How Long is Too Long?

Hello, and Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and you’re all ready to take on the new year.  I had a lovely holiday with family and friends, old and new.  Christmas was as close to perfect as Christmas can get (for this girl, anyway), and New Year’s Eve was super, super fun.  I’ve now celebrated New Year’s Eve with my best friends for 21 years in a row.  I don’t know what I’d do without those girls.  AND I managed to NOT gain any weight over the holidays, in fact, I lost five pounds.  Woo Hoo!!!

Yes, this is still a blog about sex, so I’ll get on with it, already!

How long can you go without sex before you either start to want to chew nails or you completely shut down sexually?   If you’re not having sex, is it better to try to completely forget about it or masturbate and fantasize by yourself?  What if your body did shut down sexually?  Then your spouse decides she/he wants sex and you’re supposed to want it again as if everything is just peachy.  How are you supposed to fire it up again?

If I wasn’t having sex, wasn’t getting any sexual attention, and wasn’t thinking about sex at all, my body would shut down.  Okay, well, maybe  that’s not such a bad thing.  No sex, but also no sexual feelings.   No, I take it back.  It would be a bad thing.  I LIKE sexual attention and sexual feelings.  I would miss that and be sad.

So how long is too long?  A week?  A month?  Or, more precisely, if your frequency was always once a week or once a month,  or, tragically, less, and that wasn’t just an anomaly, how long could you continue that way before having an adverse reaction?

Even worse is what starts to happen mentally and emotionally.  Do the little annoying things your spouse does start to  bother you?  Do you get angry at him/her more easily?   Do you start to discount when he/she says “I love you, honey”?  Do you think, “Yeah, sure you do.” ?  If you’re a woman, do you cry?  If you’re a man?

There’s so much emotion tied up in sex, isn’t there?  I don’t think I could have a sexual relationship and not become emotionally attached anymore than I could be in love and not become (or want to become) sexually involved.    For me, at least, it would be impossible to separate the two.  So, does love start to wane when your sexual relationship is tanking??  Or do you just chalk it up to the ups and downs of marriage, remember you love your spouse, and wait for an up time?

Conan and I said we loved each other when our frequency was three times a month or so.  But I think it was watered down love–not as good as it could have been.

I know we need to always show our love for our spouses, even if things aren’t perfect.  Then, when/if things do improve,  we don’t have so much ground to make up.

What do you think?

41 thoughts on “How Long is Too Long?

  1. 15 min is too long isn’t it? Lol, seriously, our longest was just over 4 months, 6 days 15 hours and 23 min… Due to health reasons

  2. Another good post! With trying to get caught up from the holidays and Hubby being sick, we just went a week without sex and it was definitely tooooo long! While I do masturbate (with his permission) to take the edge off and to keep things working (use it or lose it is a true principle), it is not the same. We have found that there is definitely a bonding, a connection that occurs when having sex. And that connection does wane for us when we go too long without having sex.

    Even though my husband is a very affectionate man most of the time, the affection becomes different when we go a while without. It’s like its quicker (a peck instead of a lingering kiss) and with less emotion, less passion – almost like treating me like just a friend. Sex just seems to deepen the feelings and draw us so close to each other. Sometimes I take that for granted, until these periods of going without remind me of what I am missing.

    “Even worse is what starts to happen mentally and emotionally. Do the little annoying things your spouse does start to bother you? Do you get angry at him/her more easily? Do you start to discount when he/she says “I love you, honey”? Do you think, “Yeah, sure you do.” ? If you’re a woman, do you cry?”

    The answers to the above questions is yes, yes, yes, yes, & yes!!!!!
    And for me more then 2 days is too long!!!

  3. Used to be that I would get really horny after going a couple of weeks without sex, and would have sex on the brain constantly. And I used to think that if I had to go for a long time it would be real torture. But years later, once we stopped having sex, it took only 2-3 months for those horny feelings to go away entirely. These days, like her, I have no interest in sex. I don’t know if that was a natural physiological reaction, or if I have “reprogrammed” myself to better cope with reality. It’s funny though: even though I have no sexual desire, I am resentful that this is the situation.

    If she offered to have sex with me right now, I would want to know why because she has admitted that she hasn’t wanted to have sex for the past 15-20 years (note: she thinks that’s normal). She once told me that she was willing to put up with sex “because married couples should have sex occasionally or they’re just roommates”. If her feelings had changed and she sincerely wanted me and really wanted sex with me, I would be happy to give it a try. But if it was still just “duty sex” I would decline. Because I honestly have no desire to have sex with a woman who has no desire to have sex, and I don’t enjoy having sex with a woman who doesn’t enjoy it. Can you imagine what a downer it is to be in the middle of having sex with someone, all the while wondering just how much they’re hating it?

    And yes, there is a lot less emotion and less passion between us…pretty much none, really. But there is consideration and affection. We treat each other like really close friends, or like brother and sister. Not ideal, but better than fighting and feuding and being spiteful.

    • Outside the Norm,
      What you just wrote makes me profoundly sad! Sad for you mostly, because you understand what you are missing out on. Your wife does not!! And I understand why you would not want to have sex with her wondering if she is hating it the whole time. Who would want that!!! I am really sorry she is denying you and herself the gift of sex. Its too bad she does not appreciate that it really is a gift God has given us. And it is a gift we give each other as husband and wife.

      I was just like your wife for over 20 years. Your wife truly does not understand the power of sex in a relationship, just as i did not. She does not know what she is missing. She is satisfied with her life because she does not know how much better it can be. She does not understand that sex has the power to bring two people together and really make them one – physically and emotionally. She is missing out and making you miss out too. It is really sad!!

      Now that I know, I will never be satisfied with less. I don’t know what we will do when we are 80 but I am guessing we will figure something out. lol

  4. Fully satisfied would probably be once every day or every other day. On the third day, I start to bite my nails and start to look for alternative relief. After a week, I’m on permanent craziness.

    Yes–I get cranky, but if she’s willing but truly and honestly schedules and kids are getting in the way, I’m much more understanding.

    Norm: Your story is WAY sad–a bit hard to believe biologically, but if true, even more sad. It should be infuriating.

    I can’t believe you allow her to maintain all the status benefits she gets out of the appearance of a long-lasting decent marriage without actually do anything on her side of the bargain. It’s time to step up. You owe it to her and to you to be absolutely firm and clear on this.

    • CM,
      You are exactly right: she doesn’t get it. And she doesn’t want to.

      Strong Man,
      As far as being “hard to believe biologically”, you’ll understand it better and believe it more when you get to your 60s.

      And — put out or get out? After 40+ years? I don’t think so…

      My point is that I don’t want to have sex with a woman who doesn’t want me. So even if I was able coerce her into putting up with sex once a week, that would not put *me* in the mood.

      • Norm–40 years of marriage!? If you’re now 60+ years old that may make more sense. It’s still very sad. My heart goes out to you.

        I understand about not really wanting sex with someone who can’t stand you. My experience after 15 years of marriage is that I worry less about whether or not she wants it than I used to–to the delight and improvement of both of us. But I totally agree that her not wanting it at all, ever, would be a huge turnoff.

        I would think that level of selfishness would spill over into other aspects of the relationship to the point that it would be difficult to see each other at all.

        • Oh–and less you misunderstand, I suspect that quite often when the marriage relationship is put on the table as not an automatic given, that it doesn’t lead to divorce–it leads to an improved relationship. As an example, I would expect that if I were to physically beat up my wife, or to have an affair with someone else, that she wouldn’t necessarily stay married to me. So I don’t beat her up or have affairs. Actually, I don’t beat anyone up–because I don’t want to and don’t think it’s helpful or right.

          I just feel denying sex in some cases could potentially be raised to that level of seriousness.

  5. The older I get (50+ years currently), the more the sex drive wanes. I never thought that once a week would be an acceptable level of sexual relations for me, but that is pretty much where we are at. We will occassionally have a quicky, which will make for twice a week, but they just aren’t the same anymore. I prefer the prolonged foreplay, the quality of the sex, not the quantity. If my wife were a 3 times a week person, I guess that I could keep up, IF she was passionate about it and was seeking after her pleasure. But, she is more of a weekly person and has come a long way, allowing more variety and more things that are meant for her pleasure, which increases the whole experience for me.

    Too bad that we were not at this point 20 years ago, when I had a much higher sex drive.

    • I hear you Chet! We are in that age category too. (how did we get here so fast lol) I have so many regrets and wish I had figured this out when we were in our prime. However, if we had, it’s highly possible nothing would have got accomplished and our kids would have been on their own. lol

      All joking aside – I did want to clarify that when I said 2 days is too long, I did not meant 2 days with out orgasms, I meant sexual contact. Hubby and I also like the prolonged foreplay and high quality sessions. We don’t do quicky orgasms anymore mainly because neither of us can, It takes us both longer to warm up and get there. So what we do is a lot of foreplay and intimate contact drawn out over days throughout the week. If we have time to finish and and have the high quality finish we do, if not, we play and tease for several short sessions and finish another time. Sex does not have to end with orgasms. Non-orgasmic sexual play can be just as bonding and exciting as orgasmic sexual play – sometimes more so because of the pro-longed build up and the desire for each other is drawn out over days. I know this might not work for some, especially the younger couples who can still have those quickies – but it works for us and we have fun with it.

      I am glad to hear your wife has come along with her sexual exploration. Some of us are just slow learners! Better late than never??? lol

  6. For almost the last 5 yrs, I’ve been working a schedule that takes me away from home for 6 months out of the year (either 7 days on/7 off, or the current schedule, 14/14). Since we have to spend so much time apart, when we’re together, a day without is usually too long for both of us.

  7. Although my wife and I hit 60 this year, we are finding that the more often we have sex, the easier and more relaxed it is for her. How I wish we could have discovered that 30 years ago. We average every other day, due to various distractions, but have had several three and four day runs that were great!

    • Thank you, CM, you are very sweet.
      I would like to say that sometimes I need a little something to put my life into perspective. I’ve been dealing with some emotional issues, and that’s been making me sad and heartsick. However, my little problems pale in comparison to other people’s. I have a friend who just lost his job due to massive layoffs at his company. My sister-in-law is battling cancer. My dad just lost his sister. It makes me embarrassed to cry over my little issues. So no more. My eyes are off myself starting right now. I’m praying for all my friends and loved ones who need help in their lives. I love them all and want them to be happy. So pray for them for me, okay? ❤

      • Will do and I will also keep praying for you! And good attitude! When these life kicks in the stomach occur – the best thing you can do is to look around and see how much worse others have it. It also helps to focus on the things you have control of and let go of the things you don’t. Working on making yourself the best you can be, which includes taking stock of the many blessings you still do have, in spite of the troubles, helps take your mind off the things troubling you – at least for a little while. Take care – I can feel you are going to be OK!

  8. I have really enjoyed reading your posts. I came to your sight last week when after 12 years of marriage was thinking that sex was just something to get done. My husband asked me a few months ago why I don’t seem to enjoy it. It was mainly because I never felt like it was pleasurable to me. I don’t remember alot of times when I climaxed. But I didn’t tell him this. Another reason is ever since having 5 kids, by veins have taken a beating and that area gets very swollen sometimes after sex so doing morning snacks really makes me sore for a few hours in the morning. Hard to get things done during the day when it aches down there. For the past few days I have tried to go to bed when he heads there and to wake up early to pay him some attention. I tried a few of your other suggestions and boy yesterday he was so calm and happy. Plus I tried to concentrate on things that felt good for me. I am looking forward to more of your posts. Thanks for being willing to touch on these subjects.

    • Momma of 5 – Good for you, you are on the right track!!!

      Do you do Kegels? If not you may want to research them and see if that helps with the aching. Also maybe some lube might also help you. If you are not turned on or enjoying it you may be a little dry which could be causing more friction then necessary.

      I would also highly, highly, highly recommend that you discuss with your husband that you are not getting much pleasure from sex. He can’t fix what he doesn’t know is broken, and this is something you both should be working on! If you ask most men – they want their wife to enjoy it and have pleasure too. In fact most will tell you that it is a huge turn on to be able to give their wife pleasure and orgasms. And this is something that you both can research and work on together. I think you would be surprised at how into trying to give you pleasure he will get! 🙂 The more you enjoy it the more he will benefit, I guarantee it!

    • Thank you so much, Momma of 5! You’ve mentioned several important things. I think I’ll get busy on a few posts to address them.
      Thanks again, and welcome!

  9. Sorry…I don’t mean it like that…just flirty ideas, etc. Like I said earlier, my husband is wondering why I don’t seem to enjoy it…so if I am coming on more often…I am not sure how to do it because he told me that I am going to have to be the instigator because its hard for him since I have turned him down a few times, which I feel so SORRY about. So, I am thinking back rubs, what spots on their body make them excited, etc.

  10. Momma of 5…

    From one guy’s perspective. My wife has made a pretty good transition over the past 3 years. She would hardly ever initiate and showed almost zero passion during sex.

    A few ideas to throw out:

    Texts during the day to him, like, “I am in the mood to give someone a full body rub. Do you know of anyone that would like to be my subject? I like when my wife spends time rubbing my buttox, and exploring that region. The thighs, and then working upwards…. Let go of any inhibitions and just watch his reacations and listen to his sounds. But flirty texts are fun, they show that you are thinking about him, about sex, about together time.

    Learn what it takes for you to have a good orgasm. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this alone, then ask your husband to let you try while he watches. This is the most incredible turn on for most men – to watch their wife pleasure herself. You can then take a more active roll in your orgasm during foreplay and/or during intercourse. I love to use this as part of our fore play sometimes – watching her pleasure herself. This is not considered masturbation, it is a together, foreplay, experience.

    What helped my wife get over some of her hang-ups was for us to do some of the Sensate Focus exercises. I don’t know if they were exactly the same, but what our therapist had us do was to (for two days), take turns doing whatever the other one wanted. We were to lay naked on the bed, then for 1/2 hour she was to tell me what she wanted me to do to/for her – rub my feet, okay, now lightly strock (tickle) my legs, now you can do this to my back, neck, scalp, etc… then it was my turn for her to do the same to me. During days A/B (first two days) there could be no touching of the errogenous(?) zones, no intercourse. Days C/D (days 3 & 4) were pretty much the same, but we were to include the errogenous zones. We could have a climax, if this was something that we wanted, but no intercourse. Day E (5th day) would be the same as days C/D, but would end in intercourse. These type of excercises helped her to “ask” or “tell” me what she liked. It helped her to know that she was supposed to get as much pleasure out of our sex as I did. Every once in a while I will text her and ask if she is up for an A/B or a C/D tonight.

    I love when my wife walks by and grabs my butt. This is a fun way for me to know that she might be in the mood later.

    When she says, I think I will take a bath before we go to bed…. I know that she is preparing herself for together time.

    When she puts on some sexy underwear when she comes to bed…

    When she is more open to allowing different ways for her to receive pleasure… such as a vibrator. mmmmm. We shopped together, on line, for her first vibrator, and she loves it!

    And, when she becomes more vocal during foreplay and sex. By this is mean giving me feedback when something feels good. This is usually a moan. Sometimes she will tell me to try ______.

    And, when she becomes more active in bed, so that I am not doing all of the work. I like seeing her moving and doing things that bring pleasure for HER! I will get mine, regardless. Even if she lays there like a dead fish, I will have my orgasm. But, when she shows passion for her own pleasure in any way, this is a BIG turn on.

    Open yourself up and do things that might normally be beyond your comfort zone, and see what happens. Surprise him with a request.

    We ALWAYS take care of my wife first (unless we are doing a quickie, which are not nearly as frequent). When she comes first, she is always very lubricated after her orgasm and that helps to keep her from getting sore. If you are not normally lubricated when you start intercourse, then I would highly recommend you use a lot of librication before penitration.

    Just a few thoughts from me.

  11. Momma of 5–I think you should absolutely tell your husband when it hurts and why. Also–if you ever fake an orgasm, that’s a huge problem because he thinks he’s doing something right when he’s not necessarily. It’s okay to have sex without orgasm, but don’t pretend–that’s lying.

    My guess is that if you find ways to make sure it’s enjoyable for you, that you’ll be excited about making it happen more often, and you won’t need lots of tips–that will be obvious.

    As long as it hurts and is miserable, it won’t matter what you do to pretend like you like it.

  12. Grreat post,hope I’m not too late for the party.

    It was once a month,sometimes less for us in thirty years. My man just was not interested. Can’t tell you how that has damaged me.

    Six months ago I lost it and made an appointment for us with a sex therapist. I felt that I had betrayed our relationship, but of course it was the best thing I could have possibly done.

    Things have improved,but there’s a long way to go.

    My take home message is,don’t wait as long as I did. I buttoned up my life and self in all manner of ways,and we could have had so much more.I was afraid of embarassing him and blamed myself,but in reality I now understand that the issue has been my husband’s confidence.

    I think on reflection this has influenced our children’s attitudes to sex,and hate that this has contaminated their lives. I hope there’s still time left for us as health is now a problem for us both.

    • I’m sorry for your experiences, Handle with Care. I do understand how damaging it would be for you. As a fellow woman I feel for you! It would be very devastating. I’m surprised you made it through the last 30 years. I don’t know if I’d have been able to do that.

      You’re not alone, although you are the only woman who’s commented here in my blog about it. I appreciate you commenting. We do need to be aware that sexual refusal is not just a woman thing, it can also be a man thing. Who ever is being refused is being damaged and hurt, man or woman.
      ((hugs)) to you!

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