Sex and Marriage.

So this may be too personal for some, but I’m going to ask anyway. I figure if you don’t like it, don’t answer.

Ok, I’m 23 and I’ve been married for three years going on four.

However, lately I’ve been finding more and more bad news for the future of our sex life. Let me explain. I’ve talked to several married women and the overall response in conversation is that their sex life has faded. These are women in their 40’s.

So it has me wondering. Is this what I have to look forward to? I mean I know sex insn’t everything in a marriage. The way some of these women talk though…it doesn’t look good.

One in particular, well she always comes to work and says “I got it over with for the month.” I can’t help but wonder, is this my future? Will I be coming to work one day saying the exact same thing? What exactly happens that makes this so?

My unprofessional and unsubstantiated opinion - your sex life is what you make it. If you and your husband decide that the 3rd Thursday of every month works for you, if you like role-playing, if you can’t imagine less than every other day - well, that’s your marriage.

I know personally of a couple who were very active well into their 60s. Maybe longer - it’s not like something we discussed all the time.

My point is that your sex life is yours alone. There are averages, but I don’t think there’s “normal.” You’ll figure out what works for you and what pleases you. And that’s what matters. What other people do doesn’t affect you, well, unless you’re into the group thing… :wink:

Woman of Scorn –

We’ve been married for decades and are in our 50’s. Sex and sexual response changes dramatically over time – and is also highly environmental. Throw in a little stress, like financial pressures or someone dying and it changes responsiveness. Sexual responsiveness can change dramatically during the month. It is also very different when lactating.

I’ve long thought that someone should write a book titled “The Life Cycle of Sex.” We know that even newborns have erections. Seeking a source, I find that even fetuses are aroused sexually:

Menopause is well-known as a time of major change for women and hot flashes can make even close physical contact like hugging uncomfortable. Unfortunately, I don’t know of anything intelligent that’s been written to deal with life cycle issues and their impact on relationships. (Desmond Morris, who wrote “The Naked Ape” deals with sex as a zoologist would, but a good book would treat human sexual response; emotions; and relationships.) Instead we hear the popular aphorisms, such as those in the State of Union speech last night about abstinence.

Surprisingly, we learned quite a bit about the human body during Lamaze classes, even though my spouse is a nurse.

If you find the relationship deteriorating, the best suggestion would be to find a good counselor. They can help re-set expectations, communicate more effectively, and prepare you for changes that life throws your way.

We’ve gone through very distinct stages of sex life in our 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. Some times we just laugh and say – what’s it going to be like 10 years from now, because without getting TMI, some of the differences are pretty laughable.

Best regards,


I agree with what FCM said. I’m 45, and my previous marriage was like that. We would go one or two months between times, mostly because I just wasn’t very interested. Various means of birth control can affect a woman’s sex drive, as can a not very happy marriage.

It is what you BOTH make it. Your sex life, as well as your marriage, needs to be tended to, not just taken for granted.

Communicate, communicate, communicate. You, and you alone, are in control of your sex life. Are there going to be ups and downs as it relates to the in and out? Of course, but you knew that already. You work through them with your spouse - it is part of what makes a marriage.

And fear not, my wife is 48 years old, hotter than Georgia asphalt, and we have a sex life that can only be described as scorching. Our secret? We work at it and we communicate.

I’m 27, and I’ve been married 3 years. To be honest, some of the Dopers here are well aware of my sexless marriage. By definition, having sex less than 10 times a year makes your marriage sexless. Basically, the Honeymoon was over before the Honeymoon was over. She made me feel that I was raping her. I had some subtle clues leading up to the marriage, but they were obviously overshadowed by the planning of the wedding.

We have sex less than once a month. That’s our average. We recently went three months without sex. When I brought this to her attention, she said, “No, wait, that can’t be right.” and then walked away in silence when she did the math.

It is the main source of friction in our marriage. I let so much little stuff slip by without so much as a peep from me, but this I do not let this slip by. I’m very proactive on this subject. I’m not so subtle with showing my resentment.

I said resentment because it is now out of my control. I’ve done everything that I can. We’ve done the marriage counselor, but that didn’t work. It was my fault that I wanted sex so much. She’s done the psychiatrist. She’s on medication. Sex just doesn’t register with her, and it angers me just to think about it.

Whenever a sexually oriented advertisement appears on the radio or TV, I either turn it off or walk away. This is for two reasons. First, I can’t stand the fact that I am not getting any sex, and it feels like salt in a wound. The second reason is to show her my dissatisfaction.

Sex is required in a marriage. Sex is expected, and it is necessary.

On the other hand, something has to be the main source of irritation between us, so why not this? If it wasn’t sex, then it would default to a different subject.

I tell her that I will end the marriage over this subject, which makes her cry. But, she doesn’t do anything about it. Nothing. She says that she worries about it, but what does that accomplish? Besides, when I mention divorce, I’m really bluffing, because I cannot afford it and I don’t believe in it. I feel that I was tricked into this marriage, but I accept it as my lot in life.

WOS, it’s all about what you want. Sure, sex kind of takes a backseat to other things in marriage but it doesn’t have to if YOU don’t want it to.

I can’t fathom having the attitude “well, I got it over with for the month.” Oy!!!

Womanofscorn said:

First impressions are interesting. You have been married since you were 19. Or at least knew the guy since then. Your user name is woman of scorn…And you are asking at age 23 if you are going to have a dull sex life…

What is not equating in this picture womanofscorn?

Aside from Chicago faucet’s depressing anecdote* why are you so worried about your sex life going the way of the dodo? My sexual prime started when I was 18 and has only gotten better. I’m 34 and married for last 7 years. You ought to be enjoying your young marriage and thinking that it only get’s better. I can only cite a possible lack of experience, maybe a wont on your part to have more experience…as a possible source of your frustration. Maybe it’s time to look at your marriage and really see what you want out of it when you are 33, 43, 53 and so on…
*Chicago Faucet - my condolences about your anger and frustration with your wife. Maybe asking her to check out a weekend Kama Sutra Pack and see what she thinks about that…Otherwise, maybe a behaviour therapist or sex therapist would be a good idea. I know you have seen a councelor, but maybe someone who is more specialized will help.

My marriage is ending for that very reason. That and the fact that she does whatever she dam well pleases even after I’ve asked her not to and without regard to my health, physical as well as mental.

Not to belittle Chicago Faucet’s situation, :frowning: It’s very sad, to be so young and so unhappy.

Hubby and I have been married 10 years this year and there have been a couple of years there where you could classify our marriage as “sexless”, but that doesn’t mean we love each other any less. Medical conditions have been an ongoing plague; sometimes him, sometimes me. We went through some really rough times trying to understand it all. I took his occasional lack of interest as something being wrong with me. Him trying to learn that, if he wants me to participate, I need time to warm up to the idea first. (The only time sex (or the lack of it) *really * mattered was when I was on fertility drugs, and did NOT want to have sex AT ALL. Mood swings? Who, me??) It was important that we talked to each other and didn’t carry anger around about it. We had to reprioritize and make sure we both understood what was going on.

Sex isn’t why we married. Don’t get me wrong; sex is very VERY important. But it’s not everything. I love my husband and he loves me. And that’s the most important thing. Lack of sex isn’t enough to break up the marriage. (Bankruptcy or my mother-in-law moving in, well … :wink: )

Your sex life can remain active and happy, if that’s what you choose. I’m 42, hubby is 43, married 15 years, together for 20. Lately, menopause has been taking its toll on my sex drive. So, what do I do? Tell him “sorry, baby, you’re outta luck this month”? Hell, no! I just have to work harder on getting in the mood. Maybe that means reading some erotica at bedtime. Maybe it means buying a few new toys (and we have :wink: ), sometimes, I say yes when I’m not really in the mood (although not always), knowing that I’ll probably enjoy it once it’s underway; at the very worst, instead of being earth-shattering, it’s pleasant: like having your back rubbed. I can enjoy sex for the feelings of closeness, not just the orgasms (which are not as easy or as frequent as they used to be). But we still love one another very much, sex is still very important. Probably 3 or 4 times a week on average. And whichever poster said “communication” (sorry, too lazy to look it up) was dead on!

Ok let me add some hope to this discussion. Started dating hubby at age 17, am 49 now. Sex life was good to start then got better, then got worse; too tired what with the kids and jobs and all. Now the kids are gone and wow!!!

We are talking at least every other day and when jobs don’t interfere 2 and very rarely 3 times a day. Life is good :stuck_out_tongue:

Don’t worry and don’t listen to those 40 year old’s. Your life is your own and you get to decide what you make of it.

One of the things we did when the kids were young was go on a date once a week. We started that when we began to become strangers. Soooo once a week we dressed up and “dated”. Works wonders for a relationship.

My sister and I lived at home when we were in college. We worked at a store across the street. One day my sister decided to go home for her dinner break. She forgot her key and knocked on the door–no answer. Rang the door bell–no answer. Getting a little scared because my parents were 65 YEARS OLD banged on the door. Finally my mother came to the door in her night clothes. Concerned, sis asked if she was sick since she was in her night clothes at 5 PM. My mom gave my sister teh “you idiot” face and said, “No, I’m not sick.” Light went on in my sister’s head. “So where’s dad?” Apparently he got a pair of pants on and ran out the front door so she wouldn’t know what was going on. Sure enough he was outside in a par of pants and no shirt “inspecting the front garden.” This was the only time ever he has been outside without a shirt. Needless to say, my sister lost her appetite and came back to work to tell me.

When I was married I was 27 she was 37 and we always made out like rabbits. In fact our sexual chemistry was so strong I can remember a time or two we would have sex AND argue with eachother at the same time!

It was kind of comical really. We’d be arguing about the bills or what not all the while humping like a couple of rabid dogs.
We’re divorced now but it surely wasn’t because of the sex.
Also I’ve had women tell me this and I’ve always taken it to heart. Sometimes after a guy get complacint in a realationship, he gets lazy and doesn’t do his best to make sure that the female is “getting hers” Which is the impetus behind why some women don’t put out as much as their boyfriends would like.

So just be sure to keep you guy in check. Also don’t be afraid to tell him what you like… (We love that shit! :wink: )

Now don’t get me wrong, this is not something that keeps me up at night. It just seems like all of the older women I talk to pretty much say the same thing about a sexless marriage. Also in all of these women, it doesn’t seem to bother them much.

I was just wondering if this was something that happened to everyone, ya know? Apparently, it isn’t :slight_smile: It was just something I hoped woudln’t happen in my future. I realize there are other aspects in a marriage. I know I haven’t been married long myself, but I see the change in our sex life already. I guess it’s just from being comfortable around each other where it doesn’t have to be an everynight thing.

I just don’t want it to disappear altogether.

As has been said before, sexual response varies over time and situation. Age, hormonal changes, lifestyle changes, changes in the relationship itself…they can all affect the sex drive of either partner, for good or ill. You have to remember, a lot of your coworkers have been married for a long time, and have kids on top of working full time. All those demands on their time and energy can sap the sex drive, as well as making it harder to maintain emotional intimacy in the relationship, which is another drain on the libido. I know our sex life sure took a nosedive when my husband started med school. He barely had the time and energy to feed himself and the cat, much less engage in the emotional or physical aspects of a romantic relationship. Things are a lot better than they were then, but they’re still a far cry the undergrad days.

Even when hormones, age, time limitations, and stress are a problem, there’s the issue of complacency. Not necessarily in the orgasm department, but in the romance department. After a long, long time together, people tend to stop doing the little stuff that makes each other feel special and attractive and loved. The love letters, the long, slow kisses for no apparent reason, the little random gifts “just because”, the hand-holding walking down the street–for a lot of couples, they get lost in the shuffle and just…fade away. And for a lot of women, when those things and feelings leave, they take the sex drive with them.

If you want to maintain a good sex life, you have to communicate and compromise. You also have to be mindful of of the messages you’re sending your partner–not just the overt ones you mean to send, but also the more subtle messages that underlie what you say or do (or don’t do, in some cases.) If you both have a good, solid grasp on that stuff, you can deal with the times when the jobs and the kids and the hormones and everything else is depressing one partner’s libido.

I have been married to my wife for 9 months now, and we have been together for close to three years. Since we got married, I have noticed a slow decrease in our sex life, but that has mostly been due to me. I have become a bit complaisant with the sex life, that, and the fact that my wife is also now pregnant, which makes sex a little uncomfortable (mentally) for me.

I am, however, looking forward to the days ahead. I do know that our sex life with children in the house, will be, um, interesting, but I think we will find ways around it.

I am curious, though, as to what some of the major factors towards a decrease in sex after marriage is. I have read some of the points posted here, and although I can’t see them happening at this juncture in the roadf, I do know they can happen at any time.

One more random little point. My wife and I, while not having as much sex as we used to, are cuddling more and more. I feel it helps keep the closeness of sex there, but without us worrying about sex.

I appreciate all the feedback. They differed but were similar at the same time if that makes sense, hehe.

It’s given me things to think over, for the furture. Also makes me not want any kids (just kidding). Well, I mean I don’t plan on having any, but that’s something different entirely.

So thanks married folk! :smiley:

Quick survey of work mates:
53 year old= 3 times a week in between hot flashes.
59 year old= twice a week more often if hubby is up to it.
58 year old=5 times a week and very happy.
48 year old (me)=2 to 3 times a week if you don’t count phone sex (Hubby is a trucker)

That’s right we are still horny old broads. And none of us think of it as something to get over. It’s all attitude and communication.