John and Betsy has been married for seventeen years when they presented to my clinical practice for their sexless marriage, defined by experts as sex less than ten times per year. They were both satisfied in their relationship which is not unusual even when the marriage is sexless.
In the early years, sex had been fun, playful and exploratory for John and Betsy. They'd engaged in light BDSM, including tying each other up, spanking and role playing. She played the nurse, he a police officer, a departure from their professions as an architect and an accountant respectively.
Sex began to fall off once the children came along. John was tired of Betsy always being tired and Betsy was not as attracted to John as he had gained weight around his midsection. Indubitably, three children and a busy career is enough to send anybody napping. It’s also not atypical to lose sexual desire for someone who has lost interest in taking care of himself.
Additionally, Betsy told me she was experiencing vaginal dryness due to the oral contraceptive pill. The vaginal dryness and the birth control pill further compounded her dwindling desire as low sexual desire is a common side effect.
I’m straight up with couples and explained that each person in a couple is responsible for taking care of themselves and neither vaginal dryness nor excess weight is an exception. That said, it’s not always easy to be around someone who complains of fatigue all the time.
John realized he needed to lose weight. Betsy knew self-care was vital. I recommended Gynatrof, a natural non-hormonal personal moisturizer available without a prescription for her vaginal dryness.
This couple needed to get back to the bedroom to re-ignite Betsy’s “responsive desire,” whereby she doesn't necessarily desire sex but is receptive to it even though she has initiated it. Given her fatigue, I suggested they try the “relaxing” sex position. She lies on her back with her knees up over John while he lays on his side perpendicular to her and penetrates her as he caresses her.
A new perspective would be necessary once Betsy's fatigue resolved after a little self-care. I suggested the “New Perspectives Sex Position” where John stands feet apart over Betsy, caressing her breasts while she is on her knees on the floor in front of him, putting her hands on the ground behind her, lifting her head and shoulders off the ground, head tilted back positioned for oral sex.
My recommendations encompassed a range of this couple's needs from medical to physical, emotional to sexual. Intimacy, which takes some effort, in a marriage is key to the health of the relationship as sex is the tie that binds.
Maureen McGrath RN is the host of the Sunday Night Sex Show on News Talk 980 CKNW and is an expert on the Sexless Marriage. Her TEDx talk has had over 2 million views. She is Executive Director of the Women’s Health Initiative Network, a national not for profit organization to raise awareness about women’s health.