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Dr. J’s Top 10 Women’s Sexual Concerns: Why Doesn’t He Want Me?

Posted Jan 14 2009 5:39pm
“An inordinate passion for pleasure is the secret of remaining young.”
Oscar Wilde


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A note to all you guys: Not just for women; this particular post includes lots of helpful information for you as well.
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Everybody’s favorite Dr. J has survived the holidays; and as promised, I’m ready to rock n’ roll again. We’ve been looking at a wide assortment of concerns drawn from actual questions I’ve received from readers just like you. This latest Top 10 list represents the most common sexual concerns expressed by women who write to me, looking for answers. And as a special New Year’s gift for all you very good readers, after each and every question you’ll find my answer.

Below, you’ll see two variations on a theme. 1) Why doesn’t he want sex as often as I do; and the even-more-traumatic 2) why doesn’t he want to have sex with me? Believe it or not, in many relationships, it’s the woman who is more interested in sex than her male partner. Astounding? Not really. Social roles have long dictated that for men, sex should always be the goal and they should always be ready, willing and able. As for women: they’re supposed to be more focused on “love,” affection and “intimacy” (whatever those terms mean).

The times they are a-changing; and as more and more women embrace and own their individual sexualities, a large number of them are stepping outside what have previously been considered traditional roles. As a result, men may find themselves feeling a bit left out. If we look at the number of books produced about sex each year (and trust me, the numbers are staggering), you’ll see that there’s been an overwhelming tilt towards titles aimed at women. Seems we’re still obsessed with controlling, examining and explaining this thing called “female sexuality.” The upside of all this interest is that women themselves may be more likely to discuss sex and their own sexuality—which is very liberating—so they actually feel less isolated about sex than men. Of course, men may find that they are feeling neglected and less confident. And only when both sexes are free to feel comfortable expressing who and what they actually are —as opposed to how society dictates they should be —will we discover our true inner sexual selves.

Below, submitted for your pleasure, are some composites of the two concerns discussed above. So get comfortable, pour yourself a glass of whatever, and read on.

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Is It Normal for Me to Want Him More?

I want to know if it is normal for me to want my boyfriend way more than he seems to want me. He says he loves having sex, but not as often as I do, and we argue about this lots. I’ve asked some friends’ boyfriends, and they think it’s totally weird that mine would not want to have sex at least once every couple of days or more. And if I don’t make it happen, sometimes we won't have sex for weeks! Oh, he’ll make comments about sex, but when I suggest we actually do it, he’ll say he’s too tired, let’s wait until tomorrow. Why is he doing this? Oh, and the other night when we were finally have sex, within a couple of minutes, he came and that was that! I think its a very important thing in a relationship, but if he’s not that into sex this early in our relationship, do I want to spend the rest of my life with him? I know he’s dealing with depression and is on anti-depressants, and I think he may have had some major traumatic experience when he was younger that may have contributed to his current problems. Do I have too much desire? Is there something wrong with this situation, or am I worrying too much?

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Dr J’s response:

Relax. First of all, there’s no such thing as “normal” when it comes to sex. Whatever is normal for you, is “normal.” You are your unique self, and whatever you enjoy is part of you. If you like steak and your boyfriend likes chicken, neither of you would think the other is “abnormal” would you? In any relationship, there are bound to be different preferences, likes, dislikes, etc. The trick is to be able to appreciate those differences (very often, the differences are the main reason we became attracted to that person in the first place) and integrate them successfully into your relationships.

I wish I had a dollar for each time someone writes: “WHY does my partner do this?” The simple fact is, how would anyone know without asking him? All I can do is speculate about possibilities. The only way to find out for sure is to ASK him.

So your partner enjoys sex less often than you do. The first step is to ask yourself what you’re actually using sex for. Is your desire truly for sex itself, or is it for the cozy, intimate feeling you get after sex? Some women only feel loved and cared for after sex because some men are only able to express their love during sex. If you don’t feel intimate and loved in your non-sexual time together, this can put a lot of pressure on sex to make up for what seems to be lacking.

Additionally, there are physical conditions that can affect desire: depression, prescription drugs and large amounts of marijuana may contribute to a lessening of both energy and desire.

Secondly: past traumas also may prevent us from expressing our sexuality.

Of course, there are also many other factors that can influence someone’s level of sexual interest or desire. There may be other issues in his life that contribute to his current behavior. Is he content with himself, with his life, with your relationship? Are there, or have there been any family or work crises? And what about you? Has your appearance changed dramatically? Are you doing something (anything) that might be pushing him away?

If he’s interested in sex, but feels no desire to actually be sexual with you, perhaps he’s not being aroused by what the two of you are doing. And just to complicate matters further, sometimes we go through periods where our desires may take a break, and this has nothing to do with our partner or any conflicts, but merely our all-too-human biological and/or emotional ups and downs.

Is he feeling anxious? Anxiety is the enemy of good sex. If he feels anxious or unsure of himself, his desire will be affected. Or he may have conflicting feelings about being sexual, based on earlier issues in his life. Or he may actually FEEL desire, but suppress it, due to feeling conflicted. Are you aware of any reasons he may have for avoiding sex? One clue is that even when the two of you are sexual, it sounds like he wants to get it over with. This could indicate he has some conflicts, either about sex in general or about sex within the context of your relationship. Either of these can contribute to the possibility that he’s not turned on to you currently.

Understand that there could be many other reasons that he’s not turned on: Men receive so many messages from society, advertising, family, movies, television, magazines, friends, books, religion, (the list is endless) about what “should” happen between two people that when it comes down to having sex, a man may equate sex with “performance” and pleasing his partner, rather than just relaxing and enjoying the pleasure himself. Everything is goal-oriented—like a football game. The other message that many men receive is that sex is somehow dirty and wrong, unless you’re doing it for reproductive purposes. Sometimes this can creep into our unconscious thoughts and sabotage any pleasure. Some men are very affected by cultural or family messages that unmarried women who have sex are somehow “dirty” or “evil.”

So, let’s recap: He may have some underlying physiological issues, he may have unresolved attitudes about sex in general, he may have performance issues, he may be bored, he may be frustrated—or it may be something else entirely.

The next step is to talk with your partner regarding how the two of you can make this work for the both of you. I strongly suggest the two of you try talking to each other—rather than arguing with each other—as your first and possibly most productive step. The most helpful attitude is “what can we do TOGETHER to make this work for both of us?” Remember to share only your feelings; don’t attack him or accuse him. This process involves problem-solving as a team. You might ask him to share whether there’s anything he might like you to do that would increase his desire. Certain clothing, activities, or…? If you put your heads together, you might be able to work out a creative solution. For instance, there are lots of ways to be sexual and intimate that don’t involve p-v sex. If your partner’s sexual energy is low when you want sex, how about asking him to hold and stroke you while you self-pleasure? My guess is that once you two get comfortable, he’ll find that it’s not only intimate, but fun too. If this isn’t an option you care to pursue, are there other things the two of you can do that will satisfy your desire more often? Think of this as a fun way to get to know each other better, and it won’t seem so daunting.

How about getting up a little earlier and having sex in the morning? Many men love having sex in the morning—and many women are uncomfortable with the idea because they don’t feel attractive. So get up a few minutes earlier, brush your teeth, comb your hair—whatever else you need to do to feel attractive—and get back into bed with him. Also ask him what are HIS best times? Perhaps Saturday evenings when he’s had a chance to relax a bit? And would he like to try some new things? Maybe dress you up? The possibilities are endless, so get going. You can still have yummy sex for the rest of your life; you’ll just need to invest in a little communication and creativity.

It’s time to get help so that the both of you can talk about your separate and joint concerns. A counselor can guide you through the process of discussing these subjects with each other in a safe environment. Lastly, the two of you should definitely get this issue resolved before you consider spending your lives together.
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Next week: Guys, it’s your turn. We’ll begin discussing the Top Ten Men’s Sexual Concerns as expressed in letters to me.

With Pleasure,

Dr. J
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