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A Labor Of (self) Love

Our brief summer holiday is coming rapidly to an end. The Dr Dick Review Crew is straggling back home and our podcasts will resume on Wednesday, 09/05/12. But today is Labor Day and I think we should acknowledge those who labor at self-love.

Name: Amy
Gender: female
Age: 23
Location: salt lake city
I have this weird thing that when I masturbate with a vibrator I can’t seem to bring myself to an orgasm. It feels really good and everything, but I get almost there but can’t quite cum. Does that make sense? It’s been awhile since I had a guy…but I digress. I was just wondering if you have any advice, or if I’m doing it wrong, or…I just need some help. Thanks a lot.

Hold on there, darlin’, are you tellin me you can jill-off just fine using your hand, but when you kick start your vibrator and apply it to your naughty bits you can’t cum? Is that what you’re tellin’ the good doctor? Or maybe I’m assuming things I shouldn’t. Maybe you’re not masturbating to orgasm at all, by hand or by gadget.

Since you’re not here to fill me in, so to speak, the best way to handle this is with a scatter gun approach. If you’re unable to jill-off to completion by any means, manual or mechanical, you may be preorgasmic. I’ve written a lot about this already, so there’s no need for me to repeat myself. Here’s what you do; check the CATEGORY pull down menu in the sidebar to your right.  Look for the main category — Sex therapy and under that look for the subcategory ‘Preorgasmic Women‘. Or check out the main category — Sexual Performance and look for the subcategory ‘Female Masturbation‘. You’ll find loads of swell information about this very topic.

If, perchance, you can masturbate just fine using your hand, but the rub (no pun intended) comes when you introduce a vibrator, then that’s a horse of a different color. In that instance, I’ll need more information before I can be of much help. Like, I’d want to know what kind of vibe are you using? Is it an all purpose wand type? A dildo kinda thingy that you insert in your pussy? Is it a rabbit, a G-spot vibe, a bullet or an egg-shaped vibrator? Are you doing any direct clitoral stimulation?

If you can make yourself cum through manual stimulation, how different a sensation is the vibrator? Is it possible that you need more vroom? Is it too intense?

What about other stimulus? Like what’s going on between your ears while you’re diddlin’ yourself? Are you thinking dirty thoughts? Watching some delicious smut? Reading some kick-ass erotica? Or are you concentrating so much on making the big “O” happen to actually let it happen? Chicks get performance anxiety too, even when they are by themselves. Performance anxiety is not just a guy thing.

I discussed your question with my friend, Joy. She asked me to ask you about the position you are in when you’re jillin-off. She said she had the damnedest time throwing herself her first screamin’ meme, even with a vibrator until she discovered that getting into a squatting position with her back against a wall did the trick. Stands to reason, orgasms are all about building sexual and muscle tension. Joy found that squatting tensed her hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes and even her PC muscle. This tension was just the thing to deliver the goods. Joy did add, however, that getting out of the squat after the event was really tricky. She said that in the end, she just learned to simply topple over with a bit of a thud. I had to laugh when she told me this, because I couldn’t help seeing Joy in my mind’s eye (she’s a big girl, don’t cha know) all breathless and topsy-turvy on the floor with a big ol’ shit-eatin grin on her face after finally delivering herself from the land of the preorgasmic.

One final thing, I’ve often heard women speak of the high success rate of jillin-off to orgasm in the bath. Again, this stands to reason too. Here you are all relaxed, warm and cozy, all wet and squishy. Why not add a little jet of warm water or a waterproof vibe and you’ll be havin’ an orgasm as easy as fallin’ off a log…or so I’m told. Just remember, baths and plug-in, electrical kinda vibes definitely don’t mix! A miscalculation here and you’ll find your ass in the sweet hereafter.

Listen, Amy, why not write back sometime with either more information or to report a success. I’d love to hear from you.

Good luck

Hey dr dick! What’s that toll-free podcast voicemail telephone number? Why, it’s: (866) 422-5680. DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

And they’re off…

Name: Dan and Rebecca
Gender: Couple
Age: 25, 20
Location:
We are a happy but frustrated couple looking for advice. I’m a 25
year old male, and my lovely girlfriend is 20.

I have no problem bringing her to orgasm and pleasing her, but since we’ve been seeing each other I have not been able to cum once. In the past it was always difficult for me to cum during sex, my first time (age 18) my then gf and I went for about three hours before we just gave up. Usually I would have to jerk myself off afterwards but now I can’t even do that.

However if I am alone with porn I am easily able to masturbate and can get off a few times a day. How is it that I can jerk off to pictures that mean nothing to me, but can’t cum for the woman I love the most?

I’ve spoken with a doctor and he said medically there is nothing wrong with my penis. What do you suggest we do? We are really getting frustrated and just want to be able to please each other.

Simply put, there’s a difference between the psycho-sexual response we have when we are alone and the one we experience with a partner. Your doctor is right, there’s probably nothing wrong with your unit. It’s all in your head…or your mind, to be more exact. And I’m not being flippant.

If I had to guess, I’d say you have a real bad case of performance anxiety, pup. Here’s how this nasty thing works. Say I have a less than satisfying sexual experience for one reason or another. Before I know it, I’m replaying the incident over and over in my mind’s eye till that’s all I can think about. The proverbial molehill has become a mountain, don’t ‘cha know. I then bring my anxiety to my next encounter. My hyper self-consciousness primes me for more disappointment. And I’m all prepared to interpret the disappointment as a failure. Well, you can see where I’m going with this, huh? My fears become self-fulfilling and I find I’m beginning to avoid partnered sex and my relationship flounders, I develop a full-blown sexual dysfunction and my self-esteem takes a nosedive. My preoccupation with my problem makes it less likely that I’ll be fully present during sex with my partner, which pretty much scuttles my sexual responsiveness and any hope for spontaneity.

It looks to me like performance anxiety is putting a damper on your sexual arousal and short-circuiting your sexual response cycle, Dan. Get thee to a sex-positive therapist ASAP, darling! Believe me, this is nothing to fool around with, especially for someone at your tender age.

When I see this sort of thing in my private practice, I always begin the therapeutic intervention by calling a moratorium on fucking of any kind. This immediately takes a great deal of the pressure off the couple. From there we begin to rebuild the partnered psycho-sexual response one step at a time. We begin with sensate focus training, stress reduction and relaxation exercises. I have the greatest confidence in this method; it succeeds over 90% of the time.

Good luck

Hey dr dick! What’s that toll-free podcast voicemail telephone number? Why, it’s: (866) 422-5680. DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

Name: Gene
Gender:  Male
Age: 45
Location: Orlando
I am a homosexual, and I have a “friend” who has been incarcerated for five years. The relationship while he was out with me was excellent. I have asked him numerous of times is he having sex with the homo’s in jail and he responds by saying no. I think otherwise, and he wants to come back to me upon his release. My question is “should I wait for him”?

Gene, Gene, Gene, there are so many things wrong with this picture, I hardly know where to start. Your man’s in the big house for 5 years, and you expect him to keep it in his pants for the duration…just for you? Like WHY? Hey, he’s in the clink, darling, not in a monastery. Oh wait; even monks in a monastery don’t keep it in their habit nowadays! At any rate, it may not be up to him if he has sex or not…if you catch my drift. He might be someone’s bitch right now, he’s just not telling you about it.

Should you wait for him? You mean, all alone by yourself with no one to comfort you while your guy is doin’ his time? This sounds like the script for a real bad 1950’s prison movie. You could play the role of the long-suffering girlfriend pining away while her good-for-nothing man pays his debt to society.

Honey, you need to get out more.

Good luck

Name: Erin
Gender: female
Age: 32
Location: AL
Is it wrong for a married woman to want to masturbate when alone?

Gee, let me see. Is it wrong for a woman to feed herself when she is alone?

Erin, what could possibly be wrong with wanting to pleasure yourself when you are alone? As we all know, many women only get off through masturbation. Hell nowadays, liberated women folk everywhere are comfortable enough with their sexuality to jill-off even with their partner. So no, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with self-pleasuring…alone or with a partner.

Besides, there’s no better way to get to know your body and your sexual response cycle. Once you acquainted yourself with how your body works, you’ll have a whole lot more information about how you tic that you’ll be able to share with your partner when the time comes. It’s a win/win situation for ya’ll.

Name: Joy
Gender:  female
Age: 21
Location: California
I have been dating this guy for almost 3 year and also live with him. I love the way he makes love to me and i love dick, but sometimes i just want to make out with girls… does this make me a lesbian at all?

Hardly, not even a little bit lesbian! Ya see, it takes more than suckin’ face with another chick to make a gal a lesbiterian. You’re gonna need to get yourself a she-mullet, some plaid shirts and a vibrator that you can kick-start. Now that’ll make ya dyke for damn sure. Sheesh!

Hey dr dick! What’s that toll-free podcast voicemail telephone number? Why, it’s: (866) 422-5680. DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

My First Love

It’s Pride Month! So we’ll be spending a little time each week hearing the thoughts and concerns of the LGBT community.

Name: Jaymie
Gender: Male
Age: 16
Location:
Hi, my name is Jaymie. I am a 16-year-old guy. I have a best friend (Jared) also 16, who I have been in love with for 3 years now. I know, you probably think, “he’s too young to fall in love”. Well I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s the only thing I’ve ever been so sure of in my life.

Anyways, I am bisexual. He knows that. I told him about 4 months ago that I was in love with him and he told me he already knew and that he was ok with it. A few years ago, we made out one night when we were kind of drunk and that scared him. He recently told me that he used to have feelings for me, but he got rid of them because “that’s not the kind of person he is”. I’m guessing by that he means that he couldn’t do it because he is not “gay”. He’s had a girlfriend now and they’ve been together for about 10 months and he’s supposedly in love with her. Even though there relationship is shit and they are always fighting.

We’ve always been really flirty with each other (cuddling, tickling, spooning, touching each others penis’ etc.) but all that has kind of gone down hill because of his parents catching us spooning and giving him SO much shit about it. Now we just cuddle once in a while.

I have a couple of questions, and you seem like a smart man. 1. What should I do about him? Should I give up on him? I cry all the time about it because I feel he’s the only one for me that I will ever love this much. 2. I know this might be a little weird, but when we were sleeping next to each other, I always stick my hands down his pants and play with his penis. Sometimes for fun, sometimes I jack him off while I jack off (I know, so I’m a little obsessed) he never wakes up though. He ALWAYS gets a boner when I do it but never moves and stays “asleep”. Can he get a boner from me touching him while he’s sleeping? Or does this mean that he’s faking it and knows I am doing it? If you could answer me that would be great. It’s really important.

You know what? You’re right; I’m a smart man. Smart enough to recognize that you too are pretty damn smart yourself. This is so curious to me. I know men more than twice your age who, in comparison to you, are absolutely clueless about who they are and what they desire. You, on the other hand, are very precocious. And that, my friend, is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you have extraordinary clarity about yourself and what makes you tick. On the other hand, being as advanced as you are, you leave your age peers in the dust, so to speak. The young man you mention, Jared, he is nowhere near as confident as you with regard to who he is and what he wants. That’s not unusual. In fact, as I suggest, that’s par for the course for a young man his age. You are the one who is unusual. And I’m not talking about your sexual preferences, just your emotional maturity.

I’m receiving an ever-increasing number of messages from young people, just like you, who are in the throws of adolescent anxiety. Everything seems topsy-turvy in their life including their sexual awakenings. These young people’s hormones are raging and they don’t know how to direct them.

You, Jaymie, say you love your friend. You suspect that I will disregard the whole idea as preposterous, because of your age. On the contrary, I take what you say at face value. I know for certain that young people have the capacity to feel as deeply and as passionately about things as older people. What may be lacking in younger people is a frame of reference — a means of tempering their unruly passions — because that come only by way of life experience. I hasten to add that a good number of us older folks don’t have the ability rule our passion very well either, even though we have a shit-load of life experience. This is truly unfortunate, because our lack of insight makes for some pretty messy lives and seriously diminishes the number of good role models of living healthy emotional lives. Perhaps if you get the hang of this while in your teens, Jaymie, you’ll be much better situated as an adult.

I note that you say you cry all the time. You claim you know your friend is the only guy for you and this causes this emotional distress. Here’s where I believe the whole life experience thing could help temper your passions. But since this is your first time out the gate, let me make some predictions. I’d be willing to bet my last dollar that this guy, as pivotal as he is to you today, is not the only man for you. In fact, I’ll wager that by the time you finish college, you’ll barely remember this fellow’s name. I’d also be willing to bet that most of your tears are tears of frustration, because the young man in question is unwilling, or more likely unable, to return your affections as you think he should. And unrequited love stings like the dickens. But I think you already know that part.

I have another prediction for you. You will have several of these unrequited love experiences in your life. I can predict this with absolute certainty, because lots of people just like you have traveled this same path. So if you allow me to offer you some advice, it would be to try to go with the flow. Take the joys with the pain and try not to fly apart in the process. Destiny has lots of things in store for you. And Jared is just the first of many of his kind.

As you make your way in life, particularly as a bisexual or gay man, you will discover a sad fact. Many other men with the same longings as you, some of which will be the objects of your affections, will not be able to acknowledge or reciprocate your feelings. This is because they are unable or unwilling to acknowledge their own feelings. The world is full of these kinds of men. So prepare to meet more than your share.

Jared’s pretending to be asleep while you fondle and jerk him off, is his way of avoiding both you and himself. Trust me, if he didn’t want you to do what you are doing, he’d sure enough let you know in no uncertain terms. Exclusively straight boys and men are like that. They’re like totally not down with the gay sex thing. Again, I’d wager he’s accepting your sexual advances and even enjoying them as much as he allows him himself to. What he can’t or won’t do is be upfront about it with you.

No doubt he’s scared shitless about all of this. On the one hand he’s being intensely pleasured by you, another guy. On the other he must be crippled with guilt and shame, aware of how inappropriate this is in terms of his parents value system, his religious upbringing and a good portion of our sex negative culture. I’d also be willing to bet that despite the fact that you are touching him out of your deep feelings for him, your touch only adds to his internal conflict and anxiety.

Most guys who receive the sexual attentions of another dude, but fake being absent through out, like feigning sleep or being drunk, can avoid some of the internal conflict by telling themselves that they are not like the guy doling out the sexual touch. That is in fact a delusion, but many a man gets through his life on delusion alone. You will discover this for yourself as your life unfolds before you.

Finally, to your question should you quit Jared? I think that you and I both know that despite your deep feelings for him, he’s not gonna wake up from one of your sexually charged naps and proclaim his love for you…at least not anytime soon. In fact, if you continue along the path, you risk ruining any chance that he could come to an awakening and acceptance of his sexuality on his own. Constantly pressuring him and mooning over him is counterproductive. And I also foresee a major confrontation erupting soon. Here’s a tip: some even ostensibly straight guys can groove on the whole sex thing with another dude, but they choke on the emotional attachment that often comes with the proffered blowjob.

So it’s pretty much your call, Jaymie. Will you continue to assail Jared for your own selfish pleasure knowing as you do that he can’t or won’t respond as you want him to? Or do you back off and allow him the time and space he needs to come to awareness on his own?

I think we both know what the mature choice is, don’t we? If you love this guy as much as you say, you’re gonna have to cool your jets and give him room to mature at his own pace. Remember he has some ways to go to catch up with you.

Good luck

Learning to ride

Hey sex fans!

We’re all back from Spring Break. Did you miss us? We sure missed you. So ok, let’s get this ball rolling again with a timely question from one of my correspondents.

Name: Drew
Gender: Male
Age: 23
Location: Boise
I’m gay, I’m a virgin, and I think I may be afraid of sex. In all the porn I’ve seen, the bottom guy looks uncomfortable and in pain, why would I want that? I’ve only done anything sexual with one guy and I was so anxious that I couldn’t even get up. I liked the guy, he was hot, and I enjoyed all the fore-play type stuff, but I just couldn’t do anything else. Any advice on how to get over this?

First thing, don’t ever look to porn for your sex education; you will surely be misled. Second, that grimace that you report seeing on the bottom’s face as he is being penetrated, may be a grimace of pleasure not pain. I think you are projecting your own discomfort on the guys in the movies.

Let me tell you a little story. The other day I was walking in the park with Ginger the dog. Actually, I was trying to walk like a normal person, but she was pulling me along like a maniac. We were both, in our own way, enjoying some beautiful spring weather and the sights, sounds and smells nature in its glory. As we walked along we encountered a father and son who were seriously involved in what appeared to be the kid’s first lesson in riding a bicycle…without training wheels. Despite the father’s patient encouragement the kid couldn’t seem to get the hang of it. He would start out ok, but just as soon as his dad let go of the back of his seat the boy would wobble and eventually crash. There were plenty of tears, a skinned knee and the boy’s fear and anxiety was thick enough to cut with a knife. It was quite a scene.

The kid was convinced that he didn’t have what it took to ride on his own. His defeatism fueled itself and became a self-fulfilling prophecy. He finally gave up. Sat down on a bench, his bike in a tangle at his side, and refused his father’s pleading that he try again. In the kid’s mind the bike was the enemy another attempt would only hurt and humiliate, and so the lesson ended.

What the kid lacked was self-confidence, a sense of adventure and probably more importantly — balance. I wish I had had an opportunity to suggest to the boy and his dad, that they might try another ploy. I wanted to say, set the bike aside and work on that balance thing first. This would surely increase the boy’s confidence and it wouldn’t cost a blow to his ego or his knee. And it would be fun.

I would have suggested the dad start by helping the kid walk on 4” curb, balancing himself as he went. Then the dad could increase the challenge to include balancing on one foot, then the other. Once the kid discovered the power within him to accomplish these tasks, the bike could be reintroduced. The father would assist the boy in drawing upon his skill in balancing on the curb to master balancing on his bike.

The same will be true for you, Drew. Sex is nothing to be afraid of. Rather it is a skill that one learns. Some, obviously, take to it quicker than others, but everyone can learn a happy, healthy sexual expression that will build self-esteem and bring great pleasure.

I want you to start exploring and enjoying your bottom on your own. Like the kid in the park, you need to acquaint yourself with the powers that lie within you. He needed to find a sense of balance within himself; you need to find the Big Old Butt Pirate within yourself.

Most all of the discomfort in butt fucking is associated with your sphincter muscle trying to resist whatever it is being inserted in your ass. When this muscle resists to the point of spasm things can become very painful. So here’s what I want you to do.

  • First, before you start playing with your hole — relax. Just like the kid in the park would have needed to calm himself before attempting to balance on the curb. The same is true for you.
  • Take a relaxing shower, a warm bath, and/or try some deep breathing exercises to center yourself.
  • Have a ready supply of a water-based lube handy. Silicone-based lubes are swell for these exercises too. However, oil-based lubricants aren’t recommended for use with a condom.
  • Start with a little self-pleasuring. Stroke your dick with your lubed hand and get into your happy place.
  • Gradually slather some of that lube on to your balls and taint. With legs open wide find your hole and play with your rosebud. Gently massage the area around your asshole, but don’t side your fingers in just yet. Simply get used to the feelings of playing at the opening of your ass.
  • Let your play include the tip of your finger entering your ass.
  • If you do this while you’re stroking your cock, you will find that your hole will actually open and invite your finger. That’s the great thing about pleasuring one part of your body while learning to pleasure another.
  • Once you are comfortable with your fingertip inside, try pushing it in further and move it around a little. Try pushing it and pulling it out of your ass. Ya know, like finger-fucking yourself.
  • Find your prostate. It shouldn’t be hard to find if you’re all horned up. It will feel smooth and hard, like a flat stone.
  • Give that puppy a nice gentle massage. If you’re still stroking your wood, don’t be surprised if this prostate massage gets you to bust your nut. In fact, you will find that your prostate actually enlarges a bit and becomes more firm just as you are about to shoot.
  • As you jizz you will also notice that your sphincter muscle will tighten around your finger and pulsate with each squirt

Continue these self-pleasuring exercises until you are comfortable inserting a couple fingers in your ass. Then try a small vibrating dildo. In no time at all you will be ready to jump on your bike and ride…so to speak.

With these exercises behind you, no pun intended, the first time you actually fuck with a partner will be the incredible experience it is meant to be. If you encounter any discomfort you’ll know what to do — deep breathing to relax and priming your hole with a lubed finger or two.

  • First, attend to your personal hygiene. Make sure you’re clean inside. We don’t want any unsightly and embarrassing mishaps to mess up the big event.
  • Remember to take it slow. There’s no rushing pleasure. And you’ll be the one in charge of what goes in your ass, when and for how long.
  • Warm up with some foreplay, kissing, sucking, licking, rimming touching and massaging.
  • Have condoms and lots of lube near to hand.
  • While you’re warming up, start loosening up your ass with your lubed fingers, just like in your self-pleasuring exercises.
  • Once you’re comfortable offer your ass to your partner. Have him replace your fingers with his own. Try some swell finger-fucking first.
  • Once you’re relaxed and loose, lie on your side with your partner behind you. Have him slowly push his cock against your rosebud.
  • Try pushing out like you are trying to take a dump. This will help open up your sphincter for his entry.
  • As he enters you, have him stop so that you can breathe deeply. Give your ass the time it needs to adjust to the new sensations. If there’s pain or discomfort have your partner reverse course and go back to finger fucking before you proceed.
  • Make sure that your partner knows that if you ask him to stop; he will stop. Trust is very important in butt fucking.
  • As he fills you with his dick he will hit your prostate. This will send waves of pleasure through your body and signal your sphincter to open for even more.
  • You may find that you’ll even want to push your ass back to meet and engulf his cock.

By the time this happens you will happily discover that you are ridding your bike all by yourself. And you will be very happy.

Good luck

Libido Disparity, A Common Problem

Name: Chris
Gender: male
Age: 29
Location:
I’m 29 and I’ve been married for the last 3 years. I was seeing my wife for 5 years prior to being married so I guess it’s been a total of 8 years that we’ve been together. When we first got together everything was great the sex was outstanding ya know 69 all types of positions tons of oral, tons of foreplay and she had an orgasm every time. It seems that just in the last couple of years everything has dwindled away to the point where it’s her on top for a little bit, me on top for a little bit till I finish then we go back to the living room and hang out. Whenever I bring up the subject she gets very uncomfortable and won’t talk about it. And it’s really starting to freak me out in every aspect of our relationship. I love the girl, so I don’t want to go anywhere. I’m wondering if there’s any hope to get things back to the way they used to be that fresh hotness and spontaneity. How can I bring the heat back?

Like I always say, If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard this same complaint from a frustrated and desperate man or woman trapped in an undersexed marriage, I’d have enough money to lay down my keyboard, give up my status as the most fabulous and revered sexpert in the universe and retire to Maui.

Despite the frequency of the grievance, it still breaks my heart to hear the despair. I mean it’s one thing to have the sexual connection between partners drift away by mutual consent. It’s another thing all together to have one partner dissolve the sexual connection unilaterally while leaving the other partner bewildered and disoriented.

And what gives with a partner who refuses to talk about why the sex has taken a nosedive? That is so wrong. I can understand not knowing exactly what to say about things goin’ south, or even how to say what may be on your mind, but to clam up all together, that’s just unfair. Suppose the problem had to do with finances instead of sex. What if one of you decided to start splurging on major purchases without consulting the other? There’d be hell to pay then, huh? There’d be no duckin’ out of the responsibility by clamin’ up in this instance, I’ll bet. But when it comes to sex, somehow the same rules for accountability don’t always apply. Why is that?

Sexuality is both a personal expression and a means of bonding with another. Thus sexual wellbeing in a relationship is way more than just the old in and out. It means taking responsibility for one’s eroticism as an integral part of relationship. Sex is a way of expressing one’s self as well as our love for the other. The confusion, unhappiness and anxiety that results from the breakdown of this fundamental tenet will, as you suggest Chris, spill over into and contaminate other areas of the relationship. But it doesn’t need to happen.

When I encounter this predicament in my counseling practice, I always build in some individual time with each partner even though the couple is there for “couples counseling.” I often get a much better sense of what’s causing the breakdown in these private sessions than I do when the couple and I work together as a threesome. Sometimes it’s easier for the individual to talk to me privately than to be open, honest and forthcoming about his/her feelings with his/her partner sitting right there.

My experience tells me that more often than not, a refusal to discuss sexual concerns has more to do with not knowing how to express oneself without hurting the feelings of the other. Sometimes an individual simply doesn’t know herself why things are different than they once were. Sometimes there are lifestyle issues at play — family concerns, work concerns, lack of sleep, drugs and alcohol consumption, etc. Sometimes there are medical and psychological issues that impact on a person’s libido — weight gain, birth control, other pharmaceutical drugs, diabetes and depression to mention a few.

There’s also something we in the business call: “desire discrepancy disorder,” which is just a fancy-schmancy way of saying one partner has a stronger libido then the other. But often the simplest and most ordinary explanation is that the partnered sex has become stale, rote and boring.

Whatever the cause of the imbalance, it needs to be addressed as a couple. Once the couple has identified the problem the next step is learning how to talk about it in an effective yet non-threatening way. This can be tricky, to say the least. But it is still so much easier than trying to avoid the issue all together.

Ok, so your wife is reluctant to discuss the matter with you, Chris. That just means you’re gonna have to be proactive in bringing this issue to a head. And I’m not suggesting that you browbeat your wife about her unwillingness to talk about the issue. It’s gonna be all about you leading by example. Here’s what I suggest. Set up a time for you and your wife to have a sit-down. This needs to be scheduled in advance so that both of you know it’s coming. There ought be no surprises. This conference should not immediately follow sex, especially disappointing sex. Set aside at least 30 minutes when you guys are fresh and relaxed and then start preparing what you want to say. Take notes if necessary.

When the time comes for the sit down, I encourage you to use “I” statements instead of “you” statements. Begin by laying out how you feel and owing your feelings. “I feel confused. I feel frustrated. I feel that our relationship is in jeopardy.” Stay away from statements like “you make me feel…blah, blah, blah. These kinds of pronouncements will only muddy the waters. Then I suggest that you invite your wife to do the same. If she can’t, or won’t, move on to what steps you will take to get to the bottom of this. Something like, “I don’t want to continue the status quo. I’ve decided that I am going to seek some professional help for this. Maybe there’s something I’m missing. I can’t get to the bottom of this on my own, so maybe a sex therapist will help me understand what’s going on.” Again, invite her to join you in this effort. If she refuses or stalls out, move on to closing the discussion. You might say something like, “thank you for hearing me out on this. I don’t mean to put you on the spot, but I think our relationship is worth the effort to preserve it. And I’m actually gonna do something to make sure that we stay together. My invitation to you to join me in this effort will remain open.” End of discussion!

Of course, if you take this route, you will have to follow through on your commitment. If you don’t you will sabotage the whole damn thing, which will only make matters considerably worse. I encourage you to find a sex-positive therapist to work with. A good resource for this is The American College of Sexologists. Visit the directory page on their website. You will find listings for certified sexologists and sex therapists all over the world. If there is no one near you, contact the person closest to you and ask for a referral. Often my fellow ACS therapists and sexologists are very well connected to the broader sex-positive communities in their area.

You may also wish to consult me, even if you’re not here in Seattle. Check out the Therapy Available link in the header of my site for all the information you’ll need to make an enlightened decision about working with me.

Whatever you do, don’t settle for the path of least resistance. Your leadership might be just the thing your wife is looking for to muster her own strength to face the facts. Either way, the problem you are facing will not go away simply by ignoring it. Disappointments will become resentments and resentments will inevitably lead to acting-out and that will surely fuck things up royally.

Good luck

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