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Cory Silverberg

When You Want to Want to Have Sex

By February 14, 2012

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This week I got an email from an About.com reader who is in a loving relationship, with a man they adore, but who isn't having the kind of sex they want, isn't feeling the desire they crave, and doesn't see how anything could change.

I've known many people who were in perfectly terrible relationships - no communication, completely different values, different interests and aspirations - who nonetheless had great sex, regularly. And of course I've also spoken to many others who were in relationships that fit like a best friend, only without any sex. When you think about it, it's a pretty tall order to expect so much from one relationship. And if you're lucky enough to have honest conversations with lots of different people about relationships and sex you learn pretty quick that no one has it exactly easy.

What took me a while to think through before responding to this reader was that she identified the problem as being about her husband's disability. There were positions she wanted to do that he simply could not get into. He suggested modifications, she wasn't sure.

In my response I suggest that while she seems to know what she's looking for, she may be looking in the wrong place, and possibly missing the fact that this relationship could work. I think the barrier isn't his body or her body as much as it is the dilemma of wanting to want someone, but not wanting them. The fantasy of the perfect sexual partner is always within our masturbatory reach, but it's a fantasy and for those of us who want to make a life with people, sometimes you do have to turn away, momentarily, from the fantasy.

It's not the fun thing to do or always the sexiest thing to do, but if you want to be wanted back, it's kind of necessary.

Sex Question of the Week: I Wish I Wanted to Have Sex With My Husband

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