Breaking Out Of The No Sex Rut In Just 30 Minutes A Week

Most of what I write is aimed at trying to move a “blah” relationship towards a good one. Sometimes couples just get stuck into a rut of low energy with each other and all it takes is a few changes and a little more effort and things can take off again for them. For the most part I assume that cheating and/or sexless marriages aren’t the critical issues of the average reader. If you’re having sex 1-2 times a week, it’s much easier to get that up to the 3-5 times a week range than get a “we never have sex” problem to even once a week.
I’ve had a number of emails from men where the issue is he wants any form of sex and needs it to feel emotionally connected. But she feels emotionally disconnected and needs to feel connected to feel like having sex. So it’s an impasse, and one that may have lasted for several years. So there’s a cycle of negative interaction and someone, or ideally both of them needs to make the decision to go do something a little out of their comfort zone and start giving what the other half of the couple needs.
For the husband in these sorts of scenarios, there are a multitude of possible ways to seek greater emotional connection with her; texting, phone calls, emails, actively listening to her, assisting with chores together, chatting, hugs, kisses, backrubs, flowers, cards, silly gifts, and on and on and on. It’s a multitude of little efforts he can do.
But for the wife in this scenario, she’s got to offer up just one thing… and in a sexless marriage it’s a single huge event that no matter how good she is in bed simply won’t full up the gaping hole in a husband’s heart after over a year without sex. So they tend to be very avoidant of actually ever having sex and wait for the “mood” to kick in. Waiting for the mood has been the strategy for the last few years and it’s failed. The mood never does kick in. Rather than waiting for the good sex to “just happen”, just settle for something far easier to achieve that can act as a confidence builder for her.
I’m talking about handjobs. Specifically I’m talking her giving him regularly scheduled handjobs.
She doesn’t need to be sexually aroused to give him one.
She doesn’t need to worry about whether or not she will reach orgasm.
It can be fairly time efficient.
It will give him a sexual release and relax him.
It is vastly more enjoyable sex to be given a handjob than to masturbate for him.
She doesn’t need to worry about how she looks / fitness and can even do it fully dressed.
It’s a sexual skill that will improve over time and she can become good at.
It doesn’t hurt her.
It’s not all that messy. (Well… maybe that first time will be a doozy… wear a raincoat!)
Giving a handjob does not require her to feel “in the mood” before she can start giving one.
It provides her an opportunity to watch him experience pleasure given by her.
It’s fun.
It relieves that gnawing feeling inside that she is not meeting his sexual needs.
It’s free.
When a man has an orgasm with a woman it releases hormones that make him want to cuddle and bond to her more.
I would think that two or three times a week would be a good starting point for this. Just do it and push your comfort zone back a bit and see how that changes things over a few months practice. He should be much calmer and more relaxed with things for having a regular sexual release and happier with everything in general. That’s going to result in him reacting to her better throughout the day. (Work with me here guys, react better to her during the day!) That should cycle around and around into better interactions together.
 My very strong hunch is that eventually her mood is going to start kicking in. Handjob night is going to roll around one day and as she grabs the lotion she’s going to realize that she’s actually a little horny tonight and wants something herself. Then they can kick it up a notch that night. Maybe next time is still just a handjob, maybe, maybe not.
Seriously… 10 minutes a pop, three times a week, equals 30 minutes of effort a week. I figure if a wife can’t be bothered to expend 30 minutes a week on the one thing her husband wants from a marriage… well… well counseling sessions just seem like they would be costing them both out of half of whatever money is left after the attorneys have their cut.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Hey Athol,

    Great timing on this post. My bf and I are in a bit of a "blah" place right now and we've equated blah with lower sexual chemistry/energy.

    For background, we're both in good shape and I think have a similar sex rank…so cheating isn't an issue here. One big change is that we recently went from being long distance (seeing each other every other weekend) to living in the same city and seeing each other almost daily. So, I think we do need some differentiation (doing our own thing sometimes) to start happening since individuality is important to us both.

    Here's the catch, generally when we get in this space he's the one not "in the mood" for sex. I've tried being more sexy/feminine with makeup/clothes/making nice dinners/teasing/etc…however I know my personality is more "cute"…so sensuality is something I'm working on.

    Right now we're probably having sex about once every two weeks…my preference would be at least every other dayish. When I do explicitly mention sex he feels a lot of pressure around it and basically shuts down.

    What do you recommend for a situation like this?

    -A woman who wants it!

  2. Deansdale says:

    Athol, advising men in sexless marriages to be more attentive to their wives is a risky business. According to Michelle Langley's (must read) book Women's Infidelity most of the times it doesn't work.

    With my knowledge of game I reckon most husbands do it in a "beta way" and by this they only make things worse.

    So, fellows, if you have sexless marriages, read the book I mentioned first and only then should you come up with a plan.

  3. Athol Kay says:

    Deansdale – men in sexless marriages are almost always either one of two things, either completely unaware of their wife on an emotional level, or hopelessly attentive to her in hopes for sex.

    Some men are just so crappy at basic Beta skills it turns her off, so they need to pay more attention to her. The Nice Guy versions that are all over her need to put their foot down and make sex a requirement to staying in the marriage.

    In any case "more attention" = "game her" in my book.

    The book you mention is $65 off her website and out of print on Amazon. I dunno…

  4. Athol Kay says:

    Woman That Wants It – Honestly if this is just a boyfriend that you are dating and not even living with, my solution would be finding a new boyfriend. A young male only wanting it once every two weeks is a very low sexual impulse. If you marry into that it will likely only get worse.

    Otherwise I suggest having him checked out medically, he may have low testosterone levels or something else medical going on.

    You can always have him get you off a couple times a week as an option too. But like I said earlier… hmmmmm. That's a red flag that needs to be looked into.

    If you run into someone that has a clear sexual dysfunction issue as a dating partner, it's not really your job to try and fix that. He's aware of his issue, which is possibly why you started off as a long distance thing. Perhaps check with his old girlfriends for their experience.

    Sorry if that wasn't want you wanted to hear, my magic wand is in the shop still.

  5. Beau Nertaun says:

    Having an attractive woman touch your penis is definitely a good thing, but honestly I don't know that handjobs would cut it for me. I've never come from one, and I actually find masturbating vastly more pleasurable. I mean, I have an instant feedback loop telling me exactly what to do, plus many years of experience. Handjobs just make me want to have sex, and if I don't I'll get frustrated before I get orgasmic.

    I bet it would work for some people though, and at the no-sex stage it's definitely worth a shot. So I don't mean to go negative here, I'm just saying…different strokes ;) for different folks!

  6. Hey Athol,

    Thanks for the response

    ~A young male only wanting it once every two weeks is a very low sexual impulse. If you marry into that it will likely only get worse.~

    Let me add more clarity here, we're in a low sex place though I would hardly call it constant. There have been many times where we'll get in a great space of sex almost daily (and it does seem to correlate to his confidence/work stress and my energy or stress levels…and our overall connection through those things). We've been dating for 2 years and sex drive is an on and off thing.

    ~Otherwise I suggest having him checked out medically, he may have low testosterone levels or something else medical going on.~

    If this were constant I'd agree with testing. However, you must have a better answer for women than "there's something wrong with him, test him or dump him" when there are ups and downs in the bedroom.

    This used to be the case for men with women…if she's not putting out she's a bitch, nag, tease, lower sex drive, mother, etc. All labels and it didn't put men in control of being able to do anything about it.

    Your blog challenges that daily…he can do something (she's not just imbalanced in her hormones or not the woman for you), he can be more alpha, slap her on the ass once in a while and send a dirty text message.

    So I'm asking you the same…what can women do when their men get in a low sex drive place? I'm not asking for a magic wand, just the same consideration for women that you have for men in this arena (and I believe that this is an issue for women in otherwise good relationships but it's rarely talked about because there is a lot of shame and guilt around this for both partners).

    Maybe there are no good answers right now, but I think it's a topic that deserves some further discussion and introspection.

    -A woman who wants it

  7. David Collard says:

    Handjobs are unacceptable to Catholics like me.

    In my experience, if your wife won't put out, in the full sense, just try holding back a bit on the affection. Most women want affection. If she doesn't, you may have the problem that she doesn't fundamendally respect you, and you need to work on that. You need "alpha" and "beta". It is best to mix them as the mood takes you, I think.

  8. Well, I'm not here to advertise Langley's book for profits :)
    Here's a simple .txt version of it:
    It's not as comfortable to read as a .pdf but if you need the information this should be the least of your worries.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I just see this as a viable option for myself.

    First,my wife is basically sexless. She isn't interested in sex or anything related to it. She has never given a BJ to completion, never mind giving one just for my release.

    Second, getting a hand job is far from getting sex in a sexless marriage. Without the sexual interaction between my wife and I, a hand job is no more than masturbation with an audience.

    Third, I can do it better myself.

    As for withholding affection, it's a vicious cycle. I don't get sex, I'm not interested in the hand holding, back rubs, etc… just to walk away with a hard-on and no release. I don't show the non-sexual intimacy, she isn't interested in the sexual intimacy.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Scheduled HJ from cold, unmotivated wife <<< self abuse

    The former sounds about as much fun as the yearly prostate exam.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It's not about having handjobs substitute for sex. It's about transitioning to more sex. If the wife isn't interested in improving the sex life, then I agree that it's a waste of time. The strategy AK posted is where both partners want to increase frequency, but the woman is anxious about sex.

  12. Deansdale says:

    "my wife is basically sexless"
    Guys, for Christ's sake, read the first chapter of the book I've mentioned.

  13. In my mind, all of this is yet another wonderful reason for not getting married in the first place.

  14. This… "It's not about having handjobs substitute for sex. It's about transitioning to more sex. If the wife isn't interested in improving the sex life, then I agree that it's a waste of time. The strategy AK posted is where both partners want to increase frequency, but the woman is anxious about sex."

    Woman That Wants It – have you tried what I suggest for men "reversed". I.e. increasing your own attractiveness, physical fitness, showing greater interest in interacting with others. Submissive displays of sexual instigation

  15. Woman that wants it,

    Get out now. He has discovered that you want/need sex more than he does, and he intends to use that power as women used the power of sex to get their husbands to do things in years past. It will get worse, probably because something about you does not please him (it might just be the openness about sex, or some comment you made about a past partner.).

    I know from 20 years of torment. If you want it and he's not sleeping with you, he's just not that into you.

  16. Anonymous says:

    @Beau – completely agree. Handjob efforts are just a foreplay act. A handjob on its own would just be annoying.


  1. […] not fully engaged in your own sexual release. Again, Athol Kay has a great suggestion for couples: Hand Job Therapy. It has many of the same benefits as a full sexual exchange but lets her opt out of the receptive […]

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