In a recent column, you said you never hear from married couples whose sex life got better and more frequent over the years.
Well, now you have. My wife and I were married 24 years ago, and we are currently having more sex and better sex than we did in the first years of our marriage. There are many reasons why, including therapy, antidepressants, and weight loss and subsequent surgery—but I would have to say that the big reason is communication.
If you had known us 25 years ago, Dan, you would not have given us good odds. We’d been dating only a year and a half when we got engaged, and we’d known each other less than two years. I was a virgin, my wife was not, together we hadn’t gotten much past second base, and neither of us had laid our kink cards on the table. We were (and still are) introverts with poor communication skills and anxiety/depression/mental-health issues.
I won’t say it’s been fairy-tale perfect—the kind of perfect that makes you barf and roll your eyes—but it’s been pretty damn close. My wife has been incredibly GGG, and I hope I have been, too. So there you go, Dan! Now you know there’s at least one couple out there whose sex life has only gotten better over the years.
-- Better Erotic Ties Totally Enhanced Relationship
Last week, I responded to IMDONE, a woman who married a man despite the sex being “infrequent and impersonal” during their courtship.
To the surprise of no one who has ever given sex advice for a living, the sex didn’t get better after IMDONE and her boyfriend got married. “Here’s something I’ve never seen in my inbox: a letter from someone explaining how sex with their partner was infrequent, impersonal, uninspired, unimaginative, etc. at first but—holy moly—the sex got a fuck of a lot better after the wedding,” I wrote in my response to IMDONE.
I did allow for the possibility that my sample was skewed; people with good sex lives don’t write to tell me everything’s fine. So I invited people whose so-so sex lives improved after the wedding to write in. And did they ever: My inbox is packed with e-mails from couples whose sex lives got better after the wedding.
I was a very experienced woman (five years as a swinger and partners numbering in the high double digits) when I first met the man who would become my husband.
My husband-to-be was a virgin. Sex was barely okay and very infrequent. But we were both in our early 40s and ready to settle down. We also had an amazing friendship, and we were never as happy apart as we were together. It helped that we shared some kinks and were both up for what we agreed would be a nice and mostly companionate marriage. So we got married. And, wow, did everything change!
We went from once a month to a couple times a week. Turns out he needed that emotional attachment to feel safe and secure enough to open up and relax and enjoy himself. We’ve been married for years now. The sex is still good. It’s not as frequent as it once was, but it’s really good when we have it. So, yes, sometimes it does get better!
-- Woman In Fucking Ecstasy
Am I the first or the hundredth person to write in? Yes, sex for us got better after marriage. I suspect you don’t see it in your inbox very often because this isn’t what most people would consider a problem and we don’t want to waste your time! All it took for the sex to get better was practice and paying attention to cues and solving problems. I strongly suspect that perseverance and a bit of luck were also major factors.
-- Practice, Practice, Practice
My sex life improved after marriage. I am a straight male with a highly stigmatized kink. I was deeply ashamed of my sexual interest even before my mother discovered my porn when I was 14 and told me I was a pervert that no decent woman would ever want. When I met my wife, our sex life was okay—but I was never fully present, because I would have to concentrate on my fantasies in order to sustain an erection.
I eventually retreated into masturbation. My wife knew I was masturbating in the middle of the night instead of having sex with her, and that led to some enormous fights. So I told her about my kink, fully expecting that it would result in the collapse of my marriage. We didn’t speak about it for a week, and then she calmly asked me if I wanted to do this with her instead of just watching porn about it.
-- Partnership Improved Sexual Situation
I fucked my husband on our first date because I wanted to see if he was any good. He wasn’t. But I liked him, so we kept at it. I have some physical ailments that can make sex painful. I also suffer from depression and anxiety, I’m on the autism spectrum, and I’ve experienced sexual trauma. I addressed my problems through counseling, medication, physical therapy, and even surgery.
My problems are not 100 percent fixed, and we don’t have sex as often as either of us would like, but when we have it, it’s worlds better than when we started out. For me, being comfortable with my husband and secure in the relationship made it so much easier to communicate and work on fixing the problems together. It sounds cheesy, but marriage counseling really helped. It helped my husband understand himself and his reactions better, and it helped cement the idea of “ours” instead of “yours” as it related to the problems I was dealing with at the time.
That he was willing to see a counselor and work on sex were also good signs. If I had a partner who was unwilling to talk about sex or try to fix it, I’d kick his ass to the curb without blinking. So with the help of counseling, I got him on board with dirty talk during sex (because it’s important for me) and I worked (and still work) on telling him what to do when we bone. He can’t read my body language, so a lot of the improvement came down to me being more comfortable with giving him instructions. We also have plenty of sex that isn’t P in V, which takes the pressure off both of us.
I imagine you probably don’t hear from folks like us because, in addition to being less likely, we don’t have much to write in about. But we exist!
-- Counseling Helped Our Marriage Persist
My sex life actually did get better after I married my partner. I struggled with erectile dysfunction during my courtship with my wife. It really didn’t settle down until we’d been married for a while.
I had trust issues and guilt issues—boring stories—and I got a lot more comfortable once we’d made that commitment. Now we have two kids, and we have sex almost weekly. (Hey, that’s good for 40-year-olds!) I doubt it’s the norm, Dan, but that’s what happened with me.
-- Enduring Relationship Eased Cock Troubles
First, I want to thank BETTER, WIFE, PPP, PISS, CHOMP, ERECT, and everyone else who wrote in. I do feel obligated to point out, however, that these are anecdotes, not data. And while there isn’t data to back up my position—that sex doesn’t generally get better after marriage—my pile of anecdotes is a whole lot bigger.
So I’m going to continue to urge people to establish basic sexual compatibility before marriage rather than hoping a so-so sexual connection—or a nonexistent one—will somehow get better after marriage. But it can be done. You just need to have PPP’s luck or be married to someone willing to do the work, like CHOMP’s spouse was, or fortunate enough to wind up with someone willing to take the leak, like PISS’s spouse was.
On the Lovecast, Justin Lehmiller on the true nature of sexual fantasies
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