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Shawn and Kerrie are the parents of two children and have been married for 13 years. The couple turned to Dr. Berman after sex left them both unsatisfied. "It's pretty much the same each time, probably not a lot of imagination or foreplay," Kerrie says. "I think that he approaches it more in a physical act to be done, kind of like the laundry."

Shawn says Kerrie's lack of initiation makes sex feel like a chore for him. "There's no enticement. There's no seduction. Nothing. If you want it, you're going to have to initiate it," he says.

When they are sexual, Kerrie tells Dr. Berman that she doesn't always get back what she gives. Kerrie says she often performs oral sex on Shawn, but Shawn doesn't reciprocate. "In the very beginning, there was occasionally and now virtually never," Kerrie says.

Finally, Shawn opens up about his reluctance. "I think that I made a mistake watching the birth of our daughter," he says. "It completely distorted my perception, and I've never been able to get by that. Ever."

Dr. Berman says she's heard this story from many men. "It's hard for women to hear because we want our husbands or our partners in the room with us when we give birth ... and it's scary for them," Dr. Berman says. "And so what had happened is he just said forget it and hadn't gone back there, and here it had been years and years later, and things had gone back to normal."
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FROM: Sex Therapy 2: Fears, Fantasies, Faking It
Published on November 21, 2008

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