When you’re in a sexless marriage, it usually means there’s an underlying problem in the marriage. Once you and your spouse can figure out the problem and then learn how to fix it, you’ll have a much better chance of having a happy marriage, complete with sex.
1. TALK WITH EACH OTHER
It might be difficult to bring up the subject at first, but it’s important that you and your spouse talk about the lack of sex. Don’t blame your partner or sulk about it. This is a time to bring the problem to the open and then share your wants and needs. Then let your partner share his.
It’s okay if you’re scared though. Vulnerability can aid connection. Honesty is essential for relationship health .
I guess we all fear exposing who we really are for fear of rejection. But often that’s what brings people closer together. It’s those ‘secrets’ that we know of each other that makes us close. Hiding ourselves from others may lead us to not feeling close to others. It’s the honesty and openess that brings us together in love.
Many women had to figure it out the hard way when they wound up in a sexless marriage. But others clued into the secret sooner, preventing such misery. We agree with these wise words from Julie (and appreciate the compliment!)
In almost every article you’ve written, you stress the importance of communication, and rightly so, as this can often solve many issues. And while a sexless relationship can of course stem from many things, improper communication or an entire lack of it could also cause this.
After her own struggles Julie and her husband…
spoke at length about all the issues we had, sexually or otherwise. Now we sit down and talk every week or so about these things to prevent such a problem again. The thing is, without talking about and solving this problem things would have gotten worse and we would have broken apart under the stress and tension.
One reader discovered that she was bumping her boyfriend’s diabetes pump during sex, so he tried to avoid it. Once he filled her in, she was able to be more careful, and their sex life could resume. The fix was really simple, but they needed to talk about it to fix it!
Another couple simply needed to confirm that they both wanted more from their sex lives. From there, they started experimenting and wound up rediscovering one another again. The wife wrote us one of the most inspiring emails about the process:
For a good 2 weeks I felt like we were just becoming intimate for the 1st time ever. I was shy, blushing, giggling like a school girl. I didn’t know him like *that* anymore. So after 12 years together, 9 married, I got to feel like he was someone new all over again. Something I NEVER thought I’d experience again in my lifetime […] I could go 2 or 3 times a day […] It’s like I’m trying to make up for 3 years, plus I wanna try all sorts of new stuff because I found that my body is reacting completely different than before our “sexual hiatus” [..] I had never had even one single vaginal orgasm before, or female ejaculation but suddenly now, it’s easy! He was making me feel ways that words can’t describe[.]
The sooner you can talk about it, the better. One reader regretted not trying to connect with her husband sexually before he, unfortunately, passed away.
I wish we had talked about it and yes done something about it. But again we ignored the help out there and chose to pretend everything was ok. Even if we couldn’t have full sex we could have found other ways to satisfy each other and cement our marital relationship but sadly we didn’t.
If your sexless marriage has come to be because of relationship issues, you’ll probably talk about a lot more than sex, and that’s okay. Several of our readers talked about how they saved their marriage and got back to having sex once they talked about their issues openly and honestly.
For those who find it difficult to talk about their lack of sex face to face, an email or letter might work better. One woman even told us that she created an entire journal with inspiration for new things to try, entries that revealed her feelings about sex, and pages for her and her husband to fill in their thoughts about their play dates. She even included a bit of erotica and has now written an erotic novel for them to read together. Talk about saying it all!
That’s a lot of work, so you might just want to try what another reader did:
I got us a little book and wrote in it that if there was anything sexual he wanted to try but couldn’t tell me to write it down and leave it out and I would read it and make a decision on if we could do it or not […] Our sex life went from a quick fuck to extremely exciting and new. We have tried loads of different sex techniques, from tying me up, spanking, biting me and I have him take full control, I became his sub and we couldn’t be happier. […] I have recently learned that it’s not me who was the problem it was his self confidence and letting him be the dominant one and doing stuff i never dreamed i would do and thought I would never enjoy but really do we are happier then ever.
2. FIX YOUR RELATIONSHIP
If you’re not having sex because you’re marriage is on the rocks, check out the following posts.
- 8 Things You Must Do to Save Your Marriage
- How to Fix a Relationship in Strife and 8 Common Issues
- Fix Your Relationship: Understanding Intimacy Issues
- 5 Love Languages: How To Keep Your Partner’s Love Tank Full
Perhaps your sexless marriage isn’t a sign of the end of times; it just means you need to foster emotional intimacy once more to get back into the sexual groove. Readers suggested nonsexual touching such as massage or cuddling, which may lead to sex but feels good and can help you connect nonetheless. Hugs, kisses, and other touches throughout the day can make your husband feel loved and desired. Playful behavior and eye contact can be a subtle way of getting on the same wavelength as your husband.
Check out these sweet reader’s words:
Once our needs are met on an emotional level, great sex has a tendency to follow. Let’s face it, we are all looking to connect and bond on the deepest level. We were created first and foremost for companionship. Sometimes after we have talked awhile we will make love passionately 5-6 times throughout the evening. Our motto is Don’t take our time away from us.
If you can make his daily existence easier, that may be helpful, too. Your husband might want sex but simply find himself without time or energy to have it at the end of the day. Could this be why so many women find partners who do their share about the house an arousing idea? Help your husband have time for sex by assisting with a few tasks.
Another reader responded that sex isn’t everything in a relationship and emphasized the importance of doing things together where you work well as a team. These activities, whether they be sports, volunteering or crafting together, bolster your faith in you and your husband as a unit and…
when they realize that they’re a good complement, that they are the A team, they can take back their sex life.
Take it from one woman:
Try to do more non-sexual things for you partner, whether it be to help them work on their motorbike, make them their favourite meal, do that one thing they keep asking you to do but haven’t got around to, buy or make them something just-because. Take interest in their hobbies and just have fun with them! And once your partner stops feeling pressured to have sex they’ll start having fun again and do it because they WANT to be with you.
Don’t trust the readers? Research shows that couples who had sex at least once a week were happiest [21, 22]. So having sex, even when you aren’t craving it, might be one way to improve your marriage!
3. SEE A PROFESSIONAL
Because health concerns are the cause of so many dead bedrooms, a visit with your doctor may be able to ameliorate or rule out underlying conditions that affect your libido. Viagra might be all your husband needs to get hard and ditch his shame and anxiety over sex. Tips for dealing with sexual anxiety here.
Sometimes you need a different type of doctor to get you back on track. A therapist who specializes in intimacy and sex difficulties can offer suggestions to bring sex back to your marriage. Typical suggestions a therapist or counselor might make would be for the two of you to talk about the problem when there are no distractions. Make sure you’re tactful with what you say and that you listen to what your partner has to say without interruptions and without being defensive.
You then might be asked to list the barriers that are preventing sex. Sometimes, writing down the problem helps you take the steps needed to fix it.
A therapist may suggest activities to do together or ways that you both can improve separately. If one or both of you struggle with shame, sex-negative thoughts, or insecurity, it may be hindering your sex life.
The key is that you both want to improve, follow instructions, and talk openly and honestly. One reader was blunt:
Go to counseling and be [h]onest don’t hold back
4. TRY NEW THINGS SEXUALLY
If you’re struggling with a sexless marriage, it might help to check out the following posts on Bad Girls Bible, which are all about igniting that sexual spark (as opposed to fulfilling your greatest desires, which we’ll touch on shortly).
- 9 Ideas to Spice up Your Sex Life
- The 6 Best Sex Games For Back Arching Pleasure!
- 16 Incredible New Things to Try in Bed
- 5 Super Hot Sex Games For The Bedroom
- 16 Kinky Sex Ideas to Spice Up Sex
- 8 Hot Sex Games To Keep Your Sex Life On Fire!
- 12 Sizzling Sex Games For Couples
- 5 Kinky Sex Tips For Hot, Nasty Sex!
Two specific things that you can do to kick things up a notch and convert your sexless marriage into a sexy one: switch up positions and add toys.
Try some or all of the 100+ sex positions in this sex position guide (we bet you haven’t tried them all!). Even if some of them aren’t your favorite, it’s fun to just try. Plus…you’re having sex again. Some positions are better for a woman’s orgasm, some are better for a man’s, and some are just as good for both of you. You might even find a new favorite when you experiment.
Go shopping together for sex toys. Some people mentioned that just stepping into a sex toy store was a way to boost libido. There are many couples toys that pleasure both of you at the same time (we have recommendations for the best sex toys in this post). Sometimes you just need a little bit of lube to get you going.
5. GO ON A MARRIAGE RETREAT
You can find marriage retreats designed to give couples a vacation while working on the marriage with a counselor. You’ll learn tools you need to succeed in the marriage at these retreats. Marriage retreats that you can sign up for are all over the United States. Some retreats take place out of the country. When you go on these retreats, you are with other couples, and you can have discussions with other people if you choose to in a group therapy type of fashion.
6. FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU WANT
The two of you should tell each other your sexual desires to get the sex going again. Here’s a list of some the top fantasies of men and woman. Maybe one or more of them are yours:
- One of you be in charge: the person who’s in charge directs the sex that night (these 6 BDSM games are great for power play, or you can take charge by denying him orgasm)
- Have oral sex: if oral sex stopped, start it up again
- Have anal sex: you can find anal sex tips right here on this site for doing this in a pleasurable way
- Watch each other masturbate. Female masturbation tips & techniques.
- Watch porn
- Have sex in a public place (making sure you won’t be caught) or try these different places to have sex.
- Indulge in a fetish if one of you has one (discover how fetishes can make for better sex)
- Role play with your man.
- Get a motel or hotel room for a rendezvous
- Have a threesome
- Tie each other up (tips for light bondage)
When you’re trying to figure out what you want and need from sex, we recommend masturbating (How To Masturbate (For Women): 7 Step Orgasmic Guide). This enables you to try new things without any pressure. Then, you can bring them to the bedroom and bask in the anticipation of amazing sex!
7. BUILD SEXUAL TENSION
Building sexual tension helps put you in the mood to have sex. You can build sexual tension in many ways.
- Start by flirting with your husband as you did when you were dating: look him in the eye when you talk to him, and even talk dirty. All our flirting tips are located here!
- Touch him when you pass by. Rub his back, or put your hand on his shoulder.
- When you’re apart, send him a sext message. It can be as simple as telling him you can’t wait until he gets home.
- Sit next to him on the couch when you watch TV.
- Wear clothing that looks flattering on you that you know he likes. Learn more on dressing sexy.
- Give him a long hug before he leaves or when he comes home.
- Whisper something to him when you’re out together in public. Here’s some dirty talking ideas to get you started.
When you put it all together, you might have a marriage that looks something like this one as described by a happily-married reader:
My husband and I make time for us, whether it’s date night, a night away, lunch dates, etc. We try to have fun together and remain as connected as possible. Neither of us use social media, so being consumed by our devices is not an issue. We go to church together, snowmobile, fish and do enjoyable things as a couple. I’m pretty assertive, so I don’t have issues communicating when things go astray, I try to lay it all out, talk and move on.
We talk about sex too. We are both very open-minded and communicate easily about our needs.
Not always, but many mornings I wake up and ask him or think about what I can do that day to make his day better. The thing is, I have a great man and all my effort comes back around. He treats me as well as I treat him and all this culminates into a very satisfying sex life.
Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you cannot masturbate. In fact, women who are sexually satisfied may do it more ! Masturbating was mentioned by a few women who responded to our question about sexless marriages including the woman who described the following:
Rather than pressure him, I upped my masturbation game. I discretely ordered a couple of toys & watch some porn for women (which is not quite my cup of tea, but is better than nothing). I don’t want him to feel bad and I still want to feel good. So far (6+ months), it’s working well-still happily married.
If you’re having some sex but not as much as you’d like, why not get yourself off? It requires no partner or preparation and can be less stress than sex.
Even if you’re the one who isn’t interested in sex, masturbating might be key to getting there. One reader, Belle, chimed in:
The best thing I did to get me interested in sex again was to start masturbating.
The woman who said that also started focusing more on her own pleasure during sex.
9. GIVE YOUR DESIRE SOMETHING TO RESPOND TO
This following bit of advice is for a specific group of women (or men) who have low desire that might be the cause of their sexless marriages. You probably feel bad because you don’t want sex and your partner isn’t getting his needs met. When you’ve eliminated other reasons for you not wanting sex, consider whether you don’t want to have sex or you don’t want to start having sex. If you find yourself liking sex once you’re in the middle of it, you might have responsive desire.
Responsive desire isn’t the same as low desire [24, 25]. It just means that you don’t immediately want sex when your husband initiates it. And keep in mind that it’s been shown that a large component of women’s sexual desire is responsive rather than spontaneous . This also varies on a person-to-person basis. Some women find that are wired almost exclusively for responsive desire.
For some women, it might be better if their husbands initiate sex with actions rather than words. Other women find that if they say ‘Yes” when they’re only lukewarm to the idea of having sex, they’ll enjoy it once it starts happening [27, 28]. Their desire responds to the action rather than waiting for the desire to start the action.
Other things you can do to invite desire to make an appearance include writing or reading erotica, watching porn, sexting your husband, touching yourself, or pouring yourself a drink. Understanding how desire works might be the key to saying “Goodbye” to sexlessness once and for all!