Responsive Desire

Low or no sex drive?
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MSM1
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Responsive Desire

Post by MSM1 »

I have responsive desire (closer to no desire). Do any women have advice on how to initiate sex if you have responsive desire?

My husband is kind and patient with my low desire, but I want to give him what he wants and needs too.

Context:

We've been married for six months. I have tested my hormones and got them fixed. I have a history of sexual abuse from a long time ago, but I processed that through therapy. Basically I fixed the most obvious triggers that reduce a women's desire to have sex, but I am still struggling with arousal and desire.
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Re: Responsive Desire

Post by DoveGrey »

Welcome to the board, MSM1!

You've definitely come to the right place. First, let me say how much I admire you for processing past abuse. From a survivor of a different kind of abuse to another, we definitely don't have to let someone else's cruelty define who we are. We are stronger than that.

I'm sure other RD spouses will chime in here. I am RD only part of the time, but here's what I do. First, I make sure that I initiate as much as my husband does. If he initiates one day, I try to make sure I initiate before he does the next time. You can talk with your husband and find out how many days in between sessions is ideal for him. If it's 2, for example, you can try to get to it on that second day before he does. Plan ahead for it so that you've got it on your mind. Many times, just having the knowledge that sex is coming will help you get mentally ready for it.

Another option is to pick a day of the week that's your day to initiate. For a friend of mine, this is the same day every week. I've used this option in the past, but I varied the day because my husband prefers spontaneity. While I know he's grateful for any initiation, I didn't want him thinking that it was just Wednesday Duty Sex. It wasn't - it was just me making sure that I remembered to fit in something that I knew would benefit both of us.

Congratulations on your marriage! We're happy to have you here.
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Olorin
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Re: Responsive Desire

Post by Olorin »

Welcome MSM1!

I am a not a woman, however the sexual dynamic in my marriage sounds similar to yours, specifically, I am high-drive and my wife has responsive desire. Let me start by saying its great that your husband is patient and kind. And let me say its also great that you want to know how you can do more to make sex better for your husband. A successful marriage requires both parties to approach problems lovingly, and with a good attitude, and it seems like you and your husband are on the same page in this regard.

DW and I also find that it is important to have frequent open, honest and patient communication about where each of is sexually. Lots of talking is required to solve any marital problem, but in our experience there are few problems as difficult and personal as addressing a disparity in sex drive. It really helps to make sure we know the 'sexual status' of one another in order to determine if there is an issue that has arisen that needs immediate attention, or if we can continue to make gradual changes/improvements to our marriage bed.

DW and I have adopted the following practices to address our disparity in desire. First, we have a set day (usually Saturday) on which we will have sex. The scheduled sex works well for my wife because she is a planner, and knowing that we will be engaging in intercourse allows her to be maximally present to our marriage bed. We both make a variety of preparations for this day, which usually includes lighting candles, turning on some LED lights, DW will sometimes wear something sexy, I will shave and trim my nails, we will spray some perfume in the air, make sure the coconut oil is warm enough so it is a liquid, etc. Some couples don't like a planned day because it lacks spontaneity, but both DW and I have come to really look forward to this planned time together. In fact, for me it is very arousing to 'wake up' on our planned day knowing what will be happening.

Second, DW will also make it a point to approach me for sexual activity at least one time during the rest of the week. For this 'mid-week' marriage bed rendezvous, we may engage in full sex, or she may bless me with an O some other way (in the bed or shower).

Third, there are days when I will approach her to she if she is interested in some kind of sexual play. Again, what we do depends on what she is feeling up to, what are schedules are, etc. If for some reason we can't engage in sex play at that time, we will commit to the next available opportunity.

Finally, though this may be a topic for another thread, we found that the use of a sex toy has greatly enhanced my DW's enjoyment of our marriage bed. In her case, she cannot have an orgasm unless she uses some kind of vibrator. In particular, she really likes a corded-wand style toy with rumbly vibrations. Making sure the wand is warm has become another part of our pre-sex routine. Though DW most definitely has responsive desire, she clearly is more interested in sex knowing that sex can have O's most of the time.

Hope this helps. Best of luck to you and your husband!
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Re: Responsive Desire

Post by SeekingChange »

MSM1 wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 9:20 pm I have responsive desire (closer to no desire). Do any women have advice on how to initiate sex if you have responsive desire?
If you are truly just talking about initiating sex, it can be as simple as saying, "Wanna have sex? ;) " Also doing some teasing with fondling/touch can be an easy way to get sex on the mind and lead him in that direction. Texting suggestions for later is good also. Flash him. Show up naked. Honestly, if you're married to a high drive man, initiating likely will take very little, and he could be quick to take over.

For the most part, at least for me, it is often a mental choice and decision. When we realize how we are, and that we are responsive, we just have to have faith that the desire will kick in once it starts and the "want" will show up. But getting out of the habit and belief that "being in the mood" should be my guide, was a hard habit to break and it took a lot of intentional effort.
God can change what people do, behavioral patterns that have been in play for decades. He can change what we do to cope, to find comfort, to survive conflict, to count. Rahab had done a same old thing for years... and then she did something new.
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Re: Responsive Desire

Post by Rooster2015 »

My wife definitely responsive desire. We schedule our sex. Sometime she or I will text each other usually a code. Just because her older kids may borrow her phone. But later at night after showers it’s on. The texting before allows her to say one way or the other. If it’s no I never give her an attitude. But most of the time she is ready. It works out very close on jumps who's bones first.
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Re: Responsive Desire

Post by LBD »

Some good practical ideas have been shared. Speaking as a husband who has struggled within a somewhat similar marriage dynamic for almost 30 years (at first, wife had some RD, but it has turned to LD to ND), I'll go a little deeper - the most crushing feeling that can/could arise from such a situation is your husband starting to question his value to you. Questions start to replay in a husband's head like: "Why doesn't she love me", "am I not attractive to her", "what more do I have to do to get her to notice me". These questions can turn inward on him quickly. They can also manifest themselves (eventually) as bitterness or resentment if they are not addressed. It can become a constant battle for him. I feel like had my wife and I both understood each other better years ago, we may have been able to avoid future heartache, or at least avoided some of the more devastating crashes.

Knowing you do have some responsive desire in your tank is wonderful! You've won half the battle with that awareness. Also be aware (which you may be but have not stated here) that sex is SOOOO much more to him than just physical release. Yes, it IS physical release, and the lack of that DOES have real, physical and thus emotional consequences for him. BUT, it is much more than just those things. For most men, as evidenced here on this forum, sex is as much or more about the emotional connection and is a primary way we both show love for and feel love returned from our wives. If that part of the marriage is lacking, then we can and often will start questioning everything.

But luckily, you hold a valuable key. Use it. It is not necessarily "just have sex", though that's not a bad idea! :) Since you have RD, all you need to really do is concentrate on setting up the opportunities for him to turn the key for you. Look for his bids and free yourself to respond to them. Make yourself cognitive of his efforts to reach for you - both directly sexually and indirectly. You too should make bids, but they don't have to be overtly sexual or lead to sex. Just try to show him you do in fact love him and you are ready, willing and able to be responsive to HIM, in every way, not just sexually. Learn his love language and make efforts to speak to him through it. Share yours with him and encourage reciprocity. For example - If I have been throwing bids for my wife's attention around for a few days and they have been seemingly ignored or shoved off by her, then after a few days she comes in and says "I'd be willing to have sex tonight as long as it's not too late", or even as direct as "you wanna have sex?", I'd more than likely feel like "no thanks, don't put yourself out for me... :roll: " Because inside I am carrying around the weight of untold number of rejected bids through which she has shown have had no value to her up unto that point. Even if I know she loves me, she's actively shown something that looks very different. Her actions showed me that sex was just something she had to do to keep the peace. Recognition and response to the earlier and recurring bids doesn't have to be sex, but it also shouldn't suggest apathy either.

The difficulty for HD men with RD women is a lack of understanding for sure, which almost always comes from a lack of communication. But it is not like both aren't communicating, they are. It is just that they are speaking different dialects and both misunderstand the other. And as explained above, sometimes what we do communicates something very loudly. Pause for time of explanation and better understanding of each other. Be willing to hear how your husband feels and accept that to him, perception IS reality. Then share your perception and both seek to build your shared better reality.

And last, but certainly not least, concentrate on positive reinforcement - be willing to let sex happen. :) It sounds easy....

Finally, since you are just starting this journey, I would offer a word of warning. If there are plans for children (or the unplanned blessing happens), be aware that your attention will be split and the tendency for most mothers is to give the overwhelming majority of the attention pie to the children. Some of that can't be helped for a time and it requires some understanding from a husband/father, but too often I have seen marriage gaps begin at this time. Not only can it be devastating to the marriage, it really is not good for the children either. The worst thing you can teach children is that they are the center of your universe, and thus they grow up thinking they are the center of the world. Humility is best taught by example. So is commitment. But if we let misplaced attention lead to fracturing our marriage and home - what have we taught but the exact opposite of commitment, humility and love to our children. If you do your jobs as parents well, your children will one day leave your nest and soar on their own. It will be the greatest feeling of accomplishment and joy, and the greatest heartache you've ever felt. And all that will be left at home is you and your husband. How well you have tended THAT relationship will be only too evident at that point. You will spend (hopefully) a majority of your life in that state. If you have tended that garden well leading up to it, it will be a rewarding time for you both.
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Re: Responsive Desire

Post by CTim »

I'm a husband to a responsive only/LD wife. My wife will occasionally initiate by just coming to bed when I do and shutting the door. That's it, that's the indicator. 😁 She's almost never "in the mood" in the classical sense, but she knows she can usually get there after we get started.

I agree with virtually everything LDB said above, and he said it way better than I could. My wife is wonderful and loves me dearly, but due to her responsive only and low desire there have been periods of time in the past where I felt unloved, resentful, and even some bitterness about it. So good for you two working on it MUCH earlier in your marriage.
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Re: Responsive Desire

Post by MrEden »

Welcome MSM1.

One thing you said that raised my eyebrow is that you have gotten your hormones fixed, and have been married for only 6 months. I assume you fixed your hormones after you got married.

Six months isn't really enough time to get your hormones fixed. Continue to pursue that route. It takes a lot of experimentation to get everything dialed in. For instance, my wife was low in testosterone, so they guessed at the proper dose. It didn't do a lot. She lost her ovaries post-menopause, so she had a lot of life-experience to know what is normal for her. Even though her testosterone readings were high-normal, she still wasn't where she knew she should be. So they increased it some more, and ta-da, her libido etc. came back to normal. Her lab readings are a good bit over the normal range in the lab tests, but that is what is normal for her. You may need to find a better bHRT doctor. Too many doctors do it as a sideline, and it is not at all like conventional medicine. Is your doctor A4M certified? Their training and certification requirements are rigorous. However, there are various levels of certification, and if your doctor is just starting out, he may not be up to speed yet. https://www.a4m.com/

Another thing. Men and women are so different. I believe that we tend to compare men to women, and falsely conclude that many women are responsive-desire-only when they in fact have some spontaneous desire. In my experience, A LOT of spontaneous desire if I wait long enough. My wife is good with it once every week or two. But given enough time, she NEEDS sex. The changes in her body are as obvious as a guy's erection. She smells different. And her orgasms are major productions. One thing we started doing a few years back that has really helped us is that I do not pressure her to have an orgasm, and don't even ask if she wants one. If she wants one, she asks for it. She is very good about taking care of my needs, so it was very difficult for me to learn not to at least offer to return her generosity. But she didn't like even that little bit of what she perceived as pressure to perform.

Have you ever orgasmed?
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