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My wife and I have lived with this exact issue for almost 15 years now, and unfortunately, her previously low libido almost completely vanished in her 30's after having kids. It's a sucky situation.

However, one thing that did change for the better. In her 20's, she'd guilt me for being horny, claiming that I just wanted her for sex. These days, she has a more mature and pragmatic view about sex. She's flattered by my attraction to her, and is generally willing to give even if she has no interest in receiving.

It's not perfect - I'd rather be fucking an insatiable cougar at this point in my life - but it's held us together so far.

Posted by 1969libertine | September 24, 2008 11:20 AM

Hey Dan, I thought in the wake of PETA's call to use human breast milk in Ben & Jerry's products, we'd get a Savage Love Letter of the Day flashback...wasn't there a letter a couple years ago concerning a breast milk fetish? And has his dream finally hit the main stream in Switzerland?

Posted by Jonah | September 24, 2008 11:27 AM

I think Dan was close to giving the right advice, but maybe needed to frame it differently. Describing her role as “masturbatory aid” isn’t likely to make her feel any better about things. If she’s really not into the “masturbatory aid” sessions she could start to resent them/him and that might not be so great for their relationship either.

If I’m not in the mood, I would much rather give a good blowjob (with the understanding that it wasn’t going to lead to anything else) than have him rub his face in my tits (or whatever it was that Dan said) while he masturbated and I just, uh, laid there. Or, for that matter, for him to give me head, which is about the last thing I’d want to do if I was not feeling it. I think it comes down to, when I’m not in the mood, I’m happy to “give”, but I don’t want to have to do anything that involves “getting” (oral, intercourse, or otherwise). But, I recognize that different women likely feel differently about these things.

I think the general advice of sex once a week and “keeping him happy” a couple of times a week is solid, but she needs to find out what works for her in terms of what those “keeping him happy” session look like. I’m guessing that the specific activities Dan describes (and the use of the term “masturbatory aid”) are likely to rub some women the wrong way.

Posted by Julie in Chicago | September 24, 2008 11:40 AM

@3: "Rub some women the wrong way." Did you do that on purpose?

Posted by Gloria | September 24, 2008 11:49 AM

@4. No... But I did refrain from making the "no pun intended joke" on purpose.

Posted by Julie in Chicago | September 24, 2008 11:56 AM

"then pulled shit like waiting till I fell asleep so he could fuck me in the ass"

That's not sleep, that's passed-out.

Posted by gk | September 24, 2008 12:00 PM

@3: you give head when you're not in the mood? do you realize you're the ideal woman?

Posted by max solomon | September 24, 2008 12:02 PM

"’re comparing loving, indulgent apples to abusive, obnoxious oranges here..."

My new quote of the day.

Posted by schnoodle | September 24, 2008 12:11 PM

@7. If I were the ideal woman, I would be in the mood for sex all the time and the not-in-the-mood blowjobs wouldn't be needed, right?

I'm in the same boat as the woman in that letter - once a week is great for me, not so much for my husband, so I try to be reasonable about that fact (I don't always succeed, mind you). I think my husband needs to write Dan a nice thank you note, because I've been reading Savage Love too long to not take that attitude...

Posted by Julie in Chicago | September 24, 2008 1:03 PM

Dan, I tried to do what you suggested for years. He would rub his dick in between my ass in the shower to get off or in between my breasts etc. It made me feel like an object. I don't recommend this. I do have to say to this woman that crying is manipulative and wrong. Stop with the waterworks!

Posted by Jules | September 24, 2008 2:00 PM

I think people get a bit hung up on Dan's words. Or maybe it's just the hindsight of having peoples' reactions to then retroactively ascribe different emphasis.

I think the "masturbatory aid" suggestions are just examples, and not a to do list. If something makes you feel like an object, then stay the heck away from that position/activity! I'va had the "I feel like an object" happen with my SO, and I am never doing it again. But there are plenty of things we do where neither of us feel bad, so we do those. Experiment, and stay in touch with your feelings. Also, just because you're helping him get off doesn't mean you can ignore what's going on. You do have to pay a certain amount of attention and give a certain amount of energy in this.

Posted by Lavode | September 24, 2008 4:54 PM

Wouldn't "rapist" be the appropriate term for the letter-writer's "boyfriend" in the first letter?

Posted by Ivan | September 24, 2008 10:32 PM

I don't think Dan's advice is unreasonable. When two people have different sexual desires, you compromise, just like with any other part of a relationship.

So what if you're not in the mood for sex- do something else with your partner. Maybe you'll get in the mood by helping your partner get off. Even if you don't, you presumably care about this person, and people who care about each other make sacrifices for the other person sometimes.

If both participants love and respect each other, then acts that would be degrading in other situations become uplifting and pleasurable. WMM should definitely consider a wide range of activities, even if they may seem objectionable at first.

Posted by J. | September 24, 2008 11:29 PM

I am in a similar position to the original letter-writer (not the one with the horrid creepy ex who assaulted her in her sleep!) I agree with Julie that I'd rather give than get when I'm not in the mood. My husband would like to have sex every day (or more), while I'm more once a week. I'm fine with the masturbatory aid thing. One other thing that worked well for us is making Wednesday "no hump day". This is the one day a week that he doesn't make any kind of approach and I don't need to feel guilty about not "servicing" him.

Posted by nohumpday | September 25, 2008 7:54 AM

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