What happens when you’ve got a problem with sex–but it’s just so convoluted and messy?
We’ve been talking all month about sex questions you can’t ask your pastor, and our podcasts have focused on a ton of sex questions, including newlywed ones!
But this week I want to talk about more intractable problems. Like I said on Monday, so often when we have a problem with sex, it’s not JUST a problem with sex. So may other things get all wrapped up in the issue, and it’s very hard to untangle.
So on the podcast this week, Rebecca and I took a look at some super difficult sex questions–not to answer them so much as to give examples of how you can think through some of these thorny issues.
So listen to the podcast!
And you can watch on YouTube here!
(Sorry for that big blue box in front of us. We couldn’t help it. We had to put the microphone in it. But we’re trying to figure out how to make a better sound studio for the future!)
Anyway, we tackled a bunch of really long, difficult questions, and I’m just going to summarize here (because the questions were REALLY long!
We’re newlyweds dealing with EVERYTHING–porn, erectile dysfunction, miscarriages, and more
I won’t write her whole question, but they’ve been married for a few months, and in that time:
- They’ve suffered 2 miscarriages
- She can’t reach orgasm
- She has grief from a sibling dying earlier
- Her husband had a porn and masturbation habit that he says ended before the marriage, but he now has ED
- Her antidepressants are killing her sex drive
But they also really, really love each other!
This one was so sad! I really do feel for this young woman. The terrible levels and layers of grief that she is going through is pretty horrific.
We used this question as an example of how you can apply my 5 steps to untangling sex problems from Monday’s post! And, again, just a note to be wise about porn induced erectile dysfunction, and to seek help for this. His erectile dysfunction may not be tied to porn, but if it’s not, that’s all the more reason to see a doctor, because ED can signal some major circulatory problems.
But if it caused by porn use, then you need to make sure the porn is in the past, and you need to work through how to rebuild healthy associations of arousal and response with real intimacy. And I hope 31 Days to Great Sex can help you do that!
My Husband Likes Nudity–a Lot!
Here’s an example of a question that started out fine–but then turned a little strange. A woman writes:
We now have a bunch of kids who are past the baby stage. I expected I to be really into sex when I got to this stage,. Unfortunately, I rarely ever am in the mood. (I wasn’t in those years either.) We schedule sex two times a week now I always orgasm multiple times during foreplay and the experience is always pleasurable. Why don’t I like sex then?
My husband has an obsession with nudity. He loves to be naked himself, sleep naked, shower outside, swim naked if he can, and loves if I get naked with him inside or outside. He’s fascinated with nude art, in the past has looked up photos online of couples showering outside,
women getting massages, etc. to satisfy his thirst for it. He has a whole portfolio of naked photos he’s taken of me that he looks at every week, if not every day.
Is this normal? Am I the one that’s got a problem? I’ve become almost turned off at his naked body because it feels like he wants me to see, touch, etc. and I don’t want to. I hate this!
My big piece of advice for this question (and the next, actually) is this: If you feel something is off, it may very well be off! Go with your instinct. God may be revealing something to you.
If you seek out help, and it turns out it’s nothing, that’s okay. But I see so many red flags here that I would definitely set some clear boundaries (and maybe take those pictures he took of you away from him) and see a licensed counselor.
3. Is it Normal if Erectile Dysfunction Comes and Goes?
I have become vocal about my husband being so detached and emotionally unavailable. Ironically enough, I had just realized he doesn’t consider any of my needs, sexual or otherwise, the week prior to your posts about sex and her needs, And redefining the definition of sex.
My husband has always had a lower sex drive. I have a high sex drive. Four years ago he had his testosterone levels checked and it was very low, so it made sense. He has been on testosterone supplements since. About two months ago, suddenly my husband stopped getting “morning wood” and had trouble getting erections. He promises he has never looked at porn (although when we first got married I found an abundance of porn on his computer, he says that he didn’t know about that and it had automatically donwnloaded from a website he used to download music/games.I am not a tech person, so I have no idea if this is possible) He also says he has never masturbated.
I find it odd, that out of NOWHERE he can’t get erections. I shared my concerns with him. He told me he doesn’t know why his libido is low, and he has no interest. I asked, again, if porn, masturbation, or if he was not interested in me anymore,, or if he has cheated, and he promised me it was none of those issues. Then. two weeks later he comes home from work and we put our kiddos to bed, he is totally interested and invested in me, and had a normal erection. Sex was very pleasurable for both of us! I am so confused.
There’s a lot more to the question (so listen in to the podcast!), but I would say again that I see some red flags here. I’ll leave it to you in the comments to see if you saw what I did!
(And erectile dysfunction CAN be intermittent; but again, I’m not sure that’s what’s happening here).
4. What about masturbation if you’re separated?
Here’s one that Rebecca and I had slightly different takes on, and I don’t think there’s an exact right answer. A woman writes (again, it’s a lot longer on the podcast!):
My husband and I recently separated due to his alcoholism and emotional and sexual abuse (of me). My deep hope is for repentance and redemption, but reality is that I have no idea what the future holds.
Since being separated, I have struggled at times with missing him and, honestly, I miss having sex.
I have considered masturbating when I feel particularly in need of release, but I never have, because I want to determine my course of action based on what’s right, not just what feels good. Part of me thinks it would be wise to masturbate before I see him if I’m feeling particularly aroused. (For the record, we’ve never had sexual contact since separating, but I feel like my hormones cloud my judgement.) (When I say “see him,” I’m referring to church, family events, or necessary contact for our children seeing him. We are not actively working toward being reunited at this point.)
Obviously masturbation is a poor substitute for the real deal, but I don’t have any way to rightfully have that at this point. I don’t want to re-train myself toward solo sex, but I also don’t want my judgement clouded by hormones or the effects of trauma bonding.
Listen in to hear Rebecca’s reasoning, but I think this woman is wise, and is brave, and is going through a lot, and I just feel really, really badly for women (and men) in situations like these. I don’t think there are easy answers.
And now–we’re so excited to have our first podcast sponsor!
SPONSOR: When You’re Feeling Raw and Real with God
Sometimes life is just HARD. And as we were talking about on Tuesday, sometimes you need to give yourself space to get real with God about your disappointment, your struggles, and your fears.
Ann Mainse’s new devotional Coffee with Him is a 31-day journey that helps you PROCESS the grief you’re going through, whether it’s a marital separation like our letter writer or breast cancer like Ann. Whatever it is, God can handle our pain.
So those are our RAW and REAL questions we dealt with in today’s podcast–the weirdest podcast you’ll hear a mom-daughter duo do, although for some reason it doesn’t feel weird to us anymore.
What do you think? Did you see any red flags in these questions? Let’s talk in the comments!
Sheila Wray Gregoire
Founder of Bare Marriage
Dads shouldn't need their adult daughters to give them adulation and affection. That's called...
Growing up, we hear, over and over again: "Just wait for the wedding night! The wedding night will...
So many women--and many men as well--honestly feel like the church is hurting them. I do not...
Can sex be hot and holy at the same time? One of my big picture passions that I want people to...
This week, as we've celebrated one year of The Great Sex Rescue, I've received some amazing...
I truly believe that most guys are good guys. I often get accused of hating men, but that's...
Let's talk about the echoes of menstruation. Yesterday on the podcast, we were discussing how...
This has been a week of great thrills and great disappointments. Thankfully, the thrills were...