Published On: Sun, Apr 21st, 2019

[Two Pronged] Sex isn’t as ‘hot’ as before

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‘M’ says sex is different now that they’re married. What’s a girl to do?

Published 5:33 PM, April 21, 2019

Updated 5:33 PM, April 21, 2019

Rappler’s Life and Style section runs an advice column by couple Jeremy Baer and clinical psychologist Dr Margarita Holmes.

Jeremy has a master’s degree in law from Oxford University. A banker of 37 years who worked in 3 continents, he has been training with Dr Holmes for the last 10 years as co-lecturer and, occasionally, as co-therapist, especially with clients whose financial concerns intrude into their daily lives

Together, they have written two books: Love Triangles: Understanding the Macho-Mistress Mentality and Imported Love: Filipino-Foreign Liaisons.

Dear Dr. Holmes and Mr. Baer,

I’m a newlywed woman. I’m 29 and now living abroad. My husband is 44 and he’s a foreigner.

When we were still boyfriend and girlfriend, our sex life was so active that we’d end up exhausted. Now that we’re married, it seems that it kinda died. We make love sometimes, but not like when we were boyfriend and girlfriend when it was like fireworks and cloud nine. I’m not complaining, it’s just that somehow, the transition confuses me.

I always try to make up to him even if we’re both busy. Sometimes, after work, it’s just stressful and tiring. But still, I initiate and try “pleasuring” him, which he can’t resist.

Now that we’re married, there are moments when we’re just tired and relaxed. It feels that even if we’re sitting down on the couch, we already find ourselves comfortable without having sex or any intimacy. Then I kinda understood that maybe this is what is marriage all about, being comfortable and being familiar with each other. It’s not as “hot” as when we were still boyfriend and girlfriend. It’s like a mutual feeling, that we agreed on – even if just meant holding hands.

So here comes the part that I’m kinda bothered with. He wakes up earlier than me for work. One morning, I caught him masturbating on the couch while I was going to the bathroom. I pretended that I didn’t see him pull his boxers on, while I was heading to the bathroom.

He even said “Good Morning” to me while I’m waved hello, trying not to be awkward. I’m pretty sure I was completely awake and I knew what I saw. He probably does that every morning after he wakes up.

Is this why we don’t have much sex as before we got married? Am I not attractive now compared to before? Did he lose interest in me and sees “fresh” ladies on porn sites? Do my “initiations” not satisfy him anymore? It has bothered me the whole day and that’s why I wrote to you. Is this normal for me to act like it’s nothing, to let it go? Or should I confront my husband about what is going on with him?

Thank you and more power!


Dear M,

It seems that finding your husband masturbating a single time has not only disturbed your previous acceptance of your marriage as being a “less hot” state than when you were BF-GF but also as a sign that he does this “probably” every day and it is why your sex life compares so poorly with your pre-marriage days. You then go on to suggest a number of reasons why your husband might prefer to masturbate rather than to make love to you, some or all of which could in fact be correct.

Some of what you say and feel may be a slight overreaction. For example during his bachelor days it is quite possible that your husband was a regular masturbator yet you still had fireworks so perhaps that is not a reason for the more comfortable sex life you have together now. Maybe also he is not a regular masturbator now; you have after all only evidence of one occasion.

However, the question you pose at the end of your message is key: ignore it or confront him. I would suggest that ignoring would do little or nothing to give you solace, given the strength of your reaction so far. Instead discussing all this with him (“confronting” suggests something too adversarial and aggressive) offers the best chance of understanding him better and finding a positive solution for a happy future for you both.

All the best,

JAF Baer

Dear M,

Thank you very much for your letter.

I am so, sorry about how realizing your husband (let’s call him Q) masturbated in secret devastated you. It must be so hard to accept that a man who loved having sex with you and feels you would have sex with him anytime he wanted could choose masturbating over you. There are many understandable, acceptable reasons for choosing masturbation over intercourse which do not necessarily mean Q no longer finds you sexy.

Of course your instant reaction would be fear — that you were no longer sexy to him, that he prefers solo sex to sex with you now that you are his wife, etc.

Your situation is particularly poignant because you have already adjusted in so many ways: in accepting that married sex is really more dull than boyfriend-girlfriend sex, that married sex requires you do most of the work for it to happen and yet it doesn’t seem enough.

Mr Baer, bless his heart, used logic to reassure you that all is not necessarily lost. However, when one feels as betrayed as you probably do, logic is the hardest thing to accept, or even understand.

And yet, if you want to communicate effectively with Q, logic, while not sufficient, is definitely necessary – especially if Q is defensive and obfuscates what he knows truly bothers you.

So yes, definitely speak to him — not to accuse, not to judge and yet not to pretend you didn’t see him masturbating when you did. Maybe best to share your feelings and listen to what he has to say. Don’t make threats yet don’t allow him to railroad you into believing something simply because he says it again and again.

So many suggestions can be confusing, so please feel free to write us again, because constant communication is a must and we would love to be able to help you more if we can. What is at stake here us not only your sex life, but your entire life together, and how you treat each other.

Good luck, dearest M, and please know we are rooting for you!

MG Holmes


Need advice from our Two Pronged duo? Email with subject heading TWO PRONGED. Unfortunately, the volume of correspondence precludes a personal response.

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