A healthy sex life is crucial to a happy and harmonious relationship, but sex is one of the most difficult things for men to talk about. Today our second ever female guest, Nell Gibbon Daly, talks with us frankly about sex and how we can make breakthroughs in communication to improve intimacy and experience amazing sex. (EXPLICIT/NSFW)
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Nell Gibbon Daly
Nell Gibbon Daly is a psychotherapist, author, TV commentator, and TEDx speaker. She frequently appears on FOX news and other networks and is reaching 19 million viewers a month. She has sat through 20,000 hours as a psychotherapist and her practice now consists of about 80% male patients. She enjoys helping men specifically and caters to highly successful executives and artists. Nell is a divorced mother of three who grew up in an Irish immigrant family. Surrounded by alpha male older brothers, she’s been used to navigating through tough guys all her life. Nell considers it a gift to learn how the male psyche works, and wants to act as a translator between men and the women of the world.
Lack of Sex: what’s missing?
Some members of our private The Dad’s Edge Facebook group have shared the fact that they have gone long periods without having any sex with their spouses. This is not as uncommon as you might think, but most of us are reluctant to bring up the lack of sex because we’re afraid to hurt our wife’s feelings or trigger an argument. This lack of communication builds resentment, and resentment leads to the destruction of intimacy and a poor sex life.
Why don’t we communicate?
Men have no idea how to ask for what they want and need. We are afraid of appearing vulnerable, especially to those closest to us. Maybe we want to confide, but we don’t want to seem weak. Instead of venting our stresses and fears, we turn to food, alcohol, or TV to bury the pain. These coping mechanisms block opportunities for intimacy and distance ourselves even further from our partners.
How can we ease the pressure?
Women have no idea how much pressure a man is under because we hide it so well. Our egos can’t handle the thought of people knowing that maybe we’re not on top of everything. Nell Gibbon Daly explains that while women value themselves for beauty, men value themselves by how much money they make. The tremendous financial pressure, especially when there are children to take care of, can be crushing. Men feel ashamed to expose their vulnerability and are afraid to go into the pain. In this modern age, men have lost their community and are isolated. We bury our pain with addiction and sex. We suffer depression and anxiety, and this infiltrates our home life and relationships, all the way to the bedroom.
Nell Gibbon Daly says that if you don’t face the pain, you will never get out of it, and if you don’t feel comfortable talking to a spouse, friend, or family member, you need to find a therapist to help you work through your issues.
What are we doing wrong?
Seeing a woman really into sex is the biggest turn on for a man, and Nell Gibbon Daly says the biggest complaint she hears from men is that their wives don’t seem to be enjoying sex. Believe it or not, your wife’s lack of enthusiasm might have nothing to do with your looks or physical performance. “If you have resentment in marriage, she’s not going to look like she’s into giving a blowjob.”
Nell also reveals that during all her hours listening to women’s stories, their most common complaint was that their men were too controlling. Women need to be relaxed to enjoy sex, and your wife cannot relax if you’re uptight.
She further warns men not to assume that the way you’re touching her feels good. Your partner may be lying because she doesn’t want to hurt you. But protecting each other’s egos prevents husbands and wives from getting to the truth and couples are not having great sex because they’re not talking about it.
How do we approach our partners about sex?
Couples will have sex in a certain way for years. Both might find it routine and unsatisfying, but will endure for a lifetime rather than risk hurting the other’s feelings. How can we approach our partner if we want something different? How do we explore each other’s fantasies? Here are a few tips from Nell Gibbon Daly.
- Create a space where your partner feels safe to talk—Make sure you’re alone. Send the kids to their grandparents. Find an environment to inspire open communication, like the freedom of the outdoors.
- Build up intimacy beforehand—spend quality time with your spouse to create a sense of closeness and safety before bringing up a difficult subject.
- Let go of your ego—don’t be afraid to let your guard down. Making yourself vulnerable gives your partner power to do the same.
- Don’t underestimate your partner’s ability to expand—Will she see me as a failure? Will she think I’m perverted? Will she judge me? These are thoughts that prevent us from sharing our fears, desires, and fantasies with our wives, but how will you know how she will feel about it unless you tell her?
What do we say?
Nell Gibbon Daly says to begin the conversation as best friends—not as man and woman, but as two human beings. Have a more complex conversation, not just focusing on your needs, but hers. For example, “Is there something I’m not doing for you inside and outside the bedroom to make you feel sexier and want to be intimate anymore?”
This level of honesty is not without risk
It’s possible that confronting issues that have been so long buried will be the demise of your relationship. Once you say it out loud, you can’t take it back, but hiding these things will kill the relationship eventually anyway. Daly says you must break each other down in order to grow and that the “pain can become a place of eroticism.”
In the end, just be authentic
The most incredible men Nell Gibbon Daly has met were the ones who were vulnerable. There’s nothing worse than someone who is boring, and boring people are the ones obsessed with being perfect or looking perfect. You are who you are. Be yourself. “There’s nothing sexier than owning it.”
Originally published on The Good Dad Project
Photo courtesy of author