Your Call: My Husband and I Don’t Care That We Don’t Have Much Sex. Should We?

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We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call on the letter below by leaving your advice in the comments section. 

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Dear Em & Lo,

My husband and I have been married for ten years. Three kids later, we don’t have sex very often — nothing compared to our pre-married life. But neither of us seems that bothered by it. He doesn’t initiate that often and isn’t asking for more. I’m fine with the occasional sex we do have. I know we both occasionally masturbate, him I’m guessing more (we don’t advertise it to each other). I feel like we have a close, trusting relationship. But I’m always hearing about how sex is such an important part of a relationship. If it isn’t for us, should we be worried? Should I be worried?

— Libidoless in Los Angeles

What should LILA do? Leave your advice in the comments section below.





  1. Dan Savage said something similar to you guys in his amazing interview on the Death, Sex & Money podcast recently. He was talking about how his sex life with his husband in his 40s has been even better than sex in his 30s (in part due to them being “monogamish”… and then he caught himself and said this:

    “I don’t want to be one of those sex writers or sex people or sex advice assholes who makes people who don’t have sex or don’t prioritize sex or even are in sexless marriages that are happy where nobody’s miserable. Two people together, it’s more companionate now, their sex has sort of withered, the passions have cooled, they’re content. But I don’t want those people to feel like they’re being judged — if you’re both content, that’s a wonderful working relationship.”

    Here’s the episode in full, if you want to listen – it’s one of our new fave podcasts!


  2. Generally I am in agreement with Nikki, Johnnie, and Greg. But, you are raising a question which leads me to wonder why you have concerns. Rather than focus on the sexual act, let me ask you about other aspects of your relationship with your husband. Do you and he still kiss each other hello and goodbye when you depart for the day, or see each other when you come home from work? Do you still hug? Hold hands? Do you set aside alone time without the kids (date nights, for example)? These types of small intimate actions can be more important in judging your relationship than how often you engage in the sexual act. If you’re concerned you should, as others have mentioned, communicate this with your husband. You may find that you’re both quite happy with your relationship, or you might find by discussing this that you start to reignite the fires that burned a little hotter before the kids came along.

  3. Sex is the physical act, but connection is resulting goal. Do you and your partner feel connected? Do you attempt to do things other than sex to reaffirm your connection to each other without the children? You mention masturbation, but don’t appear to do it together. Is there a reason for masturbating without your partner present? Is it a preference or just based on time constraints? Would you feel more of a pull to your partner if you didn’t masturbate? In the end any successful relationship should be built off of mutual connection and companionship and sex is only a tool to enjoy being with each other. The amount is immaterial if you both feel satisfied and connected in the relationship. I would take the advice above and communicate with your partner first to understand if you’re both happy with this normality. Only the individuals in the relationship can define what makes them happy.

  4. Nah, you’re good. As long as you’re happy together and no one’s complaining, as long as you’re honest with each other and yourselves, there’s no problem here.

    Sex drive decreases with age. I was borderline priapic in my early 20’s. In my mid 30’s I am noticeably less horny than I was then.

    Attractiveness also decreases with age (sorry. I’m not calling you or anyone else unattractive or old. But this is just a universal fact. It happens to everyone). So basically you’ve got two people who aren’t as hot or as horny as they used to be. This is totally normal and is only a problem when –

    – attractiveness and horniness decrease at disparate rates between partners

    – one partner’s attractiveness and horniness really PLUMMET.

    Sounds like you and your husband are actually experiencing the ideal sexual denoument. Again, NOT singling you guys out here – what’s happening to you guys happens to ONE HUNDRED PERCENT OF PEOPLE. You guys just happen to be experiencing this, like so many other things, as a healthy and loving couple. You’re going through it togeter – that’s good. Going through this as individuals is bad.

    You’ve had three kids – mission accomplished. Your sex drives did what they’re there for. Anything else is just for fun. And if you both like the same amount of fun – whether that’s more fun or less fun – then great!

    You and your husband sound like a great match. Don’t panic.

  5. This sounds like more of the tyranny of “normal.” If you have a happy marriage, and you are both satisfied with the amount of sex that you are having, then you have nothing to worry about. Relationships and sexuality are not a one-size-fits-all proposition.

    You are right that sex is important in a relationship, but what I think most of what you’re hearing is leaving out that “sex” really means “sexual satisfaction.” If you and your husband have that, you are in good shape.

    The easiest way to put your concerns to rest is to have a frank and honest conversation with your husband. You say you have a trusting relationship, but you don’t mention whether this conversation has ever occurred. If it hasn’t, make sure it does. You can keep it simple: “Honey, I’ve noticed that the amount of sex we have has kind of fallen off over the years. I’m fine with it, and am happy with the way things are, but I want to make sure you are too.” If your husband is also content, you have nothing to worry about. If he misses having more frequent sex, then you can have a conversation about how to make sure his needs are addressed.

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