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joanne

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I don't even know where to start. This is a topic I've broached with friends, but not quite on this level. My stomach is in knots right now attempting to write this. I'm sure I'll be going 'round in circles, so please hang in there with me.

There are many MANY things going on in my life that bear on my marriage, but right now, for me, it's all coming down to is sex. I am not sexually attracted to my husband. It's never been incredible; it's sometimes good. Sex is work for me, but often without any sort of payoff.

We've been together for nearly 10 years. In the beginning it was nice, but it never happened for me, even then. There was the thrill of novelty and discovery, the joy of being with a man I loved. Then for a period of about two years, I literally could not have sex without feeling excruciating pain. It obviously put a damper on things. (And we did go to doctors, we went slowly, we tried every way we could to make it more comfortable for me.) Quite suddenly, the pain stopped. Sex picked up after that point, but still without much enjoyment on my part.

The problem is, I just don't *feel* anything. Literally. I think that there are physical issues at play - my clit is buried deep, and even when I am fully aroused it isn't always right there for the plucking. When he's inside me, it really doesn't register. He's not small, but I wouldn't say he's large, either. He's average. Lately, in an attempt to do something, we've begun using a plug in my ass while he's in me and that helps a little - I'm tighter and I can more easily feel him. We've even moved up to a dildo, so it's even tighter. And yeah, maybe I'm big, but he's said no, and even OBs have commented that I'm a bit tiny down there.

We have children; I'm using an IUD right now for birth control. I think the IUD might be playing some part in this as well because of my body's response to it - my nipples are extremely sensitive, so I can't take much action there. This is unfortunate, since nipple play was HUGE for me. IS huge for me.

Why would I want to do something from which I derive very little pleasure? I've become more open in recent months about things I want (bondage, spanking), but it's a 2-way street - he doesn't always want to play that way. And even when we do go that route, it doesn't mean that I'm going to feel the earth move.

Again, there are other issues at play here that I won't delve into, but I'm sexually frustrated. I have only been with my husband and, yeah, curiosity is rearing its little head. I won't cheat, but I wonder... I find myself looking at other men and wondering, definitely. In bed, could that other man be the one for me?

One thing that really clicked for me here, thanks to Howard, is that sex is play, and that you each have to work to bring your partner pleasure. I don't doubt my husband is working, but it's just not happening for me. But I am not so selfless as to think it's okay for me work and not get something in return. The closeness and bond isn't enough anymore.

Do I have unrealistic expectations? Am I thinking the grass is greener on the other side? Is that a false impression? It upsets me to read some accounts here about people and the length of their orgasms. I have never called out my husband's name. I rarely break a sweat. My orgasms are quick, fleeting, and hard to achieve. And I do work at it. I do. I get on top; I get on my knees; anal sex is far from comfortable, but I want to do it because I know it's something he loves.

I know there are women who cannot orgasm. Fortunately, I can. But I want to experience sex that fucking blows me away, and I don't think I will ever have that with my husband. That makes me feel incredibly sad and lonely. Again, there are other issues at hand here, and I'm not so callous that I am basing the entirety of my marriage's health on our bedroom compatibility. But I feel like it's all starting to fall apart, and this isn't helping.

I do love my husband, but there is something missing. I wonder if he really is right for me. I met him when I was young, and it worked - but he was also my savior, and in my life at that point, that meant the world. It worked for a long time, but it doesn't seem to be working so much now. I can feel myself disengaging, and I can see him trying desperately to get me back. And it's always been like this - he lives with the fear that one day I'll completely lose it and walk out. I live with the fear that I just might, and then the guilt that accompanies that fear.

Please, tell me what to do, what you've done. And please be gentle - I know how this might be coming off, but I really don't know how to adequately illustrate how lost I feel. This isn't something I can talk about with him. Not yet.

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Thanks, Howard. It's a multi-pronged issue, definitely. I think individual counseling is first in order, for me. Trying to stay afloat is a tough gig.

I can see how you might have gotten the impression you did about my marriage. And while, yes, he was in a sense my rescuer, I absolutely was head over heels for him. It transcended that feeling of "Finally! Something safe!" We actually got married after having the kids, and this most recent bout of feelings certainly seems to revolve around a post-partum me. But even when we were in those crazy, heady first days, the sex for ME wasn't mind-blowing. It just...was. Sure it was exciting; it was new, I was in love, etc. But the earth never moved.

My husband and I are *always* touching each other. Always. He'll slap my ass, cop a feel, tweak a nipple, grab me, come up behind me when I'm doing dishes and ram into me (clothes on!), kiss my neck. I'll grab him, hop into the shower while he's in there and go down on him, fondle his nipples (which he HATES, so I keep it up until we're both laughing), I'll shake my ass for him just so, or walk up the stairs in a seductive manner, bend over when I'm picking up laundry and I know he's watching...

I don't WANT sex to be work. But it's not anything to me, really. It just is. It doesn't feel bad, it doesn't feel good. It just is. How do I work around that? I am fully aware that it really just might be me (my nipples are super sensitive, maybe I'm bigger, my clit seems to be content to hide away in the deep recesses of my body), and my compatibility with him. And that's when the wandering thoughts begin - is it me, or just me with HIM? Could I have some explosive, earth-shattering sex... but just not with him? Is it really selfish to WANT that, instead of what I've got?

And I do try to focus on his pleasure. But it's hard to feel super dee dooper about it when it seems a bit one-sided. As far as I can tell, he manages to come every time, and I do things like rub his perineum, rub his balls, push on that little spot behind his scrotum, shift my hips so he gets in deep and at a nice little angle - I am focused on him. And he is focused on me, but I don't get to come every time without really (yes) working for it, myself. I can't imagine anyone who is so selfless as to not expect some of the same effortlessness in return. I want an experience where I can lay there and not have to focus on it at all, where I can simply be at the mercy of my lover and know that I'll be taken care of. Right now, if I just lay there, it'll be quiet, he'll come and go to sleep, and I'll be left thinking, "Really? Is that what all the fuss is about?"

I would love to hear some more from people. It took a lot for me to admit to this, and I would really appreciate your experiences and opinions. Thanks.

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I know it would help to have this conversation, but how on EARTH would one have it? Especially with her partner of nearly 10 years? It could only be construed as completely hurtful, I think. There is no man subjective enough who could withstand the sort of conversation that's playing around in my head - and I'm not thinking vicious. I'm thinking honest.

I do spread my lips, when he's going down on me or when he's on top. It doesn't seem to help. I'll also push down on my lower tummy, hoping to get my G-spot in a lower spot. We have sex at all times, on any day. Yeah, much of the time it's when the kids are in school or asleep, but we've been known to pop in a DVD and run upstairs for a quickie or a blow job.

I think the post-partum/kids issue is far more emotional, and deeply entrenched on my side of the fence, not his.

Another thing - hello, small town! I would love to pull that scenario with my hubby, but you can't walk three inches here without bumping into someone you know, or who knows someone you know. I do not like small towns, truthfully.

I appreciate all your feedback. Thank you.

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I'm sorry that you and your husband are having to go thru all of that. And I say the both of you, because it truly is affecting BOTH of you. Counselling is definitely in order I believe.

So, I see you're 27, and said you've been with your hubby since you were 17? Was he your first real boyfriend/relationship? Sometimes people can outgrow each other and not even realize it. Or the Everyday-ness wears you down, where you're almost running on auto-pilot. To me, that's a waste of time, for you and your partner. Does one want to look back at their life and be filled with "what if's" and regrets? No, of course not. Counselling will, hopefully, find the reasons as to why you feel this way, or don't feel at all.

Right before I had my daughter, and after too, I had some medical condition (which I can't remember for the life of me), that made me dry, just in one spot right inside my vaginal area. It was almost like a sore bump up in there, but it was a dry patch. Which hurt like hell everytime my husband entered me. It made sex extremely painful, and the result, lube or not, was me bleeding a bit after we were done. Some cream and time cleared it right up. It made me shy away from sex for a long time afterward, for fear of pain. That could be some of your problem, the fear of pain?

I did breastfeed my daughter for a year (not exclusively when she got older, but it was exclusive for the first 4 mos of her life), and where breast stimulation was a BIIIIIIG turn on for me, it's not now at all. In fact, I'd rather NOT be touched there. I find it almost irritating now. I tell you these things, since I've given birth, been there, done that, and drawing from my own experience, to show you that you're not alone.

I would suggest making a list of things that you would like to do sexually, and bring them up to your husband. As far as your interest in BSDM is concerned, I noticed that you said that your husband doesn't always want to play like that. Well, no, if he's not into that sort of thing, he won't want to do that all of the time. Be thankful that he tried it, and will do some of it, and is willing to do more here and there. I don't want to use sex toys all of the time when having sex. Variety is the spice of life, including the sex-life!!

Maybe try romancing him one night, or having HIM romance YOU. Have the kids go to a relative's house for the night, just so the 2 of you can concentrate on each other. Whether or not it turns into a sexual night. You both may need to try and reconnect as 2 adults, leaving the parent aspect out of it for a brief moment in time.

I'm just kinda throwing stuff out there for you to consider. Having come on here, posting, and reading responses shows that you are willing to learn, try, and put forth an honest effort, which is a big and great step for the both of you! I hope you're able to find happiness in whatever you decide to do. Good luck, and let us know how things are going!

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You have gotten a LOT of good information and suggestions here...I will try not to repeat. The one thing that resonates for me in this post is that you said you are NOT attracted to your hubby. The fact is, that women connect attraction to sex. We sometimes are attracted to different things in our men - like for you, he "rescued you" and was a safe person to be with. This might have been the attraction 10 years ago, when you were quite young, but you might be thinking of other things now - appearances - and that is why your eye is wandering.

When women feel disconnected with their partner - whether over a non-attactive issue or because they are mad at them (for example) then sex is NOT enjoyable for them. In my experience, if you are connected with your lover and feel that connection, sex can be good and get better. I am not sensing that you have a connection here. You may have him physically in you (fucking you) but in your mind it is pointless and things that are pointless do not give us pleasure.

I think you are just now coming into your own, discovering what makes you happy and makes you horny - and perhaps the man who "saved you" is not what is going to ring your bell anymore. It is not uncommong for men and women to go through periods of waxing and weaning - you might be irritated by something he does, or that he gaine weight, lost hair, etc. It is whether these feelings go away because you truly LOVE that person and feel connected. If you don't, then the once small issues get bigger and bigger and bigger until they drive you apart.

Somtimes counseling can help you to figure out what it is that is causing the rift - sometimes it doesn't. Does you hb find anything missing or bad in your marriage? Does he have fantasies that he has unfullfilled? You are attempting to improve the SEX - by using toys, anal plugs, etc - but what are you doing about the inner feelings? Unfortunately for a majority of women, inner feelings control everything.

If you get to the root of the problem internally and emotionally, everything else might follow suit. Do some soul searching and see what your inner self says about him and being with him the rest of your life. You are young and too young to be stuck in a bad relationship forever.

Good luck!

Mikayla

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I wish things were easy. It's hard to talk about this with friends, because my husband truly rocks when it comes to being a husband and a father. And I have friends who are in shitty relationships, who are on their own and struggling financially, who are wistfully thinking of children they haven't had...And then they look at me and wonder how on earth I could even consider my life a hardship. I look at myself and wonder why I can't be happy. I have this small knack for being very subjective about things - not only am I unhappy, I'm aware that the fact I'm unhappy is nonsensical. Talk about compounding the issue.

I have two horrific divorces that colored my childhood, and that is the last thing I'd want my children to experience. I've always been open with him about the fact that IF we were to split that I would be excessively mindful of my behavior and keep any vitriol to a minimum, and that I'd expect the same in return. However, the possibility of us splitting seems so remote because there's no definitive reason why other than I'm not happy. Why aren't you happy? I'm just not... hence, I am the evil bitch heartbreaker, and for nothing overtly obvious.

Anyway, yes, I have been in therapy, and am looking into more. But it's a real pain when you get 20 sessions a year through your insurance... makes "test driving" a costly venture, in all senses.

Thank you for your thoughts.

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An update...

So, last Tuesday, the day before Valentine's Day, I started to really disengage. Actually, I probably started doing that well before Tuesday, but it all came to a head that night. I was doing dishes, he came up to nuzzle me on the neck, and I literally jumped out of my skin. He asked if things were okay, I said uh-huh, he asked if WE were okay and I shrugged. Things went downhill from there.

After the kids went to bed, we had a HUGE heart-to-heart - freaking exhausting and draining and so sad. Lots of tears, anger (on his part), complete helplessness (on mine). We talked about everything (but NOT the sex issue, because that didn't come up) and held each other. Made slow, tender love and I cried through it. We cried through the whole next day, had extremely territorial sex...We've basically been all over each other since this talk.

We're taking steps to get us back on track. I'm waiting on therapist recommendations (and joy! my insurance doesn't cover any sort of mental health issue, so yay for me), and we're going to go for couple's counseling. But really, there isn't anything I've said to him that I wouldn't say to a therapist. I think we just need that person to guide us through this turmoil, help direct our dialogue into something useful.

However, last night, he quite suddenly brought up sex, and asked if it's THE issue for me. My stomach sort of dropped. Oddly enough, I had written a post here (maybe my first one) about how I was possibly into the whole spanking/bondage thing but didn't know how to bring it up to him. I think the day after I wrote it, we had sex and he pulled out all the stops - spanking, biting, restraints. He didn't read it here, but it was just...weird, how he knew.

Anyway, he was right on and basically detailed everything I've outlined here. It's amazing - it's as if he's climbed inside my head and taken my words for his own. And if there's anything about us, it's that we're open and honest and communicate truthfully - even if it takes us a while to get the words out, they always do eventually get out. So I don't think he happened upon this site and figured out who I was.

Sooo...wrapping things up, we're talking about a possible open marriage. A one-sided, limited time only, open marriage. Now, this is extremely hard for me, for us - I'm equal parts relieved, sad, excited, disgusted, anxious. You name it, I'm probably feeling it. And he is, too. Well, maybe not excited, nor relieved. And this isn't something I'm going to do tomorrow. I'm getting into therapy, discussing it with a therapist, then *possibly* proceeding from there.

That's where we are. It could be something that gets bugs out of my system. It could be something that spells the end of us. I just don't know. But we are both cognizant that one way to combat the sex issue is for me to have sex. With other people. And I can do that with his blessing, or I could not do it at all. Because I wouldn't do it without, unless my marriage was over. And my marriage will probably end if this isn't dealt with.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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I don't even know where to start. This is a topic I've broached with friends, but not quite on this level. My stomach is in knots right now attempting to write this. I'm sure I'll be going 'round in circles, so please hang in there with me.

There are many MANY things going on in my life that bear on my marriage, but right now, for me, it's all coming down to is sex. I am not sexually attracted to my husband. It's never been incredible; it's sometimes good. Sex is work for me, but often without any sort of payoff.

We've been together for nearly 10 years. In the beginning it was nice, but it never happened for me, even then. There was the thrill of novelty and discovery, the joy of being with a man I loved. Then for a period of about two years, I literally could not have sex without feeling excruciating pain. It obviously put a damper on things. (And we did go to doctors, we went slowly, we tried every way we could to make it more comfortable for me.) Quite suddenly, the pain stopped. Sex picked up after that point, but still without much enjoyment on my part.

The problem is, I just don't *feel* anything. Literally. I think that there are physical issues at play - my clit is buried deep, and even when I am fully aroused it isn't always right there for the plucking. When he's inside me, it really doesn't register. He's not small, but I wouldn't say he's large, either. He's average. Lately, in an attempt to do something, we've begun using a plug in my ass while he's in me and that helps a little - I'm tighter and I can more easily feel him. We've even moved up to a dildo, so it's even tighter. And yeah, maybe I'm big, but he's said no, and even OBs have commented that I'm a bit tiny down there.

We have children; I'm using an IUD right now for birth control. I think the IUD might be playing some part in this as well because of my body's response to it - my nipples are extremely sensitive, so I can't take much action there. This is unfortunate, since nipple play was HUGE for me. IS huge for me.

Why would I want to do something from which I derive very little pleasure? I've become more open in recent months about things I want (bondage, spanking), but it's a 2-way street - he doesn't always want to play that way. And even when we do go that route, it doesn't mean that I'm going to feel the earth move.

Again, there are other issues at play here that I won't delve into, but I'm sexually frustrated. I have only been with my husband and, yeah, curiosity is rearing its little head. I won't cheat, but I wonder... I find myself looking at other men and wondering, definitely. In bed, could that other man be the one for me?

One thing that really clicked for me here, thanks to Howard, is that sex is play, and that you each have to work to bring your partner pleasure. I don't doubt my husband is working, but it's just not happening for me. But I am not so selfless as to think it's okay for me work and not get something in return. The closeness and bond isn't enough anymore.

Do I have unrealistic expectations? Am I thinking the grass is greener on the other side? Is that a false impression? It upsets me to read some accounts here about people and the length of their orgasms. I have never called out my husband's name. I rarely break a sweat. My orgasms are quick, fleeting, and hard to achieve. And I do work at it. I do. I get on top; I get on my knees; anal sex is far from comfortable, but I want to do it because I know it's something he loves.

I know there are women who cannot orgasm. Fortunately, I can. But I want to experience sex that fucking blows me away, and I don't think I will ever have that with my husband. That makes me feel incredibly sad and lonely. Again, there are other issues at hand here, and I'm not so callous that I am basing the entirety of my marriage's health on our bedroom compatibility. But I feel like it's all starting to fall apart, and this isn't helping.

I do love my husband, but there is something missing. I wonder if he really is right for me. I met him when I was young, and it worked - but he was also my savior, and in my life at that point, that meant the world. It worked for a long time, but it doesn't seem to be working so much now. I can feel myself disengaging, and I can see him trying desperately to get me back. And it's always been like this - he lives with the fear that one day I'll completely lose it and walk out. I live with the fear that I just might, and then the guilt that accompanies that fear.

Please, tell me what to do, what you've done. And please be gentle - I know how this might be coming off, but I really don't know how to adequately illustrate how lost I feel. This isn't something I can talk about with him. Not yet.

I know how you feel. I am 22 and my husband and I have been dating since I was 16 (6 years) and married for 10 months. I can't really get interested in sex. We were both each other's firsts. I really don't have any vaginal feelings during sex. I can feel him moving in and out but it really doesn't feel like anything. We have talked about it but don't know what to do. I CANNOT have an orgasm during sex and I can't have one from him touching me. I can only have one by masturbating which I rarely do. I feel so bad and I get sad during sex because of this. I rarely ever want sex either. It so hard for me to get in the mood. It takes litterally about an hour to get me in the mood. We only have sex about once a week and that's only on Fridays or Saturdays. He feels badly because he has done everything he can think of. The only time I actually enjoy sex is with oral sex. I have talked to doctors and they haven't done anything but change my birth control. They think that it isn't a big deal but it is to me. Now I AM NOT saying that I want to find someone else, I don't at all. I am very happy with my husband. I just want to enjoy sex and want it more than once a week. I want to want it on my own rather than having him try to get me in the mood and it not working. I just eventually give up on trying to get really excited and just barely want it and let him do it and finish so it's over with.

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