There are things that make us attractive to each other. Even if your marriage has never been one of sweaty bunched-up bedsheets every night, it is the sexual desire and connection that makes a marriage a marriage.
Oh, sure, you can love each other, but if you’re not having any kind of sexual relationship, or at least not a satisfying one, then you’re just roommates. Maybe great roommates, with a marriage contract and a shared purpose, but we are built to form pairs based on sex and reproduction. What keeps us together is that sexual energy and connection. It’s the payoff for dirty diapers and long hours at work.
And if you’ve lost that connection then you have problems that need to be fixed.
Assuming that your partner hasn’t grown a tail or changed in some way that makes them physically unattractive to you, and that there are no health issues contributing, then what other reasons could there be for your lack of sexual desire for your spouse, or your spouse in you?
We have already talked about anger and conflict. If you do not have that issue, or are working on it, and there is still a lack of interest, what else could it be?
Today, for most, marriage is a partnership of equals, and that’s probably your default mode. That’s the marriage I have. I wouldn’t trade it, especially given that I was raised by a feminist mother, and consider myself a feminist, too.
But, understand that below our rational, egalitarian goals, there are primitive sexual roles and desires that want and need to be fed.
Women respond to masculinity. This is not sexist to say: it’s biological. In the bedroom, women want men to be men. Because in our evolutionary past, it is the masculine features that kept women safe and provided a good and safe home for her and her children. Even today, women still respond to men in jobs that are still considered masculine: police, firefighters, soldiers, cowboys. They may not appreciate sexism, but they know these are men who can protect them if they need them to.
Women also respond to men who are physically in good shape. Ask yourself, who’s more attractive: a guy who spends all day at a desk eating junk food, or the guy who takes care of himself? You can be a programmer or have any other kind of nerdy job that pays well, but still take care of yourself.
And women are attracted to men who have confidence, who are competent and who are assertive. Not blowhards or dictators, but men who are leaders by the content of their character and because they can get the job done. If they demonstrate these traits, and if what they want is the woman in question… it’s a turn on to that woman.
In this era of equality, where men seek consensus and agreement in decisions, or even just generally defer to their woman’s preferences, this saps some of the desire from women, seeing their men as equals, not as leaders. It ain’t fair. But it’s true.
And there was a story in the New York Times recently, about how men doing domestic chores around the house can make them seem less manly… and thus, less sexually desirable to their wives. For example, a woman gets upset that the man didn’t vacuum exactly the way that the woman likes. The combination of him doing “feminine” chores with her being more “in charge” and directing him to do things, and then “correcting” him in a way that makes her dominant torpedoes a woman’s libido for her man, especially when repeated over and over in lots of different little ways.
So, men: maintain your manliness. Don’t let yourselves slide, and don’t allow yourselves to get totally domesticated.
And women: you know that your men want sex. Know that if you push us into roles that cause us to be seen as less manly in the name of equality, there can be an effect on your marriage, intimacy and sex life.
My advice? If you can afford it, get a housekeeper. Men, sacrifice something to pay for it you need to. Don’t be seen as doing feminine jobs. Just do the things that are perceived as manly by your woman.
Women, leave the manly things around your house to your guy, and either do the feminine ones yourself, or get help. Also recognize that guys often aren’t nearly as particular about their homes being just-so, and demanding he meet your standards can have a negative impact. Don’t order or nag. Nothing is less sexy or more emasculating. If you have something you want us to do, ask for it clearly and explain why you want it. If you detect hesitancy, ask if it’s not okay. Then we can discuss it. And if we want to discuss it, don’t get angry. If we have a marriage of equals, then you need to treat us as equals, not the help or as children who aren’t doing simple things the way you expect.
In the bedroom
Guys, if nowhere else, this is the place to be manly. Take charge, and take control. If your feminist girl objects, tell her firmly that you’d like to try an experiment. First, in your nice, we’re equal voice, look her in the eye and say to her, “Honey, I’d like to have sex.” Then, in your deep, masculine voice, look her in the eye, say, “I want you. Now. Get your clothes off.” Then stop. And ask her which one she preferred. She may be surprised when she admits that the second choice was much hotter to her. This should open the door to your being more assertive and demanding in bed, and you should see both her desire increase, as well as your intimacy. And your happiness.
Gals, if you’re reading the above, think about it. Which would you prefer? Which makes your temperature rise? If it’s the first answer, I’d like to know. For some women, maybe it probably is the first option. And that’s fine. But for most, it is first option.
And this is not an attack on feminism. I am totally for gender equality. But if there are side-effects that are killing desire in the bedroom and keeping me from getting sex that I need –and threatens the viability of our long-term relationship– then that’s an issue that needs to be addressed.
But let’s just say it again: a healthy relationship includes a healthy sex life. And by healthy, I mean one that is of a frequency and intensity that creates connection and intimacy between two people. It makes everything else better, eliminates stress, and makes people feel more connected and able to communicate better about other frictions.
Other nourishing things
- Spend time apart – absence really does make the heart grow fonder. And libidos rise.
- Women, be feminine in response to our manliness. It’s not a bad thing.
- Try new things, both in your relationship, lives and in the bedroom.
- Go on dates.
- Laugh together.
- Don’t get in ruts.
- Read erotic stories together. (Get your free erotic story in my library!)
- Surprise each other!
Read the next post in the Keeping the Spark Alive Series: Reignite the Spark in your Marriage with New Bedroom Adventures