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Archive for the tag “Sexual desire”

The Sex-Starved Marriage – It’s NOT just about sex!

‘The sex-starved marriage” TED talk by Michele Weiner Davis

Excellent reasons why one should not reject their spouse.

Just go with it!

Lately, there have been a few times when I really did not feel like or want to have sex when Hubby initiated.  In the olden days, my not wanting to have sex would have been a show stopper.  Fortunately, I have learned to try to keep an open mind, to just go with it, and to allow whatever happens to happen.  Occasionally – my body still does not respond and I don’t get into it physically, however, I enjoy the closeness, giving him pleasure, and laying with him entwined after – and these things make me feel satisfied and content with the encounter.  This is not pity sex, or “Fine – just get it over” sex.  Instead, I participate with enthusiasm and mental excitement even if I am not feeling physical excitement.  I enjoy the sex emotionally and while my body may not respond physically, I still participate because I enjoy my husband and I want him to enjoy me!

Most times,  as I relax and go with it, keeping an open mind in allowing my body to feel what it wants to feel, I get really turned on and we end up both having really good sex!  The last couple of times when I really really did not feel like having sex, but did anyways, my orgasms turned out to be quite intense – which totally surprised me because of feeling so physically non-sexual and non-interested before.

I talked about desire in women and the need to understand that it does not come first in this post.  But even knowing this fact – I am still pleasantly surprised at times how it works.

So, my advice to women continues to be: RELAX – JUST GO WITH IT – AND KEEP YOUR MIND OPEN TO THE POSSIBILITIES!  Even if you really really don’t feel like it!!!

Caution – children really can be a libido killer!

In my enlightened state of embracing sex and with my new-found recognition of its value, I would like to think if I could do things over in the early years of my marriage that I would definitely do things differently and would be very sexual with my husband often, because of the knowledge I now have about the positive power of a good sexual relationship in a marriage,  Then… I watch my grandkids for a day or two to give their parents a break – and I think – nope, I probably wouldn’t have a lot more sex than I did, even knowing what I know now.  I would want to, and I would try to, but I am pretty sure I would fail.  Every time I watch those sweet little grandcreatures – it all comes back to me!   Children can really do a number on a woman and kill her desire to have sex!!!  I’ll be honest with you, if I was raising children again, I am not sure much would improve, at least in the sexual frequency area, from how it was in our sexual desert years.  No – instead I think the frequency would still be about the same, sad to say!!!

What??? How can you say that?  You are supposed to be pro sex, and helping other women to embrace their sexuality – all women – even those with children!  Don’t abandon us poor suffering sexless husbands now!!!

I can say it, cause it’s true!  It’s true for me and millions of other women – children, especially little children,  have a way of sucking every ounce of sexual desire out of a woman.  Sorry men – it’s just an unavoidable fact of nature.

Pay attention guys – this is important!

Here are 3 of the most common ways children killed and still kill my sexual desire!  (anyone relate here??)

1.  Children are physically exhausting.  I mean dead tired – can’t barely lift a leg to get into bed – don’t ask me to turn out the light – my head barely hits the pillow and I am out – exhausting.  Then invariably –  after a couple of hours of sleep,  one or more wakes me up for some stupid reason – like vomiting.  And the most maddening thing of all – there is a snoring body in my bed while this is going on  – one that doesn’t even have a clue that I have been up every hour on the hour throughout the night.   So by the next day – when I have to start over, I’m already exhausted and it goes down hill from there.  The only desire left in this exhausted body – is the desire to sleep.  Blessed, uninterrupted, heavenly, blissful sleep!!!

2.  Children require physical touch all day long and lots of it.  Holding, hugging, grabbing, carrying, picking up, sitting down, rocking, wiping, bathing, etc. etc., so that by the end of the day – the thing that is dreaded the most is more physical touch – touching or being touched –  by anyone.  In fact, at this point, anything touching the skin, even a sheet, feels like sandpaper and is irritating!   So don’t take it personally guys!

3.  Children are emotionally draining.  How do you convince a 2-year-old who insists on taking 3 hours to dress himself when you have to be at an appointment in 5 minutes?  How do you get 3 children and a screaming baby out of the car, into the grocery store, back out to the car, along with all the 15 bags of groceries and then get them all home without forgetting any of the children… or the milk you stopped at the store for in the first place?  milk?  oops … would that be the white stuff running down the driveway??    And how do you control your anger when the 5-year-old kicks over the 3 year olds blocks, rips off his 7-year-old sister’s Barbie doll heads for the 6th time in the last 2 hours  and then runs to the bathroom and locks himself in before anyone can get their hands on him?  Figuring out how to be the loving, patient, wise judge, teacher, chauffeur, doctor, psychologists, mediator,  juror, and jailer all day long is emotionally draining.  Sliding into bed to show love and adoration, while being amazingly sexy – just doesn’t seem to happen when you start from the position of sitting on the floor, tears flowing down your face because you just screamed at one of the kids that they will never get another drink in their entire life – ever, if they even think about getting out of bed again tonight – AND they just got out of bed again anyways!!!

I mean really guys – where does sex fit in with days like this?  With children – most days are just like this!!!

You guys ask,  “So what are we suppose to do then, just go without sex until the kids are gone?”

Yup – Either that or …

Don’t have kids in the first place!  (I am being 100% serious here – this is really the BEST option – really it is!!!)

For those of you who have already been sucked into this disaster arena, meaning the kids have already been birthed and aren’t going anywhere soon – you need to get creative!  And quickly!

If your wife is like me  – and millions others – and children seem to suck the sexual life out of her, you need to do some serious communicating, accompanied with recognition of her supreme sacrifices, admiration and praise for her heroic efforts of raising YOUR children, and true repentance and sorrow for putting her into this situation in the first place (all the result of sex for the record).  You are going to have to work hard with your wife to figure out ways to help relieve some of these sexual desire killing situations for her!  Give her breaks, hire some help – babysitters, cleaning ladies, a mommy’s helper, a prostitute.  (just making sure you are paying attention)  Better yet – help her out yourself – after all they are your children too!!!   Encourage her to take time for herself – to exercise, to hang out with friends (with no children tagging along), take a class, learn a new skill or take up a hobby.

If you want your wife to desire you – you better help her figure out how to save some of that desire, which means keeping the children from taking it all from her!  It’s your only option!  If you fail – the good news is that the children usually grow up and move away – eventually.  The bad news is – they often move back in with even more desire sucking techniques.   (Sorry – but I have to level with you.  Besides forewarned is forearmed!)

Caution: You may want to be careful while watching the kids while your wife is happily away – your libido will be the next one to go because of the desire sucking creatures!  They are not at all picky about their victims. 

More Caution:  Be sure your wife’s new hobby doesn’t include another good-looking man – with no kids – who happens to also be rich.  Or else you may find yourself in a real dilemma!  (Just saying)

(In case you are wondering – yes this was a bit of satirical writing – but it is based on whole lot truth)

Rejection – a horrible feeling

I wrote about this experience on another site several months ago:

The other night as we lay in bed, I reached over and gently began to rub my husband’s pubic area.  I wasn’t looking for sex, but if it went there that was fine by me.  I just wanted a connection, to feel him, to be close to him.  I gingerly rubbed around his groin, playing with the hair – it wasn’t going anywhere for him – and that was fine (mostly).  It was comforting to just lay there and feel him. I needed to feel him.  Suddenly, he took my hand and lifted it away and placed it on the bed.  I knew he didn’t feel good, I knew he was stressed, I knew I shouldn’t take it personally -but somehow it felt personal!  It hurt, a stab of pain in my heart – and tears welled up in my eyes.  Was I not attractive to him any more, did my touch repulse him now?  I rolled over and thought of all the times, the zillion times, over and over, I did the same to him.  How many times he must have felt the same pain, asked himself the same questions.   Yes – rejection is a horrible feeling.  It cuts to the core of our being and makes us feel unloved, unwanted, and unattractive.  It hurts!  Sometimes it is not personal – but it always feels personal!

A couple of weeks ago, once again my husband was under a lot of pressure at work and had a lot of stress going on in his life from other sources too.  His libido took a huge nose dive, and every time I initiated sex he turned me down.  I tried to be understanding, but after one episode of being pushed away, feeling really hurt I blurted out “Rejection really sucks and it hurts too.  But I guess you know that since that’s all you got from me for so many years.”  He looked at me in surprise and said, “I am not rejecting you.” 

“Really?”  I replied!  “What the heck do you think you are doing when you pull away or turn away from me?  If you are NOT rejecting me, then why does it feel like you are?  I would think that you of all people would understand rejection and how it feels.”   He had no answers for me but over the next few days he changed his behavior!

I am guessing he understood the feeling of rejection – all too well, he just didn’t recognize it from the other view point!

 

 

Understanding desire does not come first

life-choices-quotes-004

One of the biggest mistakes women make in their marriages is thinking that desire for sex has to be there before  they have sex.  Most high drive/low drive conflicts occur because of this one mistaken notion!  To desire something is to want it, to yearn for it, to wish for it strongly!   The truth is that most men and women’s desire levels don’t have to be that different.  Women can desire sex, want it, and yearn for it just as much as men.  But in order for this to happen they need to understand that desire for sex occurs differently in women than it does in men.

Generally speaking – because of the testosterone that flows through their body – most men seem to be in a constant state of desire and can easily get aroused for sex without a lot of thought or effort.   The desire for sex appears to be there most of the time – thus we say they have a high drive.  Men have a natural desire for sex that comes from their hormones – or in other words their desire for sex is a physical desire.  Women on the other hand – do not have the high amount of testosterone flowing through their body and for the most part are not in a state of desire and readiness for sex.  And for many it seems their bodies hardly ever desire or want sex.  Thus we say they have a low drive. However while women don’t have a natural immediate physical desire for sex per say, most women’s bodies like to be touched, held, and caressed.  After they are touched, and held, and caressed, if they allow their brains to get into the game and allow their emotions to flow, sexual desire will begin to occur.  Women’s sexual desire comes from an emotional desire.

Most men don’t choose to desire sex.  The desire just seems to be there most of the time, often making women feel like it is there too much of the time.  The choice men have to make is if they are going to act on their desire to have sex or not.  Because the desire is usually very strong – to the point that they literally crave sex and feel they have to have it – the choice to have sex comes quite easily, no matter what else is going on around them.  So for men desire does come first.

Women have occasional periods of time where they actually feel sexual desire first.  This usually happens during certain times of their cycle when their hormones align just right!  During these periods of time the desire is strong and like men, they crave sex and feel like they have to have it.  The desire is just there – and their choice is either to act on it or not.  But during the rest of the time, the desire to have sex is not there, not even a little bit, and women really could care less about sex.  They don’t think about it much, they don’t really want it,  they certainly don’t yearn for it or crave it, and their minds are occupied with almost everything else going on around them.  But they do crave physical contact and are perfectly satisfied to just be touched and held in non-sexual ways.  When confronted with having sex during the non-desire times, their initial reactions might follow these lines of thinking  “Why – I don’t really want it!  No thanks, not interested!  What for? – I feel fine and am busy doing other stuff!  You have got to be kidding – there is so much to do, why would we do that now?  Good grief, didn’t we just do it?   I am totally satisfied now and don’t need it!,  etc.”

During the non-desire times, conflicts occur because both men and women are operating under the mistaken premise that desire for sex comes first.  Men, because their desire is there all most all of the time do not understand why women don’t desire it in the same way.  And they feel frustrated at the wife’s lack of desire.  Women don’t understand how the men can always be ready to have sex, why they want it so much, and what the heck is so great about it that makes men have to have it so much!  Yeah its good – but not that good and I am fine if we just hug and kiss!

These conflicts can be avoided.  Women CAN have as much desire and possibly even more than men if they want to.  They only have to learn how it really works for them.  Desire for sex most often is not going to come first.  It is not just there – it doesn’t flow naturally from their hormones like it does in men.  Rather it flows from their brain, it flows from mentally choosing to open up to the possibility of feeling sexual desire.  When they allow themselves to be touched and caressed, and then engage their brain and let the emotions flow, the sexual desire usually will come.  But. they have to choose to have sex mentally, before their body will react and allow the desire to develop.  The surprising effect is that the more often they make this choice, the more the desire flows, and the more the desire flows, the more often they want to make the choice.

Simply put – most men have desire and the choice to have sex follows.  Most women have to choose to have sex FIRST and then desire FOLLOWS!  And simply put – the more you do it the more you want it!

Causes of lack of sexual desire in some women

Here is an excellent article written, “Sexuality and the Mormon Marriage” by Natasha Parker, aka “The Mormon Therapist“.

In this article she touches upon some causes of sexual apathy or lack of desire in some women.  There are other causes or reasons but I think these are probably the most common.

1.  Negative sexual conditioning resulting in the “Good Girl Syndrome”

2.  History of sexual abuse or trauma

3.  Hormonal changes – sometimes caused by child bearing, nursing, menstruation, or menopause

4.  Relationship issues between the husband and wife

5.  Self-image and cultural expectation issues

Four out of the above five issues contributed to my sexual apathy!  Lucky me – right?    Actually –  Unlucky husband!!!

My biggest issue was the “Good Girl Syndrome”  which kept me from addressing the other issues affecting my desire level.   This syndrome was entrenched in my psyche deeply.  Sexual desire was wrong,  and in my mind it was something that needed to be bridled and extinguished.  Passion and purity did not fit together. If I wanted to be chaste, I had to avoid thinking about sex and feeling sexual.   I could not be sexual and spiritual at the same time.  These faulty thinking patterns greatly inhibited my ability to relate sexually with my husband.  And it caused me to dismiss and even resent his sexual desires and needs.

Mormon cultural expectation and self- image was a huge part of the GGS.  I wanted to be seen as a good Mormon wife and mother.  I wanted to be spiritual.  Appearances to others was important to me.  As far as sex was concerned, I kind of figured most women were the same as me.  No-one talked about it much!  If the topic was broached, it was usually in a negative way.  I didn’t have role models. My mother never talked about sex – except in letting me know all the don’ts!   I didn’t know any Mormon women who were sexually healthy.  I am sure there were some – but like I said, no-one talked about sex!  It seemed like a taboo subject.  There were many times I wanted to talk to someone about it, but I never had the guts to bring it up, not even with my close friends.  The experience with my Bishop when I confessed I masturbated seared in my mind that Mormon women were not suppose to be sexual.

In addition I believe hormonal imbalance also contributed somewhat to my lack of sexual desire.  I had several children quickly, one after the other – so for the first 8 years of our marriage, I was either nursing or pregnant.  My hormones were a wreck – and I don’t think they ever recovered after.  I used birth control pills for awhile after the last child and what little sexual desire I had occasionally tanked even further to no desire at all – ever.  Going off the pill helped a bit, but not a whole lot, since the GGS was in full fledge by then.

Lastly – it is not the least bit surprising that Hubby and I had some major relationship issues.  All marriages have them.  Were our issues compounded by not having a good sexual relationship?  Knowing what I know now I would say definitely yes!  Back then, I didn’t think that way.  Yes, we fought – all couples fight!  My husband sulked – well, that was his problem.  There was very little physical affection between us – it led to sex so I avoided physical contact.  I wanted emotional intimacy – hubby wanted sexual intimacy.  I was angry and resentful,  sometimes spiteful.  I felt he did not help enough with the kids and house.  He felt I was too picky and controlling and had to have things done my way.  I was the strict parent, he was the lenient one.  I was overwhelmed with all the children and responsibilities.  He was overwhelmed for the same reasons plus his career.  Finances were always tight and we always seemed to be spinning our wheels and getting no-where.   What I realize now is that we had no mechanism to bring us together, to console each other, to find peace and solace with each other.  It was not until I opened myself up sexually with him during these latter years, that I found out how a good healthy sexual relationship can be this mechanism to bring couples together.  Hubby tried to get me to be more sexual with him.  He pursued, withdrew, avoided, sulked, tried to please, poured himself into his career and church callings, and eventually after many years just quit trying so hard.  Eventually, we navigated our way into a comfortable routine.  It was not particularly happy or satisfying for either of us, but it was comfortable.  Hubby still tried to initiate sex – but not as often – and he seemed to accept the occasional pity sex  as all he was ever going to get – and stopped pushing for more.

Dr. Natasha Parker ended her above article:  “Sex is good. It is of God. It is a wonderful, sacred, bonding, and procreative power; a gift that in essence allows a taste of divinity! Dorothy Allison says, “Women lose their lives not knowing they can do something different. . . . I claimed myself and remade my life. Only when I knew I belonged to myself completely did I become capable of giving myself to another, of finding joy in desire, pleasure in our love, power in this body no one else owns.”

I am so grateful that I have been able to discover that I CAN do something different.  I am enjoying the process of claiming myself and remaking my life!  I encourage others to do the same!  It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to give myself wholly to my husband and accept him giving himself to me!  Honestly there is nothing like it!

Try it and find out for yourself if you have not already done so.

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