countless letters from men AND women detailing the pain of either
constant rejection from their partner or disappointment in the
frequency of lovemaking. While men have the reputation for being
constant horn dogs, I have to represent the woman's viewpoint as
well. Many women also report approaching their partner and being
shunned. I'm not
talking about the
occasional "Sorry, I have a headache," or "I'm too tired." I'm
talking about continual rejection that can lead to sexual
incompatibility. What do you do if one person wants sex twice a
week, but the other is satisfied with twice a month? How much is
"too much"? This varies from couple to couple, but what if there's
division within the union? There needs to be communication and
compromise. Sex isn't everything, but we all know it matters.
After a couple has
been together for some time, it's likely that the sexual frequency
will decrease. But what if you both just sincerely have different
needs? It's not uncommon for people to have difference sexual
appetites, and these needs will more than likely change over time.
An important note to remember is that things will only go downhill
if you criticize or insult the other person for their preferences,
whether they don't want it as often or you feel they are
"obsessed" as some letters say. I've read discouraging emails
about how partners turn away from one another, and one says they
simply don't care about the decrease in activity and it's the
other person's problem. YIKES. That doesn't sound like positive
communication to me.
Imagine that you
have a friskier libido than your partner and you generally do most
of the initiating. Only, slowly but surely, you are rejected more
and more. Eventually, your partner says "no" the majority of the
time. Constant rejection is enough to make anyone give up, and
that's exactly what many of you have done. If you go out of your
way to create a loving
atmosphere and your
partner routinely rejects you, it can make you not want to bother.
And then you begin to turn the pain inward. Though your partner
swears it has nothing to do with you, you still blame yourself.
Why doesn't he/she want me? Are they not attracted to me anymore?
If he/she loves me, why wouldn't they want to make love more
often? You probably start feeling like you've done something
wrong, that your partner might not love you anymore, or that you
aren't giving the other person what he/she needs. I've
letters detailing this exact pain. And perhaps you're hurt and
don't know how big of a deal to make about your feelings. Let's
face it - if you make love twice a month because that's what your
partner prefers, but you actually would like it twice a week,
someone's needs aren't being met. Sometimes masturbation just
Sometimes, when we
don't want to have sex, we simply just don't want to. It isn't
always symbolic of underlying issues. But, if it happens more and
more frequently, perhaps something else is going on in the
relationship. Is there resentment toward your partner for any
reason? Are you particularly stressed or tired because of a crazy
work schedule? Perhaps the couple just had a child or is
struggling to juggle all the daily demands of family life. Or,
there could be a sexual disorder or former abuse scars. It could
be nothing, but a constant "not tonight" could be indicative of
something else. Still, others insist they are just not sexual
They probably aren't
reading this essay!
I'm not trying to
scare anyone, but I've read letter after letter detailing
separations over this very issue. Before this spirals out of
control, let's get the train back on course. First and foremost,
remember what attracted you to one another to begin with.
Affection can greatly help if frequency needs aren't being met.
I'm not a therapist, but I'm basing this on life experience and
reader mail: a little affection goes a long way. Make it a point
to spend 15 minutes together every day to talk, hug, caress, or
massage each other. Little things matter. A little swat on the
tush or holding hands
can make all the
difference. It sets the stage for a positive, loving atmosphere.
And just maybe one of those massage sessions will turn into
more...Don't be upset if touching doesn't always lead to
intercourse, though. Even if you don't end up making love, the
intimacy level will have increased. Any time you make a conscious
effort to pay attention to or nurture something, there will more
than likely be positive results.
There needs to
somehow be a happy medium. If after all the communication
attempts, you are still frustrated and feel isolated and
alienated, I would suggest couples counseling. Counseling isn't
the answer to everything, but sometimes we need a mediator or
catalyst to help us advance to the next level.