Man, Woman, Sexual Dissatisfaction: A Survey

March 24, 2011 7:38 am 23 comments

Most people assume that men in long-term relationships want more sex than they get; and most people are right. What they’re wrong about is the assumption that women in long-term relationships want less sex than they get. In fact, they want more too. What’s going on here? Tara Parker-Pope reports on an Australian survey of more than 3,000 men and 3,000 women that found that of those women who are unhappy with their sex life, twice as many wanted more sex as those wanting less. The New York Times Well columnist also tells us that men and women who were unhappy with the frequency of sex in their relationship were also most likely to report lower levels of overall relationship satisfaction. What to do? The Australian sex experts have the same advice as every other sex expert: talk about it, and make time to be intimate.

Read more in the New York Times.

Read an abstract of the study here.


  • For me, I’d like to have sex more too, but the kind of sex *I* like once in a while, not what he wants it to be like all the time. Maybe men would be having sex more often if they were more considerate of their lovers…when I suggest different things, I’d like him to not say “why?” or roll his eyes – then he says “sure” and I’m supposed to suddenly be turned on again? And as we’ve grown older, he’s become more bossy because it’s not as easy for him to perform, but it has really reduced the excitement that sex used to have for me….I don’t have confidence that sex is going to be satisfying for me anymore, so I’m more reluctant to waste time having it. I think about sex alot, but it’s very different than the kind of sex I have with my husband.
    I’m sure there must be other wives out there like me, whose husbands think they are uninterested, but we are just uninterested in the kind of sex THEY are providing.

  • The secret to great sex, which I would be most willing to explain more about than what I can here is, there is no secret at all. We are all different, and will never fit into a one size fit’s all rule. The “key” is to know yourself well enough to find out what it is that trips your trigger, and convey what that is, to your Spouse, and help in whatever way is nessecary so that the two of you can accomplish just that for eachother on a regular basis as needed. There is no secret! Save all the money you might spend on any written or verbal know how source, and spend it instead on redecorating that bedroom your going to be spending more time in. Or just send it to me!!! ūüėČ

  • Of course it is all about communication like Lisa and Doug have pointed out. But there is more. Some personal styles are simply incompatible. So the communication must begin right away – as soon as you start becoming intimate. Know yourself and reveal it as soon as you can without being inappropriate. Test drive the car and be picky. Sex can work out fine and be terrific for decades if the prerequisites are there (and, of course, people keep sharing and caring). And if they aren’t, doesn’t matter what you do, it’ll never be as good as you know it could be.

  • Heywood Joblome

    Most Mens just want to bust their nut, be it with oral sex or intercourse. Most women want to be romanced in addition to sex and will settle for almost anything that equates to such. Until men no longer settle for having, Lipstick on their Dipstick, I`m afraid nothing will ever change. So sad!

  • Did you tell him???

  • Well said.

  • Have you told him this?? Talk to him. And I don’t know about other men but as I have aged I much prefer to give oral sex than to receive.

  • I refer to the “wine and dining” part of an evening as pumping up the tires so I can ride the bicycle ..LOL You have to want to take care of your partners needs and put those before your own. If you do that she’ll take care of you too . One last thing…don’t roll over and go to sleep after making love. Hold her and enjoy this moment intimacy that is as close as two people can be .

  • Great ideas tim, but there are also the cases (like mine) where you are compatible for years, and very satisfied sexually with your partner. Then for whatever reason he (or she) changes what THEY want and your sex life changes too, and communication doesn’t work to make it satisfying again.
    My point is that when men complain that their wives/partners don’t want sex as much as they do, they should look more closely at themselves, just in case the women they are with DO want sex, but they just aren’t excited about the sex with them. For some of those men, maybe if they were more considerate of their partners and were more interested in pleasing them, they might have more sex.

  • Good sex is not rocket science. If both partner’s goal is to totally satisfy their partner, then everybody is happy. And if Momma ain’t happy, nobody is happy.

  • I have tried talking to him, but it didn’t happen overnight….just gradually his needs started taking over. I tell him what I’d like to change, but it never changes. We are 10 yrs apart (I’m 40), and it’s been like this for the past 3 yrs or so. Now he complains that I say “no” to sex too much, but what do I do? Just blurt out – “sex with you is no fun anymore!”? I don’t want to hurt him, I love him! He is just not getting my message. So I’m not eager to have sex like I used to be.
    And I’ll bet there are other wives out there like me, with misguided husbands….it’s not our sex drives that have gone away, it’s the good sex that has.

  • Haha! That’s cute! And TRUE!

  • WHAT A CROCK. I am over 60 with a strong libido. My wife is just 60 with no libido. She does not care if we ever have sex again and it may lead to the end of our relationship as I am not going to become a monk.
    I know 5 or 6 other couples with exactly the same problem. Post menapausal women who are not interested and simply do not care about pleasing their husbands anymore. All about her, not him. She won’t even go to a doctor.

  • I said SOME women, not all.

  • just what kind of sex are you not getting..??

  • The mutual satisfaction is so important and it is a very difficult conversation to have with a sensitive man to ask for something different than he is doing. In my case his feelings get hurt and then he wants to have sex even less and is even less bold about initiating and trying new things because his confidence is low. I really struggle with this! It is a viscious cycle because the less sex we have the less likely that he will last for my pleasure and in the end I often feel like the whole thing is not worth it so I don’t initiate either. I hate getting all worked up and then don’t get my finish unless I go off by myself after he falls asleep. This can’t help but start to affect the relationship! Any suggestions about how to have this conversation with a very sensitive man?

  • It’s too hard to explain in the comments section! Thanks anyway!!

  • That is a very delicate situation, and I have no suggestions for you – my husband isn’t as sensitive as you describe, but he also seems to lose interest if I try to request anything to change from whatever he wants to do. It’s awful to lay there thinking “if only he’d touch there…”, but be too afraid to say anything because I know he’ll stop touching all together if I do!
    I wish there was a men’s advice site where women could go and get suggestions from MEN about this stuff, because I’m lost about what to do too… :-(

  • From some of your previous comments, I would dare say that your husband has very little respect for you. I appreciate that people like routine and all, but if you have had the tough conversations with him about this and he is as condescending as you present (when I suggest different things, I’d like him to not say “why?” or roll his eyes – then he says “sure”) I would imagine he does this in other areas of life and in your non intimate interactions with him as well.

  • Jay said to lisa
    Ifeel like if women pull their partner to when they are not being intimate tell him that you need to have a heart to heart and tell him what turn you on and what turn you off be polite about he would understand every man want to please their mate. He just need to know what turn you on so he will feel in control doing lovemaking it just our manhood we don’t want to feel like we don’t what we are doing role playing is another good way to get him to do what you want to do he will feel you just role playing and he will do what you want to do after tell him that best sex you had in awhile he will get the message in a settle way! Dr. Jay

  • He does dismiss me like that in other areas of our relationship, but somehow that can be funny and I easily stand up for myself and we laugh. In our sex life, it’s not funny and I don’t think it is to him when he does that either. And I’m afraid to be too demanding sexually too – how exciting is a woman like that? Not very. I don’t think it’s that he doesn’t respect me, it’s just that he is selfish about this (and maybe a little threatened?) and doesn’t want to change – if I don’t like something the way he is doing it, that’s my fault, not his and I’m the one who needs to change! The frustration I feel is ruining my sex drive, which he doesn’t like, but he won’t listen to me. So I’m stuck. And I guess he is too.

  • Tyrisha, work more on making him feel confident and less on telling him where he needs help. You’ll be surprised at how much that will help. Ya gotta make him want it. That ego feeding. It will make him more like what it sounds like you want him to be. Re-direct your effort Girl!

  • Lisa Girl! Don’t say anything! Show him! Use your hands to show him, not your voice! Be creative! No one has tried everything! Something will work on anybody! If what your doing doesn’t work, try something else, but for goodness sakes, never do what you know won’t work! Back to bed!

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