Savage Love

Positive Thinking


As to how you masturbate - if you don't want to look stuff up online, well then just start rubbing and seeing what feels good...
I once had a boyfriend who lied to me about his HIV status for two and a half years. It was an open relationship, so we were going to use condoms every time anyway, and I never asked that we do a test until he started having health problems. That's when I found out. Later, when we broke up, he was desperate to get me back, and some of the things that he let slip in his torrent of excuses made me realize what I had suspected for a while: he knew since way before meeting me. He wasn't on meds, he was just in total denial. And he didn't give a shit about me.

Luckily, condoms are effective.

So revealing it after the first hook-up doesn't seem like a big deal to me.
@Ricardo - You score BIG for condom use! Even if one enters into a monogamous relationship, it's good practice to use protection for the first 6 months after you've each been tested and received negative results. It seems like a long wait, but think of it as you're each looking out for the other's well being. After 6 months, and as long as you both remain committed, you're free to ride bareback at will.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention getting re-tested at the end of the 6 mo. trial...
@ 5 - I don't actually trust men (that includes first and foremost myself) to remain monogamous for any great length of time, so I prefer to always use condoms for anal.

Interesting take that lying-to-avoid-rejection-and-get-a-chance-then-diclosed-when-that-chance-works should be forgiven. What about age? My sister is 38 and legitimately looks early 30s; she just has a youthful face. Most men who meet her in real life situations & ask her out are in the 29-33 range and assume she's their same age. Online, she's taken to saying she's 32, arguing that if she hits it off with a guy, shell tell him, but if she puts her real age she'll be filtered out before they even she her profile since men looking for a relationship take the biological clock even more seriously than women. I say she's better off being honest because then she won't waste time with men who think she has a dealbreaker... But I would've advised that to the poz guy LW1 met, too, and his lie worked out well for him, so?
For SPOUSE: I would ask for an evening to talk this out, either over a calm glass of wine or with a counselor if you have a history of not being able to talk calmly about the libido imbalance.

Then lay out the problem, saying that you would like to get to a point where you almost always get a yes when you initiate, and you would like him to initiate sometimes. So to get to that point, what needs to change?

What time of day does he prefer sex? What kinds of sex does he prefer; has that changed in recent years; and are you prepared to count things as sex if they are his preferred activities rather than yours? If it takes you 30 minutes of oral to come, can you shorten that to 5 minutes of his effort by mixing things up with a vibrator or your fingers? Try to redefine sex so it includes more stuff he enjoys, at a time of day that works well for him.

Discuss whether it would it help if you only initiated once a week. How about once a month? Would he be willing to take on the task of initiating more if he knew he would (a) almost always get a yes, and (b) get pestered less? What are his thoughts on opening the marriage to deal with the libido imbalance? Nothing is off the table, nothing is already determined.

Side note: I'm always intrigued by the issue of who initiates. In my marriage, it's more of a dance, where a sexy smile is met with a smile followed by a pat on the butt which is met with an adorable leer which is followed by an invitation to the bedroom. If the initial smile met with a quick, distracted smile in return, and no encouragement, then the initial smiler would back off and no one would feel rejected. Does that only work for us because we have similar expectations around sexual frequency?
Ricardo @7: You are wise and your wisdom has paid off. I'm glad you remained negative.

Andy @8: I look younger than my 45 years, and I always tell the truth about my age, because I love hearing people tell me how young I look. Better that than to say I'm 38 and have some people thinking I look a bit rough ;)

EricaP @9: Good advice for SPOUSE. I think the situation is very different depending on whether Mr SPOUSE is in fact masturbating to porn while turning his wife down for sex, versus casually looking at porn in order to boost his libido from once-a-week to twice-a-week. If it's the former, that's pretty shitty of him. I understand masturbating can fill a different need for some than sex; if so, when he feels like masturbating, he should make it a duo session with SPOUSE.

I agree that perhaps SPOUSE should try initiating less and taking care of her own needs more, since she knows she's going to get turned down more than half the time anyway. As to how to accept a rejection more gracefully, um... just accept the rejection more gracefully? Ask him expecting the answer to be "no," so that if it's "no," she's not disappointed, and if it's "yes," she's pleasantly surprised?

Another question I'd ask is whether the sexual frustration is causing her distress or whether it's just the ego blow of being turned down. If it's the latter, she should convince herself that it's not her, it's just a difference in drives. If it's the former, then perhaps asking for an open relationship would be a good idea. (This situation differs from last week's LW15, who seemed content to fill her sex shortfall with masturbation.)

As for your side note, Erica, yes, I believe your experience indicates that your drives are similar. Lucky you two!

DRMN: Step one, stop feeling ashamed of your sexual desires. They are normal! Step two, stop feeling like there is something shameful about masturbation. Nearly everyone, of all genders, does it; don't let your parents, peers or church elders convince you otherwise. Step three, just have fun! Many of us masturbate using just our fingers and our imaginations. Many women use porn or erotica and/or toys. If you're too young to legally buy toys, ask an older friend or relative to buy one for you. A simple bullet vibrator is inexpensive and a good start. God/Nature gave you a clitoris for a reason; enjoy it!
DRMN: If you are unsure about *how* to masturbate, which is what I got out of your letter, there are all sorts of resources out there, but one of the best I've seen is Betty Dodson is a long-time masturbation advocate, and has a long career of teaching about, and even giving workshops on, masturbation. Also, listen to BiDanFan, comment #10: masturbation is not shameful, and nearly everybody does it. If you're worried from a Biblical point of view, the sin of Onan is NOT masturbation. Onan was to have entered into marriage with his late brother's wife--called Levirate law--and give her a son to carry on his brother's line; his sin was pulling out so that he wouldn't get her pregnant, leading to continued sex with her. You can look that up, too.
Andy-in-BC @ 8, >"and his lie worked out well for him, so? "<
Seems a bit early to draw that conclusion. True, he did get some rock'n sex out of the lie, and apparently they hit it off , but we don't know if DADT will end up seeing him again or how his lie may compromise what might have been. Personally I agree with your earlier statements. Just tell the fucking truth. Although I don't disagree with Dan's advice, if I were DADT, I'd proceed with extra wariness. Pretty big thing to lie about.
Gee, Hunter, you've got to the absurd trolling quite early this week.
DADT - Gonna disagree with Dan, in my book anyone who starts out any relationship with a lie is automatically disqualified. White lies excluded. Possibly life threatening lies? (And honestly, "undetectable" IS NOT he same thing as "uninflected.") this IS NOT your decision to make just to get your dick wet. That kind of rationalization just makes you a garden-variety Captain Asshole in my book. I have herpes. Which is very mild, rarely occurs, so risk is low of transmitting it. In 35 years of sex I have never passed it on. It's still the first thing I tell a prospective sex partner and stakes are much lower. Herpes won't kill you or necessitate a lifetime of expensive drugs.

DRMN - ditto what BiDan@10 and Survived@11 said, word for word. Nothing wrong with petting the kitty, as they say, vote early, vote often. Women and men (and monkeys at the zoo) have been doin' it since the dawn of time - it's not that hard to figure out - but you live in an age where you can skip some of the rookie fumbling about by watching a few quick Google-searched videos. Follow BiDan's advice and get yourself a vibrator at the earliest opportunity. Batteries are a girl's best friend.
But also are going to add, don't disdain your own fingers in favor of always using electricity. Learn to pleasure yourself in as many ways as you can.
Hunter @13: Well, since fucking's a higher-risk activity, the advice would involve more education on safety, consent, communication, emotional readiness etc. (which would require more internet links) but... essentially yes? For solo masturbation the advice is less involved for safety (um, don't do the choking stuff just yet, use lube if you're going to get ambitious with the dildo size, don't do it while driving, learn how to safely search the web for porn) consent (consent to wank yourself in private!) and communication (um, lock your door?).

As for LW 1, I might forgive a lie of omission, but I'd wouldn't forgive a straight-up lie about something. You say he feels he'll be unfairly rejected if he's honest? Well it's my body and my decision as to what's a "fair" reason for not having sex with someone. "I didn't tell you because I thought that if you knew you wouldn't want to have sex with me" is pretty rapey, IMO. He figured your right to make an informed decision about who you fuck (knowing it was important enough for you to straight-up ask about it) was less important than his desire to get his dick wet that night.
What else will he be lying to you about because he feels you'll unfairly decide not to fuck him if you know about it? His wife and 3 kids? His later unprotected sex with others? Shut that shit down.
DonnyK @16: I agree with you. It might be forgivable to lie about, or lie by omission about, one's HIV-positive status on one's profile, on on the first date, but before you fuck you'd better disclose. This is one of those cases like being married/in a relationship or having the opposite set of genitals one might expect based on one's gender presentation.
Hunter @ 2
With the very off chance that we ever meet, let alone kiss and/or engage in any hokey pokey-related activity, I have this cold sore which I remember starting to show from time to time way before I became an ever-horny person.

BDF, DK, Traffic Spiral
I think the conditional assurances LW1 got from two of Gaydom’s highly regarded wise middle agers, Dan and Ricardo, should be sufficient.

Survived it @ 11
“If you're worried from a Biblical point of view, the sin of Onan is NOT masturbation.”
Well yes, but… Technically Onan was violating a social inheritance code, and as a result some henchmen claiming to represent the loving and merciful killed him in a fairly gruesome manner.
That doesn’t mean the bible nor any organized religion I know of are viewing masturbation in a positive way.

You and the linguists who frequent this page may be interested to know that the Hebrew word for “masturbation” and all related verbs are derived from Onan’s name.
Certainly not a very positive connotation.
CMD @20: Good point, I guess HIV is sufficiently more common in the gay male community that a lesser degree of fear is present, and it's less likely to be a dealbreaker.
My guess is that SPOUSE's husband is taking care of himself to porn. He is rejecting his wife because he has no sexual energy remaining. Typical male sexuality, of which I am familiar, has a basic math formula: time passed since last orgasm + exposure to porn = exponentially greater need for sex. Unless the gun has been emptied.

Being rejected because your spouse has no energy, or sexual thoughts, or whatever the de jour explanation is of the long-married wife and new mother, that is understandable and can rationally not be taken personally. Being rejected because your spouse would rather pull the goalie than put in the effort: that's personal. The former means your spouse doesn't want to have sex; the latter, just not with you.

As much as sexual rejection is tough and perhaps physically harder on men (I see what I did there), its psychologically worse for women. Men have a built-in support network for comfort when the ol' lady would rather eat chocolate. Female desire is built around the allure of being desired. And if husband is rejecting her that often - the antithesis of desire - she will soon lose hers for him and fall prey to the next man that generously and authentically lavishes desire on her.

Or so I have heard.
A frustrated, horny teenager? Hmmm. What's amazing is that it's a FEMALE frustrated, horny teenage. It's been a while, granted, but I seem to recollect that the tables were most certainly turned in this particular regard.
One thought I've just had regarding SPOUSE: How long does it take during sex for her to finish? If every fuck is a marathon, I'm not surprised Mr SPOUSE is secretly wanking instead. Perhaps if she could offer him quickies, he'd be more likely to take her up on them. Just a guess.
Kalakala @24: All teenagers are frustrated and horny. Fact.
Meh, I don't know, BiDanFan @25. The longer I'm on this earth, the more bored I'm getting with the narrative that women's needs in bed are wrong/unreasonable and men's are standard. Why is a quickie a reasonable, okay thing to deliver/request, but sex that ends in this woman coming is sex she should feel she's unreasonable for wanting? Men's orgasm is expected with sex, women's should be too, and nothing it takes to do that is unreasonable or wrong: it should be considered standard too.
Hey Tim, how you doing..
SPOUSE , wtf, asks how to be more gracious in accepting No. If I were you LW I'd be checking the wanted adds for a new fella.
In the short term, stop sleeping with him every night. At least you can get a good self pleasuring going if he's not in the same bed.
Elissa84 @27: I wasn't thinking of "quickie" and "she gets to come" as being mutually exclusive. You'll notice I said "finish," not "come."
@29 cont: There are ways to have quicker sex that still result in an orgasm for her. For instance, skip the PIV and focus on oral for her. Bonus, if he doesn't come, he might be horny again the next day. Or have some PIV until she is close, then get her off with a vibrator. Is she kinky? Kinky sex can take ages. I have a kinky partner and no lie, sometimes I'd rather say no to sex, even if I'm horny, than put in the hours of time and effort and accessories involved. Is SPOUSE the kind of woman who has several orgasms and wants her partner to keep going until she's spent, or until he is? Not necessary every time. The whole point is more sex -- and more orgasms -- FOR HER, not what he wants. Look at my icon; you should have surmised that I'm not man-orgasm focused!
I think that general advice previously given to letter writers whose spouses have lower libidos has to guide the response to SPOUSE too. Take the two days of vaginal sex you're getting, seek to expand your definition of sex to include oral sex and mutual masturbation, understand that you're not going to get all of the vaginal intercourse you would like from your partner, and your partner is unlikely to initiate sex more often (or at all). Mr. SPOUSE needs to understand that two days is less sex that his wife would like, and should make an effort to get her off orally and manually on two or three days when he is uninterested in vaginal sex, and one or two days a week, SPOUSE is going to have to cuddle up to Mr. SPOUSE and masturbate while he talks dirty about the sex they will have the next day.

Having said all that, I do think SPOUSE should discuss with Mr. SPOUSE his porn-viewing to the extent that Mr. SPOUSE is doing solo masturbating, and not just viewing. I tend to think if you're leaving your spouse undersexed, but finding time to masturbate solo multiple times per week, that is not right. At the very least it sounds like SPOUSE enjoys porn too, so there should be room to incorporate some joint porn-viewing and mutual masturbation.

Lastly, if I were SPOUSE, I would not broach opening up the relationship at this juncture. I think that is conversation for another day. No matter how sensitively she introduces that topic (assuming that is something which interests her) in this initial conversation, it could come across as "if you don't provide me with more of the sex I want, I'll start having sex with other men."
SA @31, and what's wrong with giving that impression? The woman is 27 yrs old and he is 31.. no children, and already such a discrepancy with desire and he seems to never initiate. This is a marriage in trouble and the LW needs to see that not find more ways to accept rejection.
Yes, Lava @32. SPOUSE's sex drive is only going to increase for the next decade while her husband's declines. It will only become harder for Mr SPOUSE to satisfy her on his own; opening the relationship is an option that maybe should be at least discussed sooner rather than later.

Indeed, they have no children. Perhaps they should have some, that will kill her libido and solve the problem ;)
BDF @ 10 - "I'm glad you remained negative."

Thanks. So am I.

@ 22 - "a lesser degree of fear is present, and it's less likely to be a dealbreaker"

Among a good proportion of the gay community, yes, but not all. The "reveal before the first sexual encounter" rule simply cannot apply to those of us are more promiscuous than average (not that I can remember ever having sex with anyone who asked beforehand). We quickly realize that condoms are much better at preventing infection than believing what is at best an educated guest, since no one who claims to be negative can know for sure their present status from an HIV test.

Ironically, it's usually the ones who are the most anal* about knowing their sexual partner's status who take the most risks (in my albeit indirect experience, i.e. friends and acquaintances). As if they're not likely to be lied to, ever - willingly or not - by their sex partners.

*Pun not intended, but I'm not changing it anyway.

CMD @ 20 - Thanks for the compliment!
Oh, BDF, that last sentence was a little too real! >.
HIV status ought to be disclosed even if you think your viral load is undetectable. Because you could be wrong.

Sixteen percent of couples who were excluded from the recent PARTNER study were excluded "because the HIV-positive partner developed a viral load above 200 copies/ml" or, in other words, because their viral load did not remain undetectable.…

And on a personal note, I wouldn't trust someone who lied about being pos to be honest about their viral load.
@32/LavaGirl: "SA @31, and what's wrong with giving that impression?" Because I think as an opening gambit it will come across as coercive, which will make it more difficult for SPOUSE to get more sex from her husband, which seems to be her goal. I see discussing opening the relationship (again, assuming that even interests her) in a subsequent discussion after making an effort to increase the frequency of sexual intimacy with her husband, as a more likely path to "yes."

In reading through the comments today, I can't help but feel that there is far more solicitousness for the situation of a woman getting less sex, but hardly an inconsequential amount of sex, from her male partner than she would like, than there typically is when a man is getting less sex from his female partner than he would like.

I also find it interesting that people are willing to accept this very heteronormative expectation that a male partner must be the person in the relationship to initiate sex.
SA..@37.. yeah well us women are not used to being told No.. I mean, it's just common knowledge that a young man is ready and panting to go, like, whenever. That is sort of a joke. Perhaps.
This man never initiates as I read it and he's young. And my point is this woman is looking for new ways to accept no when she should be sitting down with her husband and asking what is his problem and would he mind very much if she went and found a stud to carry her over till next time hubby could be bothered.
A couple points about SPOUSE. She doesn't mention how long this mismatch has been happening. Was it always like this or did it happen recently? If it's fairly recent, then it could signal a drop in Mr. SPOUSE's testosterone levels. We are also not told whether Mr. SPOUSE masturbates when he watches porn. It IS possible that he watches it just to ramp up his arousal, perhaps to get to the level where he's able to fuck his wife the maximum 2x a week (for him). So he may be using it in order to actually perform with her.

If he is in fact masturbating (especially) to orgasm on a daily basis, well, then, he is disrespecting his wife for the ease of a casual, selfish release that doesn't involve needing to care about his wife's pleasure or lack thereof.

I'd hope it's the former rather than the latter. If they're both turned on my porn, then why not watch it together. She can propose it and start playing with herself ... then see whether he becomes inclined to either play with himself OR to play with her, if he's sincerely not chasing an orgasm. But it would be one way for them to both be doing something they enjoy, even if it's not the single-focused sex she'd prefer to have. Certainly better than what she's getting from him now (along with the rejection that, when it's had a chance to fester, can lead to more problems).
Dear DRMN: Your libido is not exaggerated. It's not abnormal. It just is what it is. Denying it is probably just increasing how horny you feel because you're not releasing your heightened sexual tension through orgasm. Masturbating is not bad or evil or unhealthy. It doesn't mean you're not a "good girl". It's actually very healthy to have orgasms regularly. What you're also doing when you have your own orgasms is that you teach your body how to become more responsive when you get involved with a partner (who, for the record, can not read your mind and just magically give you the perfect orgasm; I hope you didn't grow up with the idea that the moment you're penetrated you'll feel just like the heroine of a romance novel). You have every right to decide for yourself when you want to try partnered sex; in the meantime, you can take care of your own needs discreetly.

If you consider any penetration to be part of losing your virginity, then you'll most likely not be interested in using a dildo, etc. But you can have lots of fun exploring your clit (an organ whose sole purpose is to give you pleasure) and labia through stroking, pulling, squeezing, all with your fingers. Or you can get a vibrator. If it's illegal to buy something like that where you live, you can find vibes that are designed for other uses: massaging aching muscles or applying face creams, even the back of a battery-powered toothbrush, etc., and can be found in many drugstores. But don't forget that, just like your fingers, you can use what is common in many bathtubs and showers, namely a detachable showerhead angled at your vulva and set to your desired pressure. The bonus of using the showerhead is that you may find it less intimidating than using your fingers. The other bonus is that, once you're finished, you'll have washed away any of the secretions that accumulated during your arousal and orgasm, if you decided to have one. If you didn't, then you can use it to ramp up the desire before using your fingers once you're in bed. Another benefit of an orgasm: it'll send you off to a better sleep. I believe that Scarleteen has had many columns giving useful advice to young women regarding sexuality, so you might want to check out their site, especially regarding what to expect what an orgasm feels like, especially leading up to it. Good luck.
SA@31 - I would not broach opening up the relationship at this juncture. I think that is conversation for another day
Got that right. Open relationships are for stable situations only, NOT as a solution to broken fucking.
Ricardo @4, I'm sorry that happened to you. That must have been a hard thing to realize.
dcp @ 42 - Well, that's life. Some people are very good at lying. Thanks for the concern.
If LW1 wants to forgive and move on...then he has an important piece of information about his potential partner, meaning, if he wants something badly enough, potential partner will lie to get it. Whether it's tail or something else, that's something to be aware of.

"Wants something badly enough" could also translate to "is seriously ashamed or afraid of," and therefore potential partner lies and minimises and bends in circles around the truth (which I suspect is the case of the former boyfriend Ricardo @4 describes).

On a broader scale, not disclosing HIV status is *dumb,* not just for the potential partners, but for the HIV-infected people themselves. Herpes for an otherwise healthy person is not the world's best situation, but it's not life-threatening. Herpes for an immunocompromised person means the possibility of open sores, which can lead to other infections which are more serious. That obnoxious cold which has made an otherwise healthy person cranky and miserable can bring all world of nastiness down on an immunocompromised person. (This is equally true for any immunocompromised people...I have a friend with MS and I've cancelled on her due to possibly being exposed to a nasty strain of flu before. We were both disappointed but agreed it was the smart option.)

Anyway, LW1, if you decide to give this bloke another shot, get thee to your primary care provider, get tested, and get on Truvada.
@4, 42: Ricardo, I'm glad that you stayed negative and sad that you became so understandably negative.
What a horrible piece of garbage!

I don't think that what that guy did to DADT is a forgivable offense.
nocute @ 45 - I didn't became so negative because of that guy, but because he's most definitely not the only one (he just happens to be the only one I had a LTR with, so I feel free to talk about him).

I do think it's a potentially forgiveable offense, because I know how much stigma poz people still suffer from. It's extremely hard to be upfront and honest about this when you're shut out 95% of the time if you are. I say "potentially" because the LW now knows that his date can lie. If he decides to see him again, he should pay real attention to all the signs that the guy may be lying. If it happens to be a pattern, then the LW should put an end to it. But this particular lie (or omission, depending on the case) is the one I would most expect in the gay world, even from someone who never lies otherwise.
slinky @ 44 - From what I believe I understood, his previous BF left him when he found out, so he decided it was not strategic to tell me. He mostly wanted whatever it was that he wanted, and I think he had come to the conclusion that lying was a more efficient way to get it.

That said, I do not know to what extent he lied to me (I only know he had a talent for transforming ever so slightly every aspect of the truth), so it's hard to get a clear picture of what was and what wasn't.
@Ricardo (46): I can understand why he did what he did and I can empathize with him, too, more than you might know).
But he's lying in a way that permanently compromise someone's health and life so he can get laid, and no, I couldn't and wouldn't forgive that.
nocute @ 48 - Did the LW mention they had unsafe sex? If they didn't, I don't see the problem. He did not permanently compromise the LW's health.
EricaP @ 9: I'm always intrigued about who initiates too, including what "initiates" means to different people. Yours is a sweet story. SPOUSE and her partner should talk about what they each see as initiating sex: what they like doing and what they like their spouse to do. He might have a different idea of how often she's initiating or how often he's declining.

I've mentioned before that I was in a relationship with someone who considered only a specific set of physical actions as "initiated sex", and even then only it was accepted and resulted in sex. This exacerbated problems caused by a mismatch in our libidos, especially before I realized what was happening. He was frustrated that he "had to initiate most of the time", because he was discounting all the times he declined and all the times I initiated with words, lingerie, subtlety, etc.
Ricardo @35: Aren't condoms a given anyway, regardless of whether someone says "I've tested clean" or not? They certainly are in my world. Not for oral (I'd willingly use barriers for oral, but no one has ever asked me to), but definitely for anything penetrative, with exceptions only for tested-and-monogamous or a maximum of one committed poly partner, who observes the same rule. The fact that condoms can break means that you would also disclose if there was anything to disclose.

SA @37: Every time there's a letter from a man who wants more sex, the peanut gallery pipes up with suggestions of things that he could do to get more sex: do more housework/child care, compliment her when not expecting sex, give her massages and non-sexual touch, etc. I don't see this discussion as too different. The difference is that the lower-libido women generally aren't masturbating regularly, thereby thwarting their own desires for their partners, whereas this man likely is.
@4, @7, @43, @46, @47, and @49: I am also sorry that happened to you, Ricardo. Glad that you stayed negative despite the experience and have moved on.
re DADT: That is one big, fat, ugly, deal breaking lie. BF should have been more honest, despite his high risk of rejection.
re Dan's response to DADT: That's insane that there are states actually criminalizing anyone HIV+ who reveal their status! Especially when withholding such information can only spread the virus (as Dan has said, many times). The road to Hell is indeed paved by Republicans and their frequently misinformed dupes.
@9 EricaP: Yours sounds like the ideal of initiated sex lives--bravo! and
both @9 & @10 BiDanFan: Great responses and spot on advice regarding SPOUSE.
@15 BiDanFan: Hunter might be making up for lost time after his recent weekend getaway, and @26 BiDanFan: I nominate you the winner of the DRMN thread--brilliant! I know mine sure raged back then.
@40 Helenka (also a Canuck): Great advice for DRMN.
@Hunter: See my response (@122) to your comment @107 SL Week in Review from last week.
Hunter @55: A "bad lover" would be an improvement. Griz's ex was a sexual abuser. :(
@51/BiDanFan: When men don't get as much sex as they would like, it's a function of their general laziness, poor communication skills, bad hygiene, or a failure to satisfy her comforts. Men would get more sex "if only..." And when women don't get enough sex, it's a function of their male partner being inconsiderate.

So I guess I'm wondering why "peanut gallery" always assumes men are doing something wrong, and are never "piping up with suggestions" for women, like SPOUSE, that lay the source of their inadequate sex lives with them.
I only read about halfway through the comments section this time (sorry) but sex twice a week for a long term relationship is pretty normal. Dan's advice is right. They need to compromise a bit- and the husband should be game for another day a week (of something, if not PIV then standard try other things advice) and the wife should recognize that she's not going to get her 5 days a week (we don't get everything we want), and they should set aside a little time outside of that to do something longer/more kinky/adventuresome/romantic/novel (whatever's their thing) so that they have that to periodically look forward to. If they solve that problem, then it doesn't matter how much time he wanks to porn.
SA @57: Offering suggestions doesn't "assume that men are doing something wrong." They're attempts to solve the problem. My suggestion that perhaps sex with SPOUSE is very time-consuming isn't a suggestion that she's "doing something wrong," it's an attempt to solve the problem. And if SPOUSE's husband is masturbating between shags when he knows that's depriving his wife of sex she desperately wants, then he is being inconsiderate. Not "men," this man. If it were a woman masturbating while turning her husband down for sex, the reaction would be the same -- she's being a selfish asshole -- unless he were putting her off sex by jackhammering or something equally unpleasant.

This is about two humans. Stop gendering the problem.
Emma @58: Good point; twice a week is really not bad going, and I think we'd all say the same to any man who wrote in with the same complaint. The issue is that SPOUSE is asking when she should know by now that he won't be horny yet, and not taking "no" very well, which is not endearing her to hubby. The other potential issue is that he might be in the mood for more sex if he weren't wanking so often, which he may or may not be doing. It's not just "I want sex more often than my partner," an age-old problem where the standard advice applies.
BDF @ 51 - Condoms are a given for me. In the real world, though, effective HIV treatment and PrEP have reduced adherence to the basics of safe sex to a dismal low. Young people in particular, who've never seen anyone die from Aids, just don't seem to bother with condoms (gross generalization, I know, but it's the trend I've perceived). And there's still a lot of people who think it's not necessary if they only have sex with a given category of people (only tops, only married men, whatever). Amazingly enough, after so many years, denial about the problem is still prevalent among people who haven't come into contact with the disease through a loved one, a friend, etc., and they do take risks. It's not for nothing that the rates of transmission have risen in the last few years (if not for HIV, then for syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia), which indicates that more unsafe sex is being had.

As for condoms breaking, it's only happened to me twice, a long time ago, when someone else had bought the cheapest condoms on the market. And I've had lots of anal sex in all sorts of places where the conditions were perhaps not the best for proper condom use (parks, bathhouses, etc.). So I just make sure to buy and use my own and I don't worry about people telling me the truth or not.
In the U.S., this concept of relative risk comes up very frequently among people who've tested positive for genital herpes and feel an obligation to disclose their HSV status to potential sex partners. The conversation is complicated by the fact that herpes is highly stigmatized but most people have never been tested for it and don't understand how prevalent it is. Genital herpes is very common and usually goes unnoticed and undiagnosed. 80-90% of people who have it are unaware they are infected and therefore less likely to take precautions (meds, condoms) to reduce risk of transmission. Also, it is most contagious during the several months to a year following infection but will not show up on a blood test the first few months. Still, it is typically those with established infections who disclose to partners who are perceived to be of highest risk, when in fact they are generally of moderate risk, falling in between those who are negative and those who are unknowingly infected and not taking precautions.

My experience has been that most prospective partners do not factor in relative risk. Generally, people want to believe they are in control of managing their own risk and part of that is rejecting the notion that there is so much unknown risk around them. However, I've also found that lots of people are comfortable taking risk they perceive to be minor. In those cases, I may still be perceived as high risk compared to others of unknown HSV status, but the person is comfortable with the low risk of transmission.

When I encounter people who are anxious about the risk, I feel no desire to shame them or convince them to think differently, I just move on. Anxiety is enough of a reason for someone to choose to abstain. I think they should honor their feelings. Also, the sex would not be mutually enjoyable with anxiety in the mix. Some people with genital herpes do go ahead and use precautions (meds, condoms) but stop short of disclosing status, especially for casual sex. Personally, that would make *me* feel anxious, so it's not a workable strategy for me.

I've seen studies indicating that disclosure rates goes down in response to rejection. These were studies on genital herpes, but I assume it would be true for any type of risk disclosure. Still, I can't get onboard with Dan's advice re: DADT here. Personally, I would feel betrayed in the DADT situation, particularly because the specific question was asked prior to sex. It was not a lie by omission but a deliberate lie. I don't know what the solution is, aside from better education to raise awareness of true risk (or lack of risk) and reduce the stigma, but I can't get behind intentionally lying about it.
I have herpes. I take medication that suppresses outbreaks and helps to keep me from shedding the virus. I insist on condom use at least until such time as a partner and I, getting tested and knowing each other's full history, decide to fluid bond. If I feel like an outbreak may be coming on I don't have any genital contact with any part of anyone else's body for 2 weeks, even if it turns out not to have been a visible outbreak. As a straight woman, if I were to pass the virus to a partner, the worst that would happen is that he'd be subject to some discomfort and inconvenience occasionally, because the biggest threat with herpes is to newborn's eyes as they're coming through the birth canal if the mother has an outbreak at birth. That isn't going to happen.

I cannot begin to tell you how badly people react. I have a lot of anxiety about disclosing because of the response and the stigma. I've had men act like I've got full-blown AIDS or the Bubonic Plague. I've heard so many herpes "jokes" from people who don't know I have it. I've heard it talked about like the worst thing ever. If I try to say it's at worst an inconvenience, not a life-threatening illness or one that ravages your reproductive system, people contradict me or accuse me of trying to take a cavalier attitude so I can infect people at will. Heck, I'm a more active sufferer than many people, and it really isn't the end of my life.

I've tried not disclosing, telling myself that the odds are high that the guy already has it or has been exposed, and that between the condoms, my lack of symptoms, and the medication, I'm not contagious, but I felt bad and then read another essay about disclosing, so I do, emphasizing that they may already have it or have been exposed and all the precautions I'm taking if the man doesn't reciprocally disclose. Lately, the men I've dated either have HSV-2, too, or are aware of the risks and decide that they're okay with it. I haven't had to educate anyone recently. But it's nerve-wracking every time I have to disclose and I hate hearing how people who don't are pieces of shit--I know exactly why someone today wouldn't disclose and it's not for the same reason as the guy who gave it to me didn't. The guy who infected me a long time ago straight-up lied when I asked him a direct question, because he knew I wouldn't have sex with him if he was honest. This was a long time ago, and we didn't use condoms for anything except birth control, so since I was on hormonal bc, I never used condoms.

I've heard Dan say that when you disclose something like your HSV-2 or HIV status you're telling someone one thing about you and their response tells you everything about them; Dan's had guest doctors on his podcast who, after talking about what a non-issue herpes is, still tell people they should always disclose. Why is a guy who's HIV positive any different? Exposure to HIV is more serious. Condoms break. People may already have compromised immune systems for all sorts of reasons and be more susceptible to infection than they realize. There are significant side effects of taking long-term medication, and not everyone wants to just sign up for that. Plus, even with insurance, the medications are costly; without it (and who knows what will happen to healthcare and health insurance), it is unaffordable. If you can't trust someone to disclose his/her medical status, can you trust that they are really taking their medication vigilantly and keeping up with testing? Maybe you can and maybe you cannot. But the poz guy who doesn't disclose is playing fast and loose with other people's health and taking their ability to make informed choices about their own life away from them. I don't think that's nothing.

I'm sorry it's going to reduce someone's chances to get laid if s/he discloses they have a medical condition that requires constant vigilance in prevention and treatment. But as I said a while ago in reaction to a married man who had permission from his wife to get laid but who didn't feel it necessary to disclose his marital status when he picked a woman up to have sex with her, if you feel as if you have to lie about some aspect of yourself to get laid, that seems to me to be precisely the thing you should disclose. People should be allowed to make informed decisions.
I've never gone to a porn site just to look around, and have never heard of any of my straight male friends doing this either. And it's hard to imagine that a guy with a two-times-a-week libido isn't having his desire to fuck his wife affected by his porn consumption.

Maybe it's a time of day issue? He's horny in the mornings and afternoons but tired in the evenings, while she likes to fuck at night.
@Ricardo, BDF, etc
I was going to write and say the same thing, but I decided to keep my mouth shut since I'm neither gay nor a man. But my experience is that all of my under35 gay male friends say that condoms are no longer the norm because of prep. Likewise, I have a very good friend in his 50s who is positive, and he has a couple of young men who are frequent fwbs and he says that he thinks they stay around because they know there is no risk of infection from him and they don't have to use condoms. He's also a good looking, generous, warm person with an interesting life, so I think he's simplifying the situation a bit here, but that's what he says.

In all case, I ask, what about other STDs? I mean, it's hard for me to wrap my brain around it being old enough to remember people dying and being afraid of STDs myself, but apparently the consensus is that everyone has herpes already and everything else is treatable, but I'd still prefer the condom. I suppose it's different if you have the dick that actually has to use the condom and men will understand this better I guess.
Regarding porn and masturbation and libido,

I think we are making a mountain out of a molehill here. This person jacks off to porn frequently AND fucks his wife twice a week. The porn cannot be having that big of an effect on his sex life if he's still fucking his wife twice a week. This is a totally normal amount of time to be having sex in a long term relationship. Because she is not satisfied, they should both compromise and he needs to fuck her (or participate in something sexual with her) another day a week which would give her partnered sex almost every other day.

I think linking the porn/masturbation to the libido is a false correlation, at least with the info we have in the situation as it is (partnered sex already twice a week). Masturbation requires none of the energy or attention span or time or emotional investment or consideration of your partner as does having sex with someone else. Limiting the amount of time a partner jacks off will not necessarily translate into increasing the amount of time the partner wants to have sex. And if the porn consumption were seriously having a serious effect here, he would not be consistently fucking his long-term partner twice a week as it is.

@63 @nocutename I'm so sorry you've had to endure shitty reactions to your disclosures. I know it's not the same benefit as getting laid, but I want you to know your openness about this issue was so helpful to me when I was diagnosed. I will always be so grateful to you for your support, encouragement and willingness to share your experience.

The worst reaction I've had is somebody quietly ghosting. The best reaction I've had is somebody being more attracted to me as a result of being honest with them. Most of the time, reactions are somewhere in between. I'm glad to hear things have been better for you lately. I hope that trend continues.
NoCute, I'm also sorry that you've had so much anxiety around it and that people have responded so negatively. At the same time, I'm glad to see that you know that your anxiety and sex drive are not justifications to violate other people's right to an informed choice. In the end, it's unethical to lie about it, but at the same time, everyone is responsible for their own health choices, especially when we are talking about casual sex, and the responsible thing to do is to protect yourself in case someone lies (see Ricardo) though certainly it's worse when it happens in a relationship.

Not everyone has herpes. My husband and I dont, and it was surprising to us to find out we don't after many years of open marriage and many partners. But after we got a few other minor STDs and after we got older, our risk evaluations changed. The risks you are willing to take change at different phases in your life. It's the main reason we don't open our marriage up again. But if we were to do it (and we might again one day), I assume we'd have the same risk management rules as we did before, which is that we only have safe sex in the first place, regardless of what people say. I've never been the sort to ask straight out, but if someone lied to me about it (rather than just didn't tell me), it would definitely end the relationship. I just think we all have to be grown ups about it and stop pretending that there is any way that sex can ever be entirely safe. It's not, it never will be, and even when people are honest, they may not be telling the truth, they just don't know.
@59/BiDanFan: "This is about two humans. Stop gendering the problem." Funny, how sometimes advice is just about two humans, but other times, its offensive gendering. Like that time when DonnyKlicious offered a bisexual woman advice about how to express sexual interest in another woman, he was accused of the high crime of "mansplaining lesbianism" to a woman.

BTW I think I wasn't clear. I think it's admirable that you disclose despite all that you've been through because you are carrying out your own ethical standards and trying to respect other people's decision making. But personally, I don't think people are required to disclose. I think they are required to be honest. We are all grownups and aware of risk. We are all capable of asking about it. And if someone lies, that would be a total deal-breaker to me. I would take that to mean the person thinks their desire or anxiety justifies them violating my right to make informed decisions about my own body and health.

A lie is very different than just not disclosing when not asked though. Unless you are about to do something risky (unprotected sex with someone who is not in treatment for HIV and therefore likely to spread the virus for example) I don't think that people are required to disclose their non-infectious positive status nor their herpes+ status if they are not asked.
@BDF I was thinking this conversation is similar to the one we had earlier in which you were talking about masturbating when you are horny (for sex with other people) and I was talking about it just being its own thing. I think it's not accurate to say that he is being selfish if he is jacking off if his wife wants more sex. They are not the same activities. If I was going to masturbate and you stopped me, I would not suddenly have the desire for sex. I would just simply have the added annoyance at not being able to masturbate.

Again if this guy were having the problem of no sex drive at all or if he couldn't come outside of masturbation or if he only wanted sex with porn/his hand, then I could see this. Anything can become a problem. But this is a guy that fucks his wife twice a week. He just also likes to jack off. I don't think the two should be linked. Jacking off is not like having sex, and it's not always (my guess is not even usually) a replacement behavior for having sex.
Emma @71: Tim Horton @23 seems to disagree with you. Perhaps this is a gendered example after all. Perhaps women can come from masturbation and go on to happily have partnered sex soon afterwards, while men's semen needs to build up. Individual results may, as always, vary.
Nocute @ 63
Thanks for sharing, showing vulnerability, and promoting understanding. One of the first people I dated after moving out was a woman in a similar situation to yours.
She also disclosed beforehand, right after I disclosed my dressing up habits. “And I have something I need to tell you…” It turned out her former date dumped her after deciding he doesn’t want to have only protected sex with her.

EL @ 71
While masturbation may not always be a replacement, it does have a stronger performance effect on those of us with a different set of genitalia.
Daddy @ 72 may be an exception and I’m glad it’s working for him.

BDF and myself did not coordinate our responses, we just read each other's mind...
Sublime @69: Yes, funny indeed. My objection was not to DonnyK's giving seduction advice, which as your eagle eye may have noticed was remarkably similar to my own advice, but to multiple men pooh-poohing the idea of verbally asking for a kiss, as women don't like real men to ask. This LW was not a real man, and therefore that risk was irrelevant.
Congrats on the magic number.
CMD @75: What's that old saying, dirty minds think alike.
Off to a lesbian dance party tonight, I shall remember to choose my words carefully when asking for kisses. You kids have fun.
I think it is wise to adopt Ricardo's attitude, assume everyone is lying, and protect yourself insofar as is possible. For everything: pregnancy, disease, heartbreak.

I also think the right and ethical thing to do if you know you have some condition (marital status, well-controlled communicable disease, what-have-you) that might be reasonably assumed to make someone else want to not have sex with you is to disclose that before the moment before the clothes come off.

Emma @ 65 - "everything else is treatable"

Well, no, not anymore. There are now antibiotic-resistant strains of syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea. Everyone who's sexually active (outside of a thoroughly monogamous relationship) should be aware of that.

Condoms are no big deal when compared to any of those infections, if incurable. I've also heard of gay guys using female condoms, for those who somehow have a problem with the male ones.

Nocute @ 78 - That attitude saw me through the worst years of the crisis, with a very active sex life, and a diagnostic which remains negative to this day (my last test was a couple of weeks ago). I've never turned down anyone for being HIV+, something I'm really happy about because the nicest man I've ever had the chance to love was, and I would have missed an essential part of my life if I had refused to be with him.

So yes, I'd say it is wise.
@79: See, Ricardo, I wouldn't necessarily turn down someone who had HIV well under control, either. But I'd sure as hell want to be given that information beforehand so I could make my own choice about what risks I am comfortable exposing myself to.
Nocute @ 80 - But since so many people don't know their status (even if you get tested regularly, you'll never know if you are poz right now, as you're about to have sex), I think it's better to just assume that everyone has HIV and to take your precautions accordingly. No worries, no uncomfortable conversations, no one feeling rejected. In the end, it makes your life easier and, more importantly, it works - I and many other HIV- serial fuckers are proof of that.
Of course, I said "you'll never know if you are poz right now" meaning: even if your last test was negative.

People who've received a positive diagnostic obviously know that they are.
BDF/CMD, etc. Sure, just to be clear, I wasn't saying he could jack off then fuck his wife. I was saying that the fact that he has the desire to jack off doesn't mean he has the desire to fuck his wife. So if you remove the jacking off, you might just introduce frustration without adding partnered sex.
... the idea that he's going to have some big time increase in horniness due to semen build up or many days without release, etc, if he didn't jack off doesn't seem to make sense considering that he's already fucking his wife twice a week (and I agree should compromise to at least three). But plenty of people jack off every single day who would not have partnered sex every day even if it were an option because it's way more work and a different set of experiences.
Yes, I was quoting others, not saying that I take this philosophy myself.
Ricardo @79, I like the trend to call them internal or insertable condoms, precisely because it cuts out the gender issue. Transmen may use them, without thereby feeling female, and same for anyone with a butthole.

EmmaLiz @65: "apparently the consensus is that everyone has herpes already and everything else is treatable"

Don't forget HPV which is easily transmitted, even with condom use and can lead to cancer. When I was looking for sex with new men, several rejected me for having it. They worried about passing it to their female partners, since men don't get tested for it. I do think HPV needs to be disclosed before sex, because many people don't understand the risks.
@84 EmmaLiz, respectfully, you are wrong on this.

Semen build-up absolutely, positively, undeniably has a massive effect on libido.

Ever see those nature videos of rams butting their heads to concussions or death? Semen build up. Male lions killing baby lions so as to put the female in heat? Yep, backlog of semen. And after the lion ejaculates? Peaceful as a newborn kitten high on sativa.

Recall some famous letters from Dan's readers, for example: "I have a desire to eat my semen out of my wife's pussy, but after I ejaculate, the idea sounds disgusting to me"

Ever been really hungry? Like, mild hang-over, forgot to eat dinner last night, it's noon and there's a bottle of maple syrup looking lonely? After you stuff yourself, how does that plate of "hash browns all the way" look? Kinda gross.

tl;dr - how'd you think John Edward felt about his decision to finish inside Rielle the moment before vs. the moment after he exploded.....

@55 Hunter: Thank you for reading my comment [@122] from last week. BiDanFan has it right, though: my ex was indeed, a sexual abuser. A "bad lover" can always improve. There is no guarantee that an abuser ever will.
@56 BiDanFan: Thank you and bless you. I am in VA PTSD therapy for ongoing flashbacks (one helluva whopper out of nowhere woke me up and scared me shitless recently in the early a.m. Bad memories from 1991 during my service days when my abusive [ex] and I were both active Navy and living together pre-bad marriage). My ex's ex No 2 and wife No 3 and any children either woman have had with him have my deepest heartfelt sympathy.
@69 Sublime Afterglow: Congrats on hitting the magic number!!
@88 Tim Horton: Eeeewwwwwwwwww. After reading your analogy on semen I'm really glad my libido is completely dead.
@61 & @79 Ricardo: Like nocutename [@78] I like your way of thinking about self-protection as a given whether someone lies or is totally honest, and by already having a trustworthy supply of reliable (thus not easily breakable) spermicidal condoms at the ready.
Nocute @78: I even disclose to my partners when I have a contagious cold, so that they can decide whether sex with me is worth catching a cold over.

Dadddy @86: I know you were joking, but there is no "shame" at "failing" to "finish" (when you're too tired, you're finished).
When I first got together with my once-a-week ex (who kindly made the effort to bring things up to twice-a-week for me), we were long distance. We'd have sex a few times over the course of the weekend, but he would wait until the last day to come. After we moved in together, I figured out why: if he had come on Day One, he wouldn't be up for sex again on Day Two or Three.
He was considerate of my needs. SPOUSE's spouse is not.

EricaP @87: Right you are, it's HPV, not herpes, which 80% of the sexually active population has.

Tim @88: That letter was an eye-opener for me as well.
Peanut gallery SA? Mmm. Most of the letters we get are from married men who are fathers and married, big difference to this couple. Still you have a point.
On re reading the letter, this couple sound very unconnected. She wants to find ways to accept no so she doesn't get upset, Because if she gets upset the next time she asks he's likely to say no.
How's that for a punishing routine.
Lava @92: Hmm, I don't think "punishment" is the situation here. I know if I said no to sex and my partner threw a strop, I'd find the idea of fucking them a lot less enticing. I think SPOUSE is right to recognise her role in the cycle of negative reinforcement. I think she needs to learn that men also have a right to say no to sex, that they do not exist simply to be on-demand fucking machines. That's her role in this mess.
"Unconnected" is right. He has plenty of sexual energy, but not for her. Why is that? They need to look into it together.
@91 BiDanFan Rates of HSV2 do reach up to 80% in some demographics, at least in the U.S.. And I would say 80% would be a conservative estimate of the rate of sexually active people with at least one type of HSV (1 or 2) that can be spread to an uninfected partner's genitals. In a study of something like 8500 pregnant women in the U.S., by the time of labor, 77% had at least one type of HSV (HSV1, HSV2 or both) and 30% had HSV2. In the U.S., more than half of single women have HSV2 by mid-40s. It's more common than most people realize. And like HPV, condoms do not provide complete protection against transmission.

It seems many people have become more aware of the prevalence of HPV as a result of the vaccine being introduced. When sexually active people ask their doctors about the vaccine, they're often told it's too late for them because they probably already have HPV. In talking to other singles about their STI fears, I've noticed a shift away from fear of HPV, seemingly as a result of this increased awareness of the inevitability of contracting it. I've seen no such shift in awareness regarding HSV which is one of the reasons I make a point of commenting when this topic arises.
EL @ 84
Regardless of Mr. Horton @ 88 venturing to semi-unchartered territories, build up was always real for me. And while I never killed a baby, nor anyone else for that matter, I discovered in a fairly early age that if I don’t ejaculate for some time, either by choice or lack of partners or privacy or whatever, it may increase performance and can also lead to a fairly rewarding outcome.
I have no statistics as to how many penis-havers share the sentiment and practice; maybe others would like to chime in.

Dadddy @ 86
Oh shucks, just when I thought there’s hope on the horizon…

EmmaLiz@84 et al- I don't know if it's "semen buildup" that's doing it, but sex is definitely more intense when I have gone a while without it. But the same goes for Girlfriend with no semen involved for her. There is only so much semen your body will store over a week's time, then the body starts to absorb the excess. ON THE OTHER HAND, if i have been screwing for an hour, or if there was extensive foreplay/ blowjob etc, beforehand, I will definitely ejaculate a lot more than if I just had sex the day before, with a correlating increase in the intensity of the orgasm.
re: futurecat@94 -Condoms do not provide complete protection against transmission...
My herpes lesions occur on my groin, not my penis. A condom wouldn't protect at all.
@97 @DonnyKlicious If you are symptomatic, you are most contagious when you have active lesions, but you will also shed virus asymptomatically (shedding asymptomatically 20% of the time is average for those who are symptomatic) and during those times you are primarily shedding from the shaft of your penis, regardless of where in the genital region your lesions occur. And while men are much more efficient in transmitting the virus than women, condoms are actually more effective in cutting transmission rates in the direction of male to female.
@97 @DonnyKlicious Sorry, DonnyK, I should add that if you are taking daily antivirals, your asymptomatic shedding rates should be lower than those I quoted above.
@98 yes, agreed. My point was specifically that condoms don't come close to providing protection when I have active lesions.
@100 @DonnyKlicious It is generally recommended to avoid sex completely when there are active lesions. If you get lesions frequently, you may want to consider daily antivirals if you aren't taking them already. On average, they cut symptoms by 70-80% and many people achieve 100% reduction in symptoms. Then there's just the asymptomatic shedding to contend with, and that is also reduced significantly with antivirals.
@101 Yep
Rereading SPOUSE's letter and trying to sort through the issues.

I want to fuck my 31-year-old husband more often than he wants to fuck me, his 27-year-old wife. We have been married for three years and together for four. My question is twofold: One, how do I gracefully accept his "no"? We have sex usually two times a week—I wish it was more like five—which means he turns me down two or three times a week. I want to be better at hearing "no" from him without getting upset. The more I freak out, the less likely he is to fuck me the next time I ask. It's a bad cycle. Two, he watches porn every day. I know because I was naughty and snooped. I love porn and I watch a lot of it myself. But it doesn't replace sex for me. Is there a conversation to be had about this? Should I just keep my mouth shut? I love him but I am so frustrated.

The first thing I wish she'd told us was if this mis-match is recent or if it has always existed. This couple is fairly young, and they've been together for 4 years. A 31-year-old man in good health should probably be able to have sex more than twice a week, which brings me to wonder if anything else has changed in their lives that could affect his interest in having sex with his wife.

Then I'd be curious to know about the porn he's watching. Maybe it contains things that he can't get from the lw: situations or locations, or positions, or multiple people, or women who have different physical characteristics. This doesn't mean that he is more attracted to them than he is to her, but that could be a possibility. Another possibility is that porn and masturbation doesn't have the same place in his life that sex with another human does--it could just be quick physiological release he's looking for so he can get on with his day. Maybe the kind of sex he and the lw enjoy having together is more elaborate. It certainly will take more time and more involvement than rubbing a quick one out. As others have pointed out, there's a nice selfishness to masturbation and sometimes we all want that. I see no reason to think that he's having solo wank sessions rather than having sex with his wife; they seem to be two different things altogether.

So the porn-watching is a red herring. This would seem to be a case of mis-matched libidos plus rejection. The rejection is the part I think could be the most serious problem for this couple. It seems that she does all the initiating and gets turned down more often than she gets accepted. That is bound to make anyone feel upset. She may feel that he no longer is attracted to her; she may start experiencing insecurity and resentment. And no doubt he is feeling nagged constantly for sex. He may start to view her warily and tensely, just waiting for her to initiate sex he doesn't feel like having. She gets angry at being rejected (and probably at having to do all the initiating plus now she is waiting to be rejected), and he is not feeling especially attracted to her once she has "freaked out" about being rejected.

So yes, she needs to take rejection better, but he also needs to be the one doing the initiating, so that she's not constantly bugging him for sex, at least half of which will be unwelcomed and rejected. I don't know if she's always been the more sexually aggressive in the relationship or if he is more passive by nature in general, but they need to try something else. Maybe for a couple of months, he does all the initiating and that way, they both know that most if not all sexual overtures will be met with acceptance and success. Maybe she doesn't trust him to initiate sex, so she feels she has to jump in and start things. If that's the case, she needs to trust that he is interested in her sexually and he will start things. If in fact, nothing happens for a couple of weeks in a row, then that might indeed mean something they need to discuss. I like EricaP's and her husband's model, but it seems that they already know what the other's level of interest is. Perhaps this couple could work their way to that kind of mutual, wordless dance over time.
@34, a small point. You said "no one who claims to be negative can know for sure their present status from an HIV test."
Yes, I can. I know my history, and nothing I have done would have exposed me since well before my last test. I know the window period of the test.
For practical purposes, you are correct, but the point is that while one can know, they cannot prove it.
Vab @ 104 - I stand corrected. That said, the fact that they cannot prove it is sufficient for me to choose to always rely on latex protection.

Girz @ 90 - As they used to say in the 90s, the only way to be sure not to get infected is to act as if everyone else in the world already is.

One thing, though: to the best of my knowledge, spermicidal condoms may kill the sperm, but the don't kill the virus...
With regard to DADT, I would be quite upset. The liar would not a get a second chance. Even friendship would not be possible. He has already proven that he will lie to get what he wants.
I am poz friendly for a playmate, but my goal is for a sero-bonded relationship. I need to know whether it is possible to invest myself in someone. Since I cannot afford PrEP, I need a relationship with someone who is negative.
Note that since I make it clear that I am poz friendly, a playmate would have no reason to lie.
I buy condoms by the box of 100, and gladly give them as party favors to playmates.

Agreed. Treat everyone as positive. 66 years old and still negative here.