A couple of years ago, when I wrote the article "What 5 Men Had To Say About Married Sex", interestingly enough, none of the men mentioned something that I hear quite often from the clients that I deal with—that the wife is the one who wants sex more than the husband does. It's not like these wives are rarities either. There is a significant amount of evidence out in cyberspace and beyond that point to the fact that men automatically having higher libidos is oftentimes more of a stereotype; that it's the result of a lack of solid research and talking to women about sex more than anything else.
Case in point—I recently had a conversation with a husband and wife about their sex life. When I asked them what they currently found to be the most challenging, the husband said that he wanted more rest while the wife said that she desired more sex. "Don't get me wrong, the sex is great," the husband said. "But she can literally go 3-5 times a week. They aren't short sessions either." What did the wife say in response? Nothing. She simply winked.
If you've read even a couple of the articles that I've written on marriage, you know that I am a huge fan and supporter of intimacy—and yes, that includes sex. Lots of sex. And since a lack of intimacy, along with sexless marriages are two of the causes of divorce, I thought it was high time that we explore what a couple should do when the person who is sexually frustrated ain't the husband but—shocker of all shockers (and yes, I'm being sarcastic)—it's actually the wife.
Don’t Internalize the Issue
It's pretty common for folks to hang from chandeliers, a couple of times a day, when they first start having sex. But once some of the newness wears off, it's actually pretty rare (four percent of people, to be exact) for a couple to engage in copulation on a daily basis. This is why I wrote the article "Ask These Sex-Related Questions BEFORE You Marry Him" for single women; you never want to assume that the both of you are on the same page about sex based on the beginning phases of your relationship.
Why am I bringing all of this up? Because, if you once had a ton of sex with your hubby and it has dwindled off, there's a huge chance that you'll be tempted to wonder if something is wrong with you. You might wonder if he's not attracted to you anymore, if he's bored in the relationship (or with your sex life) or if there's something more that you should be doing (or doing differently). First of all, you've got to remember that no one put a gun to your man's head—he hand-selected you to be the woman that he has sex with for the rest of his days. So, if you want it more than he does, chances are, it has less to do with you specifically and more to do with a much bigger and multi-dimensional issue.
Also, Don’t Automatically Jump to Conclusions
Ugh. Contrary to what some people—both in the media and out—believe, I do not think that all men, including all Black men, cheat. Matter of fact, I personally know some husbands who have been faithful their entire marriage; a few of them have done so even though their wife was unfaithful at some point in their relationship. So no, it should not be an automatic assumption that if your partner doesn't want to have as much sex as you do (or even as much sex as he used to have) that he is having sex with someone else. While everyone is out here sharing their views on what they think toxic masculinity is, I personally feel that if we're out here saying that either a man has to constantly have sex on the brain or he's cheating—that comes from having a toxic perspective on manhood.
You're only going to add more stress to yourself and your relationship, while potentially emasculating your husband in the process, if you chalk up his lower libido to him having someone on the side.
If you honestly sense valid red flags, talk it over with him and/or a therapist. Just make sure to not automatically blame him for the movie that you've created in your mind. Our intuition is sometimes nothing more than actualized fear or paranoia. There is plenty of research out here to prove it (see "So, Experts Have Something To Say About Your Intuition's Accuracy").
If There Is an Obvious “Drop”, Reflect on When It Happened
You know something that's interesting? Out of all of the years that I've been doing this marriage life coaching thing, I have yet to counsel a couple who didn't have sex with one another before they said, "I do". In other words, each couple I've worked with had sex with one another before marriage. Call that a random coincidence if you'd like, but that's what came to my mind when I read the article "Straight couples who live together before marriage may be less sexually satisfied". There's no time or writing space today to get into all of the reasons why this could be the case, but I will say that if you are a wife who has a husband with a lower libido and you did have sex with him prior to marriage, take a moment to compare and contrast what intimacy was like when the two of you were dating vs. when you became a married couple. While, ideally, sex should become stronger after marriage, there are some husbands who find "single sex" to be more sensual and alluring and married sex to be more obligatory and routine. Hey, I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying that is some husbands' (unspoken) truth.
That said, a drop in a man's libido could be tied into other things as well—stress on the job, age, the state of their health, a breakdown in the relationship, a challenge with scheduling intimacy…the list goes on and on. But in order for you to figure out if your man's lower libido is a temporary or potentially permanent thing, paying close attention to the timeline is a critical piece to the puzzle.
Encourage Him to See His Doctor
There's a wife that I know who's always had a higher libido than her husband. Quite frankly, it has been the thorn in the side of their relationship too because, what has kept her baffled is the fact that when he was single, he was all up in these streets (he really was). Now? He can go weeks without having sex. For a while, she thought it was because he had some shadiness going on. But when they both went to get a check-up, he found out that his blood pressure was affecting the quality of his erections. Did he know that things weren't on the, umm, up-and-up down there? Of course, he did. But he was afraid to tell his wife that; especially since he didn't know what was causing it. So, rather than share that his penis wasn't what it used to be, he would avoid engaging in sex altogether.
While I'm not saying that a man with a lower libido is always a health-related issue, sometimes, that is indeed the case. The only way that you and your man will know for sure is if you set an appointment to meet with a medical professional. Honestly, while you're at it, it couldn't hurt for your husband to see a reputable counselor for a session or two. If all checks out on the physical front, there is a chance that something psychologically could be transpiring; something that may be in the back of his mind rather than the forefront of it.
Naturally Boost His Testosterone
There is also a chance that your husband's testosterone levels are low. With age, it happens. Again, a quick trip to the doctor can confirm this, but if your man is someone who has to damn near be on his deathbed in order to see a physician, there are some natural ways that he can increase this particular hormone. He can exercise more often. He can eat more protein. He can take a Vitamin D and/or zinc supplement. The herb ashwagandha (it reduces stress) and ginger extract (it improves sperm quality) are both proven to spike testosterone in men. Something else that men with low testosterone need is lots of rest and less stress. You know what this means, right? Nagging him about having a low libido is not going to work in your favor, so try to avoid doing that at all costs.
Be Gentle with His Heart, Feelings and Pride
"Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it." When it comes to topics like this one, no truer words have been spoken. A lot of men think, in theory, that they want a woman who is always good to go. Then, once they get her, if they're not able to keep up, they feel intimidated; possibly even threatened. If after all of the things that I already mentioned prove to not be the root of the cause, you may need to accept that the two of you simply have a sexual incompatibility issue when it comes to your libidos. There's nothing "wrong" with that; it just means that you both need to learn to do what marriage is all about—compromise.
For him, he may need to be open to there being days when he makes sure "you're good" even if he's not totally in the mood to have a full-on sex session. For you, it's important to keep in mind that just because he might not want to get it on as much, he's probably still open to giving and receiving physical affection. In fact, him knowing that you want to be close to him, even if it doesn't always lead to sex, may be what makes him want to have sex more.
Bottom line, being in a marriage where you're the one who wants sex more isn't something that you have to simply—pardon the pun—lay down and take. Communicate. Get to the heart of the matter. Express your needs and, if you've got a good man, he'll find a way for them to be met…one way or another. A husband having a lower libido doesn't mean that something is wrong with him or that something is wrong with you. All it means is there's a challenge that the two of you need to figure out together. And, so long as mutual love and respect are present, you will.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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If you are looking to bring a little spice into your life, dating a fire sign is the way to do it. These bold lovers are confident enough to take the lead but may surprise you with how generous they are as well. Fire signs are the heat, the passion, the charisma, and the heart of the zodiac. They are often the initiators in love, and don’t mind making the first move. The three fire signs: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius, love uniquely in their own way, but all have a lasting impact on those they meet.
You can feel a fire sign’s energy from a mile away, and getting close to them on a romantic level is a whole other type of heat.
Fire Signs in Love: What Is It Like To Date a Fire Sign?
Dating a fire sign is exciting, heartfelt, intense, and sexy. Fire signs are some of the most independent of the zodiac signs, yet they are also some of the most loyal. Their inner fire will warm your heart, but treat them badly, and it can just as easily burn. Due to fire signs' nature of feeling everything a little more heightened, they make empathic lovers, but they can also let their feelings overwhelm them and become easily irrational or agitated.
Fire signs can get heated quickly, and dating an unevolved one can get messy as they love to put on a show. They need a partner who is a good balance to their fierce nature, but someone who isn’t going to put out their inner fire in the process.
When it comes to who fire signs are looking to date, they look for partners who can love just as passionately as they can, and expect an unwavering type of loyalty. They are also looking for confident lovers, as they aren’t one to play games or beat around the bush. They are the type of partner to be your biggest cheerleader and will support you in all your endeavors, building up your self-esteem in the process.
These lovers are ready to risk it all when it comes to their relationships and love, and dating them is a fun adventure, to say the least. These are creative, confident, romantic, and heart-warming souls, and dating a fire sign is inspiring.
Dating an Aries
Aries are independent lovers. They are free spirits that are a little hard to settle down with, as most fire signs are, yet you will know how much they are willing to give and put into the relationship through their efforts. You have to be going at the same pace as them in life, and they need to see you as someone who can keep up with them to gain their respect and commitment. Aries have a vision when it comes to their life and love, and are looking for a partner that aligns with their plans or goals that they have for themselves.
Aries, at their best, are loyal and exciting; at their worst, they are competitive and brash.
When it comes to dating an Aries, they want to do things that keep their energy moving and stimulate them. They are fun lovers and are constantly doing things as a young soul does, fueling their spirit. Aries doesn’t want to feel restricted or limited in any way and seek relationships where there is a certain amount of freedom, which in turn sometimes leads them into emotionally unavailable relationships. An evolved Aries seeks their balance and finds themselves in long-lasting partnerships where they can still feel authentically themselves.
Dating an Aries is a compelling adventure.
Learn how an Aries pairs with each sign of the zodiac in love here.
Dating a Leo
Dating a Leo is like entering a rom-com movie. Leos are bold, outspoken, and dramatic lovers. They tend to prefer a spotlight on them, but when it comes to love, they are usually willing to share the stage. Leos want a grand love. They are all about outrageous romantic gestures, complete and utter loyalty, and a little spice. Leos want to be adored, and when you are dating one, they want all of your attention to be on them. Evolved Leos understand they cannot be the center of everyone's world, but Leo’s still going through their love journey may find themselves entertaining drama and controlling the scenario.
Leo’s, at their best, are playful and loving; at their worst, they are irrational and disruptive.
All in all, however, Leos can make some of the best partners to date as they rule the 5th house, the house of romance, dating, love, and flirtation. They are fun partners and are often the ones planning the dates or outings, and creating an atmosphere that is happy and inviting. They are the type to create an uplifting energy in their relationships, and you can expect a lot of laughs in this pairing. Leos don’t hold back when it comes to most things in life, including love. They will express their love and admiration for you often and will expect the same respect in turn.
Dating a Leo is a statement.
Learn how a Leo pairs with each sign of the zodiac in love here.
Dating a Sagittarius
Sagittariuses are hard to grasp, but if they decide to let you into their world, you’ll find a space of wonder, adventure, and magic. There are many different stages a Sagittarius moves through in love, and as much as they like to do things quickly in all other aspects of their lives, when it comes to dating, they tend to take it more slowly. They are not the type to be in a rush to define the relationship and take their time when opening their heart. You will feel their love, their personality, and their attention, but getting to know their deepest selves, their goals, and their dreams is going to take time for Sagittarius, and they prefer to have some fun with you while they get there.
Sagittarius, at their best, are warm and hopeful; at their worst, they are harsh and disingenuous.
Being ruled by abundant Jupiter, Sagittarius lives larger than life. They want a love that feels like it was destined by the stars, and it needs to make sense and fall into place for them with ease. They are looking for all types of synchronicities and signs when dating you, and once you make it past this stage, they truly have their eyes open to you. Sagittarius wants to go on adventures, learn, travel, and explore the world and you while dating. This is a spontaneous sign, and if you can match their energy of passion and wanderlust, then this is a good match for you when it comes to love.
Dating a Sagittarius is a journey.
Learn how a Sagittarius pairs with each sign of the zodiac in love here.
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