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Lacking In Intimacy

Question:

I have been married for nearly 16 years. During those years I have only reached orgasm maybe 5 times. I have tried telling my husband in a number of ways, how to please me and he seems to try but doesn’t do it long enough or in the right spot. I have given up for the most part and bought a vibrator. I can’t stand this. Am I destined to never be satisfied by my mate or is there hope. What do I do and how do I say it without damaging his ego?

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Answer:

From the way you describe it, your husband is not so much unwilling to attend to you, as he is clumsy or unskillful. Given this willingness (if it does exist), I do think there can be hope for your situation. As there are delicate egos involved here (no one likes to think they are an inadequate lover), I would suggest that you enlist the help of an expert third party sex therapist. A sex therapist can function as a real expert to help calm your husband if he fears for his masculinity (for instance, by telling him authoritatively that many couples have similar difficulties, and that women really do have different needs in this regard than do men), and who can also make helpful suggestions on techniques (for both of you) and for how you two can build more intimacy into your sexual activity. While the orgasm issue is real and extremely frustrating, the other equally difficult issue for both of you is the lack of intimacy and the cooling of passion that your retreat has probably brought into the bedroom. Even if your spouse never gets any more skillful with regard to satisfying you, there is no reason that he must necessarily be excluded from your sexuality. Finding some way to include him at least some of the time even if you’re running your own show is to be preferred, I think (from the perspective of the health of your relationship) to you going solo all the time. I think you need to talk to him, explaining the situation in terms of how you feel (your frustration and desire) in a calm, non-blaming way, and invite him into a shared sex-therapy situation with the goal of helping your mutual love life improve. Good luck.

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