No Sex, But I'm Used To It.

I've been married for about 40 years to a very nice lady who never did have much interest in sex. She never seemed to be having much fun at it but was never willing to tell me what she enjoyed sexually and what would make it more fun for her. However, she was always more than willing to give me a whole list of things that she didn't like. Because we were both sexually inexperienced when we married, I kept hoping that as she got more and more accustomed to sex that she would get to like it more. But that never happened, and when I finally realized that nothing was going to change, we already had kids.

About 20 years ago she went through menopause and things got worse. Over a period of a year or two she informed me that she would no longer initiate sex (not her "place"), would no longer participate in anything oral (made her "uncomfortable"), would no longer engage in passionate kissing (made her "claustrophobic"), would no longer allow her breasts to be touched in any way ("those are not toys"), and insisted that any sexual contact happen only in pitch darkness. The only foreplay left on the "permissible" list was a nice back rub, and she preferred that intercourse be of the "get on, get done, get off" variety.

We no longer have sex because she got to the point where there was just nothing that she could really tolerate without being made "uncomfortable". And, truthfully, I got to the point where I didn't want to have sex with a woman who didn't want it, and didn't enjoy sex with a woman who didn't enjoy it.

All I ever wanted intimacy-wise was to have passionate sex with a woman who wanted me, wanted sex, and really liked it. But I eventually came to a realization that helped me cope with never having that: there are no such women.

I now firmly believe that when it comes to sex there are only two types of women:
1. Women who have no interest in sex.
2. Women who pretend that they do.
Of course, women keep this a deep, dark secret because they know that men won't be very interested in a woman who's not interested in sex.

I was unlucky enough to marry a Type 1. What I really needed was a Type 2.

greentealover47 greentealover47
61-65, M
20 Responses Dec 12, 2012

It is impossible to speak for all men and women about sex. I am sorry you feel you are not loved, touched and adored. Loss of physical affection, including sexual touch, is a grief. I was married to a man who did not enjoy intimacy. There is sex in general, and then sex specifically. You are married to her. I have great faith that you two, as life time companions, both human beings, can figure it out.

Wow, only two types? I suggest that number is closer to 1000's.
Every woman is different, in my experience. Some love sex, but use it as a tool to get what they want. Is it the woman's fault, or men, who play to this? My wife seemed to love sex until she got her two children, then it was "get your hands off me" ever since.
Does she enjoy sex? Yes, i think she does. Would she rather not have sex, to prove some point, or show her power in the relationship, damn right!
I don't have any answers, I just know their are woman who have sex with their spouse because they love the intimacy with the one they love!
This is not about sex, but what sex means in a relationship. It means putting all your heart and soul into your spouses hands. I think if there are any sort of trust issues, a woman will have difficulty committing to this.
Now men who refuse sex. That is easier for me to comment on.

I think you need a counsellor or mediator to be present when talking to your wife about this most important subject, because there is a massive imbalance of power in your relationship and by bringing in a third person, you are redressing that imbalance. Of course, the very suggestion might well make her feel to threatened to try. But it is worth having a go. And just for the record, I am a woman who loves sex, who loves to initiate it and never gets tired of it (don't take that as an advertisement, anyone); I have been with only one person for 30 years.

I recognise much of what you say, however I know that there is a `Type 3`, a very sexual category of womenI . I`m not fortunate enough to be married to one myself, but I have enjoyed them from time to time...and believe me they are tiring!
My wife was not at all experienced when I met her, in fact she was quaintly naive; she did`nt believe that girls actually did suck *****, she said I had made that up! anyway she never sucked mine.
And the first time I went down on her she was shocked and thought that I was a pervert! She soon learned to like it though, and we had an ok sort of sex life until a few years ago.
She `does it for my sake` now, I know what she does like...and as you say, what she does`nt, so I know how to enjoy the sex we do have and how to ensure that she gets enough out of it to let me do it next time...probably about a month later.
Strangely, we do seem more affectionate but I know where the boundary lies...her boobs are out of bounds unless we are in bed, and then I`m allowed to kiss and caress them for a short while...I`ve learned how long is too long.
So, I suppose she was type 2 but now is maybe Type 2a.

Maybe a "Type 3" is really just a Type 2 who's an especially good actress?

Yes, and 1,000's of those "really good actresses" are here on EP, in secret perpetuating the lie... while they describe their deep emotional and physical pain at being denied sex by their husbands.

Your arrogance, greentealover, is astronomical.

By making that statement Greentea you are choosing to diminish your own life.
Let me assert here. We are not actresses spending thousands of dollars, turning our lives upside down,spending countless hours on ep and at our couples therapist because we are Acting to want to have sex when our husbands dont and choose to keep refusing us! Just because your wife doesnt want to have sex and you are okay with that, Please dont marginalize the rest of us ladies who are so truly unhappy and seeking help for our sexless and sad lives. And the scores of women who actually enjoy having sex and are having fulfilling lives...Seriously you need to do your own independant research.

Petrushka... yes, I know it stems from pain... and thanks... It is very sad to see an attitude like this, because all it does is perpetuate the pain.

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I don't exist... well, who knew.

No, wait, I only pretend to exist. That's it... all these years, I've only been pretending to exist. That must be why my husbands, (yes, I tried more than once) turned down sex.

In my experience, men only want sex with women that they have to chase for it, beg for it, and only periodically get it from. If they aren't being turned down regularly, and in fact have an enthusiastic partner, they feel pressured, and discover that if they ********** instead of having sex they can then control this woman (who apparently is only pretending to exist anyway, so it's okay to be that cruel) who enjoys sex.

I'm not sure how I feel about (stereo)typing people as people have done in this thread. However, it does seem there are people for whom control is really important, and others for whom openness in a relationship would rule. When these types are matched, one person controls intimacy (not just sex) in a relationship and the other party is left with no say (other than walking away from the situation, if they so choose). I'm guessing there are more women than men who wield control by refusing sex and any other kind of intimacy, but clearly there are men who do that, too.

I do not agree with what you say, though, about men only wanting sex with women that they have to chase/beg for it. Perhaps that's the case with a particular crowd, younger party-type people, but certainly not in an otherwise stable relationship. In a marriage such disparity makes the refused party feel trapped and saddened. There's only so much time in our lifetime, and often years are spent in a state where life overall is sort of "colorless" due to lack of intimacy. I always wonder do people like my wife really truly have very little or no desire to have sex, or is the control somehow so much more valuable that they forgo sex for its sake.

I don't agree with it either... I know all men don't feel that way... tho I do think men are naturally wired to chase...

I was making a point to the OP... that his assuming that there are only two types of women in the world, tho it may make his situation easier to bear... is patently silly.

...and yes, for people like your wife, and my ex-husband, the control is more valuable... and how sad is that...

I can't even begin to guess what people who refuse sex are up to. I fought with my wife over this issue to no avail. She claimed she loved sex, but only on her terms. so I asked for an explanation. The answer would have made her look like the control freak she is, so she refused to comment other than to say I was an a-hole. OK! so I skipped intimacy in the prime of my life. Now any attempt at good sex is impossible. I am sure the next straw to fall will be her wanting sex, now that i can't do it anymore? So once again, it will be my fault. For someone who loves sex, she goes to rather extraordinary steps to avoid any type of intimacy.

...and again, it does appear that the control is more important than the free enjoyment of sexual intimacy with their spouse...

Exactly! it took me ten years to figure out that was what it was all about.
In my wife's case, she want the romance and effort put out by me, but always refused to consumate. so when I stopped trying, she says I abandoned her emotionally. lol what a joke. It is all about her having control. I do believe during sex was the only time she felt helpless, totally in my control, she hated that feeling.

yes... damn sad.

I fully believe, too, that they enjoy being pursued... It is a most cruel way to treat someone that you supposedly love...

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"But I eventually came to a realization that helped me cope with never having that: there are no such women. "

Just out of interest, what data helped you reach this conclusion? Whinges from your mates that they aren't getting any? Or Wiki leaks. . . ???

I really think you should speak more to your wife about this issue. Many relationships don't work out because people don't speak to each other. Be clear that you love her, and your relationship, but tell her honestly how you feel. Tell her that you feel like your needs aren't being met, but that you are willing to compromise. Ask what might make sex more enjoyable for her, and I can tell you women like sex just as much as men, but we often learn to be more timid about it because we are the ones at risk here, and that after sex many men don't want anything else out of the relationship. Anyway, just because you are the husband and she is the wife, it does not mean that you don't have the right to your needs. If this dosen't work maybe you should rethink your relationship. I am not telling you to leave her, or to threaten to, but if this makes you feel unhappy, maybe it wasn't meant to be.

I found it almost impossible to have an intelligent conversation with my wife about sex. She would accuse me of blaming her, no matter how much I tried to tell her, "we have a problem". So I tried "I have a problem!"
Again it became about her. So then I tried, "You have a problem". After a few hours of screaming and tantrums, we resolved that : 1. I am an a-hole. 2. I am a sex fiend. 3. If I did more around the house, painted it and bought her a new car, things would be better. I did, nothing changed. Oh yes, did I forget the classic...."I love sex, just not with you!"
How is that supposed to make ya feel. I think it was her way of punishing me for bringing the topic up. How could the neighborhood sweet heart be so cruel? She got her wish! I stopped trying.

Boy, some of these responses to my original post remind me of my wife's idea of "discussing feelings". She encourages me to share my feelings -- I do that -- then she spends an hour rebutting my feelings and explaining why I have no right and no justification for those feelings. That discussion will not be allowed to end until I acknowledge the correctness of her position and the incorrectness of my own. I've learned the same lesson here that I've learned from my wife over the years: to keep my mouth shut.

I dont think you should take this as a rebuttal, Most of the people on this forum been through the exact same things that you are describing in your post. Some of us even worst, I married when I was 22yrs old, now I am 32 and for the last 10years there is absolutely no sex in my life. So we feel the pain of one another.
We are not rebutting you about the 2 types of women comment, but encouraging you to realize that in the real world that is not the case.
We learn to accept our status quo, because we dont want to rock our boats. Almost all of us who are in a sexless marriage feel the same way. You are not alone, but realize that it is not normal situation. Its not a situation thats likely to make you happy if it doesnt change. A lot of us including me are staying in a sexless marriage because our spouses are good people and for other practical reasons. But if it werent for EP i would have never faced the fact how unhappy I truly was. I would have never asked that status quo to change. I would have never asked my husband to look and realize how unhappy I was.
Without that he would have never made the efforts he is making now to try to make me happy.. All we are saying is, please reexamine your own status quo, and if you want to be truly happy, you may want to ask for it, you may want to change something.. instead of psyching yourself to believe that most women dont want to have sex..

you didn't share a feeling that we disagree with. Feelings are happy, mad, sad, glad, frustrated and so on. You shared a conclusion you reached about all women in the world based upon your experiences with only a few (or just one, your wife?) you would do much better here with us if you shared your feelings instead of sweeping generalizations about 50% of the people on this planet.

"She encourages me to share my feelings -- I do that -- then she spends an hour rebutting my feelings and explaining why I have no right and no justification for those feelings." Had this in the past million times... Hate I hate it beyond belief! You trying again, being naive again and think-yes,we should communicate, we should talk... and pour your heart out... you knew you should not...but did it again... yes,told how you really feeling...and yes,lectured again,that your thoughts and feeling were WRONG... and it is something wrong with YOU if you feeling the WRONG way.... Yes, been there, done that...

This is a separate issue as Change points out. A partner / spouse who refuses to accept that your truth is different from her/his truth is a partner with an entirely different problem than refusing sex!!

Greentea, you are "coping" by being a misogynist - that is, painting "all women" as being like your wife. This is VERY convenient because it allows you to take the "damned if I do; damned if I don't" approach, which permits you to choose to do precisely NOTHING about your situation . . .

Hey! if this works for you, be happy! Personally, I think you might benefit from reminding yourself that you get ONE life - and to live it in a state of unhappiness and in a state of denial is probably NOT doing yourself many favours . . . . .

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I disagree with your whole line of thinking. Personally if it were me i would of been seeking the road to change.

On this road to change i would of stopped of at the lawyers, the bank, and the real estate agent.

Than i would of given said wife a list of things that i am uncomfortable with. But thats me.

As long as you are ok with your situation thats what counts.

Stay Strong & Good Luck

I don't think ultimatums fix this kind of situations. "Give me sex or else" -type demands certainly don't make a woman who has distanced herself from her husband to suddenly *want* to have sex. And that's where it boils down to, like greentealover47 wrote in his original post, there's not much point in sex where the other party is totally disinterested. It might be sex but it certainly is not intimacy – there's not much point to it.

I have come to a conclusion that it probably can't be fixed, other than by parting ways, and with kids involved that's not an option, at least for some time. Meanwhile, it's not much different from being "roommates".

Thats exactly what i meant. Its not an ultimatium to do something regadring an issue that displeases you

Well, it's an ultimatum in the sense that "if things don't change, I'll change things." And yes, I think there's nothing wrong in trying to change a situation that's chronically unpleasant, but I just don't think such notice makes any difference. I once read someplace: "Once a woman has lost interest in a man, she rarely regains it." It's probably quite true.

This is a classic blame-shift when you speak up for what you want - it's suddenly transformed into pressure, an ultimatum. Of course, the recipient can choose to frame it however they want - and often that's to perpetuate their self-serving cosy view of the status quo, and simultaneously blame the person who has the temerity to speak up for what's important. Anything that rocks the boat is your fault.

I agree that how you express the need for change, and how you've explored their story is important - but it cannot prevent the change happening. Both parties have to address the emergency.

Can we get real here, when we express some autonomy, that's right and proper, because our partner has been expressing their autonomy (you get no sex), as well as constraining your autonomy (neither do you!). No fair.

I meant, not (you get no sex) but (I won't have sex).

Yes i agree with hl42 if my wife has stated that sex is off the menu and no chance of coming back than it is my right to visit a lawyer a real estate agent etc etc.

Its not an ultimatium its a choice not to stay and support a partner who obviously is not in love with you anymore.

How you can possibly see this as an ultimatium amazes me.

When you are disciplining children you say:
"You can choose to obey me or disobey me. If you choose to obey mem the outcome is xxxxxxxxx (good result) and if you choose to disobey me the outcome is yyyyyyyyyyyyyy(not so good result!)".

Effectively, this is the choice that Refusers face. (And I am NOT talking about "obeying" here!!) Their choice is to continue to deny their spouse and face a divorce, OR choose to address their issues in order to save their marriage.

If a person sees that as an ultimatum, they may be right! There is nothing at all intrinsically "wrong" with an ultimatum, provided it is based on "fair play"!!!

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Your basic premise is fatally flawed, but hey ! you're happy with it, so as long as you don't challenge your thinking, your beige world ought not get rocked.

Tread your own path.

The strangest thing is, I never in a million years could have imagined to actually be in a similar situation. Perhaps I was naïve and didn't think I could possibly get together with someone who would have near zero interest in sex, or really, intimacy. Sadly, it seems I'm not alone, and that this seems a fairly common phenomenon (I say "sadly," because I would not wish this to anyone..) But it does make it easier to understand why some people might say that they "would be a better parent" if they make a course correction (get divorced). That is rarely true, though, so one is left to choose between the happiness of one's children and that of one's own. And so it is pretty strange to realize that this is it: one of the things in the very core of a relationship – intimacy – has left the building, perhaps never to be experienced again in this lifetime.

Your position on "staying for the children" is open to disagreement. A number of people on this forum, including myself, do NOT agree that this is a good choice for the children.

I would disagree with you stating that you get use to a no sex marriage. You don't. Instead, we first choose to internalize the issue. We ask, "What's wrong with me?"or "What am I doing wrong?". Afterwards, we become angry. Some may choose to seek intimacy outside of their marriage. Others may actually choose to leave the marriage. Still others may choose to use that anger to see what can be done to salvage the marriage. Finally, for those who chose to stay in the marriage for whatever reason, those folks tend to shrug it off and just give up. Instead, they'll choose to focus their attention elsewhere, such as hobbies, clubs, or other special interests.

I would further disagree with your assertion that there are two types of women when it comes to sex. I can understand your frustration. However, generalizations won't do you or anyone any good. Please, do yourself a favor and stop the generalisation.

There may be some meaning/history behind the "uncomfortable" feelings. Maybe therapy might help.

Yes. It could also be some physical issues she is not comfortable talking about. I have a mild uterus prolapse from a large baby, and it is an issue for me, and for potential partners. I know its embarrassing to talk about certain things. I am able to, but maybe your wife is not. Sounds like some counseling word be very helpful.
I love *******, some past partners were wonderful lovers, but others, not so much. In general, I could go crazy for something but not the way a certain man did it...and that is a very difficult conventions to have...our sexuality is very fragile...our identity as sexual l people are crushed by any critism of their techniques..there has to be mutual trust and a sense of safety.. As people age, as you know, our bodies change.

Nope. You are simply wrong and clearly haven't read much here. There are many, many women here who looooove sex, intimacy, touching, oral, multiple ******* and kissing.

This reads like you hosted your own pity party. Good luck with that. Sometimes it's nice to get out and see the rest of the world.

"I now firmly believe that when it comes to sex there are only two types of women:" Is it statistically proven by having sex with thousands women? :)

Statistical significance at the 2 sigma level (the accepted standard) can be achieved with a population sample of 20 - but there's something to be said for your line of thinking...

Now where's my pocket protector...

Ok, I was a bit extreme... but I don't think in the case 20 were tested....

To be fair, you said 'proven' and that requires 5 sigma, and that needs a population sample of 1.7 million - which is on the man-**** end of the scale...

:)..... I just wish to all men here to believe in women...There are more normal, healthy , loving, sexual women in this world...
PS Not directly related to the topic, but nevertheless ... I count my friends,close and not so much...all women... 8 married(the most are in their first marriage for many years(can't tell about everyone, but one woman is in sexless marriage for more than 10 years and very unhappy about it), 17 are not( 2 widows,1 never been married... all the rest divorced(including 2 out of sexless marriages).... Some divorced for longer than 10 years... 4 have married lovers... The rest are desperately looking for somebody... So from my own observation I conclude that women (at least those I know) want men...
Another example I personally get three newsletters from relationship coaches Christian Carter ,Rori Raye and Matthew Hussey... They all offer me e-books,dvd,cd and training (cost hundreds!) how to find man, how attract him and to be the one for him... So obviously this sort of service is in great demand, don't you agree? Would those " 1. Women who have no interest in sex.
2. Women who pretend that they do." pay hundreds for this sort of assistance?

I'll mix absurd nerdyness with some of what you've said. There was a recent, slightly annoying book on the topic of 'black swan events'; all it takes is one black swan to prove that not all swans are white.

I'm a fairly recent escapee from a sexless marriage. I thought no-one would want me - years of repeated rejection and manipulation can make you think that. It took a few months to get up the courage to go and try and date. I was absolutely stunned to discover that most normal people (well... in my case, women), like and enjoy sex. I knew this when I was younger, but somehow managed to persuade myself that this was an aberation when people were young, or... ehh, whatever, I lost the plot during my SM. And my experience was that these were nice, fun, smart, educated, pleasant, witty, accomplished women.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a world of love, caring and intimacy, but that there is a lot of women who like to have sex with men. To conclude, there's not just one black swan, there's lots of them.

Really glad for you! :) Hopefully your experience will encourage the others!

I love geeks. :-) great thread.

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No Timmy, there aren't two kinds of women. Repeat after me: "every woman is different". That applies to the exponential specification space of their underwear, to the five orders of magnitude diversity in their libido. You were close, though. There are only two kinds of men: those that get some, and those that don't get any.

[[pathetic little bow]]

Most of us in a sexless marriage get Used to it, i think its just a self preservation mechanism not having to confront or having to deal with our hurts.
But really we are here on this forum because subconsciously we know that we are missing something very dear and have sense of withering inside..

You are absolutely correct! I have noticed that over time it has affected my philosophical views. Assuming one is not an atheist, a sexless marriage tends to push people to believe in reincarnation ("Well, perhaps next time, then."), or nihilism ("Nothing matters, so who cares."). To consider that "This is the only lifetime, and it's really important" while persisting for years in a sexless or near-sexless marriage doesn't lead to a good place.

Well, many there's only two types of women: 1. Women who don't want to have sex WITH YOU. 2. Women who pretend to want to have sex WITH YOU...

As for myself, I wanted to have sex so much I pretty much was willing to do just about anything to get my spouse interested...until I realized there really was nothing I could do, as he wasn't at all interested, similarly to your W.

You're telling yourself a script that may help you get "used to it". So you don't have to rock your nominally cosy world. Be my guest, though it's possible that your unconcious will sort you out - after all, you are posting here, yes?

As for trying to foist that toxic nonsense & stereotypes on others, forget it. It's bad enough as it is, with people following pernicious scripts that prevent them following their own path. One of the characteristics of this group is that men and women are both pretty much evenly represented, and guess what - they complain about the same thing, and that's not the sex - at least that's a shorthand for everything that's wrong.

Men and women are about even on this group, whereas it is widely documented that women refuse sex far more often than men, if you sample a couple at random. The apparent balance here is an accident. It has come about because a refused male is a normal state of affairs, whereas a refused female signifies the end of humanity.

Ulae, I think it may be somewhat less even in the real world, sure, but I think it's not something women talk about either. It's socially expected and ok for a woman to be the refuser/gatekeeper for sex. Some brag about it to their friends. Men complain about it to each other. Women don't generally talk about how randy they are with a typical circle of friends and men don't announce they have zero interest.

Women as refusers fits the stereotype. Men as refusers is shameful even more than women as refusers. There's still an old fashioned "protecting their virtue" piece of crap about it in some bassackwards way. But a man uninterested looks bad on the woman and the man... So maybe the only place women talk about is somewhere anonymous like here. Just a thought.

Epiphany: How do you distinguish between a refuser and a counter-refuser? Answer: The counter-refuser has less or no shame if his counter-refusal came out into the open.

Epiphany - she sounds like a goer.

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Actually there is a 3rd category of woman, and more of us, that actually do enjoy having sex. That actually do enjoy being a sexual person just like God meant us to be.
And we are hurt the same way, when our spouses dont initiate sex, or dont have sex, and stereotypes like that make us feel like something is wrong with us to want to have a normal sex life. I firmly believe God meant for both men and women to have sex. Withholding sex from your spouse especially a faithful spouse is cruel, and insensitive, and just denies us happiness and the feeling of being alive..