Your Call: She Wants to Want It But Doesn’t

photo by SLR Jester

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 by leaving your advice in the comments section below:

Dear Em & Lo,

I’ve been married to my husband for 9 years and we have three kids. I’m currently nursing our 7 month old. I really don’t enjoy sex, I even dread it. It’s not painful or anything, but it’s just really hard for me to get into it and my husband doesn’t like it unless I am into it. He can’t just be happy having a “quickie” because he thinks it’s too much like business. Anyway, we were both virgins when we got married, so we are each other’s only partners. I need help, because we are both very frustrated.

— Sex Sucks

What should SS do?


  1. Just wondering whether you have your contraception under control?…

    After going through a termination it took me a while to figure out why I felt so distant and confused. It became apparent to me that our contraception was not up to scratch and I was avoiding sex because I was terrified of becoming pregnant again. We were using condoms but because we had been using a different method for a whole year when I fell pregnant, we weren’t doing it correctly and they kept coming off and slipping, even after trying different sizes.

    Low and behold, I found out I was pregnant again soon after. I decided to take control and now I have a coil… yay! which means I have done the truly responsible thing and can enjoy sex so much more, although certain things are still difficult following the trauma of a termination and the pregnancy hormones spun me out loads!!!

    As human beings, we have evolved so much mentally, and thus sex has the potential to be an amazing and pleasurable connecting, learning experience. On the other hand, that part of our body is primarily designed to create and reproduce and going through the motions of creating life within your body is very hard work and extremely hard work. Some women are very sensitive to hormonal changes. There is a type of doctor called an endocrinologist who specialises in hormones, if that is of any help.

    You are a sensual individual but a creator of other beings as well. You’ve done of lot of creating of other beings and hats off to you!.. and you are giving yourself to them now as you rear them, as mostly every mother does. Perhaps you mostly relate to your sex as a reproductive vessel and it might be that you relate to your husband and his sex as and his sex as something that might inseminate you, thus causing you to be guarded. If that is the case the suggestions of fellow sisters above on how to get in touch with your sexual, sensual self seem like good starting places, as well as perhaps getting any contraception issues under control, so you are in Control! Perhaps if your beliefs don’t allow you to use contraception, you could look into Natural Family Planning.

    I may be barking up the wrong tree with my comments… perhaps if this is of no relevance to the lady above, it may apply to other women.

  2. I’m with Molly, masturbating might help you get in the mood more often. It’s not the same for women and men – having more orgasms is likely to make you want more.

    I’m a big fan of romances. They can get you in the mood and still have people falling in love. One study even found that women who read romances have better sex lives!

  3. Nursing can affect your hormones and decrease your libido.

    Sleep deprivation is bad for your libido too.

    Being a mom and worrying about all that can get in the way of your mood.

    If you want to get yourself more in the mood, try a mixture of sleep, dates with your husband, fun activities for yourself, exercise, and massage. Add some reading and music or art that you enjoy/turns you on. This won’t work overnight, but if you are consistently happier and healthier, you may become hornier.

    If this mostly started after your baby, you might want to see if your husband is willing to have not as great sex for a few months when your baby will be eating a different diet. Perhaps you would like to help him masturbate? You might enjoy the book “I’d rather eat chocolate” about a woman who isn’t really into sex.

  4. Sometimes, when I get really stressed out, my libido dies and it takes some relaxation to get back into the game. Sometimes, my fantasy life dries up and I have to either wait it out or give it a jump start. Do you like solo sex? Do you have any fantasies? Your partner needs for you to enjoy yourself, and enjoying yourself is fun, naturally, so do whatever you need to get there. If it were me, I’d pick up some erotica or watch my favorite sexy movies (not necessarily porn), or invest in a fun new sex accessory (toy, outfit, prop/accessory). Then work whatever it is that rekindles your sex life into your sex life with your husband. Even if you’re getting yourself off with a vibrator and then having him jump in for seconds, he gets to see you aroused and ready, and you get to get off. Everybody wins. And yeah, get a babysitter for the kids, even if it’s just for a few hours at a nice hotel, because worrying about kids is a great way to kill the mood.

  5. Two suggestions:
    1. Go see your gyno. I recently had a talk with my doc and she stressed that libido was directly linked to hormones. Having a baby may have caused your hormones to be out of whack and the doc can shed some light.

    2. Give it some time and don’t pressure yourself. When my bf and I are in a rut, the pressure I put on myself makes it worse. I stress myself out and sex takes on a negative conotation. Try to keep sex in a positive light even if it isn’t perfect. Try to think of things that will help instead of dwelling on the bad. And be patient! It will get better. Good luck!!

  6. I am nowhere near being in the same situation as you, so my advice my not at all be helpful. I’ll throw it out there anyways because I am young and I love shamelessly self-promoting myself.
    I was going through a period were I was conflicted about sex…I mean what does it mean??? (I’m so deep) What we, as in my boyfriend and I, did was swear off sex. Only cuddling was allowed. Sex was forbidden. I don’t think we ever actually not had sex…I always ended up wanting it because it was forbidden and I felt safe enough to express myself.
    /end of two cents.

  7. I went through a period of hating sex after my kids were born. One thing I realized was that I never thought about sex except at bedtime and then it was “oh, shit, he’s going to want to do it!”. What I did was to get a book of erotic short stories and started reading one every day as soon as I got up. It was the very first thing I did (after going to the bathroom) so I couldn’t skip it and put it off. At first, the stories really disgusted me, but I kept at it. I found that if I started off the day thinking about sex, I was more likely to think about it during the day which put me in a more receptive frame of mind. The next thing I did was to start a “scrapbook” of any pictures from catalogs or magazines that I thought were sexy or sensual. I would cut out the pictures and glue them into a spiral notebook. It was difficult at first (because I couldn’t find anything that I thought was sexy) but it got easier. This is something I still look at (my kids are now 15 and 9) when I find myself going into Mommy Mode and shutting down sexually. My sex drive woke up and is now probably higher than my husbands. One thing we found recently is a book by Athol Kay called “The Marrried Man Sex Life Primer 2011”. It is aimed at men and is all about helping your wife to want more sex. It is not for everyone, but it has given my husband and I some good tips. I wish you the best of luck! Hope this helps.

Comments are closed.