Savage Love: Seven Nights

Dear Dan,

I love my wife, but I have a lot of resentment, disappointment, and insecurity over our sex life. After four years of marriage, huge angst remains that I have yet to get a handle on. Right now, with kids and our busy lives, she's content with sex once a week or so, and I need relief pretty much every night to help with my insomnia. What's more, I really don't enjoy porn at all, but if we aren't having intercourse, there's pretty much no other way for me to get off. Blame it on my fundamentalist evangelical upbringing, but I fear my porn use becoming an addiction. It makes me feel dirty. I would love a solution to this problem that doesn't involve me jerking off in a dark room by a computer screen after my wife falls asleep every night. All I want to do is feel close to my wife, orgasm, and sleep. I think she does sincerely care and wants to help me, but is just so tired and busy with her career and our kids. And yes, I have talked and fought with her countless times. In weaker moments, I'll admit I have also guilted her for her more "active" sexual past (with prior boyfriends) and for her current "neglect," which I know is unfair and unhelpful. I just don't know what to do.

— When Orgasms Enable Sleep

You've been married four years, you have more than one child, you both work — and if you divide household labor like most couples, WOES, your wife is doing more/most of the cooking, cleaning, and child care. But even if you were childless, living in a hotel suite with daily maid service, eating only room service, and throwing your underpants out the window after one wearing, WOES, it would still be unreasonable to expect PIV intercourse every night of the week.

Frankly, WOES, once-a-week PIV is more sex than most young straight dads are getting. And if you're demanding PIV from your wife as a sleep aid — "ask your doctor if Clambien is right for you" — it's a miracle you're getting any sex at all.

And the limited options you cite — it's either PIV with the wife or masturbation in front of the computer — aren't doing you any favors.

Consider PIV from your wife's perspective: Her husband fucks, comes, and falls asleep. She lies there for a while afterward, tingling, and may have to go to the bathroom once or twice. The PIV that puts her husband to sleep after a long day? It puts her sleep off. And if she wanted to get it over with quickly — because she was exhausted — there wasn't much foreplay, which means she probably wasn't fully lubricated (uncomfortable) and most likely didn't come (unfair). That's a recipe for resentment, WOES, and resentment kills desire. (Or maybe you should think of it this way: If your ass got fucked every time you said yes to sex, WOES, you wouldn't say yes to sex seven nights a week.)

If you expanded your definition of sex, WOES, if your options weren't PIV or nothing, you might not have to masturbate six nights a week. Because if your definition of sex included oral (his and hers), mutual masturbation, and frottage — and if these weren't consolation prizes you settled for, but sex you were enthusiastic about — your wife might say yes to sex more often.

Still, you're never going to get it seven nights a week. So make the most of the PIV you're getting, broaden your definition of sex and get another night or two of sex in per week, and enjoy porn without guilt the rest of the week. And if you're concerned about the amount of porn you're watching, try this trick: Lie on the couch or the floor or the guest bed, stroke your cock (even if it's soft), and think dirty thoughts. Your cock will get hard, I promise, and you'll get off. It's how most people masturbated before the internet came and ruined everything, WOES, and it still works.

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