In our fortnightly column ‘Great Sexpectations’ the Woman Alive panel answer your questions on sex, faith and intimacy. Drop us a confidential email on and ask us anything. Here, we answer a questions about sex in marriage - what do you do when your husband wants it more than you?



Source: Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Dear Woman Alive,

It’s basically a tale as old as time, but my husband has a higher sex drive than me. I would be happy to just have sex once every two weeks or so but in his dream world it would be every night. I know I’m his wife, so I’m supposed to satisfy him sexually, but I just don’t enjoy it that much. It’s starting to cause problems in our marriage because he constantly feels rejected and I constantly feel pressured. What should I do?

Dear Reader

As you say, this is indeed ‘a tale as old as time’, however what we often fail to dig deeper on is why? I remember hearing that women in the Victorian age – and possibly way back beyond that – were told to ‘lie back and think of England’ when they found themselves having to engage in sexual relations with their husbands. The thinking being that it would be an awful experience to endure but that potential offspring would result and therefore become England’s future.

You say you don’t enjoy sex that much. Have you ever enjoyed it? 

These are unhelpful patterns of thinking which can pull couples into drawing battle lines in the bedroom and this is what it sounds like you and your husband are experiencing.

You say you don’t enjoy sex that much. Have you ever enjoyed it? I think it’s important to distinguish whether it is having sex at all or the frequency of it that you are struggling with.

I would definitely recommend seeking out a relationship therapist so that you and your husband can work on intimacy and connection – and how best you experience that - but in the meantime I think you both need to work on how to make intimacy enjoyable for the two of you.

Are there any particular aspects of intimacy that you do enjoy? Do you like kissing or cuddling? I remember a friend telling me that she just loved kissing and could do it for ages! That’s not everyone’s happy place but if you would prefer to spend longer in foreplay then this is something you should try and initiate (where you can) and invite your husband to see how good that makes you feel.

When he sees you responding positively, it may encourage him to stay with you in that place for longer rather than heading straight to the “main event”. It’s tricky and will take some work but a harmonious outcome will be well worth the effort.

It might sound tedious but scheduling sex might help you both manage your expectations.

You didn’t share how old you are so I didn’t want to start with this but a lack of libido can be caused by several factors including age and hormones. This article, ‘I lost interest in sex’, written for us by a GP with special interest in women’s health might help if you are experiencing menopause or perimenopause.

I personally love sex but sex every night is quite intense. It might sound tedious but scheduling sex might help you both manage your expectations. And because at the moment he is keener than you, perhaps you could be in charge of the scheduling and meet in the middle in terms of the frequency. Could you try once a week for a month or two? And in the meantime you could learn each other’s love languages so that you’re both feeling loved and connected in between the physical get togethers. You can find out what your love language is here and read an interview with the love doctor himself – Gary Chapman, founder of The 5 Love Languages - here.

I like to think of marriage as a dance where sometimes one person is leading and then it changes. Some positions will be trickier than others and there may be the occasional Dirty Dancing jump which requires trust from the flyer and confident ability in the lifter. I really hope sex ceases to be a chore for you and that it becomes one of the many things you love to do with the man you have chosen to spend your life with.

Our Great Sexpectations column is written by a number of different contributors who make up the Woman Alive panel. If you have a question for us, email: