Get More Sex From Your Wife or Partner…Starting Now!

Summary: The More You Help Around the House, the More You Help with the Kids, the More Sex You Will Get.

Note: This essay assumes that your wife or partner actually wants to have a sex life and has an otherwise healthy libido. It also assumes that you are a typical guy who’s slacking a bit in the family and home department. For deep sexual or marital problems these techniques probably won’t achieve the desired results, but they will make you a better father.

Not getting enough sex? Then do something about it. For a woman, foreplay begins the moment you wake up. This means every decision you make, starting a breakfast, will increase or decrease the odds of getting laid that night.

Moms, whether they stay at home or have an additional job outside the house, are generally overburdened with housework and child raising duties.

Imagine a dog that constantly needed to be petted and wanted to lick your hands. And no matter how much you petted or let them lick, it was never enough. You can be sure that by the end of the day you wouldn’t want to pet anything or be licked by anyone. This is what’s it’s like to be around a young child the whole day. So it’s little wonder moms tend to feel everyone “expects” or “wants” something from them 24/7. Unfortunately, to an exhausted, over stimulated mom, your sexual needs can feel like just another “demand”.

So what are you gonna do about it?

Some men take the victim route. The whine about how their partner isn’t interested in sex anymore, or worse, that their partner’s withholding sex as a form of punishment. If you want to play the martyr role, go ahead if that’s what you’re looking for. However if having more sex is more important than your identity as a victim then this is not a productive strategy.

A better strategy is to assume a provider protector role. And I mean this in the most general sense not in the creepy sexist “Promise Keepers” way. Anything you care about needs to be nurtured. Plants, pets, people and especially your relationship with your partner need to be protected and provided for. Otherwise they simply die or atrophy from neglect. Your sex life is no different.

So how do you provide for and protect your sex life? The first thing you need to do is make sure your partner has the support she needs. What does she need? It’s pretty simple really. Help with the home and the kids. Do this and the rest takes care of itself.

Don’t believe me? Then take the one week “Me So Horny” challenge. Starting tomorrow you’re going to step up your game and start pitching in. If your partner is usually scrambling around in the morning trying to get the kids dressed for school as well as getting herself ready to go to work or the gym, then step in and help. Here’s some sample dialogue you can use: “Hey honey, I’ve noticed that sometimes you’re just overwhelmed in the morning trying to take care of everyone, you just go take care of yourself and I’ll get the kids ready and drop them off at school.” Then go do it. Guess who’s getting laid tonight? Dude, you are!

At dinner time try this: “I know you’ve been trying to finish up that book you started, how about you just go to the bedroom and read and I’ll take care of the dishes and putting the kids to bed”. After the kids are sound asleep and you go strolling into your bedroom she will be soooo hot for you. Simply lean in and make your move. No need to ask, beg or explain that you’re horny. Remember, helping with the home and kids is foreplay for a woman and she’ll respond accordingly. In the unlikely event she doesn’t, don’t pout, just acknowledge her decision, give her a few kisses and then get ready for bed. Repeat the next day but try looking for other ways you can help. Even something small like picking up some toilet paper and toothpaste at lunch so she doesn’t have to can go a long way.

A word of caution. During the “Me So Horny” challenge week never say or imply that you are doing this for sex. Otherwise all of your “help” will be interpreted as yet another “demand”. The two formulas look like this:

SUPPORT + NO CONDITIONS = LOVE

SUPPORT + CONDITIONS = DEMAND

Now here’s the best part of all. Once you start pitching in it gets easier and easier to do it on a regular basis. After while you’ll just do it without even thinking about it. However for the woman, your support is still a turn on. So over time you’ll just become a larger contributor to the home and kids (good for you and your family) and you will just naturally have more and better sex with your partner (good for both of you).

Now some of you may be thinking “what if she just gets used to all this and I have to keep doing more and more to get the same results?” This is highly unlikely because of some very basic psychological factors. Women, especially moms, are inclined to value concepts such as fairness and equality while simultaneously embracing the ideas of self sacrifice and commitment (yes, I know this isn’t true for everyone, we’re just talking generalities here). These conflicting values means that she will never let you do ALL of the home and family duties even if you wanted to. Her sense of fairness and equality (i.e. everyone should share in the responsibilities) combined with the idea of self sacrifice and commitment (i.e. my family needs me, it’s my duty to provide) will prevent her from allowing you to help out “too much”. After all, the more responsibilities you take on the less self sacrifice and commitment she needs to make and the less equal and fair things will be. This is bad for her identity as a mom so don’t worry about being “taken advantage of” because she probably won’t allow it to happen.

The bottom line is that society doesn’t expect much from fathers. The simplest efforts towards helping with the kids are seen as heroic. I know this from experience when my female neighbors would stop me in the streets to tell me what a good father I was. Some even rushed out of their homes just to tell me this. What was I doing that deserved so much praise? Basically pushing my daughter around in the stroller for regular walks. A mom would have to save her children from a burning building then donate a kidney to her 9 month old daughter while hand making all of their clothes to get the same kudos.

But low expectations have some big advantages. Any regular effort on your part will be a cause for celebration. So now, whenever she talks with the other moms she’ll always be reminded of how supportive you are compared to the slacker dads. And this will make her hot, hot, hot for hubby.

Still, skeptical? Read a woman’s perspective in this awesome post by Marrit Ingman

If you’re a woman reading this you should check out my 7 things every woman should know about how their husband or boyfriend thinks about sex.

That’s it for now.

File Under: Increasing Intimacy in a Marriage – Keeping Your Sex Life Alive While Raising Kids – How to Get Your Wife or Partner in the Mood for Sex – Don’t Let Children Ruin Your Sex Life – Easy Steps to Improving Your Sex Life – Proven Methods for Increasing Sexual Frequency in a Long Term Relationship – How to Get More Sex With Your Wife – Getting More Sex with Wife – My Wife Doesn’t Want Sex as Much as Me – Is Your Wife or Partner Not that Interested in Sex Anymore?


135 Responses to “Get More Sex From Your Wife or Partner…Starting Now!”

  • Mark Says:

    This article is an insult to me as a dad who does most of the roles seen as mom roles. I’m in charge of all meals, child transportation, yardwork, and much housework. Still no action!

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Hello Mark. I’ve had several emails from other men with the same complaint. Perhaps I should have included in the article that this assumes that your wife or partner has a normal healthy sex drive. If there are other issues (frigidity due to past sexual abuse or a general disinterest in sex, lesbianism, mental illness, etc) this probably won’t help. Not implying this is your situation, I’m just talking in generalities here. Sorry to hear it’s not working out for you. I know for me, it works. And I know many women agree with my approach. Most women, however, are not currently receiving the level of support you give your partner. If you find the magic cure for your situation, let us in on it.

    [Reply]

    Storm Trooper Reply:

    “Most women, however, are not currently receiving the level of support you give your partner.” You sound like another male who’s been brainwashed by the feminized media along with their cohorts who still like to falsely spread the myth that men don’t do a lot around the house to help their spouse. I’d like to contend that your statement, which I quoted, could easily be reversed as I personally know of a lot of cases where the women isn’t doing a whole lot around the house but every time she gets frisky her husband is ready to go. This is irregardless of the fact that she hasn’t lifted a finger to ease his burden…go figure. We all are sexual beings. Just like it isn’t your responsibility to make me be happy it shouldn’t be your partners responsibility to look after your sex drive. This attitude is typical of what is prevalent today. When in doubt blame someone else…hogwash!

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    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    My advice stands. I know for a fact that many men are not providing and environment that is conducive to their females partners getting sexually aroused.I see it constantly. I certainly wouldn’t fuck a guy who won’t step up to the plate and be an active parent and partner. I also know that many women have problems taking men’s sexual needs seriously. Many women treat sex as an optional activity and not a requirement and duty towards maintaining a healthy relationship.

    Is it not fair that men will still chase sex even when they are exhausted, overworked, or are not getting their emotional needs met, but women won’t? Sure, but that’s besides the point. I’m addressing reality while you’re responding with libertarian theories that sound great on paper but have been a proven failure since the dawn of mankind. You DO have a responsibility to your partners happiness. You take that on when you partner with someone. That’s it, end of story. You no longer get to behave as if you’re the center of the universe. So if your partner is unhappy you better take it seriously, if for no other reason that their unhappiness with ultimately make you unhappy. Only sociopaths can be happy while those they supposedly care about aren’t.

    Hopeful Reply:

    I must say that when I read this article I was AMAZED that there was another man out there (besides my husband) who gets it! All we want is just a little bit of help now and then – and not because you feel like you “have to” but because you want to do it. It helps us to feel appreciated and lets us know that you don’t take us for granted. I know when my husband does things like that for me even when he just got home from a hard day at work that I just want to jump him right then and there! :) Oh, and to all the guys who are so upset that they do a lot of the house work you just need to get over it. When my husband was out of work for 5 years I got a job, supported our family on one income, came home and cooked dinner, cleaned the house and still found time to enjoy my husband if he was in the mood. Life is hard sometimes but it is all about your attitude and how you make your partner feel. So, as a woman all I can say is “been there, done that and I did it in heels!” So, to end this I just want to say thank you to the writer of this article. It is nice to know that there are still good men out there. :)

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  • David Watts Says:

    What a crock. This is just another man bashing article. I am 52 years old, I’ve been there done all that and get this: NONE OF THAT WORKED FOR ME. In addition to that I’ve listned to men, Married men talk all my life. Heres the truth. Most women loose interest in sex not less than two years after marriage. Kids or no kids, they get bored with you dude and by that time, especially if you have kids, you are nothing more than paycheck that they have to put up with. Women use men for money and possesions.

    If your wife isn’t giving you any its not your fault. You’ve been had. Don’t be a fool get a mistress, and when she gets bored with you, move on and get another one.

    I’m sick to death of hearing about womens needs, its all they think about.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    I’m not going to argue your personal experience but getting a mistress is a bad idea. You already think women just want your money and possessions. Yet that’s the very definition of a mistress; a woman who is willing to accept limited emotional involvement in exchange for vacations, jewelry and nice things. Think you’re bitter now? Just wait till you have a woman on the side who wants you to pay her rent and take her to expensive restaurants. What you really want is a slave, but those are illegal now.

    [Reply]

    Bob Reply:

    At least with a mistress we get some sex in return. Our wives take take take and don’t show the gratitude we deserve!!!

    [Reply]

    HotLips Reply:

    If you have time for a mistress between a job, husbandly duties, fatherly duties, and the many other things adults have to be accountable for, you could have better spent that time, money, and energy investing in healing whatever is wrong with your relationship.

    A mistress is a mistress because she’s not a wife. Marry the mistress and see what happens. If you didn’t want a wife, you shouldn’t have gotten married. What if, God forbid, your wife becomes ill or you become impotent or an invalid and sex is not possible?

    Get your mind out of hornyville and elevate your consciousness. Stop being a sexually spoiled brat, throwing a tantrum because you’re not getting off. I hope you did not take vows of fidelity because that is some bullshit. Grow up.

  • Gary Says:

    I had a feeling this was written by a woman. I feel I’ve been duped. I do everything from getting my daughter up and taking her to school every day, to dishes, housework, house maintenance and generally being 10 times more involved than my father ever was, so my mother tells me, and I get rejected 95% of the time. Things changed as soon as we were engaged. I should have seen the signs. Men get so shafted in marriage. It’s just not natural for us while marriage is the type of security that women naturally want. I think there’s a lot to be said for cultures that see mistresses as a fact of life.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    I’m a bit confused. I wrote this and I’m a man. It wasn’t written by a woman. Also there’s a way to avoid the rejection thing. I used to persue my partner for sex as well. It just doesn’t work as it made us both edgy. She felt pressured and I felt rejected. So the compromise was I stop making moves on her and she guarantees sex 2-3 times per week. It works great. I know I’m going to get some and she just let’s me know when. After a while we both just instinctively know when it’s time. It works pretty smooth. Also we’ve been together for 21 years and have a six year old child. The first five years of our relationship were long distance too. So I’ve put in my time. I don’t know where all these women are that men keep complaining about. All the women I know love sex, and having kids and marriage hasn’t changed that. All they want is a little help. Being overwhelmed with housework and kids is a mood killer. Any ladies want to back me up on this? Any men who are not bitter? I can’t possible the only man out there with a kick ass sex life.

    [Reply]

  • Sam Says:

    My wife does virually NOTHING around the house. I had to hire a cleaning service to do the basics. I do the dishes, take out the trash, make 3-4 dinners a week and watch the kids 4 nights a week while she does various (non-secret) activities. I do my own laundry. She does hers and the kids. I work full time, she is a “stay at home mom.” Our kids are both in school, so I’m not really sure exactly what that means. The 3-4 nights she is home a week, she won’t even get out of her chair. She just “asks” me to do everything from playing with the kids to getting her a drink. I still don’t get laid more than about once a month. I know it’s not a thing where she doesn’t like sex. If we even KISS, she gets crazy interested. She solves that little problem by not kissing me. She orgasms easily and often when we DO have sex. I’ve tried the same conversation you had about me “pressuring” her for sex. Once I realized she felt pressured, I stopped asking. I tried the romantic stuff, like offering backrubs (which she turns down) and soft kisses on the back of her neck. She LOVES the attention, but still no sex. The result of me not asking was almost a YEAR with no sex. I have a good dozen close male friends in similar situations. I think you should praise your wife to the moon. We all wish we had one like yours.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Hello Sam. Very interesting and unfortunate situation you’re in. Your wife likes sex and orgasms easily yet avoids sex and things that get her aroused (like kissing). That is really bizarre. I feel for you. Once a month. Holy cow. I don’t know how you keep it together. Funny you should mention the laundry thing though. We have the same arrangement. She does hers, our daughters and the house laundry (towels, sheets, etc) and I do mine. Thanks for taking the time to write.

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    Bizarre, that’s a great word! I’ve never really thought of it as bizarre, but that description probably fits better than most. We’ve been married for 12 years, nothing like as long as you. I once tried to figure out the “give and take” of our relationship. Give was easy. I give almost all my non-work time to kids and home. The only way I can enjoy my only hobby (trail-biking) is by getting up before everyone else. She won’t get up to get the kids to school, so I have to be done in time to be home to get them up and around before I leave for work. That leads me to “take” part. I have a couple GREAT kids. The time I spend with them is worth any amount of “give.” I may be frustrated by the lack of a decent sex life, but in the end, it’s worth it.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    I would agree. The upside of the “give” is the deep relationship you’re building with your kids. You can’t fake that. You earn it everyday by being there for them. If they don’t know how good they got it now, they will when they are older and look back on their childhood. You sound like a really mature guy who’s got a good handle on things. Keep on, keepin’ on.

  • JimJoe Says:

    Sorry to be negative, but I have been married for over 22 years. I love me wife, but she does not work and shes does have regular chores. I also get her drinks, ice cream, as well as do work around the house. If I increase my duties, it does not get me any more action at all. In fact, it seems its the guys that go after your wife, that may have a better shot than you do. Since she is not turned on by a stranger being interested in her and take her away of the reality of her life.

    Bottom line is that relationships are very difficult and need to be worked on by both partners. I think once your wife gets into Mom mode, the romance is over. Its a battle to keep in going, but what happens is your wife looks at sex with her husband as another chore. What most women don’t realize is that most men want to protect, support and help their woman. But they also don’t like to be chumps. There are two very bad things that a woman can do to kill the relationship. One is to criticize a mans driving, the other is to withhold sex. When a man is rejected for sex, its like saying I don’t accept you. Though most men won’t admit it, they are a vulnerable mentally and a rejection hits their self esteem. Sex is a way of a man to share himself with his love. Too many rejects, will not necessarily drive a man to cheat, but if the opportunity comes up, he may say not say no since he now has a very damaged self esteem and hurt to deal with.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Hello “Jim”. Thanks for commenting. You’re observations are dead on. It is difficult and needs to be worked on by both partners. The sex and rejection is particularly true. So much so that I wrote 7 Things Every Woman Should Know About How Men Think About Sex as I could tell by men’s reaction to this article that too many women are clueless as to how men really think about sex and relationships. Sex is not optional. It is a requirement for a normal healthy relationship. Of course, I wrote this “get more sex article” from the assumption that one’s partner actually wants to have an active sex life to begin with. If she just writes sex off completely, if she’s fine with being an asexual mommy, then my suggestions probably won’t work. That’s a whole other problem.

    [Reply]

  • Steve Says:

    I really like this blog. Its resonates really well with my marriage.
    All of these guys who ‘do everything’ and get nothing. Have pointed out a small flaw in your method here. If you ALWAYS do everything then it becomes expected and your wife is not going to feel supported just that you are doing the regular routine. It seems to me that the men who are doing everything should simply STOP doing much of it. I’m reasonably confident what is happening is that your wife has simply internally realized that whatever she doesn’t do you will take care. So why wouldn’t she not do it. You are taking care of it for her. And why would she in particular want to have sex with you? On a very primitive level she has no need to and by doing everything for her you make yourself look from a cave-woman viewpoint far less attractive. Don’t do the work. Maybe the house will get messy, maybe the kids will be late to school, maybe you will have fights with your wife, maybe she will leave you even but based on the descriptions of everyones marriage these reactions don’t seem particularly worse than the current situations. Honestly do anything to change the current circumstances. Let the dishes pile up until she yells at you about it.

    Just what it looks like to me.

    Oh? How am I doing? Well its not up there with Straight Dope Dad but its better than once a month and I have a 5 year old, one on the way and a 15 year marriage. So if you want you can consider my advice based on that. And yes I have regular fights with my spouse about housework.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Thanks for your comment Steve. Interesting advice. What would happen if some of these men suddenly stopped doing so much? Would it get worse? Would it improve? Who knows, but it would certainly get their spouses attention. You’re also right about ALWAYS doing everything. There are things my partner ALWAYS does and when she doesn’t, it throws me off. It’s not so much that I don’t appreciate what she does or take her for granted, it’s just that her efforts become invisible over time and I only really become aware of it when it stops. Oh, and congratulations on child number two!

    [Reply]

    CM Reply:

    Hi! The efforts becoming invisible means exactly that you’re taking her for granted… As every men or women in the world! It’s just inevitable in a long therm relationship… That means that if you always do everything the spouse will inevitably take it for granted! When stop doing that, she/he might not like… but she’ll notice! And that’s the point… always be noticed! Act like you don’t need her sex for nothing, and really don’t need it… Be around other women, get their atention, dress well, workout, be classy and a gentleman (dont’t act like those middle aged guys with sport cars and licked hair)! Don’t let them get you for granted… Show your wife you don’t need her, you just love her… it’s completely diferent! ;)

    [Reply]

  • Next Half Life Says:

    Another factor to consider, especially for women over 40, is hormones. Unlike men, who are or can get horny just about anytime anywhere, older women’s sex drive are very hormonal. So, have a candid conversation with your wife about her “cycle,” and she’ll likely tell you when it would be prime time for sex.
    .-= Next Half Life´s lastest blog ..Finding the right domain name =-.

    [Reply]

  • Chrystal Says:

    Oh you NAILED this blog post. I am sharing on Facebook as I type. I have talked to well over 10,000 women privately about their sex lives and you HIT all of the points I hear week after week.

    Choreplay = foreplay in marriages with children. And, you are right, you need to NURTURE anything you care about and want to grow.

    Can I re-post this on my blog? My blog is about sex, dating, sex toys, etc. http://www.Bliss-Radio.com

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Thanks Crystal. Choreplay=Foreplay…funny. Never heard it put that way before. Love the Vargas style girl on your website. As for a full reprint I’d really much prefer an excerpt(s)and a link back. I’m glad to hear someone agrees with me. I wrote the post because I know it to be true for myself and all the women I know and every article I’ve ever read express the same sentiment. When 50% of the human population tells you over and over again that this is how they feel, it’s probably a good idea to listen. This applies to men’s needs as well. Thanks for commenting.

    [Reply]

  • John Says:

    Choreplay=Foreplay does not work in all cases. Remember the note at the beginning, “This essay assumes that your wife or partner actually wants to have a sex life and has an otherwise healthy libido”. Some reports have suggested that as much as 40-50% of married women have some kind of sexual issues leading to low libido. I have been married to one for 11 years. Believe me, I do as much as I can in the chores area. Never worked. She probably thought I was doing them just to get sex! As I have heard from so many other men, even my father who has been married almost 60 years, you’ll never ever figure out women!

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Thanks for the post John. Apparently there are a lot of frustrated guys out there. I wonder if the women who “turn off” sexually were always that way or did they become that way after marriage and kids. I’ve read several articles about women who pretty much close down sexually after children because they no longer identify themselves as a sexual being. They mistakenly assume it conflicts with their identity as a mother. I also think that some of it depends on the social circles you keep. If your wife’s female friends have the same anti-sex feelings it re-enforces that behavior as normal. Same for guys. If all a guy’s buddies are slacker dads who don’t help much, they are more likely to become that way as well. In my social circle the fathers are pretty helpful and the mothers like sex. So that’s the normalized behavior for us.

    [Reply]

    Storm Trooper Reply:

    Straight Dope Dad said “Apparently there are a lot of frustrated guys out there.” Storm Trooper replied ” Ya think!” Hey Straight Dope Dad you just won the ‘Understatement of the Year award.’ How does it feel? Like I said in a previous reply. Everybody should be responsible for the health of their own sex drive. It shouldn’t fall onto to your partners shoulders. That alone just negated your advice Straight Dope Dad. When you start peeling at the layers to this onion you realize how selfish this advice really is…shame on you.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Sure, go ahead and live in a fantasy world. My advice is solid and realistic. And yes, in a relationship both partners have a responsibility towards each other, not just sexually, but emotionally and intellectually. If you want to be solely responsible for your self then stay single and rent hookers. Your advice is actually the selfish one. To think you can just do whatever you want as if you are single and then expect your sexual needs to be met is a pipe dream. It’s not how it works, especially with women. This is a biological fact that been proven time and time again with every study done of how women’s and men’s brains respond to stress and how that influences sex their sex drive.

    Storm Tooper Reply:

    The only one living in a fantasy world STDD is yourself. And like others have commented, you have really no empirical evidence to support your assertion. You said ” My statistics are draw from what just about every woman I know personally, plus every woman they know personally, plus jut about every article, study, and television show about this subject have said. Women have been saying this for decades loud and clear.” The statistics, as you describe them, aren’t statistics at all. But merely like minded individuals gossiping to one another ie: girlfriend to girlfriend etc. Of course their going to agree with one another rightly or wrongly they belong to the same social group. In a court of law the evidence you so proudly display would be classified as pure hearsay and no judge in their right mind would allow it to be entered into the court records. So what are we left with? My conclusion from reading your blog is that it should be classified as for entertainment purposes only, like a tabloid magazine, and the opinions expressed by the author should be taken with a grain of salt.

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Fair enough. If you think I’m full of shit that’s fine. But you are misunderstanding the rules of evidence. If I, in a court of law, relay something that someone told me about someone else, that is hearsay and generally not admissible – but not always. However, if I were to call to the stand every women who commented here, plus every woman who every wrote about their personal experiences on this subject, these are eyewitness accounts and completely relevant and admissible. Even hearsay is admissible under certain exemptions. First hand accounts send people to prison all the time, so if thousands of women say yes, this is is true and this is how it works in my life, not only is that evidence in the strictest legal sense, it’s also plenty good enough for troubleshooting marriage problems in an advice column.

    Evidence takes many forms and different standards of evidence is required for different problems. If you are building a bridge, those standards are very high and based upon scientifically measurable theories concerning weight and torque. However, if you are being sexually harassed or bullied, different standards apply. If you want to know how many people in a classroom where born in Texas, or who the best group was in a battle of the bands, a simple show of hands will suffice.

    No one has seen a black hole but we all agree they exist. We know this because we see the evidence of the black hole’s effects. The black hole itself cannot be seen or measured because they are an infinite source of gravity and nothing can escape. So we cannot see them or measure them, but the consensus is they are there.

    So yes, my evidence is plenty good enough for this situation. Again, feel free to ignore it or dismiss me as a fool, I don’t care, but to attack my “evidence” is ridiculous. Since this is an issue of perception, an issue of how women respond sexually to stress and overwork (not very well it seems), my evidence is about as close as we get to “facts”.

  • Sarah Tena Says:

    What an excellant article. Great job Straight Dope Dad!! Sorry I didn’t catch your name. Unfortunately it’s not true for my 4 year marriage as it involves and extensive sexual and abuse history but were things normal, I would definetly feel much more inclined to sex if I had more help. To the other one-dimensional men replying to this blog: If you could only pull your heads out of your rear ends long enough, you would how you don’t really do EVERYTHING. And if you’re really that unhappy, then why haven’t any of you spoken to your spouse about it? Or even sought help. There is clearly something that your spouse is not telling you.

    [Reply]

    Storm Tooper Reply:

    So what I gather from what you just wrote, blackmail is positive contributor to a healthy sexual relationship ie: if you do this for me I miiiigggghhhhttt be willing to do that for you. But, its totally up to my discretion…what a joke. Maybe men should apply the same logic as you and Straight Dope Dad feel is appropriate. How about at the end of the every year a man should look at the his sex ledger and do a tally. If she has met the minimum she stays. If she hasn’t, well its the start of a new year and maybe its time to go fishing. Of course all parties would know what the minimum was and agree to it.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    For some reason you have a lot of resentment towards women and now frame the natural give and take of a relationship as some kind of forfeiture of your autonomy . Even your pen name screams confrontation. If that works for you great, but I guess it doesn’t or you wouldn’t be here posting. Do your tomato plants hold you hostage by withhold fruit production because you won’t water them or give them decent fertile soil in which to grow – or are they unable to thrive because of your neglect? My partner and I make tiny adjustment to help satisfy each others needs everyday. When I’m happier, she’s happier. When she’s happier, I’m happier. The more happy were are they easier it to met each others needs. This isn’t even debatable. You can’t neglect your partner’s needs and expect to get yours met. And you can’t put a price tag on every act. You do the right thing, put in honest effort, and it generally works out. This holds true with your children, your employer or your employees, and every relationship, whether casual or deep, from birth till death. It’s the most basic principle of all successful relationships. But you’d turned it into war and frame it as a winners versus losers situation. I just don’t get it.

    And as for your ledger, if that works for a couple then yes, they should do it. Some people need clear expectations written down to stay on their game. The whole point is you need to put in the effort. I’ve been getting great, passionate sex from the same woman for 23 years. Five years of that was long distance and nine of that was with a child in the house. We even has a break up at year four. And our good sex life didn’t happen by accident. We worked on it. We compromised, made adjustment and continue to do so to this day. The couples that aren’t, aren’t investing themselves into their partner’s happiness.

    You can’t control what your partner does but you can control your own behavior. So the easiest thing to do is the change that part. That’s what the whole point of the article is. Create change within yourself to create change in your relationship.

    [Reply]

    Storm Trooper Reply:

    I don’t know how you came to the conclusion that I harbor a lot of resentment towards women. I grew up in a family with a lot of women and they could be characterized as strong women and they taught me well with respect to their coercive traits. I did not belittle or defame women in any of the posts I submitted. Obviously you have an agenda and its skewed to the needs of women as opposed to men and that’s fine, it might be ‘Bull Sh-t but its your blog. In my world I like doing things for people out of the goodness of my heart and not to see what I can get out of them. You can call this tactic whatever you want but I feel most people can see it for what it truly is…blackmail pure and simple. Both partners should be contributing equally with out their being strings attached. Sorry for the reality check.

  • Mandy Says:

    I’m sorry for some men that do not have the opportunity to make love with their wife for so many years and end up cheating with another woman secretly. I’m sorry for us women being a bitch sometime(Excuse for the language). I don’t know why we women are not horny like we use to be when we first met our hubby.

    As for me, there are times I don’t want to have sex with my husband because I’m not horny which I tried to be horny. For me it’s not that I’m tired because I’m doing the house chores, cleaning, cooking, taking care of the children, and working full time. I am tired but I don’t expect him to do everything for me around the house just to get sex. I guess some women need to be open mind and share with their partner how they feel and etc. I know for sure I don’t like my hubby cheating on me just because he’s not getting enough sex from me. It would hurt me so much (which the world has ended for me) and probably hard to fight him back to my arms again. I would luv to sex him up but just can’t be horny. Like I said to my husband, I don’t want to f**k another man just to make me horny, so I can sex u up. I told him if guys flirt with me or I have sex dreams with a stranger, yes I do get the itch because it’s a new man, new romance, and new p*nis but I’m not those type. (He started laughing). I only want to be his own slutty queen until death due us part. I want to be faithful to him, which I haven’t cheated on him before and hope not (praying to God).

    I would tell him it’s just my hormones and I hated so much because I want to have sex with you but I don’t have that desire. I’m suffering too and wish I’m always wet and horny.

    For me, my sex desire kicks in during my period and only lasted for two weeks, then I feel like a dead zombie (do whatever you like and wrap it up).

    So far I know (who knows, only God) my husband hasn’t cheated on me. I tried so hard to seduce, flirt, talk dirty, be slutty, dress sexy, very touchy, read sex stories, watch pornos with him, talk about us having sex, how I want him to be dom., and etc. just to make him and myself be horny (especially me) so we can make luv every night. There are times I would just tell him go jack off or f**k another b*tch but HONESTLY and TRUTHFULLY I don’t want to share my husband to another woman, love hurts.

    Every women are different, talk to your spouse why she is behaving that way. Ask her what she wants, desire, and etc. Is she still in love with you and kindly ask her to open up if she is seeing someone else without accusing and etc. If it doesn’t work, I guess just split the arrow into different routes or go to a marriage therapy.

    Happy Valentines!

    (Sorry for the long typing, just from my own point of view)

    [Reply]

  • Mandy Says:

    Oh especially this year, my goal is to be seductive, horny, sexylicious, and slutty for my hubby. If I end up not being horny, then I’m going to find some female horny pills for me. He’s my hubby and I ain’t gonna share with no one.

    It sounds pathetic but seriously. Spice the sex Up!

    [Reply]

  • Bb Says:

    My wife told me the exact thing that the writer said in this article. So I start doing more than I already did(I already do a lot more than most dads I know), surprise ironing job or the laundry…..stuff like that. Guess what?? I haven’t got anymore sex than I already got which is maybe twice a month and that’s after begging. Fact is, like someone already mentioned, when women have kids they change, like to a completely diff person. Most don’t care about sex anymore. What’s funny is how women cry and complain about men cheating. If more women held up their end of the bargain half the affairs wouldn’t happen. Women are unbelievably fickle human beings and a creature that will never be figured out. Most are impossible to live with once kids are put in the picture. Worst thing I ever did was get married.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    I really want to believe that you’ve been a great and helpful partner and everything is your wife’s fault but there is so much hostility in your comments that go beyond just sexual dissatisfaction. Sounds like you kind of resent the whole family thing and don’t particularly like women as people. Yes, maybe she did change and lose her libido but I’m sure your attitude isn’t helping. A woman is just not going to be interested in having sex with some who’s pissed at her. Men don’t like being on the receiving end of resentment either. It’s a huge turn off.

    [Reply]

  • LatinoLibidoDead Says:

    I don’t think I can add much to a lot of what other dads have experienced. However, I just think the so called “support = sex” formula is a myth. I tried it all – massage, chores, support, cooking, etc and now I am lucky to get sex every 2 months! It’s sad and it makes me very frustrated. Yes, being a man I looked at other women too and it frightens me, as I’ve been down that road before and it DOESN’T SOLVE ANYTHING unfortunately. :(

    I was brought up as a Latino male thinking that women are meant to stay at home, look after kids, clean the house and men are meant to work and bring home the dough. I later grew up in the 80s and 90s and realised that attitude was wrong and women wanted more – MUCH more in life and don’t want to be stuck at home. The girlfriends I had wanted careers and wanted kids too but much later in life – so I guess being 20 something they wanted to enjoy life before kids and perhaps that’s why I got sex much more frequently. I pampared, carassed, massaged and gave women a lot of attention and offered to help and do the chores. And it worked during those early years.

    But after I got married and 3-5 years after the birth of my son, the sex started to go slip further and further apart. Eventually we decided we were not in love anymore, and it was over. Pffftt. Just like that.

    Now I am into a 4 year relationship with my partner and we have a 7 month old baby. I love her to death and I am very happy – except – yep there is little sex. Being Latino does not help as there is a cliche above our heads that says latino men want sex more than most other men from other countries. Unfortunately IT’S TRUE! ;)

    Anyway I help around the house, I do chores, cook and pick up our son PLUS drive around all of the city managing my other older son. So yeah I am also tired, but I still manage to feel horny at night I do want to massage and pamper her, but she is not interested. I try to touch her in a gentle / carassing way on her back, along her legs, along her g-spots that I found under her arms and under her elbows and yeah I get the odd sigh and moan, but that’s it. When I try and push it a little further I get pushed back! That is SO disheartening. It’s a total rejection and it makes me feel like I am ugly, fat, hairy and bald (well I am bald but not fat hehe). I sometimes wonder if she is perhaps Bi and started having an affair with a woman or is flirting with a guy at work (she wears skirts a lot of the time, even in winter when I know she hates the cold!). See!? Lack of sex or women denying their partners sex is evil, selfish and stupid. It leads to marriage breakdowns, and worst – violence and murder as recently shown in the newspapers.

    Give your man sex more often ladies and he will give you the world.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Nice post. You’ve brought up a lot of good points. I agree that regular passionate sex is a must. A relationship cannot survive without it. Perhaps some women think it can, but they are not being realistic.

    But keep in mind though that your child is only 7 months old. Pregnancy really messes a women up physically. Positions and techniques that worked pre pregnancy may not work as well. She may also develop new erogenous zones. If she’s breast feeding she’ll be touch sensitive from over stimulation. She’ll need more time to get back to a normal sex life especially if the birth was difficult. Also, does she know how you feel? I would suggest explaining how sexual rejection makes you feel. Most women have no idea how sexual rejection hurts our self esteem. For men sex is just not about getting off it’s a validation of the relationship’s health and their partner’s love.

    I would also suggest making a sex schedule. If you both know when you’ll be having sex you can relax. She’ll know exactly when she’s expected to get in the mood and you know when you’ll be “getting some”. This allows the both of you to concentrate on other things the rest of the time. And since you know sex is a sure thing, you don’t have to keep trying to pressure and woo her. I know a regular sex schedule’s well worked for us.

    [Reply]

    LatinoLibidoDead Reply:

    Hi DopeDad,
    I agree with you and thanks for the reply and suggestions, especially about being too early, etc. However, I disagree strongly with your “sex schedule” technique. I don’t believe you can “plan” when to have sex and expect your partner to be ready and able on that particular day, on a particular time. My dad once said, you cannot measure love. Do you know what that means? It means that we cannot measure it and expect it to be so-and-so away or high or whatever. If she is in the mood, SHE IS IN THE MOOD. The problem of course, is that when I am in the mood, she is not and yes – vice versa ladies! grrr.. Anyway, we’ve spoken about this after I posted my rant above as she read it and we agree that it’s about intimacy first and the sex will come later (just like the movie – if you built it, they will cum). Well you know what I mean.
    I always look at nature and other species for answers to most of my life’s perplexing questions and it has never let me down. With my lack of sex in my relationship, I am going to do what the birds of paradise do – the males that is. They dance! They dance for a partner and they prepare the environment for her, to be comfortable, nice, beautiful and loving and inviting. That is it! It’s as simple as that. I need to lay the ground and prepare the night for love. Some nice music, food and warmth and loving emotions that create INTIMACY, will guarantee the sex to follow. I’ll let you know how it went. Thanks

    [Reply]

  • Chris Says:

    I’m with all the guys that say this is a bunch of crap. It doesnt surprise me that the women that posted here totally agree with you. Woohoo… he does more, I still give less. That’s what women do. It’s only when you act like you dont give a shit about them that they try to get you back interested in them. I’m not saying treat them like shit, I can’t, I love her. However, if I act like I’m not interested in her, then all of a sudden she’s trying to get me back interested. It has nothing to do with chores. I’ve been doing chores around the house, dishes every night, etc. and she’s never interested. It’s only since I’ve stopped asking, even on date night, that she appears even remotely interested. Funny, that’s the same way i treated her when we were dating… like i didnt give a shit.
    Touch her, caress her, help with the dishes, leave her romantic notes… but ignore her advances. That’s the only way to keep them interested. It’s often said the it’s the men who are afraid of having sex with the same woman for ever… it looks more like the women who get bored to me.

    [Reply]

  • Chris Says:

    Dope Dad!!!
    You’re not even married???
    You’re advice is null and void if you’re not even married. Living together, sharing a life, raising a daughter together doesnt even matter. It’s the psychological effect “marriage” has on women that kill their sex drive.
    Dude, stick with giving advice on being a good man, roommate and boyfriend. No offense.
    C

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Thanks for your comments Chris. I’ll address a couple of your points. It’s true that humans tend to want something even more if it appears they can’t have it but your wife’s is a bit extreme end on that end on that one. Having to ignore and withhold from your partner to generate sexual interest is not the norm nor healthy. But hey, if that’s what her psychological triggers are then go for it. If you wife had a foot fetish I’d recommomend doing the dishes barefoot as well if that’s what got her exited.

    The purpose of the article was to address a common situation and a proven solution. And yes, lots of women agree with me because it speaks to certain truths, not because they want to trick us into doing more work. It’s not the only solution and I made it clear that the article assumes certain conditions and I stand by my recommendations if your situation matches these conditions.

    As for not being officially married and therefor my advice doesn’t count I’ll disagree on that one. It’s true that because of intense cultural conditioning we’re taught that that marriage is the end all, be all for a serious relationship and therefor may people do behave differently once they are married. This applies to both men and women. It’s all too common for couples to view marriage as the end, the prize, rather than a state of being that requires a hell of a lot of work to succeed.

    However, most people will live together before marriage and long term coupling as well raising children out of wedlock is on the increase. Someday it may become the new norm.

    I’ve also been with my partner for 22 years. The first five years were long distance and we even had a breakup at year number four. We have a seven year old daughter, We’re a single income family and my partner’s a full time stay at home mom. Yet our sex is amazing, not because we are not officially married, but because we make it a priority. We experiment and talk about it. We keep what works and toss what doesn’t. It’s this commitment to a good sex life in a long term relationship with children that more than qualifies me to give married people advice on the subject.

    Commitment is a state of mind. I’ve seen married couples that act like they are free and single and I’ve seen new couple act like they’ve been married for 40 years.I’ve seen men who were charming, fit and attentive in courtship only to become out of shape assholes after they got the ring. I’ve seen women do the same thing.

    Also, you are only seeing the worst responses because by the time a man goes on the internet and searches for “how to get more sex from my wife” they are already at their wits end and not in the best mood. Some of the commenters are clearly decent, honest dudes trying to make sense of a frigid wife while some are filled with so much hate and anti-women stereotypes that it’s little wonder they aren’t getting any sex and that I’m full of shit.I wouldn’t want to have sex with them either.

    But anyway, I’m glad you’ve found what gets your wife excited even if it’s counter intuitive to how you think it should work.

    [Reply]

  • John Conors Says:

    I think this article is very sexist and assumes that men are lazy, and women do all the work. My wife and i work full-time and have two kids. Most night we fall asleep exhausted from the day’s activities. If I proposition her for sex and get denied, I just simply wait until she is ready instead of bugging her. Sometimes I don’t feel like it either. This absolutely drives her crazy and she is forcing herself on me by the end of the night. I really dont think this issue can be characterized in gender stereotypes. Its an individual thing and everyone has to find out what works best for them to get the booty. If whining works, then do it. If turning over and saying i dont care works then do that. Just dont keep doing what doesn’t work. change it up and find your booty key. good luck

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Correct, do what works. I’m just offering something that I know works for many people, including myself. Take from it what you want. However assuming that the men are slacking and the woman are overburdened with housework for the purpose of the article is not sexist any more than saying men are usually taller than women or most women where their hair longer than most men. The situation I describe really is happening in millions of couples relationships. I’m simply acknowledging it and providing a situation specific solution. That’s not sexism.

    [Reply]

  • Momma Imp Says:

    A friend on facebook posted a link to this blog. I have to say that I really agree with your posting. And in my relationship this is very true. The more stressed out I become and the less help I get from my husband the less that I find him sexually attractive. But the more help I get and the less stress that results from that the more sex he gets. I am a SAHM of two under 4 so it is constant battle.

    The only thing extra input I might have would be for the other men who are complaining about how they are doing (or had done) the recommendations and it did not help. These suggestions are wonderful for people who are still in the single digit years of their marriage or for ones that still have young children. The longer that one or both people sit and ignore the sexual or emotional needs of the other – the harder it is to get back what was lost. If a man has gone 10 yrs or more in his marriage with a wife who has been raising children and their sex life is null even after him helping it might be due to resentment on the wife’s part. I am not too proud to say that most women feel like they do the majority of the child rearing and housekeeping. We are also “raised” not to ask for help and we often times mistakenly think that our husbands (partners) should just “Know” when we want help and what to do. Just like men (IMHO) think that women should just “Know” that they always want and need sex. And when that other person does not just “know” and you have to stoop to asking or telling them it can lead to resentment building for the other person. And once this has built for some many years it is hard to get back to the original love that started the relationship.

    I can tell you honestly that most women are basically spoon-feed the idea of a soul mate from a young age. The man who will always be there, know what you want, help with everything, love you always and do it all without you having to ask. Blame romance novels, society, what ever you wish but this thinking is usually what causes a women to become the frigid nagging shrew that most married men whine about when marriage does not turn out like “promised”. Now I am not saying this is the man’s fault but men are not raised with this same mind set. To be quite honest the “Bait and Switch” works both ways. Men think that women trap them into marriage by giving lots of sex and fun and then take it away once they get their house and kids. Whereas women think that men trap them into marriage with romantic dates and promises and then take it away once they get their heirs and housekeeper.

    The key I found is communication. I had no desire to see my marriage collapse or become the typically thing of two people living in a house raising kids but not really loving each other anymore. So I asked my husband what he needed from me. Sex and Support were his answers. My main one was help with the house and kids. So he tries to help out more than he already does and I try to give him more sex than I already did. Most of the time is works beautifully. Every now and them we have to remind each other.

    But there are other reasons for lack of sex in a marriage. Like you stated there are some women who lose themselves in the mommy phase. This almost happened to me but I soon figured out that is was a mix of what I thought society was pushing on me (mommy = not sexy) and the hormones from having had a child. Biologically a woman’s body for around two years after a baby sees no reason to get “knocked up” again since they are still raising one child. And biologically the reason that men want sex so much is cause their body is telling them to have as many children as possible, so that their genes survive. This to me is another thing that makes marriage harder. Since we are technically going against our biology by pairing off like we do, rather than living in herds or groups. On the societal side we are bombarded of images of hot young (supposedly) single and childless girl-women all around. It is hard for women that has had her body change as a result of child birth to see herself as sexy when it seems that the world is telling you are not. We can’t all be Hedi Klum and Angelina Jolie and get back to our pre-baby selves in a few short works. (Mostly cause they have nannies, housemaids, trainers, etc.) And this can be psychologically upsetting. Especially when you catch your husband drooling over women like that.

    Marriage, as well as sex, is work. And in order for you to be good at both you are to work at both. My husband always states that he likes to make sure sex is good for me since that will keep me coming back, well the same is true of the relationship itself.

    [Reply]

  • Straight Dope Dad Says:

    Wow. Thanks for taking the time to write such a well thought out comment. I needed this. I especially like the part about discussing your needs. I think many couples forget that their partner isn’t a mind reader. The “men need sex” part is a common assumption but I think many women forget about the support part.

    I remember a few years back when I was particularly stressed out about a client who was trying to rip me off by weasling out of a $10,000 invoice and my partner’s getting all worked up and pointing out what I should do and laying blame.

    I flat out stopped her and told her I just need her support right now. I asked her how she would respond if one of her female friends we’re going through the same thing.

    She said, “I’d just be supportive and not try to fix or judge the situation.”

    I said, “well that’s exactly what I need right now. I just need you to back me up on this.”

    And that’s what she did and it felt great.

    Your “bait and switch” observation is quite accurate I believe. I’ve seen both men and women do this and it’s not pretty.

    Thanks again for such a wonderful post. After so many angry husband comments yours was a welcome relief. Of course, you’re a woman so these angry guys will just dismiss your advice as trickery and manipulation. Too bad for them.

    [Reply]

  • Chad Says:

    Wow, there are some seriously deprived and upset men who read this posting! I have been married to my wife for over 10 years and I am luck to say that our sex life has only gotten better. We were one of those couples who like this post states have a normaly and healthy sexual libido but were starting to get bored with our sex life. I started doing some research online with ways to improve our sex life and continue to do so today, I came across an article not too long ago that it may be of some help to folks, you can check it out here, http://ezinearticles.com/?Fun-Sex-Games-For-Couples—Time-to-Add-a-Twist-to-Your-Relationship&id=2383610

    My wife and I continue to look for ways of improving out sex life and so far so good!

    [Reply]

  • CEB Says:

    I feel sorry for all you guys. I am a mother of 3 and it definitely didn’t lower my sex drive. My man has always told me I’m wired like a guy when it comes to sex. I can only think of a few rare circumstances where I didn’t feel like putting out, i.e. sick with the flu or 8 months preggo on bedrest. I think about it all the time and ready to go all the time. He NEVER has to ask or beg. He still helps with chores, kids, etc., and I know he is doing all that cause he truly loves me…not just to get sex. I think I want sex more often than HE does. I guess what he and I have is quite rare, to read all these blog comments!

    [Reply]

    Alejandro Reply:

    i really envy your husband… how many women you know that can say that?… or better… how many married guys with kids can say that?… well,,, I will do more than the things i do in the house, plus not asking for sex to see how it works,,,, is really frustrating to have sex once or twice a month… will try anything to at least get sex twice a week… :(

    [Reply]

  • confused mom at least by these posts! Says:

    Hey,
    I was surprised that this formula got so much negativity because I know it works for me. Maybe it works more for young women than for middle aged women. Because in my 20’s I am definitely not done with sex or romance, hopefully I never will be. Feeling overtired and going to work, school, and taking care of a toddler, the more help I can get, the more I appreciate my husband for sure! I don’t understand how people get in relationships where one person doesn’t do anything! If seems abusive for one spouse not to help out at all. But I don’t see how the other spouse could let that happen? wouldn’t they have to be an enabler and partially at fault? Because I know if I wasn’t helping out or my husband wasn’t helping out we would tell each other “What’s up?”, “get a job”, “I don’t feel like I get much support” or “I don’t really feel like we have a equal relationship”. I MEAN WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?
    On another note I think that it might not work on older women as well because some older women and men, I have noticed bland out and become completely sedentary, with no life, and almost no hobbies. I think it could have to do with personal choice, depression,or other personality disorders. Another factor is that some women just have more children than they are able to healthfully commit to and emotionally handle. In these cases they live through their children, spending all their time helping them and being wrapped up in all their problems,(or maybe they just give up and sit infront of the TV). They then do not feed their own interests and personality, which includes exercise, crafts, being out doors, and yes sex. I think maybe couples need to think about what lifestyle choices they want to make and how it will affect their sex life in the future. It also helps to get rid of your big screen!

    [Reply]

  • Mark Says:

    I had the same problems to get some sex from my wife.
    I did helped her with chores and i didn’t worked. I told her every day how beautifull she was and told her how wonderfull she was. Kissed her, and cuddled her. All the things did not worked like i planned.
    Now the day i talk to her about all those things and it seems to be that she thought i did all the things to have sex. Now that we spend time everyday to talk about our feelings. What was nice and not nice that day she feels like we have more connection. And i still do the chores, kisses and cuddling and now they work for me. So take time to talk to your wife and make her feel that you are open to her. Then all the work you put into it to have sex with her will work!

    [Reply]

  • Sex Should Be Its Own Reward — The Good Men Project Says:

    […] Others stress that if guys clean the kitchen their chances of some action increase exponentially. This article expounds on the need for guys to do more domestically to get sex, and—just for good […]

  • Alejandro Says:

    Will make more than the chores i make now, talk more with her, and make her feel even more attractive than she already is,, also i will try not to ask her for sex,,, and hope all this things can work…

    we have talk about it, and she agrees that we should have more sex, but most of women can live without or with few sex,,, most men CAN’T…

    For all those very angry replays i have read in this article… well.. i can suggest to try, not only to be a good house help, look yourself infront a mirror and be honest with you and ask yourself HOW GOOD PERSON AM I??? Ho do i use my words, tone, language, behavior not only with my wife, but also with my kids, family, friends, neighbors, and in general ask yourself what the others think about you… maybe this can help not only to get more sex in your life, but also a better life….

    If you really think that you are a good person, and also good father husband, human been, honest, happy, and in general you have try every thing to get your wife’s attention, you should really consider going to some marriage therapy, get divorced or and if nothing works and you dont really want to separate… well,,, get a mistresses.. :)

    [Reply]

  • Bruce Says:

    While I’d have a hard time disagreeing with most of what you wrote, there’s no guarantee any of it will lead to more sex. My wife and I have a terrific relationship after 12 years of marriage and two kids (3 & 5). We adore each other, have terrific communication, lots of laughs, we’re solid partners in parenting, and have very hot sex – when we have it.

    When we started out we were like everyone else – couldn’t get enough, watched porn together, got into really nasty fantasies, sex in public – it was amazing. Life changes and kids change everything and that’s fine, I’m a realist – but man, I wish we could go back to those days. Right now we strive for once a week, but fall short most of the time. And if it happens once a week, I’m counting the hours between Saturdays (usually when the kids are taking naps – not very romantic but at least she’s not falling asleep). I get SO BORED of initiating and asking for sex, and when it doesn’t happen when I think it should, I get really frustrated. I do my fair share around the house, I try to make it easy for her, I try to create romantic moments – but more often that not her mind just isn’t there. I have to work so damn hard to create just the right moment so she’s not blind tired, or stressed, or thinking about the kids and I’m sorry – as much as I love her, as much as I want to make her life easier and lighten her load – I’m often doing it thinking I’m making a deposit in the sex bank. When I can’t make a withdrawal I get resentful, and I wish I didn’t have to work so hard for it all.

    In an ideal world we’d never miss a week, she would come on to me and really show me that she wants me, and I’d never really have to chase her or bug her for sex again. Even as I write this I realized people will think I’m being lazy and insensitive; I’m not. I’m simply at the end of my rope with this pattern.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Wow, That’s a very reasonable and heartfelt reply. You’re not selfish at at. Especially since your current sex life is so far off from the one you have pre-children.

    Does she know how you really feel? I mean really know? If you two had a serious conversation, with no distractions, about how unhappy you are, it’s hard to believe she would disregard your feelings.

    I ask very little of my partner, but when I do speak up and make it clear how unhappy I am with a current situation, she’s on it and we solve it. I’m the same way. I bet your wife would put serious work to changing your sex life if she truly understood how it will eventually rip apart your relationship. I suspect right now she doesn’t “get it”. I bet she just hears background white noise about not getting enough sex.

    It’s hard to believe, but many, many, women don’t consider a fulfilling sex life as a requirement unless they understand it will destroy their relationship. And it will. Not maybe to the point of divorce, but it will infect the whole thing like a wound that won’t heal. That’s a sucky way to spend the rest of your life.

    [Reply]

    Bruce Reply:

    Thanks for your reply. We did have a very intense conversation that led to an even deeper one, and there are so many factors contributing to the status of our current sex life. KEY is communication. Without it life, marriage, business falls apart. Thanks again, your suggestion to really talk it out helped.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Awesome. I suspect things can only improve from this point on. They usually do once you get that deep into the root of a problem.

  • Jack Says:

    I personally believe that marriage and relationships in general have been screwed up ever since “women’s lib” came about. I’m 40 years old and I’ve been able to see the differences between my relationships as well as my peers relationships compared to my parents relationship. Women are accustomed to being treated like a “princess” and their husbands are expected to not only provide for them but also to spoil them with the only reward being their mere presence. I can tell you that my mother and father shared the work load around the house equally and without complaint and they were very affectionate to one another. My mother got up at 4:30 am monday thru Friday to cook my dad’s breakfast, pack his lunch and see him off to work. My father worked very hard to provide for us and my mother appreciated it. I work hard to provide for my family as well. I also do nearly all of the house work. I bend over backwards to appease my wife and I get nothing in return. She treats sex like an occasional obligation with no bells or whistles. I’ve heard this is the same situation in plenty of my friends and coworkers homes as well and quite frankly I’m fed up with it. This is by far the leading reason men leave their wives or cheat on them. We feel unappreciated and un loved. As far as I’m concerned, women can take their burned bras, their expensive shoes, purses and jewelry and shove it up their asses. If it weren’t for my child, I’d be living alone with a dog who I’d know would at least greet me at the door after work.

    [Reply]

    Donald Reply:

    Jack,

    You sound like one angry, frustrated guy. But women’s lib and expensive shoes have nothing to do with the fact that your wife doesn’t want to have sex with you.

    Human nature doesn’t fundamentally change over time, and a flash in the pan movement isn’t going to shift the dynamic between men and women in marriage. Your parents’ arrangement worked – good for them. But everyone is different, and some women aren’t interested in living the life of stay at home mom and wife. You bend over backward to appease your wife and get nothing in return? Then tell her how you feel.

    Sit down and have very deep heart to heart discussion with your wife to determine the cause of what sounds like a deeply broken relationship. If you discover a way forward that leads to a happy existence together, by all means go for it. But if you come to the realization that you’d be better off ending it, and you really don’t think you’ll ever be happy together again, then have some balls and end it. Don’t stay together for your kid – you’re not doing him any favors letting him grow up with unhappy, resentful parents.

    And whatever you do, don’t cheat on your wife. Cheating is for cowards who can’t face reality. You think banging some stranger is gonna fix your marriage? It won’t. You owe it to yourself to be happy, man. Deal with your problems so you don’t live a life of misery and regret.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    I agree with Donald. Blaming women’s liberation for your unfulfilling situation and then suppressing your resentment for the kid’s sake is a cop out and damaging to everyone involved. I bet good money that there is plenty of passive grumbling going on between you and your wife but not a lot of very serious and deep conversations about how you feel. why things are the way they are, and how they can change. Unless someone is truly sociopathic or mentally ill I’ve never seen deep, sincere, non-judgmental conversations about improving a relationship not lead to some kind of positive resolution or at the very least a road map to a resolution. Positive doesn’t necessarily mean staying together either. It just means coming to grips about the realities of the relationship and moving towards a conclusion.

    [Reply]

  • HotLips Says:

    What Dope Dad mentions in this post is part of being a grown up and a man. F-ing contribute. You may not get extra sex but it is sexy to see a man be a man. A lot of times it’s not what you do but how you do it and the ENERGY behind it. Men can sense when we approach sex like a chore and if you approach helping out like a chore we can sense it too.

    I’m a single woman and no matter if it’s sex or other things it does not always feel good knowing someone is doing something to get something. If I don’t want sex and you do, giving me a back rub or doing the dishes or what have you just feels gross because I know you’re doing it to get it. Even the language of “get sex from” “get some” makes me want to cross my legs. Nothing dries me up faster than a man who feels he deserves sex because he did something for me or a man who secretly resents me because I have a vagina.

    Also, it is ludicrous not to ride the waves of life and it’s changes. Some of these comments reek of men who long for college days, 18 year old girls, the life before kids, and who eventually want Viagra at 70 years old. Life changes and sometimes you need to love the life you have. I would love to find a man who enjoys that with a family comes a different kind of love. Lust and sex may change into a real appreciation for companionship. Intimacy can include sex but does not mean it. Love the life you share together plus kids.

    Maybe you unhappy guys should look at a few things. Do you enjoy each others company? Do you have deep conversations? Do you appreciate your role as a dad her role as a mom? Do you respect each other?

    You’re wife/partner had a human being inside of her body that she gave birth to. She didn’t pass a stone. It can change your outlook on life, your body, sex, and intimacy. There is a disconnect, lack of empathy and yes, misogyny in some comments. Maybe you should read up on the female body, it’s changes and hormones.

    Nurture the spiritual side of your relationship and what it means to be at the helm of a family of growing little beings and and hopefully evolving intimacy. Do activities that build intimacy that don’t involve sex.

    Also, don’t rule out personal grooming, health, and being in shape. Some people’s relationships are built on the wrong foundation. Just because you’re married and have kids doesn’t mean you are compatible. You may not even like each other.

    If you value your relationship and don’t want sex or lack of it to poison it communicate, get help, read books, get counseling. As someone else mentioned, the issue is likely beyond the bedroom.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Well put. Thanks.

    [Reply]

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  • bobby Says:

    This is bull, let my wife go up and read while I clean and put my son to bed and she will want me, no she will be asleep before im done doing the dishes.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    So you’re saying what you are doing now is working really well for you? I doubt that. And if she’s asleep before you finish these theoretical dishes, that’s proof that she’s doing too much and doesn’t have the energy to sustain a robust sex life. Your choice. You wouldn’t have found this post if you weren’t unhappy.

    [Reply]

  • Brian Says:

    This is a flawed article. I’ve done this… still do this. Here is the thing.

    At first it works like a charm. But if you continue doing it – guess what. It becomes expected and ordinary. Sex intervals fall back to what her natural desire level is.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Just because it didn’t work for your particular situation doesn’t mean it’s flawed. I could tell you to look both ways before crossing the street and you could still get run over. That doesn’t mean looking both way is flawed. Life is too circumstantial to have guarantees like that. So I stand by my methods and reasoning. A Mom who is stressed out and overworked will not feel sexual, so it’s a good idea to find ways to relieve that pressure. It’s the way men and women are wired. Men can not only maintain their sex drive during times of stress, but stressful, high intensity situations can actually fuel our sex drive. For women it works the opposite. It tends to kill desire.

    [Reply]

    Shaun Reply:

    Exactly Brian done there and seen the small change and then its back to the normal “i’m tired bullshit excuses” She sleeps near 8 hours every night and I average 3hrs I am always ready yet she’s the one saying she is tired and I am the one who should be tired.

    [Reply]

  • Shaun Says:

    The article is a fairy tail — I have a theory if the wife has everything she wants then you as the guy arent getting what you want. unfortunately my wife got the kids she wanted and the sex stopped almost immediately its been 3 years since any real interest and at least 4.5 years since satisfying good quality sex — I am near the point of saying fuck it and I will resolve myself to being miserable

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Well let’s look at what we do know.

    1. What I propose as a way to enhance intimacy in a relation is exactly what women themselves have been saying for decades. So they are either telling the truth or there is a vast conspiracy to dupe men into doing more work.

    2. On the day after Christmas you found this article. It’s impossible to find accidentally, which means you are taking time out from work and family to seek answers for your situations.

    Yet your response is this advice is that it’s a fairy tale. If that’s your attitude it’s no wonder you’re bitter and unfulfilled. It’s tiresome to hear over and over again from other men that I’m full of shit while they spin their wheels doing the same failed routine. If you want to just keep doing what you’re doing, and defending your position is that important to you, then go ahead and be miserable. The only other option is to admit you don’t know what the fuck to do about your situation and be open to trying other things even if they sound stupid to you.

    The very first thing is probably communication. Most couple don’t communicate. They go through their lives throwing one liners, being reactionary, assuming their partner can read their mind, and defending their position. That’s not communicating. You can talk all day long and not communicate a single honest emotion if you’re using poor technique.

    I have serious doubts that deep, honest, non-reactionary, ego-free, goal oriented communication is a normal part of your routine as a couple. If you already operate as a high communication couple, and you still can’t resolve your unhappiness, then yes, you are probably doomed. But I bet good money that you haven’t incorporated honest, goal oriented communication into your daily routine yet. Every couple I know that has problems is failing in the communication department. That is the foundation that everything else rests on.

    I know from over two decades of conflicts with my partner that when we’re not happy, it’s because we’re failing in the communication department. Once we get on track and stop sniping at each other and defending our egos, it’s pretty easy to get to the root of our conflict and find a compromise that will work for both of us.

    [Reply]

  • Shaun Says:

    Easier said than done she won’t engage and when I try in half the response s she expects me to read her mind. This morning she says “my I had to hit the gas pedal to start the xterra this morning.” I say, ” that’s not unnormal had to do it with mine yesterday.” ten minutes later I get ” those comments make me feel stupid that’s why I don’t talk to you.” basically this means you should have read my mind for the correct response, other wise nothing you can say is correct.

    On the other side I have asked her to talk with her doctors about a hormonal issue, he’ll she’s 40 and should be in her prime and not acting like a 75 year old.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Wow. looks like you got your work cut out for you. I agree, she should get checked out if this behavior is not normal. Both men and women will get really weird if their hormones are off. If it makes her more receptive to the idea then get yours check as well. That way it’s inclusive (lets see if WE have some biological issues) and not exclusive (let’s see if YOU you have a problem)

    Right now however, I think you need to start with square one and build slowly. The first one is asking the most basic relationship question: Do we want make it work and stay together?

    I know it’s sounds ridiculous, but there have been times in my own relationship with my partner where that needed to be asked. It’s a way of establishing a base goal because as long as one of you even thinks of bailing, even for a second, even subconsciously, then you can’t fix things.

    So staying together has to be the first requirement because with a psychological escape hatch (I can always bail), the incentive to do the hard work is not there.

    Also the conversation you related was a prime example of not communicating (mainly on her part). If that’s how that exchange ended then it basically reenforced an already bad habit.

    You can’t let things end like that anymore. You also need some large blocks of time reserved to dig deep into your relationship. This can’t be done in passing on autopilot.

    Use lots of “I” statements, don’t rehash the past, don’t be judgmental, clearly express your needs, and make it clear that things must change. It’s non-negotiable. Things must change and you must find a solution. What exactly the solution is can only be discovered through deep, uninterrupted, judgment free communication.

    If you need a therapist to referee then book one and take her.

    I’m dead serious. It’s clear you want this to work and that letting this go on will rip apart your relationship. She needs to understand this in the clearest terms. Once she does, there a good chance she’ll be ready to move forward. From what you describe she doesn’t sound crazy, or cruel, or hopelessly sociopathic. She sounds like she (and you) have slowly descended into pattern that is clearly an unfulfilling dead end. I’m sure she’s not happy either.

    [Reply]

    Shaun Reply:

    we have a 2 yr old and 4 yr old divorce is not an option. I will be suggesting that next she joined a church recently for our son to get in a private school. I know there is nothing wrong with my system as I don’t have any problem being ready — she had thyroid issues in the past and that was possibly an issue with hormones. This is my second marriage, first one wife was diagnosed with depression didn’t get sex for 5 years and she let me out (no i did not cheat). With current wife she even told me in the beginning I would never have to worry about not getting sex in fact before first kid she was an every night type and every morning i was in heaven. during first preg she was the same all the time no problem, post first kid once a week if I was lucky until she wanted a 2nd. as soon as she was preg with second forget any chance — last year 5 times and now she limits it I have to refuse limits just to ensure she gets her pleasure first. 

    I really do think women use sex for currency or as a weapon – its not like she has to worry about us financially I work a primary tech role and have a second side income for extra.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Interesting. Now I understand the anxiety. Not getting enough sex is bad enough but you went through it pretty bad on your first marriage once already. I’m sure some women use sex as a weapon just a some men use finances as a weapon. From what you say though, your wife doesn’t seem to fit that description. I’ve seen it over and over again, and the studies back it up – each child added to the picture dramatically increases the chance of reduced sexual satisfaction.

    Of course it takes two people, and they must both agree that it’s a problem. If one blows off the other one then it’s a problem. I use a simple formula and it’s one that I hope your wife will embrace -“If it’s a problem for my partner, then it’s a problem for me…even if I think everything is fine and they are just being idiotic.”

    You seem like a level headed guy who has very good reasons to be frustrated about this. I also think that if your wife will meet you half way it’s totally solvable. But first she has to accept that a sexless marriage is not acceptable. Considering her past robust sexual appetite I’m sure she’d love to have it back as well.

  • Shaun Says:

    Easier said than done I bring up the topic the argument from her point of view is on or she walks out of the room. She has said she won’t talk to her doctors about it and that sex is not important to her. Guess I am just there for the kids

    [Reply]

  • rob Says:

    It seems that most have the problem of just no sex or very little. The idea of husbands doing more to make their wives want to have sex is far from reality. I am married over 40 years and have pleaded and asked to have sex more often. My wife works full time and travels 3 hours a day commuting. I understand that being tired is real but over the last couple of years if it’s not Saturday it’s not at all. The problem I have is I clean, cook and food shop, alone and as a couple but still doesn’t make the other 6 days of the week viable options to have sex.
    This past week was a perfect example. On Friday we were home alone all day (no grown kids or grandkids). Yes it was Christmas weekend but, all day doing little chores and wrapping gifts. Then at 11:30 at night she asks with her eyes half closed. I told her to go to sleep because she looked like a Zombie and it was not worth her being exhausted for the entire weekend. She said we won’t get another chance till Monday do to relatives staying until Sunday afternoon. Ok I agreed Sunday was fine. Saturday came, Sunday came, Monday came all the while we both entertained, cooked, cleaned and even I went to sleep each night 2 hours after her and awoke the same time. Both Sunday night and Monday night came and each night she went in the bedroom turned on the TV and watched for a couple of hours never once mentioning the thought or promise of sex on Sunday or Monday. This is the repeated state of our sex lives. Over and over and over. Not tonight but definately tomorrow or the next day and the next and next and so on. The only time during the last couple of years we actually had sex more often then not was when I convinced her to watch porn. The sex was amazing and she actually would look forward to it then, because of religious beliefs and her feeling woman were being degraded no more porn equaled no more sex except Saturdays maybe.
    I understand that being tired makes one not feel their sexiest and basically blah, but as one person said previously, the whole sex act has become another chore for my wife and it’s like cleaning the house “Saturdays is cleaning day” and if we don’t get a chance then it can wait till next Saturday.
    I have helped around the house, tried inflicting porn for a turn on (which helped immensely short term), acted lovingly for extended periods, talked about her sexual fantasies anything to inflict some kind of feelings about how I feelabout this, and I still get no response except I’m too tired. So the whole help more, be nicer, understanding and the rest of your phlosophy just doesn’t add up.

    [Reply]

    chuck Reply:

    Sorry “Straight Dope Dad” I call Bull S–t. I think in your particular situation you and your friends are living in ‘Shangri la’. For the rest of us the sad reality is ,that, if we could all become superman and wait on our wives/girlfriends hand and foot our sex lives wouldn’t improve one bit. Sorry for the reality check but I think that if this is the norm in your circle of friends I think theirs a lot of lieing going on. Ive been with my wife for 26 years and if I get it once a month I’m doing good. I keep in shape and look better than most 20/30 year olds so I’ve been told. I’m a great provider and can fix about anything which makes me very independent and yes I still get the looks from the ladies. I think in order to be a sexual being you have to put the effort in to being one and that is your responsibility and no one elses. I think its a cop out to make some one else jump through hoops and over barrels just to entertain them in order that they might warm up to you. I think with a lot of older women it is a hormonal issue and if their not willing to check into it with their family doctor then what can a man really do…nothing! Remember the old saying “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink”. I remember a old-timer from my old neighborhood once commenting to me when I was a young lad about marriage. When a man gets married he slowly dies a little bit everyday…how prophetic he was.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Fair enough, but I made it very clear in the beginning that this advice assumes your partner actually wants a sex life, which your wife clearly doesn’t. I don’t really understand why you and all the other sex starved men put up with it. I would had drawn a line in the sand a long time ago. A sexless partnership is not an option.

    I’m also continually amazed at how many women feel that maintaining a decent sex life is optional – something they can choose to provide or not and the man should just accept it.

    I’m sure if their husbands decided to just quit their jobs and stop working, of if they just stopped talking entirely, these same women would consider it a serious problem. They would tell their husbands that they need to work whether they like it or not and they better start opening up to because they’re not going to live with a mute for the rest of their lives.

    Withholding or avoiding sex with your spouse sex is just as hurtful and abusive as yelling and screaming or shutting down emotionally.They are all forms of neglect if not abuse.

    Sex is part of the promise when you devote your life to another person and both people have an obligation to maintain a healthy sexual relationship. This goes for all the parts of the relationship that enabled you to fall in love with them in the first place (sense of humor, values, physical fitness, personality, etc) Neither person has the right to enjoy the parts of the relationship that they like and just blow off the others they don’t. You’re either in all in or all out.

    I can tell from all the complaints, that many women have a hard time wrapping their brains around this simple fact.

    I think all women should read my sex and men and keeping sex alive essays. It says a lot of things that many women simply doesn’t want to hear but it’s the reality.

    But as much as I feel bad for the sexless marriage men, they are also partly to blame. Much like an abused woman who just puts up with it, so do they.

    I’m also surprised how long couples let this stuff fester and eat away at their happiness. In my relationship, if the other one is fucking up, they get called on right then and there….and it gets addressed…and solved. Being unhappy and unfulfilled is not an option for either of us. We are also 100% committed to making it work. So if you have two people who will not accept an unfulfilling life AND they are 100% committed to making it work…it works.

    I also don’t understand this idea that one spouse can just ignore another ones needs. In my relationship, if the other one thinks there’s a problem, then there’s a problem. Whether you personally think the issue is important or not, or that your spouse in being completely ridiculous, is irrelevant. You can’t have a good relationship if the other one feels they are getting shafted. It seems most woman are fully in agreement with this one, unless it’s sex, and they are no longer interested. Then it becomes the man’s problem and they alone are just supposed to deal with it. How that is supposed to happen is anyone’s guess.

    However, I still stand by the premise of the article. In an otherwise healthy relationship, an overstimulated, overworked mom will have a much harder time maintaining a good sex life than one who is rested and supported. This is how women are wired. Men can get still maintain a constant sex drive even during the most stressful and horrific moment of their lives, but most women can’t. Stress and overwork is a desire killer. So for many relationships my advice will work. But like I said in the beginning, you can’t solve deep marital problem by simply helping out more. For the majority of the men complaining on this post, the sexual problem is just a manifestation of a deeply flawed and troubled relationship. The lack of sex is not really the problem, it’s the symptom. So of course I sound like I’m blowing smoke if that’s your situation. It’s like offering a ban-aid to someone with a compound fracture.

    [Reply]

  • Denise Says:

    Great response on 12/28, everything was said there- is 100 percent true, especially men putting up with it (I think its because men feel instictively like they are meant to sacrifice, die for the cause if they have to, typically because of the kids, and arent they dying a little bit each day they dont have sexual relations?) And this is coming from a woman.

    Wh

    [Reply]

  • Denise Says:

    I also wanted to add that what is attractive about the original approach is that he is acknowledging her beinf overloaded and offering to help. That appeals to her sense of love and relationship-which is what women are all about.

    Also women are so masculized in todays society, always doing, its diffucult to transition to just being, which is feminine. Be sympathetic to that. Also all if that stress creates cortisol and depletes estrogen, ways to increase estrogen is for her to talk and gather with other women and spend time at the spa or reading or knitting or shoppin, etc.

    [Reply]

  • joeschmoe Says:

    bottom line marriages isn’t for men, its for women. Even if a couple doen’t have kids the man still NEEDS to work hard at getting laid. If I wasn’t in a position were I am stuck in a relationship I would be single again. I have to work harder at getting laid with a wife then I did when I was single. And now I have to get up with the kids instead of sleeping in and seeing my friends. If u r reading this and you are not married, don’t do it. Weddings r a waste of money, and u will never get laid the way u did when u were dating ur futrue wife. And if u have friends that r married, they will lie about how much they have sex to still feal cool. DON’T GET MARRIED, U WILL GIVE UP YOUR SEX LIFE.

    [Reply]

  • joeschmoe Says:

    After reading more of staight dope dads responces, I am sure it’s a woman. No married man gets laid like that, and “he” says he would have drawn a line in the sand about not getting sex. This is an article trying to keep men married. After reading about other husbands problems, I am thinking about leaving. There r plenty of fish in the sea gents, and I want to go fishing again.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Believe me, I never encourage people to get married. I’ve been with my partner for 23 years (we’re not married). I’m a man and I have a great sex life. We also have an eight year old daughter.

    Before you say “well you’re not married so what do you know?” let me set you straight. Some people think that not being married doesn’t really count, but that’s bullshit. Twenty-three years of commitment is twenty-three years of commitment. There’s no way to fake it and we work on our relationship constantly. The first five years of our relationship were long distance (three hour drive each way, every weekend). She broke up with me at year four but then realized she made a mistake and asked me to have her back. We own a house together and she’s been a full time mom since our daughter was born. I work at home so I’m around my family constantly. So I’ve paid my dues, and since we’ve outlasted most marriages, and our sex life is great, I think I know a thing or two about how to build and maintain a relationship.

    If some people let their lives fall apart after they get married it’s not the fault of marriage – it’s the fault of the people involved. Marriage doesn’t mean anything other than what you decide it means. It has no value other than what you decide its value is.

    But as far as your wife, I wouldn’t have sex with you either. You resent having to be a father and resent being in a relationship. What kind of dad complains that he can’t sleep in or hang with his friends as much as he’d like because he’s got to take care of a child he brought into this world? What kind of attitude is that? That’s a huge turn-off for anyone.

    Have you ever spent an entire weekend with your kid, alone, without mom? How many hours on the weekend do you spend, one-on-one, with your kid? At least six? Do you and your wife have at least one date nigh per week? I don’t mean every now and then, I mean every week for the entire length of your relationship. Do you and your wife have regular, deep, honest, goal oriented conversations about the status of your relationship?

    I can only assume that answer to all the above is no because I don’t think it’s possible to end up in you situation if you were.

    And if you haven’t made these a regular part of your life, then how can you really say marriage sucks.

    It would be like never putting oil your a car, filling it with filthy gas, and never doing any repairs, and then saying Toyotas suck, don’t buy one.

    As far as the grass being greener. Do you seriously think there are all these single women who are going to be impressed with a bitter divorced father? Unless you are dating psychos, or very young girls who don’t know any better, you’re not going to be scoring like you think.

    That’s not a reason to stay in bad marriage, but it’s much easier to invest in a fantasy rather than fix what going on.

    Sounds to me that you checked out long ago and there’s nothing your wife could ever do to improve this situation because you are not invested in your family. Maybe she checked out as well and you’re both just letting the relationship crash on autopilot. I don’t know, but I do know that the is no chance for improvement with your state of mind.

    I will agree that weddings are a waste of money though. Five grand on a dress you wear once is madness.

    [Reply]

    joeschmoe Reply:

    I am with my three yr old every morning from 6am until noon, just us and it’s great. I have issues with doing this day in and out and being the families provider and loving no matter what I do or how I act. No we don’t have a date night, no one to watch our kids. Buy the timeI get home from work she is tired, can’t blame her, so am I. But there are other opportunites that always never happen. Thanks for the ur perspecrive. Its helped a little.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    You sound really pleasant today. Glad to here you’re spending so much time with your kids. It’s a struggle to get dads to join me on my adventures with my daughter. It’s like they just can’t be bothered to commit to four to six hours of one-on-one time with their kids.

    Somehow I would make the date night happen. Kids and the daily grind of making a living will slowly drain the life out of even the best relationship. As much as me and my partner love our daughter, she can’t provide what we need as a couple. Only we can do that, and she really can’t be a part of it.

    As you’ve probably noticed, when you’re interfacing with your wife through your children you don’t feel like a couple – or sexy – you just feel like parents. And parenting is devoid of flirting, sexual advances, and all the other fun stuff that comes from courting. I think we’re programmed that way so when we’re parenting we’re focused on making sure our offspring survive and not getting distracted chasing tail. So it’s not a bad thing in of itself.

    So if you don’t put the kids way on a regular basis and focus on being a couple, that part starts to atrophy. Also, couple time is the only time you can actually talk about adult things (like sex and relationships). You shouldn’t have these conversations with the kids around. You couldn’t even if you tried because they would always be interrupting.

    This more calm and less resentful part of you gives me hope. I thinks it’s ok to maybe coast a bit on the parenting (and I mean both of you…seems like you two have earned it) and instead focus on each other. Happy parents are the best gift you can give your children. Your children will be fine not being the center of the universe for a bit.

  • Sam Says:

    My wife is still interested in sex (she enjoys it when it does happen) however It has become sooooo hard to get some on a regular basis which I have to be honest I trully need as an mental escape from day to day routine. I am at a loss. Things have been crazy in the last year or so admittedly, new house, work work and more work…… I am sure it could be argued that I don’t participate enough in the day to day kids duty, i do cook (I enjoy it!) I do clean around (I don’t mind it) and I do some other stuff. Here is where I am at a loss. I keep hearing, reading about this women need to feel cared for before they can have sex…. That’s fine and all but to me this is like the chicken and the egg question? what came first???? comes to think of it sex came first….. I have been down the route of making the moves first time and time again and frankly I am a bit tired of it at this point since 95% of the time the route dead ends in rejection. Your comment about simply agree to get some on a weekly basis and leave the woman choose when is great but I am not sure how to approach the subject?? I have tried several time just to be told that “this is the only thing on my mind” well when I am frustrated from lack of it YES ABSOLUTELY it is the only thing on my mind…!

    What can I do? I love my wife and have NO interest in seeking sex outside the marriage, call me crazy but it’s a commitment thing.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Since your wife does enjoy sex and that your busy life is really getting in the way, it seems like your issue is a rather easy one to solve and you already know the answer. To bring up the sex schedule idea is best done when you have a good hour or so to talk it through. That means no kids around. On a date night would be good, or even after having sex. I’m not sure which one of us brought up the solution to me hounding her for sex because we talk pretty regularly about our sexual needs. We’re not shy about it. The more you talk about it the easier it gets.

    The best way to handle these things is there has to be a non negotiable expectation but with a negotiable solution. So your non-negotiable position is that you need regular sex or you can’t function. The negotiable position is how that will be achieved (frequency, who initiates, is it on specific days or is it a set minimum per week, etc.)

    She may also have some non-negotiables as well like “I need a couple hours to myself Monday, Wednesday and Fridays”. And it will be your job to offer some solutions to make that happen.

    So I would open with your sexual needs first, and then ask how you two can best meet those, and then ask her if there are any things she needs in return.

    It will probably go a lot smoother than you think.

    For us it was pretty simple. She guarantees 2-3 times per week ( approximately every other day, every third day…it’s not set in stone) and I don’t bother her about. Although when my sexual energy overfloweth and I look at her a certain way (that lusty, wild eyed on the prowl look) she’ll just say something like “yes, tonight” or “sorry, you’ll need to wait til tomorrow”.

    But honestly, since we’ve been on the guaranteed minimum with her initiating, it’s been not only liberating but sometimes I even forget it’s sex day and she needs to remind me. Because I know I’m taken care of it frees my mind to focus on other things.

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    Ok that seems easy enough and I will certainly give it a try. She does have some time for herself in the am which she uses to workout and keep in shape. My schedule is extremely flexible and so there’s plenty of time logistically to get this going.

    [Reply]

  • rich Says:

    Sex has been an issue with us for years. I am a good father and husband. I work nights, get up every day and start dinner, clean the house, get the kids from school, help with home work. My wife comes home every day to a clean house, cooked meal, home work done and checked so I can go to work for 12 hrs. 6p-6a. If anything I should be too tired for sex. I think in the beginning the wife loves the extra help, but then it becomes expected. I don’t mind doing my share around the house. Our marriage is 50/50. Even though my salary is double compared to hers I always told her we have household bills and a household income. There is no boss. She will give me sex at least once a week, but its done out of some sort of obligation she feels or I have to guilt her into it. What do you suggest?

    [Reply]

    Shaun Reply:

    Rich consider yourself lucky at least your getting laid. I would be happy even with the obligatory type

    [Reply]

  • rich Says:

    I want her to want me.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Well, perhaps you can get her to “want you” in her own way but it will most likely never be the way you want her. My partner loves sex. She has really strong and satisfying orgasms. But she will never want me quite the same way I want her. I wish she did but unless she becomes a gay man I don’t see that happening.

    I guess my first suggestion is communication. My experience has been that not only do very few couples really make deep, non judgmental, solutions oriented communication a regular part of their life, but that when it comes to sex, the avoidance really kicks in.

    A good first step to open a line of communication on this subject is “I want to talk about our sex life. I love you deeply and I’m very attracted to you, but sometimes I feel as if you don’t feel the same way. is this true?”

    Now that’s a big, big question but it will get one of two responses. One, no I don’t feel the same way, which means you two have a bigger problem than you thought. Or two, of course I love you and I’m attracted to you, why would you think that? In which case you can explain why you feel the way you do and you you can start working on a solution.

    There have a few been times in our relationship where I’ve asked her straight up if she wanted to be with me, because I wasn’t feeling that she was on board 100%. Our course she answered yes each time or we wouldn’t still be together, but it does get at the heart of the matter which allows you to then make the next step which is “ok, so what are we going to do to make things better”.

    It’s hard to image that if she’s having really satisfying sex and she’s aware of your needs (as well as her own), that she wouldn’t just do it out of obligation. It would be an experience that she too demanded and expected.

    So I suspect, communication is where it starts. You need to find out what’s going on with her sexually and she needs to understand you sexually. There could any number of issues that is creating this situation. But you’ll never know unless you talk about it.

    Assuming you both love each other, want to continue your life together, and are both willing to explore ways to be as fulfilled as possible, I don’t see how things couldn’t improve.

    [Reply]

  • navanath Says:

    after all the reading iam happy that iam not only one this world to have this problem, will iam happy that we all first Man and this thing is important too, after all the talk , i ask you whats the commen peroid of her (wife) for sex life, my is real good at work,iam luck by that way, she even likes me ,and most important she knows all the ticks,so what i must do now , will what i feel she might have readed it as i have done ,so what to do now

    [Reply]

  • Mark Says:

    So, it’s up to the guy to do all of the giving? Do more chores, take her out on more dates, etc., etc. Consideration is a two way street. When I’m not getting any – or if I was denied the night prior, my general disposition is not one of wanting to do more for my wife. Sure, I try to understand what the underlying issue is/was for the rejection and try to be sensitive but a generic “not tonight, hon”, leaves me feeling disappointed, frustrated, and generally unappreciated. I do more than my fair share around the house, spend time with our son (not to get laid, but because I love him and enjoy our time together) and help her out with money (she’s a stay at home mom). I don’t ask for it every night – far from it; however, when I do, it often seems like the planets must be aligned if it’s going to happen. From what I have read from the posts from the frustrated husbands in your blog, it is up to the guys to understand and accommodate the women. While I think that’s true to a certain extent, I also think that it’s important for women to understand that men view sex as a basic need. When we’re in the mood, the last thing we want to hear is “how about tomorrow night instead, hon”. Like I said earlier in my post: Consideration is a two way street.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    I agree 100%. But this article was only about this one particular approach and aimed at men who are not pulling their weight and are disengaged from their family – which is a very large percentage of men. I also wrote a detailed article about what women need to understand about men if they expect to have a decent relationship.

    As for your situation, it looks like you need a sex schedule. You shouldn’t have to ask at all. She should have a minimum expectation that she is supposed to meet in order to maintain a healthy relationship with you. This is what me and my partner have been doing for years and it’s awesome. She guarantees 2-3 times per week and I don’t bug her anymore about “getting some”. The person with the lower libido has the responsibility to provide regular sex (usually they need to provide a little more than they want, while the other person must accept a little less). Since the lower sex drive person essentially controls the sex in the relationship, it’s their responsibility to step up and set the pace and then follow through with with a regular supply of sex. They don’t get the luxury of just doing it when ever they feel like it. It would be the same thing if it was money. If one person brings in all the income, they don’t get to make all the decisions on how and when it’s spent. They have financial obligations and their partner is entitled to reasonable and regular access to the funds. They shouldn’t have to beg for cash every time they need to buy something. Sex is the same. The person who controls the sex must share it, just like the person does who has all the money must share it.

    [Reply]

    FOTW Reply:

    Dope Dad said “But this article was only about this one particular approach and aimed at men who are not pulling their weight and are disengaged from their family – which is a very large percentage of men.” FOTW said “I’d like to know where you cite your statistics? Talking to a few of your partners female friends married or unmarried really wouldn’t be considered a proper survey especially if you are trying to affect peoples behaviors.” I don’t think it is very ethical either.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    My statistics are draw from what just about every woman I know personally, plus every woman they know personally, plus jut about every article, study, and television show about this subject have said. Women have been saying this for decades loud and clear. They aren’t just making this up out of whole cloth. Just look at the comments. The women agree with my article and the men often don’t. Trust me, if you say stuff about what women want that isn’t true you hear about it real quick.

  • Horny wife of 35 years Says:

    Your article couldn’t have been more correct! Years ago, in another article, I read the line you quoted above that foreplay begins when you wake up and everything that happens during the day is part of that (basically). This couldn’t be more true. Harsh, hurtful words and resentment are the opposite of foreplay and will kill a woman’s sex drive quicker than anything else.

    I had three kids and remember my obstetrician was so frustrated with me because we never waited the prescribed healing time after childbirth. In fact, I was proud that after our third child, we made it a whole NINE days before having sex…and I had 3 C-sections. I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone because of the chances of complications following surgery, but my husband and I deeply loved each other and were both very sexual people.

    From the earliest days, when we lived together two years before we got married, until just a few years ago, we had sex at least daily, sometimes twice or three times a day. Of course, as we got older, this dwindled off to 4 to 6 times a week after about 25 years together.

    I can tell you that everything you said about helping out around the house, and being the support your partner needs, will DEFINITELY help their sex life, if their wife or partner has been overwhelmed with childcare and household chores.

    I read EVERY SINGLE REPLY and was disappointed to see that so many men were so negative about your article. Unfortunately, these were men who were in relationships that obviously had OTHER problems going on that probably contributed to the loss of desire in their partners. Many of the replies were from men whose anger and resentment literally poured off their words. I truly feel sad for them, because unless they find a way to truly communicate and get to the root of their problems, their sex lives will not improve. I know this from firsthand experience, because it is NOT just having kids or being married that kills a sex drive. Ours recently went to hell in a handbasket over the last couple of years, following a bad accident my husband had, which left him disabled and medically retired.

    Although we are very creative and found ways and positions to work around his disability (leg amputation) his drinking and anger increased, and he began verbally abusing me and calling me names. I was very hurt and talked to him about it. We went to a therapist for counseling. He acknowledged how cruelly he treated me and how it made him feel terrible and he truly disliked himself, but he isn’t willing to quit drinking. Also, he didn’t want to continue counseling because he felt like he was just being bashed, although he admitted that he knew he was hurting me with his words and actions but didn’t know how to get past his problems.

    Although he now does most of the housework because he enjoys it, we have drifted apart and our phenomenal sex life has fallen apart. He still wants to have sex, and for awhile I did, even when I wasn’t in the mood and had to use lubrication, but I can’t make myself have sex anymore when I feel that I am merely “servicing” him, rather than enjoying a mutually satisfying sexual expression of our love and attraction for each other. It isn’t because of his leg amputation…we worked around that and it didn’t make him any less desirable in my eyes…and he’s been bald since his early 20’s and I always found him extremely attractive. He’s still as attractive to me physically as he always was, but emotionally, he has become a person I don’t like.

    When he told me recently that he wanted to revive our sex life, I explained that I did, too, but that he couldn’t expect me to want to make love to him after he’d been treating me like crap all day. A woman’s desire isn’t a switch you can flip when you hit the sheets. We now have some serious issues to overcome, if we are to get back to our loving relationship we once had, and I see similarities in a lot of the very bitter comments of the men in the above replies. I started to reply to one of the early posts, so that anyone reading this for the first time would see it at the top of the replies and read a reply from a very sexually active 54 year old woman’s point of view, but felt that you addressed the fact that this article was ONLY meant for those men who were NOT holding up their part of the relationship, as far as the household and child rearing responsibilities were concerned.

    I hope that others, who basically have a healthy, loving relationship otherwise, will take your words to heart as they truly will work for them. However, if there are other problems in the marriage that are contributing to the lack of sex, only honest communication and a WILL TO WORK ON THE PROBLEMS will fix it and restore that sex drive we all have when we’re with the person we love with all our being.

    Thank you for your insightful words and articles. I thoroughly enjoyed the article about what men need, and several of your other ones as well.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    And thanks for sharing. I hope your husband pulls himself out of his downward spiral. It’s a sad way to end things. I hope he’ll consider anti depressant medication. Sometimes it can be just the thing to lift the fog of depression so they can then have the intellectual and emotional focus to take the next steps to getting their act together.

    [Reply]

    FLOTW Reply:

    Of course, from the sounds of it, you’ve got an above average sex drive and some might contend way above average. In the statistical world your what we call an ‘Outlier’ and we would normally exclude you from the analysis. So to say that you would agree with this particular bloggers approach is null and void. From the sounds of it, if your husband gave you the TV remote that would have been enough to float your boat.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Just because you’re on outlier doesn’t make your experiences null and void. Considering that just about every article about this subject written by women over the last 20 years have said exactly the same thing – we need help with the kids or we’re too drained emotionally and physically to get as sexually aroused as we’d like to – is valid enough. My theories are just restating what women keep saying over and over again to men about what they need. I find it funny that anyone even debates this. It would be like if a woman wrote an article called “If you want a happy husband, don’t be such a controlling, nitpicking bitch” and all these women wrote in saying it’s bullshit and why should they have to stop nagging and belittling their husband to make him happy. He should just be happy no matter how I treat him. This is blackmail!

    [Reply]

  • Laura Says:

    Thought I’d throw in a woman’s point of view. Yes, helping out goes a long long way. And my husband does…alot. And I do always (yes, always) say thank you because I know how hard it is – we both work fulltime in relatively intense jobs). But the thing that makes the difference isn’t the helping out – well it definitely helps. It is the need for a guy to protect and provide for the ‘mental’ component of sex. And this isn’t necessarily something that takes up a ton of time or cash. You nailed it when you talked about the non-stop ‘mental’ angst of child rearing – by the end of the day, your brain is fried. That so crowds out desire. Just by recognizing that ‘this’ is the issue, a guy can protect and provide for sex. It isn’t the breakfast first thing in the morning. It is maybe a look, or something that reminds a woman that (1) he likes that aspect of sex with you the best (2) he will protect this aspect of sex, literally willing to kill his kids (a joke) when they impact this small component of his spouse’s brain (this extends to his mother, her mother, dumb ass girlfriends that at times can drive her to drink) (3) he is patient enough to know that after unplugging from the kids, she just needs ‘white noise’ to drift back to this ‘mental space’. This doesn’t necessarily mean she needs to be alone. She just needs it. So if you forget that this aspect of your relationshiip, and just focus on the hard labour component described above, you won’t get sex. And I do think men and women forget this and sort of loose the mental roadmap to get back to ‘this place’.

    [Reply]

    FLOTW Reply:

    The excuse of having to take care of kids can only be used for so long. What happens when they are old enough to look after themselves and there still isn’t the level of sex that is mutually satisfying for the partner who is being shortchanged? What then? Personally I think people need to dig real deep before they commit to a partner when their libidos don’t match because it ain’t going to get any better with age.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    True that.

    [Reply]

  • Amy Says:

    My husband isn’t a dad and never will be. We have been married 45 years and we only had sex once. He told me it was terribly disgusting, no excitement and not worth the trouble. He said he will never have sex again espically with me and that’s the way our life has been. He moved to the basement and started working the mid night shift so he don’t have to talk or be around me. I thought he was kidding but he wasn’t. I’am terribly sad, depressed and emontionly beaten down. I should have left him but I had no where to go and still don’t. So I’ve been stupid and hung around. Any way in my 60s now and sex and love are gone forever.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    This is a tragic story but it can have a happy ending. 60’s is not to old to start living and enjoy real intimacy with someone who isn’t damaged goods. But you have to leave, for good. Forever. Your husband already did leave you 45 years ago. He just didn’t have the guts to end it officially, but you can. Just walk away.

    [Reply]

  • Lyn Says:

    Good sex works for me, especially when oral is included. Give me time to get used to the idea and I’m there.

    Doing the housework is nothing to do with getting sex, or not. Hey, I’m a woman – doing housework to get sex would be worked out in a nanosecond. I’d make damn sure I was asleep when hubby came to bed.

    [Reply]

  • Shaun Says:

    Lyn as I have said in previous posts I do believe married women will only show for sex when they want something they can’t get on thier own. Once they get what they want then its back to getting nothing

    [Reply]

  • Chris Says:

    That is compelling; and certainly a lot of evidence. However, there is one flaw. Asking a woman if she wants her man to kiss her ass and do more for her, and kiss her ass – basically be her man bitch – and greeting a positive answer is not surprising. That’s like asking your kid if he’d like it more if you let him stay up all night, play video games, eat junk food and skip school – I bet you’d get the same response… A resounding Yes! I’m sure they’d even give compelling reasons how it would actually improve their personality and health.

    Fact is; if what you say is really correct, why then are the majority of men who do it walked all over and getting less sex?

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    As I pointed out in the beginning, this advice assumes that your wife has a healthy libido and actually wants to a a good sex life. In a lot of these hardship cases the wife clearly has some issues around sex, and in some cases seem fine shutting down sexually completely. If my partner did that, and showed no interest in fixing it, then I would either leave her or we would have to have an open relationship so I could get my sexual needs met. I have no idea why these men keep punishing themselves. It’s like the wife who keeps coming back after the husband punches her in the face for the umpteenth time.

    BUT, if your wife’s primary struggle with feeling sexual is lack of sleep, to much stimulus from the kids, and too much housework, this advice will most certainly work. Same with my advice on date night. If you put in the work you’ll most likely see results -assuming the relationship is decent and both partners aren’t sexually messed up – which I believe is the majority of situations. The couples I know who’s sex life has dropped after kids are either have lopsided contributions to child care or are not taking date nights.

    As for women understanding their needs – ignore their pleas at your own peril. Grown women with children are not children themselves (at least they shouldn’t be). To compare them to kids that just want candy is absurd. And yes, you should listen to your kids as well. That doesn’t mean indulging their every whim, but it does mean you should take their feelings and aspirations seriously. Same with your partner.

    I think there is a big difference between being a doormat and being a loving attentive partner.

    [Reply]

  • MarleyMae Says:

    I’m a married late-30s gal, professional worker, mother, and wife. I’ve been married for 10 years to my best friend and supportive partner, been having an above-average and active sex life with him for 15. I take care of myself, am reasonably attractive, have a lot of creative hobbies and passions, and love my job. Just last night, I had a teary-eyed argument of sorts with my husband when – for about the 4th evening in a row of his evening advances – I pronounced AGAIN that I wasn’t in the mood for sex. I really wasn’t, and wasn’t in the mood to pretend.

    Like a lot of the guys on this thread, he’s frustrated, frustrated with me, feeling unwanted. And, in typical male fashion, he wants to find the solution: that nice, linear, cause and effect solution (like Straight Dope Dad’s: help out around the house, and dude, you are SO getting laid! Bingo!).

    I think Straight Dope Dad is correct in that it’s not about demanding, pawing, asking: it’s about being kind and considerate, changing your own additude and behavior. But I’ll go even further to say, it’s about more than just helping out with chores and parenting, although that helps: it’s about keeping your wife IN LOVE with you. Interested in you, attracted to you. Being…interesting! Being engaged with the world. Having friends. Having passions. Trying new things that you can bring your wife and family into. Having some stories to bring to the table at the end of the day. Having personality. Making wisecracks. Having opinions. Having intention and values in what you do. Keeping your mind and body sharp. Having projects. Trying new things, new talents. Traveling. Organizing things.

    God, why do so many nice, well-intentioned men become…quiet? Boring? Anti-social, even, as they get older? Have any of you guys experienced this, or does it sound like you? It’s almost as though there’s school and maybe college – a time of great wacky friendships and adventures – and then boom, it’s done. Why do men get so bogged down by, I guess, the daily drudgery of running a household that they forget how to be young at heart, fun, spontaneous?

    This is what it’s about, for me. Doing the chores and mechanics, paying the bills, bringing in moneym, being a father even: these are all wondeful gifts a man can bring to a home. My husband does all that. A lot of you guys do that too, I’m sure. The trouble is, these days, that’s not enough. Again – as a late-thirties wife and mom, I don’t consider life over yet. When my husband asks me to “come home early from drinks with a girlfriend so I can be awake enough for sex this time,” I resent that sort of demand. When he seems like it’s too much or too out-there to host a party or go over to visit friends, but would rather just sit silently on the couch and read Sports Illustrated, I resent that. That’s not paying attention to my needs, which makes it hard for me to hop in the sack naked and all free-spirited. I need him to regain his own passion, his spark, for life – to find a job he enjoys, I mean truly loves – and one that doesn’t bring him down. There are all, to me, traits that make a man sexy – much more than his utilitarian value as a hard penis and a handyman.

    I hate to sound so negative….he’s an amazing guy with a lot of wonderful traits. I love my husband dearly and want him to be happy, not bitter. I’m trying to get to the bottom of this, and that’s what I’ve deduced.

    Straight Dope Dad, what do you think?

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    I agree with your entire premise. Passion inspires passion. Keep it interesting. Embrace life. Have fun and be fun to be around. Work on maintaining those qualities that attracted your partner in the first place. This is solid advice for men and women.

    However, that’s a huge undertaking to just start doing all at once.

    It’s inevitable that even the most conscientious, fun-loving couple will fall into ruts and take each other for granted if they don’t stay on their game.

    My partner have rekindled our passion many times. Our last one was on Saturday. Things needed to change and change fast. And since we’re two reasonable people fully committed to our relationship, it did. We have a clear plan for continued happiness and it’s working great. We’ve also made a promise to each other to not let the other one slip back into old counterproductive habits.

    So you two need to have a serious conversation about this. Work out a plan that works for both of you and then go do it. Set clear goals and expectations. Acknowledge each others contributions. Compliment each other regularly and consciously mix things up.

    Unfortunately, our brains love routines. Our brain is constantly trying simplify our routines and do as little work as possible. This is our survival mode and it’s based around biological resilience. Conserve energy. Avoid confrontations. Don’t get killed.

    However, this survival mode kills our spirit. Almost all the things that bring joy to our life have nothing to do with biological survival. Eating donuts is not for survival. That’s for pleasure. Sex outside procreation is for pleasure. Roller coasters, cracking jokes, slacking off, goofing around, playing sports, gambling, risk taking, art, reading, music…all for pleasure. We don’t “need” any of them but life without them sucks. The trick for all long term couples, especially with children, is to not slip into survival mode. Survival mode kills relationships.

    But back to you horny husband. One simple thing you can do right now is just guarantee him a regular schedule of sex. He shouldn’t have his advances thwarted four nights in a row unless you have cancer or something. It can be something a simple as guaranteeing you’ll have sex at least three times per week but he needs to stop bugging you. That alone will make you more receptive. Also, he won’t be able to think straight if his cock is buzzing all the time yearning to be touched. So a minimum amount of guaranteed sex will enable him to work on all the other stuff you need him to do to make your relationship function at it’s peak. For most men, sex is a need. We can’t function properly without it. So keep him fed so he can think straight.

    My partner and I have had that agreement for a very long time and it works great. Back in the day I used to pursue all the time and she would reject me over and over again. It was frustrating and a real mood killer for both of us.

    Now I can concentrate on just being a great father and partner because I know I’m getting some either way. Sometimes I even forget we’re going to have sex that day because I don’t have to spend all this mental energy on pursuit.

    Pursuing sex is the wrong tactic anyway. You should pursue emotional and physical intimacy. Be a responsive and caring partner. Carry your weight. Pitch in without being asked. Stay playful. These thing are big turns for both men and women, but because of womens’ biology and how stress and emotions are so closely tied to their sexual responsiveness it super important for a man to understand these things. Guys are easy. Stroke the front of there pants, look them in the eye and say “I need you to fuck me now.” He’ll be ready in seconds no matter how tired or stressed he is. Try that with a woman when she’s not in the mood and she’s going to blow up and rip you a new one.

    Many men obviously resent how women are wired and feel it’s unfair to have to do all this stuff. Too bad for them. They are really missing out.

    [Reply]

    Shaun Reply:

    I call bullshit ladies. You all know for you sex is a weapon. I don’t know how many times i have been lied to that if i did x i would get laid. Well i have done that and still haven’t seems to me that once you get what you want you could not give a damn. We are just a paycheck after your personal goals are achieved.

    [Reply]

    David Reply:

    Two problems, women in this society tend to be sexist and it is automatically assumed that the women is overworked and doing “everything”! Women have a right to manupulate their husbands using sex and intimacy as a valid way to do that. This is a bad message for any marriage and this article is a great example of this sad attitude in our society.

    David Reply:

    you ask…”Why do men get so bogged down and borring?” It is called marriage! When did women learn that once they got married that their husbands became second to everything else? If you want men to act like they did in college then women have to also. Your husband should be the priority in hour life.. before kids and career. Those are important but are second to your husband. If tey aren’t then gee..what do you think those lonely husbands will do when someone else starts to pay attention to them… Men have it a little easier. They like to pay attention to their wifes.. if their wives make them feel like their are still number one. Not 2,3 or 4. Why is the burden all put on the men to prove love or pass tests. This simply puts men off and makes them feel alone. Women act like men are irrelavent worthless, perverts. Women of today need to come down off their high horse and learn that they can be just as sexist as men use to be. Men have learned the leason.. time for the women to learn it as well.

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    Shaun Reply:

    Well said David. There is no pleasing these women either. Wife says i need to assist with the little things but won’t provide a list of those little things. Then this morning i get the moving target and the angry wife. I say fuck it , the women we are married to just need to state what their fee is and if we are willing to pay we get some

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  • Amanda Says:

    wow if my husband is just a paycheck then he better start making some real money! And isnt jerking off good enough? I mean even tho I give my husband sex everyday for doing nothing but looking at other women when we are out, spending hours on the computer and then relaxing in front of the tv – he still has to hide away to jerk off or he does it at work. I hear that men need that for a deeper release or something .. does that mean he holds back when he is with me? Ah, I’ll never understand because I’m a woman .. because women aren’t visual (bullshit, I can see just fine) and we arent pigs (I get nasty thoughts all the time). Now, maybe I have been turning up the heat because I’m hormonally imbalanced and want sex alot but I have to say when he is preoccupied staring at everything in a skirt out and about and on tv and on the computer .. kinda kills the libido sometimes. Like, what do you need me for .. am I just the hole to your mental imagery? It can be deeper than just helping around the house fella’s .. just saying .. it helps tho but as we’ve learned everyone is different to some degree so good luck with that.

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    David Reply:

    Your not married are you!

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    Amanda Reply:

    Yes I am, and have been for 21 years. Would it be fair for me to say your not really a man are you?

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  • David Says:

    THIS ARTICLE IS SEXIST AGAINST MEN!. If you can’t see it then your sexist too!

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    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Describing the way things are for millions of people doesn’t make you sexist. You may not like the way things are, but simply acknowledging it and offering some solutions is not in itself sexist. There are only two options in life, accept reality and act accordingly, or wail at the sky and curse the heavens because things aren’t fair. Just as there are many men who comment on this article that it’s not fair that they have to pay so much attention to their partner’s needs or that women use sex as a weapon, they are many women who comment on my “Men a Sex” article (see: http://www.straightdopedad.com/men-sex-7-things-every-woman-should-know-about-how-their-boyfriend-or-husband-thinks-about-sex/) who don’t think it’s fair that men respond so strong to visual stimuli and that they will always look at other women. In both cases the happiest people are the ones who accept reality. The unhappiest are the ones who dig their heels, cross their arms, and declare that life is unfair and they shouldn’t have to change.

    All I’m doing is pointing out what is actually going on and providing some options. I don’t care about what’s fair or what is sexist or not. I only care about what is and what can be done. I’m offering something that can be done, and that is your control. There is no way that being a more attentive partner and a more involved dad can possibly hurt you. There is no downside. It’s like a healthy diet and exercise. Will it give you a six pack and make you live to be a hundred. Who knows? But you will definitely be better off if you do. There is no downside to living well.

    Do women also have to do their part to have a great sex life? Of course, but that is not in your control. All you can really do is change your own behavior and hope the other person changes theirs as a result of you changing the game. That’s why accepting reality as it is and then focusing on what you can do to change your own behavior accordingly is so powerful. It changes the dynamics.

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  • Jack B Says:

    Every guy who replies to say This article sucks, I’m not getting any, This article is sexist, Women are manipulators, etc and on and on are just exposing themselves for the miserable, poor me whiny bastards they really are. You sound angry and unhappy, and you have no one to blame but yourself. You weak little pansies! You say your wife holds all the cards and has all the power when it comes to sex, and there’s nothing you can do to change it? Be a man! Stand up and get your power back! You’ve given your wife total control and you’re content to live this way, blaming your misery and unhappiness on her? It’s like you’ve taken a massive crap in your pants but refuse to clean yourself up, blaming whoever was occupying the bathroom on your mess instead of taking the initiative to clean your mess up.

    Get some balls, change your life, and stop blaming everyone else for being unhappy. Or stay in an unhappy relationship and when you’re 80, look back on your life and wonder how good it could have been.

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  • Esteban Says:

    She never have probles is always Us. Some woman needs woman viagra period, married for 20yrs and nothing woks.

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  • ramblergirl Says:

    Okay, straight dope dad,
    What if my situation is mostly the reverse of this?
    I am a very sexual woman with a strong sex drive. I am in my “peak” (I turned 40 this year) but I have had a strong sex drive for years. I’m told I am physically beautiful and emotionally beautiful as well (though we all have our ugly faults).

    3 years ago, I ended my 14-year marriage b/c of many of the issues you’ve discussed here. He was emotionally void and not involved with the kids or housework, proving his belief that since he was the breadwinner and I “just” stayed at home with the kids, that he was exempt from those duties. When we were dating, we had sex daily but literally as soon as we got married, he practically stopped having sex with me. He was 24 years old, for God’s sake! He was supposed to be at the top of his sex drive!
    I feel for the men who are being continually rejected. It’s not just frustrating, it hurts. Deep down. Well it hurt all that much more that I was a WOMAN who couldn’t get her man to have regular, frequent sex with her. When i caught him masturbating, i was FLABBERGASTED! I did not (and still don’t) understand why a man would masturbate when there is an attractive woman who wants him (now) in the next room!? Long story short, the years of emotional and sexual neglect, occasional emotional abuse (if i confronted him) and the blatant rejection took a major toll on my opinion of myself and on my confidence around sex.

    Fast forward to now: I am in a committed relationship with a beautiful, loving, WAY more evolved man and we have a baby. Now, because he is very different than the ex, and I react/respond to him differently, we have different issues in our relationship. But some things are ringing similar. Not sure if they’re truly the same or if it just pushes that button on all that hurt and rejection from the past relationship.

    Here’s my current dilemma: we definitely have more sex than i did with my ex, but it is still with me initiating most of the time. He knows i want sex more and he always says he’ll “work on it,” but things only change for a brief time. It hurts. He really is a very sexual person and he absolutely loves the sex (as do I) when we have it. It hurts b/c he IS very sexual and visual and looks at other women, at porn, etc, yet he doesn’t express that by pursuing me? He and i have argued multiple times about him masturbating. I don’t get it! I don’t have a fundamental problem with masturbation, as long as no one is being avoided, ignored or neglected. I can understand why a man who’s not getting enough sex would be masturbating, but why would he be doing that when there’s a loving and willing partner in the next f*@king room who isn’t getting enough sex? From what he says, it sounds like his ex wife rejected his advances a lot and he just stopped initiating and she started cheating. Serial cheating. So i know he has some hurt and baggage around this topic as i do. I try talking to him about it but I tread lightly b/c i don’t want to make him feel bad about himself or guilty for not initiating more or meeting my needs well, as that will only compound the problem. But if we don’t remedy this situation soon, I can feel myself pulling away from him and shutting down. Straight dope dad, what do you think might be going on and what can I do about it?

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  • Sophia Says:

    Oh my God, WHO ARE YOU?? I want to have sex with you right now (even though I can’t) and I don’t even know you!! What a fantastic article and blog site. I’ve just stumbled upon a couple of your articles and am impressed with how beautifully you write and how coherent your ideas are.

    I’m one of the lucky ones that has a husband that helps me around the house and with our 3.5 year old daughter. So in my eyes, he’s a hot, hot, hot!

    The only thing I’d like to add is that sometimes even when my husband is very helpful I’m still not in the mood for sex and that’s because, for me personally, 1. I’ve forgotten what it feels like because it’s been say two weeks since last connection (ie you don’t use it, you lose it!) and 2. We make the mistake (and we KNOW we do!) of leaving it as the ‘last task’ of the day. But we talk about this and it helps clear the air and the insecurities.

    Anyway, thanks for your enlightened and funny commentary. And good for you for having so many comments!

    This blog must rock big time! I’m a new fan.

    [Reply]

    Kyle Reply:

    I agree with you, but in a different way. I’ve been maried for only 3 years, and my wife and I are already have some issues. I talked to her after reading this, and we had the best sex we’ve had in months. I honestly enjoyed it, and felt like she did too. She told me she did, but while in the moment I knew she was having fun.

    I tried all aorts of crazy ass ways to get to her. I tried the dumb ass “I don’t need her” approach, and the stupid begging aproach (which is why I was instantly turned on by this) nothing helped, till this.

    Thank you for having this, I’m very glad I found it.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    You’re welcome. I also tried the pestering for sex route back in the day and it just made everything worse. It hurt my feelings to be rejected and turned my partner off.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Thanks for the kind words. I get beat up quite bit from other men for this post but it comes with the territory. Sure, some men are truly stuck with a selfish partner who’s completely checked out of their sex life, and nothing they do makes any difference, but many are just bitter and say I’m full of shit, and they aren’t going to bargain for sex. Which is a cynical way to view it. To me, it’s just smart to do the things that will benefit you. Being nice to cop who just pulled you over is a smart thing to do. Putting in a few extra hours at work when it’s time for promotions is a smart thing to do. exercising and eating right so you can be fit and trim is a smart thing to do. All day long we make little adjustments and put our efforts into improving our chances of achieving our goals, whatever they may be. If your goal is more sex with your wife, then there are some things you can do to help that. Of you can cross your arms, dig your heals, and whine about how unfair it is that your partner just won’t get instantly hot and wet for you every time you feel like getting off.

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  • Kyle Says:

    I feel for you, sometimes I find it necessary to masturbate even after sex. I hope things turn for the better. Have you talked about the love languages, it helped me understand how my wife feels attraction.

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  • Guy Says:

    I really liked the article as well as the other article about “7 things women should know” My wife and I have been married over 16 years and do not have children or any of the impediments a lot of people have. I just turned 50 and work out and run constantly and am in fit shape, not only for myself but so I remain attractive to my spouse. I earn well over 6 figures so my wife has no material wants that aren’t satisfied. Two + Years ago she suddenly decided she didn’t want to work anymore and is home all day watching variety shows on the computer. She cooks and does laundry (albeit every few weeks when I mention I am totally out of clothes) and many times I come home the house is unkempt. She has also found religion and our social life has gone in the toilet because she has gone on a strict vegan diet and won’t even have a social glass of wine. Where I am going with this is many years she was mean and demeaning and constantly attacking my self esteem and sex was every couple of weeks to maybe once a month. Now she suddenly realize I have needs and will maybe have sex once or twice a week but it is not participatory on her part and makes me feel miserable. What I mean is sometimes she says “she doesn’t need to feel good” so she’ll just masturbate me or tell me to just ” stick it in”. Surprisingly sometimes I don’t know which is worse, not getting laid or someone being disinterested in sharing something so intimate. I feel maybe I need to say goodbye and just start with the single life again. Not because I don’t love her but because the one night stands actually seemed more interested in being in sex and sharing the pleasure then my wife. Back to why I gave you all the lead in… I tolerate her doing nothing or next to nothing because I don’t want to fight anymore but am about at my breaking point. Sometimes I feel guilty because the 2 times a week dysfunctional sex is better than the once a month or less sex. Regardless, of the twice a week I always feel angry and resentful that she has no desire in sex or I guess it is my ego saying it says she has no desire in me and just does it to shut me up. Yes, we have argued many many years over the lack of sex. She has just turned 51 and has not started menopause yet (surprises me too). So basically she doesn’t work, no kids, does whatever she wants and still the age old quandary. I must admit on my part I am edgy and angry all the time internally. It’s the old chicken and egg thing. She says the situation is because I am on edge all the time and I am on edge all the time because of not only the lack of sex thing but also the female control thing. What I mean is no matter what you wear it doesn’t look good and it needs to be changed, no matter what you say it starts a fight and you should have said it differently. I am not a stupid man and am a professional that has two high level degrees and am told by everyone how any woman would think I am a catch but am an idiot when it comes to this relationship since she treats me with indifference many times. Although she doesn’t work many times I come home I am lucky if she looks up from what she is doing and acts like she doesn’t care if we broke up. Many times if I tell her that other women would be lucky to have someone like me she simply tells me then go find one. I am tired of someone having no passion for me. I am tired of someone always talking about having a better life and we need to make more money for a better future but not contributing by having a job or working. I earn about 3 times what the average person works but she always makes me feel like our house and what we have is never enough. After going back and reading what I have written I realize my problems go much deeper then just not having sex. I am the child of a caustic divorce where my parents ripped into each other while married and we heard it (sniping) constantly long after they parted. My first marriage I married a woman with a couple of kids while in the service and she was having sex with everyone but me behind my back. Which is maybe why I am trying to make this one work. But it may also be why I am constantly looking over my shoulder with this one. Sometimes my mind thinks maybe she is not having sex with me because she is having sex with someone else. She used to be in Real Estate and at times, when she was working, has lied about people she was with or where she was at. We have fought about those incidences and she apologized but has never given any explanation or justification why which has haunted me for years. I have always had in the back of my mind that maybe like the first wife she cheated because although she has high morals many of the patterns were the same during those times.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Thanks for writing. Sounds like you are on the right track to some kind of resolution on this. The only thing you can really change is yourself. But changing yourself is powerful because it changes the dynamics. Unfortunately many people see self examination, acceptance of others and of what “is”, and then changing yourself as weakness. The opposite is true. Changing yourself forces everyone else to change around you.They have no choice because you’re disrupting the pattern. So the “angry guy” who suddenly because the “nice guy” disrupts the habits that people have formed to deal with the “angry guy”.

    This is why historically non-violent resistance has been so powerful. When the oppressor comes at you with force and you in turn respond with force, the oppressor knows exactly what to do. Use force. It’s what they know and understand. But when the oppressed refuse to play the death and destruction game is disrupts the paradigm and changes the dynamics of the roles.

    You situation is not life and death but the dynamics are the same. You two have an unhealthy pattern that has developed over the years. And you are both playing roles that you know quite well and can perform perfectly without thinking. Your scripts have been memorized and internalized.

    So you need to change the script by changing your role. Will that guarantee it will get better? No. Is it your only option to making things better? Yes.

    From what you’ve written, one of the first things you need to shake is this emphasis on how much you make, how financially well off your wife is, and that she doesn’t work. You come back to those points often. I’ve lived through this growing up and seen others live through it as well. It’s demeaning and is viewed as a way of putting someone in their place. It feels awful to be on the receiving end of that attitude. It also misses the point entirely. Why should your financial situation, your advanced degrees, and your wife’s employment status have any relevance to having a string, deep, satisfying. personal connection with your wife? It doesn’t and never will. Placing emphasis on that is like rubbing salt in a wound.

    So change yourself first, as that the only thing you can change anyway, and then see how the world and your wife reacts.

    [Reply]

    Guy Reply:

    Thanks for responding. Maybe it’s not justifiable but why I keep coming back to achievements and salary is because when I met my wife I was perfectly happy being a field technician. When I met her I told her I am just a middle class Joe but after we married sh made all thes friends that had big houses and nice cars. I went back to school as a way to elevate my salary and subsequently us. She is always concerned with our standard of living but chose not to work three years ago. It is not right I know but have bought her the dream home she wanted on a golf course, luxury cars, expensive diamonds, etc. I did it because I love her not for sex but by the same token I can’t help feeling that “don’t you realize how much I care” ? I pamper her and try to romance her but it is so frustrating when you are met with rejection. Another reason I mentioned our financial situation is because we don’t have the pressures or worries of many couples where they are struggling. You have misjudged me since many people don’t even know about my education and of the two of us she is the one who touts my degrees. I like and socialize with all different folks while many times she refers to folks as low level or not at our level. Part of it may be cultural since she is Asian.

    [Reply]

    Straight Dope Dad Reply:

    Ahhh, that makes more sense then. Now I know why you emphasized that part. Still, there is nothing you can do to change her. Only yourself. Then hopefully that will enable her to change. That’s assuming she wants to. Some people are quite content being miserable. I meet them all the time. It sounds like she has decide to divide the world into rich and poor and worthy and unworthy. Nothing you can do about that. And if that’s the case, more stuff will only feed the fire. One of my friend’s mom was your classic snob. She thought she was high society and bragged out her status. She would tell me how I too would have to chase riches if I were to be happy like her. Trouble was she wasn’t happy, just anxious, insecure and arrogant. And all of her supposed wealth was actually from her husband. Without her husband she’d have next to nothing because she was not terribly bright. She even refused to eat organic fruit because she didn’t want to get malaria from it. Big dummy.

    But back to your wife. You accidentally helped create this situation by giving her everything she wanted (financially) and making that a priority. And I agree, that her Asian roots probably isn’t helping her overcome placing status and outward appearances at a premium. But you can’t change that either.

    I don’t envy your situation. It’s a tough trajectory to change. But once you get right with yourself, and get your mind clear, you’ll know what to do. Right now you’re still in a reactionary mode which is totally understandable when you’re in free fall.

    From my personal experience, the decision I make out of fear or are knee jerk in nature are not very effective. All the effective ones come from a place of strength.

  • Karen Says:

    Wow. It’s actually really quite simple. Someone pointed out that to women, sex is just another chore. Think about that. Another chore. Did it ever occur to any of you that if you make sex more enjoyable for your wives that they might actually want to engage in it more frequently?! Women are tired of being made to feel that sex is something you give to a man that during which you are satisfying his needs. Women rarely get their sexual desires fulfilled and are made to feel that they shouldn’t make sexual demands because it’s a man’s realm. I guarantee that if you start making sex about what your wife wants and needs sexually (forget about whether that’s fair or not because the end result will be more sex for you which is better than none at all!) she will want to have sex much, much more often. It will no longer feel like just another chore, but rather something that she needs often in her life to be happy! Just do it. Trust me.

    [Reply]

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