Help! I am sexually starved in my marriage

Husband leaves me yearning for more. PHOTO|FILE

What you need to know:

My husband leaves me yearning for more and even if he tries, I don't get the satisfaction or pleasure I want

Q: When we started dating four years ago, I was naive and I didn’t know what sexual satisfaction was.  But since we got married two years ago and I moved in with him I don’t find pleasure in our sex. 

I’m always left yearning for more and even if he tries, I don't get the satisfaction or pleasure I want. The worst thing is sometimes, I don't even feel him in me and I don't react to his touch. It’s like I have grown numb to his touch. I have told him about it but to be honest, nothing changed. In fact, he later told me his ego and self-esteem were bruised. He even had to confirm with his exes if he was poor in bed.

I am now in a dilemma since am sexually starved, I don’t want to find sex outside plus getting a vibrator means I won’t get the manly touch. How do I solve this in my marriage?

Prof. Osur answers:

That’s a question I received from a reader, through email. Mercy (let’s call her that) was sexually starved and needed answers.

First, I wanted to understand what she meant by sexual starvation. As you may be aware, the sexual process is complex. For one to be satisfied sexually, there is emotional as well as physical components that should be met. Emotional satisfaction is where you are at peace with your partner; you get inner fulfilment by engaging with them sexually; the sex leaves you happy and at peace with yourself and many times you yearn for more because the engagement elevates your self-esteem and gives you energy to pursue other life objectives.

Physical satisfaction is the result of sexual skill that is marked by good foreplay and fantastic sex that culminates, in many cases, to orgasm. Even if orgasm does not happen, the whole process leaves you happy and satisfied. A lot of the physical acts that bring satisfaction are learnt overtime. Many couples diversify what they do and achieve mutual satisfaction with time.

As Mercy put it, there seemed to be a point of disconnection, the emotional engagement would disconnect at some point in the act. It is like the act would be going on and her mind and soul are out of it. The man would be struggling on his own chasing the wind.

“It reaches a point that I don't even feel him inside me,” Mercy writes, “I don't react to his touch; it is as if I have grown numb to his touch.”

Mercy was open to her husband and told him how she was feeling during sex. This cost her. Her husband reacted by accusing her of bruising his ego and self-esteem. In fact, the man went ahead to talk to his past girlfriends asking if he was ever bad in bed. He told Mercy that they all confirmed that he was great. As such, the man told Mercy that she was the one with the problem and she needed to solve her issues and not drag him into them.

“As we speak now our relationship is not good,” Mercy writes, “I would like to keep this marriage but sex is also important to me and so I need urgent help.”

My immediate diagnosis was that this couple was suffering lack of intimate connection. A couple that is connected at the intimate level promotes empathy, affection and vulnerability; i.e. you know you have intimate connection if your partner is able to feel what you are going through and cry or laugh with you as the case may be. You do not feel fearful that if you reveal your feelings they will be used against you and worsen your situation.

At the center of intimate connection are three things: trust, empathy and safety. It is a state where you are able to discuss your weak points and worries and feel comfort. It is the case where you open your heart to your partner because he is able to share your worries, making you feel relieved and cared for.

Lack of intimate connection is marked by sexual dissatisfaction. The solution to this is couple therapy. I, therefore, would advise Mercy and her husband to attend sessions for this issue.