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Libido Disparity, A Common Problem

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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

More of The Erotic Mind of K D Grace — Podcast #244 — 11/08/10


Hey sex fans,

I am so excited, because the very talented and oh so charming K D Grace returns today for Part 2 of her appearance here on The Erotic Mind podcast series. I had such a good time with her last week that I could hardly wait for this week to finally roll around.

But wait, you didn’t miss Part 1 of our conversation, that appeared here last week at this time, did you? Well don’t worry if ya did, because you can find it and all my podcasts in the Podcast Archive right here on my site. Look for the search function in the header, type in Podcast #242 and PRESTO! But don’t forget the #sign when you do your search.

K D and I discuss:

  • The differences, if any, between erotica and romance;
  • The audience she has in mind when she writes;
  • Her litmus test for hotness in her own writing;
  • Her writing ritual;
  • The distinction between erotica and pornography;
  • What she looks for in the erotica of others;
  • Those who inspire her and her sexual heroes;
  • Her advice for the aspiring erotica writer.

K D also shares another selection of the fruit of her Erotic Mind with us. Like last week, she reads from her new novel.

For more of K D, be sure to visit her on her site HERE!

(click on the thumbnails to get more information about these volumes)


BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

Check out The Lick-A-Dee-Split Connection. That’s Dr Dick’s toll free podcast voicemail HOTLINE. Don’t worry people; no one will personally answer the phone. Your message goes directly to voicemail.

Got a question or a comment? Wanna rant or rave? Or maybe you’d just like to talk dirty for a minute or two. Why not get it off your chest! Give Dr Dick a call at (866) 422-5680.

DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

Look for my podcasts on iTunes. You’ll fine me in the podcast section, obviously, or just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice. And don’t forget to subscribe. I wouldn’t want you to miss even one episode.

Today’s Podcast is bought to you by: DR DICK’S — HOW TO VIDEO LIBRARY.

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The Wet Spots In Town For 1 Show Only

SOPHISTICATED SEX COMEDY

Picture a husband and wife team from the golden age of comedy. Now picture them singing sweetly about threesomes and taking it in the ass. Internationally acclaimed cabaret duo The Wet Spots (Cass King and John Woods) write the most elegant songs about sex that you will ever hear.

The pair presents an image that is vaudevillian, oversexed, and weirdly Canadian: Think sex club by way of Monty Python. Using a lively blend of original songs, audience interaction, spankings and singalongs, The Wet Spots draw their fans into a world where the libido is celebrated and satirized.

YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS SEX FANS!

Click on the poster below for ticket information.

Moving Pictures

One of the more common questions I get at Dr Dick Sex Advice is about how to navigate opening a previously sexually exclusive relationship to include another or others.  It’s generally hard to offer advice to a couple that I don’t know.  So I often wind up suggesting some general guidelines — how the couple could begin the discussion, set some ground rules, find a compatible partner(s), enjoy the ride, and debrief afterward.

Unfortunately, this approach can make the idea of a threesome, group sex or swinging pretty mundane.  And believe you me; they are hardly ever that.  That’s why I’m grateful that my colleague, author, columnist, editor, and sex educator, Tristan Taormino, brings to life the joys of a ménage à trois.

Tristan Taormino’s Expert Guide to Threesomes $29.95

This video is a collaboration between Tristan and the mammoth porn production expert guidecompany, Vivid.  In fact, it’s hard to tell their educational programming from their porn productions.  There are very high production values, as one would expect.  There is none of the awkwardness one might find in an amateur production.  The performers are uniformly beautiful and the sex is hot.

There is a down side to this; however.  It all seems a little too slick and studied; the porn influence, I’d guess.  The performers don’t really discuss what they what to do with each other and everything appears effortless.  This isn’t an accurate representation of any three-way I’ve even known.  And for someone wanting to figure out how to approach this kind of coupling, there’s precious little nuts ‘n bolts kind of information.

But maybe that’s the point, after all.  Does educational and enrichment programming have to be clinical or pedantic?  I don’t think so.  And let’s face it; a whole lot more people fantasize about threesomes than will actually participate in one.  So this is the ideal material for that group.  It’s fun, it’s pretty, it’s full of sex and no one has a care in the world.  Fantasy material indeed!

Oh, and you should know that this presentation has a decidedly heterosexual bent.  There’s girl-on-girl action, no surprise there; but no guy-on-guy action.  Was a teachable moment missed?  I think so, but I wouldn’t have expected anything different from a Vivid production.

I have one major bone to pick with this project; no condoms were used during any of the sex scenes.  This is a HUGE no-no in my book, particularly since this is billed as an educational video.  Would it have killed them to tip their hat to the necessity of safe sex when multiple sex partners are involved?  I gotta tell you I was really disappointed by this.

Tristan opens the DVD with some basics. She talks about some of the reasons why people have a 3-way and the sexual opportunities they present.  She outlines the two kinds of threesomes — The Triangle:  in which everyone is sexual with everyone, and The V: in which two people have sex with a third person, but not each other.

The DVD has, appropriately enough, three scenes.

Scene 1:  We meet India Summer, Hailey James, and Jack Lawrence; they get together for a steamy ménage a trios. Both India and Haileey are hot for some girl-on-girl action, and now they can pig out.  So yeah for that!  There is also some nice toy use in this scene.

Scene 2:  Shows us an example of The “V” type of threesome.  Daisy Marie gets it on with both Derrick Pierce and his friend Christian.  The men do not interact sexually with one another, which was a bummer for me.  But everyone has a good gooey time anyway.

Scene 3: Here we have a wide-open threesome; everyone is into everyone.  Penny Flame and Justice Young make out while Harmony is jillin-off on the bed.  The gals get it on with each other as well as turn their attention to Justice.  A big old vibe is introduced and everyone gets off big time.

Here’s a tip: if you’re can buy materials like this, you can rent this DVD as a whole or by the scene in my How To Video Library.

Full review HERE

Swingtime!

Look for my new

Product Review!

REVIEW #32

Hey sex fans!

I have two more outstanding DVD reviews for you.  My Three Way
and Amazing Sex For Women.

On several occasions I’ve called my audience’s attention to the fantastic video work my friend and colleague, Dr Michael Perry, is been doing over at AIM (Access Instructional Media).  And for good reason too, because Michael is a master of the sexual enrichment genre.  (See  REVIEW #7 below.)

As an aside, Michael was my guest for a couple of podcasts chats — #61 and #62.  During our conversation, Michael discusses his work and the astounding success he is having with his video line.  Be sure to check out these podcasts.

Just for the record, Michael’s DVDs knock me out.  In terms of sex education and sexual enrichment the AIM titles are unparalleled.

Let’s take a look at each of these DVDs each in turn.

We start with My Three Way — Approx 120 minutes $19.95

The promotional copy on the DVD box reads:  “How is it possible for couples to bring a third person into their intimate relationship? Many have thought about it. Lots of people fantasize about it. Some couples are actually practitioners in Open Relationship lifestyles.
• Find out why couples do it.
• See what they dare to do…to supercharge their relationship!
• Be tempted to arrange your own three way…at least in your fantasies!

The DVD begins with a quick overview of the entire Intimacy Guide Series.dvd_507

First off, we meet couple #1 in a cocktail lounge gettin all lovey-dovey.  Another woman, an acquaintance of the male partner winds up getting involved.  (Surprise!)  Before things get all hot and heavy though there is a brief spliced-in interview with the couple about why and how they do what they do.  Curiously enough, this is not a distraction from the action, but it actually adds to the story telling.  What follows is a beautiful 2-gal and 1-guy 3-way.  The sexual interaction in this piece is nicely shared between all the players, including gal-on-gal play.

There’s another interview snippet followed by a sweet gal-on-gal segment.

This is followed by yet another brief interview segment and a very sexy 2-guy and 1-gal 3-way.  All the sexual interaction in this piece is focused on the woman; the men do not interact sexually.  This may appeal to some, but it will be disappointing to others.

There is a bonus featurette on this DVD called My Birthday Surprise, which is another fine example of a 2-gal and 1-guy 3-way.

There is ample and diverse sexual expression in all the scenes.  And there is some nice use of sex toys too, which really adds to the production.

This is a wonderful primer on the ins and outs (no pun intended) of initiating and successfully executing a 3-way.  Like the promotional copy on the box suggests, if you are actually looking to open your relationship to include a 3rd or just think the 3-way idea is hot fantasy material, this is the DVD for you.

Here’s a tip:  for those of you who can’t, for whatever reason, buy this DVD you can rent it HERE for viewing online in Dr Dick’s How To Video Library.

Remember, this is not porn.  While the content is sexually explicit, the material is presented in a tasteful and romantic manner. Kudos to Michael Perry for producing this delightful and informative female oriented video.

Next we have — Amazing Sex For Women — 90 minutes $19.95

The promotional copy on the DVD box reads:  “The Bonk’er Spring is a truly revolutionary sex toy invented with the women’s pleasure in mind. This video shows you sex techniques not possible with any other sex gear. See our fun loving couples bounce weightlessly towards powerful orgasm after orgasm!”

What we have here is basically an infomercial for a rather amazing sex innovation from Bonkum, a

company that develops sex furniture.  It’s part spring, part swing and part sling.  Try to say that three times fast!

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With the help of a few adventuresome couples (and a 2-gal, one guy threesome) this video shows how easy and enjoyable it is to have a very athletic and versatile sex life.  The Bonkum swing is really interesting and amazingly adaptable.  Makes creative sex play not only enjoyable, but also effortless.

This video is full of wonderful eye candy of the heterosexual variety.  Too bad there’s not any man on man action to please the rest of us.  (Perhaps that will happen in another video.)  But there is a very nice light BDSM scene that will get your motor racing.

For those of you who can’t buy this DVD, for whatever reason, you can rent it HERE for viewing online in Dr Dick’s How To Video Library.

Again, I want to emphasize something about all the AIM titles.  Each is very sexy and sensual; most are sexually explicit; but none of them can rightly be called porn.  This is an important distinction, because the tone and focus of the AIM titles is completely different from the tone and focus of porn.  And even people who are put off by the notion of porn will have no objection to these videos.

ENJOY!

…all my reviews here

Look for REVIEW #32

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