Is it okay to track how often you have sex?

Jay Dee

Is it okay to track how often you have sex?

Nov 13, 2013

How often do you have sex?  Do you know?  Are you sure?  Do you ever have a disagreement about when the last time you had sex was?  Or how often you have sex on average?  I came across a study once (I wish I could

Is it ok to track sexual frequencyHow often do you have sex?  Do you know?  Are you sure?  Do you ever have a disagreement about when the last time you had sex was?  Or how often you have sex on average?  I came across a study once (I wish I could find it) that showed that some married couples couldn’t even agree on whether or not they had sex the night before (and we’re not talking about a drunken night out).  I know for us, early in our marriage, this was a constant battle.  I would insist that it had been weeks since the last time we had sex.  My wife would insist that it was “just the other day”.  So, when we finally started sitting down and talking about our sex issues, one of the things I did was start tracking our frequency.  I mean, there’s no sense having an argument about each other’s memory of reality when you can easily use facts that represent reality.  Because, let’s face it, typically both spouses are a bit biased.

These days we no longer argue about how often we have sex.  We know, because we track it.  So, now we can discuss what the real issue is, not whose memory is flawed.  This has been immensely helpful to us.  Just last week in fact, when my wife was proof reading Is scheduled sex helpful for a marriage?, I wrote that our frequency was down to about twice a week.  She launched the app on my tablet that we use to track frequency and started counting.  In the past, this might have started a fight, in her mind, I was wrong.  It just so happened that I had checked the app myself before making a claim, or I might have stated a different number myself.  But, now, she just looked at me and said “What happened in October?!”, and we had a short discussion about how our lives are quite busy right now, how the baby won’t sleep, how we both want more, but we both understand that this is a temporary lull.

But some spouses will get upset over tracking frequency.  I’ve heard of large fights started just because a spouse was marking the calendar with a small tick every time they had sex.  Why is this?

Tracking how often you have sex makes it feel less romantic

Some spouses believe that if you are tracking sex, then

  • it is now more like business than romance
  • you have a quota you are trying to match
  • you believe quantity is more important than quality
  • you don’t care who the sex is with, so long as you are hitting your targets
  • you are going to show someone
  • there is pressure to “keep the numbers up”

My wife’s first response for why someone wouldn’t want to track sexual frequency is because it shows the truth.  That their sex-life is dangerously infrequent and they are likely the cause.

In all these objections, one thing is clear to me:  They are not upset about the tracking, but rather avoiding the real issue and deflecting their misplaced anger, fear, resentment or shame onto the thing that will show there is a real problem.  This is a case of “don’t kill the messenger”.

Why you should track how often you have sex

So, why should you track?

  • As I said above it gives a true count of reality.  No biases, no forgetfulness, no faded memories.  This can stop fights about recollection of the data, and move on to resolving the real conflict.
  • You can see trends in your life.  Notice cycles.  Notice that once a month, your frequency goes to zero?  I’m betting that’s the wife’s period.  Notice that once a month, it increases dramatically?  I’m betting that’s the wife’s ovulation (more on that in a future post).  Notice it going up or down every year around Christmas, or tax season, or maybe quarterly reviews at work?  You can prepare for these, and not be upset, or wondering what you did differently when they occur.
  • Because, anything monitored, improved.  Think about it.  You watch your weight, it goes down.  You watch your bank account, it goes up.  You watch your kids….well, they don’t die in a freak accident.  Watching things often leads to result, purely by placing your attention on it.  It’s not a guarantee, but baring some serious issues in the marriage, it tends to be true.

Don’t secretly track how often you have sex

If you are going to start tracking, I wouldn’t suggest doing it in secret.  If your spouse has one of the objections above, they are going to add a new one to the list: you’re hiding it, so you know it’s wrong.  Don’t hide it.  Have a conversation about it.  Tell your spouse why you are tracking, what you hope to accomplish, and how you are going to track it.  Give them access so they can see it.  Oh, and don’t jump up to run to the calendar and circle the date as soon as you have an orgasm.  Be a little bit more considerate.  Maybe do it the next day, or after going to the bathroom.  But don’t make it look like you are adding notches to your bedpost.

 Your Turn

Do you track your frequency?  If so, why did you start?  How do you track it (app, spreadsheet, marked calendar)?  If not, is there a reason you don’t, do you think it could help?

53 thoughts on “Is it okay to track how often you have sex?”

  1. Bonnie Wallace says:

    This is interesting and I’m not sure how to feel about it. I do like that you said not to track sex secretly. When I was in my refuser days, my husband used to track sex so he could use the frequency against me like a weapon when we would fight about it. But, I agree that we did seem to disagree about how often we were having sex. I don’t think that tracking it would help, however, because whether or not we had sex yesterday, a week ago, or a month ago, it wouldn’t change the bottom line–one spouse wanted more than the other.

    I kind of feel like tracking sex, in some cases, would just be a way to prove you’re “right” when you want sex or when you feel like you’re not getting enough of it, and I don’t think that would bring any benefit to your marriage. On the flip side, my husband and I have made a decision to have sex every day (unless there are extenuating circumstances) so there’s really not much grey area with us. If both spouses are struggling though and agree to it, it may be helpful. Interesting concept!

    1. Jay Dee says:

      So many reformed refusers! I’ve been kicking the idea around for a year or so about assigning an intended audience to each post.

      For example:

      WARNING! This post is intended for marriages with a healthy sex life. If your spouse, or you, are a refuser, don’t read this post. It will get you into trouble, make you jealous, or make you angry.

      1. Bonnie Wallace says:

        Ha! Nice. I know that, as bloggers, we direct some posts to people in different stages of marriage. Definitely may be worth clarifying that!

  2. trixie1466 says:

    I would think unless there is conflict about frequency it wouldn’t be necessary. We no longer have conflict about frequency and are both satisfied where we’re at. Tracking does make sex seem rather clinical. I never even tracked my menstrual cycle.

    Back when we fought about frequency all the time I would have gone ballistic if he’d kept track on a calender. I’m sure the reason would have been anger born of defensiveness. I’m quite certain it would have made it worse, because I know I would have rebelled and said “Now you’re not getting any! Track that!” Clearly that is the wrong attitude, but that’s where I was at.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Thanks for your honesty Trixie! Yeah, I can understand that attitude. As you said, clearly wrong, but I’m afraid probably fairly prevalent.

      I’m curious, how did you get over it?

      1. trixie1466 says:

        It was all part of the process of accepting Jesus as my Savior. He changed my heart and opened my eyes. He showed me what sex means to my husband. He helped me learn the beliefs I had about sex within marriage were wrong (sex is dirty). He helped heal me of past sexual sins. And now He’s helping me to see my own sexuality as something I don’t need to hide or be ashamed by. We both still struggle with emotional intimacy, but we’re both working to improve that. All glory goes to Him.

        1. Jay Dee says:

          That’s great, thanks for sharing!

  3. Robyn Gibson says:

    If there was a ‘love’ button instead of ‘like’ to click for this, I would have, and I love the way your mind works JD! I think I already do track because I journal, so obviously, what girl doesn’t write in her diary about her sexual encounters!! Tracking is a great idea. In fact, I think it’s better than scheduling. Also, you can rate the experience; I don’t mean your spouses performance but rather, quickie or not, the ins and outs (pun intended) liked this didn’t like that, etc. I use cheesecakes as metaphors for everything relational, and to me it’s no different than trying a new recipe and making the notations in my kitchen journal. Darrell has told me that he LOVES my chocolate cheesecake, but for his birthday this year he’s requested that I try something different … he wants to try mint chocolate cheesecake. I will have to do some research of chocolate and such, but after he eats it, I will definitely want to know his thoughts and write the results into my kitchen journal.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I am so confused about the cheesecake now…is cheesecake code for sex? What’s different between chocolate cheesecake sex and mint chocolate cheesecake sex?!? I’m not sure mint extract is safe to use during sex…sounds like it would burn…

      I miss cheesecake…(dairy free here). Good think we still have sex.

      1. Robyn Gibson says:

        @ JD – rofl: yes I’m thinking extract would probably burn however an essential oil probably wouldn’t. An example of a metaphor that I use would be something like, your cheesecake will only be as good as the ingredients you put into it.’ It’s not ‘code’ for sex – perhaps code for learning about or understanding relationships better (including sex)
        –the difference in mint and plain chocolate wasn’t really the point, but rather an example of making notes after eating it.
        –sorry about the lactose! I’m sure there’s dairy free cream cheese though?? I had to figure out a nut crust for myself b/c I can’t eat any gluten.

        1. Jay Dee says:

          Ah, I see.

          In my case, lactose isn’t the issue, it seems to be the pasteurization, so the normal alternatives (lactose free whatever) don’t usually work….and no, to date I have not found a decent dairy free cream cheese. We’re gluten free (for the wife and kids) as well, so I feel your pain.

          1. Robyn Gibson says:

            I’m curious, do you notice a difference when you eat pasteurized honey? -b/c I do. WOW – gluten and dairy free, you guys got a double whammy! Also, I’ve been thinking about you and your new job, hope all is well with that!

            1. Jay Dee says:

              I have not noticed, but I don’t tend to eat a lot of honey. What I do notice is that when I travel to 3rd world countries, I can eat all the dairy I want. Here…I have to buy unpasteurized cheese at $7 for a quarter of a brick, and milk is illegal to buy, distribute or even gift, and I think they are trying to make it illegal to drink.

              The job is now just a job, whereas it use to be fun and exciting. But, at least it comes with a lot of flexibility so I can do the things I feel called to.

              1. Robyn Gibson says:

                JD: I’m sorry to hear the job is just a job – sometimes that’s good though. Interesting about the 3rd world countries, and not surprising. My daughter is fascinated with how we have, on our side of the world, pretty much destroyed our food for the sake of mass manufacturing and cash. (she’s also studying the drugging of kids for the school system, but that’s another story) Anyway it’s just scary how different our food is.

        2. Johnny says:

          Yes! Peppermint essential oil would… hurt. No, really- ouch. Lol

    2. userdand says:

      SR-I had no idea girls did that kind of thing. I don’t find anything offensive about it either. I think the offense is in the eye of the beholder. Let’s say, we both love going to Disney World. We have gone for the last ten years running. If we both still love it, you have no problem with me saying this makes our eleventh year. If, however, I am suggesting we should try something new and you like the same old same old, now you find my tracking annoying and offensive. If we like going to Disney World, but haven’t gone in four years, you also don’t mind my tracking if it means we are more likely to go again. Only when tracking becomes the impetus for change and is perceived as a threat to a partner’s desire for not wanting to grow emotionally does the tracking become contentious.

      I began to keep track when we went two months without sex. I did it not to hold up an excel spread sheet to prove a point, but to keep it from being an exercise in fallible memory. Lack of frequency is a difficult enough issue to tackle, but beginning by arguing over exactly when and how many times is not a good place to start from. The HD partner may think less while the LD partner likely thinks more. Why have to argue over math when being mathematically correct is not the issue. The issue is to agree on a frequency that works for the marriage.

      Until my Palm TX met an untimely demise, I was tracking it there in the calendar function. It was an innocuous, color-coded entry under the category “personal.” It had a start and stop time in the calendar 15-min increments. I used single letters, no words, to describe the activities in the order of occurrence. If an exceptional time was had by all, I might add exclamation points in the appropriate places. All of you who are thinking, “Eww, how unromantic and clinical would do well to reconsider.

      By knowing when, I knew how often and when without question. By how long, I could gauge if enough time was being devoted to foreplay and the union as a whole, and how well our aging bodies are holding up (this helps to not have unrealistic physical expectations). By what went on, I could make sure we weren’t either getting into a rut, or becoming obsessive with one particular thing or another. It helped me to keep things fresh. If you are wondering; yes, I put a lot of thought and effort into our sexual experiences. I have not played much organized sports in my life, but I suppose having the data was a lot like looking a game films. I never really reviewed the entries to “tweak” the moments, but I did want to have a reference that was fact-based and not memory-based. As unromantic as it may sound to the female mind, I take my efforts very seriously, especially with advancing age. I want to be able to please my wife sexually as long as possible. After a time, adjustments will surely have to be made, and keeping tack will allow me to see the change as it approaches to begin dealing with it through choice, not chance.

      1. Robyn Gibson says:

        @ BD: yes, doesn’t it always come back to the motive of the heart !!

        1. userdand says:

          I’m so glad you understand. A lot of people probably think I keep a notebook beside the pillow or Pearlcorder: “Saturday evening, 8:15pm. Subject nude and supine with wistful expression while…”. I guess keeping a record is my form of journaling. I never have to worry about when and what or how well received. It allows me to evaluate whether I need to step up my game for either or both of us and keeps things from getting repetitive, stale and lacking a sense of adventure. How male of me, huh. Having perfectionist tenancies and a being a believer in kaizen, it allows me to do what I do effectively (greatly). Ouch! I just hurt my shoulder while patting myself on the back. Good at it and proud of it. So there. You have to know where you’ve been to plot a course to someplace new and exciting. If it isn’t that, how is the rest of the marriage? Now, go shop for some camisoles in case a trip comes up.

          1. Robyn Gibson says:

            BD: Women love confidence! Especially if it’s accurate. Nothing worse than someone who thinks they can make a delicious “cheesecake” and find out it tastes … mehhh. Vigilance keeps us sharp.

            1. userdand says:

              My wife says I chose the wrong occupation when I was younger and I could’ve been a rich man now. Of course, she won’t let me switch at this point. She has a corner on the market and wants to keep it that way. HA! Sex is like chili: Everybody is an expert at making it and they all think theirs is the best. It’s an easy thing to make too mild or too spicy. It’s wise to increase the spices a little at a time allowing one’s taste to adjust from one batch to the next.

              1. Robyn Gibson says:

                great analogy!

  4. Tracy says:

    I do track our sexual frequency, but only for myself. I’m in the process of working through my sexual issues and I track so I can try to make sure we don’t go too long between encounters. I can’t say I keep it secret from my husband because I have mentioned it, but I would be surprised if he remembers that I’ve mentioned it.

    1. ARBrown says:

      cool post. For couples that struggle with intimacy this would be helpful. What apps are there to track this sort of thing that can be shared.

      1. Jay Dee says:

        I’m not aware of any that can be shared, but I’m sure there are some. Perhaps someone who knows will comment.

      2. Tracy says:

        I use a computer app called ‘Woman Calendar’ on my Windows 8 computer.

    2. Jay Dee says:

      Now, that’s a great reason to track, when you know it’s something you are struggling with/working through, and you want to see the improvement. Good for you!

    3. Bonnie Wallace says:

      Now that is an instance where I can see the benefits of tracking!

  5. LatterDay Marriage says:

    I keep track of what days, what positions, and if she climaxes or not. I mark off days one of us is sick or otherwise not available. I started mostly because my wife doesn’t bother to track her cycle and it kept happening that she would put me off a couple of times and promise me the next night only to come back and say I had to wait a week. I wanted to data to know ahead of time if that was about to happy rather than get a nasty surprise. Before then I would mentally keep track but only going back a week or so, plus our ‘records’ like most days in a row, most times in a day etc. I think it is good to track it and I really do see some trends, not just over her cycle, but seasonal trends as well. April is the best month, November or October the worst. It also has revealed that her cycle has become a little shorter, and a little irregular.

    The only downside is the temptation to make it about hitting some numerical goal.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I would love to have that much data. For a while I was tracking a lot of stuff like that…but well…it was just too much work and I stopped. Now I’m done to a “yes/no” sort of tracking.

  6. janna94 says:

    I track ours on a calender… and my husband appreciates it. I not only track the days but also the times of day. So if we do it in the morning and at night, I know. He enjoys seeing how much we are actually having sex.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I don’t know what your history is, but I think this is especially important when trying to turn around a marriage that has a history of low/no sex. It’s easier to get over that “starving” mentality if you can see that it has stabilized and will probably continue to be stable.

      1. janna94 says:

        We very much have a history of low/no sex. Once I made the choice to start saying “yes” to my husband, that’s when I started tracking things. Each mark is a confirmation and affirmation to my conviction and my choice. At my “one year” mark, we will be celebrating all of those “marks” I’ve been tracking.

        1. Jay Dee says:

          Good for you! I’m curious what impact you’ve seen in the rest of your marriage resulting from the decision to start saying “yes”.

          1. janna94 says:

            I shared some things over at The Forgiven Wife in the comments here:

            More than likely you have seen the “impact” it’s had on my marriage, you just aren’t aware of the connection. 🙂

            1. Jay Dee says:

              Oh yes, I saw that comment before, my wife commented on the same post. It’s a good list! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Megan says:

    I can’t say enough about the value of tracking your cycle/tracking sex. These two habits arrived on the scene at the very same time for us and it’s been a HUGE eye opener. In just six months we’ve figured out- if Hubby wants to try something new or different- ovulation week is the time. And we know to take full advantage of my willingness that week, because the following week- I don’t want nobody touching me. Anywhere. Ever again. Give it five days and I am back to average again. I knew I had ups and downs, but I had no idea they were so predictable. It helps us both- helps Hubby know it’s not personal, and me to recognize it’s not something he’s doing wrong, it’s me .. so I need to be gracious and as accommodating as I can. I completely agree that tracking frequency should never be done without the knowledge of a spouse- bad dynamic there.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Yeah, I definitely have to post on this in the future. Thanks for the comment!

  8. Krystal says:

    While I am not against the idea of tracking sex, I can see that it just opens the door for a different argument. When frequency is brought up it seems to never include quickies or oral or morning sex around here.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      That’s not fair! Frequency should always include oral and quickies! At least, I think so. After all, it is sexual intimacy, is it not?

  9. Paul H. Byerly says:

    “You can see trends in your life. ”

    This goes way beyond her cycle. Certain days of the week or month may stand out because sex does not happen. Figure out why, and then decide if you need to make some changes.

    1. LatterDay Marriage says:

      I know there are days of the week trends but I’m not set up in a way that makes them easy to track. I know Tuesdays are a rarity for us because we have other commitments and by the time we could, one of us is bound to be too tired.

  10. jsmk says:

    I started tracking cycles about a year ago- which in turn lead to tracking sex, which made me realize that wow we only managed to find time for sex once in two months? now, we have 4 kids, a two year old and a one year old who room share, and my husband had jobs and is in school but REALLY once. Tracking cycles has been THE best thing i’ve done this past year, its helped me deal so much with mood swings and helped us find time for one another, as another commenter said, who knew it was so predictable. 🙂

    1. Jay Dee says:

      That must have been a difficult realizing to come to terms with. Good for you for changing the pattern!

  11. J (Hot, Holy & Humorous) says:

    This is an interesting idea and would likely work well in many marriages. Used together as a couple, I can see how illuminating this information would be.

    However, I admit that it worries me for certain marriages. Tracking something often improves it, but not always. Especially when what you’re tracking involves someone else’s choices and behaviors. If I track how I often I leave my stuff out, I’ll probably put more things away. But if I track how often my husband leaves his shoes outside the closet (which I’m ashamed to say I once did), that doesn’t improve it; it merely builds resentment because I’m keeping a record of wrongs — not loving. Sex being a mutual activity, I see potential for it to go either way. If one spouse resists tracking it, there could be underlying tension about sexual frequency and a feeling that your partner is playing a game of “gotcha.”

    Once again, though, if a couple together agrees on this, I suspect it would yield useful information and prompt great conversation about marital intimacy.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Great point, I probably should have clarified that. I had meant it as an instrument that both spouses agree to. Otherwise, as you say, it just becomes a finger pointing exercise.

      Thanks for the comment J!

  12. Caroll says:

    I have been married for 411/2 years. I found out on Aug 16th that my husband has been a viewer of porn in one form or another, and amasturbator for our entire lives together. 13 years ago, during sex, as he was about to enter for the last time and orgasm, he became frenzied and “raped” me. Using force while I was struggling under him. He was behind me and holding my face down into the blankets and I couldn’t breathe. When he was done, he pushed hard on my body with his hand, made a “grunt” and left the room. Understandably I was frightened of him at that point. He had physically hurt me and hurt me emotionally. At the time I had no idea of his porn activities. I tried to have sex with him again about a week later, and I tried two more times, but couldn’t do it. I was too scared. I didn’t talk to him about it for the same reason. He had mever done anything like that before. Thinking back, he was probably fantasizing and that’s why he became so frenzied. After about a month, I felt ok with trying again, but our timing was always off. In his mind, he thought I was never going to have sex with him again ( a recent revelation), I thought he would try again. When he had tried it would always be real late at night, 2-3 am, or after a particularly tiring day, do I’d say i was too tired, which was true. Anyway, he started masturbating again, and start fueling his fantasies with visits to porn shops where there were live women, tempting himself, as he tellse now, with the possibilities of getting brave enough to touch one and take her in the back for sex, real or tempted (lap dances, stripping, etc). He says he never did. When I discovered porn on his phone, then on his computer, he confessed to all these things , and to x rated dating sites, where he was “tempting” himself again. He had tons of profiles in these sites and many, many responses from willing women, but once again, never did anything. Everyone, including me and he, thought he was a sex addict because he said he couldn’t stop, and he was escalating with these dating sites. I should say, he also, during this whole time of 12 years and 10 months of us not having sex, would go to the nearby grocery store to pick up one or two items, and not return for 2-3 hours, saying he had gone to the library, but came home without any library materials. I believe he was with someone, on a live chat on phone, phone sex, or brothel, which are numerous around here, which he pretends not to know about. Sex addict stuff, right!?! Yesterday he told me, after we had been to the therapist and sex was brought up, sex between us, where he had said to the therapist that sex in our marriage before he was found out was in need of improvement, and sex now was satisfactory. The therapist asked me not to respond until later, and we ran out of time before I could respond. When we got to the car, I was very upset and crying. I felt how could he say that about our past sex life, which had always been great, both of us agreeing back then, and say our sex life now was just satisfactory. I told him that our sex life now I thought was excellent, satisfying, and that he had been saying to me that it was too. He said he didn’t know what excellent meant. I said compared to what? Was it less than his experience with porn, which he has said many times, is far more stimulating than I could ever be. If he tries to hurt me, it always comes in the form of some comment or reference to sex. He has also been mentioning to me that he doesn’t think he was a sex addict. That instead, he made a consious choice to view porn, masturbate, seek other women out, that he liked it and felt he was doing it as a search for the love he says he didn’t experience in his family of origin. That may be sll true, but why not talk to me, or seek me out for that love. We were having great sex and closeness before the rape, but I didn’t know he was so into chosing to seek closeness with video, magazine, mind fantasy , and eventually, real women, which he says he never did anything with a real wiman, not even talk, why them? Why not me? 41 1/2 years is a long time to chose something else other than your wife for love and sex. ( He’s been involved with pornography and masturbation since he was 8 years old. He’s 61 1/2 years old now.) i am so confused and hurt. He wants me to put it all away. It’s been 3 months and I need to get over it. He’s given it up, and he says he’ll never go there again, and I believe that, but my hurt doesn’t go away that fast. He wants to forget about it, but I keep reminding him with my hurt, so therefore am always throwing the dirt of it in his face. Not my intention. I need his reassurance. I need to build trust in him again, but he always says or does things that refer to my sex with him as not being good enough. It’s always a put down. Then ehen I get hurt, well, he didn’t “intentionally” do it, he’s dorey, he doesn’t understand what I’m so upset about. I need HELP! I feel like I’m lising my mind and myself. I forgave him almost immediately after I found out. I have tried hard to understand his side and to help him open up and talk about it, and he has, pretty much. I initiated sex with him about a week after finding out. I am the one that always initiates. He has only 4 times. He’s not sure if that correlates to the times he used to seek mastubatory relief to his fantasy desires or not. He’s not sure if it is for an actual desire for me. This feels like a cintinual hurt for me. Please give me some insight, some clarity for my thoughts. Please leave your comments, if you respond, on my email. Thanks for hearing me.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Hi Caroll,

      Wow, that’s quite the journey you guys are on. I’ll do my best to answer some of your questions as a recovering/recovered porn addict.
      First, he’s been using porn for over 50 years. Porn has a way of rewiring the brain in some fairly significant ways. One of the biggest problems with porn is that it creates an unnatural need in us for ever more exciting and novel material. It also, due to the “danger” of it, ties in our adrenal system as well as our reward system, so it becomes fairly addictive very early on. Those neural pathways are going to be deep and hard set. This is going to be a difficult addiction to break.

      The good news is, all these things CAN be broken and the brain can be retrained, but not in 3 months. Not for that length of addiction. You will probably see improvements over months and years, not over days and weeks. Sorry, but I’m not going to sugar coat this. It took a half a year just so my retrained brain could maintain an erection with my wife. But, you both, together, can beat this.

      I’m so sorry about the spousal rape. I honestly don’t know how to deal with that. That’s so far outside of my experience and training that I’m hesitant to address it. I’m glad you are seeing a therapist who can address it properly.

      I’m by no means saying it’s not his fault, or that he doesn’t have full responsibility for his actions, but also try to keep in mind that this was an 8 year old boy that got exposed to porn well before the age he could handle that sort of stimulus (not that any age is good). From there it is a quick downhill ride to addiction. Mourn for that lost innocence, because that’s where this started. He has been trapped in that for over 50 years…I only was for 16, and that was hell…I can’t imagine.

      Recovery sucks, for everyone. It’s not going to be fun. It’s going to involve a lot of questions, a lot of hurting and healing. Your marriage is going to broken and rebuilt. It’s not a good time, but it is necessary. I’ve been there, so as my wife. I can honestly tell you, it gets better that this, and it gets better than it ever has been. Once this is gone…you will realize you never really new true intimacy, because this was always between you. And then you’ll have another round of sadness for the wasted years. Eventually there will be peace and joy though. But you’re going to have to work through this to get there.

      It is OK that you are confused and hurt. Whether or not he was with other women, in my mind (and many women, and men, I’ve come in contact with about this issue), this constitutes adultery. He did not keep faithful. You can learn to forgive, but you’re going to have to work through these feelings. We went through the same cycle of wanting to move past, but still having to deal with feelings of hurt and betrayal. It just needs to happen. It will pass if you let it. Give it time.

      You both need to rebuild trust towards each other. He needs to prove he can be faithful. You need to prove that you still want him. I know, that doesn’t seem fair from your perspective, but from his, I’m willing to bet he’s hurting, he’s ashamed, he’s fearful, and he feels worthless. I think that’s why he’s not initiating. Either he doesn’t feel worthy, or he’s terrified of rejection.

      Good for you for initiating after you found out, and continuing to. You probably have no idea how much healing that is giving him. I would say that is the #1 thing my wife did to help our healing when we went through this. It showed she still loved me, that she forgave me, that she accepted me, that she desired me. Though it took me a long time to accept that it was true, her willingness to reach out in that manner was crucial.

      Now, you have two things going on here (we had the same two). One is the porn addiction/recovery. Two is the sexless marriage recovery. They both need to be healed from. Regardless of the reasons for the lack of sex, it is still going to be painful for a while.

      Oh, and about the sex not being good enough. I hope I can explain this. With porn and masturbating, there is so much going on:

      1. The visuals are designed to be more stimulating than reality (perfect lighting, “perfect” bodies, perfect room, perfect scenario, everything)
      2. The vocals are designed to be stimulating (voice-overs, good mics, digital enhancements)
      3. You are masturbating and have an orgasm, so that kicks in your dopa-mine (reward hormone)
      4. You are scared of getting caught, so that kicks in your adrenaline (heart pumping, emergency system, very exciting)
      5. You can be 100% selfish, no thought for your partner, so it’s easier
      6. You can an instant feedback loop (hand to penis to brain to hand), so wondering what is feeling good, no delay with instructions or guessing body language for what’s working/not working

      All this together makes for a excitement level that cannot be beat with regular sex on a purely physical/psychological level. Where married sex wins is spiritually and emotionally. That, porn cannot provide. And once you get there, he will realize how good sex with a spouse can be. But that might take some time, like I said, his brain needs to retrain itself.

      I hope that answered some of your questions. If you still have more, feel free to comment or email. Always willing to help a couple through this.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    My wife and I have had frequent arguments over this. I suggested keeping track and was told that if I wanted to keep track I could but she could grantee the frequency would be zero. Earlier in the same conversation she insisted that we had had sex at least 10 times in the previous two weeks. I reminded her that I had been on a business trip one of those two weeks and had returned only 36 hours earlier. What was troubling was that for the 5 days I was gone we talked on the phone everyday and she kept calling me “sexy” and actually promised sex the night I got back (which didn’t happen) because we didn’t have sex the week before I was gone because she had a major stomach flu. Needless to say it was several days before we had sex. Meaning that it was somewhere close the three weeks between when we had last had sex. I once asked my wife how often she wanted to have sex. She said, “Much less than we are having it now. I mean 4 or 5 nights a week is just abnormal. If we could cut down to 2 or 3 times a week it would be great.” I said, “umm… we don’t even have sex once a week.”
    Her: What are you talking about we have sex almost every night!”
    Me: When did we last have sex?
    Her: This morning.
    Me: and before that?
    Her: The night before that.
    Me: Strange I don’t remember that.
    She became so insistent that we were having frequent sex I became suspicious she was having an affair.

  16. Shan says:

    I tracked my sexual frequency with my husband for 14 months. I also tracked when he initiated or asked for it. I wanted to know for my own knowledge as I usually had to beg for it. He asked if I wanted to do it an average of once every two months. He also said we had it more often than we did. And he also masturbates on his own without me and hides it which was completely unfair to me. I don’t think the person that is the refuser realizes how much hurt, pain and damage they do to their spouse by acting this way. 26 years and I still don’t know why he would rather masturbate than have sex with me.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Hi Shan,

      I’m curious, have you ever asked him why he masturbates on his own? Does he know that you know?

      As for the why, this might help give you some answers at least: Why does my low-drive spouse masturbate?

  17. Anonymous says:

    I recently sat down with my husband to discuss our sex life. On days we are home together, we will wake up, and he will instantly start asking me when we can have sex. He becomes quite crude in his speech. I told him I find crude speech and (what I perceive as) pressure about when we can have sex that day a turn off. I requested that instead of questions and crude speech, he give me non-sexual touch and kissing, as it is much more arousing to me. During this talk, because I know how sensitive my husband is when we discuss sex, I mentioned twice how much I enjoy having sex with him and how good our sex life is as a way to reassure him that I am simply asking for a bit of a change. His response was to instantly become defensive, asking me if I’m no longer attracted to him. When I said he was way off base and pointed back to my comments of how much I enjoy our sex life, he let me he has been tracking our sexual encounters and he is angry at the number of times we have sex. I was more hurt than I have ever been in my life. We have been married 27 years. If he felt we were not having sex enough (I’m not going to state the frequency, as I believe that is an agreement each couple should come to separately), why couldn’t he have come to me about that? Instead, I am left with the feeling that I’m not good enough, that I can’t trust him to love me for who I am, and much more. I’m struggling to forgive him over this. It feels as if the joy of our intimacy has been stolen and now I must just perform. It feels like I am being watched and judged for the kind of wife I am, and I have been found lacking. So is tracking your sex life a good thing? When it is used as a weapon by your spouse. I say emphatically, NO!

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