Has anyone experimented with going from more sex, to less? How did it go?
Over the past few days, my husband and I have had some conversations around my sexual desire. After he asked multiple questions and he was getting “no, I don’t really desire [this and that]”, one way I explained it was, “After eating far more than you need, how much do you desire food? How appealing does eating sound when you are constantly full?”
We also talked about quality vs quantity. He wants more quality but hasn’t really been willing to give up the quantity. He has been operating under the belief he has read on TGH, that the more the woman has sex, the more she will desire it. The less she has, the less she wants it. Which I have to wonder and ask, Does the law of diminishing returns** come into play?” And in essence, do we need to do a cost-benefit analysis? (Sorry, using language I heard from a leadership conference.) My layman’s interpretation…. Does adding monumentally more sex, while holding the rest of the relationship constant, actually yield lower sexual desire in the woman [me]? Is having almost daily sex, cost me too much, that we are losing some of the benefit? (I believe the answers are “yes!”)
I suggested that the only way for me to really know my desire, is to experiment…. but is he willing, and does he really believe he can do it? I am still questioning if there are other factors (fears) that drive to him to keep up the quantity at the sacrifice of quality?
**The law of diminishing returns states that in all productive processes, adding more of one factor of production, while holding all others constant, will at some point yield lower incremental per-unit returns.
This line is resonating with me:
“Does adding monumentally more sex, while holding the rest of the relationship constant, actually yield lower sexual desire in the woman [me]?”
The rest of the relationship…So in your case, it sounds like DH is getting what he wants…every day…all the time…except for the reasons listed on your post about boundaries. What is he willing to give you (i.e. sacrifice) the way that you are. In the boundaries post you listed 3 things in reference to “time management”. Obviously those are a struggle for you, or you wouldn’t have put boundaries in place…so is he willing to change those habits in order to improve OTHER areas of your marriage? IOW, instead of focusing on quality sex, maybe the focus could be on a quality marriage?
I’m just wondering…if he were to make more of an effort to not be late, and make YOU more of a priority than all the other stuff you’ve mentioned before…would that increase your desire for him instead of it just being another task? Maybe that would be a way not NOT holding the rest of the relationship constant and improving everything.
I can’t really answer the frequency part…I don’t think we’ve ever gone beyond twice a week…but we’re in a dry spell right now.
SC, i don’t know your husbands fears but maybe if one of them is you’ll like and get used to having less sex (which is probably correct, if i read you right) then maybe reassure him that when you do come together it could be better than ever and lead to more intimacy. You are not going anywhere! 😉
(I would have to add that i have seen you post more than once that it is costing you, i wish your h could understand that in a way that he wouldn’t feel threatened and maybe really think about what it is doing, i really do think there are diminishing returns for you and wonder when there will be burn out. I’m wondering how every other day would work for both of you?
No, I haven’t experimented with going from more to less sex. We have just done it for seasons without making an experiment out of it. It went fine.
Does adding monumentally more sex, while holding the rest of the relationship constant, actually yield lower sexual desire in the woman [me]? Is having almost daily sex, cost me too much, that we are losing some of the benefit? (I believe the answers are “yes!”)
I believe I understand your logic and see what you are getting at. It would depend so much on the person, their personality, their perspective, attitudes, etc. and the couple. But it seems that it is costing you. (Or should I say, you appear to be counting the cost) Whether it is too much, is something only you can answer. But, unless other things change, I’m not convinced having less sex would equal greater quality or increased desire for sex.
@SC (your comment in response to my latest answer):
“I’ve read through your advice again. It sounds wise and mature… but, it also sounds useless.”
I laughed when I read that and am pleased to be able to say that I took zero offense. I sincerely tried, but I just don’t seem to get your DH. I’d also point out that there are a lot of HrD husbands on TMB (as you know, few LrD people on here), and from what I’ve seen none of us quite seem to identify with/understand your DH.
“Apparently he feels like sex is always about me and what I want, and that it’s wrong of him to ask for anything he wants.”
This is a head-scratching comment to say the least. What it makes me think of is SoA’s willing/variety (#1) vs. passion/vanilla (#2) question. You saw the answers, and clearly know your husband’s verbal answer (#2). For me at least, and I think for many men, our #2 answer can actually be rephrased to something along the lines of “we want the sex to be more about her”. And I truly do–I’d absolutely love to give Zelda sex just for her. But for your DH, his #2 answer doesn’t seem to translate into this. Full disclosure: acts of service is a love language I like to give (though I dislike receiving).
Oh, but the “wrong of him to ask..” thing does resonate with me somewhat. It is very easy for me to fall into this trap, which is most epitomized by my reluctance to initiate.
“Grrr…. if it was all about what I wanted, we wouldn’t be having sex, at least not near the frequency we are.”
I’m going to assume that you’ve told him that in some way multiple times. But does he truly get it?
I wouldn’t say “experimented”, more like “life throwing enough roadblocks in the way to make it happen less”. But in comparison, I would say it does make it better, definitely traded quantity for quality. Keeping mind of course that my wife and I are pretty much at the same desire level, so this positively/negatively affects us the same, versus one of us giving up something for the other in this area.
The more sex I have, the more I want it – but only to a point. I have found that if we’re active every day for a week, then I just need a couple of days off. I could still have sex in those off days, but I’m probably not really going to enjoy it.
The challenge for me is to be able to come back to it after those off days. We say that the more women have it, the more we want it. However, as I think about this, I think that for me this isn’t quite true. I think the statement, “The less I have it, the less I want it,” may be more accurate because there is that point that I have where I’m just finished for a while.
I realize the two statements are the opposite sides of the same coin. However, if I haven’t had it in a while, I stop thinking about it. It then takes a high quality session to remind me that it is, in fact, something I like to do.
@,ALL_IN, those are good points and good questions.
For the most part, he is doing all you have said, and has been for just under 2 years. I am the one who has been slow to recover from the 2 years before that. Remember, I am coming out from a total emotional detachment and from essentially a death from within of hope. As a birth of a new plant, takes a steady amount, and the right amount, of water and sunshine, we can’t speed up the process of growth. He has his days where the sun doesn’t shine on me, or it’s too intense it scorches, but overall he is a steady loving presence. I may be the one who is permanently broken and will never return to my former glory.
I do have one thought and concern, which goes hand in hand with @OWM’s comment, and I need to make sure to bring this up when I talk to my husband about this. He does tend to get distracted and fill up his time, when sex is off, with other things. Therefore, rather than building up the relational and emotional connection on those off days, there could be a negative result. As brought up in the “magnetic-force” QNA, his desire/need for sex is something that keeps him drawing to me or pursuing me. Will that draw/pursuit cease or lessen when there is less sex?
That’s kind of an unfair statement to make…I know in the old boards you shared your days of gatekeeping…I wonder if gentle reminder of what “hardly having sex” really was like…Maybe he would be a little more thankful for what he is getting. I know so many men who really are getting hardly any sex would give up alot of things for 3x a week.