Expert posts
Pornography: your questions answered
 We get lots of posts about pornography and masturbation. Many of you are worried about what it means if your partner uses pornography, or if masturbation might be reason you’re not getting as much sex as you might like. We’ve had a look at the science behind pornography and the effects it can have on your relationship, and we’ve answered some of your questions below. Is pornography bad for my relationship? This depends on your opinion of it. If you have a problem with pornography in general, then it’s unlikely you’re going to be OK with your partner watching it. This can have a negative impact on your relationship [1]. One way pornography can affect your relationship quality is by diminishing your self-esteem. If you aren’t happy about the idea of your partner using pornography, it can make you feel like you don’t matter in the relationship, or that you aren’t good enough. If you don’t mind pornography, or if your self-esteem is very robust, then it’s less likely to have a negative impact on your relationship [2]. Can pornography reduce sexual desire? Watching pornography doesn’t seem to reduce sexual desire. According to one study, pornography doesn’t take away your sexual urges, so it’s unlikely that this would be the reason a partner seems less interested in sex [3]. For more ideas on why sex might be off the table, check out our tips on being in a sexless relationship. Can we watch pornography together? Several studies have shown that couples who watch pornography together can experience improvements in their sex lives [3] [4]. As a shared activity, it can encourage you to talk about sex, creating a more open atmosphere for you to discuss your sexual desires and fantasies. While it’s important to remember that pornography doesn’t always present a realistic picture of sex, it can sometimes be a springboard for talking about what you like and don’t like [5]. How can we use pornography to talk about our relationship? Be open and honest about pornography. If you like using it, talk to your partner about why. If you don’t like it, let your partner know where you stand. These might not be the easiest conversations to start, but they can have a positive effect on your relationship by allowing you to learn more about each other. This can improve your sex life and may help make your general communication easier – couples who find a way to talk about their sexual desires in this way can even strengthen their relationship quality overall [6]. You may find that starting a dialogue around this helps you to be more open to experimentation, with a more varied and satisfying sex life. You can learn about each other’s likes and dislikes and talk about how happy you both are with the level of intimacy in your relationship [6]. Can’t I just use pornography alone? Yes, you can. However, it’s worth being aware that using pornography alone can lead to a decrease in sexual communication between you and your partner [6]. When sexual activity becomes secretive, sexual communication can too. Is there such a thing as ethical pornography? This is a tricky one, and a good question to ask yourself. While looking at pornography can be a healthy activity within your relationship, it’s important to think about where it comes from. You may not have considered whether the performers were paid for their work or even whether they have consented to do everything you’re seeing. It’s not always easy to find ethical material, or to know the background of the things you do find. One place to start might be the Toronto International Porn Festival, which has strict guidelines around its submission policy and encourages a diversity of sexual interests. It’s up to you and your partner to decide what you think is acceptable but, if you’re unsure about the ethics of a particular piece, the best advice is don’t watch it.   References [1] Maas, M. K., et al. (2018). A Dyadic Approach to Pornography Use and Relationship Satisfaction Among Heterosexual Couples: The Role of Pornography Acceptance and Anxious Attachment. The Journal of Sex Research, 55(6). 772–782. [2] Stewart, D., & Szymanski, N. (2012). Young Adult Women’s Reports of Their Male Romantic Partner’s Pornography Use as a Correlate of Their Self-Esteem, Relationship Quality, and Sexual Satisfaction. Sex Roles, 67(5), 257-271. [3] Brown, C., Carroll, C., Yorgason, J., Busby, S., Willoughby, J., & Larson, B. (2017). A Common-Fate Analysis of Pornography Acceptance, Use, and Sexual Satisfaction Among Heterosexual Married Couples. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46(2), 575-584. [4] Maddox, A., Rhoades, M., & Markman, G. (2011). Viewing Sexually-Explicit Materials Alone or Together: Associations with Relationship Quality. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(2), 441-448. [5] Daneback, K., Træen, B., & Månsson, S. (2009). Use of Pornography in a Random Sample of Norwegian Heterosexual Couples. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 38(5), 746-753. [6] Kohut, T., Balzarini, R., Fisher, W., Campbell, L., Impett, E., & Muise, A. (2018). Pornography’s associations with open sexual communication and relationship closeness vary as a function of dyadic patterns of pornography use within heterosexual relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 35(4), 655-676.
Article | pornography, masturbation
Understanding casual relationships
When it comes to casual sex, different cultures have their own ways of defining things. Dictionary entries may not seem like the most stimulating way to learn about casual relationships but, in changing times with changing rules, you may find it useful to bone up on the terminology: Hook ups. This is an ambiguous term, but it usually refers to any sexual encounter between people who aren’t committed to a relationship. One-night stands. Another name for short-term sexual encounters, these usually involve strangers getting together, rather than friends or previous partners. Friends with benefits. This involves regular sex between two partners, but it usually lacks other features of committed relationships, like emotional support. Booty calls. These are different to hook ups and one-night stands, in that they are usually arranged in advance. Booty calls might happen more than once, but a relationship characterised in this way is unlikely to involve any social activities other than sex [1]. These definitions only touch on the true complexities – the nature of any relationship will depend on the individual people involved, so it’s important to clarify what you want to get out of any relationship you enter into [1]. Communication in casual relationships Communication in casual relationships is a bit of an art form. When you first meet a potential partner, either online or in real life, it can be hard to know how to handle the conversation, and you might find yourself walking a communication tightrope [2]. When you are trying to establish what a new relationship is going to be, it’s not uncommon to take precautions around what you say, and also how much you say – communicate too much and you might be thrust into a committed relationship; communicate too little and the other person might slip out of your grasp entirely. In an effort to maintain a casual relationship, many people avoid communication entirely. But, while this may feel safe, it’s a risky strategy – rather than pulling out of the conversation, you’re better off being honest about what you want. A bit of clarity can help clear up confusion and avoid hurt feelings on both ends [3]. Friends with benefits A ‘friends with benefits’ situation may seem ideal. You get to have sex without having to worry about the other bits of a relationship and – assuming you can keep it up – you’ll still have your friendship to fall back on. But there’s always a risk that things can get complicated when you add sex to an existing friendship [4]. If one of you starts to develop feelings for the other, it can cause friction on the original friendship. Things might work out if you’re both keen to start something up but if only one of you is along for the ride, it can be hard on both of you and it may prove difficult to resurrect the friendship [4]. It may not be the easiest conversation to pull off but being clear and honest about your intentions and expectations can mitigate against potential slipups in a short-term sexual or romantic relationship. If you’re starting something new, talk about what it means before you’re in too deep, so that the other person knows what they’re getting into. Once you’ve established this bedrock of communication, it’ll be easier to talk about any developments, like if one of you starts to fall for the other or if you want to end things [5]. It might help to think of it as a consent issue. In the same way you should always respect sexual boundaries, you shouldn’t enter into any kind of sexual relationship without being clear about the boundaries around it. When everything’s laid out on the table, there’s no reason a casual relationship shouldn’t work. References [1] Claxton, S., & Van Dulmen, M. (2013). Casual Sexual Relationships and Experiences in Emerging Adulthood. Emerging Adulthood, 1(2), 138-150. [2] Sumter, S. R., Vandenbosch, L., & Ligtenberg, L. (2017). Love me Tinder: Untangling emerging adults' motivations for using the dating application Tinder. Telematics and Informatics, 34(1), 67-78. [3] Collins, T., & Horn, T. (2018). “I’ll call you…” Communication frequency as a regulator of satisfaction and commitment across committed and casual sexual relationship types. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407518755554. [4] Bisson, M., & Levine, A. (2009). Negotiating a Friends with Benefits Relationship. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 38(1), 66-73. [5] Eisenberg, M., Ackard, D., Resnick, M., & Neumark-Sztainer, D. (2009). Causal sex and psychological health among young adults: Is having ‘friends with Benefits’ emotionally damaging? Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, https://doi.org/10.1363/4123109.
Article | flirting, fwb, casual sex
In gratitude for kissing
Kissing is something we’ve often taken for granted as a standard part of romance, but scientists have been all over the world and they’ve come back to tell us we were wrong the whole time. Previously, it’s always been believed that romantic kissing happens in most cultures, but the first ever worldwide study has revealed that only 46% of the world’s cultures kiss romantically. In fact, some cultures find the idea of lip-to-lip contact strange, or even repulsive. Researchers from Indiana University studied 168 cultures around the world to see what part kissing played in romantic relationships, publishing their findings in the American Anthropologist journal. If these results seem surprising, it might show that we can tend to view the world through our own perspectives and experiences, sometimes taking things like kissing for granted. Knowing that we kissers are in the minority might be a fun excuse to enjoy it that little bit more. The Middle East seemed to like kissing most, with all of the cultures studied there engaging in kissing. 73% of Asian cultures, 70% of European cultures, and only 55% of North American cultures were fans of kissing. The researchers found no evidence at all of kissing in Central America, or among the foraging cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa, New Guinea, and the Amazon. Interestingly, the results suggest that the more complex a society is, the more likely its inhabitants are to engage in kissing. So the fact that we have varying degrees of social and economic statuses may be connected to why we have evolved into a culture of kissing those we are attracted to. Kissing can be a way of finding out how we feel about a potential partner, testing out whether or not there is chemistry, and whether a person ‘feels right’ to us. Further studies may be done into how a society evolves from being a non-kissing one into a kissing one. In the meantime, let’s be grateful that we live in a society where kissing is part of the adventure of sex and romance. Xx
Article | kissing, intimacy, romance
One simple change to improve your sex life
If you are among the many couples who put so much pressure on themselves to have amazing sex that you are avoiding it all together, one simple change could make all the difference. In a poll of 6,000 people, nearly half said they were happy with their sex lives. But, that leaves more than half of us wanting something more. Just over half said they had not had sex at all in the last month. Researchers involved in the study suggested that simply changing your attitude can make all the difference to how happy you feel about your sex life. Many couples say they want sex to be more spontaneous but, due to the nature of our busy modern lives, it’s sometimes necessary to plan for our intimate moments. This may not be such a bad thing, especially as it can reduce the pressure you’re putting on yourselves, and help you enjoy the sex you are having. Another easy way to change your attitude is to recognise the good things you already have. Rather than trying to live up to sex you see on TV, or what you imagine other people might be doing, just allow yourself to enjoy the reality of your own relationship. Remember also that sex doesn’t always have to mean intercourse – it all counts, and the important thing is that you both have a good time. If you’re very busy or exhausted after a long day, sometimes just an intimate cuddle can be enough to help you feel close and remind each other of the connection you share. Psychosexual therapist Cate Campbell says: “It’s sad that so few people are sexually satisfied and put pressure on themselves to perform. Noticing what is going well, rather than dwelling on problems, is quite difficult when we’re all bombarded with messages about how sex ‘ought’ to be. “Sex definitely doesn’t have to be disappointing – there's plenty that can turn your situation around so you can enjoy a sustained, fulfilling sex life. What constitutes a satisfying sex life can vary wildly from one person to the next, so working out what makes you tick is a great starting point”.
Article | sex, communication
If you don’t feel ready for sex
What am I up against? When ‘the norm’ is to have lots and lots of sex (or at least it just seems to be) by the time you’re ‘legal’, there can be huge pressures from friends and classmates. You might encounter pressure from elsewhere too. You may have a partner that’s pushing, or you may be putting pressure on yourself. The bottom line is, there’s pressure from all directions to have sex at a young age. How can I deal with it? It appears that everyone else is having sex all the time A survey of nearly 3,600 11- to 16-year-olds in the UK found that 86% of respondents had never had sexual intercourse. In the same survey, 78% of people overestimated the sexual activity of their peers, and many people believed their peers to be ‘more experienced’ than they actually were [1]. Remember that everyone wants to portray an image, so there’s a chance that even people close to you will be keen to exaggerate (or even invent) their sexual experiences. A person’s reputation doesn’t rest on what they do, but on what people believe they do. Choose what's right for you In one survey of teenage girls in 2010, one third of young women under the age of 15 said they regretted their decision to have sex as early as they did. As part of the study, they also asked those girls if they felt pressured to have sex early, and 20% of them said yes. But not everyone regrets their first time; some people have sex for the first time quite young and look back on it fondly. Many young women from the study said their regret stemmed from a lack of planning with their partner and a lack of control over the sexual experience. So, considering this, if you don’t want to go down the “it just sort of happened” route, keep your own intentions clear in your mind and, if appropriate, share them with your partner. Once you feel the time is right to have sex, try not to get too worked up about it. Rather, let it be something that you’ll enjoy and hopefully remember fondly.  Feel free to talk to your partner about the experience, plan ahead and don’t be afraid to say what you do and don’t want.  Consider talking with someone, maybe even a parent You might think that any teenager would rather set themselves on fire than talk to their parents about sex but, according to a survey of 1,000 13- to 18-year-olds in the UK, more than half of teens actually want to talk to their parents about sex and would trust their parental guidance if they gave it. So if you have a good relationship with one (or both) of your parents, that might be something to consider. References [1] ‘Young people not having as much sex, drugs or alcohol as they think they are’, 2014
Article | sex, YPc
If you think you’re not having enough sex
What am I up against? Sex can facilitate and intensify intimacy in a relationship, creating a tangible, emotional, psychological, and (for some) spiritual connection. It can also be a lot of fun and burns more calories than 20 minutes on a treadmill. So if you feel like you’re not getting enough sex, it can feel like your relationship isn’t thriving like it could. How can I deal with it? You may have a different sex drive to your partner If you have a higher sex drive than your partner, you may sometimes feel rejected. It might seem unfathomable to you that their partner would not want sex as often, and so you may feel unwanted or undesirable. However, it doesn’t necessarily reflect their levels of desire –people are just wired differently.  It’s possible to compromise, especially if you take the time to find out exactly what your partner likes and what makes them feel comfortable. This can be a tricky conversation to have but it’ll benefit you both in the long run and you may even feel closer for it. If their sex drive has changed Sometimes this can be purely circumstantial – feeling like anxiety, stress, and tiredness can affect someone’s sex drive. If your partner is tackling these conditions, say, during exam time or an emotional rough patch, it can be helpful to read between the lines and simply be supportive rather than applying pressure or guilt. People’s own perception of themselves also plays a part in their sex drive. So if someone doesn’t feel good about their body or their appearance this will often impact libido, as confidence is such a big part of feeling sexy. In The Student Sex Survey 2014, 49% of people said “what I look like” was their greatest worry during sex. 58% of those were women, and 24% were men. You can’t fix your partner’s self-perception, but you can certainly be a positive influence. If your own sex drive has changed Diet and lifestyle can really make a difference to your sex drive and desire for sex. Getting plenty of sleep, regular exercise, and a healthy diet can allow the body to regulate itself and reawaken the desire you once felt. Sharing an intimate moment with your partner can also help you feel sexy. A sensual massage, a relaxing bath, or even a just shared meal with no distractions can help bring you closer together. More sex doesn’t equal a better relationship It may seem like more sex equals a better, happier relationship. But it’s not necessarily true. The old quantity vs quantity rule applies here; shoot for quality every time. How often you have sex really depends on what suits you as a couple. Don’t get caught up on frequency – if once a month works for you both, then great.   Forget normal The good news is that there is no normal. There is only what works for both parties of a relationship. According to the Guardian’s British Sex Survey of 2014, the average Brit has sex four times a month, but trying to keep up with what’s normal can put an unnecessary strain on a relationship. Being open and honest about what you want and encouraging your partner to be honest about what they want can be liberating. Some couples worry that talking about sex will be awkward but talking about your expectations and desires can actually bring you closer and improve both your sex lives. 
Article | sexless, intimacy, YPc
Sex during pregnancy
During your pregnancy, sex can become a complicated issue. Your desire can decrease, your discomfort can increase, and you might just lose interest altogether. Or, you might still be in the mood but find that your partner is backing off! All of this is perfectly normal and very common. Sexual enjoyment tends to decline as pregnancy goes on. Around 22-50% of pregnant women find intercourse painful and many women find it difficult to orgasm. It’s normal for your libido to decline too, largely to the change in hormones, and feeling sick, tired and physically uncomfortable [1]. And, as your body changes, you might just feel less sexy. This is particularly likely during the later stages of pregnancy, when you’re all achy and bloated. About a quarter to a half of pregnant women feel less attractive than before, and only 12% feel more attractive [1]. Giving it a go If you do feel up to having sex, there’s no reason you shouldn’t give it a go. For the majority of healthy pregnant women and their partners, sex is perfectly safe, even in the last few weeks before you give birth [1]. If you’re not sure whether it’s OK, seek advice from your doctor or midwife but, if you do want to have a go, give yourself time to be in the mood, and accept that it might take longer than usual. It’s possible that your partner will be reluctant, which can be frustrating. However, don’t assume that it’s from a lack of desire, or a loss of sexual attraction. One possible reason for hesitancy is a fear of harming the baby, which inhibits at least a quarter of male partners, and a quarter to half of expectant mothers [1]. Talk to your partner. Have an open and honest conversation about how you both feel right now. If your partner admits that they’re feeling funny about sex, try not to get annoyed or take it personally – you won’t be pregnant forever! If you’re feeling a bit insecure, make it clear that you are learning to adjust to your changing body and that, even if sex is off the table, a little TLC would be appreciated. Finding other ways to feel close If you really don’t want to have sex, don’t force yourself. Be honest with your partner, offer reassurance that it’s not a personal rejection, and ask for the support you need. It might be helpful to discuss this article, and reassure yourselves that these are common adjustments that couples face during pregnancy. If you’re feeling icky and your partner tries to reassure you that you look beautiful, accept the compliment and choose to believe them. Lots of people find their partners especially attractive when they’re carrying their child. Finding other ways of being intimate that aren’t sexual – like hugging, kissing, and massage – can help you bond when sex isn’t available. Just spending quality time together can help you maintain a sense of closeness. And remember that you won’t feel like this forever. Though there will be new challenges for your sex life when your baby comes along, the physical changes you’re experiencing during pregnancy should return to normal about three months after the birth. Some women even experience more intense orgasms than they did before [1].   References [1] Von Sydow, K. (2000). Sexuality during pregnancy and after childbirth: A meta-analysis of 59 studies. Reproductive Health Matters, 8 (15), 183. doi:10.1016/s0968-8080(00)90068-5
Article | pregnancy, parenting together
1 4 min read
Sex after giving birth
If you weren’t having much sex during your pregnancy, you may be looking forward to getting things back on track. But, for many couples, it can take a while to get things back to normal after the birth. Your body might take some time to return to a state where sex feels OK. This is a common experience for many women after giving birth: Following birth only 10-15% of new parents don’t experience any problems at all. Mothers and fathers commonly feel worried about resuming having sex [1]. 13 months after the birth, 22% were still having problems sexually [2]. Try to accept that it’s normal to need time. Even when you’ve recovered physically, you might not feel in the mood, or you might be slow to be turned on. Give yourself a chance and don't pressure on yourself to bounce back, even if your partner is keen to be intimate. Remember that there are other ways to be sexual besides penetrative sex and, if those are still off the table, focus on improving the quality of your time together, giving each other lots of cuddles and affection, or just having meaningful conversations. Feeling guilty about not feeling sexy   Despite the understanding that your body is still going through a lot, you may still feel guilty for not being in the mood or not feeling able to satisfy your partner. Even if your partner isn’t expressing any disappointment over the lack of sex or changes in your sex life, it’s common to be worried about how things might be perceived from the other end. One study of women who had recently had children showed that: 57%... were worried about the sexual satisfaction of their spouse following the birth of their child [2]. If you’re carrying guilt around with you, it might be a good idea to talk this over with your partner and remind yourselves that you’re not alone – only 14% of women and 12% of men report having no sexual problems after giving birth [2].   If you’re not up for having sex, let your partner know that you still desire him, but that you just need a bit more time. It may be difficult for your partner to understand the effects that such drastic body changes can have on your confidence. Taking the time and effort to explain, can help put your partner in a better position to show sensitivity and help build up your confidence. Be descriptive of your own feelings, and ask him to be mindful of them.  It will probably help to have the conversation with your partner beforehand. Explain why you don’t want sex at the moment, and what you can offer at this time. Sex may not be as high on your partner’s priority list as you think, but asking about it can be a great opener to discussing how you’re feeling and what you’re worried about. The conversation may even help put you at ease. If physical intimacy is your partner’s preferred way to express love, it doesn’t necessarily have to mean sex. People who express love physically while still appreciate a stroke of the hair as you walk past, or a surprise cuddle while they are doing the washing up. Hugs, snuggles on the bed, hand-holding, massages – these will all help a physical person feel loved at a time when you don’t feel up to having sex.   References [1] Sagiv-Reiss, D.M., Birnbaum, G.E. & Safir, M.P (2012). Changes in Sexual Experiences and Relationship Quality During Pregnancy. Archives of Sexual Behavior. October 2012, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 1241–1251 [2] Von Sydow, K. (2000). Sexuality during pregnancy and after childbirth: A meta-analysis of 59 studies. Reproductive Health Matters, 8(15), 183. doi:10.1016/s0968-8080(00)90068-5
Article | sex, parenting together
0 4 min read
Sex with a pregnant partner
Since finding out she was pregnant, your partner might have been reacting to you differently during sex, or avoiding intimacy altogether. It might seem like she’s aroused less often or less attracted to you. Aside from simply missing something that you enjoy, sex an important way to feel closer to your partner. Without it, you may worry that you will struggle to stay close. While it might feel like it, a lack of sex during pregnancy is not a personal rejection. A quarter of new dads say they’re worried that their partner may no longer be interested in having sex [1] but it’s important to recognise that a decrease in sex during pregnancy is normal, and not your fault. Less sex during pregnancy is normal Your partner may be experiencing a decline in libido. This is very common during a time of changing hormones and physical discomfort like backache and water retention. Bear in mind that 22-50% of pregnant women experience painful intercourse, and reaching orgasm becomes progressively more difficult as pregnancy goes on [b]. Sex may have become a stressful experience for your partner. On top of this, about a quarter to a half of pregnant women feel less attractive during pregnancy, and only 12% feel more attractive [2], so your partner may just not be feeling as physically confident as she’d like to. Be open and honest with your partner. Talk about your concerns and tell her that you want to be supportive. If she is worried about her changing body, you can reassure her that you still find her desirable, but the most important thing is to respect her needs and desires. If she is experiencing a loss of libido, remember that this has nothing to do with you as a sexual partner. It might be helpful to discuss this article with her – talk about how these are common changes that couples face all the time during pregnancy. Can sex during pregnancy harm your baby? Up to half of women and at least a quarter of men worry that having sex during pregnancy will harm the baby in some way [2]. From a medical point of view, there is no reason to ‘forbid’ sex for the majority of healthy pregnant women and their partners, even in the last weeks before the birth [2]. If you’re not sure whether you fit into this category, seek advice from your doctor or midwife. Remember also that anxiety around sex isn’t always rational, and your partner may find it difficult to shake the fear. If that’s the case, try other ways of being intimate. You may find that other kinds of sexual activity that don’t involve vaginal penetration are a bit easier but, if not, things like hugging, kissing or massage can all help you feel closer to each other. Looking to the future Don’t expect things to pick back up again too soon after the birth. Your partner will need time to recover, and you might soon sense another obstacle to your sex life – fatigue. Irregular sleeping patterns, feeding schedules, nappy changes, and constant attention to the baby will probably continue to get in the way of your sex life. You might want to consider asking a family member or close friend to take care of the child for a while so you and your partner can spend some time together as a couple. If you’re used to having spontaneous sex, this might seem a little too regulated, but it might be a start. Finally, try to remind yourself that it’s not forever. As your child settles into more regular patterns of sleep, you’ll begin to find that there are more chances to be intimate without being interrupted by a crying baby.   References [1] Houlston, C., Coleman, L. Milford, L., Platts, N., Mansfield, P. (2013). Sleep, sex and sacrifice: The transition to parenthood, a testing time for relationships? OnePlusOne. Retrieved from: http://www.oneplusone.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Sleep-Sex-and-Sacrifice-OPO-report-FINAL-embargoed-until-29-May-2013.pdf [2] Von Sydow, K. (2000). Sexuality during pregnancy and after childbirth: A meta-analysis of 59 studies. Reproductive Health Matters, 8(15), 183. doi:10.1016/s0968-8080(00)90068-5
Article | pregnancy, parenting together
1 5 min read
Community posts
“Why doesn't my husband want me?”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I have been married for 12 years. My husband and I are happy, we do not have a perfect marriage but who does? From the start of our marriage we never had much of a sex life, even as newly weds. We would average maybe four times a month on a good month. He is not very affectionate toward me either. I had never felt attractive in my marriage, I am always the one who initiated sex and most of the time I got turned down. He does not kiss me and never performed oral sex for me at all, but expects it from me every time and sometimes just that for him and nothing at all for me. Later I found out he was watching porn A LOT. This broke my heart, because he never wanted me. About nine years and two sweet daughters later I found out that he was cheating - it was a one night thing. He swore that it meant nothing, in order for me to stay I demanded he tell me eVerything. I also found the other woman and talked to her about it. The stories matched up - apparently the plan was to cheat with her but he could not get an erection despite her best efforts. I asked him if he had kissed her (which he never kisses me) and he had - not only that but because he couldn't perform he gave her oral sex! He never does this for me! Well of course i was very upset and left him. He was devastated and apologised and said he would be a better husband and do all those things for me blah blah blah. So for my children and the fact that I love him we worked it out. He has done much better - he still will not kiss me but he will occasionally do oral. And he is more affectionate and I can honestly see that he is trying more than he ever has. Our sex life was great, 5-6 times a week and much more passion than ever before. But for the past two weeks he has not touched me, despite my attempts. When I asked him about it he said he was just in a down spiral (I forgot to mention he has cycling bi-polar disorder) and that his sex drive decreases when he has a down phase, so i tried to understand and be supportive, but I checked his phone last night and his history was absolutely full of porn! So his sex drive is decreased but he can watch porn and not want to have sex with me? I do not understand this and it makes me feel disgusting! I even offered for us to watch together but he did not want to do that. My body has changed a lot since having our children, and he knows how insecure I am about it. He says my body has nothing to do with it it's just his bipolor decreasing his libido. But i don't know about that seems like if libido was decreased it would be decreased for everything not just your wife, and be perfectly fine for porn. Can anyone help me understand this?
Ask the community | pornography, masturbation, sexless
“Haven't had sex in two months”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Hello. New to the group here... We have been together, 12 years, my husband says he is very much attracted to me, and basically wants no other. Our sex life, I believe was very good. Porn, not an issue, toys, not an issue, exploring, not an issue. But for him, he has not had an interest in sex in at least two months. Yes I have mentioned it to him. Yes I have said I miss having sex with him. I am a very sexual person. We have had relationship issues in past, but i believed we were past. Apparently not enough to where it has now affected our sex life. He drives trucks and yes i am with him in truck 24/7, but i do go home every 4 weeks for a few weeks to handle appointments. No, he is not one to be a cheater or even consider cheating. I am truly his world and his true love. I just would really like us to have our sex life back. I have even gone to the point of telling him i have my vibrator with me in the showers these days and its not an issue for him where as in the past it would have been. I have lost weight. I am not a big girl, I am a medium size person. I am attractive, so far so say, yes, sexually looking. Just he has no magnetism towards me, and i remember so long ago when we first met, he had his ex-wife living with him, and they were not sexual, that is how i feel at this point. We live together, sleep side by side, and have no sexual contact. But he says he will never be without me. I so desperately want our sex life back...i am a very sexual person and need want my husband... HELP... I'm at a loss here.
Ask the community | sex, communication, sexless
“How to talk to husband about sex toys?”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I've been married for almost a year and my husband's sex drive has diminished a lot. He is 39 and I am 29. We used to have sex about four or five times a week for about a year (about six months dating and three months married), but now we barely get it on once a week. He just switched jobs and we moved to a new country and I understand he is under a lot of pressure, but I know from his browser history that he has been watching porn about three or four times a week. I suspect he masturbates but I'm not sure. I don't pry, he leaves the porn tabs open and, as we share computers, I run across them. I've tried approaching the subject calmly and asking if he wants to try something new but he denies it and doesn't want to talk about it. I know he is curious about anal sex and toys from his porn searches, which are pretty softcore, btw. So i want to try some of them with him. The problem is... he is a typical christian macho man who says masturbation and porn are wrong even though he does it on the side. I am totally okay with both and we have talked about it, he knows I respect his privacy and as long as he is not choosing porn over me or getting addicted, I am fine with it. I am just worried now that he doesn't want to have sex with me but is watching porn often. Our sex life has been on decline in quality too. Honestly, using a vibrator, for example, would really be great for me too, since lately he just finishes in two minutes and barely even tries to touch me. I haven't let myself go, I've actually been exercising for over six months now and look better than before. I try to dress nicely for him and make myself up but he doesn't seem to care. I just want to make sex interesting again... for both of us. Should I even try to talk to him about it or would I be risking damaging his masculinity too much? How can I bring it up without hurting his masculinity? I am at my wit's end here... Thanks and sorry for the long post.
Ask the community | pornography, masturbation
“He watches porn but never touches me”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I didn't ever want to have to talk about this, it's so hurtful, but here I am. My BF and I have been together eight years and it has been so amazing after ironing out the beginning, which should have just smacked me and clear then but nope. In the last three years – yep that's right, three years – we haven't had sex. Nor kissing with passion. I get the same smooch his mother gets! No tight snuggles, no lying watching a movie together. It's him on his phone and I watch TV alone. I have tried and tried to start something but it's play stupid and roll over game. After three years a person has been over-patient. It started as me trying to walk by him naked or spray my perfume on before bed, sexy panties. I'm a small woman, nothing has changed with me, and I get nothing from him, not even a rollover for a kiss. He faces away from me and turns his head to the side for my magical goodnight kiss. In the last seven months, I have started to say "I'm here why don't you want me"? But i get excuses or it gets turned around on me so I am made to feel bad. Now it's to the point of me crying and crying, "Why don't you want me?" "What can I do to change?". I was made to feel his sex drive was low and he is so sorry, blah blah blah.. Screw that! His sex drive isn't too low for porn! He hasn't been touching me but he sure has been doing it to porn... We have watched porn together. I'm up for it, for sure, to help get a little dirtier but when you don't touch me unless you have been watching porn... no thank you! And you know what kills me? After I sat many many times over and over like an ass thinking he would stop, he won't do it because I told him it makes me feel ugly and unwanted and just discarded that he doesn't get aroused by me but has to use other women? I thought "My man isn't like that, he will stop, he knows it hurts me, and he wont hurt me". Boy was I wrong. He not only keeps watching it alone but hides the page or clicks the home button when I walk in the room. Like I'm not a complete idiot. So again last night, people, I cried and begged him to please stop watching it alone. Touch me if you're horny, I'm right here, why aren't I good enough? And I get deny, deny, deny and now I'm crazy, I didn't see porn, he isn't watching that. I have problems, I'd better go see a counsellor. I'm an embarrassment, I'm being an Idiot... I'm told to f off, get out of his face, he's tired of my bullshit. Last night, I lay in bed with so much going on in my mind. I kept to myself, watched a movie and fell asleep. Woke up at 5:15 cause I rolled over and, hmmm, he was gone... strange. So I got up to pee and, lo and behold, there he was on the couch on his phone. As soon as he saw me, that phone was flipped over faster than you can imagine. So I asked, "Hey, wanna prove me wrong? Let me see your phone. Show me the last page you were on. Just one. Prove me a paranoid crazy woman, just show me something", and as I stood there crying, pleading to him to prove me I'm wrong he tells me he's tired and will show me later... And his phone is hidden. Weird how it isn't on the end table like it is every night for the last eight years!!! My last comment to him was, "If you can't show me your phone and prove me wrong, then I now know I'm %110 right. He isn't going to stop. He doesn't care how it makes me feel and what am I doing still writing this? No sex for three years, over-excessive pain and anger, that's how my life has been. But I do see I'm not alone. To any woman or man that has a partner that makes them feel this way in any shape or form – please don't keep hurting yourself by letting someone stomp on your trust and heart. You're amazing and don't let anyone tell or show you different. Sorry it's probably all over the map, I'm still shaking from this morning's hidden phone event! Someone, anyone, talk to me please.
Ask the community | pornography, masturbation, sexless
“Could my wife be gay?”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   My wife and I have been married for two decades. After our second/last child was conceived, my wife's libido dropped to zero. This was 15 years ago. When I told her that lack of intimacy and sex in our marriage was putting me on the edge of walking away she agreed to try to spice things up. She said that it was difficult to get in the mood because she was always so tired from work and household chores. I took the cue and took over all of the household duties, but still no response from her. I offered to watch some porn together to see if that would help and she agreed but only if it were all girls videos. When she would watch these with me she responded quite well! Without the video, if I would initiate contact by touching her she would have no physiological response. I don't think that she is aware of any of this, she certainly hasn't been willing to talk about it with me. But I started putting two and two together and I wonder if she didn't marry me to be able to have a "normal" life, be able to raise a family, and avoid all of the challenges of a non-standard nuclear family that she would have to face in a same sex relationship.
Ask the community | pornography, masturbation
“Sexual insecurity after getting an IUD”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I am aware that a lot of questions on this site already revolve around what I’m going to talk about now, and that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of people left commenting but I have the strong urge to talk to someone about this and I don’t want to bother anyone in real life with it. My boyfriend and I have only been dating for roughly a year but there already seems to be an issue in the bedroom – he’s my first serious boyfriend and we lost our virginitys to one another. That being said, in the beginning we were (as to be expected) very ‘eager’ to do it, numerous times a day, multiple days a week all that good stuff. We had some issues concerning birth control (me going on the pill and having really extreme and bad reactions to it) and I ended up getting a copper IUD inserted because my body just seems to be very sensitive to hormones. Since then, I haven’t been ‘in touch’ with my body – I’m a naturally very insecure person and suffer from a few mental disorders that make me very sensitive and anxious especially when it comes to my physical appearance. It’s been this way since the very beginning (because it’s a ‘me’ problem) i.e. not being able to do certain positions because I’m too insecure that you could see how fat I must look (even though I know that I’m actually pretty skinny after having lost a bunch of weight due to mental reasons), not being able to perform oral on him because I’m too scared of not doing a good enough job – the list goes on. But since I had the IUD put in (or maybe not, I can’t remember too well honestly), I’ve grown more and more ashamed of my own body – the reason is that now, I produce a lot of ‘fluid’. No idea if it’s because of the IUD (I’ve heard women say that they experience excessive wetness after having that) but to me it seems like that’s the only logical explanation. It’s just too much. The worst part about it is that because of the excessive fluid, the friction gets less and less – I’ve done kegel exercises, I’ve tried researching in every way I could (and I’m 17 and was a virgin before him so), I’ve started beating myself up about it so much to the point where the thought of sex isn’t fun anymore. It stresses me out. This is also because he said something once, not in a mean-spirited way or to hurt me, but it was something along the lines of ‘…why aren’t you as tight as you used to be?’.. He has never said it again, never purposefully made me feel bad about myself and he does always try to show me that he’s attracted to me and that I’m not an ugly piece of shit but that question has stuck with me. Even though it’s been over half a year, even though he’s never mentioned it again, even though I explained to him that it was the excessive amount of lubrication my body was producing that made it feel like I was somehow ‘loose’ (or I really am haha fuck me) – it’s stuck in my head. I deal with a lot of insecurity just because of the way I am and how I was treated previously, and now I feel absolutely sexually inadequate. I feel like I’m a disappointment as a woman because all a woman needs to be is sexually desirable and the perfect ‘fuck doll or else she has no worth – and even though I know that not to be true and stupid it’s still so evident in our society and it only adds to me feeling worthless. And now that his sex drive has also decreased over time (He started a business a few months ago so he naturally has less free time to spend on me which is something I can fully understand) it only adds to it. I never initiate sex because of how insecure I am and how scared I am of being rejected (also it just turns me on more to be ‘submissive’ in the bedroom if anyone knows what I mean) and so it only happens if he’s in the mood. We joke about me having a really high sex drive and wanting to go pretty much anytime of the day but deep down it really bugs me and makes me feel like I’m not right or dirty or not desirable enough since we’re always taught that men are supposed to be the ones to crave sex and women are supposed to be the gate keepers and only put out every once in a while. I feel like it’s not normal that he doesn’t constantly want sex, and because it’s my first relationship I have no idea what other people are like. When we do have sex I get very bad performance anxiety at times and generally don’t enjoy it as much as I think I could (I’ve never had an orgasm when we had sex, only a full number of 3 times during our entire relationship when he performed oral on me which is something I normally don’t let him do because I’m too insecure and ashamed of my body), which is also why I think I would be able to go for round 7# or 10# or 65# - because I don’r really get fully satisfied. I can also see that most of these problems are my own fault because I 1) don’t initiate 2) never let him do oral in the past and now I don’t think he’d ever try again because I rejected him so often 3) I purposefully make it about him and his pleasure because I feel so uncomfortable and I just want to know that I pleased him, no matter what I feel. We now have sex maybe once every two or three weeks which is way too little for me – it gets me to the brink of insanity honestly. We’re 17 for christ’s sake. I’ve reached a point where if he tries touching me I get extremely anxious and just want him to stop, I don’t find myself attractive and I constantly remind myself of how much better other women look, how their butt’s are way bigger, how their boobs are more plump, how their stomach’s are more flat – the list goes on. I feel like I’m doing something wrong, like I’m not desirable enough to make him want to have sex with me – at the same time, I usher his hand away when he touches me, because I’m too scared of him feeling or seeing any sort of imperfection and finding me disgusting for it. I’ve brought to his attention that I want to have more sex and how it makes me feel, he said he was sorry and that he’d try his best but that he’s got a lot to do because of his business and such which I totally understand. I still feel like he just plain and simple doesn’t find me hot. I feel like I’m not woman enough to please him (even though I know that’s stupid and sexist, it’s somehow ingrained in my head). I don’t want to talk to my friends about it because I know for a fact that their problem is their boyfriends constantly wanting sex and them not being in the mood, which only makes me feel worse in comparison. I’m starting to refuse to have sex even though I want it to bad because I’m too scared of doing a bad job (there have been several really awkward situations which I guess is completely normal and he just laughed it off but that type of stuff haunts me forever) I also don’t want to talk to him about this again because I don’t feel like he understands or deems it a big issue, especially since I have already talked to him about it and I can also acknowledge that I’m the problem, not him. I must seem like a total mess but since I don’t expect anyone to read or comment, I guess it’s okay to be honest.
Ask the community | sex, intimacy
“My partner watches porn instead”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I've been with my partner only two years and have had a baby together (six months old). I understand having a baby probably changes things sexually, but I'm not convinced that's all it is here. I've been through his search history loads of occasions and know he watches porn now and again and it really fucks me off. Not because I have a problem with it because I don't – I enjoy watching porn too – but want it to be something we do together or even he does when he's putting out even. But no!!! I can instigate sex and he just acts like he's not interested all the time. In fact I'm always the one that does, never him. He's not very affectionate towards me and just shuts off when I try to talk to him about it, does not say a word. Doesn't assure me he's happy with me or anything. This morning I was wondering around naked, then in underwear for a good hour. I could tell he was playing with himself under the covers and had a look on his face like I might actually get lucky, but no. I started to get bored of him ignoring me as always and popped down stairs for five mins as soon as I was gone. He watches porn on his phone and had a wank. WTF. For me, physical contact is a must and I can enjoy porn and masturbating all day long but on its own is just not satisfying enough. I'm so sick of feeling hurt and upset and betrayed. I'm far from perfect like all of us however I'm not that bad and am a confident person generally not easily threatened by other females, but with my partner now I just feel I'm not good enough for him. He seems so much more interested in any other girl except me. And it's tearing me up inside. I feel mugged off and don't really understand why he's even with me really. Just to make clear, I'm very open about how I feel. I've said on so many occasions I'm happy with him watching porn but feel uncomfortable when he doesn't want sex with me and does it behind my back. I've said I'd like to watch it with him but get the feeling the reason he doesn't want to is because he watching girls that are nothing like me??? The fact he goes silent when I ask any questions about it drives me mad and the saying 'silence speaks a thousand words' is so very true, I believe. I just don't know what to do? I have literally tried every possible way of talking it over but he just won't have it. I've tried just ignoring and not letting it get to me in case I might seem a bit needy and I've tried being upfront and to the point, but nothing's working. The problem is I feel like I want to go elsewhere to get my satisfaction. Every women needs to feel wanted and I don't at all. I've never felt so low about myself in my life and it's not because I'm unhappy with me – it's the way he is with me. I was in a 12-year relationship before this and never once had a problem like this. I just don't know how to deal with it other than end it. Or go elsewhere so I can give him a massive 'fuck you' as he clearly doesn't care enough about my feelings to even try to resolve this? I just want people's opinions. Am I being over the top or am I absolutely right to feel this way? And how do I deal with it? And him? Please? I feel a bit pathetic but I can't stop thinking about it and can't even bring myself to go anywhere near him any way as I do feel like he's cheating on me almost.
User article | pornography, masturbation