Sex BarteringA major obstacle that I am having is coming to grips with accepting my wife as a person that does not want sex. Or maybe it is just accepting that she does not want sex with me. As I mentioned before I have no perspective of being in a long term relationship so I have assumed all of these years that women just don't want sex after they have landed their husband.
Joining EP has been very cathartic for me. I am replaying old events and developments and understanding them differently than before. The experience of reading other folks stories, posting here combined with therapy and finally telling a few real life folks about my situation has really allowed me to see my situation in a different light.
One of the recurring themes throughout our sexual life has been what i've come to call "Sex Bartering." Sex Bartering is exactly as it sounds, one party to the marriage makes a deal to perform some sexual act in exchange for something that they want. In my case it is always some type of masage or other non sexual, physical act that she wishes to have performed. In the past I have accepted this as my gateway to sex of any kind (even though it usually isn't actual sex or oral sex that I receive) because I have been so desperate.
The transaction typically goes down like this:
We are lying in bed at bed time. Perhaps I make an effort to initiate and she will say something such as "if you give me a back rub i'll jack you off". Just like that. Not flirty at all, but more like we are negotiating a business deal. As a deprived, desperate man, I have accepted my role as a John and traded the back rub for the hand job countless times over the years.
To make matters worse, 50% of the time I give the rub (again I would do this freely with no obligation from her if she'd ask) and then she requests a "rain check" on her half of the bargain. "I'm just so tired and now i'm so relaxed."
It never occured to me that this was strange or unusual before, but I have begun to see that this is a clear indication of her lack of interest in sex with me. I have to give consideration for her to want to touch me? I also see clearly that this is a way for her to avoid actual sex.
Correct me if I am wrong, but in a normal, healthy relationship it seems that this type of "Sex Bargaining" should not occur. It seems that a wife would want to touch her husband. This happened last night and I weakly accepted the bargain. I was desperate. I felt ashamed afterward as if I had visited a prostitute.
I am slightly embarrassed to share this, but I do think your feedback on this particular topic would be valuable to me in my journey of understanding.