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Men, Women, Marriage and Sex

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. was in private practice for more than thirty years. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the states ...Read More

"Dr. Laura" Schlessinger in her book, The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, devotes a full chapter to sexual relations with the emphasis being on how wives seem to ignore the complaints and needs of their husbands.

Now, I am not a great fan of Dr. Schlessinger. And, I guess I am attempting to provoke something of a debate here. But,is it possible that there is something to the complaint that so many husbands have about not having enough sex with their wives?

Dr. Schlessinger includes copies of letters from some husbands and wives about their sexual problems. All of the sample letters relate to men feeling deprived of sex as a result of the attitudes their wives have. What attitudes?

According to Dr. Schlessinger women are great at attracting the men they want. She states that part many women show a lot of enthusiasm about sex in the early relationship with their boy friends, fiancees and young husbands. They wear sexy lingerie from Victoria’s Secret, are careful about their makeup so that they look terrific to their men and include wearing delicious perfumes as part of their strategy to attract and keep their men.

However, Dr. Laura continues, after a number of years of marriage and children many of these wives become disinterested in sex. As examples she cites the fact that: 1) They go from having sexual relations three or four times per week to once a week or less; 2)They act offended when their husbands complain that they never wear sexy lingerie; 3) Not only do they stop wearing sexy lingerie but they wear unappealing pajamas, sit on the toilet with the door wide open and do not behave sexy.

Dr. Schlessinger then goes on to point out that when these men lose interest in sex with their wives they are either indifferent or, more often, distressed by why this has happened.


Given all the controversy we have read from men and women abuot the issue of pornography, is it possible that lost interest on the part of some wives is the reason why men turn to pornograhy?

Also, given all we have read about unfaithful men, is it possible that the change in ground rules about sex is one of the reasons why some men cheat on their wives?


While I do want to provoke a discussion I do not want to offend anyone.

For example:

1. Married women who mother their children, clean the house and maintain jobs and careers, are often too exhausted at the end of the day to have much interest in or ability to feel sexy.

2. In truth, this same exhaustion afflicts husbands. Probably one of the biggest complaints I hear from both husbands and wives is how exhaustion as a result of holding more than one job really afflicts them and drains their ability to feel any enthusiasm for sex at the end of the day.

3. Many husbands also begin to take their wives for granted and want sex but without any shred of romance. Walking around the house in underwear and tee shirt may not look too sexy to many wives, either.

The Truth Is…

Marriage is hard work during which no partner should make the mistake of taking their spouse for granted. A husband recently reported something to me that was very delightful. Quite spontaneously, he called his wife at work and told her how much her really loves her. She was surprised and delighted by her husband’s expression of affection.

Maintaining a healthy sexual relationship as husband and wife remains important througout life. In addition, demonstrating love and concern along with maintaining good communication are equally important to successful marriage.

What are your points of view?

Keep Reading By Author Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D.
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