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February 23, 2019

I want more sex than him

Hi Rowan,

I love my husband, but his sex drive has never equalled mine. We celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary next month, and the difference in our needs has become ever more marked. In an ideal world, I’d make love most days, but I’m lucky if we do it once a month. Is there any way I can resolve this without having an affair?


A: There’s no doubt some people seem hardwired to express far more interest in sex than others. Meanwhile, there are numerous contented beings on this planet who are not that focused on sex — and some who opt out altogether.

Then there are more complex individuals, whose sexuality was curtailed at an early age by the sort of upbringing or schooling (or, indeed, abuse) that marries shame and guilt to freedom of sexual expression.

Do you have any notion what camp your husband falls into? If you guess — or know — your spouse’s sexual emotions were suppressed during adolescence, then the first step in tackling the problem is to get him to acknowledge that repression.

If he won’t open up to you, I’d advise he sees a therapist. Or you could go together.

If, however, your husband is not that tuned in to sex, it will be hard to make big changes. Even so, it’s possible to arrive at a compromise. He may not crave sex, but I’m sure he won’t want to jeopardise the closeness you enjoy as a couple.

If you both set a realistic target — such as making love two or three times a month — he may well be able to up his game.

What worries me is your idealised scenario of daily sex, as it’s pretty much impossible for anyone to change their entire nature in mid-life.

Good sex is about spontaneity, not duty. And a man who burns at a low sexual flame needs to be persuaded into intimacy, not hectored.

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