Archive for December 4th, 2013

My husband and I are quite happy together, but in the last few years his sexual interest in me has really dropped off.  He’s in excellent health and physical shape and performs perfectly when we do have sex, and he’s still quite affectionate; he just doesn’t want sex nearly as often as I do.  How can I get him interested again?

Calvin CoolidgeHave you ever heard of the Coolidge Effect?  It’s a biology term named for a story (possibly apocryphal) about president Calvin Coolidge.  He and the First Lady were visiting an experimental farm, and split up to tour different areas.  Mrs. Coolidge reached the chickens first, and upon being told that there was only one rooster for several dozen hens she quipped, “Tell that to Mr. Coolidge.”  When he was told, the president asked if it was not true that the rooster could mate with any of the hens he liked; upon receiving the affirmative reply, he said “Tell that to Mrs. Coolidge.”  When presented with a female of his species, a male animal will repeatedly try to mate with her; after he accomplishes it a few times, though, he loses interest…yet will immediately attempt coupling with a new female.  This is Nature’s way of maximizing sexual potential; remember, to Her sex is only for procreation, and our enjoyment of it is just Her little trick to get us to do it a lot.  Even when we’re using birth control, our hindbrains still act as though sex will probably result in babies, and so human males – like their brethren in the lower orders – will eventually tire of the same female.  Remember, this is biology, and has nothing at all to do with his love for you; he probably doesn’t even consciously realize that he’s less interested, and may be putting it down to overwork or whatever.

My suggestion is that you try to trick that portion of his brain into believing you’re a different woman.  I know that sounds absurd, but remember we’re talking about pre-conscious brain activity here, not conscious thought.  This is why new lingerie often turns a husband on:  since he’s not used to seeing you in it, the primitive brain may be fooled into thinking you’re not the same female he’s mated with before.  Think back on your years of experience, and try to remember stuff that seems to turn him on; for example, if you’re a brunette and you’ve caught him checking out redheads, a red wig might light a fire.  If he seems to perk up when some chick on TV sports a bustier, try that.  If there’s something (like blow jobs) you know he likes a lot, but which has fallen out of your usual repertoire, put it back in.  Even watching porn together works for a lot of couples in your situation.  Let me know what you come up with, and how it works; there may be some other things we can try, but I suspect this is the most likely culprit.

When we were dating, my wife seemed happy to give me blow jobs, but now she won’t do it unless I beg and even then resents that I ask; this despite the fact that she needs me to go down on her every time we have sex, or she can’t come.  But if I even hint about reciprocity, she acts as if I’m the worst person in the world.  Our lives together are otherwise fine, but I really like getting head and she knows that; I still cannot get her to blow me without acting like there’s a gun to her head.  Is there any way to get her to do this for me willingly?

Gil Elvgren advertisement for NAPA (1980)The short answer, I’m sorry to say, is “no”.  Your situation is not unlike that of the questioner I answered in “On a Mountaintop”, though his wife wouldn’t give him any kind of sex.  Your wife has been taught that (basically) only her needs matter, and you should be happy with whatever you get.  Other than hookers, I’m afraid your only chance is marriage counseling…and that often causes more problems than it solves.  I really wish I could give you a happier answer, but I’ve heard this sort of thing so very many times you wouldn’t believe it.  Alas, for many women, giving a man sex which he likes but they don’t is nothing but bait for their hooks.  And once the fish is on the hook, they see no point in re-baiting it.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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