December 15, 2010

My Answer To Denny

In one of the comments left on my blog, Denny asked me how he could get his wife to be a little more interested in sex. Things had gone from crazy monkey calibre to “but it’s my birthday” status. Hmm … good question. I’m not even close to being a qualified therapist when it comes to sex, so all I can really do is offer my thoughts without sounding too much like Dear Abby.

What you guys read here is a snapshot of just one part of my life … but I think you know that. I’m not this sexual monster that is rocking her libido every single night. We all have a reality to deal with. Away from here there are numerous stresses in my life that limit my desire at times, plus fitting in the playtime between the responsibilities of parenting and careers.

The first thing to consider is just that - what stresses does she have in her life that keeps her mind out of the bedroom? And it may not be as simple as just saying “work” or “kids.” When was the last time that you really sat down and listened to what she was saying? Sex can dry up because we don’t feel sexy anymore through to our feelings for our spouse. We can be complex creatures - just because we don’t drool over the latest XJ9000 Turbo Hot Rod in Midnight Blue doesn’t mean that gas prices don’t drive us crazy.

As women we tend to put our children and husbands ahead of us in terms of needs. Sometimes, especially as we get a bit older, we go through these periods of self-doubt and guilt over selfish thoughts. We torment ourselves with “What if …” questions when our friends or coworkers go on about their seemingly perfect lives. We wonder how they manage to get that tropical vacation every year while we clip coupons to save 20 cents on laundry soap. We Google ourselves and Facebook our ex-boyfriends - and flirt with old high school crushes that just never went anywhere.

And to be truthful, we all go through periods when we look at our lives and wonder where the dreams and excitement went - the Peggy Sue Got Married syndrome. All those things that we used to imagine have been replaced with the stresses of reality. Life changes all of us - men and women. And getting up on my soap box just a little, as women we’re expected to be the compromisers in the majority of relationships. (Yes guys, you can argue that point with me if you want.)

Now, don’t get me wrong, that’s not regret in my words. It’s a normal part of adulthood - growing up so to speak. You guys may dream of ditching the minivan because it kills your cool, we dream of just having it paid off so there’s finally a little bit extra in the budget for us to go to a really happening salon once in a while. You spend a summer afternoon detailing the car to a perfect shine, while we wish just once you’d invest that much energy and attention on us - without sex having to be part of the equation.

How do you get beyond all that as a husband looking for a bit more action between the sheets? Communication. Before a guy can even begin to take away the stresses of my day, he needs to understand what - and why - certain things kill the mood in my mind. When I once would welcome him home at the front door in nothing by saran wrap, why do I now kinda glance and nod like your favourite quarterback to his wide receiver on a Sunday afternoon?

I read recently that one of the sexiest things a husband can do for his wife is vacuum. The study suggested that more than anything what women really want is a partner that is willing to be an equal in all the unglamorous aspects of life - chores, groceries, parenting. We fight the internal and societal pressures that force these jobs on us as “housekeepers” while still trying to be relevant women in the workforce. And helping with the mundane so we can enjoy a cold beer on the couch speaks louder than any compliment-with-attached-conditions.

You need to ask yourself “How well do I really know my wife?” What is her number one fantasy? And you can’t say she doesn’t have one … a fantasy doesn’t have to be a sexual thing. It doesn’t have to involve Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom trapped on a desert island with only me as company. (Because that fantasy is taken!) It can be as crazy as she still wants that pony she never got when she was 12. Or maybe it’s a complete makeover, but she’s afraid to take the leap. But before you can get her to a place where she is free in her mind to explore and be creative, you have to know what is in her mind.

Can you talk your wife into the kind of adventure I am having? I don’t know, because it has to be HER adventure, not what you want for her. My husband has suggested all kinds of insane and “there’s no way I’m doing that” kind of experiences over the years. My goodness, if I just went with his suggestions … So mostly I’ve said no to those things, but out of all of that has come some great conversations and both of have learned what the other is looking for along this path. I’ve met him halfway on some, and he’s recognized that I have limits and learned to delve into them more deeply.

Some cheesy advice I can offer is hit the bookstore and look for one of those books like “52 questions to ask your spouse” or something silly like that. And look at it from a very light-hearted way. The most important thing is to not be judgemental of what she says. Just listen and learn, even if you hear some answers you didn’t expect. This is something that my husband and I did a few years back - and some of those questions have appeared as blog entries - but I’ll be honest, there were a few ego-shattering realities shared in the whole process.

Can you accept that she has changed as life has gone on, and so have her dreams, desires and needs? I can’t answer that for you. But what I can say is that finding out what those things are now - and why they went from oral service to “not tonight” lip service - is the only place you can start when taking that first step in a new adventure.


H said...

LOL on the photo of the man with the vacuum.... porn for woman

Andee said...

Well, we do get excited over a guy with a really long hose in his hand!

H said...

LOL... thought about your answer all weekend, wanna blog about it. WIth your permission I want to copy your porn for woman pic, and link to your blog, let me know.

I'd certainly liked to clean your carpet ;)
Now would you like a straight up vacuum clean or wet steam clean. I recommend the wet, it does a much better job. First I'd really work my hose deep inside, treat the area with my special "cleaner" fluid, then vacuum "suck dry" the whole area.. your carpet will feel great.