Boring sex life – What can I do to spice it up?
Boring sex life – What do I do?
My problem is that I spent a massive amount of time thinking about sex. Sure, this is nice, but not that nice really when my partner don’t think about sex.
I’ve been married to my wife for 8 years and we have 3 kids aged 7, 4.5 and 20 months.
My wife’s excuse is that her thoughts are often with the kids, and many other places, and that she’s often too tired.
I completely understand this, but it doesn’t change the fact that I’m still having these sexual thoughts and fantasies.
The sex we have is boring and our sex life is trivial. It’s the same thing over and over again and it’s the same initiating words we use. There’s absolutely no spontaneity.
I’ve written her very long e-mails and text messages, sharing with her what I’m missing and what turns me on. However, she doesn’t really acknowledge this and she doesn’t comment on it if she can avoid it. This really frustrates me.
Things escalated a Friday night.
We were without the kids and we went to visit her brother, who’d just had a baby, and our plan was that we’d then go out for dinner the two of us and out for a movie.
As we got into the car, she said that she had a little surprise for me. She had looked into a few different swinger clubs, and she wanted us to go to this ‘open house’ thing at one of the swinger clubs.
I was very surprised as swinger clubs aren’t on my list of things I fantasize about. We went there and it was pretty intimidating for me to do but also pretty innocent really. We then went out for dinner.
As we were finishing up our meal, I asked her what movie she wanted us to go watch at the movies. “What are you talking about?” she said. “We’re going back there.” At this point I was almost in shock. I’d never thought this was something she’d be interested in doing and I had no idea where this all came from.
It was just something she felt like doing.
My problem is that I can’t just enjoy a one-time experience like that. I start obsessing about it and the minute we leave, I’m planning our next visit.
I made a sex game for us, consisting of around about 150 cards in different categories, and the idea is you roll a dice and then pull the number of cards the dice says. She doesn’t really like playing this and she uses her ‘energy levels’ as an excuse not to play.
The last time we had sex, I risked it and messaged her about what I wanted her to do to me. Step by step.
She agreed to all of it, expect getting anywhere near my asshole. She just can’t do this; she’s a nurse and she doesn’t find it sexual whatsoever.
Other than that, it was an awesome experience. I felt seduced, was tied up, had whipped cream smeared all over my cock and my balls, and she licked it all off. She was all over my balls – something I’ve asked for about a thousand times over, but it’s been neglected till now.
But now my head is full of fantasies.
Now I don’t just want a plain blowjob again. I don’t have a specific need for intercourse actually if she’s not in the mood. If I’m satisfied by her doing other stuff, I’m happy.
She keeps saying “my sex drive will be back one day, it’s just because the kids are so young and they still don’t sleep through the night, and it’s very taxing for me.”
Unfortunately, I’m having a hard time believing her on this one. Even if I’d just run a marathon I’d still want it. But perhaps that’s the difference between men and women?
She’s told me to count my lucky starts that we’re even having sex (one way or the other) 1-2 times a week. Apparently, many of her female friends only have sex with their partners 1-3 months. When she tells me this, I say: “I’d be out of here in no time.”
I’m very much against ‘happy Wednesday’, but maybe this would be good for us. I just know though, that I’ll be so disappointed if I look forward to that night, knowing we’ll have sex, and then she cancels. I’ll be like a little kid getting his lollipop taken away.
I often feel selfish for even having these thoughts, but I can’t help it and I can’t suppress them. My mood is very much affected though and I can feel quite annoyed, if some of my fantasies aren’t fulfilled.
What do I do?
The Disappointed One
Boring sex life – What do I do?
Thank you so much for your e-mail and your questions. First off, let me tell you that you’re certainly not alone. So many men and women are experiencing what you’re going through.
What you need to know is that when something that’s really important to us isn’t working, we often start thinking about it non-stop.
Just like you are now.
Such a big part of your daily thoughts are about “all the stuff you want but can’t have”; all the things that could be, but aren’t.
You need to know that this is actually quite a common reaction and you’re perfectly normal and healthy. All this is is you reacting to a problem that’s actually really important to you. You just haven’t been able to come up with a solution yet.
I’ve spent a lot of time on my answer to you, and it’s very long and very in depth, and I will recommend you (despite the length of it) to read all of it.
Think about it.
Read it again.
And then take action.
Right. Let’s dive in :-)
As I read it, you actually DO have quite a lot of sex if you compare it to “what’s normal”. You tell me that you’re having sex 1-2 a week, and this is considered perfectly normal.
That being said, a good sex life is very rarely about quantity – how often we’re having sex – and much (much, much) more about quality; whether the sex we’re having is of decent quality.
And this is exactly where I see your frustrations come through.
You’re having boring sex.
Boring, uninspiring, and unsatisfying sex.
What we in my line of work call ‘junkfood sex’.
This is sex that isn’t particularly nourishing and it won’t leave you feeling satisfied really.
As I see it…
That’s all there is to it really.
That’s where you guys are going the wrong way about it.
It upsets you; you’re frustrated and feeling helpless and you’re so confused about what to do. You’re disappointed and upset about the boring sex.
It’s NOT about her lack of sex drive; her lack of ability to say “yes please” when you invite her to do stuff with you. It’s not because she doesn’t want you.
It’s about the sex you guys are having is just mind-numbingly boring according to you.
You tell me that you’ve tried many things, and that her excuse is that the kids are tiring her out etc.
My thoughts on this are that her excuses, as you call them, are probably actually completely fair.
From what you tell me, she’s in her full right to be absolutely exhausted, being the mother of three young children (and you being their dad) and/or the ‘excuses’ are actually her way of politely declining your offer.
No thank you, I don’t want to play your sex game.
Human beings have different preferences when it comes to favorite things to eat, drink, listen to, the sex we like to have. Some things you like; other things you don’t like.
And that’s perfectly fine.
For both of you.
I’m sure there’s something you don’t feel like doing, sexually?
Are you changing the boring sex life by demanding things?
From what I can gather from your e-mail, you’ve tried many different things.
You’ve written her long e-mails and text messages about what you’re missing sexually and what you’d like you guys to do.
And this is really great, and both great initiatives.
When you’re describing to me what you’d like, it’s all demanding things from her.
SHE has to do something for YOU.
Please, let me underline that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that – at all. But I would like to point out that she’s telling you, over and over again, how exhausted she is from looking after the kids, and you sending her descriptions of what you’d like her to do to you, will just end up being another long list of demands.
Demands she has to fulfill.
It’s all about you and your pleasure.
I completely understand that you’re longing for her desire; you’re missing the attention. That IS just how people end up feeling, when they haven’t gotten attention in a long time.
you’re missing an essential part.
I consider this to be extremely important if you want to have a good and well-functioning sex life, but not many people are aware of it.
Your arousal, sex drive and pleasure are all a two-way street.
Your focus right now is on what you’re receiving.
And that’s fine too!
It’s totally fine to ALSO focus on this.
A well-functioning and pleasure-filled sex life, however, is a two-way street
What turns you on; what makes you want to give?
What do you feel pleasure giving?
You don’t mention this, not in a single word, and that’s exactly what happens when your sex life hits the rocks, and you fall down the ‘ego trap’, as you mention yourself.
It suddenly becomes all about what I want, and what I’m missing, and all about demanding YOU doing stuff to ME.
Welcome to the club of well, human beings :-)
Being able to receive is incredibly important. There’s no doubt about that.
However, it’s ALSO extremely important (I really can’t stress this enough) that you figure out:
- What you enjoy giving
- What turns you on giving to your wife.
- How you become aroused by spoiling her
This way, your pleasure-filled sex life is NOT just dependent on what she gives you, but also on what you can give her and on what you enjoy giving to her.
What can you do to her that will arouse you?
How do you turn yourself on and make yourself feel horny by “using” her body and her pleasure?
I hope you see my point:
You’re demanding things from her, you want her to give you things, and you want to just receive these things.
Try and turn it around and start exploring your own sexuality being the giving partner. What can you do to her that actually really turns you (and her) on?
I promise you, when you start exploring this part of your sexuality, you’ll discover a MUCH larger resourcefulness, a much greater pleasure and a more independent sex life.
Don’t get me wrong…
But you’re suddenly not so dependent on her doing stuff to you, because you can actually turn both yourself and her on by doing stuff to her that’s really hot.
You’ll no longer be the receiving passenger, constantly waiting for her to take action. Nah-uh. You’ll (excuse my French) damn well turn things around, take back responsibility and start focusing on giving.
Does this mean you’ll never be the receiving partner again?
Not at all.
It just means that you have to be able to go both ways, in order for your sex life not to turn really freaking boring and predictable. If you actually turn it into a two-way street, it suddenly becomes a journey of constant development and exploring.
For the rest of your life.
Talk about things – the things that are difficult to talk about too
I’m getting the sense that you’re not really talking about ‘the boring sex life’, but you’re both desperately trying to heat things up.
She’s trying to accommodate your lists, to the best of her ability and lust, and she’s arranging visits to the swinger club etc.
You’re sending her lists, e-mails and text messages about what you’re missing and would love more of.
I don’t hear you tell me that the two of you actually sit down and talk about this issue, and this makes my alarm bells go off.
I strongly believe – and have seen – that the better you are at talking about the difficult things in life, the easier your life as a couple will be.
But sex isn’t something we talk about that much.
I’m sure there’s someone out there right now, laughing their pants off going: “Ha! Maj, people write about sex all the time!” and yes, they do.
But that sure as h… isn’t the same as a couple sitting down, talking to each other about what’s difficult; a talk like this would really do wonders for so many people.
I mean, if we’re going to talk about sex (and I strongly believe we should), then we have to learn how to talk about it in such a way so that we evolve, and develop from talking about it.
Doing this the right way can be so beneficial for us as individuals and as couples, but just talking and reading about whatever the media has chosen as the headline for today.
Sex often becomes difficult to talk about when you need to talk about it, and that’s, more often than not, not until there’s something wrong, or something not working out how you’d like it to work out.
And then you’re pretty screwed, aren’t you?
Because then it’s suddenly REALLY freaking hard to start talking about it.
Sexuality is such a vulnerable thing, and that’s what you’re finding as well.
You have all of these fantasies and thoughts that seem to get the better of you and completely steal away your focus and your attention for your wife in your daily life.
My hypothesis is that if you start talking about your sex life, and start addressing the root of the problems, your thoughts will automatically change to focus on something else.
Yes! It is really frustrating when you’re almost ‘obsessed’ with these thoughts.
But this is a shared problem the two of you are experiencing, and you need to address it as a shared problem. It’s no secret that the best way to solve a problem is to look at what the problem really is.
Boring sex – that’s the theme.
Put it on the agenda!
Don’t let it become this underlying problem that niggles away at you without any of you putting it on the agenda. You both know it’s an issue.
Right now, you’re both avoiding it.
Shine some light on it.
Look at your theme and start treating it as a problem you need to deal with, instead of ‘Band-Aid fixing’ it when your frustrations grow to become too much for you.
These Band-Aids are temporary.
I’m pretty sure she’s also very unhappy with the current state of affairs. Yes, she’s ALSO tired – but she does sound like she has both desires and fantasies that haven’t really seen the light of day.
And – she’s extremely cooperative!
She’s cooperating with you!
This is such an important thing to remember.
My God, she tries!
She takes the initiative that you guys try out a swinger club, she tries to fulfill your wish lists etc.
It’s not because she doesn’t want this to work, and it’s crucial that you keep this in mind.
She does try to accommodate your demands and wishes for a more exciting sex life. She WANTS to. Don’t forget that.
This is such a great starting point.
You both actually want to put your sex life on the agenda; you both want a more interesting sex life and you’re both cooperative in meeting each other’s needs and wants – to an extent so that it isn’t crossing your own personal boundaries, of course.
And just like the swinger club wasn’t exactly your fantasy, your wishes might not be her fantasy either. You won’t know this though until you talk about these things.
You haven’t had the “How do we make our sex life better?” conversation or the “How do we increase the quality of our sex life?” conversation.
You’re both guessing, trying, attempting, doing a run up… etc.
I PROMISE you – both of you – when you start being able to talk about these things; about your lusts, your desires, your horniness and everything in between that changes your routine from boring sex to exciting and pleasure-filled quality sex, then you’ll kick yourselves for not having had those conversations sooner.
If you’re unsure about how to put “boring sex” on the agenda and start talking about all the difficult stuff, I’ll recommend that you read my free E-book "When sexuality plays up", and talk about the things and ideas I write about.
I also recommend my Yearbook for couples - In the yearly YearBook for Couples (which you might want to go through together) there’s a chapter with a lot of questions regarding intimacy, sex life, desire, arousal, horniness etc.
There’s a chapter you fill out alone, and then you go through questions and answers together. This way you gain a whole new understanding of each other, but also yourselves.
It can help you become much, much better at speaking a sexual language to one another.
Also, one of the things I teach in my large, online workshop “Get your sex drive back and keep it for life” is how to start having those ‘difficult talks’ about a tricky sex life, and how to make them less difficult.
That being said…
Disappointed about boring sex and cancelled sex
When you feel disappointed, you have to remember that sex isn’t always mind-blowing.
Sometime sex is a bit so-and-so and all the good intentions you might’ve had completely falls through.
When you’re experiencing what you’re going through – this constant longing – this whole thing becomes very vulnerable and very sensitive, and it hits you even harder when you have sex that just isn’t very satisfying, or when you – once again – have routine-ridden, unsatisfying and boring sex.
It can knock you on your ass, for sure. But when you start to see that your sex life is moving in a nice direction; that you, more often than not, have a nice experience with your partner, well, then there’ll be so much more to ‘give’ from.
You’ll become more forgiving of the times where you just go to sleep after it thinking: “Yeah, that was pretty lame…”
You won’t be affected by it in the same way as before and you’ll become significantly more accepting of what doesn’t work that well, when you’re also having amazing sex.
If a fantastic sexual experience is “only” something you have 1 out of 250 times, then it’ll be difficult to cope with and your frustrations will start to multiply rapidly.
From what I can gather (I might be wrong), you’re actually in a place where the two of you really need to have some good experiences together.
You’re saying how you can’t be bothered with the plain blowjobs anymore, after that round of whipped cream and lots of attention.
I do understand you, because for a very long time you’ve been aching for really good sex, but I will ask you this (rather provocative) question: “If you can’t sit down and eat a gourmet meal every time you eat, would you rather not eat at all?” ;-)
Truthfully, I’d also prefer to have these mind-blowing “Wow, it just doesn’t get better than this”-sex EVERY single time, but…
That’s just not realistic.
It’s a very black/white way of thinking with no room for shapes and nuances. And I’m thinking, that one of the reasons you found that sex SO fantastic, was and is because you fair well know “low quality sex”.
Remember the 1-10 scale. Sometimes the sex will blow the scales completely and be well above a 10. Sometimes it’s an 8 and well, sometimes it’s a 2 etc.
What studies tell us about a good sex life
Studies actually show us that in more than 50% of the times, well-functioning couples experience the sex they had quite differently.
This basically means that you might think the sex was amazing and a definite 8, while your wife would “only” give it a 3.
And that’s totally fine!
The important thing here is to remember: that’s life!
ALSO your sex life.
We have different experiences, because we’re different indivduals, and these experiences will also be dependent on where we’re at in our life in general.
Right now, you guys, as a couple and lovers, are in one of the most challenging phases of your life!
The life with young children.
This is where the majority of people divorce each other.
Where the majority of people throw in the towel.
Because it just IS really, freaking hard.
There’s no way around it.
It IS difficult.
That the two of you – and yes, I say both of you because your wife is very much contributing and is still sexually active and accommodating – is just amazing!
Planned sex – is this a good idea?
You’re asking me whether you’re supposed to plan sex.
The reason behind you NOT wanting to plan sex is, as you say so yourself, because you turn into this cranky little boy who has his lollipop taken away from him. You believe you’ll have a hard time handling a cancellation.
But isn’t this connected to the fact that for SO long, the two of you have had boring sex, and you’re now hungry for quality/gourmet sex?
Or are you generally grumpy if things don’t go your way?
My thoughts are (and I might be wrong) that you need to try and plan it – AFTER you’ve had some long, constructive talks about your sex life, of course.
You tell me you’re already having ‘adult nights’.
“But Maj, it’s so much more fun if sex is spontaneous."
"Planned sex is SO boring and in the beginning of our relationship, we never had to plan sex.”
I hear this all the time.
But…. Are you SURE about that?
When you’re in the ‘in-love phase’ you plan sex all. the. freaking. time!
You KNOW when you’re meeting up (and having sex!)
And you KNOW what will happen. You look forward to it, you prepare for it, you shower, you make an effort, you change your bedding, you have naughty thoughts all day, you long for your partner, you fantasize, you consider what lingerie to wear, what perfume, what clothes etc., etc., etc.
And you know what?
You can easily have this again.
That excitement. That joy.
Not in the same ‘we’re in love’ way (because no, sadly such miracles don’t happen). But it will be in a new, and in my eyes, better way. It’s better because now you know each other and the whole element of ‘anxiety’ has been taken out of the equation, and you’re free to focus on enjoying pleasuring each other and receiving pleasure from one another.
It does require one thing though.
You have to make your sex life and important priority, and you have to start planning erotic evenings. Put them in your calendar. (Just once in a while, anyway!) Exactly like you planned to meet up, when you were in love and weren’t living together yet.
Planned sex – the basics
Maybe not once a week but perhaps every 4 weeks or every fortnight. It’s completely up to you guys. It depends on what you feel it. See it as a process, a chance to evolve and develop; a journey you take together; a chance to learn something new about yourselves and each other. It’s such an unbelievably pleasure-filled journey.
And yes, in the beginning it might be slightly awkward, but the awkwardness will pass :-)
Sometimes it WILL be cancelled because you do have little kids to look after too, but now you KNOW, and then you can prepare for that and remind yourself that there’s a ‘next time’ in the calendar already.
What are you supposed to do on these nights?
- I’ll recommend that you take turns spoiling each other. For instance, you can encourage your wife to write out a ‘wish list’ for you, telling you what she would like you to do to her.
- You could also play an erotic game (not your one, since she’s turned that one down), but I highly recommend the game called Erotic4Real (you can read more about it right here). You can play this again and again. You might, in time, even create your own game together? You could perhaps draw inspiration from the one you created.
- An erotic massage is also really lovely if you make a bit of an effort to really make it nice. There are some great dvd’s out there that are very inspiring.
- You can read erotic novels together or listen to erotic books together, while you’re cuddling. You can swap roles. Or you can play “today you decide” and “today I decide”. (All the while remembering each other’s boundaries and always respecting a ‘no’).
- You can have oral-nights, where you only satisfy each other with oral sex.
There are so many possibilities and it’s completely up to you to figure out what you’d like to try, and what you like to do together as a couple. You can, of course, evaluate on the different things as you go along.
Some nights will be incredible – others will be less so, and that’s normal and it’s perfectly fine.
Planning erotic nights and putting them in your calendar, and having these nights to prepare for and look forward to, will also improve your ‘non-planned sex’ in the long run.
Your ‘non-planned’ sex will benefit from this simply because you’ll get to know each other better sexually, and this alone provides even more pleasurable and satisfying sex. Also when it’s not planned and the sex you’re having is completely spontaneous.
I sincerely hope that my reply has giving you back hope + a lot of great motivation and inspiration to how you’ll transform you ‘boring sex’ into a sex life filled with pleasure, joy and mutually great experiences – just like nature intended.
I wish you both a wonderful, erotic journey.
Maj Wismann – Clinical sexologist and couple’s therapist with own private clinic since 2006
★ Have you been in a situation with a boring sex life like this? Have you experienced the same frustrations and/or perhaps turned boring sex into something even better? It’d be wonderful to receive comments from you, sharing your experiences and what you’ve learnt from this. I’d love to hear from both men and women who’ve been in this situation. PLEASE remember that your sex life is an incredibly sensitive topic, so please do be aware that you’re using positive language and expressing care and understand. As always, thank you for sharing.
*Please remember to keep a nice tone. ALL negative comments will be deleted immediately. I wish to create a positive and supporting space where we can support each other, and I therefore have a zero-tolerance policy towards rudeness, condescension, negative inputs and disrespect.