Does Wanting To Have Sex With Other People Go Away?

Serenity:  Let me ask you this since we’re being all open and honest and all…I know you’ve said that even though you love your wife, you’re still sometimes attracted to other women. Do you think that can ever change?  I still have to fight that in myself. Is it possible to ever be so much in love with your spouse that you’re no longer attracted to others? It’s tiring sometimes to always have to shut your mind down.

Athol:  Understanding how the three love systems work is helpful here.

(1)  The basic “oh she’s hot” testosterone sex drive will never go away. A nice rack is a nice rack is a nice rack. Velly Nice. This one simply can’t be helped as long as you have testosterone and a pulse. I check out other women all the time. Not in a creepy hands doing something under my raincoat sort of way, more in a sort of a dirty anthropologist way. So if you happen to catch me checking you out, please just relax, the photos are for science.

(2)  The pair bonding oxytocin/vasopressin system between Jennifer and myself is very strong. I can totally appreciate a stunning girl and have no impulse to live with her whatsoever. I really like Jennifer and she’s someone I trust and never want to hurt… non-consensually. Actually back up a little… I can totally appreciate a stunning girl and have no impulse to be her friend or trust her. Some of that is simply being 42 instead of 22 I think, but a lot is just being bonded to Jennifer. After having an orgasm with Jennifer I pretty much have an automatic nap that I have no control over, just the vasopressin pathways with a deep groove in my head.

So I’m horny and happy, and that’s all good. The potential trouble of the (1) system is handled by frequent sex and the (2) system. Being laid like tile really helps. I’ve had a couple of blindingly obvious offers for sex in the last few years (“oh nurse, can I show you something in private, I just want to know if it’s okay… how does THAT look?”) and turning them down was actually pretty easy, especially the guys.

My trouble… and likely your trouble too, comes from the third love system…

(3)  Most couples have a higher desire person and a lower desire person. That’s simply in comparison to each other though, in our relationship, Jennifer is the low desire spouse, really only wanting sex for her own pleasure 5-6 times a week. If she was with a guy that only wanted sex 2-3 times a week, she’d be the high desire spouse.

So anyway, I’m the high desire spouse, and that desire is not just a sexual desire thing, but also an overall need for stimulation and attention. It’s a need for dopamine. Mix in my ADHD and I’m pretty much… pretty much…. okay fuck it I’ll say it, I’m the Crazy Bitch in the relationship.

Jennifer: Lmao, I would like to point out that he said it, I didn’t.

Anyway… I do get bored and understimulated and that’s where I go astray and get into trouble. It’s so easy for me to start chatting and flirting and BAM! I’m starting to emotionally engage with someone and I can feel myself starting to line up a set of crosshairs on them. I’m much, much better at recognizing when I’m doing it and breaking things off nowdays though. Awareness of what is happening on a dopamine level is really helpful in breaking things off. Whoever I’m talking to is simply not my soulmate or a special snowflake, they just emotionally feel that way. In reality she’s just some pleasant, attractive, interested in me woman, and everything in my head is lighting up on cue. Attraction isn’t controllable. But breaking it off early is. I’ve actually done really really well with this the last year.

The other half of the fix is understanding that it’s just a need for stimulation, there’s nothing whatsoever wrong with the relationship, me being bored doesn’t mean Jennifer sucks as a wife. Well she does suck the other way, but you know what I meant. It means I can just ask for stimulation from Jennifer. “Help I’m starting to feel nutty, I need X Y or Z tonight.”  I used to meet that whole dopamine thing via World of Warcraft as a form of self-medication.  Now I write the blog, swoop in to help marital crises yada yada, and ask for particularly intense sex acts.

I’ve given Jennifer near total information on what turns me on emotionally and sexually. Hell you guys can just read the blog and you’ll figure out 90% of what turns me on. It’s really not rocket science or mind reading to push my buttons. There are things that she can do that pull my attention onto her. If you ever hear that we divorce it will totally be Jennifer’s fault for not following the handy 57 page guide to my personal kink. RTFM.

What was the question again?

Oh. No, it doesn’t all vanish. Not if you’re basically high libido and have a pulse. But that doesn’t mean you’re eyeing the exit or standing at the window whimpering to be let out. All it is, is a need for stimulation that you have to pay attention to. I also get that it’s an effort to try and shut your mind down about other people sometimes, but the solution is to ask for help from your partner and clue them into what to do. You just need to have the conversation about “this is asking for help and working on our marriage” as opposed to “I’m threatening to cheat on you”.  It’s completely possible to manage it forever… and have some amazing sexual experiences together “managing it.”

Jennifer:  All true. Athol is fun to live with… tiring lol, but fun.


  1. I am WAY higher desire partner (and the wife BTW). It’s pretty tragic how mismatched we are…and it definitely causes resentment and tension for me. I’ve always been a “needs to keep busy” person in a non-sexual way, but it’s gone through the roof since my sexual needs haven’t been getting met. I am awake and getting something done for 18-20 hours a day and still have to force myself to go to sleep. The days when I am actually exhausted are so awesome because I forget how horny I am for a bit.

  2. Athol, I think we all guessed you were the Crazy Bitch a long time ago…:p

  3. I think I am pretty fortunate, my wife and I are pretty evenly matched on the sex thing. I don’t know how living in a relationship where the desire is so unevenly matched would work! Someone is always walking around frustrated.

    Anyway, I don’t think the feeling ever goes away. Your lizard brain is always on the hunt for a new mate, it’s the more advanced part of your brain that kicks in and tells you no touchy! Then we fantasize about what it would be like not to get caught and how much fun it would be just one time, but then we all read the post a couple of days ago that Athol pointed out about the guy starting the affair…

  4. And let’s not forget that within the mix of all this some people just have poor impulse control or are easily drawn to dopamine generating activities in general, or have poor ability to delay gratification. This usually shows up in all areas of their life.

    I’d say if you’re screening for a partner this is something to key in on. There are big obvious ones like they go to the track or casino three times a week and more subtle things like they literally cannot pass up a “good deal” on some random junk they don’t need in order to get a little rush from making the purchase. We all have a bit of that in us to whatever degree but if they seriously can’t say “Wait, what the hell am I buying this for?” and put it back on the rack. Yeah, keep an eye on how they play that out.

    Boobs is boobs though, and we like ‘em, even if we haven’t the slightest inclination to pursue, we’re gonna look and ponder them. No changing that fundamental law of the Universe.

    When I was a kid my grandfather took us to the beach. Well a very well endowed young thing came bounding out of the surf by where he was standing. Her bikini top could not contain the majesty of those tits and the top gave way and out they came. It was like Bo Derek running on the beach in 10. After she had recovered and holstered them, Pops turned around and looked at me with the biggest smile I’d ever seen. I think he had been waiting his entire life for just that moment. Me too. I’ve loved boobies ever since.

  5. Wouldn’t it take some of the edge off these temptations to just talk about them? Mostly it’s just fleeting attraction, which is normal and not something anyone can help. Where it gets dangerous/sinful is when you start to dwell on it. If you are a team, a couple ought to talk about these things if or when they happen. Not to make an issue of it, but to bring it into the light where you can see it for what it is, thereby disarming the threat.

    Do people dwell on these things because there are things they want to do but fear rejection from their partners? This is why total honesty is needed.

  6. @CL

    You bring up a very good point. Saying something diffuses it and takes away the secret. Secrets destroy marriages. A lot of people get really uncomfortable with all this if course. It brings up jealousy and all kinds of dark thoughts.

    I think it would be better to come home and say to your wife “There’s this new young thing at work that keeps flirting with me (or that you started flirting with)”. Rather than keep it a secret and keep pushing the edge of things. We all like attention especially from someone we think is attractive, then we tell ourselves “I can handle this and not do anything.” Maybe. Maybe not. If you inform your spouse at first inkling it kind of diffuses it and takes the luster off the whole thing. Plus even though your spouse may not like so much to hear this, you’re demonstrating honesty and trustworthiness in a proactive manner, and that you love them enough and value your relationship with them enough to look out for it as a team.

    But, you have to be pretty adult to have these kinds of honest talks without it turning into a shitstorm or the one party taking it like you are saying this as an indictment of them or to sting them. Hopefully your intent is coming ftom a place of good and wanting to protect your marriage (you should, it has value) so you are doing this to diffuse the tension, be honest with your spouse and keep a secret from developing and turning into something really bad.

    Kind of related

    If you generally say stuff like “Well Bob just took Carolyn to Cape Cod and bought her a new necklace. Why can’t you be like Bob?” Or “This chick at the office dresses so hot. Why can’t you be hot like her?”. You’re just being a dick or a bitch. A little tact goes a long way. How about: “I was hoping we could plan a cool vacation together and save up and go. What about Cape Cod ?” or “You really look hot or turn me on when your wear X”

    Also you really shouldn’t be playing dirty pool and blowing up at each other with crap like “Oh yeah?!? Well there are plenty of women at the office that wanna fuck me so you better shape up beeyotch!!! Pretty much what you’re doing there is making marriage death threats. Classy. Careful. You’re partner may decide to call your bluff and initiate a preemptive first strike. Don’t go here/there. Cool it.

    Like I said, some tact and subtlety go a long way.

  7. @CL

    In my experience, it’s hard to “just talk about them” without someone feeling bad. How does a guy say that he’s super attracted to that DD chick without his B-cup wife thinking she’d better start considering implants? How does the wife tell her balding, overweight and middle aged husband she’s attracted to the landscaping guys because they’re young, hairy, and tan? No matter what your rational brain knows, the turn-on still gets to you every time.

    Even if the turn-on is something your partner can do (like Athol’s mentioned before that he likes Jennifer’s ponytail or a certain color shirt on her or whatever), it can feel insincere or porn-ish because it’s unnatural…and obviously that gets in the way of the sex. I’ve spent years asking my husband if he could do ANY of the things that turn me on, but he won’t because it makes him feel not good enough. I guess every marriage is different…I’d love to hear from someone who’s made it work!

  8. @XLX1

    I can’t stand secrets, even little silly ones. I don’t like keeping them and I don’t like things kept from me. They do have a way of festering in the imagination. It helps if both understand the nature of attraction in the initial stages – that is, it is involuntary. Also, by talking about it, you are actually enlisting the help of your spouse in defeating and guarding against bigger temptations. If you don’t allow your wife/husband to come to you with these things (because they fear you blowing up over it) then you are part of the problem.

    Yeah, some of these things will be painful and the tempted partner has to be able to accept that too, but it’s a lot less painful than some of the possible alternatives. It is foolish to think “I can handle this” or “what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him”. As you say, maybe you can handle it, maybe not, but if it comes to the not, it’s a way worse situation than you started with.

    It would be so much better if people could see it in such a way that when one feels attraction, no matter how small and fleeting, one can basically run to one’s partner and get protection there.

    And yes to the tact and subtlety! Those examples are funny but common. ::cringe::

  9. Do you have something good that might explain some of this to a woman whose husband just cheated on her? Not full out cheating, but so close it might as well have been? At least from what I understand… She wants to fix her marriage, but is really pissed (understandably) at her husband, and wants to understand what’s going on.

    That depends a lot on a bunch of different things. Have her email me.

  10. @Over It

    All I can say to that is that people need to get over their own feelings. Yeah, it will feel bad sometimes, but pretending these things don’t exist doesn’t change anything.

    I think we women especially tend to over-blow things; just because he’s attracted to someone who happens to have bigger boobs doesn’t mean he dislikes your boobs or wants you to try to change them.

    I don’t know; if I love someone I don’t see “balding, fat, middle aged” (or whatever), I just see the man I love. It’s probably more often than not the same for men, assuming his wife isn’t a shrew or hasn’t gained an inordinate amount of weight over the years. All the flaws we see in ourselves are often less visible to the one who loves us.

    I don’t see what is insincere or ‘pornish’ about expressing a preference for certain things and if your desire is to please your partner, why wouldn’t you do those things? Maybe your husband needs to get over himself a bit too, but do you refuse to please him and then he refuses to please you? Sounds a bit tit-for-tat here.

    I sent my comment to 7man and he added the following:

    No one said it would be easy, but by not talking about this and tiptoeing around it, the hurt is always just under the surface. Then because the risk of sharing preferences and desires is perceived to be too high, the temptation to experience these things from a different person grows and makes the underlying insecurities worse. They you have to walk on eggshells until the next round. All this promotes keeping secrets and really gets in the way of a couple enjoying true sexual intimacy.

    Men often withdraw since her feelings overwhelm him. Men often are not hurt by information but are hurt by her extreme emotions (relative to his). He does this to protect her feelings kind of, but mostly because it is hell for a man to have to deal with a woman’s extreme out of control emotions.

  11. Bringing the secrets into the light just kills any chance of an affair happening. Crushing on someone is normal and fine, but once it’s exposed to your partner, you end all hope of turning the crush into an affair.

    The stronger your partner is, the more you can reveal. Jennifer is a strong woman so I can reveal more easily than most.

    A big factor is whether or not your partner can do anything about it. Ponytails and wearing pink are easy fixes. If I was gaga over “Big Titty Porn”… that would be a lot harder for Jennifer.

  12. “Does Wanting To Have Sex With Other People Go Away?”

    Yes, says I antidotally. Two or three decades of fapping exclusively and you won’t care to have a partner involved.

  13. @J….I’m afraid that’s only too true! The last two guys I’ve gone out with have been long-time fappers, and they found it difficult to…where’s a good euphemism when a girl needs one? Finish with someone else present, or with PIV, or even with yowl-inducing oral. It was a bummer.

  14. This post helps clarify a few things for me. I’m not so abnormal and there is a chemistry component that is out of my control. My dopamine needs have always been very high. Explains so much about why I’ve crave on things so much. I try not to beat myself up regarding fantasies about other guys (I have them about my husband too) but I feel guilty some times. I may not be able to control the need for dopamine, but I can and have controlled my actions and stay away from situations that could get me into trouble.

  15. I think honesty and perspective are the keys here. It’s okay to be attracted to or interested in.someone else. It’s not okay to act on it in ways that threaten the marriage. My man and I had an incident not too long ago where I caught him sending flirtaciously very sexual texts to women. I didn’t find anything that suggested actual cheating and he denies it also. I understand the need for stimulation and excitement, but I was hurt by the secrecy and the fact that he went that route instead of coming to me and saying “hey I’m kind of bored.. I need us to.up the excitement somehow.” Your relationship is precious, and even if talking about these things is awkward, isn’t that better than walking down a dangerous path instead of enlisting your partner’s help?

  16. It’s entertaining to read a blog about having cheating and commitment with scientific explanations. I just want to comment on Athol’s claim that it’s okay for him to check out other women because his love for his wife doesn’t change. Not all men can do that. For some men who thinks sex is just sex and their wives are the “one-and-only” then it might be easy for them. But what if a man could easily fall in love with a woman who is so attractive and whom he has constant contact, then he might develop intimacy towards the new woman. I agree, cheating works for men sometimes just to renew themselves, bring back the fire, satisfy their boredom. But can they effectively defend themselves? To couples, keep in mind: Honesty, trust, openness, respect, understanding.

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