The final bit of a longer email…
Reader: I finally decided to do something and try the playful approach, lightly tickling her and trying to just slightly escalate by rubbing her thighs/breast touching…but really she was not responding. Playful has worked before – but almost always when we were at least both naked and the TV was off.
Then I took an alternate approach – I told her that I can see she really is tired and just wants to watch TV and I understand so I’ll just take a handjob for tonight and we’ll sex it a different time. To which she was appreciative and obliged.
I am writing this because I am torn. In some ways, I feel silly settling for a HJ instead of actual sex with my wife. On the other hand, I got off, we shared some basic form of intimacy and she was happy that she could rest and not have to be fully “on” that night. I’m not sure if my expectations are unrealistic and need to be tempered or do I need to push harder?
Athol: I think having a handjob is just fine. She’s tired, your horny, you both get to cuddle. Intercourse three times a week plus a handjob is better than intercourse three times a week. It’s a win, it’s an improvement. Personally I count it as “having sex”. Jennifer gives me handjobs fairly frequently, she’s kind of amazing with them to be honest, so it’s not a loss for me.
One reason to accept handjobs is that you can start working toward creating the expectation of having sex everyday as the “default setting”. So the question is not, “Are we going to have sex?”, but heading toward “What kind of sex are we going to have tonight?” Even if you can’t personally keep up with daily sex (I’ve got no idea of you age here, so not trying to insult you here), you can expand that to being physically intimate. Maybe tonight isn’t going to be sex, but we will physically connect with a little make out session or something.
If I sense Jennifer is particularly tired, or I’ve pounded the lady bits for a few days in a row, I fairly often bring up that tonight is going to be a low stress sex night early in the evening. Sometimes I even tell her I giving her the night off, though most times she offers something anyway. Getting to “the end of negotiations” early means the whole night becomes less stressful sometimes. She’s not on edge feeling like she has to defend against you wanting the whole three ring circus of sex. As you saw, your wife reacted positively to the handjob idea. She was “no” to crazy sex, but a “yes” to a handjob. If you had pushed for crazy sex, you likely would have gotten nothing.
My approach is very subtle. There’s no one night of breakthrough where suddenly she turns into your personal slut. It’s just a little extra here and there, but over the long term all that adds up. There really is a sense of sexual fitness that you can gain or lose over time. Use it or lose it. Change doesn’t happen overnight, all you’re looking for is consistent positive progress.
And like I say, by definition half of all married sex is below average. So some nights you just accept that tonight is going to be a below average sex night. Enjoy it for what it is.
Or put another way, Michael Jordan scored 32,292 points in his career, with 7,327 of those points coming from free throws. You think he felt bad about making all those free throws because they weren’t dunks?
Jennifer: This sounds controlling, but it’s about having a connection each day. I can’t imagine not having a marriage like this. I’m spoiled!