprise her. She likes the jewelry because I catch her excitedly telling her mother about what I’ve bought her.
    She gets help with housework. I do the dishes and sometimes I cook. MANY times I bring dinner home. I do all of my own laundry and occassionally do our son’s laundry.
    I get up with our son in the middle of the night, even though I work and don’t have a two hour nap time during the day. I sometimes get 4 hours of sleep between being up with him and getting to the gym by 6:15AM.
    I’ve lost weight. I have a four-pack of abs now that will be a six pack in early 2012. I weigh 45 pounds less and have more muscle than when we were dating. I bathe twice a day, groom well, and dress well for work and for lounging around the house. No slobbing here.
    Even though she’s banished me to the couch, we watch TV for an hour or hour and a half each night. We watch what she wants to watch and I have conversations with her about the shows, about trivial things in our household, etc. She doesn’t bring up weighty issues that I avoid talking about. If I bring them up, it causes fireworks.
    We’re financially secure. Not yet independent, but I make good money and the house I own has been remodeled, with her having much of the input and having a custom kitchen and bathroom to her specs.

    Frankly, I’m sick of doing all of this for her and receiving nothing in return. I’m also tired of women assuming that the man is not doing any of these things and that this is automatically the cause of the sexlessness. There are lots of husbands out there that do bend over backwards to show our wives appreciation and still get nothing.

    I could have cheated on her twice now since we’ve been married. I will never cheat. I’ve turned down one women who told me explicitly what type of sexual things she’d like to do with me. I haven’t told my wife this because she’d just be even more upset, but suffice to say she has a very faithful husband on top of all the rest.

    I’m about to stop doing all of this (except for the gym – that is for me as well). In one year, this has had no impact whatsoever in our nonexistent sex life. We have “date nights” where we watch a movie instead of TV shows, and holding hands and a good night kiss is all I get. It’s long since stopped being enough. I’ve gone so far as to ask her if there were any needs that she felt weren’t being addressed. She said “no” and that the physical part of our relationship would “come back” when our son is a few years older. That’s asking a LOT of me.

    What’s funny is that she criticizes our neighbor’s husband for being a controlling A-hole and how she’d hate to have him for a husband, yet doesn’t realize she has it pretty damn good. Perhaps her getting jewelry, flowers, and spa money will come back about that same time.

    • Julie Gillis says:

      I’m so sorry to hear this story. It sounds tremendously lonely and frustrating. You mentioned you’ve not brought up “firework” topics. But what would happen if you did? A thought experiment-if you all fought and she was hurt by your statements, or you were hurt by hers, what would happen? Would it be worse than the status quo? Better?

      Have you broached therapy with her? I know some folks don’t agree with that approach. My guess is you’ve tried a lot of things-gifts, seduction etc. How old is the child?

      I don’t have particular advice for you other than you should feel safe in discussing your feelings with your partner. Even if the topic/feeling is fraught or difficult, you should be able to break it down. She, I would hope, could understand that sexual closeness is good for you, sure, but it’s good for her and good for the marriage.

      Best of wishes to you both and I’m sorry you are in such a difficult situation.

    • michael doran says:

      I agree with Julie. find a good therapist. If you are a FT employee at a company, you many have a EAP benefit. This will cover therapy sessions for the two of you for free. Use it.

      If everything you said is true, the relationship seems a bit one sided to me. It sounds as if she may be taking you for granted, but that might not totally be the case.

      Is your wife depressed at all? Post Partum depression can come up months after birth.

      It may take a while for your sex life to come back, but she should throw you a bone now and then (even if she is not in the mood). It took my wife and I a couple of years to get back to normal, but she did occasionally help me out even when I could tell she was not entirely into it.

    • MayAsWellBeaMonk knows how this is! Thanks for the detailed insight. I am a 24 year expert at this (age44) and I’ll say that therapy and such is a crap shoot. Women just lose it for their man once secured by the child. They KNOW exactly how to behave when yearning to get pregant (and to get married of course). Childless women put out – plain and simple. MayAsWell… does all that a responsible provider should do, wants to do and enjoys doing but we all want to get action too. Marriage is a one way street and there is no real explanation for the “change”, and it should be expected by ANYONE getting married. Our women are not bad people they’re just women and this situation is the NORM and all you therapists and therpy lovers know it. Call me cynical, but this is the way it is. “Solomon had 700 wives because each one might come around every couple years.” We have great kids, so I stick it out but soon to be moving, I am getting two master bedrooms in next place or a duplex. I am not putting my life on hold for the woman anymore because there is nothing to expect in return – it won’t change. I, like MayAsWellBeaMonk, are a single woman’s dream and a married woman’s dish towel at best. Taken for granted is an understatement. Nope, status quo no longer, do what I enjoy for a change and let the chips fall. The kids will always be part of both our lives, but no more bending over backwards. She has been stay at home also but I conclude too often they cannot even face the challenges we do and so choose this life. And then we cannot even get laid for providing everything! Not bitter but I am now indifferent and nuetral. She cannot affect me and I don’t think I’d even care if she cheated anymore-not a good place to be but better than pining year after year thinking she will come in from the couch and sleep in the same bed. Ha Ha. Not sure what a man is suppose to even be anymore other than a good provider ………………………………… but NOT married-that just works for the other gender.

      • So all single women just put out because they want to get married and have babies? That’s funny, i’m single and i put out because i want to get laid. I’m 30. I have a career. I have no interest in marriage or children. And for the record, you and Monk sound like nightmares, far from being “a single woman’s dream.” Being a real-life single woman i can tell you what a dream man is to me; a man who takes care of HIMself and knows i can take care of MYself, who uses actions to show his love, not money/gifts, who acts as my teammate, completing tasks that NEED to be done without expecting something in return (something sexual no less) and who doesn’t try to change who i am…and personally, divorced men/fathers/divorced fathers do not fit into my “dream,” sorry, too much baggage. You guys followed some archaic protocol for “adult life” and now you hate women. Good job.

    • @MayAsWellBeAMonk: sorry to hear that, dude. It’s really depressing. 🙁

      What I can’t get from your words, is whether you two have honestly talked about this issue; it seems you’re just “waiting” for her sexual desire to come back, and “buying” that with gifts and housework.

      The saddest thing, to me, it’s like you two have largely drifted apart. Like you’re two “strangers” living together. From your words, she sounds dry and distant.
      I mean, being sexless is hard enough, but she sounds even not affectionate anymore.

      @MayAsWellBeAMonk: “She said (…) the physical part of our relationship would “come back” when our son is a few years older.”

      This doesn’t sound much likely. In several years of this situation, you two would likely grow even more apart, distant and resentful.
      Therapy could be a way… but only if she has still any interest in the relationship with you. If she’s just living in a relationship on her own with the child – and you’re out of the “equation” – she won’t be willing to change.

      Your not wanting to cheat is admirable; but I wonder how much frustration can you get, until you arrive to a “boiling point”.

  31. Incidentally ken is a girl, typo in the name, in case that affects your interpretation of the comment

  32. Funny article.

    The advice one of the first bloggers gave you was spot on – lots of kissing. Lots. I am already wanting to turn back the clock on my relationship to our before sex days because we have never kissed once like that since the sex started. The turn on is indescribable. On that note, part of the turn on was meaning to say no and wanting to say yes. If there’s a tactful way of turning it into a game so that her challenge is to resist your chase for as long as possible, you’ll probably actually be rewarded with some real passion.

    Be careful of indicating that you’re looking to her to give it the spark: she’ll be likely to feel like a toy, or worse, like she’s being paid with expectations.

    It’s always difficult to give advice without knowing the people. But it’s definitely in the mind…

  33. Peter Houlihan says:

    I haven’t been through this, but I think the suggestions above about giving it time are on the mark. Also, think about all the things you did when you were dating to win her heart. Starting to do that kind of stuff again might really make her feel more interested.

    Good luck! 🙂

  34. It gets better. I went through the same thing when my 3 kids were small. My marriage didn’t last and I think this was partly due to how we drifted apart as a result of the lack of intimacy. Now my ex has a new boyfriend and I have been living with my current partner for 7 years. I have a great sex life and I assume my ex is also “fulfilled”.

    I can’t help but wonder if we had been more patient – if we had persevered – would we have gotten the spark back as the kids grew up.

  35. michael doran says:

    I don’t know what a lot of these people are talking about here, but as someone who has a almost 5 year old and an almost 2 year old I think I am well suited to address your question.

    It’s going to take around a year bro. Sorry, i know that is not what you want to hear, but its the truth. want a second? It is going to be an awkward 5 year of so period for you.

    At least that is how it was for us.

    My advice, be patient and understanding. no matter how tempted you are, don’t cheat. It will get better, I promise you!

    Keep the communication open, talk with your wife, don’t fall into the separate compartment trap. Be loving, and supportive. Her body just had a huge hit to it, she is experiencing things she never thought she would before. neither of you is getting much sleep, and being a parent, while awesome, is really hard. Especially compared to those bliss free childless years that you totally took for granted.

    When your kids get older it remains hard, a lot of rewarding moments, but a lot of frustration as well. Work to get your little one sleeping on his own, in his own room starting at 6 months. Once you get your bedroom back things will get a lot better. Also, foot rubs with lotion are always appreciative, and if most women are like my wife, just picking up after myself and around the house is a huge turn on.

    Hang in there man. We all go through it, it will get better I promise.

  36. Have you asked her why? And really listened to her? I say this because when my son was born, it was a little traumatic (whole other topic)…to the point where I didn’t want to have sex with my DH because I was TERRIFIED of getting pregnant again. Even after I got on birth control I was wracked with anxiety that it WOULD fail no matter what. No one really understood the kind of anxiety I went through and I struggled for years. It wasn’t until after I saw a therapist that I was able to deal with the anxiety and depression. We aren’t perfect, but at least we are getting better.

    Women in particular are stuck in this twilight zone after children that we have to be happy and satisfied because we had children. Many times we feel anxiety and ambivalence about the whole thing and are either afraid to talk about it (I know whenever I expressed my feeling to anyone other than DH I was laughed at) or have been ridiculed for not being the “happy mom” we all see on TV. This can totally translate into not wanting sex as it leads to anxiety and depression.

    Talk to her, honestly. Not when you are trying to have sex…any other time. Be honest with her, let her know she can be honest with you and make a deal that neither one of you will judge the other and stick to it. And please, keep in mind that she knows you are up for it…but if you are constantly making comments that you are up for it (jump on it?…really, dude…) it may be making her feel more pressured (like that is all you care about) and make sex feel like something on the To Do list (which makes it at the bottom of that list) than something she wants to do with you. Give her some affection and attention…but do not let it seem like you are expecting sex. Give a kiss or a hug or what have you, then walk away. This can help her not feel so pressured.

    Just sayin’ this out of experience from being on the other side.

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      I’m guessing (hoping!) he did talk to her before writing this 🙂

      If jumponit has some meaning for them, leave them at it. Its not a first date. I’m guessing its some kind of in joke rather than a command.

    • Marcus Williams says:

      Talk to her, honestly. Not when you are trying to have sex…[snip]. Give her some affection and attention…but do not let it seem like you are expecting sex. Give a kiss or a hug or what have you, then walk away.

      This reminds me of an episode of Taxi, where a woman breaks up with Louie by telling him the only way she can love him is if he leaves, and with every step he takes toward the door, she loves him even more. I don’t remember exact dialogue, but Louie says something like, “And if I never see you again?” and she says, “I’ll be yours forever.” It would appear the key to improving Charlie’s sex life is to stop wanting one.

  37. great read mate. I am def bookmarking your blog altho I’m not a dad yet. You’re a very talented writer and you seem to have a wonderfully healthy relationship with your wife. Thanks for writing a piece that allows folks to have a fun discussion about a sometimes difficult and awkward topic.

    congrats on Finn as well.

  38. Charlie, in the story :The Good Earth” Wang Lung becomes prosperous and buys a concubine named Lotus. Women really do change upon giving birth. Even after 25 years of this #*#@, I believe in marriage and the benefits. I have no interest in fooling around. BUT once the first child arrives, sex takes on a whole new meaning for women. NO amount of domestic duties will get you laid as often as you want it and need it – as often as you WERE getting it. I can cut down a tree like a lumberjack, build a house, fix a car, vacuum the house and bake bread from scratch – TO NO AVAIL FOLKS – that’s real world. No more trite answers please as to what HE NEEDS TO DO! She changed, He didn’t.
    Sexless in marriage is mean, inconsiderate at best , selfish and a “bait and switch” of the worst kind.
    166 days without sex myself. Sorry Charlie, you are amongst the majority – most of us just pretend it’s alright at home BUT IT’s NOT.

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      Didn’t Wang Lung’s wife (Oh Lan was it?) become bitter and resentful about his concubine? And he spent most of his time and energy negotiating peace between them rather than getting laid?

      Also, in that book Oh Lan wasn’t exactly a sex goddess to begin with, to me she didn’t change all that much after giving birth, he changed after becoming wealthy.

      Have faith in your wife Charlie 🙂 Shes still the beautiful sexy person you married.

  39. Take it from an older woman who has been around the proverbial block on more than one occasion: you are suffering from body-stranger-syndrome. Simply put, your bodies have forgotten each other. It would be awkward to try to have sex after all this time.

    Remember this, healthy marriages are sexual marriages. It is okay to fight for this, to actually insist that you work on this as a couple. I am not saying that you insist on sex, rather I am saying that you should insist on talking about it, on working your way back to it.

    If I were to give you and your wife the “old-wives” remedy, I would recommend that you have intercourse even if you aren’t into it on a regular basis for a little while. It is a way of letting your bodies get to know each other again. After awhile, it is like your bodies remember each other and the passion comes flooding back.

  40. Wow. I think this guy is being really honest about what he needs from his relationship (while also writing in an entertaining way) and he’s just received snide attacks for it. If someone is explaining how they feel about something in their relationship, of course it’s going to be all about them. It’s THEIR feelings. I hope he and his wife can talk this out either between the two of them or with a counselor. They both may be having incorrect ideas about what the other thinks or wants.

    Charlie, you mentioned how much weight you gained and how you felt about your body after the baby, but maybe your wife hasn’t had the energy or time to work out and look her physical best (according to her own standard), so maybe she’s actually a little self conscious about her own body right now. And maybe (just a guess here) she’s thinking you got in shape as a *visual message* to her that you’d like her to do the same.

    Really there are so many things that could be happening here. But to expect one mate to forgo sex indefinitely because a baby has arrived doesn’t seem fair to me. But I don’t have kids (don’t want any), so I may not understand this whole kid dynamic thing.

    At any rate, good luck with your marriage and your intimate life. I hope you are both very fulfilled in the very near future.

    • Todra, you may not have kids, but I think you are correct. I agree with everything you said. I was thinking similarly–like I wonder if his wife (who is total stunning by the way), is a little “freaked” by his new found focus on pumping up? I know my ex and I used to enjoy going to the gym together. It wouldn’t bring me any consolation to feel like my partner was turning into a total hottie without me. I would probably feel insecure about it initially (not endorsing that reaction or saying it means Charlie shouldn’t work out–I’m just sayin’– it is something she may not even be aware of). And, I do NOT get the feeling that he is all about him. I think that is the point of this particularly post–“hey world, new dad, relationship is changing and here’s how I’m feeling about it.” Good for him that he has the willingness and a place to vet his feelings. The feedback will probably help him better understand his wife. But, Charlie, seriously bud, eat a doughnut or something. No parent needs to be that cut. Everyone will hate you. 😉

    • Wow Todra, why are you defending a

      To you Todra : don’t jump on women and side with men if you don’t have children and have not lived in the house with a man.and to you Derbis, these women are not showing resentment towards men, it’s just that we, as women get tired of all the nagging and whining about sex that you guys seem to do. There is more to life for us than sex. Really,it is not at the top of our list all the time. It may be at the top of yours, but stop whining about sex. What would you males do if ever female in thie world suddenly had a locked va ja for a year? You’d survive then. You act like sex is food and water. Don’t you males get it?? Romance, foreplay, and do your share of the chores and childcare and you would see a well rested, interested woman. We can’t do it all and be all things to you . You aren’t all things for us. Your demands are too much. Really !!!!! You want us to be perfect and we are just sick of it!!!

      • John Smith says:

        Why the assumption that a man must be being lazy and not doing there fair share? Unfortunately too often women have no idea that there husband feels completely left out because of lack of physical intimacy, or that sex cannot be spontaneous and that they have to go through a complex ritual of “romance” and wining and dining, with the partner being turned on by the romance rather than the romance rather than the partner.

        The problem for men is that what we want is treated as bad and wrong, and wanting sex is somehow “evil”. Women not wanting sex is treated as normal. Both sides need to work together. First thing to do, stop nagging and start talking.

      • no kidding! says:

        Sex isn’t food and water. It’s air. I don’t want the woman in my life to be all things to me. I need a good lover. When she fails there, it can’t be made up in any other way.

  41. Your first mistake?
    Thinking it’s all about you.

  42. I think the great mystery is why exactly so many women are filled with resentment towards men.

    It’s almost as if they expect men to fulfill them, to make their dreams come true, and when they don’t, things turn sour. But is there a place for this kind of “satisfy me!”, “make me happy!” attitude in an egalitarian partnership? Isn’t it a little out of date considering the zealous equality in every other realm. Yet I never hear guys saying their wife doesn’t make them “fulfilled”. Most men would assume that their own life is what they make of it, and their problems are theirs to fix.

    This is a strangely unexamined double standard.

  43. Four things.
    1. Fatigue = no sex. When you have young kids or a new baby, sex is the last thing on a woman’s mind unless they have a lot of help and are still managing to sleep. Just get over it and be patient. I enjoy sex but we had 3 children in 4 years and it was only once the third child was 18 months and I was getting more sleep that I became myself again and we returned to our ‘honeymoon days’ like activity. Be patient.

    2. Kind gestures and emotional connection= lots of sex. There is one sure fire way to get me to make a move on my husband or to at least be open to him making a move, kindness. When he takes time out of his day to help me with something, when he ‘really’ listens to me, makes me a cup of tea, helps with the kids or gives me time out from parenting it is better than any foreplay on this earth. I really read your article as being all about you (and just because you wrote it doesn’t mean this has to be the case). Make it about her and you will get laid a whole lot more.

    3. Make it worth her while. Perhaps you’re not as good in bed as you think. If sex is ho hum then who can be bothered? That’s when you hear that women prefer to sleep or eat chocolate than have sex. You might be a father now and think you’re all grown up but it shouldn’t stop you from thinking of adding to your repertoire, reading up on what women like etc.

    4. Passionate kissing. For about a year my husband and I stopped kissing passionately. It just didn’t really cross my mind because looking after small children we would generally have quickies. Then one night I was watching a movie with the most fantastic passionate kiss and I thought, hell you, I really miss being kissed that way. That night I made a move to kiss my husband passionately and for a long time before we went on to have sex and since then life has been a whole lot better. Passion is so important in life. Everyone wants to feel truly wanted, desired, men and women and what better way to do it than through a long, passionate kiss. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life not being kissed like I’m the hottest woman on the planet and I know my husband just loves it too. It makes him feel like I truly desire him, which I do.

    • I think the great mystery is why exactly so many women are filled with resentment towards men.

      It’s almost as if they expect men to fulfill them, to make their dreams come true, and when they don’t, things turn sour. But is there a place for this kind of “satisfy me!”, “make me happy!” attitude in an egalitarian partnership? Isn’t it a little out of date considering the zealous equality in every other realm. Yet I never hear guys saying their wife doesn’t make them “fulfilled”. Most men would assume that their own life is what they make of it, and their problems are theirs to fix.

      This is a strangely unexamined double standard.

      • It seems to me, from reading this site and others sites, men are as resentful as women. It’s not a gender thing, it’s a person thing, we are born to be ungrateful and unappreciative of what we have.
        Men want women to look after them, do the housework, have sex whenever they want, make them feel like big, important men. They may not say their wives aren’t ‘fulfilling’ them but that doesn’t mean you’re not whining about a million other things.
        Women want to be appreciated, desired, respected, fulfilled even perhaps. No one gets it all, let’s not turn this into another female bashing article.

      • Yeah, what Kiki said – it’s neither a double standard nor unexamined – men certainly do the same thing and many certainly do feel unfulfilled by their wives in one way or another. Men might have different desires and they may not communicate them directly, but that’s the only difference.

        People do have expectations of their mates – both men and women, and it’s important to understand what they are, so that you can determine whether your expectations are unrealistic, or whether your mate could be doing some things they aren’t doing that would improve the relationship (and they may not be aware of it), or some combination of both.

      • Peter Houlihan says:

        Yeah, I think Kikis right on that, men mightn’t say that their wife doesn’t “fulfill” them, but pop down to your local and you’ll hear plenty of bitching and whining. Put two humans in a house and its bound to happen eventually. 😉

    • I have to second Kikik’s initial response to your blog. I think she’s exactly right about what your wife needs to get into the mood. Your “foreplay” was lacking everything that would arouse a woman the way you want to her be aroused. You seem honestly and genuinely interested in bringing the fireworks back into your marriage. I appreciate your candor and I hope you took the suggestions to heart. (I just realized that this was posted a year ago).

  44. bradford heron says:

    If you tell a joke leading with “This is very funny,” it kinda never is. Women suspect men feel “I want to sleep with you,” and saying those words out loud just doesn’t hot them up. Tell the joke better, men. You’ve shortened your routine, made is far less creative and well-crafted, even told your lady how to react – and guess what? She’s not laughing.

  45. *singing*

    One of these things is not like the others,
    One of these things just doesn’t belong,
    Can you tell which thing is not like the others
    By the time I finish my song?

    Did you guess which thing was not like the others?
    Did you guess which thing just doesn’t belong?
    If you guessed Lingiust, Assman, are not like the others,
    Then you’re absolutely…right! !

    Sorry..it just popped in my head…lol

  46. Assman says ” I am saying that the influence of feminism is to cause sexual dysfunction on a societal level.” No it’s not..lol. If anything Feminism helps to improve sexual function. Geez…where do you come up with this stuff?!

    • I call it the disintermediation of expertise.

    • “If anything Feminism helps to improve sexual function. ” No it’s not..lol. If anything Feminism helps to improve sexual function. Geez…where do you come up with this stuff?!”

      I came up with this stuff by listening to what women on this site are saying. The general message is: I am too exhausted for sex. I assume that they are exhausted because they are working too hard. I think they are working to hard because they have to take care of children in addition to work responsibilites because a couple now works 3 jobs instead of 2.

      Why do they work 3 jobs? I say a strong influence is feminism and that the influence is detrimental. The whole argument is nicely laid out in the following link


      Which assumptions of mine do you disagree with?

      1) more work => less sex
      2) In aggregate all Americans work more than they did in the 1950’s because women entered the workforce
      3) One important reason for more women working is the influence of feminism on society and on government policy

      • So Assman, if your theory is correct should the solution be:

        1) women quitting working, going back to the home and maybe being dissatisfied with their lives but well, men get the sexytimes (and women too, maybe that makes them happy)
        2) men quitting working (women still working) and going to the home and maybe being dissatisfied with their lives but getting the sexytimes when mama brings home the bacon.
        3) everyone working half time and having fun lives with jobs that make them feel more fulfilled than just staying home and everyone getting more sexytimes.

        I’d pick 3, myself. 😉

      • You know I have a strong belief that what you don’t learn in this lifetime you’re going to have to learn in it in your next lifetime. Sorry buddy but you’re blaming the wrong ideology. I hope you don’t mind be held back because you’ve failed to see Feminism isn’t what’s not working.

      • Transhuman says:

        If you consider that feminism is a movement for the benefit of women exclusively then it is working very well. There might be some casualties along the way, such as families, marriage, men, sex, governance, crime and punishment but as long as women get what they want it is okay.

        • Feminism isn’t a movement for the benefit of women only. And that is why Feminist are always having to correct people who get that wrong. It really peeves me how there is this idea only one gender can lead. It’s not a freakin’ competition!

          Secondly, this thread has managed to take us a bit off track. Charlies wife won’t sleep with him and for a minute let’s scroll up and look at his photo….Really?! You think his wife won’t sleep with him?!

          This blog is for the betterment of gender of relations. Charlies post is really to help us. Not him. And look what’s happening in this thread. Many of the men are BLAMING the FEMINIST. Sounds like a smoke screen to me…

          • Marcus Williams says:

            Secondly, this thread has managed to take us a bit off track. Charlies wife won’t sleep with him and for a minute let’s scroll up and look at his photo….Really?! You think his wife won’t sleep with him?!

            Yes, I really think his wife won’t sleep with him (as much as he wants), because that was the point of the article. Why does the photo make it less believable?

            • It is not that it is unbelievable but Charlie is a very handsome man. And I personally could not imagine missing out on building a bound with my husband through sexual intimacy. But my feelings are this thread was turning into a “it’s the Feminists fault” kind of thread. It’s truly exhausting that it seems to always end up there. So my point is I really enjoy “The Good Men Project” because the do their best to encourage healthy dialogue for gender relations.

          • It is a primary fallacy of feminist doctrine that what is good for women must be good for men – and yet there is precious little empirical proof. Men represent 9 in 10 work place deaths, they are a greater portion of the homeless than women, they live shorter lives than women, they lose custody of their children more often than women despite women initiating the majority of divorces, they gain less higher education places than women, they have no women’s officers on campus and no government initiatives specifically for men.

            If you critically analyse what feminism has “achieved” from a man’s point of view you might not agree that it is good for men. When feminism continues to push for the advantage of women, not just equality, then some men are willing to disagree. When feminists openly discuss the killing of men, the eugenic modification of men, the perverse DV laws, the outright lies presented as false rape claims statistics, the bias in the family courts, a panel of women and an audience of women laughing at a man having his penis brutally cut off, the assumption a man defending himself against two violent attackers in a fast food store is in the wrong just to name a few, it is easy to conclude feminism is not as pure as you might imagine.

            Equality is something most men have no problem with. feminism might ‘say’ it is for equality but its behaviour demonstrates otherwise,.

            • You know I don’t think I’ve seen a single person out right say or suggest until you Transhuman such biased b.s. I don’t see anyone saying “man bad woman good” either.

              Take your toxic energy and poisonous words somewhere else. You not helping this thread come up with a HEALTHY solution for Charlie! Frankly I don’t think that is what you’re here for.

              It would be sooo easy for me to generalize all men as arses but GROWN UP thinkers know better!

  47. You’re in trouble man. A sexless marriage is on its way to failure. Especially if she used to like it all the time. Some amount of it is about being tired – but mostly its not. Before the baby I’m sure the both of you were tired sometimes too – but you found time to make it happen.

    Its not that she doesn’t want to have sex- she doesn’t want to have it with you. And each time she does it just to please you – it makes sex with you more unattractive next time. Each time she does it out of duty, she feels like she is caring for yet another child.

    Ignore advice about doing more cooking. You should help out with the child etc, but only because it is the right thing to do for the child. If you are cooking romantic meals for her, or appearing to try too hard you are only lowering your value to her.

    Women are hypergamous. They are attracted only to men they perceive as better than them. E.g. they like men to are taller, smarter and richer than they are. We are apes – like Gorillas. Each woman wants to be with a man she thinks is the silverback. If she decides (subconsciously) that you are not the silverback, she will barely tolerate you until she thinks she can jump ship to find one. It will be hard to convince her she judged you wrong.

    It is really hard to bring a woman back once attraction starts to decline. Some people say it is impossible. If the a

    First you need to make sure those hypergamous signals are right. You’re a good looking guy, so that is not the problem. Are you earning less money than she is? or no money? That is going to be a romance killer right there. Are you ceding all decision making to her? Like letting her buy everything, plan every thing etc? If so, you need to change that. Start taking charge a little more – easy does it. Don’t change your behavior all at once. Say no to her more often.

    You cannot appear like you are trying to become more attractive. Supplicating yourself to her will count against you, including any behavior that seems like you are begging for sex.

    You need to start demonstrating some dominance behaviors. Be protective of her. Take her out to dinner and be a little bit demanding of the restaurant people. Get involved in some activity where you can be the leader. For example organize something and run it.

    Finally – and this is powerful medicine – get yourself in a situation where she thinks some other, more attractive woman is trying to steal you. Don’t cheat! A friend of mine was in a sexless rough patch and started running. After a few weeks a hottie co-worker started running with him. The wife quickly demanded that he stop running with that other woman, and became much more sexually receptive. Mission accomplished. I’m sure she thought the two things were a coincidence.

    Another friend of mine was in a low-sex marriage for years. The wife would barely have sex with him, and would do it grudgingly and let him get off, but give him nothing extra. After many years of this, he filed for divorce and got a girlfriend. She immediately became really horny for him, had sex with gusto, including letting him do all the things he had always wanted. I don’t think she was just trying to keep him. His taking control of the situation, saying no to her, and being attractive to other women made her more attracted to him. Unfortunately it was too late – and he chose to divorce her anyway. But she still calls him to get him to come over and give her all the sex she denied him for years.

    Short answer – women are attracted to strong dominant men. If you stop being like that, they lose interest. A woman who has lost interest will tolerate you for awhile – years even. But she has one foot out the door. You need to do something about this or you will eventually lose your marriage.

    Marriage counseling, where you supplicate yourself to her wishes in front of a therapist = 100% chance of divorce.

  48. I remember the first time I tried to have sex after having given birth. When he touched my breast, milk sprayed out all over him, and I kind of lost it and just started crying, partly from embarrassment over new bodily functions that I had absolutely no control over, partly from sheer exhaustion, and feeling like my body didn’t really belong to me any more. It was very un-sexy.

    It’s not just about not feeling pretty/sexy enough for sex, but about no longer feeling at home in your own body. Everything is so different hormonally and physically. It took nearly a year to come to the realization that everything that used to make me “me” was still there somewhere. Sometimes it just gets lost for a while for new parents. It takes time.

  49. It’s called being tired. Now that mine is 5 years old and I work full time, I’m much more likely to have sex on the weekends when I haven’t put up with bullshit for the past 8 hours. When I’m worn out, I don’t want to lift anything that weighs more than a pound, and that includes your penis.

  50. Another bonus of feminism….sexless marriages.

    • Do you know what this is like? If there were a word for men that is the equivalent of “feminism,” and let’s just make one up for the sake of argument and call it “male-ism,” and I wrote “Another bonus of male-ism–getting to rape women anytime, anywhere” and attached an article about men raping women, people would hear you screaming all the way to Australia. How are you helping this dialogue? What benefit are you adding to rational civil discourse on this site? Must you always fan the flame wars, Assman?????? I know, I know…ask a stupid question…


      • Assman? Really?..lol You haven’t a clue what Feminists are like if you’ve never been with one. And you can’t claim you have or you wouldn’t post such silly words..

        • Yeah, Assman hasn’t had many chats with my husband about his feminist wife…

          He’ll kill me if he reads this, but we have sex five or more times a week. True story.

          My husband is a big fan of feminism 😉

          • LOL!! My husband loves feminists too, and man does that make for some great chemistry! Maybe it has something to do with respect, empathy and equality? Whatever! It sure does work, and goes both ways!

            • “If there were a word for men that is the equivalent of “feminism,”

              There is…Men’s Right Activists. They have been very very harshly criticized on this site in comments and even in whole articles.

              This never generates a flame war. I generate a flame war because this site has a default feminist position but interestingly ITS NOT A FEMINIST SITE or at least it never says it is. Its a site devoted to discussing men. So why should a comment criticizing feminism, even a very snarky one generate a flame war?

              As for the responses to my comment, they didn’t really get the point I was making perhaps because they didn’t bother to read the link and I didn’t really explain myself. I am not saying that individual feminists are asexual (I have no doubt that Joanna’s husband get plenty of sex)….I am saying that the influence of feminism is to cause sexual dysfunction on a societal level.

              Why? Because people work 3 jobs instead of 2 (2 full time jobs + housewife). Of course not only feminist societies suffer from this problem (Japan) and there are feminist societies where this isn’t a problem (http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/3946). Here is the thing though feminism is part of the problem here exactly because feminists are working hard even in the Netherlands to get women working.

              More work == less sex.

              • I agree that more work == less sex. Wouldn’t it be radical if men and women could actually work less, together? If our economies weren’t based on driving us into the ground like worn down cogs? If all genders could do and create work that pleased them and helped society but that didn’t require 50 hours in an office (or more!) just to make ends meet?

                Women working may have something to do with the less sex? But I see the current work and economic atmosphere, as well as a culture that says multitasking and being booked 24/7 as as much of the problem.

                We don’t value rest, pleasure or play in America. Sex requires all of those.

                • “I agree that more work == less sex. Wouldn’t it be radical if men and women could actually work less, together? ….We don’t value rest, pleasure or play in America. Sex requires all of those.”

                  I agree fully with everything you say. But I see feminism as part of the same work-oriented culture. Feminism arose in a work-oriented American society. Worldwide feminists, even those in place like Netherlands have not tried to develop a non-work focused feminism, they have simply adopted American work-oriented feminism. Maybe in a counterfactual reality there is a different feminism.

                  The other thing is that the goals of feminism conflict with the need and desires of most women, men and conflict with reality.

                  Feminists want women to occupy socially important positions. Those positions require dedication and sacrifice. As Buffett stated the price of excellence is intensity.

                  The goals of feminism effects the policy positions they advocate. For instance, why have feminists been blind to the desires of most women to work part-time? Feminists have not listened to women on this. Its this blind dead spot no one talks about as if it doesn’t exist. But its big big ….. HUGE in fact. Maybe more important than child care. Making part-time possible in every job should be a feminist priority. But it hasn’t been promoted even though it coincides with women’s desires because it conflicts with the goal of more women CEOs.

                  Most women don’t want to be CEOs. Hell most men don’t really want to be CEOs. A small minority of people are that ambitious. I think the goals of feminists reflect this minority more than they do the majority of women.

                  • I am a feminist and think Assman makes some valid points. First, the site and those who comment definitely seem to have, if not a feminist bent, then a progressive one. This may be due to the demographics of the visitors. I don’t know the stats for certain, but I’m guessing it is largely white, middle to upper-class, educated adults. In other words, aren’t we really talking about “white people’s problems” here, which I think represents socio-economic status more than race. I grew up poor/working class and my friends from similar backgrounds simply don’t discuss these topics at all, thoughtfully, or understand why I care about them. All of my female friends from childhood have a visceral hatred of what they think feminism is. As assman noted, they would give their right arms to be able to work part-time, let alone stay at home. They believe feminism has robbed them of their right to have men protect and care for them economically and physically. While I don’t believe all of this can be attributed to the effects of feminism, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t see their point. After all, feminism was supposed to be about having choices and the recognition that our world is shaped by gender, gender role socialization and the assumptions, expectations and demands this places on men and women. I don’t think we got what we thought we were bargaining for in that respect. Now it seems we women are expected to want and do it all successfully—be great parents and care givers, equally educated and successful wage-earners and the hostesses and sexual partners with the mostesses. It sucks really. I don’t know that the expectations on men have increased to the same degree or carry the same weight culturally. As a mother, I still feel major amounts of guilt when having to choose between an important business meeting and attending my daughter’s 27th preschool performance of an Eric Carle book. I don’t think my (now ex–) husband ever cared what our friends, neighbors or in-laws would think of HIM if they stopped by and the house was a wreck. I don’t think men worry as much that their wives will cheat on them if they don’t look the same as they did pre-pregnancy or feel like having sex every time the wind blows.

                    I wanted to be a mother. I knew, however, I did not want to be a stay-at-home mom, but never anticipated the guilt I would feel leaving my daughter in another person’s care. I wasn’t good at care giving though. It wasn’t something that came naturally to me. I hated cooking, cleaning, playing with blocks and changing shitty diapers. I hated being pregnant. Child birth was the single most physically traumatic event my body ever endured. There was NO Hallmark moment when she finally popped out of me after 24 hours of labor, an epidural that didn’t take and enough blood that my husband said, “Oh my God, it looks like a murder scene in here.” I hated that we did the family bed; even though, we felt it was best for our daughter. I missed sleeping alone with my husband. I missed having sex with him whenever we wanted. My ex-husband and I had incredible sex before and during my pregnancy (and during and after our divorce incidentally). We both had very high libidos. However, for about a year after our daughter was born, I did not feel the same. It is hard to explain really. It had nothing to with him–my body just didn’t feel the same. My vagina did not feel the same when it was touched. I missed having the time and energy to “jump up on it” whenever the mood struck. I hated that we couldn’t be as loud as we wanted to be and that as our daughter grew-up, we stopped watching porn for fear she would somehow see or discover it. I hated that my sister- and mother-in-law were Martha Stewart incarnate and knew how to make play dough and use it to make baked Christmas Ornaments. I hated that my mother-in-law used to constantly say, “What Stacey needs is a wife.” I hated that I would rather read bell hooks than Parenting magazine to learn how to sew nifty Halloween costumes. I missed staying up late drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes and debating politics and feminism with my ex-husband (who also thought it ruined modern culture). I resented that my husband didn’t feel the same sense of urgency, pressure and guilt to be “dad and husband of the year” and since I was earning a much better living, he didn’t feel the “bread winner” pressure either. It seemed so easy for him from my point of view. I know that may not be fair, but it is how I felt. I don’t think it had much to do with feminism either as it did with the fact that I didn’t fit the “mother mold” that I held for myself and that society still has to a large extent I think. Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter dearly. I enjoy her company; I like to teach her things and listen to her and watch her become the person she is. But I have to admit, I had to attend another play this afternoon and I was sitting there wondering, “Are any other parents as bored as I am; why does everyone else look so damn entertained?” My daughter did a fine job and maybe I’ll look back one day and realize that this was the “stuff” of parenthood, but all I was thinking about while I was sitting there was this great blog post I wanted to write about sex and how long it has been since I’ve been laid and that I’m fucking horny as shit and I still need to get that report to my boss and I want to pull that new research article that just came out and stop at the mall on the way home so I can get her the new phone charger she needs and…and then I felt guilty again because I’m her mother and this play should be all I care about right now and it should thrill me as much as everyone else seems to be thrilled. No one talks about this kind of stuff—not even feminists for the most part, myself included.

                    So, for Charlie, my suggestion is open communication and time. It takes some women a little longer to bounce back from pregnancy then others. My guess is your wife will. If you had a wonderful and fulfilling sex life pre-Finn, there is no reason to think you won’t again. It certainly doesn’t speak to the projected longevity of your marriage. Research has consistently shown that the first two years after the birth of a child are by far the hardest on the marital relationship–emotionally and sexually for sure.

                    For Assman, I don’t think feminism is without its problems, but, again, at its core, we are talking about choices—not having one’s role, likes, merit, treatment, life, etc. dictated by gender. Why would any man not also see the value in that for them too? Even though we divorced, my ex-husband and I probably ended up having better and more sex with each other than had we stayed in a hostile and conflicted marriage. I suppose I could have tried to be June Cleaver, but he never made much money and I was a horrible cook (I really do think cooking is an art), and so I doubt any of us would have benefited much from that arrangement. As it turns out, we have a really great co-parenting relationship. He still earns very little money, so I don’t ask him for child support or to contribute to our daughter’s education. My friends (feminist and neanderthal alike) think that is beyond comprehension—that no matter how little, he should pay something. Why I ask? Because he’s a man and the dad I’m told. But he barely makes enough to get by and I make a comfortable living and I know if the situation was reversed, he would never take money from me either. Because he takes our daughter to school and packs her lunch every day—of his own choice–and this is more valuable to me (and probably my daughter—if not now, some day) than any money he could give me. I can see that clearly. It would be nice if the rest of society caught up. No, I really don’t think the problem is sexless marriages or feminism. Maybe, just maybe, it is our inability as a culture and individually to meet and accept people where they are and for who they are (including ourselves sometimes ) regardless of gender? Just a thought.

                    • Your making a blanket statement about Feminism having it’s problems. And quite frankly that doesn’t help it’s cause. It is radical Feminism that has problems.

                    • Stephanie says: “Your making a blanket statement about Feminism having it’s problems. And quite frankly that doesn’t help it’s cause. It is radical Feminism that has problems.”

                      I can see your point; certainly no one, least of all me, who spends thought, time and energy in support of a cause they believe in wants to talk about or mention that it might have problems. Yes, feminists/ism gets bashed a lot and I don’t want to contribute to that. On the other hand, I don’t think I can come up with any thing or cause in life that isn’t without its issues, weakness and/or blind spots. I honestly don’t believe ignoring them helps the cause in any way. What I stated is true and well documented in feminist writing; It was not a “blanket statement.” Feminism has had been criticized for not including the realities or interests of many sub-groups of women. I’m still a feminist. I still agree with the basic tenants of feminism (have we agreed on those yet; have they changed during the third wave? 😉 I’m joking, but my point is that even radical feminism carries some truth (I believe). I honestly do not think we will make progress as an entire society until we recognize that these types of honest and critical conversations need to take place. Men’s voices should be at the “feminist table” just like women’s voices should be at the “MRA table.” If not, when policy, practice and men and women individually continue to stay pitted against one another and a “victory,” or progress is or is perceived as being at the expense of the other, we only have ourselves to blame (collectively speaking). We would be much more powerful as allies, but that will require some hard, honest truth and soul searching. Who’s in?

                    • That’s some really great stuff there Stacey, I appreciate both the time you took to write it and the honesty you displayed. Stephanie – way to miss the point. Out of that entire piece of writing, all you can do it bitch about the difference between feminism and rad feminism. Really? Guess what, for a large segment of society they may sound different in their monologues, but the outcomes are no different.

  51. Well, from all the honest talk above, it seems quite sure that – in most cases – sex after pregnancy won’t be as good as before (there are exceptions, of course, but the “mainstream” seems evident…).
    Maybe it will improve when children are grown up and out of the house… hold on! 😀

    It’s not suprising, then, that couples with children are – on average – less happy than those without. 😉
    ( I know many – self-delusional? – people will swear it’s not… but there have been researches about that)

    In the end, does it mean that couples have to choose between children OR wild sex?
    I wonder how many children would be conceived, if people were explicitly told this in advance. 🙂

  52. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    Never underestimate the power of the soft 30-minute backrub. I don’t think buffing out does that much for women. Slow does it. And you can be satisfied with just the backrub– if that’s all that’s in the offing.

  53. wellokaythen says:

    My marital sex life has had some rough patches, even without kids. We’re still learning how best to communicate about it, so I’m far from expert at this advice, but:

    Have you tried *talking* to her about what’s going on with her life, how she thinks about sex now, what she thinks about the chances of having sex, etc.? She may even have some specific issues or specific requests for you that she hasn’t voiced to you yet. You have to try to make it a collaborative thing — what can we do to rebuild our sex life in this new stage of our lives? Approach it gently and lovingly, not “Hey, how come you never do me anymore? Whassup with that?”

    • I probably didn’t harp on that point very much, for the sake of the piece, but we have hilarious discussions about this. Please know that we have a great friendship and I wouldn’t be posting this if we hadn’t created a very close link over the 11 years we’ve been together.

      I also just wanted to bring it up in a public forum to get people talking about it, making it okay if other people were dealing with it and indicating the male side of things.

  54. This may be a silly question, but has she told you why she won’t have sex? Or is the post more of a rhetorical thing?

  55. I read this last night before the banter above began and I still think the same thing (although some great points from both perspectives above)… Tell her you want to have another baby… you’ll get your sex then!

    I’ve got 4 under 5. It works.

    • Someone actually said that to me. Their thinking was that the creativity of making another baby excites that intense urge. I can somehow get behind that idea…. or maybe in front of it?? 😉

  56. I think and its only my opinion

    i got married and i have to recognize that i met her and said you and me lets live

    i knew she had a 2 yo daughter and i took her with the package, we got married a month after we met, we have been married for a year
    she wants to have another baby

    and i want as well,

    i know she is not as physical as i am
    but it hurts me as well that I have to do all the effort for physical contact even if it is just kissing,

    then when we are about to have sex she just wants a quickie no kisses just gettin gettoff getout
    sucks and i am a man
    but it actually makes me selfaware when she doesnt is all touchy

    she blames it on we working on the same office

    but i dont know

    • Helmut, a rather intersting story but also highlights how both parties need to understand the changing dynamic and beware its effects.

    • You’re in trouble. This is going to sound harsh – but I don’t think she is in love with you, or she would probably want it all the time, and would want you with more intimacy. If you have a baby with her I bed she will divorce before the child is 5.

  57. Sorry Mate, but what you have written seems to be all about you. There are two in a relationship – and you BOTH have a third to consider.

    If it was all about Monkey Sex before, you will have to leave your Gorilla Suit behind. Maybe keep it for a fancy dress party, or maybe an anniversary fun night.

    You said “I just want her to rock my socks off a little more, ya know?”.

    And where does her rocking come into the picture. Do you even consider that she may also have socks?

    All she may desire is for you to take her in your arms, hold her and rock her to sleep, and then you can take her socks off to make her more comfortable. Intimacy is not only about YOUR needs, image and body. It sounds like you have a double ego issue with one three feet lower than the other!

    I get the impression that you like to be Humorous, but as they say Humor is reality with an edge. Is there an edge in your humor that someone is not turned on by?

    • Hahahaha! I’m the narrator, OF COURSE IT’S GOING TO BE ABOUT ME!

      Your inferring that my story and my lack of discussion of her needs points to my selfishness is just you making literal assumptions. Read between the lines and you might discover that my humor comes from the fact that I care a great deal about her.

      Of course she has SOCKS. Of course, there is an edge — it’s called reader entertainment.

  58. Julie Gillis says:

    This is a fundamental flaw, perhaps, in modern marriage? Cause the change of a baby does affect both men and women in different ways. And it alters the dyadic agreement of romantic love (I will always cleave only to you).
    If she isn’t interested in sex due to physical issues, anxiety etc issues that’s one thing.
    If she’s “over it” then that’s a whole other conversation about fairness, connection and love.

    I cannot say enough though, that the first year of a baby, with that baby ON YOU all the time, literally feeding off you…ugh…more hands on you? I can’t emphasize that it isn’t that we don’t want to give you sex, we know you need it, want it, but it feels like one more thing to give. Not something we get to take. Does that make sense?

    It seems like it winds up being framed as (in my mind) “I have to give this over to take care of my man” rather than “I get to take this pleasure for me.”

    I don’t know what you do about that though, I really don’t.

    • I agree with this description. I felt this way too.

    • Yesyesyes.

    • You have stated the same point, so on that we agree. But we differ on sides, but based on your justifications, the answer is the same. The male has to build the bridge and get over it, and wait for the female to come to turns.

      But at what cost? Adultry, broken marriages, loveless marriages, self indulgent activities result from this dynamic.

      Intimacy is part and parcel of any marriage. Once the intimacy starts to bleed the relationship will have issues. Both parties have to realise and understand or suffer the concequences. If intimacy is not at home it is usually found outside or in other actvities.

      • Do you have kids? There is nothing more intimate than building that relationship with a tiny being that will be part of your life forever. For both parents.

        • Yes. I do have kids.

        • Marcus Williams says:

          I don’t think this is what you truly mean, but here’s how that sounds to me: “The most important thing to you should be intimacy with your wife. Once you have kids, the most intimate thing you can do is be parents together. Therefore, you should no longer need sex, because being parents is intimate enough.”

        • wellokaythen says:

          In some marriages, having children draws people together, but in other marriages it splits them apart. Becoming a parent is a big load to place on a relationship, and the change in the sexual dynamic is often a difficult adjustment for the couple. (And in some cases, it’s the new mom who complains about not lack of sex, not the husband.) Putting all that attention into a newborn often leads one or both to feel neglected, and not just sexually. If you’re suggesting parenthood as a route to deeper marital intimacy, I think that’s a terrible reason to have a kid.

      • I actually agree with PH. Intimacy and its physical expression are really important to me. The toll of a child in that first year (and beyond) can be inestimable, especially if the attitudes of the adults involved diverge. It comes down to what is and was important in the relationship. If there is a major shift in any of the fundaments of the relationship, things feel different and for some, unstable.

        • Julie Gillis says:

          So here we have a great example of “at loggerheads.” Who moves first? The man, waiting and asking? The women, perhaps giving in? That winds up being a terrible combination for good sex, yeah? She gives in to satisfy him, he feels ick about it, maybe she resists out of obstinantness (is that a word?). People do sometimes take sides for no reasons.

          Seems like a problem I’m not seeing a solution to. Your desire for sex (or let’s say to smoke) …is that more or less important than my desire for notsex (or clean air)?

          How does that get resolved. It winnows down into expectation. Any man expecting his wife will be just as sexual the year after a baby is misguided. Any woman expecting her husband to to take a year off from sex is misguided.

          How do we find mutually agreeable expectations based out of actual love for the other partner?

  59. [I just want her to rock my socks off a little more, ya know?]

    Charlie I have to agree with you and disagree with every poster above. A relationship works both ways. Even if you voice your concern you will get mostly scorn. but if the script was flipped you’d be demonized. There a weird double standard, a new child is hard on both male and female. Yet the males do what they can to try and help and understand their new role. But no matter what is comes down to being understanding ofyour wife. Yes it does get better, but at what cost?

    • As I said before, it’s not cool to have to barter for sex. Relationships and sex are a two way street so there is some basic physical and mental negotiation but when it becomes about “I do this for you, so you do this for me” that feels like a form of legalized prostitution. Do those calculations happen unconsciously every day in every household? Probably. But we need to focus on each other’s needs and wants I think first and then figure out how to facilitate them, not buy them.

  60. Julie Gillis says:

    (I know this is going to be objectifiying, but you put the picture up there, dude. Lookin’ good!)

    Seriously though, I doubt her response (or non response) has much to do with your hottnesssss. How old is Finn? Is she or has she had any moments of real post partum depression or anxiety? I did, and it’s a real libido killer.

    Is she having some kind of weird inner madonna/whore experience? That happened to me too and I had to fight myself hard to kick those old narratives out of my head.

    Counseling? Getting a sitter for the weekend so you can be really alone? Like at a spa or soemthing so she can take a damn day to be massaged and destressed and then the sexual stuff will kick in?

    Motherhood was a total mind-fck in my opinion. I don’t think I felt fully sexual for about three years (not that I didn’t have sex, but I didn’t feel it) but now I feel far more open and wild then I did prior to kids.

    I like the article a lot and I feel for you both. My post kidlet email door is always open, Charlie.

    • Thanks Julie! I’ll take modest objectification. I actually hemmed and hawed on posting the damn picture so many times, when we posted it to our blog but the other dad (with whom I co-founded the site) told me I couldn’t hold back. I was being as personal as I could and this was just another layer exposed.

      Thank you for your insight. I appreciate your candidness about motherhood. Fatherhood is a mind fcuk too. Retaining masculinity and being a gentle provider don’t, at first, feel natural. I’ve figured some things out on that line but it’s a never-ending process for me.

  61. Totally been where your wife is now. Having kids is definitely a game changer when it comes to that kind of recreational activity (see your double entendres and raise you!).
    What seemed like sexy behavior to me in my Mr. pre-kids now just seems like one more thing I gotta do in order to get some quiet and rest for myself.
    For women, the entrance into the universe of this little being means that her planets have shifted out of alignment. She doesn’t get to be herself anymore; she is mom. She is attendant to the needs of her baby, and that is a very draining and overwhelming business.
    For you, that means you need a totally different track to the chocha. JumpOnIt may work occasionally because she loves you and misses the sex herself, but in general, no.
    Help her get rest. Help her in any way that you can to lighten her load – do the unmanly chores of laundry and housekeeping and cooking and dishes. Show her that she can depend on you for those things sometimes. And help her to be able to do some of the things that she wants to do; those things that make her adult-self happy that she probably misses even more than sex.
    That’s the best porn on earth for a new mom, I assure you.

    • Julie Gillis says:


    • Totally agree on all your points. I think making life easier for each other is the road to alignment and harmony in the relationship. I’m not sure I agree “choreplay” is a healthy standard though, as some mentioned on my blog in the comments section. It feels like bribery or worse yet, subservience if it’s done from a place of propitiation. If I do it because I care and want to help make life easier, that is my goal, not a currency for sex.

      But I wholeheartedly agree, women bear the burden of breastfeeding (or at the very least, pumping) and the like, for the beginning of the cycle.

      And I love YOUR double entendres!

      • I don’t really think it’s “currency” or “subservience” unless you make it that way. It’s just accepting the reality that your relationship changes and you both have a lot more to do now that you have a child. You seem to have a handle on this: that “making life easier for each other is the road to alignment and harmony.” What this does is help prevent long term resentments from simmering. If there is resentment over inequality in the relationship, that can undermine intimacy over the long term.

        Of course that works both ways and you have to be careful not to let her lack of sexual desire cause unconscious resentment. It’s tough, but you probably also don’t want her to have sex with you if she’s not really that into it. I totally sympathize with your feelings, but there may just not be anything you can do about it in the short term, other than ride it out and accept that things are different for awhile, and hopefully continue to make each other’s lives easier in other ways.

        I think what often happens is that post-partum women go through a fairly long period of just not having much of a sex drive, husbands get frustrated and resentful, stop being as “giving” to their wives and as a result the wife feels abandoned and resentful herself, and doesn’t regain her sex drive after the kids are older. It’s a vicious cycle that undermines long term intimacy. Whereas continuing to foster intimacy in other areas and being more accepting of this post-partum period seems to result in a much stronger sex life after this period has passed.

    • Yah, the simple fact is that childbirth and nursing changes women’s hormones and also being a new mom is a huge physical and emotional drain (of course it takes its toll on dads too, but not to the same extreme). Add body image issues to the mix and you end up with a lot of women who don’t feel very sexy or sexually driven for some years after childbirth.

      The good news is it seems to come back around in a big way after the kids are a little older. Women in their late 30s and up often have the highest sex drive of our lives. 🙂

  62. I can relate to Sarah and Stephanie. It’s partly the incredible physical and emotional drain childbirth and then parenting a young child, and partly (at least it was for me) this incredible, gnawing self-consciousness about my post-partum body. And when you read posts like some that have been on GMP about men who love breasts and resent when their wives’ breasts are “ruined”and express the right to be with a woman with good breasts and think about cheating…well, it’s kind of a buzz kill. I’m not saying *you* are like that, Charlie! Clearly (and wonderfully) you aren’t! But out there in society, this is a HUGE message to women: Be hot ALL THE TIME. Mariah Carey just set us back years in this respect!! So hang in there. It will come back. You sound like a great guy!

    • Thanks Lori for responding.

      A few other tidbits… I watched my son being born and I intended to “catch” although circumstances didn’t permit it. It didn’t change my attraction for my wife and in fact I felt a greater closeness. I would, at the drop of a hat, do a PSA about telling men to STFU about their wives and their post-baby body. It’s a harrowing experience for a woman’s body. Men let themselves go over much less than the act of being pregnant. We all could use some work on ourselves, no? But if not for the ones we love, for ourselves. You know, loving thyself first and all that…

  63. Sarah you bring up a great point. Charlie’s focused on being attractive to his wife but his wife may not feel sexy anymore.

    • Hey Stephanie,

      I definitely make efforts to tell her she’s beautiful and important to me. We’ve shared responsibilities in handling our son, so she can get breaks. I believe, in a relationship, that we can create ourselves to be the best mate we can be first, then we have something to offer…

  64. Guys. It will get better. We have four kids from 5-10 (no twins but VERY) close in age! Having small kids takes a lot of energy, and so does having an intimate relationship with your spouse. We really have to be intentional about finding time for each other RELATIONALLY first. And, that’s a two-way street that’s harder for guys to be on sometimes. You can also try to lower the expectations. Four hour crazy “monkeysex” is probably not likely, so aim for a quickie or two to get things rolling again. Oh. And talk about it. As awkward as that may be, it’s essential. Chances are your wife wants the same but her post baby body might make it hard to approach you, especially of you’re all buff and she may not be! (pure speculation, please don’t take offense). Girls get hung up on stuff like body image and such. Remind her that she’s beautiful and that you love her – without strings attached. Good luck!

    • Thanks Sarah! I know the incredible toll taken on a woman’s body can create a sense of unattractiveness. Truth be told, I thought my wife’s body, when she was pregnant, was insanely beautiful. I love her in all her “formats” and I’ve told her that her own concept of her body doesn’t change the fact that I’m attracted to her. Period.

      Thank you for the efficiency tips on sex after children. We’ve definitely tried to incorporate that. The first few months obviously were rough, as they are for most.

      The thing is, as most of the commenters below like to infer, I do make attempts at intimacy without sex. I’m not just there for myself. Moreover, I don’t like the one-way street style of thinking about intimacy. I’m a co-dependent love maker… lol…

    • thanks

  65. Marcus Williams says:

    Maybe we can do a “Strangers on a Train” criss-cross thing. I’ll email your wife if you email mine, because except for working out to get back in shape, having twin girls instead of a son, and JumpOnIt™, I think we’re in the same movie.

    • That is the scariest thing I’ve ever heard of… but thank you for trademarking my JumpOnIt™ patented technique.

    • My advice is make preparations for divorce now, because in all likelihood your wife is doing so. Men are often ‘shellshocked’ by divorce proceedings because they do not see it coming; I suggest they have already begun for you, your wife just hasn’t gotten around to informing you until all her lawyers are in place.

      • Wow! You’re a real piece of work Transhuman. Now I get your angle. You have that all women are the enemy mentality. I don’t think Charlie or his wife have any intentions of getting a divorce. That’s some real sound advice your giving there, Transhuman.

      • Transhuman says:

        Stephanie, women generally dislike it when men understand them too well. With 60% of first marriages ending in divorce, what do you think withholding affection is pointing towards? Some romantic reconnection at some undefined point in time? Statistically unlikely, particularly when withdrawal of affection from the woman is an acknowledged precursor to divorce proceedings. Especially as if the husband is too demanding, or not demanding enough, the wife can claim abuse or neglect depending on the spin decided on with her lawyer. yes, it is a small-minded and petty allegation but that is grist for the divorce industry mill.

        The fact that Charlie is deeply in love with his wife is not an accurate assessment by any means regarding her feelings for him. Perhaps Charlie is one of the 30% who won’t be divorced but then again perhaps he is not. I note that people tend to always favour ‘keep the marriage together’ advice for men, and ‘do what is best for you’ advice for women. I thought applying the latter advice to a man might be a breath of fresh air in an otherwise biased discussion. Why do we all assume his wife wants to continue the marriage when we have zero evidence for that? Wishful thinking will not help Charlie in divorce court.

        If you believe that my knowledge of facts means I think all women are the enemy then you are one strange person. I believe in being prepared; there are already too many stories told by men where they were completely unprepared for radical changes in their life when their wife, whom they adore(d) drops the D word on them.

        • No Transhuman what’s strange is that you’re telling a someone you don’t even know his wife probably already has talked to a lawyer about divorce. You don’t know why his marriage has been sexless for so long. YOU are making assumptions based on your experiences and I’m sorry to tell you but it doesn’t apply to every mans situation.

          You said “women generally dislike it when men understand them too well”..no I hate it when PEOPLE generalize Feminists! I happen to be pro egalitarian ALSO..

          • Of course it doesn’t apply to every man’s situation, I never claimed that it does. Yes I am making and assumption based upon the current divorce rate in the Anglo-world and that he has described a lack of intimacy, an inability for him and his wife to discuss it and no answers forthcoming. All issues that point to the possibility of what I proposed. There is a 60% chance I’m right. if I’m wrong he is prepared, if I’m right he’s also prepared. Why should a man wait for his wife to make the first move and then be behind in his preparations? Do you know that when wives divorce they frequently plan it months in advance? Do you know his wife personally? Can you vouch for a FACT that she isn’t contemplating divorce? Aren’t YOU making assumptions about how his wife feels?

            Considering statistics isn’t “generalising feminists”, it is learning from trends in a population; not only feminists get divorced and so far divorce rates (in the population we are discussing) only seem to be climbing. My advice to a man in the situation described is good advice, though I understand a woman would disagree. It is in women’s interests to keep the men thinking they are as committed to marriage as the men, until it is all over bar the shouting. I believe men need to be more aware of the temporary nature of the majority of western marriages and be prepared. Not being prepared is risking a significant financial and emotional hit when the husband least expects it.

            I question why, on a site called the Good Men Project, one man cannot provide his genuinely held belief is good advice to another man when no-one else appears to have considered the possibility?


  1. […] 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…” […]

  2. […] 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/ […]

  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. […] 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 […]

  5. […] 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 […]

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