Dear Em & Lo,
I am a new army wife having a very difficult time. The lack of intimacy and sex is much harder than I had thought it would be. My usual sex drive had gone from very high to pretty low over the last year, so I didn’t think the lack of sex would be my biggest problem. Boy was I wrong…. What should I do?
— Home Alone
Dear Home Alone,
We have to admit, we almost didn’t answer your question, because we’re not entirely sure we have a particularly helpful answer for you. But then we figured, the least we can do for our country, in a time of war, is to help out a horny army wife in need. (That sounded more like a cheesy porno title than we meant it to.)
Okay, first things first: You are masturbating, right? Because if you’re not, then our job is simple: You’ve got to start self-loving! Every time you feel the itch, scratch it! (Not literally, of course, unless that’s your thing.) Buy some decent lube, treat yourself a proper, grown-up sex toy (we can’t think of a better reason to splurge on a Jimmyjane!), and spend some quality time with a romance novel/graphic novel/erotica collection/episode of Gossip Girl/porno/whatever your favorite turn-on is in the absence of your hero husband.
But it’s probably going to take more than that, because you say that you’re missing not just sex, but also intimacy. So the trickier question is, how can you make masturbation feel more intimate?
Well, you start by treating it like sex, rather than treating it like brushing your teeth. Sure, you could just grab your vibe, place it where it counts, and let it do its thing. And sure, you might even climax that way. But there are more intense experiences to be had if you seduce yourself first: take a long bubble bath with a glass of wine, dim the lights, play some sultry tunes. You know, everything that you’d do if you were about to have yay-the-war-is-over sex with your hubby.
And don’t neglect your fantasy life. Vibrators are so powerful these days, so freakin’ reliable, that it’s easy to get lazy about fantasizing and just let the mechanics take over. After all, a work-horse like the Hitachi Magic Wand can sometimes get the job done whether you’re in the mood for it or not! But that’s no excuse not to get in the mood. That’s where the romance novels et al come in.
Also, if you’ve always relied on a toy, maybe try experimenting with just your right hand and some lube — that might help things feel a little more, well, personal.
If your man is game, perhaps he’d be willing to provide some fantasy material for you. (How could he object? We think that every guy secretly wants to be objectified!) Ask him to write you a love and/or lust letter. Have him send you a recent picture of himself with his shirt off — that’s innocent enough, but may be all you need to feel a little closer to his bod. If on the off chance he has some privacy, he could record that naughty letter on tape, or take a more revealing picture of himself.
If you’re too shy to ask while he’s away — or he’s too shy to oblige you — then write him a dirty letter, telling him everything you wish he was doing to you right now, and everything you wish you could do to him. Getting that kind of letter from you may be all the inspiration he needs to start a filthy back-and-forth. But if you’re worried it’ll end up in the wrong hands, you don’t even have to send it — just write it to get yourself more in the mood and feel more connected to him. You could also just imagine him reading it (or, what the hell, imagine it getting into the wrong hands if that turns you on!). Then stash the letter in your night-stand for those occasions when you’re missing him.
Hang in there! And just think of how happy your husband is going to be to get back to a spouse whose libido has gone through the roof! Now that’s the kind of home-coming every soldier deserves.
Weaker women than you,
Em & Lo
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