30. I just taught myself to satisfy my own needs even better.
“My husband has a very low sex drive and some issues from his youth regarding physical contact, so we never had much sex. Married 17 years now, we have 1 kid (planned and executed on my request, impressed we made it!). If I remember correctly we last had sex 5 years ago? Thereabouts.
We hug and kiss, and he gives me backrubs and foot massage. But I’ve given up on trying to entice him into anything more.
I am quite sexual and luckily well able to satisfy myself, so that’s what I do. When I was a bit younger I contemplated having an affair due to sexual frustration, but it didn’t feel like the right thing to do. I wouldn’t enjoy it even though he told me he’d understand. So I just taught myself to satisfy my own needs even better.
Maybe we’ll suddenly hit another phase some day when the kid is grown up, or maybe we’ll just go on like this. We love each other, so whatever happens this is the life and the man I chose. I stand by it.”
31. She is heavily into BDSM. I am not, so we have an open relationship.
“We have been together for 13 years, married for just over 8, no sex for going on 2. We match on everything pretty much, except sexual interests. I don’t think either of us are each other’s types. She is also heavily into BDSM, I am not, and once she started exploring that I pushed to let her enjoy it with people who are actually into it as equally as her. This led to us opening our marriage and now, we both date and have sex with other people, going on 7 years. She is still my anchor partner but now there isn’t any pressure to do something neither of us are really into with each other.
It isn’t for everyone but it works for us, and I feel closer to her since we made this choice.”
32. Our sex was rare and predictable and boring and stayed that way for 20-plus years.
“Our sex was rare and predictable and boring and stayed that way for 20-plus years. My wife refused to discuss or consider changes. My dissatisfaction and discontent were irrelevant. They only thing that seemed to matter was her feelings and her limited tolerance for sex. I was chronically angry.
In March 2015 was the last time we had sex. We were on vacation and having fun and when it looked like she was in the mood, I got excited and hopeful. Bang. But despite my efforts to get her into a position other than missionary, the sex was the exact same thing as every single time since before our kids were born, and I became dispirited. I just decided I was done. We went 18 months after that with me thinking life was better without sex. I didn’t approach her, didn’t hold her hand, didn’t discuss it, didn’t make comments about how hot she was if I saw her naked, didn’t touch her—nothing. It was like we were brother and sister. I never told her that’s what I was thinking. I just knew I was done. Talking about it seemed pointless. We’d tried talking about it so many times and the conversation went the same every time. She never seemed to notice or care that I stopped showing interest, never questioned the fact that I had stopped approaching her and that there was no affection between us.
Fall 2016, I was joking around with her and she was laughing and in a good mood and said she wanted to have sex, but only if we started having it with condoms because that way she wouldn’t have to be exposed to any sperm. (We’re both in our late 50s; she’s done with menopause and can’t get pregnant.) I told her no, I didn’t want to have sex any more. I was fucking done. I told her it is easier if I just assume we won’t have any sex. I don’t come on to her and get rebuffed. I don’t get my hopes up when she gets close to me and it turns out it was an accident. If we’re out to dinner or with friends and it feels like we’re having fun, I don’t come home feeling turned on only to get turned down. I don’t get disappointed when she doesn’t want to discuss sex since now there’s no reason to begin a conversation on that. That part of our life is over and it makes me really depressed thinking about it, but less depressed and less angry than when we had robo-sex three times a year.”