But what I can say is women crave less direct physical contact as a way to start our engines. Especially if it's been so long. I love sex myself but still need to be warmed up and direct sexual contact isn't always going to cut it. I like to be pursued little by little.
Massage or rub ( I like the rub down..)
Inncocent sweet kisses in surprising places (neck, ear, etc)
Hugs/ Holding her.
There are a number of quotes in here with which I would agree...one about not making assumptions about her feelings, but asking her to share. One earlier by MT about how you value yourself...but I don't know if I would go so far as demanding she give you the admiration you crave. Her sexual interest in you should not be your barometer for value. If you think it is, you will always be disapointed. You may actually want to explore co-dependency issues more deeply, just to see if there is something going on inside your head.
That said, in reading this post and a bit of your other one, you could be my husband.
Although honey if you are lurking here, come to bed and let's get naked instead
If he were to post his frustrations with me, they would most likely sound a bit like you. Perplexed and angry at how often he feels like he does not measure up or is not attractive to me. Part of what draws me to this forum is to try to understand the differences in our sexuality by listening to other people's stories.
It is possible her libido is much lower than yours. I usually don't think about having sex nearly so often as my husband seems to, even when we are close. Although, ironically, when I offer or request, he often clams up or gets tired....maybe a reaction to the years I did that
So, I have been experimenting with making myself more available and willing to have sex with him...just to see if it changes my feelings towards him or his "coping behaviors". I have only been able to try this recently because I have finally dumped some of my resentments. The results are mixed. There is a dance that is part of flirting
which allows some give and take that is harder to get when marriage power struggles start up.
Also, you might want to investigate the symptoms of peri-menopause. It begins to hit many women in their 40's and can really begin to affect their sexual appetite. If there are other things blocking this .... resentments, you letting your own physical appearance and health slide, their own health issues or fears, or another person...it can make a woman dread being physically intimate. There were times I felt like throwing up because I felt so compelled to "service" his need.
We have recently both told each other we do not want to continue if we cannot work this part of our relationship out to be more satisfying to both of us. Unfortunately, it is still very tentative as to what that means. So often I really do need bit of what MizSmith describes...partly because I need to be reminded of the fun. If it's not fun for both people it becomes a bigger block to intimacy than a help.
I think you should tell her how important it is to you to feel intimate with her. Let her know you enjoy sex but even more desire intimacy with her and ask her to engage with you in research and experimentation to find the right balance for you both. Hope it goes better for you and good luck in figuring this one out.