My husband and I have been married for several years, and recently—well, actually, for the past few years—it seems that the things he has been interested in sexually decrease year after year. All of the foreplay has just about disappeared, and he all but refuses to perform oral sex on me. This is after we had several years of a fantastic and extremely satisfying sex life. This is absolutely not like the man that I married.
I really need you to understand before you respond to my question, if you respond to my question at all, that I have talked with him about this extensively, and while he comes across as receptive and understanding to my needs, still nothing changes. At this point, I want to ask about having an open relationship, because my sexual needs are simply not being met with this man, whom I love dearly.
You've done your due diligence, and good for you. You've talked with him, he understands the issue, he wants to change, but you're still getting no result. I wonder if there's a medical issue here—whether it's depression, stress or more general erectile issues—that is dampening what was once a killer sex drive and sex life.
Home life sounds like it's good, and you two clearly have great communication, so how is work treating him? Are there any financial problems or extended family drama? There could be a million things out there stressing him to the point where he loses his interest in sex. I know that when my anxiety and depression are triggered, my sex drive pretty much just goes out of the window.
I've only started taking care of my mental health intentionally over the past three years or so, and when I look back, I can see the effect it had on my relationships. I imagine that I'd be in a completely different place right now if I'd been able to pinpoint my disinterest in intimacy as a symptom of a larger mental health issue, and not as a sign of a failing connection with my partner.
If you wanna go poly, that's fine, but I think you should start by seeing a couples counselor. Or perhaps he could seek out a therapist on his own first, if the issue lies primarily with him.
I have to admit: This advice column is getting boring. I hope every week to read about juicy gossip or dirty laundry. Advice on how to get my partner to get dirtier or why my dating life is shit, etc. It seems the column has now turned into questions about politics, or how to make friends, or how get a roommate to stop eating things that aren't theirs. Come on, Athens! I know there have to be some nice risqué experiences you just have to get advice for!
I would ask myself, but my life is also quite boring and predictable. (Hence why I want to live vicariously through this column!)
Frankly? I agree! Where's the dirt, Athens?! I'm only here to help, and I'll respond to pretty much any reasonable and not-obviously-fake inquiry I receive, but y'all gotta give me something to work with here! I love my readers and writers, but I miss the days of “What are kegels?” and “Uh-oh, I think he's a furry.” Perhaps we're getting too comfortable in our relationship, Athens, and the spark is fading.
We've established over the years that improving relationships starts with communication, so let me reiterate: I'm here for all of your questions, thoughts and wacky ideas about sex, dating and intimacy, and the online form at flagpole.com/getadvice really is anonymous. Imagine a version of “Sex and the City” where Samantha wrote the sex column instead—and, also, Samantha is black. You can tell me anything, I promise.