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Discussion Starter #1
This is a trend I have noticed in all my reading over the years between married couples. At some point sexual intimacy tends to break down and one person's advances for spontaneous intimacy get repeatedly rejected. Then at some point the person that gets rejected tries to improve communication by asking first if it is a good time to try and initiate or not. This however tends to be problematic.

If there is one problem I have noticed over all my reading is that spouses in a long term marriage (particularly women from what I have read) do NOT like to be asked if it is OK to have sex. They want things to just happen naturally. Why is this? Shouldn't improving communication and asking for consent versus a spouse getting rejecting during an advance make things easier?

And for those that reply this is a sign the relationship should be ended or that one spouse is no longer attracted to the other, or perhaps one person is gay, or having an affair... this is not about that. It is simply a question of why is it that trying to improve communication tends to spoil what could have been a good intimate moment together when a spouse asks for consent. As in, "this was going to be the perfect moment to have sex until the moment you asked if it would be OK and then that completely ruined it" complaint from a spouse.

Regards,
Badsanta
 

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Mrs. Conan and I talk about it sometimes.

There are times she wants it and asks. She is really the only one who does ask for, sometimes demands, sex.

I usually don't talk much. I just put the moves on her and she responds.

We don't really have too much trouble in that area however and I suspect that people who do will have trouble with conversations about it or just initiating.
 

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Once you get to the point that attempted initiation mostly meets rejection, asking for permission makes one seem weak, needy and unsexy.

As we all know, there are no silver bullets. Try a few things designed to make you appear sexier to your partner (for men, options include hit the gym, rock it at work and plan date nights). If nothing works, have "the talk". Once. And if it doesn't work wihtin 3 to 6 months (and there is a good chance it won't), either choose to leave or choose to render the relationship completely sexless. Much easier to deal with no sex than infrequent, irregular and "mother may I" sex.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Desire can’t be negotiated.
Not a reply I was expecting, but I would argue that you are wrong. If you take a couple that at first things worked great but over time intimacy becomes problematic... I do think the things that improve desire not only can be negotiated but that they should be negotiated. A common example is a spouse that does not "try" can be encouraged to improve his/her efforts. Perhaps this is a husband (with ample desire) that does not allow for enough foreplay and if the wife requests more foreplay it actually does stand a chance to improve her desire for more sex. Same goes if a husband (with ample desire) has gained too much weight and it has made sex awkward/uncomfortable for the wife. She can ask him to loose weight or at least try to work on improving his health.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Once you get to the point that attempted initiation mostly meets rejection, asking for permission makes one seem weak, needy and unsexy.
I think THAT is indeed the dynamic causing problems. I was thinking of it more from a sense of entitlement. In that once someone is told "YES" that then they don't even have to try (mostly meaning to try and make an emotional connection first) before going straight to having sex.
 

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Maybe that’s a “Post hoc, ergo propter hoc” kind of thing. Or, maybe it’s accurate, within a limited part of the spectrum of mismatch/dysfunction we see here.

I have observed, in my marriage, talking hasn’t helped. Sometimes I wonder if asking-as-initiating, or talking about my dissatisfaction and desire for change, has backfired. But, I have to say there has been no shortage of ways for her to avoid intimacy with me at all levels. And no shortage of ways for me to try to make sense of it. It has seemed deep and constant, and over the long term “un-affectable” by me.

Maybe what I think you describe is useful for someone struggling in the early stage of chronic rejection. Perhaps it suggests this as a useful mindset:

“Chin up. Don’t let her see you sweat. Have some self-confidence and certainty that whatever her current negativity, you shall persevere and your positivity will in the long term be enough to get you both through this rough patch. She’ll learn to trust you, to be strong enough and man enough to endure her fears, anxiety, distrust, or whatever lies deep.”

It’s the easiest thing in the world to confidently initiate when one knows the other is desirous and vested in making the relationship thrive.

After enough rejection, and rejection like a river that finds nothing it can’t move around, then there is nothing left but to simply “ask”, and then eventually stop asking altogether.

Sure, one can move negatives to the other side of the equation (referring to your post in another thread). But, if the equation isn’t valid to begin with, well, different problem and different rules.
 

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Consent is the wrong word. The word you want to think of is 'interested' - "would you be interested in ..." or "what would you say to a little one-on-one time" or "what would it take for you to ...". You're her husband - not her child petitioning for permission to go on a school outing.
 

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It doesn’t work because a woman wants a man that already knows what to do to her, with her, and because of her. She doesn’t want to be responsible for the things done... even if she silently wants them. She would rather be taken with passion instead of timidly asked for permission. If your relationship has eroded into her being the partner responsible for the couples sexuality then the battle is lost and her sexuality is locked away. Asking permission is only reinforcing the failure.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It doesn’t work because a woman wants a man that already knows what to do to her, with her, and because of her. She doesn’t want to be responsible for the things done... even if she silently wants them. She would rather be taken with passion instead of timidly asked for permission. If your relationship has eroded into her being the partner responsible for the couples sexuality then the battle is lost and her sexuality is locked away. Asking permission is only reinforcing the failure.
I totally agree with what you are saying here!

In my marriage we resorted to scheduling things, which in my opinion is on par with asking for sex as I am the one that initiates the scheduling. So that for the most part takes the spontaneity out of it because when we schedule it and agree on it, it is going to be a sure thing (unless something out of the ordinary happens).

One time my wife was specifically complaining that it was my responsibility to get her aroused and that I just needed to intuitively know what to do in order to make that happen. I then demonstrated my ability to do exactly that and then I stopped. I explained to her that if she wants something that she will have to ask for it and that I am always more than happy to do so. I then took this a step further and verbally indicated the other things that she would likely enjoy and insisted that I would not do any of those things unless she asks.

She got upset about it at first, but at the end of the day she has now started to ask for things!

My line of thinking is that, "desire needs distance!" ...and it can be hard to create that distance to when you are there and more than willing. But making her have to ask for things in my opinion actually helps create that distance to pushes it right up to the breaking point, because I know that she would rather me instinctually know what to do without her having to say anything. So by the time she asks, she more than wants it! In my opinion this is a much better approach that just giving her what she wants regardless of her being ready to want it or not.

Me personally, I don't mind being asked for things as I enjoy knowing that something is exactly what she wants. On the flip side of things, she does not like me asking for things for me. She just wants me to enjoy doing exactly what I want. The only caveat being is that it for some reason sex has to be scheduled and agreed upon beforehand. Without that she assumes she is free from my advances and that it is just not going to happen (meaning she does not have to reject me).

So I live in a world of having to ask (meaning scheduling), but I have managed to turn things into my wife having to ask as well once things begin (which she does now regularly). I probably could not do that if I were unable to intuitively know what she wants and actively avoid doing it for her!

I am wondering however if I could now break away from scheduling things by now intuitively knowing what tends to work for her scheduling-wise...

Regards,
Badsanta
 

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Everything in context. A spouse who asks for sex while living a sexless marriage is in a completely situation than one who asks for sex in a marriage that's full of sexual encounters. We have what I would consider an informal schedule - basically 1 day on (for 1 sexual encounter) and one day off. Sometimes we'll do 2 days in a row and that will be followed up by 2 days off. More or less, every other day except for menstruation where we normally wouldn't have sex until at least day 5 or 6. Working with this framework, sometimes I'll just "go for it" and other times I'll ask if she's ready. This is the compromise we came up with for our marriage regarding sex. My wife is primarily responsive desire so she won't feel actual desire until we begin foreplay or straight to the deed if we want a quickie.
 

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It doesn’t work because a woman wants a man that already knows what to do to her, with her, and because of her. She doesn’t want to be responsible for the things done... even if she silently wants them. She would rather be taken with passion instead of timidly asked for permission. If your relationship has eroded into her being the partner responsible for the couples sexuality then the battle is lost and her sexuality is locked away. Asking permission is only reinforcing the failure.
Yup!!! Speaking for myself only, I want to know that my partner doesn't just want sex at that moment, he wants ME. About 6 months ago, BF initiated by getting things started...then all of a sudden he literally flipped me over and said "sorry...can't wait...have to have you!" and went to town. I later told him it was the hottest thing he'd done so far in our time together and he was shocked. He thought I was gonna be pissed that he took what he wanted and wasn't concerned with me. Nope. It's about me enough that I know he cares about that, a lot actually. It was just amazing to have him express that he wanted me so much he couldn't wait for it. Now, if he did that every night it would lose its luster and become pure selfishness. But once in a while it's pretty hot. And it's balanced by the amount of times he takes care of me with no regard for himself.

I've also told him early on that I despise being asked for sex. In my case it's because my exH would ask in such a way that it was pretty damn clear he was hoping I'd say no. He'd wait until I was almost asleep for example. It was clear he was doing it so he could later say he initiates but I turn him down. I think I have PTSD about it.

BF listened and has never asked. He has different ways of initiating and some are a little more passive than others...I come out of the shower and he's in bed naked vs I'm doing the dishes and he comes up behind and starts undressing me. The vibe is the same though each time...I want it, with you, now, and so let's go! It works for me. I've NEVER turned him down. Twice in a year I've preemptively said "hope you're not into it tonight because I honestly don't feel great and I'm wicked tired." and both times he made a move and got it. I think he just saw that as a challenge. LOL A few times when I haven't said that but was dead on my feet he'd tuck me into bed and tell me to sleep well.

Making your woman feel wanted and loved is what she wants and that's why she hates to be asked. Like all things there are some women this doesn't apply to, but most women I talk to agree with me completely.

As an aside, I feel badly for men...women want to be taken not asked but if they take without asking they haven't gotten consent and that's a bad thing. How is a guy to know what to do? In the beginning of our relationship BF would ask for consent and I finally said "we're in a relationship, you never have to ask that again...if I don't want to consent, you'll know even without asking." It works for us. It might not work for everybody.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I want to know that my partner doesn't just want sex at that moment, he wants ME.
That is something that has caused issues in my marriage as I have a rather active libido that builds desire over time. My wife on the other hand has an inactive libido that tends to respond to me. So for my wife, I have to do "something" that she responds to and builds desire for her to be with me.

So from her perspective she has never seemed to understand where my desire comes from. She has admitted that she has no idea what it means when people say they are "horny" and need to have it. So when my desire to be with my wife builds and I ask to schedule things, she then associates that she has not done anything yet to make me aroused and assumes my desire is arbitrary. No matter how much I explain it is a desire to be with her, she thinks it is a lie and accuses me of getting myself all aroused over who knows what.

Awkwardly if we schedule sex from a point of me having no arousal and we work together to create an emotional connection, which she observes evolving into arousal... THAT she attributes as me having a desire to be with her. If I happen to already be in the mood, she assumes that I just arbitrarily need sex which she then for the most part will block her ability to respond to that or anything I try.

So if we schedule sex and I indicate I am already in the mood = PROBLEM
If we schedule sex and neither of us are in the mood = FANTASTIC SEX

No matter how much I have tried to attribute my background desire that builds over time to be specifically with my wife, she has always refused to believe it. She asserts that it is impossible for me to desire her because she is not happy with her own self image and claims that no one would be attracted to her.

It is an awkward problem, but I have been working on it over the years.
 

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That sounds like it might be a problem for a sex therapist. I am well aware that sometimes BF is just plain horny. That he saw a great set of boobs in a movie or on a woman he saw during the day and so now he's in the mood for example. It happens. If that happens and he comes to me with that need I feel lucky that I get the benefit of those feelings. There are some women that absolutely can't handle it if their partner sees anyone else in the world as attractive. But that's just not realistic in my opinion. A great set of boobs is a great set of boobs...how can a guy who loves boobs NOT see them? It's asking the impossible. All I ask is that you bring that energy back to me. And it helps immensely that even when something else got him riled up he always brings it back around to his admiration of me somehow. "This actress had great boobs and it got me thinking about yours and then I wanted yours so damn bad." or something like that.

Other times, it's MY boobs he's seen and so now he wants those particularly. We were at the Cape a few weekends ago and he practically attacked me once we got back to our room from the beach. I asked what made him so horny and the answer was "I've been seeing your boobs in that bathing suit all damn day" and that obviously feels more special.

I think perhaps if you approached things that way it might help???? I don't know. But instead of just initiating, you could try saying "I've been enjoying you in that top or skirt or whatever, all day and it's making me crazy"

Or would she still think you're lying?
 

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I usually don't talk much. I just put the moves on her and she responds.

I suspect that people who do will have trouble with conversations about it or just initiating.
THIS ^^^^^^^^^

The thing people need to keep in mind is 92.37% of daily life is not sexy or romantic.

Women in long term relationships typically have more of a responsive desire than spontaneous desire (possible exception while ovulating)

Thus married women with children and adult responsibilities are rarely walking around in a state of arousal. If you simply ask them if they want to have sex, the answer is invariably going to be no even if they are physiologically vigorous and the relationship is intact.
Who can have sex right now if there are still dirty dishes in the sink right?

The conditions and environment for seduction and foreplay must be created and the arousal and stimulation are what leads to the desire.

In 25 years of marriage and a current average of every 1-2weeks, I don’t know if I have ever simply asked if she wanted to have sex because I know as sure as the sun will rise in the east that if I ask before arousing her myself that the answer will be no.

The cosmos may not be fair but it is a reality, at least in my marriage, that if I want to have sex, I have to seduce and sexually arouse her before she will desire it.

I suspect this is not an unusual paradigm.

IMHO asking just leads to being told no and once you are told no, you are an ahole if you keep trying and it will make you appear weak and pathetic in her eyes.
 

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That is something that has caused issues in my marriage as I have a rather active libido that builds desire over time. My wife on the other hand has an inactive libido that tends to respond to me. So for my wife, I have to do "something" that she responds to and builds desire for her to be with me.

So from her perspective she has never seemed to understand where my desire comes from. She has admitted that she has no idea what it means when people say they are "horny" and need to have it. So when my desire to be with my wife builds and I ask to schedule things, she then associates that she has not done anything yet to make me aroused and assumes my desire is arbitrary. No matter how much I explain it is a desire to be with her, she thinks it is a lie and accuses me of getting myself all aroused over who knows what.

Awkwardly if we schedule sex from a point of me having no arousal and we work together to create an emotional connection, which she observes evolving into arousal... THAT she attributes as me having a desire to be with her. If I happen to already be in the mood, she assumes that I just arbitrarily need sex which she then for the most part will block her ability to respond to that or anything I try.

So if we schedule sex and I indicate I am already in the mood = PROBLEM
If we schedule sex and neither of us are in the mood = FANTASTIC SEX

No matter how much I have tried to attribute my background desire that builds over time to be specifically with my wife, she has always refused to believe it. She asserts that it is impossible for me to desire her because she is not happy with her own self image and claims that no one would be attracted to her.

It is an awkward problem, but I have been working on it over the years.
That seems awfully complicated.......
 

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That is something that has caused issues in my marriage as I have a rather active libido that builds desire over time. My wife on the other hand has an inactive libido that tends to respond to me. So for my wife, I have to do "something" that she responds to and builds desire for her to be with me.

So from her perspective she has never seemed to understand where my desire comes from. She has admitted that she has no idea what it means when people say they are "horny" and need to have it. So when my desire to be with my wife builds and I ask to schedule things, she then associates that she has not done anything yet to make me aroused and assumes my desire is arbitrary. No matter how much I explain it is a desire to be with her, she thinks it is a lie and accuses me of getting myself all aroused over who knows what.

Awkwardly if we schedule sex from a point of me having no arousal and we work together to create an emotional connection, which she observes evolving into arousal... THAT she attributes as me having a desire to be with her. If I happen to already be in the mood, she assumes that I just arbitrarily need sex which she then for the most part will block her ability to respond to that or anything I try.

So if we schedule sex and I indicate I am already in the mood = PROBLEM
If we schedule sex and neither of us are in the mood = FANTASTIC SEX

No matter how much I have tried to attribute my background desire that builds over time to be specifically with my wife, she has always refused to believe it. She asserts that it is impossible for me to desire her because she is not happy with her own self image and claims that no one would be attracted to her.

It is an awkward problem, but I have been working on it over the years.
This is what as known as ‘qualification’ in the PUA community. It is a thing.

@notmyjamie touches on it from the female perspective above.

Men are often viewed as horndogs and pervs and many women can begin to feel that their man just wants a place to park their penis and don’t really care who, what or where.

This can obviously be a turn off if they don’t feel that their man actually wants THEM specifically.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I think perhaps if you approached things that way it might help???? I don't know. But instead of just initiating, you could try saying "I've been enjoying you in that top or skirt or whatever, all day and it's making me crazy"

Or would she still think you're lying?
I think she struggles to attribute how I get aroused and she will not accuse me of lying, but she often says, "you did that to yourself (as in got myself all aroused)!" The gesture of that comment means that my arousal is not her problem and that I should just make it go away.

During those moments she often is willing to accommodate me if I really need her to, but it is extremely unlikely that she will be able to respond to anything that I do to try and get her in the mood. She has mentioned that she does not mind giving her body to me in a loving way and that she enjoys making me happy if I have to have it, but she also asks that those moments should be the exception and not the norm.

I have been working to improve her self confidence and she sometimes enjoys being flirtatious when she knows I am building desire. This has been a positive thing, but it is playful process that never leads to anything. For example if she is about to leave for the day she might come and shove her boobs in my face just to tell me that she is leaving and that I can't have them. I actually do enjoy moments like that! It is as if she only enjoy flirting when she knows that sex is impossible at that moment. Perhaps it is out of a fear that I will not respond and that she fears rejection. I'm not sure.

Badsanta
 
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