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I Want Sex More Than He Does. So Here's What I Did

And here's what I said to him.

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illustration of woman's leg trying to entice husband for sex
Kiersten Essenpreis
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When S and I first got together, we couldn’t get enough of each other — texting, talking and touching as much as possible. Once we started sleeping together a few weeks in, we did that as much as possible. As with any new partner, it took a while for us to find each other’s sweet spots. But we were game, and S aimed to please.

One of our favorite romantic routines was pre-dinner date “lounge sessions.” Our energy was better early evening than late, and we would literally work up an appetite. Afterward, in some candlelit boîte, we’d dine leisurely, allowing the conversation to stretch out unrushed because we had enjoyed dessert first, so to speak. During one of these conversations, we talked about our happy sex life — and S mentioned never wanting to become one of those “Once-a-week couples.” I couldn’t have agreed more.

Then, about six months in, I’d noticed that our pre-dinner date lounge sessions had become less of a habit. I’d show up at his place early, as planned, and he’d say, “So, do you want to go grab a drink, or what do you feel like doing?”

Too shy to admit what I truly felt like doing, I’d sense that he wasn’t in the mood and go with the flow. I wasn’t sure whether it was his perceived lack of time or the challenges of his day that dimmed his desire. What I did know was that now we had become one of those “Once-a-week couples,” at best. Sometimes, if someone was sick or traveling, it could stretch from 10 days to 2 weeks.

During one of those droughts, I jokingly called him a camel, and he said, “You’re being mean.”

We often made each other laugh at the other’s expense, an intimacy I loved. But I quickly realized that humor was not the way to make my point.

Before too long, whether S was aware of it or not, the infrequency of our lovemaking became “a thing” for me. Maybe S didn’t find me as sexually attractive now that the newness had worn off. He was a super fit 64 who ran and biked several times a week. I exercised daily as well, but at the age of 57, I was self-conscious of my saggy, craggy bits. Or was this a sign that S was withdrawing from the relationship?

I thought about it. His lack of sexual interest was not matched by his behavior in other ways. He was attentive, texting and calling through the day, affectionate with hugs, kisses and handholding, and always wanted to spend both nights of every weekend together, plus see me during the week. We were a couple, and there were no other indications that he was ditching me.

So, this was about the sex. I wasn’t getting enough. Plain and simple.

“Tell him,” urged my friend B. “You ask this man for very little. Tell him you want to have sex once a week and that it’s important to you.”

Raised Roman Catholic, I’d never been vocally directive about my desires, in the sack or out.

“Uhhhh,” I demurred to B.

“Really,” B maintained. “It’s the least he can do.”

I waited until our next love-making session. Afterward, wrapped in each other’s arms, I kept off my Big Girl Panties and told him how I felt.

This part of our relationship is so important to me,” I started, nuzzling into his neck. “When we are together in this way, I feel not only close to you but organized in some important way, like….”

“Like it’s centering and affirming,” he said, perfectly articulating my feelings.

“Yes, can we make it a priority?” I asked. “Put it on the calendar or whatever.”

“Be intentional,” he said. “Sure. I’d be up for that.”

For a while, this worked. He was intentional. I got centered and affirmed.

Then we went on a romantic trip to Italy. S did all the planning, renting a car, picking the route, researching hotels and historic stops along the Amalfi coast. I thought we’d make love every day.

But no.

After several nights, I brought out the big guns: a black silk nightgown that made the most of my cleavage.

“Ooooh, sexy,” he said, giving me a cuddly hug before promptly falling asleep.

So much for getting ravaged in Ravello.

By the end of the trip, we had experienced three five-star hotels and only one orgasm.

To be clear, this man does not need Viagra to either get or keep an erection. His body simply didn’t seem to crave sex as often as mine did, which was inconvenient. But my body was also inconvenient in that I never came during intercourse. S not only accepted that about me but never, ever left me wanting. Not once.

I decided to let him off the hook. Instead of grilling him about it, I said what I believed: that his energy was spent on other things. “I think we did too much driving, navigating and sightseeing at the expense of our lounge time. Next time, we’re going on a beach vacation.”

He concurred mildly. But I could tell S was more than content about how the trip turned out. We learned we were compatible travel mates and felt more bonded than ever.

“The bottom line is you have different sex drives,” my friend B informed me. “Many couples do.”

According to Web MD, she was right. About half of couples match up, drive-wise. Among those who did not, men were just as likely as women to be the partners with lower sex drive, multiple studies indicated.

Sigh. I fantasized about taking on a lover. But the truth was I wanted a future with S, and when we got around to sleeping together, it was amazing. The quality was there, just not the quantity. The fact was we were a “Once-a-week couple.” Then it occurred to me that I had a very practical solution right in my nightstand drawer.

After I got over the guilt that I was “cheating on S” with my trusty, electronic Lelo, I enjoyed being reunited with the old lover who knew exactly when, where and how. Uncoupling sexual pleasure from romance and human connection was not “centering and affirming” in the least. But making me feel powerful enough to reclaim responsibility for my sexual desire, which, I had to admit, hit the spot.

Have you ever been in the same situation as the woman who wrote this article? What did you do? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow Article Topics: Relationships