Well I guess I'm putting orange juice in my cereal from now on.
Some nights you make a creative, well-rounded meal, some nights you just heat up some spaghetti and sauce. And on the nights when you aren't home, your S.O. has to fix dinner on their own, and they can eat in front of the computer.
Canuck, that was artfully put.
Great advice Dan. I sing the praises of hand jobs, for this very reason. And even just being present and giving some playful attention while he masturbates is usually appreciated by most guys! They usually won't see it as rejection if you frame it as "I don't need anything right now, but I'd be happy to help you out."
Bon appetit, gus!
Well said.
Canuck, FTW!
I think the whole "we have to be just as much into it every single time" is part of the romantic fantasies of perfect couplehood -- you know, we are going to love each other so terrible much and with the same intensity, we are going to understand each other without even needing to say things out loud, we are going to have the same tastes, love and hate the same things... Because 'we're meant for each other'.

Obviously people are not 'meant for each other', they just work together better or worse. One consequence is having to find some ad-hoc solutions to problems of the kind this LW mentions. As long as the ad-hoc solution doesn't create an even bigger problem (which maybe the LW's faking of a big sexual interest was going to do), then they are harmless. Actually, they're useful, perhaps even necessary, as the oil that allows us to live together despite our little (or not so little) differences.

Be pragmatic. It's the best way to show your love: you show that you're concerned with a problem and you want to find a solution that works, not just one that agrees with society's romantic ideals.
@2: Now I'm kinda hungry for pasta.
I don't believe she'd be 100% ok with him getting it on the side, and once a week is far too infrequently for most men. She needs to service him at least 3 times a week, or find someone who doesn't want it all that often. It sounds like they are just sexually incompatible, and would be better off with different people.
"My baby wakes in the deep of the night.
She doesn't need it , but she says it's all right."
yeah, that doesn't work. My bf says he can't enjoy himself if I'm not. should be sweet, but really it's just frustrating.
"I've been on the other side of this in other relationships and been the one with a much higher libido, and I know how frustrating and discouraging it is to feel unsatisfied and undesired, and I don't want to do that to him." DID your libido go, then?
Good question, avast2006.
@13/14, she was with someone who wanted sex twice a month, when she wanted it once a week. Now she's with someone who gives her as much sex as she wants (yay), but she didn't realize that might mean he wants it more often than she does.

Dan's advice is good - but you have to think creatively about what sort of sex-lite works for the two of you. Not too much of a burden for the one who's not horny; not too much rejection for the one who is. For me and my husband, we sometimes get into objectification ("your main use is as a hole for me to fuck" - that sort of thing). That kind of abuse is useful when he wants to fuck and I'm, "eh". He tells me he's using me, but from my perspective, objectification is liberty to act like an object, with only the occasional moan to tell him he's hitting home.

Not suggesting that objectification would work for everyone, but as a general principle, think about things that really work for him, and save them for the days when you're not feeling horny. On days when you're both horny, think outside the box and find creative new ways to get him (and you) off.

How would MEH feel about watching him masturbate? How would he feel about being watched? In my experience, it's actually pretty hard to break the "pretending to be into it for the other person's sake" pattern, so it might be better to start from the other end: having him masturbate when she's with him, but requiring her to do nothing (except possibly wear something cute.) Then, over a couple of weeks, slowly ramp up her involvement to a level where he feels like she's participating, but she doesn't feel de-energized.
@15: Maybe, maybe not. If not, it's kind of important.
"Honestly, I would be 100% okay if he got his sexual needs fulfilled by more people than just me, but he doesn't want it from anyone else."

Until you said this, I'm thinking you've just got to keep a stiff upper lip and milk the motherfucker, or be prepared to have a miserable husband. However, by freeing him up to fuck other women (and actually giving him the time to pursue other women, which can be very time consuming), I think you've proposed a more than reasonable solution the problem.
@2: Canuck, you fucking rock. Whoever your husband is, I hope he is worthy of you.
You just put a big, fat smile on my face, seandr!
@20: More than happy to return the favor. You are awesome.
Yup Canuck rocks.
Get a room, you two.

Wait, cory, uh...

Oh what the heck.

Canuck you rock.
Okay, seriously blushing now! You guys have made my night, muchas gracias!
Has anyone suggested blow-up dolls?
My first reaction was "Once a week? That's not unreasonable." Then I remembered the last time there were 6 or 7 days between fucking. "Oh God! It's been 4 days! I'm gonna die!"

I agree with Dan's advice. Don't pretend to enjoy what you're not enjoying. Find a way to satisfy his needs without taxing your slowly recharging sex drive. Talk to him about it.

Personally speaking, if my boyfriend had a low sex drive like yours, I think I'd be able to handle just doing it once a week as long as we got intimate often. Cuddling, kissing, and petting wouldn't burn you out, would it? And I don't think it would make him feel undesirable or unsatisfied either.
And Canuck? I'm gonna memorize your comment. So good. <3
IME, you have to be really careful about this. It's all well and good, and I *get* the sentiment. But I'd say two things are very important here -- you got one of them which is no faking it. There's also a real need to touch bases about it -- communicate and see how your partner is doing. In one of my relationships I was the one with the lesser libido, and he suggested that if I loved him, I'd go along with it and maybe get more in the mood (*not* the best way to communicate). What happened, especially because we never discussed it again other than that "suggestion" was that I felt increasingly like he was perfectly happy having sex with someone who didn't want it, and how could I possibly be turned on by *that*? It didn't seem to bother him that that was how sex was, and that bothered me more and more and round and round it went till that relationship was irretrievably damaged. Had I been older&wiser, I would have tried to talk more about what was going on, but that's life, I guess. Learn as you go.

Something like this takes communication. Ongoing communication. Or the person doin' all the milkin' is gonna get really really resentful watching someone else have fun while they're cranky. Because that's eventually how it comes across.

Flip side of the coin is to back off and let *them* initiate something once in a while. I didn't like that I never wanted to initiate everything, because I never got a chance to recharge my batteries and be the one to jump him, ever. So eventually it was like what the hell? There's no point in even trying.

(I've been on the other end of this situation but in that one, we talked more about it, and that's where I learned how much it helped to reverse it now and then: wait for them to initiate something.)

Of course if you wait and nothing ever happens, there's more going on by then and that will have to be addressed.

Having a similar level of libido really, really helps. I don't know if men and women really are that badly skewed by nature or if there's really just a bunch of different cultural and social factors weighing in as well.

hmm... I have a sort-of similar problem, except I don't fake it and my partner gets annoyingly insecure because of it.

I think Canuck has solved my problem for me, though. I really hope you don't mind when I quote you.
One thing to consider too is that MEH's boy could reciprocate sometimes by letting MEH take that week to recharge fully so MEH can initiate and take lead (if they're into that). It's possible that MEH's libido could gradually pick up if sex isn't seen as just a chore that needs to be done to hold up their end of the relationship. IMO, sex should never be a chore.

Speaking as someone with a regularly high libido, it's not a crime to go without for a week in a stable relationship on occasion, especially if it means that there is more fun to be had at the end of that week. Anticipation, hot emails exchanged, holding back on jerking off for a couple days - lots of fun to be had when changing things up.
Canuck, you rule. I need to write that down.
Exercise naked
I don't know, but it seems to me to be little real trouble to get him off since he's so in love with you and you only. That's the kind of thing most people would die for. I've had fuck buddies who would call for some relief and I never turned them down because I was happy to oblige, even if I didn't particularly feel like it. And I would get a hormone check, just to be sure your "problem" isn't physical.
Beware icequeens, or be prepared to do a lot of "growing up".
Maybe Dan could let Canuck do a guest day!
Of course, the problem of unmatching sex drives is one that may never be resolved. He's never gonna want it less, and unless MEH's sex drive is lowered for some reason right now, well... MEH's partner is going to be eating a lot of reheated spaghetti.
Having been the partner who doesn't like spaghetti in several relationships, I can say that it's so much better being with someone who likes eating home-made meals as often as you do. No pressure or guilt for the less interested partner, none of that annoying insecurity from the partner who doesn't feel wanted.
I am sure that in the past, Dan has advised that it is fine to say no to your S.O. when you are not in the mood. Once a week is probably the average for most younger couples. It does not mean there is a problem, as most people are very busy.
@ 2 - You're a genius, Canuck.
If she's not in the mood for sex then she's probably not going to want to sit on his face or rub his face in her tits. Not sure if they would be into any dom/sub play, but if they are GGG then maybe she could dominate him. She could force him to masturbate or tie him up and maybe jerk him off or give him a bit of oral. If it turns her on and she wants to join, great. But if she wants him to finish and then roll over and go to sleep, that's what happens, because she's the one controlling the session. It's a win-win. Mission accomplished and she didn't have to give it up to please him.
@39 That... seems like a lot of work for her. She's not into giving him a quick handjob, so she should tie him up? Does not compute.
I'm someone on the opposite side of the problem as MEH, and it's complicated by multiple prior issues of mine - basically leaving me to be horny but too afraid to say anything because I'm afraid I would be forcing him to do something he didn't want to do; also add the bonus of residual religious guilt that masturbation is evil. Granted, the difference isn't as much, as I'd love to have it daily but he's fine with every two or three days.

I certainly don't blame him at all - two or three days is not unreasonably low by any means - and I know that the problems I have I need to fix and am working on slowly. Basically all I wanted to say is thank you Canuck, because you are awesome and I need to remember that's all it is, and it's not me turning him off or something.
I think they should end the relationship and enter into one that allows them to discuss sex openly and honestly. This one will not last.
@16 having an unenthusiastic person watch you masturbate is way worse than have an unenthusiastic person suck your dick.
What's with the "gotta have my SO to get off with or it's just no good" crap? No two people will ever have matching libidos- those who imagine they will haven't been around the block.
When your SO is not in the mood, fix your own damn meal, to coin our beloved Canuck's parable. If they want to watch you cook, great, otherwise let 'em watch TV. Nothing, but nothing, is more of a buzz kill than having a less-than-interested spouse participating.
Aww, Slog <3 Canuck.

I'm kinda with @44 here: what's the problem with masturbating when you just want to get off, or even when you want to get someone else off too, but they're not into it? If he doesn't want to use porn because he's only into MEH, they could make their own porn that he could use, too.
I was a little disappointed that this letter wasn't about a lactation fetishist, and I'm more than a little surprised no one else has said that yet.
Am I missing something or do you guys not realize that masturbation is no substitute for sex?
If MEH is in her twenties and currently wants to have sex about once per week, then her partner needs to run the other direction. She's fairly asexual. When/if they get married and have babies the frequency will be cut to one-fifth or one-tenth as often. Will her guy be happy? Fuck no. Read the SLLOTD from the last few weeks.

If she is in her thirties (or older), then she's probably on the way to being one of the wives that men complain about.

MEH, do your guy a favor and figure out how many years you can keep up the four a week routine. If the answer isn't 20+ years, then let him go...
Everyone's celebrating canuck's comment. Though I could imagine there's a good intention behind it, I think its a little machista.

I'm a "younger couple" together 6 years and its every other day at least or I get cranky.
I can't imagine waiting a week. That said, we rotate the menu a bit, so its occasionally a spaghetti night. That said, home cooking is essential! Great, now im hungry.
Is it really so hard to run a partner's genitals for five minutes every few days to make them dreamily happy and smiling?


Because if your answer is yes, you are kind of an asshole. I have never turned down SO's request for a 5-10 minute backrub,.and that involves way more effort--and much less fun--than a handjob.

Gals, you guys needs to seriously examine this whole "if I am not in the mood, I need not particpate or assist" vibe. There are all kinds of activities guys do for you that they don't feel like, but they do it to keep you happy. Reciprocate.
A former partner and I had this great thing going we called "Two-Straight-Guys Sex," which came in handy when one or both of us was tired or had to be up early the next morning or whatever. Basically, we took turns jerking off while the other one would suck nipples, diddle the butt hole, and talk dirty. Generally, we were both over and done in under ten minutes, satisfied and cuddling. When time permitted, we'd go whole hog for the knock-down, drag-out sessions we'd have--which were great--but I sure loved the Two-Straight-Guys Sex nights.
The reheated spaghetti analogy is good because it makes the idea clear that you make at least a minimal effort to come up with something, even if you aren't feeling inspired. It also makes it clear that both the cook and the diner should understand this dynamic.

On the other hand, if the ratio of creative meals to warmed-over leftovers is paltry enough, sooner or later somebody is going to stop coming home for dinner and start going to restaurants, which is probably going to fuck up the food budget.
Canuck, just so you know, I quoted you to a patient today. She found the analogy helpful.
I'm thinking there may be a place for "Food Parable Day" at Slog...and it's true, avast2006, I was pondering the "too much reheated spaghetti" idea while at work, and agree with you that an excess of carbs simply isn't healthy, but to be fair, the only people who could probably pull off a fancy meal every night would be professional chefs...

And it's nice to be quoted for reasons other than as a cautionary tale...glad to be of service, attitude devant!

And now, some food quotes from my 25 year old, falling apart copy of The Silver Palate:

"Why, then the world's mine oyster, which I with sword will open."
--Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor

"No mean woman can cook well, for it calls for a light head, a generous spirit, and a large heart."
--Paul Gauguin
@47: Well, yeah ... but why does it have to be sex every time? There are probably going to be many periods in an average person's life when they just can't get any (yes, I'm aware of the overachievers who just have people wanting to have sex with them all the time), and suddenly having a SO means sex is the only thing that will do now, every time?

I see having a willing partner much of the time now as a bonus. I mean, one of their obvious purposes as your SO IS sex, but they's also a person who has a life of their own.

And I dunno ... does everyone just stop liking masturbation after they have sex? I still like having a little alone time.

@51: Issue is that people are defining "sex" and "sex substitute" as all kinds of things. I don't think everyone agrees that handjobs are adequate substitutes for sex. Many guys are happy with handjobs every so often; others are not.

Also, the level of personal participation is not agreed on. Some people picture a very involved girlfriend, moaning etc., and others picture someone doing her taxes on the side.

I sympathize with @12's point. Some boyfriends just want you to be 100% each time, and it's exhausting. Most of the time, I'm happy to go down on my boyfriend just for him, and then he'll be all disappointed afterwards that I wasn't so hotted up by the experience that I wanted to jerk off.
@47 What no-one ever has different levels of libido through their life? I wasn't interested in my twenties, have since discovered I'm bisexual, but my sex life with a male parter is WAY beyond what I ever wanted back then, and I'm 40 now.

I was made to feel more or less guilty by different partners through my twenties and early thirties - my parter now has no less of a libido, but I have changed, and he is a much better communicator than they ever were.
I <3 Canuck too. I am the partner with the higher drive in my relationship and I am totally cool with letting my husband watch me make my own dinner, though about half the time the threat of me doing that is enough to get a home cooked meal out of it :-) My drive runs towards the every-other-day pattern and his is more once/week, so you have to do some balancing!
Why is it, in the context of Savage Love, that <3 looks like something else entirely?
Sex is more--much much more--than insert tab A into slot B, repeat. Dan is absolutely right in his response.

I'm with Gloria, I don't get why masturbation seems like the last resort, with all of the 'it's not the same' whining. Of course it's not the same, that's not the point. I'm typically a sex 5 or more times a week kind of girl, but I have my alone time daily. I like orgasms, whether I'm having them by myself or with someone else.
"the only people who could probably pull off a fancy meal every night would be professional chefs...

I think this metaphor is reaching its natural limitations. It isn't a matter of every night (like with actual eating, where you actually do eat every single day) but every time you have sex. As long as the two people have reasonably matched libidos -- that could be once a day, or once a week, or once every other week, or whatever -- it's perfectly possible for both partners to be sufficiently inspired so that "leftovers night" would happen seldom, and only due to external circumstances like a work deadline.

That's okay, though, Canuck, you still rock.
I am the higher-libido partner, and I would not want to be sexual with my partner when he is not into it. I'd much rather wait for him to feel like it, and then we can both enjoy it. Having sex less often than I would prefer seems like a pretty minimal sacrifice for our loving relationship.

I have been the lower-libido partner in an earlier relationship with a man who would happily have had sex several times a day. I tried being accomodating in the way Dan suggests, but then I NEVER got to feel any powerful desire. After a while, I grew resentful, and his touch started to make my skin crawl. (Yes, there were other issues, too.)

This might work for some couples, but I'd rather wait for mutual desire.
@2 FTW.
It absolutely sucks to be the higher-libido partner and a woman. Everything society claims about male-female sexual relationships rings false and sounds like cruel jokes. If you don't have a shitload of self-confidence, it's really hard to feel OK about what feels like rejection, when all the world is talking about horny men who want sex all the time.

It also sucks to be a woman of a certain age, new to commenting, who has no fucking idea what >3 or FTW signify.
<3 is a sideways heart, suggesting love.

FTW means "For the Win." Denoting something awesome or some such.
I'm with Gloria, I don't get why masturbation seems like the last resort, with all of the 'it's not the same' whining. Of course it's not the same, that's not the point. I'm typically a sex 5 or more times a week kind of girl, but I have my alone time daily. I like orgasms, whether I'm having them by myself or with someone else.

Huh?! The point of the "it's not the same whining" is that mastrubation cannot replace sex. You like sex 5 times a week but also like to mastrubate daily? Good for you. That has nothing to do with the conversation.

The question is, for a person who isn't getting sex anywhere near as often as they'd like, is masturbation an adequate substitute. For many people, like myself, the answer is no.

I was going to write that so many women suggesting that "just masturbate" is an adequate solution to not getting enough sex makes me wish I were gay. Then I read 64, and now I feel like a jerk. There are women who experience the frustration of being the "neglected" high-libido partner. I'd hope the Glorias and Catballous of the world won't tell DCF to quit whining and masturbate.
DCF, <3 is an ascii heart (look at it sideways) and ftw is the obnoxious and unfunny internet expression "for the win," both of which mean "I like this"
67: regarding <3 try tilting your head the other way.
If you don't want to milk a cow, don't get her pregnant. Dairy cows don't magically lactate bucketfuls upon puberty. Why do you think we have a thriving veal industry? It's a "side effect" of the dairy industry.

/science (Sorry, couldn't help myself, needed to spread knowledge.)
Yeah, I have to disagree with Canuck's metaphor and agree with those who say that masturbation can't replace sex. A better metaphor would be that if you're the higher-drive partner, some days you get to eat, and some days you just starve. Masturbation doesn't satisfy the drive for sex with a partner any more than it feeds the hungry or clothes the naked.

This is even more so when you're in a monogamous relationship, which is based on the idea that you'll be taking care of each other's sexual needs. Having your needs ignored by the one who supposedly cares about you would be emotionally painful as well. So it's not like cooking your own dinner, it's like starving and having the chef hurt you emotionally as well.
I don't get it. Why can't she just sit behind him, rub her naked chest against his back and nibble on his ear while he masturbates a couple of times a week? I mean, as much as I love foreplay, at least once a month I get this urge to literally grab my partner du temps and ravish her (It's like some weird type of gender-swapped hormonal cycle), but I stick with the things that time has shown to be the most effective for bringing a woman to orgasm (which also helps to build up lots of, "Sure, he bent me over a table and bit the back of my neck while he was fucking me, but he's more than worth it", points.)

In the same way that I try to be an attentive lover so that my... less generous desires are satisfied without my partner feeling unappreciated, it's your responsibility as a GGG SO to sit him on your bed, wrap your hand(s) around his cock and whisper dirty-nothings in his ear about the things that you'd like to try the next time the moon is full (or whatever puts gas in your engine, i don't know.)
BlackRose @70: I think that the metaphorical reheated spaghetti was supposed to be keeping-your-partner-milked sex, while "make your own dinner and eat it in front of the computer" was supposed to be masturbation. So the metaphor is that you are still eating more days than not, rather than starving, but it isn't necessarily gourmet all the time. (Provided that your partner is actually engaging in keeping-you-milked sex. There were indications that Letter Writer would have preferred to just pass entirely whenever she wasn't in the mood, and Dan wasn't letting her off the hook.)

I can see that under your terms, masturbation would be the equivalent of not eating at all. I think I might call it the equivalent of a handful of crackers and a beer at the computer: still food, but definitely not a proper meal.

The part I don't understand is this: is it really so hard to get in the mood? My wife and I have found that she often isn't in the mood on her own (tired at the end of the day, et cetera) but it doesn't take all that much attention for her to discover that, oh, how about that, it's starting to sound like a good idea after all. Having figured that out about herself, she is open to persuasion, even when she isn't necessarily horny enough to jump me on her own initiative. (Hell, even when she isn't horny at all. Give it a few minutes and she will be.)

And it doesn't feel like an imposition because it doesn't take all that long before she is in fact into the idea, even if that wasn't what was on her mind at the beginning. By contrast, it sounds like Letter Writer is unwilling to get her motor running -- or else her husband is unable to get her motor running -- unless it's already purring along of its own accord. To me, that hints at some unaddressed conflict that needs exploring. Which makes me ask, once again, "so, where DID your libido go?"

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