Sunday, April 21, 2024

On/off sex drive has me concerned


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Dear Christine,

How do you explain a woman’s strong urges to be sexually intimate at times and then having sudden loss of interest?

I don’t like to indulge in this sort of whimsy with my husband because it seems unfair and inconsiderate, but that’s the way it is with me on some occasions.

I know it affects him and may make him think he is not performing his duties as he ought to.

 What can I possibly do to remedy this kind of “on/off” behaviour?

– Searching for an answer


Dear Searching For An Answer,

Let me take some time to explain.

If you mean that at different times you have different feelings about intimacy with your husband, I think you have to let him know that wanting sex is something like wanting to eat certain things like steak and onions or vanilla ice-cream, instead of cookies and cream; or like wanting to watch a particular type movie sometimes and at other times wanting instead to  do a crossword or clean out the refrigerator.

It is not because your appraisal of him as a man and a lover is undergoing dangerous changes.

Some women spend a lot of time these days trying to persuade men that they need wooing and loving before sex – at least, a majority of women are like that.

Women who feel otherwise, who may be ready for sex with their husbands most of the time and not often in need of a long preparation period, do exist and that is their way; there is nothing wrong with them, or to use a popular but often unhelpful word, “abnormal” about them.

Since so much is said to the effect that men have to consider women’s needs for wooing, sometimes a mistaken idea is put across.

It is understandable that a man can get the idea that if his wife does not want sex, it means he is approaching her in the wrong way.

Whereas, the fact is that sometimes she just does not want sex when he does, no matter how considerate or imaginaative or skilful he may be.

If she accepts this about herself, she probably can let him know in a nice way, and then he should be able to understand it too.

And, there should be an understanding that sometimes one or the other spouse may not want intimacy of any kind and would prefer to withdraw for a while to another room, or into a nap, or just silence.

If either partner comes to feel that he or she is being deprived, or that his or her sexual feelings are being disregarded too often, then the couple needs to talk about this and come to a new understanding perhaps with the help of a counsellor.

There is very likely some disagreement or resentment about something other than sex, and this is being expressed by withholding intimacy.

The way you phrase your question suggest another kind of change in feelings entirely – something beyond your control, a truly sudden change, as though you want intimacy, make this plain to your husband, and then suddenly want to withdraw from the encounter.

It is best that both of you communicate with each other and explain what it is you sometimes feel as it relates to sex.

As long as your feelings are properly communicated, there should be no doubt about whether or not your husband understands you and can therefore relate to those times of withdrawal on your part.

Help him to understand you better. This can only be done by expressing your fears, concerns, likes and dislikes about sex or any other subject.




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