15 Mar EP141: I’m sexually unfulfilled. How can I get my partner to explore sex with me? | Ryan Thomas
I’m sexually unfulfilled. How can I get my partner to want to learn more?
I had a listener reach out to me recently. She bought my product A Man’s Guide to Female Orgasm in the hopes that she could watch it with her husband. They’ve been together for 20 years and sex has been getting boring. She said that when she tries to bring this stuff up (about learning more about orgasm, and pleasure, and exploring sexually), he turns it away almost immediately.
Now, for this article/episode I’m going to provide a solution that assumes he still cares. When a relationship is on the rocks, he’s not going to care about sexual pleasure. He’s going to be more concerned with alleviating stress, or finding connection. If he’s at the point of sexual distancing, he will likely be pulling away in other areas of the relationship as well.
That being said, if it’s purely this topic he’s uncomfortable with, then he’ll still be showing up in the relationship by caring for you and the family. If this is the case, then here are 3 obstacles preventing him from exploring with you:
This is a purely educational piece. He simply doesn’t understand. Not through any particular fault of his own. He just believes that you’re already having a good time. So why put in effort if it’s already working? Men typically don’t want to “fix” something that isn’t broken.
He may not understand that your pleasure is lacking if you’ve routinely faked orgasms, or you’ve never talked about this before. Few men truly understand the pleasure centres of women. I’ve beens studying this for years, and I’m STILL learning more. He can learn more too.
A man’s ego is centred on his ability to protect and provide and be a great partner. That’s not something to be scoffed at. That desire to be a good partner is something to be appreciated. That being said, it also needs to be guided appropriately. Here are 2 things to consider how his ego may be affected:
a) He’s afraid of what it means about him for not already knowing. If he hears you, he may be thinking, “After all this time, she’s not been enjoying sex with me? That means I’m a terrible partner, a terrible lover, and a failure as a man. I’d rather not consider this at all and just ignore it. I’ll tell her everything is fine instead.”
No man wants to feel like an incompetent partner or lover. And it hurts him to know that after all this time, he’s not been a great lover.
b) He’s afraid of what you’ll think about him if he tries and “fails”. I remember the first time I role played with a partner. I was Tarzan, and she was Jane. I felt so clumsy and had no idea what I was doing. As a result, I felt unattractive and I thought she was looking at me like a fool. So to deal with it, I just sped up the process and went to sex. That was easier, and less uncomfortable. Avoidance was the solution.
Learning new skills means there’s going to be a phase of clumsiness. It also means that there’s a chance for “failure.” In sex, there’s no such thing as failure, because it’s an ongoing process, and very subjective in nature.
In our guy brains, however, we attach end-goals to just about everything. Which means we can associate a goal to sex and your experience. And if we’re clumsy, or learning a new skill, we won’t be a good lover, we won’t create a good sexual experience for you, and we’ll fail at sex. This makes us feel incompetent like in the previous point. And if we feel this way, it’s easier to just avoid it altogether.
HIS EMOTIONAL NEEDS
Men are emotional creatures, but we’re taught to protect and provide for our partners. Which means that men may not ask for support, or help, or for anything. To do so would imply emotional weakness, which would diminish his ability to support you.
If this is the case, he may feel resentful when you bring up this topic, because he doesn’t feel like his needs are being met.
On a deeper level, however, he may simply have some sexual blockages of his own. If he’s never had to talk about sex in this way before, then naturally this is going to be uncomfortable now. This is a type of vulnerability that he has to explore on his own, but with your encouragement.
He might also be lazy and selfish. If he’s lazy and selfish, however, that will show up in other areas of the relationship as well; not just the bedroom.
These are the underlying reasons why he may pull away when you ask him for sexual support. And there are only 2 ways to approach this.
You can either get upset and demand he change, or you can invite him to grow.
The truth is, you can’t ask a man to change (or anyone for that matter). You can only invite him to support you in your growth, and join you.
The best mindset to have to tackle this is by asking him for support so that you can grow and learn about your body and pleasure. The moment you frame anything as though he needs to improve to keep you happy, he will instantly feel like you’re trying to change him. Which means he’s not loved the way he is.
He will feel unappreciated, unadmired, and disrespected, all of which kill a man’s desire to step up into a relationship and grow.
But, if you make this journey about you, and that you can’t do it without his support, then this is a different approach. This will call him to step into his desire to provide, protect and lead. He needs to have the freedom to make the choice on his own. He cannot be pushed.
Many women feel guilty asking for help because, a) she feels like she’s not allowed to ask, b) she doesn’t want to be a bother or a nag, and/or c) doesn’t want to hurt his feelings.
If there’s one thing that rings true for the vast majority of men, it’s that we prefer direct communication over indirect hints. We prefer the quick discomfort in direct communication, over the confusion that arises from indirect communication.
You are allowed to ask directly for your desires.
Here are some action steps to get this ball rolling:
1) Explicitly ask for his support. Hinting at it does not work. You need to be vulnerable and say exactly what’s going on for you. I give an example in the podcast you can find here: www.theintimatelifestyle.com/askingforsex. Here’s an example (my example of Kaila and premature ejaculation).
2) Reassure him that you love having sex with him. It’s okay to admit that you think things are getting monotonous and you need some spice. It’s also okay to admit that you want to explore your sexuality and different kinds of pleasure. That you want to learn your body more. This highlights your desire for yourself and your pleasure, not on his skills or character.
Also, remember how I mentioned that men can get overly goal-oriented? Remind him that what you want to do is simply explore. There’s no goal and no outcome you’re looking for.
3) Ask yourself the following questions: Are you willing to learn new ways to pleasure him? Are you sure that you’re meeting his sexual needs? Does he feel like he can bring up his needs, desires, fantasies to you? Once you’ve considered these questions, ask him the last two questions to find out how you’re measuring up as a sexual partner yourself.
All in all, there’s no special technique to get anyone to do anything. But if you can have open and honest conversations in your relationship, then you’re on your way to a more fulfilling sex life.
But you can only do so much yourself. If you’re growing, and he’s unwilling to himself out of fear, laziness, or any other reason, then it’s up to you to decide if you’re willing to stay.
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