Dr. Trina’s Point
I could hear the weariness and frustration in his voice as he helplessly explained, “We’ve been married for ten years and she doesn’t want sex anymore. So I went to the book store, bought a book on female low sexual desire, threw it at her and said, ‘Do something about our sex life.’”
Trying to keep the look of horror off my face I thought, “Let’s see. You’ve been having sex for over ten years and for a lot of it you were sexually unsatisfied. Yet you’ve never discussed this unhappiness with your wife. The book throwing was your first attempt. And now you’re perplexed why she is withholding sex even more after your get-your-libido-back-on-track pep talk.”
The even sadder news, Brian, is this couples communication plight is far from uncommon. It is amazing how people effortlessly fall into the most intimate act two humans can perform and yet their mouths move to mute when trying to discuss what their bodies just did.
When his sex life starts going sideways, many a guy will shove his frustration down—sometimes for years until he’s had enough—and then KABOOM! he explodes. This highly emotionally charged state makes him do really foolish things like throw a book at his partner expect she (not him) change ten years of bedroom anger overnight.
Or he takes a chapter from the out-of-the-boardroom business style of communication. He starts barking off military-style sex goals for the couple like, “We need to have sex once per week.”
To be fair to men, he is unknowingly placing ’controls’ over her sexuality. Then, like clockwork, consciously or unconsciously her brain says “You want to control me? No way!” digs in its heels and doesn’t allow her body to enjoy sex. Not surprisingly, a big chunk of women withholding sex is a perceived lack of respect for her space and her limited time.
Brian, men need to learn the softer side of communication. Yes, I understand it’s icky to open up his heart and talk feelings. Yet he needs to tell her that he feels vulnerable and rejected every time she says, “Not tonight dear.”
Another thing men forget is sex is a team effort. You men need to empathize with her situation before you start yipping about yours.
Why don’t guys get that if you want sex you need to talk the language of sex? Brian, something has to give.
Dr. Brian’s Counterpoint
You’re right Trina, something has to give. You girls need to give up this belief that men don’t communicate, because most of us do.
In fact, studies show that in most situations, men communicate more than women. But, if you and your sisters are basing your opinions on how guys talk about the mushy, emotional stuff you’re always trying to engage us with, you might have a point.
Guys just aren’t ready to drop everything they’ve been taught about being real men. Most of my brothers just won’t go there. Remember that we guys are taught to behave like our fathers (or another male role model) who could easily talk about their toolbox, but not their tool.
I know you girls think guys always have sex on the brain and constantly talk about getting their willy wet with their closest buddies. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Though some guys speak the locker room banter, most don’t. Guys don’t feel comfortable discussing something as intimate as sex with their buddies. And, if they do, they’re much more likely to embellish their stories.
But, talking with our partners about getting down is one area my boys and I have started to get really good at. In fact, a recent O’My lubricant survey found almost as many men (63%) were comfortable talking about sex with their bedmates as women (64%). So ladies, I hope this is proof the dudes are willing to talk about the bare essentials with you.
You’re right Trina, talking about the titillating and not-so-exciting aspects of your relationship is super important. We know that couples who communicate effectively have more satisfying sex and relationships.
If you and your hotty aren’t so good at expressing your innermost desires, here’s some tips to help you get started.
1) First, people cannot read minds. So unless you’re voicing your concerns, your partner will never know how you really feel.
2) Also, be aware of what you are not comfortable discussing in the sexual realm. If you don’t like to discuss the odd odor emanating from your genitals, it’s best to be aware of this before you find yourself defending that cheesy curd smell.
3) Independently work on your sexual issues. Become more aware of your sexual self and express this to your partner.
And remember good communication, like good sex, only comes with a lot of practice.