This week’s Love Essentially column focuses on the scenario where he wants sex all the time and she doesn’t, along with advice on how to work through these issues and get on the same page in the bedroom.
Sex: What He Wants And What She’s Thinking by Jackie Pilossoph for Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press
When a man sees a beautiful woman walking down the street, and his mind automatically thinks about what it would be like to sleep with her. On the contrary, a woman sees that same beautiful woman, and she wonders what color her lipstick is and where she got her cute handbag.
While not the case with all men and women, this example illustrates the male gender’s spontaneous desire for sex, and the frequency of his sexual thoughts, according to Suzy Olds. Olds is the founder of her relationship wellness company, After Nine Tonight, which offers tasteful, implied sexual content videos to help monogamous couples reignite the spark in their relationships.
I sat down with Olds to talk about the fundamental differences men and women have when it comes to the need and desire for physical intimacy, and what couples can do to get on the same page in the bedroom.
“Testosterone drives the physical need for sex for men. They don’t need to plan ahead,” said Olds, a wife and mom of two, who spent several years researching the subject before launching the company with her husband, Doug. “Women on the other hand have more of a responsive sexual desire, which means she’s not thinking about it, but once there is a trigger – once a man starts touching or kissing her, she becomes aroused.”
Olds said when a man wants sex and his spouse declines, it is usually because the emotional connection is missing; something a woman needs to spark her desire. Also, lack of sex in a marriage can lead to a disconnect, two partners functioning like independent entities rather than a team, a breakdown of the marriage due to resentment, and the potential for cheating.
So, how does a couple achieve a healthy, loving emotional connection?
“Have a conversation about intimacy,” Olds said. “This is often difficult for couples because sometimes talking about sex is more intimate than the sex itself.”
Olds said it’s not easy to be vulnerable and that you might hear things you don’t want to hear.
“For example, one of you might think you are having great sex, but the partner feels otherwise. This needs to be talked about openly,” she said.
Also, getting in the mood takes a lot longer for women. Olds said a woman needs time to shut down all the multiple tasks going through her mind, and that men sometimes don’t understand that because they can shift to having sexual thoughts so much more rapidly.
Olds suggests that if a man wants to have sex, he should take on some of the tasks involving kids and tell his spouse to go unwind, take a bath and maybe have a glass of wine so her mind is more at ease and open to the idea of sex.
When readers email me asking advice for lack of sex, here is what I tell each gender:
Men: No woman wants to have sex with a man who is mean to her, who disrespects her, who treats her badly, or who ignores her needs. On the flip side, a woman wants to have sex with a spouse who makes her feel appreciated and loved, who respects her, who is kind, who is attentive to her needs and who is helpful with chores and with the kids.
Women: If you have no interest in sex with your spouse, your issues run much deeper than “I’m tired” or “I’m not attracted to him anymore.” Explore why you feel this way. Feeling good about yourself is key to feeling desire for physical intimacy, so take steps to get there if you are lacking self-confidence and self-love. Additionally, if you love your spouse, you owe it to him to give him what he needs. That said, sex should not be a chore. It should be something you do to make your spouse happy, and also to sustain a strong connection in your relationship.
Here is the good news. Oxytocin is a bonding hormone that gets released during physical touch, causing couples to feel connected. In other words, once you have good sex, your body wants more of that feeling. This is especially true for women… (click here to read the rest of the article, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press.)
Like this article? Check out my blog: “We Never Have Sex Anymore”