Today’s Question(s) of the Day for 9/24/2019
After we were married I had a sharp decline in drive. Dh at one point told me I was a “sex camel” and my lack of generousness and gatekeeping was the cause of a lot of hurt in our relationship. After several years I discovered that a big part of problem was hormonal birth control (compounded by my selfishness and poor teaching). I haven’t been on hormonal birth control in 12 years and thankfully that made a big difference in how I feel (sex drive wise and also in other areas like mood, and physical symptoms.
I also recognized (thanks in part to the old marriage bed forum) that I don’t get to have sex only when I am “in the mood” and I learned more about reactionary sex drives. We’ve since gone through different periods where one of us has a high drive and one us has a low or dwindling drive, with both of us experiencing both sides of the coin at different times (pregnancy for me, diagnosis of low T for dh, general life stress etc.) If we had to label things now I still have a reactive drive but I think I’m probably the more adventurous one sexually or I crave the most variety. I feel like I think about sex more than he does but I’m also the more verbal and like to talk about things in general more than he does so for all I know he could think about it a lot and I just don’t know. But, regardless of how I feel I have committed not to say no to dh without a very good reason (stomach bug, physical incapacity etc).
My sex drive has gone up and down over the years, but as a general rule, it has been appropriate to the season I might find myself in. In other words, my sex drive was influenced by my circumstances but has never been low when I wanted/expected it to be high. There were long seasons where it might be turned off entirely, due to one reason or another.
My drive changes throughout my cycle, but I’d still consider myself high drive. There are some days (maybe 3 or 4 days/month?) where sex isn’t on my radar at all. On these days it seems once we get going, I’m more into it. There are other days, maybe a week or so where I imagine it’s more normal. It’s on my mind and I’d like to, but if we can’t for some reason, I’ll be alright. Then… BAM! For about 2 weeks before I’m due to start, I’m thinking about it, I’m planning it out, I’m imagining new positions, I’m looking in the mirror while naked and loving what I see, I’m grabbing DH, I’m talking “dirty talk”, I’m kissing him more often and making as much physical contact as I can. During this time, if we can’t for some reason, I’m wanting it double the next day. I joked with DH just yesterday about this. Hope this doesn’t come across wrong (I’ve got a weird sense of humor), but this phase for me can be summed up by picturing a dog that literally walks around humping the air with no control! 🙂 Anyhow, the day this stops is usually the day before I start my period, so it’s a good indicator for me to understand my cycle and be ready.
My advice to anyone with a lower drive is to do it anyway.
In short, yes.
I have had various times of ups and downs and I was not always consciously aware of the “dwindling” or drop. I have had years where I was “okay to never have sex again.” As I think back, the majority of my refusing years were around pregnancies (4) and nursing, so maybe hormones played a role that I had never considered before.
Also, as Doug mentioned, the wanes seemed to go with seasons of life, or more like for me, the seasons of my relationship with my husband. There is definitely a correlation between my desire for sex and the standing of our relationship.
Back in those earlier years, I did nothing to change it. God had to do a shake-up in me. I have had other times where I have prayed for passion for my husband (even currently praying that again.) I have had times where I just pushed through no matter how I felt. Working on our relationship and making it good, raises desire. Currently, I am definitely feeling actual physical changes in my body’s response and desire. The season with my husband isn’t the best, so that doesn’t help my desire at all, but I am considering pursuing the route of actually getting my hormones checked and supplementing there if needed.
ETA: I just remembered that I signed up and am going through the Passion Pursuit study, in hopes it will help with changing things.
I wouldn’t say it dwindled as much as it atrophied at a time when my body betrayed me and I was seldom physically up to it. Once that situation resolved, it was hard to recapture the feelings of passion, resulting in ho-hum experiences, which resulted in disappointment and disinterest. When I realized what was happening, I made a point to focus my attention on DH and my thoughts on the romantic and sexual aspects of our relationship. I don’t advocate this next because judging by comments on here before, it is certainly not for everyone and even a danger to some, but the fact is that reading romance novels (yes, the steamy ones with full descriptions of the sex) helped get me going again. I had had a mental desire to engage with DH, but no “tinglies”. Reading the love scenes got the tinglies started so that when DH “put the moves on”, my body’s responses were closer to the surface.
I don’t deny the downside of this type of literature. It is written primarily by women, so the actions of the male leads are not based as much on real-life male responses and impulses as they are on what we females fantasize are male responses and impulses. So when I read about a guy who is so overcome by his girl that he looks at her in wonder when she’s a filthy mess and tells her she’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen, I get unfairly disappointed when my DH, who is a very low-key communicator, says in a very matter-of-fact tone, only when I get really dressed up, “You look beautiful.”…after I’ve reminded him in several conversations that I need to hear that more often. If I didn’t read the fantasy of how these men lavish affection and adoration on their women, it wouldn’t change the fact that I need that too, but it wouldn’t put my focus so completely on the lack, causing dissatisfaction. Or not as much dissatisfaction, anyway. But the fact remains, the fantasy of the utterly besotted lover is arousing.
My sex drive went away for almost a year, but I didn’t notice. My husband did, though, but he didn’t say anything for like 10 months. He finally angrily accused me of having an affair, saying “you haven’t wanted sex since last November!” Actually, that was precisely when my doctor had prescribed Valium. Besides nerfing my sex drive, it was making me uncharacteristically reactive and hostile. I stopped the med and got back to normal.
Certainly it has dwindled since my teens and 20s.
Health issues and physical fitness levels have impacted it negatively and positive since. Yet there is no denying that aging is also a factor.
As many DWs lament losing the battle with gravity, as men age, we struggle to overcome it! lol!
Thank you Elevation for the daily question threads. They are thought provoking.
There was a time in my life that I went from needing sex with my DW four times a week to three. That was when I could feel a constant hormonal desire for my DW the three days a week we were not having sex. It was a time intermixed with her heavy gatekeeping and general confusion and frustration for both of us. I was the super elevated HD DH into my 30’s. The step down to 3 days a week was a welcomed change because the diminished daily hormonal desire came with it.
I do wonder what the next ten years brings. I accept that I am a vapor in the wind and the servant for the Lord’s glory. Seeking to maintain three days a week is a preference not a requirement.
I keep bringing it up but yes i have, being a woman, it’s a constant up and down whether we like it or not, add to the fact i think we get exhausted easier and that certainly gets in the way of any desire. Hormones are HUGE but it’s not the be all end all.
I’m on HRT which is marvelously controlling my symptoms and i’m on the recommended dose of Estrogen (far more important than Progesterone contrary to popular opinion although if one has a uterus, it is still needed) but in the past 5 months or so find my desire waning a bit and i had posted about how my orgasms, while still very easy to get there, were a fizzle at the end. Of course most answers were could it possibly be mental and no, i think i needed more Estrogen than was even routinely prescribed. I had some OTC Estrogen cream (much weaker of course than rx) that i began using and that little bit has helped my desire and brought back my delicious O’s at least at this point (KNOCK ON WOOD!!). But also it is mental for women, too. We have to find a place to take a breather and actively think about what makes us hot… not like men who can get an eyeful of their wife and are ready to go.
Lastly age, of course it has a heavy influence on everything!