Hello again, lovelies! In the second part of this Luna Luna Love &Lust sexpert column, I’m taking on restarting the randiness in a marriage and, well, handjobs. Kinda. Read away, enjoy, and then send me all the questions you’re dying to get answers to about sex, porn, relationships, or porn in sex relationships, or relationships in porn with sex… or… Anyway, you can also read the first half of this column here.
My partner and I have been together for quite a while now and it true. we are getting older. I would have to say that we only have sex maybe once a month (Maybe). I’m not too old to have a sex drive, and neither is he, but I just can’t be okay with thinking that we are already settled into this ‘old married couple’ lifestyle of tucking in at night and turning our backs to each other.
Now granted there has been a lot… A LOT of really stressful things that he and I have been forced to deal with in the past few years but I like to think that if we were more sexually active that it would help to relieve that stress while bringing us back together.
Self esteem is a big issue, for both of us. I’m not as sexy as I used to be (not in my eyes) and I have some battle scars now (baby having and major surgery scars)f. My self image is all but destroyed. And his, well his has crumbled into nothing too, due to some traumatic life events as previously mentioned that we are dealing with, While both of us try hard to keep each other motivated, and tell each other that we are still attractive to one another, it just doesn’t seem to work.
When we do finally get in the mood, at the same time, and there are no kids around, and things are just right for us performances are lack luster on both ends, and we both are very embarrassed by it, which creates a vicious cycle of not wanting to even ‘go there’ because we don’t want to disappoint each other…. and a month or so down the road we start the cycle all over again.
I’m so sorry to hear that you’re in this complicated situation. I think everyone has been through some form of what you’re experiencing, and I can almost hear the LUNA LUNA readers shouting out their own advice. Personally, I have a lot of ideas, but I want to try to keep this answer to a manageable length, so let’s try some bullets, shall we?
- Practice self care. Both of you. It sounds as if you, Spark-less, have some body-image issues right now, which makes it tough to be comfortable, especially during sex. And after a few babies, it’s likely that your intimate body has changed as much as your self-image, so you need to get to know it again. The point is, your sexuality does not exist solely for your husband, nor does his exist solely for you. They are both living, breathing parts of the identities you have both formed, and it sounds as if the past few years have changed your identities. So take some time alone to rediscover yourselves: your bodies, your desires, your turn-ons, your inhibitions and lacks thereof. Seriously, watch some porn (I have some recommendations), read some erotica, get some sex toys, or just touch yourself and let your mind go wherever it wants. Once you’ve found and connected with your sensual sides again, it will be that much easier to show them to one another, and to find them in each other, as well.
- TALK. There is no more embarrassing or difficult topic in the world to bring up than this. Nobody wants to say, “We used to have better sex, and I’m unhappy.” But the longer you avoid talking about it, the harder it will get to speak up. You seem to have a lot to say, and it’s a safe bet that he has plenty of his own thoughts. So, at some point, when the kids aren’t around, instead of just going for it and hoping for the best, sit down, have a beer or some tea together, relax. And open up. Talk plainly and lovingly, never forgetting to remind the other how much you love and support them, and want to make this better for both of you. This isn’t about blaming, it’s about helping. Tell each other how you feel and what you want. Tell each other how much you want to give each other pleasure. Then wait a while and talk again at another time. Do it again and again, often. Once you’re more comfortable with communicating about sex, talk sexy. Tell him what you discovered in your self-explorations: do you want to try new things? Return to old habits? Bring in a toy or some rope? Just putting some ideas out into the air might be all it takes to make the room a little hotter.
- Once you get to the action stage, try to let go of your expectations. Both the expectations you have for each other in the bedroom, and the ones you have for yourselves. Sex is not a zero-sum game. There are no rules about how to proceed. There is no predetermined “right” way to perform. Sure, everybody wants to have p-in-v sex for hours, but let’s be real here: that doesn’t happen for most of us. And not everyone can always get it up every time. And sometimes there’s not enough lube. Things go wrong. But before or after or, hell, right in the middle intercourse, there are a billion and a half ways to enjoy yourselves that aren’t The Main Event. Don’t forget them! They could help prolong and intensify your time together. You guys have all the options in the world available to you. And, hey, trying something new, even if it seems silly at first, might light that spark you’re looking for. There are ways to get turned on, positions, body parts, toys, games, and techniques aplenty that can get you going and that don’t put as much pressure on you. Get creative and let go of your worries. You’re the only two watching.
- Therapy. Really. I don’t want to be an advice column-cliché here. But it really sounds to me as if the two of you have the basic roots of a strong, healthy relationship that has lost its sizzle for complex and difficult reasons. You’ve been through a lot. You may both want to seek individual counseling, but I strongly recommend that in addition to it (or without it), you see a couples therapist with a specialization in sex—or a straight-up sex therapist. Having a neutral third party there to get you through the rockiest discussions and provide you with professional feedback would be invaluable. You both seem to want things to change, so there’s nothing wrong with finding help together.
The road that got you here was long and twisty, and getting off of it might take you down some thorny paths, as well. But at the end of those paths, hopefully there will be better sex. As human beings you deserve it, and as a loving (and lovely-sounding!) couple, you deserve it all the more. Good luck!
How do you give the perfect hand-job?
Let’s take a moment to think about this very-concise question and then take a moment to think about how silly it is to ask a question like that and expect a very-concise answer. …thinking? Good. Have we concluded that this is silly? Good.
Because the answer is, dearest, that every person is put together differently and enjoys different things. While some people might like a stronger grasp and rougher handling in general, others might respond better to a lighter touch. Some people might prefer a lot of lubrication while others could prefer a little more friction. And, hell, “hand job” itself can mean wildly diverse things to people who have different kinds of bodies (trans people, for instance, often will require something different to get them off manually than cisgendered people of either persuasion, and so on). Some men might like you to focus mostly on the tip while some trans dudes might really like you to get as much length in your stroke as possible while some women might want incredibly specific clitoral touching…
The thing is, love, you can’t ever apply a one-size-fits-all mentality to anything sexual. Ever. Every person is different, and for each sexuality and set of genitalia, there is a different “perfect.” The best way to become the best handjob-giver of them all is to communicate clearly with your partner—ask what they like and respond to their answers as well as their moans and grunts and weight-shifting and breathing and eyelid-fluttering and everything else. Pay attention. Be open. Be giving. And never stop communicating.
Got questions? Send ’em!
Lynsey G is a writer, reviewer, interviewer, columnist and blogger writing for and about sex, feminism, and porn since 2007. Formerly a smut scribe for Fox, Juggs, and Tight magazines, she’s also written for xoJane, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Corset Magazine, TOSKA, MadisonBound, and WHACK! Magazine. She’s still on a high after winning a 2013 Feminist Porn Award for her short film, “Consent: Society,” and is now at work blogging at her own website, working on a few books of various types, and whoring it up with the New York City Poetry Brothel.