“She only wants a pounding. I want to hold her and she calls me “the girl.””
“I’m not sure my husband would care if it was me as long as he was getting sex three times a day.”
When your sexual styles don’t match…
It’s not unusual for partners to struggle to find common ground when one of you wants more intimacy and romance and the other is more oriented toward the body-feelings of sex.
Hi Suz, Please help. My wife acts like a dude when it comes to sex. She just wants to get hammered. I want to go slowly. She doesn’t like cuddling after sex. She calls me the girl. I really hate it when she says that because it feels demeaning. I tell her I just want to express my love by holding you, not just pounding you. So she gives me sympathy cuddles which aren’t really fun because she really doesn’t want to.
She’s had a lot of trauma in her life and I think she is afraid to really connect with me for fear of being hurt. I’ve told her I’m never going to leave you and you are the love of my life. We’ve been together for 25 years. She just won’t change. She feels sex is just for fun and not love. I want to feel loved when we are having sex and this is breaking my heart. Do you have any suggestions? ⸺ Roger
Dear Susan, I need your advice. My husband says he needs sex three times a day. His demand seems like too much to ask of me, especially because if sex with him was that good for me, I’d probably want it more. But having sex with him seems more like friction than connection. He seems happy getting a blow job, fingering me and then having intercourse. He wants to do this morning, midday and before bed — and all the rest of the time he’s on his computer working. He will do things if I plan them, but he seems content to work and have sex 7 days a week, year-in and year-out.
My past lovers have been more romantic, seemed really in love with me, held me and hugged me, and were really turned on by me. My husband’s emotional tone seems attenuated. I don’t feel his heart when we have sex. It seems like he escapes into the kinesthetic feelings of sex. The story I’m telling myself is that it wouldn’t matter if he was having sex with me or someone else, as long as he was getting it three times a day. It feels to me like the quantity is his priority where the quality is mine. How can I make this work so we are both fulfilled? ⸺ Joy
Susan’s Perspectives and Advice
Both Roger and Joy are trying to deal with the terms set down by their partners while getting their own needs met too.
First the good news. They have partners. Their partners want to be sexual with them. Their partners are communicating their needs. These three conditions are more than so many people have. Too many people are single and alone… Or their partners don’t want to have sex… And they are not able to communicate in any meaningful way about their sex life. Already these two couples have an advantage over so many others who feel desperately alone, unloved and unmet.
Roger and Joy’s partners have fairly straightforward sexual needs focused on physical sensations. Roger and Joy both crave more emotional intimacy along with the physical acts of sex. Both need to feel wanted and loved. They both desire more slow, heart-connected intimacy. They crave more romance beyond just the act of sex. And neither of them are satisfied with the experience they are getting from their partner.
Roger’s challenge is to help his wife lower her armoring and let him get emotionally intimate with her. Her trauma made her feel unloved. Now, if she allows her heart to feel her husband’s love, it seems unsafe to the child that was traumatized inside her. Because if she loves and it goes away, she will be devastated beyond words. So she’d rather not feel that intimacy. It’s so scary for her to let love in that she keeps it at bay to avoid hurt. With the guidance of a skilled therapist, Roger’s wife can learn how soul-satisfying true love can be.
Since Roger’s wife is already in therapy, it would be helpful to work with a therapist who can include the sexual discrepancies this couple feels. It might be destabilizing right now to change therapists, so in the interim, Roger can make some requests of his wife. The first request would be for Roger to create a boundary around disrespectful language such as calling Roger, “the girl.”
Couples grow and expand each other as a natural by product of being together. In Roger’s case, instead of messing with his wife’s comfort-zone sex style, he can request that they add on a couple’s play date each week to explore more romantic and emotionally intimate experiences together. I recommend the 20 Sandbox Dates that teach couples the Expanded Orgasm practice. These little bite-sized exercises increment a couple’s communication and sensation. They support vulnerable connection. And since both partners are learning them together, it creates a level playing field where both parties win. In addition to encouraging more emotional vulnerability, Roger and his wife’s sexual skillset will expand. Roger and his wife can still have their “hammer time.” However, the Expanded Orgasm practice itself is a method that will help her feel softer touch than the pounding pathway she’s using to get enough sensation to orgasm. These playdates will establish loving connection that Roger is missing and open his wife up to a whole new world of intimacy she deserves to appreciate.
Intimacy can be learned. We aren’t all born with an open heart. The heart is a muscle. When it doesn’t get used well during childhood, we can enter adulthood without understanding how to give and feel love. The silver lining is that it’s never to late to fall in love.
What about Joy? How should she get what she needs to feel good about the frequency of intimacy her husband says he needs? Joy is open to having a lot of regular sex with her guy. She loves sex and she wants to support her husband. But she doesn’t want their sex life to feel like a chore. She wants to love sex with her husband so much she’s making sure it happens as often as possible.
For Joy to feel desire, she needs to feel that she is loved and sexually desired by her partner. Having orgasms is a bi-product of sex for her. She wants to know she is the one her husband wants. She craves a lot of verbal appreciation about being pretty, looking sexy and being good in bed. She needs details too⸺verbal specifics⸺not just simple language like, “I love you. You are so sexy.” That is something you could say to anyone. Joy needs to know WHY he finds her sexy, what the reasons are he loves to have sex with her, and what she does in bed that is good.
Joy is insecure because her husband’s last partner was copiously sexual with him. If she has to compete on quantity, she feels used, like any old piece of meat. When he loses himself in pleasure, she feels like he disappears and his heart is not connected to her. He doesn’t start their lovemaking with any holding or hugs. He has made it clear he wants her to wear lingerie and high heels for sex. She is willing to dress up for him, but she feels like these clothes are a barrier to skin-on-skin contact. She wants more warmth and sensuality.
Since he’s thrown down the gauntlet of his need for sex multiple times a day she feels pressured to come up with the what and when. It all feels very demanding to her. Like she’s being told what to do, what to wear and how much to do it or he won’t be happy. Their kissing isn’t passionate, it’s hesitant. Joy knows rationally that her husband loves her. But compared to her past partners, she doesn’t feel any heat from him. She can’t feel his love for her when they are intimate. Sex with him feels transactional and like he is just getting her off and then himself off. Even though he gives her orgasms, she doesn’t feel in love with him nor does she feel he’s in love with her. She tells herself he is, but there’s no zest to his interactions, no amor to his ministrations, no passion to his pleasuring. She doesn’t want her body to feel like he’s just pushing buttons so he can have his ejaculation and get back to his spreadsheets. She wants their sex life to be fun. She wants him to come up with ideas for things they can do, try and experience together. And she doesn’t want to be the one who is always suggesting ideas. Joy feels like sex has become emotional labor because it’s devoid of emotion.
For this couple I suggest that Joy explain all this to her partner and allow him to take the reins. Let it be 80% his job to make offers for fun sex dates. Let him run her menus of ideas for ways to give her orgasms. Let him woo her with flowers, with presents, and with words of love every day. Let him romance her outside the bedroom. I recommend my 30 Romance Tricks That Work Like Magic. These are based on my Five Pillars of Passion. Joy needs all five kinds of love expressed, not just sexual time.
This couple can benefit from starting each sex date by looking each other in the eyes. If they both express appreciation for one another before getting physical, it will open their hearts. When they practice kissing, he can demonstrate his desire for her. Joy is willing and open to have super hot, passionate and frequent sex together, but it has to feel like SHE is the one that he wants and she needs specifics.
The more he can look Joy in the eyes, verbally express his love and desire, moan and growl with passion and give her encouragement, the more she can trust that the sex is about her and not about him and his fixation on the quantity of sex that he’s demanding. He needs to make it so good for her that she wants to be with him three times a day.
Wouldn’t it be so much easier if Joy and Roger could just swap partners? Here they are wanting deeply emotional sex and they are with partners who are more into the sensations without the heart connection. The simple answer is no. Joy and Roger are there to learn life lessons with their spouses. Their spouses will be the richer for learning how to express and receive more emotion during sex. It’s enough to know that what Joy and Roger want is not only reasonable, it’s one of the most valuable aspects of lovemaking. The nurturing, romance and appreciation are vital facets of intimate sex.
We are all on a path. The way we walk it is one foot in front of the other. Giving positive encouragement when our needs our met, and details about what we long for when they are not. This is how we learn, love and grow.
⸺ Susan Bratton, “Intimacy Expert To Millions💋” helps people transform having sex into making love. Her intimacy techniques include both pleasure and connection.