Does sex drive vary from partner to partner? - Page 3 - Talk About Marriage
Sex in Marriage Sexual problems are common in many relationships. This section is for discussions about sexuality. Please limit discussions to those asking for help with a problem and those offering advice. Any other threads may be deleted.

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post #31 of 98 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 07:07 AM
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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However we always had this mismatch and it's not so much the sex I'm talking about. I don't think I ever felt the same passion from her. I wondered if people experience markedly different sex drives and different passion levels with different partners (after settling down with them).
Though I guess it's a bit of a pointless question. We have to work with what we got. And I want too much. I want HER to feel in ecstasy ALL the time. With ME.
Because that's how I feel about her.
I think the answer is a resounding 'yes', though not in all cases, of course.

Most of us here are in our 40's and beyond, I think. Most of us here are, or have been, married. And most of us here have dating and LTR experience prior to marriage.

One thing that I think most of us can agree upon is that our choice in marital partner tends to be somebody who meets all, or most, of our needs - but not necessarily exceeds in all (or even any) of them. Some may call this settling, and you wouldn't necessarily be wrong, however the odds of finding a partner who exceeds in all of one's needs is exceedingly slim. If there are one or two areas in which one's needs are not met by them (which is not uncommon), one decides whether those needs are important enough or not.

Long story short, not many couples exceed each other's needs in all areas. And what you look for in a marital partner is not the same as what you look for in other relationships, especially when you're younger.

A good example of this is that my wife is LD/ND/responsive desire, and has been as long as she remembers. She's generally always chosen her partners based on her needs - which aren't sexual in nature, nor do physical attributes play much of a part in her choices. Her ex before me was ugly, as was at least one other guy she dated briefly who I happened to know. Helluva nice guy, though. My wife is, truly, a beautiful woman, so to see her with either of those guys would make most people go "huh?". Honestly.

However, there was this guy she knew when she was in her late teens who was, quote/unquote, "hot". (for those of you who know, we knew each other back then, same social circles). He was a player, through and through, and a male dancer on weekends (yup! lol). A total stereotype. Tall, well built, crazy abs, long hair, extremely charismatic. Literally looked like he stepped off the cover of a romance novel. My wife was gaga over him, and to this day, she can't explain why. She knew he was a ****, that there was no relationship to be had with him, but she wanted him, bad, and pretty much chased him for the better part of a year (with no luck). Never chased any other guy, including me, like this.

So this dude, for the one and only time in her life, checked 'those' boxes for her. None of the other ones, though. She's still genuinely mystified by it and has no real explanation.

It is what it is, but I do often wonder that if I looked like this guy, yet had all the other qualities she likes about me (and thus chose me as a marital partner for), would our married life be different? The likelihood is that it wasn't necessarily this guys looks that attracted her, but the overall bad-boy image and relative unattainability of him. There are people out there we just want to bang, and there are people that we want to marry. It's generally rare that that person is one and the same - that's just the way it is. It certainly doesn't mean that we can't, or don't, have a high sexual attraction to our mates, it's just that once we find somebody we want to spend the rest of our lives with, pure animal lust is usually not the #1 reason we want to do so.

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post #32 of 98 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 07:23 AM
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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However we always had this mismatch and it's not so much the sex I'm talking about. I don't think I ever felt the same passion from her. I wondered if people experience markedly different sex drives and different passion levels with different partners (after settling down with them).
Though I guess it's a bit of a pointless question. We have to work with what we got. And I want too much. I want HER to feel in ecstasy ALL the time. With ME.
Because that's how I feel about her.
Now, to actually answer the question from my experience!

My passion and over all attraction for my ex wife never really waned. This, despite how she treated me. I still got excited (sexually, I mean) by her. I spent almost 14 years with her.

My sexual attraction for my current wife, much like Fozzy, has definitely diminished over time, and I feel as though it will eventually reach the point of 'zero'. We have not been together even close to 14 years.

The difference is that, while my ex wife and I were not actually sexually compatible, she still had a drive and a need for sex, or sexual interaction. She would initiate, she would take care of me solo and vice versa. In the bedroom, on the couch, in the shower, in the car. It was rarely good sex, for a variety of reasons, but it was varied, spontaneous, and oddly fulfilling.

My current wife, by contrast, is not spontaneous, adventurous (bedroom only), does not initiate, and otherwise is not 'sexy'. She's sexy looking, but at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter. I see her naked almost every day, and it normally doesn't get me excited. Yet when we do have sex, it's hands down the best sex I've ever had in my life.

But the simple reality of it is that she never, never presents herself as a sexual being, ever, therefore it's impossible to see her that way. When we do have sex, I know it's coming, she knows it's coming, and we do it. Outside of that, there's no innuendo, sexy talk, touching me, touching her, flirting - nothing. There's really not any initiation on either of our parts (never was for her, anyway). We both just know it's "time".

So I was more sexually excited and turned on by a woman who treated me like ****, and who I wasn't sexually/physically compatible with, versus a woman who, pardon my French, knows how to ****, and with whom I actually fit and work for and can have multiple orgasms (her, not me!)

It's a shame. My wife is nearly perfect in all other ways. Give her the sex drive and general sexual attitude and openness of my ex wife, and I'd have no complaints.

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post #33 of 98 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 07:27 AM
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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Of course I realise things change after kids. We have three and each time there was almost nothing for 6-12 months after and we survived (thank you porn).
However we always had this mismatch and it's not so much the sex I'm talking about. I don't think I ever felt the same passion from her. I wondered if people experience markedly different sex drives and different passion levels with different partners (after settling down with them).
Though I guess it's a bit of a pointless question. We have to work with what we got. And I want too much. I want HER to feel in ecstasy ALL the time. With ME.
Because that's how I feel about her.


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With our first kid (mine and my W, not mine and yours ) we went about 3 months before having sex. Second kid close to 8 months. Third kid just over a year.

There are several challenges IMO. The first challenge (speaking as a dude) is understanding that you can't just expect things to magically go back to normal after childbirth. However, there has to be a point where enough is enough. That point my be different for each person. You want to be understanding and supportive, but that doesn't mean your needs get tossed to the side indefinitely.

Another challenge, and this is where I struggle with my W, the moment you introduce another person into your relationship (i.e. a kid), the focus is no longer just on the relationship. You have to work harder to make your relationship a priority (this includes all aspects, both sexual and non sexual needs). I think some people just expect things to go back to normal, or they take the approach that things will eventually get better on their own over time. Next thing you know, years have gone by in the relationship and you have drifted apart by ignoring each others needs. This is the exact reason why you hear frequently the concept that you must continue to date your SO. If you don't make the extra effort to maintain the relationship, maintain the needs of each person, you will probably find yourself eventually with a roommate and not a spouse.
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post #34 of 98 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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Since she has never reciprocated your desire, should you hope that she changes?
It's not quite like that: she definitely does reciprocate. It's more about the intensity of the reciprocation or the frequency (deriving from her own rhythm, rather than adjusting to my rhythm).
I think the book Mating in Captivity might help (thanks for suggestion to the poster). I was a bit taken aback by the title but read the reviews and it seems like it addresses this.
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post #35 of 98 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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I think the answer is a resounding 'yes', though not in all cases, of course.

Most of us here are in our 40's and beyond, I think. Most of us here are, or have been, married. And most of us here have dating and LTR experience prior to marriage.

One thing that I think most of us can agree upon is that our choice in marital partner tends to be somebody who meets all, or most, of our needs - but not necessarily exceeds in all (or even any) of them. Some may call this settling, and you wouldn't necessarily be wrong, however the odds of finding a partner who exceeds in all of one's needs is exceedingly slim. If there are one or two areas in which one's needs are not met by them (which is not uncommon), one decides whether those needs are important enough or not.

Long story short, not many couples exceed each other's needs in all areas. And what you look for in a marital partner is not the same as what you look for in other relationships, especially when you're younger.

A good example of this is that my wife is LD/ND/responsive desire, and has been as long as she remembers. She's generally always chosen her partners based on her needs - which aren't sexual in nature, nor do physical attributes play much of a part in her choices. Her ex before me was ugly, as was at least one other guy she dated briefly who I happened to know. Helluva nice guy, though. My wife is, truly, a beautiful woman, so to see her with either of those guys would make most people go "huh?". Honestly.

However, there was this guy she knew when she was in her late teens who was, quote/unquote, "hot". (for those of you who know, we knew each other back then, same social circles). He was a player, through and through, and a male dancer on weekends (yup! lol). A total stereotype. Tall, well built, crazy abs, long hair, extremely charismatic. Literally looked like he stepped off the cover of a romance novel. My wife was gaga over him, and to this day, she can't explain why. She knew he was a ****, that there was no relationship to be had with him, but she wanted him, bad, and pretty much chased him for the better part of a year (with no luck). Never chased any other guy, including me, like this.

So this dude, for the one and only time in her life, checked 'those' boxes for her. None of the other ones, though. She's still genuinely mystified by it and has no real explanation.

It is what it is, but I do often wonder that if I looked like this guy, yet had all the other qualities she likes about me (and thus chose me as a marital partner for), would our married life be different? The likelihood is that it wasn't necessarily this guys looks that attracted her, but the overall bad-boy image and relative unattainability of him. There are people out there we just want to bang, and there are people that we want to marry. It's generally rare that that person is one and the same - that's just the way it is. It certainly doesn't mean that we can't, or don't, have a high sexual attraction to our mates, it's just that once we find somebody we want to spend the rest of our lives with, pure animal lust is usually not the #1 reason we want to do so.
This is interesting and exactly the kind of things I often ponder about. I guess you can't expect looking like that 'dude with long hair' nor can you expect her to feel same sexual attraction towards you which basically comes to the realisation that we shouldn't be too greedy & want too much and try to make the best of what we have (cheesy, I know).
But the interesting thing is that this 'drive' or 'sexual curiosity gene' probably exists in every woman (I believe so at least) and getting it ignited or augmented (in my wife) is what I am interested in.
Maybe some people are true LD/ND, I don't know. I think my wife can be HD. On holidays (before kids) we used to do it every day or sometimes a whole night and most of the next day...And I don't think she was pretending or forcing herself.
It would be interesting if there was a way to work out what the percentages are for influence on the sex drive from all these various components. Then it would be easier to work out which areas should have more focus.
Since it is just too individual and different for every situation, it will remain completely theoretical.

Last edited by inmyprime; 03-08-2017 at 08:41 AM.
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post #36 of 98 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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Now, to actually answer the question from my experience!

My passion and over all attraction for my ex wife never really waned. This, despite how she treated me. I still got excited (sexually, I mean) by her. I spent almost 14 years with her.

My sexual attraction for my current wife, much like Fozzy, has definitely diminished over time, and I feel as though it will eventually reach the point of 'zero'. We have not been together even close to 14 years.
Why do you think it has? Is it the age or lack of her need for adventure?

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The difference is that, while my ex wife and I were not actually sexually compatible, she still had a drive and a need for sex, or sexual interaction. She would initiate, she would take care of me solo and vice versa. In the bedroom, on the couch, in the shower, in the car. It was rarely good sex, for a variety of reasons, but it was varied, spontaneous, and oddly fulfilling.
How could it have been bad? Sounds pretty good to me...

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My current wife, by contrast, is not spontaneous, adventurous (bedroom only), does not initiate, and otherwise is not 'sexy'. She's sexy looking, but at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter. I see her naked almost every day, and it normally doesn't get me excited. Yet when we do have sex, it's hands down the best sex I've ever had in my life.

But the simple reality of it is that she never, never presents herself as a sexual being, ever, therefore it's impossible to see her that way. When we do have sex, I know it's coming, she knows it's coming, and we do it. Outside of that, there's no innuendo, sexy talk, touching me, touching her, flirting - nothing. There's really not any initiation on either of our parts (never was for her, anyway). We both just know it's "time".
Ok I see. I guess it's something that needs to be put effort into/nourished. Have you spoken about it with her? What turns her on etc. It can be an exciting & adventurous quest in itself finding these things out..And women know how to make these things deliberately difficult to find :-)
The only thing that might hold me back would be if I knew that my wife was not that attracted to me in the first place...Then it would be a non-starter or would make it into a frustrating activity.. It seems my wife has a 'flexible' personality. By that I mean that I noticed that if I try or work on something hard enough...it does come out in her eventually (and it's not just sexual). I think all these things are there, buried somewhere. Just need to find the right shovel or the correct place to dig. But then again, somebody else in my place, may not even have to dig anywhere, all these things might fall right into his lap (i.e. we bring out the best/worst in people etc).
But anyway, one must not have too many self-doubts. And as you say, it's about all the qualities in their totality rather than in isolation.

Last edited by inmyprime; 03-08-2017 at 08:42 AM.
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post #37 of 98 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

PS: If she was pursuing that guy with long hair then there must be something there...I sometimes read or hear women talk about marriage versus sex material...I don't know how much truth there is in it but does it really *need* to have that separation?
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post #38 of 98 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 08:47 AM
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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it does come out in her eventually (and it's not just sexual). I think all these things are there, buried somewhere. Just need to find the right shovel or the correct place to dig.
Just because she is more sexual at times, does not imply that the possibility exists for her to be that sexual more often. You think the things are there, but buried. They may not be there at all. You could spend your whole life digging and end up with just a bunch of empty holes and piles of dirt in your yard.

On another board we used to have a saying: "just because your spouse has a box of 64 crayons does not mean they have a yellow one. If you need a yellow crayon to be happy, and your spouse has red and blue and green and purple but no yellow, you can drive both of you crazy insisting that your spouse produce their yellow crayon." Your wife may not have a yellow crayon. Is it acceptable to you if that is the answer? Is it safe for her to tell you that? Will you promise not to leave her if she admits she doesn't have one? Which do you want more, her yellow crayon or the truth?

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post #39 of 98 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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Just because she is more sexual at times, does not imply that the possibility exists for her to be that sexual more often. You think the things are there, but buried. They may not be there at all. You could spend your whole life digging and end up with just a bunch of empty holes and piles of dirt in your yard.

On another board we used to have a saying: "just because your spouse has a box of 64 crayons does not mean they have a yellow one. If you need a yellow crayon to be happy, and your spouse has red and blue and green and purple but no yellow, you can drive both of you crazy insisting that your spouse produce their yellow crayon." Your wife may not have a yellow crayon. Is it acceptable to you if that is the answer? Is it safe for her to tell you that? Will you promise not to leave her if she admits she doesn't have one? Which do you want more, her yellow crayon or the truth?
But sometimes she does produce a "yellow" crayon and it's the kind of yellowness that I have never seen before and it takes me completely by surprise...

It is of course possible that she mixed red and green to make a very special kind of yellow just for my benefit...

Also don't forget that in many instances, you may be the one holding the box with all the colours in it and if you haven't put the yellow in the box, she may never find it...

It's complicated, all this drawing. Will ask my one year old :-)
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post #40 of 98 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 12:13 PM
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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Today she mentioned that sex is not something that is constantly on her mind (I don't blame her nor would I expect it to be) but she does have to make herself think about it so that she can enjoy it later that day. Whereas in the past, longer time would go by without her thinking about it.
If she's that self aware, then you should be in good shape.

But she'll need motivation to make herself think about it so that she can "enjoy it latter in the day".

It's up to you to provide that motivation by letting her know what you want. Otherwise, why would she go to the trouble of having to "make herself" do anything?

The unproductive approach is to just say nothing and expect her to have sex constantly on her mind.
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post #41 of 98 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 12:16 PM
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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It seems my wife has a 'flexible' personality. By that I mean that I noticed that if I try or work on something hard enough...it does come out in her eventually (and it's not just sexual). I think all these things are there, buried somewhere. Just need to find the right shovel or the correct place to dig.
I disagree that it's up to the husband to do all the digging himself. You may be digging in the wrong place or for something that isn't there.

I think the wife needs to be motivated to do some of the digging as well.
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post #42 of 98 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 01:45 PM
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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Maybe some people are true LD/ND, I don't know. I think my wife can be HD. On holidays (before kids) we used to do it every day or sometimes a whole night and most of the next day...And I don't think she was pretending or forcing herself.
It would be interesting if there was a way to work out what the percentages are for influence on the sex drive from all these various components. Then it would be easier to work out which areas should have more focus.
Since it is just too individual and different for every situation, it will remain completely theoretical.
I strongly believe that everybody gets sexually excited by, and for, vastly different reasons. We tend to place people in these No-D/Low-D/Normal-D/High-D categories because it's easy.

Your wife, like mine, is FAR more open to sex while, say, on vacation. They both realize the inherent value and enjoyability of sex - just not when there's far more pressing things to take care of. It's not about busy vs. not being busy, per se, it's more about other things simply not being there to do, thus moving something like sex up the hierarchical ladder.

Whereas with people who are not ND or LD, sex is something we make time for in our daily lives, usually no matter how hectic or stressful or busy.

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post #43 of 98 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 01:59 PM
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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Why do you think it has? Is it the age or lack of her need for adventure?

Neither. It's just her. She's been adventurous with me (and still is, though there's not much left to try, TBH), and she knows what she likes. We all kind of get to that point eventually!

How could it have been bad? Sounds pretty good to me...

A number of reasons. We weren't a good physical fit. She being on the tighter side down there, me being on the larger. Contact with her cervix was highly painful, so I could not get all the way in. She had a hyper-sensitive clit, so direct contact would be painful. Even indirect stimulation would cause her to tense up, should I accidentally brush it or something, so oral sex by me was relegated to her vaginal opening only, which (obviously) does not achieve orgasm. She had TMJ (lockjaw, in layman's terms) so oral sex on me was out of the question. I got it throughout the first couple of years we were together, despite it being uncomfortable for her, then one day, it locked open for about 20 minutes. This happened twice more in the ensuing months before she said 'never again', and I didn't blame her.

Ok I see. I guess it's something that needs to be put effort into/nourished. Have you spoken about it with her? What turns her on etc. It can be an exciting & adventurous quest in itself finding these things out..And women know how to make these things deliberately difficult to find :-)

Yes, communication for sure. In short, nothing turns her on, until she's turned on. Responsive desire. Until we're actually doing something, though, nothing will get her horny or in the mood for sex. She says she's always been like this.

The only thing that might hold me back would be if I knew that my wife was not that attracted to me in the first place...Then it would be a non-starter or would make it into a frustrating activity.. It seems my wife has a 'flexible' personality. By that I mean that I noticed that if I try or work on something hard enough...it does come out in her eventually (and it's not just sexual). I think all these things are there, buried somewhere. Just need to find the right shovel or the correct place to dig. But then again, somebody else in my place, may not even have to dig anywhere, all these things might fall right into his lap (i.e. we bring out the best/worst in people etc).
But anyway, one must not have too many self-doubts. And as you say, it's about all the qualities in their totality rather than in isolation.
Yeah, self doubt is a killer. What I had to wrap my brain around is that it's not me. My wife would not be any more sexually attracted to me if I was X, Y or Z. I'm as attractive to her as anybody could be, I guess.

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post #44 of 98 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 02:48 PM
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

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I strongly believe that everybody gets sexually excited by, and for, vastly different reasons. We tend to place people in these No-D/Low-D/Normal-D/High-D categories because it's easy.

Your wife, like mine, is FAR more open to sex while, say, on vacation. They both realize the inherent value and enjoyability of sex - just not when there's far more pressing things to take care of. It's not about busy vs. not being busy, per se, it's more about other things simply not being there to do, thus moving something like sex up the hierarchical ladder.

Whereas with people who are not ND or LD, sex is something we make time for in our daily lives, usually no matter how hectic or stressful or busy.
I will go back to David Schnarch.

Two people in just about every aspect of a marriage are HD and LD in many things; bowling, sexual frequency, desire for chocolate ice cream, etc. There is no normal. There is no wrong amount. There is very seldom a "broken."

HD and LD are only relevant in relationship to the married couple. A man in his first marriage may be LD with regards to sexual frequency and in his second marriage he may be far more HD than his second wife. It doesn't mean that the man's desired sexual frequency has changed, it just means it has changed in regards to his wife.

The same can be true before and after children. Before child birth a man might be HD. Then afterwards the Madonna/***** thing kicks in and he goes all LD with the new Madonna. Alternately, the wife before children might have been all HD and afterwards she views herself more of a mother than a sexual companion to her husband and she may go all LD.

I would say that the people you suggest that are neither LD nor HD are in reality one or the other in regards to that aspect of their marriage, it is that they have just worked out a compromise that works for them and their spouse and so it is no longer a point of constant frustration and friction.
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post #45 of 98 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 04:27 PM
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Re: Does sex drive vary from partner to partner?

Alex,
I have a different viewpoint as I doubt that either M2 or I would have the same interaction profile with a different partner.

I would simplify that (profile) as the amount of interaction each of us proactively desires (or is happily agreeable to in a responsive way) for:
- Companionship
- Non sexual touch
- Sex

There is zero chance I'm going clothes shopping with a partner unless they are not only an excellent companion but an excellent companion in high doses.

I could be with someone who finds my interest in science/etc. - boring - who might be more physically attracted to me but less 'into' certain key types of conversations and thus less interested in spending time together.

I don't equate compatibility with me or someone else being good/bad - just a level of 'fit'.

I don't think M2 would be radically different with another partner - but I do not believe I represent a sexually ideal partner for her.





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Yeah, self doubt is a killer. What I had to wrap my brain around is that it's not me. My wife would not be any more sexually attracted to me if I was X, Y or Z. I'm as attractive to her as anybody could be, I guess.
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