Ive been happily married for 25 years. Except for the first five years, my wife and I have had no sexual relationship. Her drive is very low and I lost interest in trying to find ways to improve it. Now in our early 50s, we are both still fit, attractive people. However, I have missed the scent, touch and feel of a womans body and I am not getting younger. I wish to remain married and, no, its too far for the two of us to find our way back to a sexual relationship. She still has no drive and has expressed she misses nothing. I look at women my age in restaurants, grocery stores, church everywhere and wonder how many of them have no sexual outlet like me. Im trapped in a sexless marriage. What can I do?
Too Young to Shrivel Up
Dear Too Young,
Marry the woman you love and take a vow of sexual poverty? Ive met with our editorial board and weve voted you Hells official spokesperson. Because any man looking for an eternity of emotional, sexual and physical abuse couldnt find a better place for it than where youre standing.
Yes, abuse. Deny touch long enough and it causes physical harm. Intimacy is oxygen. Cut it off and you turn your partner into a sexual asthmatic chronically coughing and wheezing in his attempt to breathe you in. Hell experience a tightening of the chest and eventually his lips (among other organs) turn blue.
Ladies, make no mistake, when you constantly reject your partners advances with some version of I got clothes to fold, men hear it as I dont love you. Or want you. So, go away.
Its hard not to turn the rejection against yourself. To believe its all or partly your fault, that youre no longer attractive, that your manhood is useless, your desire is pointless and your needs unworthy.
Worse, in a sex-negative society like ours, the deprived partner is seen as the problem spouse. Why do you have to have it so often, the sex-negative schoolmarms ask. Why do you have to have it at all? Why are you harassing your revirginized wife? Cant you manage your wicked desires in another way? Have you tried Sudoku?
Well, youre not the bad guy in this. She is. Not because shes lost all sexual desire (it happens), but because shes happy to see you suffer. New rule: If you give your partner sexual asthma, you owe them an inhaler.
Meaning, if she cant provide the intimacy you crave, she owes you her blessing to find it somewhere else. What that means is up to both of you. Is it dont ask/dont tell? Is it only when either of you are out of town? Is it only with other happily married women trapped in their own sexless marriages? Is it becoming a frequent groper at the Pink Pony?
One diversionary point: You say youve tried everything to raise her libido. I believe you. But her libido isnt yours to raise. Has she tried? When chronic sexual listlessness hits, theres usually a physiological reason. Has she gotten herself checked out? Has she read the incredibly helpful book, For Women Only: A Revolutionary Guide to Overcoming Sexual Dysfunction and Reclaiming Your Sex Life by the sister sex-therapist team of Laura and Jennifer Berman?
Im going to assume she has and that nothing has worked. Which brings us back to my main point: Its time to cut a deal. This will be tough for both of you. You value your marriage. You want to protect it, but the thought of going on without intimacy is unbearable. The relationship is too good to leave, but too bad to stay. Its time to face an excruciating irony: The only way to save your marriage is to have an affair.
Life is an endless series of not-getting-what-you-wants occasionally interrupted by the got-what-I-needs. Monogamy at any cost?
Got a burning or a why-is-it-burning question for the Sexorcist? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Midtown resident Mike Alvear hosts HBOs The Sex Inspectors, blogs at mikealvear.com and teaches monthly blogging workshops with Hollis Gillespie.
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