I hate sex with my husband
18:42 GMT, 3 September 2012
I don’t like sex and never really have. I’ve had plenty of it over the years, but have faked my enthusiasm. I can reach orgasm, but it’s a flutter, rather than an ecstatic peak.
I’ve been with my husband for 12 years and we have two children, but I feel tense every time he makes love to me and can’t wait until it’s over.
I haven’t told him how disengaged I feel, as I’m worried he’ll leave. What should I do
It'll be over soon… If you're tense and muted in bed, you'll be transmitting that anxiety to your husband (posed by models)
ANSWER: Isn’t it strange how it’s perfectly acceptable to say you don’t like chocolate or wine or foot massages, despite the intense pleasure millions of people gain from these treats
Yet if you dare to mention that sex leaves you cold, everyone looks aghast.
Because the vocal masses seem to devote all their spare brain space to devising ways to have more or better sex, those who wish to stop doing it altogether are viewed as abnormal.
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And yet surveys show that 1 per cent of the population could be defined as asexual (they feel no urge to engage in sexual activity) while millions of others — like you — persist in some form of sex, but would happily desist.
I know a number of people of both sexes who have preferred a glass of Cote du Rhone and a good book to sexual intercourse. And all this is fine if your partner doesn’t mind. If, however, your spouse wants you to return his passion you’re going to run into trouble.
Lust triggers lust and can itself act as an aphrodisiac. Without lust, sex becomes a painful battle to win your partner back, while failure to elicit a response makes you feel wretched.
You say you haven’t discussed your true feelings with your husband, but he must be aware of them. If you’re tense and muted in bed you’ll be transmitting that anxiety to him. He probably feels that he’s doing something wrong in failing to arouse you.
Behind closed doors: Some couples prefer a glass of wine and a book to sexual intercourse (posed by models)
That’s why I advise that you talk to him: it will release your burden and reassure him that he’s not a second-rate lover.
You say you’re worried your spouse will leave you if you display such honesty, but surely you’re in greater danger of that happening if you don’t explain what’s going on
If the issue is not discussed, it’s under those circumstances that a spouse is most likely to turn to someone else for comfort.
Your husband can only support you effectively if he understands your sexual ambivalence and how long you’ve felt this way.
Yours is almost certainly a case where couples counselling would help. A good sexual therapist might be able to suggest a technique that enhances your enjoyment.
Many couples benefit from starting again, exploring one another with gentle kisses and caresses before plunging back into sexual intimacy.
You might have been raised feeling it’s wrong to enjoy your body’s sensuality. Sometimes early sexual experiences can be so disappointing that they affect relationships after.
It’s possible you never trusted any lover enough to lose yourself. Guilt and shame overwhelm some people to the point that they can’t feel pleasure in bed.
What’s clear is that it must be torturous to have spent so many years feigning interest in sex.
Free yourself — and your husband — from this charade and you may well find that honesty actually enhances intimacy.