Q: “Husband isn’t interested in sex. Okay to ask him to satisfy me?”
My husband is a recovering porn addict that has been able to stay away from the porn for about 2 years now. For the last several years he has struggled with Peyronie’s disease (even going through a series of shot treatments) and erectile dysfunction. He has now gone about 5 months without wanting anything to do with having sex. I am really struggling with my need for intimacy and sex. Is it okay to ask him to satisfy my needs either manually or orally, is it okay to masturbate, or should I just put my needs aside and be disciplined as if I were single?
A woman has just as great a need for sexual fulfillment as does a man. There are literally thousands upon thousands of marriages in which the man no longer wants sex and the wife is craving it. It is one of the most common, yet least discussed, problems in marriages today.
For the sake of other readers, Peyronie’s Disease is an abnormal curvature of the penis during erection. Fibrous scar tissue develops under the skin of the penis. It can be painful, often makes intercourse difficult, and can shorten the penis. The mental and emotional pain may be as bad as the physical pain; maybe worse. Stress and anxiety, especially with more severe cases, can be tough on a man.
With his erectile dysfunction AND Peyronie’s Disease, it’s easy to understand why he avoids sex. Men are just as complicated as women when it comes to sexual matters. The mind, self-esteem, emotions, body image, age, and a host of other things affect his sexuality. However, the fact that he isn’t interested in sex doesn’t mean that you aren’t interested. Actually, as you indicate, you are more than interested. You want it and you need it.
Even the Bible recognizes your need and the responsibility of your husband to fulfill it. (See 1 Corinthians 7:2-5) The fact that his ED and Peyronie’s may make intercourse difficult or impossible does not remove his responsibility. You ask if it would be okay for you to ask him to satisfy your needs either manually or orally. ABSOLUTELY! Either of those methods are fine. Choose the one you like best that he does in the way that most pleases you. Offer to return the favor to him, if he wishes. (There are many reasons why it would be good for him to orgasm as well.) If you are willing to ask for something, you should also be willing to give it.
You also ask if it is okay to masturbate. When people condemn masturbation, typically their objection is to lust, not the physical act of masturbation. If you can masturbate without thinking about (fantasizing about) someone to whom you have no right, I see no evil in the practice. Try to focus on the good sexual experiences that you and your husband had earlier in life. It isn’t sinful to lust after your own husband!
Better yet, have him masturbate with you. Enjoy it together. If you wish to buy a vibrator (again, not lusting after someone else), the one many sexologists recommend is the Hitachi Magic Wand. It isn’t a dildo designed to go in the vagina, but a vibrator to use either near or on the clitoris. It has two speeds. If you choose to use it, experiment carefully until you find the place and the speed that gives you the most pleasure. And, yes, it can be used on your husband as well. You don’t have to go to a porn site to get it. Look on Amazon.com. Shop around a little on legitimate sites (not porn) and you can find a good deal on one. (No, I do not own stock in Hitachi.)
The bottom line is that you need sexual fulfillment. He should do what he can to give that to you. Ask. Demand. Share. If nothing else works, do it alone. You are made to be a sexual being. By being married to this man, you can’t have sex with another – either in reality or fantasy – but you can do something about having sexual satisfaction. Don’t feel guilty. Do it.