Pubdate: Tue, 25 Feb 2014
Source: Hamilton Spectator (CN ON)
Copyright: 2014 The Hamilton Spectator
Author: Prudence


Dear Prudence:

My wife and I have been happily married for more than a decade. We 
saw a therapist together for a couple of years; my wife wasn't 
interested in sex, and I was. We got much better at it. You once 
advised a woman to schedule a weekly sex date with her husband and 
hoped both of them came to look forward to it. We did that, and it's 
been working well. Except my wife prefers to be drunk to do the deed. 
She barely drinks at all otherwise. But to get frisky she likes two 
or three glasses of wine because, she says, it shuts up her 
self-consciousness and resistance and the other things that get in 
the way. My drunk wife is great in bed. My sober wife doesn't want to 
be touched. I enjoy sex with my intoxicated wife, but I don't love 
that she needs to be several sheets to the wind to get in between the 
sheets. Maybe more sex therapy could help, but who has time for 
appointments with three young kids and jobs? And maybe it's fine as is?

A: Those are some loaded questions: Is it a problem that your wife 
has to get intoxicated to enjoy sex with you, or should you be 
delighted she's willing to get intoxicated to have sex with you? From 
your account, your wife was never that interested in sex, and so you 
are one of those couples who decided to pair up despite your 
mismatched libidos. I have suggested scheduling sex, which doesn't 
sound sexy, but having sex turns out to be more sexy than not having 
it. In most of these cases, though, the partners have established 
that they enjoy each other in bed - they're just not getting there 
often enough. I think you need to get to the primary source of your 
wife's resistance. Is it more that she lies there thinking: "I've got 
to make appointments for the kids' vaccinations tomorrow. Are we out 
of bread? Olivia has a recital Thursday afternoon, so I have to 
arrange to leave work early ..."? That is, her domestic life has 
subsumed her erotic life, and instead of sex being a rel! ease, it 
just feels like another obligation. Or is she saying to herself, "I 
hate when he touches my nipples. I hate when he kisses my neck. I 
hate when he wants me to stroke his ..." This inquiry into your 
wife's feelings needs to be sensitive, even oblique. So I suggest you 
start by reading Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel and The Return 
of Desire by Gina Ogden.

See if these books offer insights or case histories that speak to 
your situation. If you find these, you can ask your wife to look at 
some passages. Or you can just act on what you've read, taking a page 
from other semi moribund couples who have been jolted into bed. I'm 
going to make a suggestion that I can't even believe I'm advocating. 
Consider taking a trip together to Colorado or Washington state. For 
one thing, when the children are far away with their grandparents or 
a trusted babysitter, your wife won't be distracted about the need to 
make their lunches. For another, you two can explore the new world of 
legal marijuana. To get aroused your wife has to shut off the 
competing voices in her head. So join with her and share a joint. I 
hope it gets you two laughing your heads off and tearing your clothes 
off. I don't think becoming potheads is a permanent solution, but 
casting aside your routines and responsibilities might be a way to 
create some new sparks.

Send questions to Prudence at  ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom