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I'm sexually curious, but my husband always shuts me down. What can I do to get the sex life I want?

Karen Washington
Profile Picture of Karen Washington Karen Washington is a graduate of the Adler School of Professional Psychology with a masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is an aspiring sex therapist, with a foundation in communication and self esteem. She has conducted research on communication, dating dynamics, and infertility counseling. Karen firmly believes in presenting education and information through the lens of humor, especially when it comes to sex.  Full Bio
Q:

I’m having some sexual issues with my husband. There are things I want to try that I’ve never gotten to do before. I’m sexually curious.

Unfortunately, every time I bring something up to my husband, he shoots it down. He says I shouldn’t want to behave like that, or that only hos do those things. I don’t think of myself as a ho, but I’m sexually curious and married. Right now, our sexual activity is super limited, and I am frustrated. Is there any way I’m going to get the sex life I envisioned?

A:

It sounds a little bit like your husband has a Madonna/Whore complex. He views you as his Madonna, or a woman that is more "pure" in his eyes. You were wifey material, a ladylike female he was able to take home to meet his mother, marry, and conceptualize as the future mother of his children. Some men, perhaps your husband, cannot rectify seeing you in that way and seeing you as a sexual being. Women who do sexually adventurous acts, or who have kinkier sex, are considered the "whore," or 'hos' as you put it. It is okay for them to behave that way because they will not meet his mother or have his children.

If this sounds like what you are experiencing, I do believe there are ways in which to get your husband to view you more sexually. It will be a process, and may not always move perfectly forward. It sounds like you have tried talking to him. So, next, it may be time to just act. I recommend trying something small first. Start with some lingerie that is outside of the norm of what you may typically wear, but that aligns with what type of sex you want to be having. Maybe wear something and put on a little show for him, like dancing or a strip teasing for him.

Perhaps you initiate sex one night. Try to incorporate some small-ish acts into sex that you aren’t normally allowed. Try a different position. Masturbate in front of him and tell him he isn’t allowed to touch you until you say so.

During sex, see if a situation doesn’t present itself where you can intervene. Again, I recommend treading lightly since he has been so resistant. As each little circumstance comes along, you can build on each of them towards bigger changes. The slow and small progression will give you little victories to celebrate while slowly testing his limits without totally freaking him out. You definitely want to be mindful. If he does catch on, just stick to asking if he likes what you are doing. If he does, keep going. If not, lay off for now. Don’t get discouraged if you have to back off a little. Just try something different next time and gauge his response as you progress. Good luck!

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