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First published June 19, 2008.

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I'm a 33-year-old man, married eight years and mostly happy. My problem seems common: My wife has lost interest in sex. We have sex once every two months, maybe once a month if I'm lucky. When we do, it seems to be good for both of us. We used to have great chemistry and were both GGG in better days.

I've been faithful, but I'm nearing some kind of tipping point. On a recent trip, I visited a strip club for the first time. Even though I knew the attention I was getting was fake, it still did the trick. Feeling desired, even in a superficial way, is something I've been missing. Once my wife mentioned that she would be okay with me going to a strip club, so I feel like I haven't violated our relationship. But I feel like I'm getting pretty close.

I don't know what to do. I could try more communication, or try to get us into counseling, but I wonder if that's fair. The situation doesn't seem to be a problem for her and every time we talk about it I feel like I'm hurting her feelings. I could also give up and find ways to meet my needs elsewhere. But the thought of hurting her or losing her as a result is unbearable. I've also wondered if a change of meds could help—loss of sexual appetite can be a side effect of the birth-control my wife takes.

Ready To Pop

First, RTP, I'm sitting on stacks of mail from spouses—husbands and wives—who aren't getting any at home, much less halfway decent sex bimonthly-or-better. So while I appreciate your frustration—I'd be fucking holes I'd kicked in the walls if my boyfriend put out just six times a year—let's recognize that (1) things could be worse and (2) you have a decent base here on which to build.

Second, RTP, yes to everything—yes to a new form of birth control (perhaps you could get a vasectomy), yes to packing your asses off to counseling (find a counselor who doesn't believe that the husband is always at fault), and yes to more open and honest communication. A few more yeses: Yes to getting the wife's hormones checked (how are her testosterone levels?), yes to looking at depression as a possible underlying cause (and good luck eliminating depression if it is), and yes to the occasional visit to a strip club (just as a matter of principle).

Third, RTP, and most importantly...

Yes to hurting the wife. Telling her about your unhappiness and forcing this issue will hurt her feelings, RTP, but catching you cheating will hurt much, much more.

Finally, RTP, I'm thinking that you wrote to me and not, say, Zombie Ann Landers because you were looking for permission to cheat. I have been known to issue a license to cheat now and then, but I can't in your case. You had a decent sex life early on—good chemistry, greater frequency, GGG action—and you "enjoy" a not-dead-yet sex life now. With some effort, some balls, and some incentive (no license to cheat), you should be able to revive this thing.


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