When Sex Tanks Right After The Wedding

I frequently get email questioning whether a married sex life that was never all that frequent, can be turned into a great sex life.

The short answer is no, and maybe.

The long answer leading to the “no” is that when you get married, the period of time immediately after the wedding is the high water mark of her interest in you. By which I mean that the tides of her interest in you can come and go over the years, but the honeymoon period is as high as her attraction to you gets.

So if she’s really not interested in having a lot of sex with you during the honeymoon, she’s really not interested in having sex with you on a permanent basis. Unless of course you can point to something really obvious like she spent half the time on the cruise ship throwing up because of some questionable clams. Otherwise, she’s just wasn’t interested in marrying you for the purposes of getting all up and personal with your cock.

This is not to be confused with her having sexual skill. Not meaning to make Jennifer feel bad here, but she was fairly terrible in bed for the start of our marriage. I mean put-a-strobe-light-on-to-make-it-look-like-she’s-moving bad, but she was attracted to me and interested in having sex. So over our 12 day honeymoon we did it 19 times and never really backed off from a very frequent pace. She was interested in me and just put in a ton of playtime. It’s like she started off as a Level 1 priest with a single crappy heal and now she’s at the level cap and a very ah… versatile healer. She can keep her tank up as long as she likes and we run our dailies together. She’s my HoTwife.

Conversely you can marry a woman with a lot of sexual experience and skill, but it will be a long bleak sex life should she not actually be interested in sex with you all that much. Her interest in you is paramount, not how amazing her blowjobs are. Blowjobs can be taught. Jennifer has periodically made me orgasm so hard I’ve pulled muscles in my neck, so not bad at all for strobe-light girl from the honeymoon. Frankly if you can’t take an inexperienced girl who is attracted to you and make her like sex, the problem is your sexual skills.

So…  If you’re having sex once a week during the honeymoon period, that’s as good as it gets.

The long answer leading to a “maybe” is a sex life that was fine before the marriage, which starts to rapidly decline after the marriage for no clear reason. In other words say you were 4-5 times a week before the wedding and it stayed pretty good after the wedding for a while, but by the one year mark it’s heading toward once every other week. Again, unless you can point to a clear reason this is happening, like say she got pregnant / seriously ill / deployment / major life stress event, then the reason she is losing interest in sex with you… is that she is losing interest in sex with you.

Often women can get so excited by the entire process of getting married, that it distracts them from their inner feelings of not really wanting to be married to you in particular. This is the sort of thing where a woman marries you because you’re a “good catch”, or she’s a solo mom and wants help with the kids and… well… your money. There are all these perfectly rational reasons to marry you, but not a passionate reason to marry you. So they hamster themselves into hoping that once they are actually married to you, it all will figure itself out and they’ll feel differently. Except they don’t.

What’s happened is that the process of getting married has supplied enough dopamine to excite them and that covers the gaps in your Alpha Traits. But realistically they’ve married you for your Beta Traits. Once the wedding buzz wears off, the sex declines. The sooner you can realize what is happening the better your chances are at getting things back on track. You must immediately up your Alpha goodies and balance them with your Beta ones. The longer it goes without fixing though, the deeper the low sex rut gets. Don’t waste time thinking about fixing things, just get into action asap.

Also worth reading  When Did The Sex Go Bad?  and  The Two Week Rule is important too.

Jennifer: I made Athol change the title from “Jennifer is a HoTwife.” I get the joke, but my father would have a heart attack!


  1. This post may be partially inspired by my story. I’ve been trying to fix my sexless marriage for a while now with little to no results. I’ve really been working on my alpha and will continue with this. Athol’s advice really matches what I’ve found in reality and this is just one more case where he says it how it is. My wife has never really been into sex. She was denying me even when we first were dating. During the honeymoon I resorted to taking care of myself for much of it so that tells the story right there. The all beta me at the time thought that was the best I could expect. I realize that’s not true though and I deserve and need better to be happy. Like Athol points out though, this is very unlikely to happen with my wife. I’m working on myself now under the premise that it will be to make me more attractive to prospective women in my future once this marriage reaches what has probably always been its natural conclusion.

  2. She pretended to like sex for just long enough to get the ring on her finger. After that she didn’t think she needed to pretend any more. So she didn’t bother.

  3. Chimpy, while that may be true on a subconscious level, you can’t put all the blame on her. We went along for the ride too for whatever reason. We let her do this by not sticking up for ourselves and making the difficult decisions (i.e. I won’t be happy without sex). I don’t think most women are thinking “just wait until I trap him and then I can finally stop pleasing him”. There are for sure some who think like that maliciously, but I think most are either unaware of what they are doing and both of us just sort of trap each other with our behaviours.

  4. “Not meaning to make Jennifer feel bad here, but she was fairly terrible in bed for the start of our marriage. I mean put-a-strobe-light-on-to-make-it-look-like-she’s-moving bad, but she was attracted to me and interested in having sex.”

    Tacky. That didn’t even feel good to read.

    Jennifer edits all my posts before publishing, so it’s her opinion as much as mine.

  5. As the wife who was in that position, I agree with DB.

    We were both in our early 30s, coming off of failed first marriages. On paper we were a perfect match. All the checkboxes were marked Yes, we both wanted to start a family NOW … I was more than willing to have sex and hoped the passion would grow. But he didn’t have much Alpha to begin with, didn’t get any more, and kept his “side interests,” so there wasn’t much chance for passion to develop.

    Next time, I’ll make sure there is passion from the get-go.

  6. Agreed with Joshua. Even if you write “no offense,” it’s still offensive.

    But OK, where’s the part where JENNIFER writes what SHE thought about Athol’s sexual technique then they were first having sex? Honestly now, did he come on a little strong? Did she wonder for a second what on earth she’d gotten into? Let’s have the other side of the story.

  7. Random Angeleno says:

    @Over It and @Joshua: You’re coming from the viewpoint of the woman who’s not interested in her husband the way Jennifer was interested in Athol. You are correct in that if the woman is not interested, then the man’s Athol-like assertiveness is always going to come off “offensive” or “tacky” and the woman would feel as you apparently think Jennifer should have felt. The “interest” is the key to making the sex life in the marriage work.

    I’ve seen it said elsewhere that the largest part of making a marriage work is to select well. Especially important for men. Dalrock has a couple of good posts on this. From my own experience and from reading MMSL and Talk About Marriage, I know that a key marriage criterion for men is to gauge the level of interest in his prospective wife and to discern whether it is real or faked. Perhaps Athol could expand on this topic someday if he hasn’t already done so. In other words, how would I know if she’s a once a week during the honeymoon kind of girl and avoid marrying her in the first place?

  8. I thought the strobe light was funny.

    The bit that made me wince was Jennifer’s dad reading this blog! Lol! Yikes!

  9. My wife and I Oxytocined each other into a marriage we like to say. It was very comfortable, but not a lot of passion at the beginning. Sex was never that frequent or great when we were dating and into marriage. We got married in our early 30’s and had kids when she hit 40. Sex was never great during the pre kids marriage, then we went in to the fog that is rearing two babies. Finally when the kids were old enough that they weren’t consuming every second of our day, she realized that she needed more. I had become such a beta wimp and she had really whipped her body into shape and was catching all kinds of attention from her friends husbands. She started an EA with a neighbor husband and I squashed that, but we nearly got divorced.

    Then something miraculous happened! I upped my Alpha got in shape and I think we’ve had more sex in the last year than we did in the first 15 years of our marriage. Just two nights ago she told me after a pretty long session in bed that this great sex wasn’t supposed to happen in a 17 year marriage! I am walking proof that it can happen if you want it to, but I know that I am the exception.

    One thing I will pound into my two boys heads is that they need to be very careful when selecting a wife. It can be very good and rewarding experience but it takes a lot of work first to make the right selection and then to keep it going. I wish I had read the Primer before getting married, a lot of things would be very different. I will be giving them the Primer when they get to college so they don’t make my mistakes!

  10. I got inspired reading alphaguys comment to share our own experience.
    I have to admit that I was most of the problem for our lack of sex and intimacy. I had alot of things happening and such and blah, blah, blah I could come up with a number of excuses for myself. My husband was pretty beta also. He tells me I put out this vibe that let him know that I was off limits so he stayed away. I must have put out the vibe often. Last year something changed for us. I know I approached my husband first, but we both admit if he didn’t climb on board with me we wouldn’t be where we are today.
    We’re married over twenty-five years now, the kids are pretty much gone and we know alot of couples in the same place that have called it quits or live the status quo like roommates or strangers. We looked around and decided we wanted something different. We started doing some activities, but together; riding motorcycles, going to the gym/working out, reading for fun and education, taking better care of ourselves, just all the things we’ve been reading about, learning to be better individuals. We knew we each had to come to the table with something to put in to make our marriage work better. It couldn’t be one sided. So the more we worked on ourselves the stronger the relationship has become.
    Over the last year the sex has been incredible, over the top, and the best in over twenty-five years. Yeah, we lead a little more adventuruous life in general, but more so in the bedroom(or wherever), and it’s driven the bond between us deeper than I ever thought could be between two people. Since my husband has upped his Alpha, I feel like I can be the woman I’ve always wanted to be and the one he’s always desired me to be.
    We’re setting a much better example for our kids and they’ve asked us what’s so different, they want what we have in their own relationships. We’ve suggested the Primer to one of our children, and will to the others as well.
    Yeah, we’ve said we wish we had the book a long time ago, but we’re learning now, and glad that we’re doing it together. It’s never ever too late.

  11. @Random Angeleno

    It’s not the assertiveness that comes off as tacky, it’s saying that your spouse was such a terrible lay. Exactly what can you expect from a girl who’s never had sex? I was in this position myself, as a virgin when I got married. Sure, I wanted sex (that was a big part of the marriage for me), but I didn’t know much about actually doing it.

    Sometimes I laid still and other times hurt him accidentally while trying something new. That’s not to say that I was “a bad lay,” just that I had no idea what to do/what I was doing. From what I understand, the same could be said of Jennifer and it would be a much more considerate phrasing.

  12. alphaguy–

    Way to go!

  13. I think what Over It and Joshua are saying is that they would have preferred Athol say “‘we’ were fairly terrible in bed at the start of our marriage”.

    I don’t want to speak for them, but that was my interpretation.

    On a personal note, my sex life with my wife was great before we were married, and great after. She has always been a tiger in the sack.

    Without knowing it, we essentially selected marriage partners whom we were great with outside the bedroom and inside the bedroom.

    That’s why I cringed when my mormon friends all got married young and had to wait for sex till they were married. I couldn’t imagine figuring it all out that way. It has worked for some, but it would have been tough for me.

  14. If Athol had said “WE were bad in bed”, it would have countered the real point of this blog post, which Over It and Joshua seem to have missed; namely that it’s better to be with a woman who starts off bad in bed, but is interested in having sex with her man, than being with a woman who’s great in bed, but has no interest in sex with the man in question.

  15. @The MacNut

    I got the point of the post, just saying that it’s awfully bad form to criticize the sexual techniques of A WOMAN WHO WAS BASICALLY A VIRGIN WHEN SHE GOT MARRIED, like Jennifer. WTF did Athol expect?

  16. Why would you marry a girl who wasn’t already banging your brains out before you got married?

  17. Jennifer AKA The Wife says:

    Okay then…wow I’m kind of laughing that the strobe light comment got everyone so upset. (I thought it was funny…does that mean I have a warped sense of humor?) It’s quite true, though…I was extremely naive…not unwilling to have sex just vastly uneducated and ummmm, shall we say quietly loving it but not knowing how to express myself…until Athol got me to come out of my shell. Athol took things very slowly and gently with me…he knew he was marrying a shy girl so he acted accordingly. Plus he had a lot to learn as well…and we are still learning! (Come on now, do you think he was hanging me from the ceiling and spanking me the first month of our marriage?! Really?!)

    And as to saying your wife was a terrible lay being tacky…this blog is all about being honest and learning. Yes, I honestly was inexperienced and totally clueless…he had a blank slate to work with, but many guys would have given up on me. That’s not tacky it’s truthful.

    And some of you are TOTALLY missing the point here…marry a shy/uneducated/willing but needs encouragement wife and she will step up to the plate with some encouragement, love and lots of practice!

  18. OffTheCuff says:

    A: “So…  If you’re having sex once a week during the honeymoon period, that’s as good as it gets.”

    Not universally true.

    By the time we got married, we already were together a few years, and had settled in on a fairly average 2x a week or so. But, and this is a BIG but, my wife always wanted more, and she’s never turned me down. (In my younger, more stupid days, I would fail to account for my reactive desire, and would say no occasionally.) After kids it maybe drifted down to once a week minimum, where she would be going crazy and outright attack me.

    A few years back I decided to push myself to have as much sex as possible, and that means now were are averaging daily. So I think this can happen, by only if the low-desire half of the couple decides to self-improve. Later on I discovered the manosphere which finally explained WHY this all worked as it did.

  19. What scares me that sex was never that great. I was totally beta and sexually “embarrassed”. She was not all that enthusiastic and virtually no technique. To top it all off, she was the one with the money (a combination of inheritance, thrift and a consistently successful career). She owned her own home, I rented. She was an “executive”. I was a “drone”. A frustrating factor for me for a long time (which I now look at differently) is that she’s “plain”, obese and cares little about her looks/dress. Looking back I think I married her because of “one-itis”. I felt like an awkward guy, desperate for the attention she gave me, sexual or otherwise. She’s a decent person, smart, funny and good company.

    I must have “sensed” something early in the marriage, when I decided to go to business school (my blue-pill therapist must have also helped). Was this my first MAP? So I got my masters and a job with a top consulting company. Sex did not improve. I bombed out at work and got laid off. For the last 10 years, I have kept a job for 3 years in a row max. To boot, a major chunk of my time is spent looking after my aging parents.

    Then I read MMSL and frankly, I’m scared. To me, it’s not so much “how do I get more sex”, as “OMG, I’m living on borrowed time in this relationship”. I have always dressed nicely (if conservatively). I go to the gym 3 times a week, but I will never be taller than 5’4″. I just started a new job after a 6 month hiatus, but at the rate I’m going, even if I out-earn her, I will not be bringing in the millions that she already has, no credit to me. I’m in my 50s (as is she), so a new profession feels like a stretch. The only thing we have to “balance” out our sex ranking is her relative unattractiveness in conventional terms.

    So I ask myself, unless I come up with a brilliant and lucrative business idea, am I f–ed? I can run the MAP, but will I fell better if I recognize that the marriage I’m in now “can never be” and strike out on my own (we have no kids)?

  20. OffTheCuff says:

    Building a better job will be a waste since you probably can’t beat her. So work with what you have.

    Verify she isn’t cheating on you. Get a motorcycle. Start doing something physical and taxing with your gym strength, out of the house. Think rock climbing or martial arts. Approach for sex more often and if she doesn’t like it, happily go off elsewhere. Refuse to apologize for wanting sex and meeting your own needs, if she won’t join you.

  21. I would agree that trying to outearn her sounds like it might be wasted effort. I would encourage you to take control of the “man tasks” in the house – yard work, fix it projects, car and to treat her the way that men USED to treat women –> MAKE THE PLANS (career focused woman HATE giving up control, but are so relieved when somone takes it), put your arm around her waist, open the car door. Do the things that remind her that she’s a woman. Work out ; you can’t get taller, but you can get stronger, which is more masculine.

  22. AnonyHere says:

    “I got the point of the post, just saying that it’s awfully bad form to criticize the sexual techniques of A WOMAN WHO WAS BASICALLY A VIRGIN WHEN SHE GOT MARRIED, like Jennifer. WTF did Athol expect?”

    Dude, why are people so hung up on this? Didn’t you guys read that she is now some top rank priestess of I don’t know what? that’s the part that caught my attention. I am like, wait, how does one become the top rank priestess? Cause I was no strobe light girl when I first started, but I know that I am not getting my husband to pull his neck muscle either. The whole point of the post, seems to me, is to show the large amount of learning one can achieve in the sexual realm. Aren’t you all wondering where Athol and Jennifer got their tricks from? that’s what I am wondering. Athol, Jennifer, so where’s the crash course for priestess, Hotwife, whatever it is called. Please advice, thanks :)

  23. “WTF did Athol expect?”

    He expected nothing, and that’s why they’re still happily together. They trained together. Most of us suck at the beginning… and this post was about her.

    Chill out people… looks like a case of projection. :D

  24. @Jason: why on earth are you attracted to your wife? Is this more of an issue that you fear starting over in the dating world? It doesn’t sound like she was ever into you, but rather got married because that’s what people are “supposed to do.”

    If a girlfriend has to provide you with a list of reasons why you should marry her, that’s your red flag. Consciously or not, you’re being used.

  25. Jaz. She’s a smart, decent, funny, warm person. These aren’t attributes she’s given me a list of. Often, I feel like she didn’t marry me to use me, as much as she didn’t know how to say “no”. (BTW, we’re together 20 years.) It’s what I feel and believe. Was I and am I afraid of going back out there? Yes. I feel like I don’t muster up enough “alpha”, be it at work or at love. The gist of my comment is that I often feel demoralized in my efforts. After reading MMSL, it dawned on me that my wife’s “unattractive” attributes might have actually bought me some time and space to improve my game.

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