Don’t Like Sex? Have You Figured Out Why?

I’m going to start with a disclaimer.

It’s the quickest way I can clarify my audience for this post.  (You may be my audience. You may not. But I figure you’d like to know that within the first few paragraphs.  I mean seriously, we’re all limited with time).

This post is not for you if you don’t like sex because your husband is basically a jerk.  In a variety of ways, he makes sex less than appealing at best and downright intolerable at worse.

If you are a husband who is not a jerk, don’t worry — I’m not stereotyping. Stay with me.

It’s just that this is not my first rodeo and I know there are guys out there who have created the sexual problems in their marriages. They see nothing wrong with looking at porn or having affairs or belittling their wives or rarely taking a shower or being abusive. So on and so forth.

Maybe the wife has even pleaded with him to get help, but to no avail.

Needless to say, if as a wife this describes your situation, I understand why you have a difficult time cuddling up next to all that. You don’t like sex and you have totally figured out why. And while I do have other posts that speak into this, this particular post today is not for you.

If, however, you are a wife who actually enjoys a fairly decent marriage, this post IS for you.

Your guy isn’t a jerk.

In fact, you might say the opposite if asked by your gal friends or your neighbors or the random grocery store clerk. You’d willingly admit your man is the real deal.  Good man.  Good provider.  Good dad. Romantic. Attentive.

And yet. Here you are.

Still not overly interested in sex with him.

Do you not like sex? Have you figured out why?

It is a freakishly important question. Seriously, it is.

Because if you are willing to look closely at that question, unpack it in the most vulnerable of ways, get at the heart of your indifference and resistance, then there is much hope that you and your husband can build amazing intimacy together.

And amazing sexual intimacy is worth it.

Because here’s the deal — great sex in a marriage is never just about great sex.  Every married person who enjoys phenomenal sexual connection in their marriage will tell you this.

Nurtured sexual intimacy in marriage is particularly generous. Pay attention to it often and it will graciously open doors for you to an overall sense of “We are on the same team! Yeah us!”

If you do not like sex, you and your husband would benefit much if you can figure out why (and then do something about it, of course, but let’s first focus on the figuring out why).

Now I know that you may not like sex for serious reasons from your past (past abuse, a skewed message of sex doled out by adults who raised you, your own struggles with promiscuity or pornography use, etc.)

OR maybe you don’t like sex because you’re not experiencing much pleasure (possibly no pleasure), and you have been timid in clueing your husband in on this.  Whenever you have sex, you’re bored out of your mind (and have a mess to clean up afterwards, with not an ounce of orgasmic “wow” to show for it all).

OR maybe there’s something wacky with your hormones or other physical issues and you don’t like sex because you have no drive or sex is painful. Sure, some physical challenges are more involved than others, but many physical issues impacting sex can be resolved or at least improved with the right professional care.

Anyway, I don’t know your reasons for not liking sex.  BUT I would bet my last dollar that you have an inkling of what may be going on.

You have an idea, right, of why you don’t like sex?

My heart cry to you, one wife to another, is to figure that out.  Get real and humble with your man — you know, that guy you love and do life with — and say, “This is really hard for me to talk about.  But I think I know why sex is a struggle for me.”

Then ask him to join you on the journey toward better sexual connection.

It’s not going to happen over night.  But offer your heart and intention to it enough, and it will happen.

You’ll wake up on the other side of this sexual frustration and drought and you’ll both realize that you do have it in you to nurture amazing sexual intimacy in your marriage.

And you’ll be glad you figured out the why.

Like super glad.  More glad than you are about all those Pinterest ideas and recipes on Tasty and TipHero.

Yes, more glad than all that.

Copyright 2016, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.

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55 thoughts on “Don’t Like Sex? Have You Figured Out Why?

  1. Jason says:

    I love your writing, even though I’m a guy. You explain things so perfectly. We husband’s are generally very simple beings. Appreciation, sex, food. We will do everything for just those things. My wife of 17 years has left our marriage bed and has slept on the couch for over a year now. There is NO intimacy. I’m not a jerk. I work 60 hours a week, come home help with kids, do housework, yard work, laundry, dishes, etc. I don’t watch sports, play video games or go out with the guys. I try to talk to my wife. It is as though she is a totally different woman than a year ago. No yelling. No arguing. No abuse. Yet…no SEX. I am drowning in sorrow.

  2. Charles says:

    Thank you for writing this, Julie. Maybe this will reach her. I pray something will. After 36 years of struggling, I would still do anything with or for her to fix this connection.

  3. weakness embraced says:

    Thanks for the blog. It is very refreshing.

    1. On the wife’s side I would encourage faith in Jesus Christ to get you through this unpacking, & really addressing why. But also, look to solutions, life, excitement. I don’t know anyone who has had an orgasm & said ewww, I hate that! In other words, there is fun, smiles, & security to be had. Go into it with victory in mind. You’re not defeated. Side note – check any medication, too. Lack of sexual drive can be a side effect of medication, depending. Last side note – chuck this world we live in. No matter who you talk to in this world, it seems the only wrong sex is married sex. That notion is as wrong as it gets. Adulterous, strange, promiscuous sex isn’t greener. Feminism, your past, & tradition shouldn’t teach you about you, or sex, now. Your creator, first, then current settings, including husband, should support. & the emotional turmoil you are going through, could be directly related to you not having an orgasm & not losing yourself in you husbands arms. Marriage was made for sex. No matter how you slice it most all people want it. Work on your happiness in sex. Forgive, let go, & understand you are not perfect either.

    2. For the guys, you don’t get if you think your wife is just there to open her legs on demand. If there is anyone in your marriage that needs 100% affection it is your wife. Christ gave himself up for the church. The husband is to learn that skill. Snide remarks, belittling, & harsh looks are all holes in the boat. Wooing is not to stop. Heck, maybe you never started. Being a husband isn’t all about checking things off on the HUSBAND’S check list. Doing things for her isn’t working. Cooking, cleaning, over-time, & yard work isn’t what SHE needs. That is the husbands version of wife being happy. Hasn’t worked? Cuz it’s not her. Do those things appropriately without neglecting her, & that doesn’t mean sex, either. In my understanding women have to want to give themselves to you sexually. Duty, & because God says so, doesn’t work. In my estimation, we men don’t really want to do what we have to, to get sex. How highly do you speak about your wife, to her & others? Do you buy her things as easily & often as you buy yourself what you want? When she wants to talk, do you let her talk it through & figure it out herself? She needs validation. She needs to feel that she is equal in the marriage. That she is just as high a priority TO YOU, as you make yourself out to be. She needs to know you care about HER, her ways, her thoughts. She is an individual trying to work on being 2 as 1. Learn to be a student of your wife whether she audibly teaches you or not. & you better get on it fast cuz women today may not stick it out much longer.

    To both – We are a weaker America than we used to be. We don’t stick things out through thick & thin much. Quitting is normal. Telling on each other is the usual. Success takes work. We need to get over ourselves & embrace weakness. Humble attitudes work well. Swallow your pride. Give up control. This has to happen both ways. They are the independent other half of YOUR marriage. If it isn’t working you HAVE TO think in another way. In my experience CHRISTLIKNESS, Jesus, saved my marriage.

  4. Amanda says:

    Its just so frustrating when you know why (past abuse) and you have been in therapy for 1 year and still nothing has changed. I love my husband but I cant stand his sexual touch. Every cell in my body feels repulsed by him. It makes me want to run away, scream, hide…anything to get away from it. I feel nauseous and a huge amount of rage builds up inside me that makes me want to push him away, I just want to get away. Its a bit like feeling very claustrophobic and anxious and needing to get out of that small space asap! I dont know what to do anymore.

  5. John says:


    If after a year, nothing has changed, then either
    1) The therapy isn’t working
    2) The therapits isn’t working
    3) You or your husband aren’t working to overcome this (it happens – sometimes people don’t put in the “work”).

    If you feel that you/your husband have been putting in the “work” that the therapist/therapy involves, them maybe its time to switch therapists.

  6. Anonymous Lea says:

    I sure appreciate the encouragement because I need it. I have been married 25 years. I’ve never experienced that “phenomenal sexual connection” you speak of.
    I can’t tell you how many times I have figured out what I didn’t like about sex, worked on it, fixed it, then something else surfaced that made sex difficult. If it wasn’t one thing, it was another.
    I never enjoyed my orgasms much and I worked years to improve those too.
    Since menopause, my orgasms have disappeared leaving me dry and prone to bladder infections. Getting medical support for that. Boy, I can see why some women just give up.
    I keep trying to enjoy sex. I do appreciate the emotional closeness but, as of yet, I haven’t found sex to be very physically pleasurable.
    Sure glad there are blogs like this with a positive twist that keep me going. Thank you.

  7. John R says:

    Great post Julie! My situation MAY be unusual ( or not) but my wife adores me. No one has ever loved me like she does. We are financially sound, the children are grown, and we are blessed with beautiful grandchildren.
    Sex started off like a ball of fire for a year, slowed down in year two, even slower in year three, and just pure OBLIGATION SEX by year four. She apologizes for hurting my feelings. She is a good person. But, and this is a big BUT, she has no interest in sex. She would be fine if I could not do it. I think your physical love relationship cannot and should not be separated from your emotional love. But nothing I say matters. Strangely, I seem to be slowly surrendering to this truth. It used to make me mad. Now I just feel distant and unloved. You saying you love someone is not enough and not what God intended. She truly believes that men don’t really need sex and , of course, feels totally safe in this marriage. And…….she is. I will never betray her. So I guess you just accept it.

  8. Jolie says:

    I’m just wondering why so many people get so much satisfaction and feel so loved through sexual intimacy and others just don’t?

    How can some people feel so deprived when not receiving the physical intimacy they want or need and others can float through life and not think twice about sex?

    Why do so many people enjoy sex at the beginning of the relationship and then slowly lose interest but never stop loving their partner?

    Why are so many women who are married to wonderful guys having such a hard time enjoying sexual intimacy with their husbands?

    When someone tells you they love you, why doesn’t that mean anything if sex isn’t involved?

    How come sex doesn’t always equal love,
    but love always equals sex?

    How come some people don’t find pleasure in their orgasms?

    Why do we have to convince so many people that sexual intimacy truly is amazing? Wouldn’t we all realize that right away when we engage in sexual intimacy with our spouse?
    Why is sex so hard if God intended it to be so wonderful?

    Why do we raise our boys without teaching them how to express emotions and show physical affection in ways other than just through sex and sports?

    Why does sex have a dark and evil side?

    Why are blogs like this necessary?

    I ask myself these questions on a regular basis.

  9. John R says:

    Well, I tried after over a month to initiate sex with my wife tonight. She finally said yes. It was. “obligation time.”
    I tried last night and the night before after romantic events. Nope. Was too tired. I was taken by surprise tonight. When you are told no every week for 365 days you just expect a NO. So she ran to the bed and covered up. I reminded her that I cannot do it without some light and visual stimulation. She already knows that after a decade. We are naked and I am on top of her kissing her and she starts talking about cleaning the gutters and a roof leak. What??? Erection gone. Excitement dead. I reminded her what she would think if we were having sex and I started talking about business or motorcycles or hunting! She would be mortified and angry as hell that I am not into the intercourse. And she would have a right to be. It AINT very sexy!!! I told her tonight that I am afraid I just can’t do it anymore. Everything that any normal family does COMES BEFORE my 20-30 alotted minutes to pretend we are into God given passion. I damn well surrender to my wife. I give up. And nothing makes me madder than hearing about how she REALLY wants to do it. Complete BS to keep me on the hook forever. I am crazy about her but she needs counseling and refuses to even consider it. I am out of ideas.

  10. Weakness Embraced says:

    Romans 7:17 (ESV) 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

    Sin is why all this dysfunction happens. We were designed to live forever with God, but now we have hate, love of self, neglect, old age, & decay; among thousands of other side effects of sin. Passive or aggressive, known or unknown, accepted or not we forget we are not perfect. Of course we would admit that, but in the moment we forget. We want our own way as if we are the only ones on the planet. Sin is so subtle & deceptive that sometimes we don’t know that it’s pulling the strings.

    I would say to all these issues that, 1. U (or the other spouse) are not the last word n ur marriage. & 2. Are u BOTH (big word there BOTH) allowing God to talk? These dysfunctions happen when both spouses have a different take on marriage. Some ppl should never have gotten married thinking what they were thinking about it. Some ppl have the right idea, but even then can be easily side tracked into dysfunction. Ideally, both spouse has to realize how wrong they are in how they do marriage & let God guide the way. But that takes too much time & work. If we can’t pay for it with a credit card we are not interested. The gentitals fit together with ease. Not so much the brains & hearts. That takes more time.

    But, u made ur choice. Sexual dysfunction isn’t right reasoning for divorce. Heck, adultery is even expected by God to be forgiven. Marriage should be the most worked for, the most sympathetic, & the hardest to quit. Yes, without sin it would be easier. Not happening. That’s why we have Jesus. Seek to have the heart of Jesus to the difficult spouse as a life lived.

    All these things are true in most marriages today. Mine as well. It takes discipline. Jesus is the best trainer. I know. You have to be serious about following Jesus.

    Sex is needed & you can live without it. I’d rather have. My wife on the other hand? NOW she wants to have sex with me more that 20 years ago. She is more playful. Even more risky here lately. God gets the glory. Cuz that wasn’t her 20 years ago. What happened? I didn’t give up on what God sez is right & good. We fought. We had sexual droughts. There was abuse in the past. She always played hard to get. Always wanted to talk about the weather. We had enuff & she left. But thanks be to God that He rewards those that diligently seek Him.

    Excersice ur faith, belief, repentance, & confession of Christ. If ur not immersed into Jesus, do that to. Please God. Not you,& not ur spouse. He rewards faith.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Sometimes just the shear amount of sex a husband needs can cause a woman to start to not like sex. But, how can you make a husband not need sex as often?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous says “But, how can you make a husband not need sex as often?”

    This is the million dollar question that I have been asking for several years now. I have not found an truly workable solution.

  13. Michael says:

    As a husband, I have been searching for that answer also: “What can I do to desire sex less often?” Some of the most helpful insights for me have been found at You might want to check it out.


  14. weakness embraced says:

    The answer to Anonymous that I, & my wife (I do believe), have found is both, or at least the high drive (demanding one) has to back off. I say both because the demand goes both ways. To have sex or not to. Both need to give creatorship of sex to God. That means we back off & check our sexual desire with Him. If I want it most, or want it least, I have to check that with Him. Is that how He wants me to act? Is that His desire? What does He want from me to remedy the issue?

    I personally, have stopped the demanding & gave my wife more space. Through recent years, the Lord, has worked on us both. She now wants sex more often than she did, & I want it less than I did. When either says, not tonight. We understand & there are no hard feelings. Then we get back at it when we can.

    There has to be a mutual respect. A willingness to treat them as you would want them to treat you. It’s like a bank & customers. When there is mutual respect there is commerce & economy. When one demands over the other it is robbery & hurt.

    On your side, if he is not willing to work on it, seek to be like Jesus in love with you husband. Pray for God’s will. Seek to have the mind of Jesus toward Him. Be willing to be defined as God created you. I don’t say that to mean detach & give your body brainlessly. I mean to let God guide. Do all things in Jesus’ style & things will get better.

  15. John R says:

    Certainly demanding never works. That should be learned very quickly. What about the kind spirit who does not demand, just waits. And waits. And waits. And waits. That is exactly what will happen if your wife is not interested. So, go hunting, go fishing, ride your motorcycle, spend more time with your friends and pray for a pill that will stop you from being a normal male. God made you like you are. Maybe HE can make you abnormal to suit your wife. John R

  16. NGal says:

    Dear weakness embraced, your words are mature and wise – you have the kind of sound advice I’m sure many marriage councelors don’t have.
    Yes, demanding anything (empathy, compassion, closeness) is not the best policy. Asking for it should be allowed in close relationships, but again, it should be freely given and freely received.
    Blessings to you and your wife!

  17. Anonymous says:

    To John R

    And God made your wife and many other women just the way they are also. That’s why there are blogs like this one that try to help women find ways to become more interested in sex. Help them explore ways to enjoy sex. It’s also why the pharmaceutical company’s are trying desperately to invent a pill to magically increase women’s desire for sex….a pill to make the millions of so called ‘dysfunctional’ women something they normally aren’t to suit their husbands.

    There must be a reason why so many of us have to struggle with this very issue in our marriages? And, yes, the low libido partner struggles too. Both spouses suffer when there is a desire gap.

  18. Deb says:

    I was reading an article from Focus on the Family the other day. It was talking to those females out there that have the higher sex drive in the relationship. I found these words interesting:

    “Your husband’s level of sexual desire is based on a number of complex psychological, biological, and relational issues, many of which may have absolutely nothing to do with you. His sexuality doesn’t define him, nor does it necessarily reflect how he feels about you. He can be absolutely in love with you and think you’re very attractive, yet still lack the interest or ability to perform sexually. Don’t allow this one aspect of your marriage to color and dominate your perception of your husband, your marriage, or yourself.
    Accept what he offers:
    One of the keys to growing beyond the frustration you now feel is learning to accept the many ways your husband is likely showing you love.
    Remember that sex isn’t love, but it is designed to be an expression of love. The most mature expression of love in your marriage is embracing your husband simply for who he is without demands and expectations.”

    Why do we never see this kind of empathy given to wives who have struggles with sexual intimacy?

  19. NGal says:

    Deb: That kind of double standard is so sad and even sadder is, it’s not uncommon 🙁
    Women are told to adjust to whatever their husbands happen to be, while wives should work hard change themselves to become something else…
    I think the time for honest discussion should be before marriage. After that, both should accept and love the other person, instead of trying to change themm (provided they’re not abusive, but sincere in their commitment)..

  20. e2 says:


    We do. In “For Men Only” there’s an entire chapter entitled, “When it Comes to Sex, Her ‘No’ Doesn’t Mean You,” which says much the same thing to higher drive husbands.

  21. Deb says:


    Isn’t that interesting?

    The high drive partners are being told not to take their low drive partner’s sex drive personally.

    And us low drive partners keep being told we have to figure out what’s wrong with us and change it because our high drive partner takes our low desire personally.

    I’ve been thinking about this for several years now. I’m not sure a high drive person can ever comprehend (or not take personally) the fact that a low drive person may actually be the way they are naturally without attaching some kind of emotional reason for their low drive.

    I’m a low drive person and I have a hard time comprehending how/why a high drive person puts so much emotional value and self of self/ego into their sexuality.

    I’m beginning to believe it all comes down to a persons base sexual drive level.

    Those that have a fairly high sex drive naturally find it easy to funnel expressing their emotions through that well of driving energy.

    Those of us with naturally low sex drives have found other avenues to funnel expressing our emotions because our baseline sexual energy is so low it doesn’t lend itself to being an easy outlet for expressing emotions.

    Only my theory.

    It’s a shame we all have such a hard time accepting each other the way we are and not taking each others behaviors so personally.

  22. e2 says:


    It’s not unusual for marriage advisers to give what appears to be conflicting advice to different spouses. As a high drive spouse, what I need to hear is to accept my wife as she is. As a low drive spouse, what my wife needs to hear is to prioritize our sexual intimacy. The messages seem contradictory, and perhaps they are because what I need to learn about love is not the same as what my wife needs to learn about love. Yet, we both need to learn how to love.

    I’m not sure about your other theories. I only know that physical touch screams love to me, while it doesn’t to my wife. And, yet, after many conversations, she is making a sincere effort to reach out to me in this way, and I am trying to learn to patiently accept her lower desire as not a personal rejection.

  23. e2 says:


    You wondered, “I’m a low drive person and I have a hard time comprehending how/why a high drive person puts so much emotional value and self of self/ego into their sexuality.”

    Can I try to answer this by offering my own uneducated theories, at least as they relate to my own experiences?

    I believe that the hormone that makes me want to make love to my wife (testosterone) also makes me want to do great things, build the tallest building, hit the longest drive in golf, run for president. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that men who are successful and powerful in business, politics and sports are also often successful in sex. I believe one of the reasons God gave sex (to men at least) was to help regulate and boost our hormones so that we could do other great things. So, my sexuality is hormonally connected to everything else I do.

    And, I believe that this need for hormonal regulation through regular sex is one reason God said it is not good for the man to be alone. Then he defined marriage in sexual terms, saying the two shall become one flesh. When I think of all the ways a man and woman can show love to one another, all of them except one can be shared without being married. The only act God reserves for marriage is sex, so I find it hard to understand why someone would want to be married without sharing the only act God reserves for the marriage relationship.

    These are at least two reasons why this higher drive husband places so much emotional value in his sexuality.

  24. Joe says:

    Deb, I wish I could give a million likes to your post. I think you nailed it for low drive people. At least for me. I truely don’t get the need high drive people have. My base energy level is low, and the amount of energy required to satisfy a high drive spouse leaves me so drained. It’s exhausting. It’s simply not something I’ve ever been that into. I’m nearing 50, have been married 24 years and don’t see this changing.

  25. NGal says:

    e2, I believe what you are describing is passion. Being passionate about life and its issues is what causes people to attempt great things – for good or for worse..
    Hopefully we all put our main passion in building God’s Kingdom and reaching others with His love.
    Manifesting it through one’s sexuality is wonderful, but no way the only means.

  26. Deb says:


    I understand what you are saying and I totally agree with you about testosterone being a driving force in men, both for sex and accomplishing great things. And I have no doubt that is the reason why most men’s sexuality is hormonally connected to everything he does and, I will add, probably everything he thinks. It’s kind of like a man is a testosterone driven type A person.

    My theory is, that is why high drive (testosterone or naturally driven) people use that energy source to express their emotions including love.

    I, on the other hand, am not driven by testosterone. I’m driven by estrogen and progesterone which typically don’t Drive me to seek sex or to accomplish great things. It drives me to nurture and to care for.

    I’m like an (estrogen/progesterone or just naturally low energy) type B person. I don’t feel that strong energy source that needs to be expressed physically. My theory is, that’s why I find other (easier) ways to express my emotions including love.

    “And, I believe that this need for hormonal regulation through regular sex is one reason God said it is not good for the man to be alone.” Agreed.

    “When I think of all the ways a man and woman can show love to one another, all of them except one can be shared without being married.” Agreed again. And, it is a beautiful expression of love. But, just because it is one persons primary expression of love doesn’t mean it is the others primary expression of love.

    It takes me great energy to rev myself up to express love through sex. And, since menopause, I ready myself for sexual expression totally by shear willpower. Sometimes, I just don’t have it in me. My husband’s primary expression of love is through sex, so I try as often as I can to show my love for him his way. As I get older, it’s gotten much much harder physically.

    “so I find it hard to understand why someone would want to be married without sharing the only act God reserves for the marriage relationship.”

    I didn’t marry my husband so I could be sexual with him. I married my husband because I loved him. I am sexual with my husband because I married him and want to show him my love the only way he knows how to feel it.

    I feel guilty that I don’t feel the same way about sex that my husband does. I’ve tried for years to make it mean more to me. But, my body has never cooperated with my wishes. I’m pretty tired of feeling inadequate and being a disappointment to my husband. I’ve tried desperately to change me, with no success so far.

    I often feel like those little guys in “Horton hears a Who” I keep yelling as loud as I can, “I love you, I love you, I really do!” But my husband isn’t Horton, so he can’t hear me. Unless I’m sexual with him, he doesn’t feel I love him. That breaks my heart.

  27. Deb says:


    Thank you. As I’ve worked through your theories (my last post) as to why a man puts so much emotional value in his sexuality I have a clearer picture. Your points make sense.

    I hope through my above “point/counter point” comments that I’ve given you a little clearer vision why a low drive person might not put as much emotional value in their sexuality.

    The big question: Will we ever TRULY understand where the other person is coming from and will we ever be able to not take their ‘reality’ so personally?

  28. Deb says:


    I think high drive people are full of sexual energy that needs to be expressed. I also think being sexual fuels their desire.

    I’m a very low drive person and don’t have much sexual energy to express. I also find being sexual seems to deplete what sexual energy I had to begin with, which makes it harder to be up for it again in a short period of time.

    And, I do get tired of people telling me there must be something wrong with me. Why does everyone assume that sex is experienced the same way by everyone?

  29. e2 says:


    Thank you so much for your counterpoint. I agree entirely with it. More importantly, it helps me understand my wife more clearly, who could have easily written your post.

    Perhaps you can help me understand one other thing. My wife has a lot of energy for many things. She is fully committed to several daily activities, which she pursues religiously and seemingly without much effort. But, like you, showing me sexual love requires an enormous effort on her part. That, in turn, breaks my heart (to use your phrase). I don’t understand why she has so much energy to play Candy Crush and so little to give me one daily passionate kiss.

  30. e2 says:


    I should add that I no longer take her low sexual desire personally.

    Yes, I *know* my wife loves me, and she shows me her love in many ways, which I deeply appreciate. That said, it remains that, on a hormonal level, sexual activity is the primary way that I *feel* her love and *feel* close. Sex causes the release of oxytocin in me that makes me feel these emotions. Unfortunately, as a man, I don’t get the same oxytocin rush from other relational activities as my wife does as a woman.

    Likewise, my wife *knows* I love her, but she *feels* my love when I say “I love you,” and if I stopped saying it, she wouldn’t feel loved no matter what she knew in her mind.

  31. Deb says:


    Usually, in my husbands case, a passionate kiss causes him arousal which most often urges him to push for more. So, its easier to not flame the fire than to have to drown it in rejection.

    Sexual energy vs. other forms.
    For me, it comes down to a matter of preparation and performance.

    In order for me to be present and actively involved, I have to mentally prepare my mind to get my body primed. This takes time and concentration. It’s hard to make yourself think sexual thoughts when you usually don’t think about sex much at all. I call it, getting in the mood.

    Now, the thing that makes sex so enticing is arousal. It would be great to be aroused prior to starting but alas, many of us are responsive arousers. When I was younger, my body could tune in on the touch and with time would become aroused and things would proceed as planned. But, it took a lot of time, concentration, and focus on my part just to get aroused.

    Since menopause, sexual touch really doesn’t feel very good anymore. My doctor tells me it’s because the hormonal receptors in my brain aren’t being stimulated due to decreased hormones which results in decreased sensitivity to touch. This has slowly made arousal go from taking forever to never happening. I’m left without much physical pleasure.

    I’m not sure how long most men would continue to desire sex if it was hard for them to get aroused or to climax but I’m sure their desire would probably take a nose dive if it were the case. I know many men with performance issue often start to lose interest in sex too.

    High drive people already have the sexual energy available and feel the need to let it out. I, as a very low drive person, have to Produce energy mentally to prepare my body into getting ready to participate. Not only that, it takes energy to change no desire into desire.

    Going out with friends, playing Candy Crush, going for a walk, etc. usually don’t require the much concerted energy to enjoy the activity. Often, they are energy producing in themselves.

    For me, it takes tons of mentally produced extra energy to be sexual in a way that says “Love” to my husband.

  32. Rosa says:

    @e2 I could be entirely wrong, but I have a guess as a woman who struggles with this myself.

    Think of it this way. Candy Crush is colorful and happy. It beeps and makes you happy. You are a winner.

    You make dinner. Hungry family eats it. Win again. Put in time. Paid off.

    You teach Sunday School. Child comes to Christ. Years of prayer and effort. Ultimate rejoicing.

    You have sex. Husband appreciates it and tells you “what we should do next time” or talks happily about how great it was “this time”. He appreciates it so much he wants to do it again and again. Failure. You didn’t make him happy. He’s not satisfied. Oh, he’s says it was wonderful, but if it was, why is he having another erection? Why isn’t he sexually satisfied? Feelings of mortification while you smile at him and feel him fall asleep next to you. Maybe then you curl up and cry wishing you were enough for him.

    Then, he wants to do something different. This creates feelings of uncertainty and discouragement. Wasn’t the last time good? He said he loved it. Why is he looking ahead? Why is he changing it if he was happy? Because he wasn’t. He was sparng your feelings. Why isn’t he saying that now he’s satisfied and happy? Because he’s not. He wants more and if we do it again, he wants more. And the more we do, the more he wants. I’m a failure. I can’t satisfy him. He says he’s happy, but he’s not because we’re never done. Now, I have feelings of humiliation not just after sex or during it, but whenever I think about it. So, I don’t. If I feel any sexual stirrings, I suppress them. I’m not enough for him.

    Night time rolls around again. He’s looking at me. I go into the bathroom to hide to change, but he follows me in and takes my pj top out of hand whispering, “You don’t need that.” and gently pulls me towards our bed. Inwardly, all I feel is defeat, unhappiness and fear. I’m thinking, “Please, please. I’ll just disappoint you again. You’ll just talk about next time. You’ll finish, start touching my body again and tell me that you need me again. Then, you will and tomorrow morning, I’ll wake up to your kissing my neck, another erection and more desire. And it will never end. I’m just a failure. I’m never enough for you.

    Sex = failure

    A high drive spouse means unending feelings of “I’m just failing you. I’m never enough for you.”

    So, I avoid. Better to do nothing than disappoint. Try harder in other ways. Clean the house more. Lose weight. Be a better mother. Learn to fish. Start a home business.

    And play Candy Crush to not meet his hopeful face and feel the pangs of being reminded again what a failure I am. Or worse have ANOTHER talk about how he needs more sex while that awful pit comes into your stomach, the feeling like you want to run away, before the nodding and saying, “Okay.” and “Yes, I understand. I’ll try.” And you have sex, see his happy face and sigh despondently deep inside when you see he’s starting another erection.

    Another total failure.

    That is exactly how I feel having a high drive spouse. It’s a constant struggle and very emotionally painful. After sex, he feels better while I feel overwhelmed with discouragement at times. The only time I don’t is the rare times when he never talks about the future or what to do different or next time or ask me why I agreed so he knows for in the future. That’s all just pressure and leads to feelings of failure. When he kisses me, holds me, and tells me, “There is nothing so wonderful as having you in my arms. I feel perfectly content. No other woman who ever so completely satisfy me like you do.” And NOTHING else other than more about his love for me or his own contentment, those times are golden. That says, “You’re a winner.”

  33. Anonymous says:

    I know exactly how you feel and I bet many others feel the same. It’s kinda like these husbands are in love with sex not their wives.
    It’s always, let’s try this, let’s try that, act like this, act like that, all in the name of turning him on. And that’s supposed to be intimate?

    You said, ” and NOTHING else other than more about his love for me or his own contentment, those times are golden.”
    Wouldn’t it be wonderful to feel loved as a person?

    I think that is exactly why a lot of wives get tired of sex after a while. I think that is why a lot of women end up hating sex. We start to feel like it’s the sex our husbands love not us. And, the pursuit of sex never ends. What we give is never enough because:

    The activity of sex will never ultimately satisfy the desire for sex.

  34. Joe says:

    Exactly. Only thing I want to add is it’s not just women that get to the point of hating sex. I don’t think it’s a gender thing, but an energy thing. I’m also an introvert. Extrovert people suck the energy right out of me. I need days to recharge my batteries from a party. I classify extroverts as high maintenance people. I don’t understand why they can’t keep themselves busy or occupied and the constant need for people interaction.

    Sex is in this same mindset for me. Ok fine, the occasional party is fine, but I don’t want to do this on a weekly basis. It will just make me want to crawl into a cave and retreat.

    And no introverts are not broken and don’t need to be fixed.

  35. KS says:

    I am a husband whose wife does not like sex. Well, to be more accurate, she likes sex, just not with me.

    Nine years ago, after almost 20 years of infrequent sex (once a month on average), she felt that it was only fair that I knew the reason for her refusal. She point blank said, having sex with her boyfriend in high school (he was 6 or 7 years older, divorced with kids) was “easier” than having sex with me because she had sex with him because “she wanted to” and had sex with me because it is what wives are supposed to do. While she rejected me between 80% and 90% of the time, the other guy never heard the word “no” and that is no exaggeration.

    Other than that, she thinks I am an awesome husband and father. She knows that she and the kids come first and that I will take a bullet for each of them without hesitation. She appreciates that I work 3 jobs to support the family. My doing all of the cooking and housework to allow her time to rest and enjoy her hobbies is greatly appreciated by her for which I receive ample kudos. She brags about me all of the time to her friends and family.

    She admits that if she kept herself until our wedding night like I did, that the sexual aspect of our marriage would be awesome. But, in her eyes, she did not wait and it is what it is and I will just have to accept that fact and live with it without complaint.

    Needless to say, after learning that she preferred the other guy and always will, my sex drive, has dropped to 0. Sometimes I wonder if my wife knew that would happen and that is why she “shared” her true feelings with me.

  36. e2 says:

    @Rosa, “He appreciates it so much he wants to do it again and again. Failure. You didn’t make him happy”

    Huh???? I don’t get it. Why do you feel like a failure when he appreciates it and wants to do it again and again?

    You cook him dinner and feel like a winner. My guess is that he’s hungry again the next day, and you cook him dinner again. And the next day and the next. Day after day of dinners and you feel like a success. And, I would bet he doesn’t want the same meal day after day, but if he suggests more sex or sexual variety you assume he’s not satisfied. He IS satisfied. That’s why he wants more. If he wasn’t satisfied, he wouldn’t bother with it any more.

    “So, I avoid. Better to do nothing than disappoint.” Avoiding IS disappointing. You have sex and feel like a failure. You avoid sex and feel successful. My guess is that, in his eyes, you have it backwards.

  37. e2 says:


    Thank you again for your explanation. I’m sorry your body seems to have abandoned you like it has.

    My wife still enjoys sex once she’s aroused, and it doesn’t take much sexual touch to get her aroused. My Catch-22 is that, until she’s aroused, she has very little interest in the very touch that will arouse her.

    But, we’re dealing with it in many ways, and I remain hopeful for a mutually fulfilling sexual intimacy.

    God bless you and your husband.

  38. e2 says:


    I’ll assume the stereotype that you enjoy talking to your husband, sharing your feelings with him, and hearing him share his with you. I assume you enjoy feeling close to him and hearing him say, “I love you.” Do you ever tire of such talking, such verbal sharing of feelings? Do you ever think, “we talked last week, I’m satisfied.”

    Probably not. I suspect you would respond negatively to the old joke where the husband says, “I told you I loved you at our wedding, if anything changes, I’ll let you know.” No, acts of emotional love never grow old, and never exceed your desire for them.

    The difference is that, the many acts of love that cause oxytocin (the bonding hormone) to flow in you probably don’t have the same hormonal effect on your husband. For him to get the same emotional high of closeness, he typically needs sexual intimacy. So, when it seems to you that he just wants sex and not you “as a person,” what he’s really craving are feelings of emotional closeness and bonding… with you. It’s just that, as a man, his primary means of gaining those feelings is mutually satisfying sex.

  39. Rosa says:

    @e2 That is pretty much what I expected you to reply because it’s nearly verbatim what my husband said to me once during a talk. He couldn’t get why I didn’t understand either. I admit I have no idea what’s going on inside him or what he means. It’s a complete labyrinth and puzzle to me.

    I couldn’t explain my feelings in full to him then because I feared hurting him too deeply or making him intensely angry, but I will to you. (And yes, I do realize how backwards that is and shouldn’t be.)

    Women are caretakers. Most of us. We delight in helping, loving, making things better, solving problems that bring emotional stability and happiness. Cooking brings a complete satisfaction of hunger – even if it’s for a time, but sex is like a black hole. There’s nothing you can do to make it better. It’s always hungry and gaping wide open wanting more – at least my husband’s sex drive is.

    I got married hoping for a healthy, happy, romantic, tear up the sheets sex life – not mortification, shame and feelings of loneliness. This is not what I want. I don’t like it. I cry about it several times a week when my husband isn’t around. He has no idea.

    One weekend, I got so sick of it. I decided that I was going to prove to him and myself that I was enough for him, that I could fulfill him, that I could be the woman he needed and wanted. That weekend, we had sex 17 times – and he’s over 40. I woke him up in the middle of the night. I strip teased. I wore all his favorite lingerie. I did oral on him over and over. Everything he’s told me that he wants. On Sunday night, I lay cuddled up next to him as he told me that he’s never been so happy in his life. I was overjoyed and asked him, “Have I finally satisfied you?” He laughed and told me, “There’s no such thing. No woman will ever be enough for me. I always want more. C’mon. Let’s go again.” I was so devastated. I burst into tears and rolled away from him. He got furious shouting, “Is that what this was all about? Your power over me? What are you trying to soften me up for?” When I tried to explain, he told me that I wasn’t going to “make a fool out of me again”. He went to a hotel for the night – and we didn’t have sex again for four months.

    That was years ago. We have resolved most of the problems, but my desire for sex with him has gone down very low. I sincerely believe I’m actually a high drive woman, but the mortification of knowing that I’m not enough for him makes me feel reticent whenever he approaches me. He keeps having these “I need sex.” talks with me or brings up that weekend as being the best time in his life – and apologizes again for his reaction – while asking me if we can pick a weekend to do it again. I refuse. It took me nearly six weeks to emotionally recover not from his temper but from the discovery that I’m not enough for him.

    When I was a young bride, I was shy and a virgin and unsure. He had been saved as an adult and was slow and patient with me, very generous and good to me. – Sorry, I’m starting to cry. – My heart was so wide open. I was so eager to make him happy, see him smile at me, and tell me that he loved me. Sex almost immediately was confusing and mortifying as he gently told me that “It was okay, but we need to work on blah. Be more open. Show me how you feel. That was kind of disappointing. You can do it. Let’s try again. We’ll get it. Don’t worry about it.” That one comment turned me from open arms and eager any time any day to sexual refuser. It hurt me so deeply. I feel now that my heart has been battered to bits and bruised by pain after years of trying and not being good enough.

    I married him to make him happy. Hearing that I can never sexually satisfy him means that I can never make him happy. I’m a failure. I wonder all the time if he ‘s wrong. Maybe he just didn’t marry the right woman. I struggle with thoughts of “You are a disappointment to him. He wishes you were different. He wants you to be other than you are. He must regret marrying you.” I know that they are not entirely true. My husband has told me many times that he “married up and can’t believe that a woman like me agreed to marry a guy like him”, but the sexual part is true. He’s flat out told me that he’s disappointed in our martial relations and thought I’d desire him and want us to have sex all the time. He told me many times how embarrassing and emasculating it is to have a wife who doesn’t want you.

    I guess if that doesn’t make sense, it’s like talking to my husband. There’s no other way to describe it. Sex reminds me of my failures as a wife and a woman. It reaches into my deepest soul and validates those whispers of “You are not sufficient.” which I can crush about body image, as a mother, etc., but not about my sex life.

    The last time I talked to my husband, he frustratedly told me, “I don’t get all this whining and crying about what a failure you are as a wife. You are a great wife. I love you. Just get into bed with me. That will solve it. That’s all I want.” But, we tried that. It isn’t. He just doesn’t recognize it. And I don’t know how to be what he needs and wants. That’s where the emotional struggle comes into play.

  40. e2 says:


    Your husband is obviously VERY high drive. I can understand your frustration in feeling as if you can’t keep up. (17 times in one weekend? I can’t fathom that.)

    But, I think where there may be miscommunication is in the word “satisfied.” It’s quite possible to be satisfied, and still want more. In fact to me satisfaction is evidenced in desire for more. Sex writers often tell us that the more orgasms we have, the more orgasms we want. I’ve heard that is especially true of women. That desire for more is not an expression of DISsatisfaction, but of satisfaction.

    My desire for more sex is strongest after a very satisfying sexual encounter. I imagine it is the same for your husband. So, take heart. I believe you are satisfying him, even though you feel like a failure. Quite the contrary, it sounds like you’re quite successful, which is precisely why he keeps coming back for more.

    That’s just my take. Your marriage is far more complex than can be expressed in a few blog posts and I won’t pretend to fully understand your feelings.

  41. NGal says:

    Oh Rosa, conversations like that are so painful to read 🙁 My heart goes out to you, praying and hoping you feel God’s unconditional love and delight.

    As a high-drive woman (single never married…), I would greatly appreciate the thought of a husband wanting me and being physically ready .. unless it was always the activity of SEX he wanted, instead of me as a person..!
    It makes me think that perhaps singleness (albeit unwanted) is really a blessing in disguise. If it so happened that my hubby tried to begin to lecture me on our wedding night and teach me how to do things better, he would soon be out of the door and my ex-husband…
    (and no, I would not try to teach him either… I would allow him to express himself and enjoy the freedom of marriage..)

  42. Deb says:


    My sympathies on your situation. The question isn’t if your husband is satisfied, the question is are you? With such a high drive husband, I would caution you to be acutely aware of your gut feelings toward sex. Please if you start to feel any dislike or reluctance to be sexual, please step back and re-evalutate your feelings. It’s not hard to start to develop an aversion to sex when your partner has such a high need.

    You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink.
    You can put a favorite meal in front of someone but if they aren’t hungry they won’t have an interest in eating.
    When you have a low sex drive you don’t have an interest in being sexual.

    Jump over to Love Honor and Vacuum.
    Sheila has a great article on sub-zero libido.

    “Sex writers often tell us that the more orgasms we have, the more orgasms we want.” I personally have never experienced a craving for orgasms no matter how often I experienced them. Perhaps that’s all a part of the low sexual energy thing.

  43. Rosa says:

    @e2 No, I don’t expect you to fix it. 🙂

    I have read your reply with great interest and I confess nearly zero understanding, but I have no doubt that you are accurate and correct. It sounds exactly like something my husband may have written.

    I’m sorry to say that I still don’t understand at all. To have satisfaction be expressed by wanting more seems the ultimate paradox. I will have to ponder and pray about this more.

    Thank you for your time.

  44. Rosa says:

    @e2 And I should have mentioned that I don’t feel successful avoiding. I just don’t have my feelings of failure at the surface and in my face making me feel miserable. It keeps them at bay.

    Also, I know that I am very ignorant still. This got driven home again from your post. If that seems like a strange weekend which I guess I assumed most men would love to do if they had the time and no interruptions, I don’t know what high drive spouse means and admit I woefully ignorant when it comes to how men think. I assumed it meant to everyone else what it does to me – at least once a day, preferably every 12 hours or oftener.

    So, I will put out the general question, what do others mean by high drive?

    And @e2 when you say you can’t fathom it, is it because it probably wouldn’t happen in your own life, you would never desire it to be so frequent, or is it just generally so outlandish that you can’t imagine it happening at all? I feel like I may have publicly embarrassed myself out of ignorance. If I have, I’d rather know it than wonder.

  45. Anonymous says:


    You asked: “do you ever tire of such talking, such verbal sharing of feelings?”
    No, I don’t, but my husband does and I try very hard to be sensitive to when he’s had enough or not in the mood. If I press too hard, he tunes out. When that happens, I don’t feel rejected, I realize he’s done for now and drop it. My bad.

    You also said, “it’s just that, as a man, his primary means of gaining those feelings is mutually satisfying sex.” The key to that sentence is “mutually satisfying sex.” Sounds to me like her husband is in such a sex crazed stupor that he is oblivious to the apparent pain she is in.

    He needs sex so much, she doesn’t feel like she will ever be able quench his thirst.

    Some men just can’t seem to ever get enough sex. For many women, there’s a fine line between feeling needed and feeling needed for sex.

  46. e2 says:


    To me, “high drive” means more than twice a week. Now, I would love to make love every day, but I doubt whether I would be physically capable of much more than that. I’ve heard that Suzanne Summers makes love with her husband twice a day. I’ve often wondered if I could actually do that. So, 17 times in one weekend would be physically impossible for me. Yes, your husband is *very* high drive, perhaps unusually so.

    I know you’re in obvious pain over this, and I wish I could take it away. So, I try by giving a different take on some words we use. When I was a child, I always wanted another toy, and my parents would often ask when I would be “satisfied.” I came to understand that word as meaning, “never wanting it again.” So, I tend to think that, when you ask your husband if he’s sexually satisfied, what he hears is, “have I finally given you enough that you’ll leave me alone?” Since we men feel our wife’s love primarily through sex, we don’t *want* to be satisfied, if “satisfaction” means never wanting it again. That means never feeling loved again, and no man wants that. But, I sense that’s not the way you use the word “satisfied.”

    I saw two different sides of your husband in your longer post. At first, it sounded as if he were complaining that your sex life wasn’t good enough, this enough, that enough. Such complaining is definitely uncool, and I can understand why it would make you feel like a failure. But, later, it sounded as if he were telling you how much he appreciates sex with you. After your marathon weekend, he told you how happy he was. That’s a good thing, but when he said he wanted more (like a child wanting one more toy), you took that as dissatisfaction. I think you read into his desire for more a continuation of his earlier complaints about how things weren’t good enough. I can understand why you might do that. But, what I think he was trying to say after the weekend was that it was so wonderful that he never wanted it to stop. When I make love to my wife, I often feel a melancholy knowing that it will end. I find myself wanting to delay orgasm as long as I can, just to prolong the feeling of pleasure.

    I hope this helps, but I’ll understand if it doesn’t.

  47. e2 says:


    “For many women, there’s a fine line between feeling needed and feeling needed for sex”

    Trust me, I understand. Early in our marriage, I often waited for my wife to initiate sex precisely because I didn’t want her to feel as if I were in a “sex crazed stupor.” I wanted her to know I was one of the good guys. One night, as we lay in bed, she started crying. She told me she felt ugly and undesirable because I didn’t pursue her sexually. I took that as an invitation.

    I then initiated sex every day for the next four days. After four wonderful days of pleasure, she said she felt like I only married her for her body.

    I have never understood how quickly and far that emotional pendulum swung. *Sigh*

  48. Rosa says:

    @e2 Thank you for your counsel. I immediately put it into practice by offering him specific things he loves to do when he got home from work. He clearly wanted to after work and watched every move I made all night, but said nothing about it and never touched me. This morning, he couldn’t hold out any longer. When I questioned him afterwards in a very unconfrontational way, it was plain how “gun shy” I’ve made him. He kept apologizing and compared himself to “some slobbering out of control beast you will despise” while for the first time ever describing how he thinks about me much of the day, fantasizes about me while stuck in traffic, has trouble sleeping next to me if we haven’t been intimate and is afraid I will eventually get sick of it and leave for “some normal guy who doesn’t obsess about you so much”. (This suddenly made sense of a previous huge blowup when I got propositioned by / invited to have an affair with a very wealthy guy, refused, and told my husband about it. At the time, he had been enraged and yelled at me which hurt me deeply when I couldn’t help what some guy said to me. I had also resented it when I could have just kept quiet about it but was trying to do the right thing. He wasn’t angry. He reacted in fear.) He then apologized for making love to me again and offered to stay out after work “so that you don’t have to worry about me”.

    My heart felt crushed. I never meant to do anything to cause him such pain. For the first ever, he expressed that sex was about me and not only about itself.

    After a long talk, he tentatively asked if I would agree to seven times a week. I did on condition that he not hold back on asking for more if he wanted to and not get angry or frustrated if I said no. When he asked if we could not count this morning’s and start tonight, I kissed him and got back probably the most loving kiss I’ve had since our first year of marriage. He got really emotional and told me I was too good to him before leaving for work looking like the weight of the world was off his shoulders.

    We’ll see how it goes from here, but I feel like I finally understand him and he’s finally really talking to me.

    You are the hero of the year, e2.

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