Unwelcome Wife

Dear Dr. Melanie,

I am married for 2 years and my wife is not into sex at all. It annoys me and dont know what to do. We are both are 27. I come to her every night but she pushes me back. We have sex once a month. Can you help me out on what to do? I want to have sex at least 3 to 4 times a week. She doesn’t like oral sex – she thinks it’s disgusting. She doesn’t do any other positions besides missionary.–Frustrated


Dear Frustrated,

I understand your frustration, since most people in their mid-twenties have a fairly high sex drive; however, a lot of issues may be at play here. Many women and women aren’t into oral sex because they’ve been taught that the only acceptable type of sex is intercourse with the man on top. Her religious and family background may explain her views. Outside the bedroom, ask her why she doesn’t want to try new positions or why she thinks some things are disgusting rather than simply not of interest to her. You may also gently ask whether she had a bad sexual experience that affected her feelings about sex. These issues may require a sex therapist’s help to work through.

The fact that you “come to her every night” may be part of the problem, too. Offer to take a sex break for a week or two (you can masturbate to your heart’s content in privacy, to honor the sex break with her). Promise her that during this break, all you want to do is cuddle, kiss, or swap massages (if she’s OK with that) with the understanding that nothing else will happen sexually. Do not wander your hands over her body or even consider oral or vaginal sex. Even if she says it’s OK to go ahead, remind her that a deal’s a deal, and you’re honoring it. You might even say, “Babe, this is difficult for me because you are so desirable, but I only want to have sex if you want it as much as I do.” Outside of the bedroom, tell her how beautiful she is, how much you love her, how much you enjoy her company and conversation, etc. Show her that she’s attractive to you all the time. When she feels valued for more than her mouth or vagina, she may start asking you for sex.

Also consider what she’s getting – or not getting – out of each sexual experience. If she’s not aroused before you touch her genitals, the touch will feel annoying. If she’s not aroused before your penis enters her, she’ll hurt during and after sex. And given her feelings about oral sex, she’s just going to be mad at you for requesting it. So back off on that one until you resolve the other issues.

Think about practical issues, too –

  • At bedtime, are you freshly showered and groomed (clean short nails, teeth brushed, clean boxers or pj’s)? These are typical expectations women have of their partners.
  • If you have kids, is the bedroom door locked so they can’t barge in?
  • Did you do at least half of the household chores so that she feels you are equal partners in the work of the relationship? (And don’t only do your half when you want sex!)
  • Is nighttime the best time for sex, or might mornings or weekend afternoons work better for her because you’re both rested?
  • What’s different about the 1 night a month that you DO have sex

If none of this works, suggest that she discuss her lack of sexual interest with her doctor. She may have low hormone levels that can be adjusted with medication. Also, she may already be taking medications (anti-depressants, perhaps) that lower her sexual interest.