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Hey, I wrote the article and I would disagree with some of your terms. They don't match the accepted definitions.

Spontaneous desire would be suddenly wanting sex without any seemingly outside stimulus.
Responsive desire is desiring sex after a sexual context has been introduced, it could be anything from a look to being half way through actual sex.
No desire would be asexual. They don't want sex, even when they're having sex. They don't get aroused at all and are only doing it for you. They get absolutely nothing out of it.

"However, most women also have spontaneous desire, and most men also have responsive desire. It's just that each gender tends to skew one way."
I'm not sure that's the case. 30% of women will never experience spontaneous desire, however that doesn't mean they all exhibit spontaneous desire now. As women age, they're more and more likely to become solely responsive desire only. "most" seems a little strong. And "skew" doesn't quite describe just how polarized the genders are on the types.

The other issue is that the term "sex drive" really hides a far more complicated system. There are many different parts of the brain involved, and so a particular woman's "sex drive" can change dramatically from context to context. Stress, sleep, history, theology, hydration, diet, temperature, location, and a create many other things, all get rolled into desire. And then there's physical and mental arousal, which are completely different things that are linked through another mechanism. For women, their arousal concordance (the link between mental and physical) is around 10% on average.

Anyways, to answer the original question, yes, sex drive can vary from partner to partner, because the context changes. It can also change during a single relationship if you can improve the context. I know, because my marriage was technically sexless for the first 7 years. You can contact me through my blog (UncoveringIntimacy.com) if you have further questions. I may not see a response here.
 

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Yes, your wife might be much more sexually passionate with someone else.

But, be honest, you might be much more sexually passionate with another woman.


If you're going to stay with her; focus on her flaws to lessen your attraction to her. Her cellulite, the way she looks before she does her hair and make-up, the things she says to you when she's in a crappy mood. Focus on what is unattractive and unlikable about her. Everyone has plenty of physical and personality defects.

That should help to take the edge off of your desire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 · (Edited)
Yes, your wife might be much more sexually passionate with someone else.



But, be honest, you might be much more sexually passionate with another woman.





If you're going to stay with her; focus on her flaws to lessen your attraction to her. Her cellulite, the way she looks before she does her hair and make-up, the things she says to you when she's in a crappy mood. Focus on what is unattractive and unlikable about her. Everyone has plenty of physical and personality defects.



That should help to take the edge off of your desire.


No actually I have never been as attracted to anyone else. It could be those bonding hormones fooling me but if you put her next to a famous actress or porn star I'm still more likely to want her. Hence my insecurities that it is not the same for her. ( in terms of intensity not in terms of wanting someone else. She doesn't look around, especially).

Also, she doesn't have any physical flaws...
Yes she does say things when she's in crappy mood but they don't seem to lessen my attraction to her, generally.

Also trying to think about too many negatives about your partner can't be a good recipe for successful marriage...

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 · (Edited)
Anyways, to answer the original question, yes, sex drive can vary from partner to partner, because the context changes. It can also change during a single relationship if you can improve the context. I know, because my marriage was technically sexless for the first 7 years. You can contact me through my blog (UncoveringIntimacy.com) if you have further questions. I may not see a response here.
Good articles @UncoveringIntimacy.

Makes a lot of sense and is well written too.

That's what I thought about ND. Are there really women like that? One missing part of the puzzle might be partner compatibility and how it relates to the desire/drive/willingness. I'm sure partner must play a bigger role than your article might imply (how this interacts with the definitions etc. this is not a criticism). It's extremely difficult to test it for obvious reasons plus it is not a very satisfying realisation..if that is really the case.

Which context changed in your marriage, may I ask?

"Spontaneous desire would be suddenly wanting sex without any seemingly outside stimulus."

This doesn't seem quite right: there are always outside stimuli. It's about how we choose to react to them (or whether we choose). For me it is usually simple interaction with my wife or a thought about her. (I see you wrote "seemingly" but still). For her: she can make herself want sex it seems. She said if she thinks about it beforehand or during the day then at night she'll be good to go...Which is also difficult for me to understand because I don't really see where I play a part in that...

I think it's also more behavioural: a more outgoing/extravert person will show & react to the stimuli more. Or some may not react to the outside stimuli at all or little or in their own way. It's a big maze...
 

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Glad you enjoyed the articles!

Are there women who are asexual? Yes, not many, but it does happen. I think there are more who claim to be asexual, but often they're blocking themselves from being open to having sexual feelings. That's not quite the same thing, though it presents in the same way and they likely believe themselves to be asexual.

I personally don't believe in "compatibility". The only real compatibility issues are pride and selfishness. If you can drop those, anyone is compatible. We have generations of arranged marriages to prove that.

"Which context changed in your marriage, may I ask?"

Well, I quit watching porn. My wife realized how important sex was. That all came after we focused on communication so we could actually talk about the issues. In short, the context that changed was our relationship. We focused on making it better, deeper, more intimate, and the sex came with it.

"'Spontaneous desire would be suddenly wanting sex without any seemingly outside stimulus.'

This doesn't seem quite right: there are always outside stimuli. It's about how we choose to react to them (or whether we choose). For me it is usually simple interaction with my wife or a thought about her. (I see you wrote "seemingly" but still). For her: she can make herself want sex it seems. She said if she thinks about it beforehand or during the day then at night she'll be good to go...Which is also difficult for me to understand because I don't really see where I play a part in that..."

Right, it's seeming, because there's always some stimulus. So, here's sort of how it works. Your physical arousal level is dictated by your subconscious mind and it's constantly looking for sexually relevant contexts. If it sees one, then it tells the body "hey, this is sexually relevant, we should prepare for potential sex". For men, this means we often get an erection, and sometimes we don't even know why. Our subconscious saw something we consciously notice. But, since we're men, we get an erection, and THAT we notice. And so suddenly we start thinking about sex, or about our wife, or whatever. It seems spontaneous, but it's not. Because of this, I think, men have a much higher concordance between their physical and mental arousal. It's not perfect, only about 50%. But, that's pretty high compared to the 10% for women.

For women, their mind will notice something sexually relevant, and they'll start getting physically aroused. However, it's not as obvious in a female body. So, it's far less likely she'll notice and start getting aroused. As well, our society has trained men to see almost everything as sexually relevant and women to think that almost nothing is. Actually, we tend to train women to believe that sexually relevant contexts are a threat. And so that re-wires that mechanism to not see as many sexually relevant contexts as men.

All this together means that women have far fewer -seemingly- spontaneous arousal points in their life.

Add to that that women are often cronically stressed, with hits the breaks on their subconsious arousal patterns as well, because for most women, stress does not equal a good time for sex, whereas for many men, sex is a stress relief.

This is, unfortunately, just the tip of the iceberg, but I'm trying to relay a ton of information in a few paragraphs. I've spent the last 5 years reading, blogging and talking to couples and spouses about this sort of thing, and I'm still learning.
 

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I stopped finding mine attractive after I'd had my fill of not getting my emotional needs met. The drive difference was a problem, but it was only after I really understood that my wife had zero interest in even working on it that my attraction to her completely tanked. I had a need for her to be a partner with me, but she elected not to participate.
How did you find out?
 

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Seriously though where can I read up on this or what is reasonable to expect? (before it's in the 'needy' territory). I can't really verbalise what it is that is not being met as I don't quite understand it myself...
Something isn't being met otherwise I doubt I'd feel the emptiness or pain so often.
Don't try to figure it out yourself. Go to a trained professional. That is what they are there to do.
 

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How did you find out?
She'd been telling me for years but I was too thick-headed to listen. She'd refuse to read any books I'd ask her to, she'd shut down conversations, etc. Excuses for everything, and when the excuses would run out, she'd turn to flat out "I don't want to listen to this".

It was my own fault for spending as long as I did.
 

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She'd been telling me for years but I was too thick-headed to listen. She'd refuse to read any books I'd ask her to, she'd shut down conversations, etc. Excuses for everything, and when the excuses would run out, she'd turn to flat out "I don't want to listen to this".

It was my own fault for spending as long as I did.
You are now divorced I assume. Are either of you in new relationships? Are they any happier?
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 · (Edited)
Glad you enjoyed the articles!

Are there women who are asexual? Yes, not many, but it does happen. I think there are more who claim to be asexual, but often they're blocking themselves from being open to having sexual feelings. That's not quite the same thing, though it presents in the same way and they likely believe themselves to be asexual.

I personally don't believe in "compatibility". The only real compatibility issues are pride and selfishness. If you can drop those, anyone is compatible. We have generations of arranged marriages to prove that.
Interesting point of view. Are you sure the arranged marriages prove this and not the fact that society pushed women to be more obedient and just learn to live with the sorry situation that they have been forced into? They did not have an alternative to begin with really.

This is the thing and I don't want to open pandora's boxes but it seems to me somewhat irrational to leave yourself/myself (or anyone) and my wife's attraction levels/intensity towards me out of the equation completely. From your writing, it makes a lot of sense to explain basically almost any type of behaviour and navigate through it with success (as far as it is possible, given the pre-requisites of each other's attractions). But I am not sure it would be good enough, in the big picture, if one of the main underlying causes for ND/LD/SD (slow drive)/NR etc was the fact that she just wasn't as into me as she could be, if she found a more compatible partner. This seems like a vital piece to me that might be missing from your reasoning and I assume many people's reasoning, because it is just a very painful truth that one can not really do that much about. (If it is even true.)
Have you examined how sexual attraction works on a biological level? (Hormones, pheromones etc). It would seem to me that instinctive/animalistic/subconscious elements play a MUCH more important role in partner selection or how one feels about their partner throughout the relationship, rather than their willingness to drop the pride & selfishness etc. Of course changing certain behavioural patterns consciously (being more considerate, intimate, willing etc) can go some way, but not all the way...And it would be biologically unnatural to force it.

Ok this is a longwinded way to say this: say there was another male, like myself, but my wife had a significantly stronger attraction for him (without jumping through all the hoops to get herself there). If I was considerate and really loved her altruistically, I should break up with her & let her be with that partner, because in the long run, there is a MUCH higher probability that she will be more fulfilled. Of course I am not really able to do this, due to selfishness (and due to the fact that I may still be missing something). But it seems (in the words of Spock) the only logical course of action. Or at least something worth considering.

But the other voice in me tells me that the bit that I might be missing, I think, is that sexual attraction (no matter how complex) may be just one of the many components that contribute towards a soup of various ingredients, to give the relationship a higher or lower chance of success (there are so many others, including superficial things like bank account balance/ability to provide). However the woman's sexual attraction part towards her counterpart, I think, is one of the more important ones (I would guess it would make up at least 70%), hence why I focus so much on it. I think without it (or if the attraction is weak), there's really not such a high chance to succeed. I sometimes wonder whether all these terms (ND/LD/RD etc) are in fact there making us avoid the real issue. Because on the other end of the spectrum, the answer to my question seems to be "of course her sex drive will manifest itself differently with somebody else". Would we not be fighting a loosing battle, if that was the case?

"Which context changed in your marriage, may I ask?"

Well, I quit watching porn. My wife realized how important sex was. That all came after we focused on communication so we could actually talk about the issues. In short, the context that changed was our relationship. We focused on making it better, deeper, more intimate, and the sex came with it.
.

Anything in particular that you did? Any books you'd recommend how to make it "deeper & intimate"? I know what you mean; it is really impossible to write these things down in a few paragraphs. That's why I enjoyed your articles: the flow is great & very comprehensible.
 

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Not divorced. I've simply lost attraction to her, as she has to me. I still love her, I'm just not attracted to her anymore.
Have you ever turned your wife down, Fozzy?
 

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I have for the first time found what I can truly love – I have found you. You are my sympathy – my better self – my good angel; I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my center and spring of life, wraps my existence about you – and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one. - Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre
Sounds like a masturbation piece.
 

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Sounds like a masturbation piece.
I have for the first time found what I can truly love – I have found you. You are my sympathy – my better self – my good angel; I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my center and spring of life, wraps my existence about you – and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one. - Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre


Sounds like coitus
 

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I'm sure I probably did at some point early in the relationship, but I haven't in a very long time.
Sorry things have not improved fo you, brother.
 

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I think the fact that your wife has masturbated and used sex toys at all, surely shows that some "spontaneous desire" must be there?

It seems like it, but I'd have to say no, in all honesty.

Like I said, she went to a sex toy party a friend of hers was having. She had never owned a sex toy before, and had shrugged off any suggestions that her and I go 'shopping' before that. I strongly believe that she actually bought something because everybody else did. If I recall correctly, she used it for the first time with me present. Now, any woman out there will tell you that an orgasm from a vibrator is entirely different. Just doesn't compare.

The next ~3 months, it got used fairly regularly, with and without me. Totally fine with that. Excited, actually! Then it seemed to stop, and it only ever came out with me. It still does, maybe once out of every 6 or 8 times.

I'm not convinced those 3 months of solo use were anything more than novelty, something new and different, that sort of thing. Considering she claims to have never masturbated, period (with or without toys), I can imagine the novelty of it from her perspective. FWIW, she's highly orgasmic to begin with. Oral sex will get her off in a minute or less, and it's the same with a vibrator, except with a different type of orgasm.

In short, I don't think this suddenly gave her an actual sex drive for a few months. I do think it was responsive desire, as well as novelty. The response being to the fact that there was this $150 magic vibrating thingy in a drawer a foot away from her, with all her socks. So every day when she grabbed a pair of socks, there it was. She was probably already in a state of undress, so why not? And for those 3 months, we didn't have any more OR less sex, nor did she use the toy with me every time, either.

And I'm 99.9% certain it hasn't been touched by her solo since that 3 month period several years ago.


I throw lots of money at sex toys (many of them still unopened) and I think she did use one of those vibrating egg things a couple of times (because i told her to, apparently. I have to travel a lot and must have said to use them, if she's desperate). But she says she'd rather wait for me so it was never used again.

I'll add to this, too. Despite you not thinking you pressured her in any way, she likely sees it differently. My wife has that personality. It's frustrating at times. To the point where, if I don't word something properly, she'll take it as an order, a demand, etc. It's entirely possible that I said the word "vibrator" at the end of this 3 month period, and my wife got turned off of the whole thing... :D I joke, but it's probably more likely than I think...

I quite clearly remember not even mentioning her new toy during this period, not even in a positive way. Not even suggesting she pull it out with me. I let her do all of that. It was her thing, not mine, and she was in charge of it.

And is the thing I have to wrap my head around sometimes. If I travelled for work a lot (I don't), and bought her sex toys for her to use in my absence, she'd see those as nothing more than a surrogate. She'd view it as me telling her "hey, use these when I'm not available", thereby making sex toys and more importantly, masturbation, an extension of ME. "Can't have me, use this!" Whereas the entire thing with my wife was totally her own decision and thoughts, including the usage of it. So absolutely no pressure (real or imagined) for her. Therefore MUCH more open to things that she'd otherwise not be into in the first place.


Recently (in the last year or two), she has started to come up to me periodically (every 3 days or so).
We used to argue a lot in the past about the fact that rejection hurts too much so I just said why doesn't she come to me whenever she is in the mood, since I am ALWAYS in the mood for her (which is true) and my own 'responsive desire' can go from 0 to 100 in a matter of seconds.
So I don't know whether she comes to me because she wants to or because it is time. (She says she wants to but it seems unlikely because this is a new pattern for her). Once she starts going, she can get very involved, like yours it seems.

We've gone through periods like this, too, though we seem to have settled in on a happy medium at the moment.

From my POV, when my wife would do this, it was a conscious decision on her part, not a "I'm horny, I'd like to have sex" thing. The important thing is to not take it as her throwing you a bone, or based on pity - which is easy to do. Ideally, we'd like our wives to actually BE horny, and desire US (as well as sex), but that's not the reality. My wife CAN get like that, but being responsive desire, it's me who has to start that ball rolling. Then she's all over me, and 'needs' it. But for folks like us, our wives aren't going to ambush us on the couch, when we're minding our own business watching baseball because they're horny and want sex.

For that matter, and I don't know how your wife operates, but when mine does "initiate", it's not... sexy? As in, she's not turned on, horny, excited. She will be, but not at that moment. Know what I mean? She's not coming to me because SHE wants sex. She's coming to me because I want sex, and she's open to it. She'll get turned on afterwards, once we've actually begun.


A friend of mine tells me alcohol sometimes can make wonders on getting the woman extremely horny (haven't tried it). Me dominating her (and controlling her 'horniness') seems to have worked best so far. She doesn't seem to enjoy sensual stuff as much, if it doesn't evolve into a more dominating experience later on.
It seems you found the same and it's kind of strange to witness this transformation which seems so out of character otherwise...

I tend to agree with this, and have experienced it with my wife as well. I'm not convinced alcohol makes her horny, per se. Just that it lowers her inhibitions considerably, and she's far less self-conscious when she's had a few drinks. More open to things like PDA's, screwing around, and yes, sex.


Yes it's all quite fascinating. It comes down to the realisation that the partner's brain and wiring can be very different and one has to accept & learn to navigate it somehow.
 
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