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…

HER EGGO WAS PREGGO

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 THE FLOOD

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.

WORK IT OUT

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

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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

Comments

  1. 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?

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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:

      Word.

    • 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. :)

  6. 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.

  7. [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.

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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?? ;)

  12. 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?

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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! :D

    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. :)

  16. Another bonus of feminism….sexless marriages.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/01/the-wifely-duty/2659/

    • 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…

      Sigh.

      • 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

      http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/01/the-wifely-duty/2659/

      Which assumptions of mine do you disagree with?

      assumption
      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!

  21. *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

  22. 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.

  23. 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).

  24. 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.

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

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

Trackbacks

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

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

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

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

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

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