There was recently the following comment on my article "Game Plan For Less Boring Sex" in which I recommend that the lower libido partner be the one to initiate sex for a while:
Dear Dr Psych Mom,
Your suggestion seems to be that the husband should wait for his wife to initiate, and meanwhile take care of all his needs himself (i.e. masturbate). Do I have that right?
That does nothing for intimacy and connection.
Is there a reason that you didn't suggest that the wife make herself available to him for either a hand job or oral sex? Manual stimulation of him by his wife should not serve to reset her sexual clock back to zero. In other words, her time of 'sexually recharging and working towards a naturally occurring desire to initiate' should march on. Right?
Here is a longer version of my response.
For some women, with higher sex drives overall, or weirdly and conversely, who have absolutely zero sexual desire altogether, that works. For the former, it's because the hand job or blowjob will end up getting them in the mood, and for the latter, they are so uninterested in sex that there is no possibility of desire, yet they are not emotionally or intellectually averse to trying for the sake of the marriage. In fact, I recommend that very approachￂﾠhere and here.
However, this plan doesn't work for a lot of women who feel that they are being pressured into sex, or for women who just feel exhausted and "touched out." (Read about how to deal when your wife won't give head here.) This is because, behaviorally, giving head or a handjob when you don't want to ends up making an unconscious, Pavlovian association between the husband's sexual satisfaction and the woman'sￂﾠown apathy and even disgust. ￂﾠBecause, weird as it may seem to people with high libidos,ￂﾠwhen you're not aroused, sex can elicit the disgust emotion.
Here's an analogy. ￂﾠLet's say your kid doesn't likeￂﾠbroccoli. ￂﾠYou would likely have the best shot at him eating broccoli when he naturally felt hungry. ￂﾠBut let's say,ￂﾠinstead of waiting till he was hungry and would eatￂﾠalmost anything, you decided to feed him broccoli when he wasn't hungry anyway, right after lunch. When you're full, any food may seem disgusting, even food that you like. ￂﾠIn this scenario, it would be likely that your child's brain would make an unconscious association betweenￂﾠbroccoli and disgust, and fullness, andￂﾠbeing force fed.
So, if you don't want your penis to be the broccoli in this equation, it is best to let your wife initiate sex. ￂﾠBelieve me,ￂﾠyour wife knows about the option of giving you a handjob or a blowjob. ￂﾠIf she wanted to help you out, she would. ￂﾠIf she doesn't want to, there are either problems in the marriage, or she is one of the people whoￂﾠknow that they would experience desire if you just gave them some breathing room, so sheￂﾠwants to wait for her own desire to occur so she can genuinely enjoy you and your penis.
Thanks for commenting, and till we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist Who Says, Ain't Nobody Want Their Penis To Be Like Broccoli, In Any Possible Sense.
This post was originally published here on Dr. Psych Mom. Follow Dr. Rodman on Dr. Psych Mom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Pre-order Dr. Rodman's newest book 52 Emails to Transform Your Marriage, and order her first book, How to Talk to Your Kids about Your Divorce: Healthy, Effective Communication Techniques for Your Changing Family.
Learn about Dr. Rodman's private practice, including therapy, coaching, and consultation, here. This blog is not intended as diagnosis, assessment, or treatment, and should not replace consultation with your medical provider.