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An excerpt from Laurie’s forth-coming book: Wanting Sex Again!
“I never want to have sex again!” blurted out Karen, a 33-year-old willowy blonde dressed in shiny pinstripes, within two minutes of walking into my office. I wasn’t surprised, really. I hear this sentiment nearly every day from women calling to make an appointment.
As a sex therapist and marital counselor, I know that heartbreak happens in the bedrooms of even good marriages.
“I don’t want you to think I have a bad marriage,” Karen, a pharmaceutical rep, went on that day. “Sex is the only thing we ever fight about.” She couldn’t quite look me in the eye yet. Talking about your own sex life isn’t easy.
Like most women, when her libido slipped to the vanishing point, Karen first turned to her gynecologist. Sex is a bodily function and doctors take care of bodies, so that all makes sense. Then the doctor gives a reference to a therapist and we worry that our heads are screwed up.
But you are not crazy; sex and libido are different for a woman than for a man. And there are many reasons that our desire slackens. This book is about figuring out if anything can make sex more exciting for you again than, well, the feeling you get when the laundry is done.
Having an orgasm may simply not be high on our “To Do” list, considering the demands of work, kids, and for many of us, ailing parents. Most of the time, we feel lucky to have a moment to breathe freely at the end of a busy day. Don’t men see all the chores that need to be done? We’re enraged at our husband’s oblivion. We chafe at the idea of undressing for someone who isn’t pulling his fair share. Resentment has become a monster under the bed.
Like Karen, we’ve heard our neighbors joke about their husbands pestering them for more sex, but in our marriage no one’s laughing. In fact, tension and anger flowing out of the bedroom have reached the point that we’re getting concerned the kids might be affected.
Messages from our childhood about sex include: “don’t” and … deafening silence. Remembering every time Daddy went to slip his arms around Mommy’s waist, we can still see her suck in her stomach and roll her eyes. Even nurturing parents might not have had the emotional connection with each other that we wish we had with our husbands. Helplessly, we hear ourselves sound more like our mother every day and we’d swear our husband is mutating into his father before our very eyes. Worse, we’re terrified of our love turning into the dull relationship of our in-laws.
While we haven’t been begging for sex, we have begged for romance. “Surprise me! Seduce me!” we’ve cried. We’re tired of asking for what we need to make us feel “in the mood.” He used to be creative when we dated, but now, heaven forbid he’d think to call a sitter so we can go out for a romantic evening.
Come to think of it, he’s never been a good kisser, and how do you talk about that? If he bumps us one more time with an erection when we’re at the stove, we just might throw the spatula. And when did he get the idea that groping was foreplay?
Overburdened women are often depressed about their circumstances, let alone their intimacy quotient. Not to mention, the medication that lifts depression also kills our drive and mutes our orgasms. So sex suffers either way: be happier on meds and feel dead “down there,” or be miserable because you can’t get out of bed much less want to get back in.
Laurie’s book Wanting Sex Again is available on Amazon!