J. Kevin Powell
Barbershop banter says sex sucks after marriage but that hasn’t been true for you. At least it wasn’t. There was a time when you enjoyed quiet time. You have fond memories of dinner and a movie followed by your wife’s patterned trumpet skirt dropping to the floor as she stood in front of you wearing nothing but dark brown Wonder Woman boots.
In the heat of passion, you found the closest object for support: table, couch, banister, washing machine. You enjoyed laughing and fun.
The hype surrounding little blue pills has been steady but women suffer from sexual dysfunction also. According to WebMD, women’s sexual dysfunction has been reported as high as 41%.
“When women disconnect for whatever reason, they can disconnect and not want to have sex,” says Dr. Debra Laino an American Association for Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) certified Sexuality Educator.
However, sexual dysfunction is vastly different for women. While its treated in many men as a physical issue that can be quickly resolved with a pill, women often experience dysfunction in a range that can include desire disorder, low hormonal levels, personal insecurities to physical issues and more.
Because of this myriad of problems, Dr. Laino prefers to start by testing testosterone levels. Identifying whether hormonal difficulties are the cause of issues dictates whether the next step is therapy or something else.
“A lot of times I see that women have problems because of time management,” says Laino.
Too bad it’s not that simple. Because of the varying types of sexual dysfunction, it is possible for a woman to suffer from several issues. The initial cause of the dysfunction may have been orgasm disorder, a problem achieving orgasm. Days, months or years create pile-on and introduce new issues. In such cases, Laino must first resolve the initial issue before focusing on the second.
Take home assignments from a sex therapist such as Laino will be different then you’d expect to hear in an office. Laino often prescribes masturbation training to women who feel uncomfortable with themselves. It helps creates self-desire and self-comfort. Other tasks, such as developing healthy sexual fantasies and increased nudity, are discussed.
“After a period of time in a relationship there often seems to be a disconnect,” says Laino. “The embracing is now let’s have sex and go to sleep.”
Why tell you? What’s your job?
You should know by now we aren’t here for gripe sessions. We believe in trying to make the marriage better, so complaining and knowledge without help just makes it more stressful. So here’s what we have:
In the words of Dr. Laino, “When those issues start causing arguments and a disconnect it’s probably time to start seeing a professional.”
Use your opinions tactfully
Insecurity may already be a major issue. Be honest, maybe even stretch the truth a time or two, but be tactful with your opinons.
Have her masturbate and fantasize on her own
Despite the discomfort of the conversation, encourage your wife to masturbate. Give her time and space to do so. Encourage sexual fantasies.
Schedule naked days
Drop the kids at the babysitter and spend a day cooking, watching movies and playing non-sexual games with no clothes…maybe just the boots.
Give her personal time
Similar to masturbation therapy, give your wife some space and time to develop a sense of herself and her sexuality.
Be patient and supportive.
Let her decide when she’s ready so there’s no pressure for her to have sex. “I’ve seen it take a couple of weeks to a couple of months,” added Laino.