Over the last decade, there has been a massive increase in the number of wives who say they cannot get as much sex as they want and need. To some degree, this is because women are more willing to speak up. Additionally women are more open to sex now, so many want it more than in the past. Another factor is the growing number of men with seemingly low sex drives. The women who want more say the same things as men who want more. They also feel the same pain and lack of love.
It is impossible to know how common this is. Estimates range from 15% to 25% of wives being sexually refused. However, the problem is much bigger. One author who has studied this says, “More than 50 percent of wives want more sex from their husbands than they get“. In some of those cases, the husband also wants more sex, and the problem is busyness and/or exhaustion rather than anyone saying no. A study in the UK found half of wives and 70% of husbands wanted more sex. Therefore, in at least 20% of marriages both husband and wife are “not getting enough”. Much of what follows also applies to couples too busy to have enough sex.
The first thing to do is figure out if you are being refused. Just because he says no on occasion does not mean you are in this category. Do you both say no at times? How often do you not ask because one of you is too busy or too tired? Is a lack of time as a couple an underlying issue to resolve first?
If you are being refused, here are some possible reasons:
- Work is taking his sexual energy: Men can sublimate their sexuality into other challenges, leaving little or nothing for sex.
- Embarrassment: He avoids sex because of premature ejaculation, retarded ejaculation, or erection problems. If he needs physical stimulation to get an erection (common as men age), he may not know this is normal and could be embarrassed or worried about it. He could also be concerned about a real or imagined lack of understanding on how to give you pleasure.
- He has mental problems with sex: Some men have a hard time seeing their wife as sexual. Some are fine with sex until their wife becomes a mother. Others have so bought into the feminist idea that sex is degrading to women they feel bad about having sex with their wife. Past sexual abuse can also mess him up over sex.
- Stress: Stress can hurt his sex drive. It can also leave him with a drive but not enough emotional energy to be sexual with you.
- Lack of relationship: Many men, especially those past the always-horny 20’s, do not want sex without a good marriage relationship. A few cannot have sex without a solid relationship.
- Past offences: Something you said or did – or did not do, has him upset. Maybe he is withholding sex to punish you, or maybe he is unable to be sexual with you because he feels betrayed. Being often critical or nagging him are common issues on this one.
- He feels used: Feeling like the only way his wife can get sex without sinning is not a turn on for most men. Others feel they do far more for their wife sexually than she does for them.
- It’s just not good for him: Missionary in the dark through flannel pajamas may not be meeting his needs. Maybe it was enough when he was young and desperate for sex, but as he gets older, it might not be enough for him to bother.
- Depression: Depression can limit or kill his sex drive.
- Low Testosterone: Low T levels can eliminate his drive. While this is a valid issue, it has become the first solution when it should not be. Testosterone has potentially life ending complication for some men. Do a lot of research!
- Porn: Porn usually goes hand in hand with masturbation. When a man is young, he can do this and still have plenty left for his wife, but as he hits his 30’s he can only do one. Other men become so dependent on the porn they cannot have or do not want sex apart from it.
- Fear of pregnancy: Yes, men can worry about this too.
- Drugs – prescribed or illegal: Many drugs can interfere with sex in a variety of ways. Often the drug or dose can be changed to correct this. Other times addition of another drug will help. This can take working closely with his doctor for some time.
- He is flying solo: Men choose masturbation over sex with their wife for a great many reasons. He may choose to do it himself because of any of the things above. He might have gotten into the habit when you were pregnant, or brought it into marriage. Masturbation is easy and he can do it whenever he likes. If he has not learned the deep pleasure of sex with a real woman, he may see solo as a better choice, especially when he is busy or tired.
Please know a number of life threatening diseases can mess up his sexuality. Any sudden loss of drive or ability to have an erection requires a doctor’s visit. Nag him until he does it, you might save his life.
A note on masturbation. It can be the problem, but more often, it is his bad solution to the real problem. If he has difficulty having sex with you for any reason he may turn to masturbation to get the release he wants and needs. If you think or know he is doing it himself, keep digging. Until you know why he chooses masturbation, you have not found the real problem.
Once you know the reason(s), you can work on fixing the problem. In many cases, getting to the real, root problem, will give you an obvious path to more and better sex. The challenge then is finding the truth. It would be nice if you could ask him and he would tell you, but don’t hold your breath. Examine, dig, think, and pray. Look for hints of the things above and track down every clue. Save your questions for when you have built a short list of possibilities. A direct yes or no question is more likely to get a truthful answer than an open ended, “What’s wrong?”