A question from a reader:
I adore my husband. We’ve been happily married for three years now, and our emotional relationship is great. I knew he was special when I met him, and we didn’t jump in bed together right away — our first time together was more than just getting drunk and hoping for the best. We love spending time together as much as we can, but our schedules are out of sync and we don’t have much awake time together these days. It’s been THREE MONTHS since we’ve had sex. THREE MONTHS. And we don’t even have kids! Top it all off with that magic four letter word: PORN. Dudes watch it, that’s how life goes. Husbands, boyfriends, brothers, that’s how they roll. I know my husband enjoys his dose now and again, but how do I stop feeling insecure about myself when it comes to the ladies on the screen?
Not Gettin’ Any in the City
I’m not one of those women that is swinging from the chandelier after the lights go out. But I have been married to my husband for less than two years and we have a baby. And a seven year old. So, I guess I am one of those women that finds a way to make it happen. Sexy Time.
Speaking of a baby, I had one recently. I don’t exactly have a bikini body, gang. I try not to compare myself to myself of years ago much less to a girl on a computer screen. But I am not exempt from the occasional self-loathing. So, I get it, sister. And I understand.
On to your question – You like him. He likes you. You’re busy. But you’re not getting busy. The hubs has taken matters in to his hands. You wrote to me because it is on your mind, too. So, this knocks out more than a few issues. It is not lack of interest, either in one another or in doing the deed.
So, how do you stop feeling insecure when you compare yourself to the porno gals? Well, stop checking his history. Presumably, he does not leave the browser window open and a wad of kleenex on his desk?
It doesn’t seem like you have a problem with the idea of a man that checks out a porno. It doesn’t even seem like you have an issue with your man checking out porno. So, shoot him an email. “Hey, honey, I don’t care if you and Missy Juggs have a hot date from time to time, but it wreaks havoc on my self-esteem every time I see it in the browser history. Please delete it. Then maybe I won’t compare myself and come up short. And then I will continue to feel like the sexiest gal you have ever laid eyes on. And then, maybe just maybe, it might not be just your eyes getting laid in our house. One can dream, love, one can dream.”
Hopefully once there is no evidence of your husband’s activities you will put it out of your mind. And if that doesn’t work I think it is important to remember that pornos are more about entertainment than sexuality and reality. I love scary movies, the scarier the better. When my heart beats fast and I am scared to tears I love it. But no part of me wishes that my husband would start hiding behind the bathroom door or killing our neighbors. I have never looked at either of my kids and thought “Geez, I would love you more if you were possessed by a demon.” Chances are your husband doesn’t look at you and wish you looked or acted like a porn star.
Speaking of how your husband looks at you – you mentioned that you didn’t just fall in to the sack, that it was with intention. I imagine it is fairly meaningful to both of you. Any chance he doesn’t know that sex is a priority to you? He might not have any idea that you have the itch. Have you ever told him that even though it has been a while it’s a-ok with you if it is a quickie right before you pass out and that he doesn’t need to hold out until there is time for wine and roses?
It has been helpful to me to say it out loud and in English and to not put my husband on the spot. “I would like to go to Sexy Town, please. Can you pencil me in sometime in the next 48 hours?” This gives the hubs the chance to say “Sure, but not tonight because I have a hangnail” or whatever.
For many couples scheduling their sex life is the only way to make it happen. I don’t like the pressure implied by a mandatory Tuesday Night Get Down (nor do I like the idea that if you skip out on Tuesday you end up waiting another week!) But I don’t think there is anything wrong with voicing your needs plainly.
Sex is messy whether you are having it or talking about not having it. In a marriage you strive to meet your partner’s needs and to have yours met.
Identify the need. Is it intimacy? Is it sex? Is it feeling appreciated or desired? Do some thinking on that. And then ask. Out loud. In English. Do your best to offer up a suggestion as to how that need might be fulfilled. Marriage is complicated enough. I think the only kind of cheating that is a good idea in a marriage is the kind where you give one another the answers.
Good luck. Hope you get lucky.