Is Your Sex Life Normal?
Question: My husband and I love to have sex in public places. We've done it in the park, in the car, in a movie theater and even on a moving train. Is it normal to want to have sex in public places?
Part of the attraction to public sex is the risk that's involved, says sex journalist Sarah Hedley. "I think loads of people are doing it. It's only a problem if you're not having sex in the bedroom as well," Hedley says. "So if you're relying on the risk, then you're kind of taking away a bit of the intimacy. So as long as you're doing the full spectrum—not just waiting until you get in that taxi, or on that train—then it's normal."
He Wants More
Question: My wife and I have been married two years. We have sex about once a week. She says I'm not romantic and that she sometimes has sex out of obligation. She also says that if I would help out around the house she'd be more into having sex. But I don't see the relationship between housework and sex. I worry she no longer finds me attractive, and that maybe we were meant to be just friends. Is it normal for me to expect to have sex every day with my wife?
Mismatched sex drive is one of the most common problems with couples, says general practitioner Sarah Humphery. "It's interesting you say that you don't understand how getting more involved in the housework is going to help," Humphery says. "She's going to be less tired, she's going to be preoccupied, she's going to feel less like a sort of housewife—you've got to make her feel sexy." For the woman, Humphery says sometimes, she will have to do it out of obligation. Men—more often than women—are aware of their bodies, whereas women—"we don't have that connection to 'down below'."
Question: My husband and I are newlyweds and I can't keep my hands off him. I initiate sex 85% of the time. He usually says "no" because he is tired. Am I being selfish because I want sex more often? Is it normal for the woman to be the initiator most of the time?
Psychotherapist Rachel Morris says the first question to ask yourself is whether there are any other times— apart from when you're having sex— where he gives you his "entire, full, unadulterated attention." "If the answer is no," Morris says, "it may be that you're confusing the desire to have sex with the desire to have him all to yourself—the reassurance that you're still loved. Intimacy and sex aren't necessarily the same things. So pushing him to have sex, when really what you want is intimacy, probably means that you're getting neither.
A Celibate Marriage
Question: In the last two years, my husband and I have had sex once. We've been married 14 years, run a business together and have a daughter. I'm only 38 years old—it's not that I don't have a high sex drive. We just don't know how to get back to being sexual together. Is it normal to have a marriage that becomes more like a brother and sister relationship?
Dr. Lana Holstein says most couples do need a sexual tune-up. Many times "it just fades a little bit—they're paying attention to their finances or to their kids—but they forget that they could pay attention to their sexual connection."
She says although many people believe in "spontaneity," couples should really treat sex and relationships like a business. "I call it 'The Good Sex Division.' It needs everything a new division of the company would need." Couples should set a mission statement that includes goals, capital—a statement of a perfect sex life.
Dr. Holstein also recommends setting a regular time for sex. "It's the only way. Our lives are so busy…you won't get to it often." For a deep, soulful connection, Dr. Holstein suggests the woman sit on the man's lap, face-to-face, and gaze into each others eyes. "When you sit together, you hold hands, you look into one another's eyes, you remind yourself, 'Why am I with this person?' All of a sudden it starts to change."