Why your wife doesn’t want sex
"Why can't all women be as horny as you?"
If I had a dollar for every time a guy left a comment like that on one of my sex columns, I wouldn't need to be writing this.
Of course, I could retire equally as early if I earned the same every time a man responded to one of my articles or social posts calling me a "wh*re".
These paradoxical statements explain everything you need to know about the collective male understanding of female sexuality.
And that is, quite simply, that they just don't get it.
Now, before you start taking to your keyboards and wielding your digital pitchforks, you should know this: I'm not here to blame men. If anything, I'm here to confirm the fact they've been given the short end of the stick.
Sexual education in our country is wildly inadequate. And that's coming from an ex-schoolteacher with a hell of a lot of respect and empathy for what teachers do.
While I'm sure most of us can recall giggling through the health class as our teacher was forced to say "erection" and "ejaculation" out loud, I'd hazard a guess you don't have a similar memory of a lesson even hinting at female pleasure.
That's because, for the girls among your class, sex ed was an exercise in familiarising ourselves with the pain the female body could inflict - from menstruation to pregnancy.
Around the same time, we were also learning not to talk about our sexuality out loud.
While jokes about wanking and wet dreams proliferated public dialogue around sex, any utterance of the word "vagina" or suggestion of a woman enjoying sex was met with embarrassed expressions and hushed words.
None of us should have been surprised, then, when a study emerged earlier this year suggesting over 70 per cent of women are in pain or discomfort during sex.
I'll give you a second to let that sink in. Seventy per cent.
Further research additionally confirmed most women couldn't even correctly label their own genital anatomy.
In fact, the majority of women are so detached from, and ashamed of, our sexuality that by the time we've hit adulthood, we naturally assume when we stop wanting sex, it's a sign there's something pathologically wrong with us. That we need to make a beeline for the nearest doctor's clinic and start trawling Google for pharmaceutical solutions.
It's around this time in people's relationships, I start to get the emails from men. They're all some variation of the following:
"My wife has lost her libido. How can we get it back?"
This question misses the point entirely: Female sexuality is far more complex than something that can be "lost", like an unattended shopping basket at a Zara sale.
At the heart of this issue is the flawed idea that women simply aren't very sexual to begin with. That really, we only have sex to secure monogamy. So naturally, once the paperwork is signed, we're done.
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Despite what some people may think, I haven't built a public profile on Instagram for attention, or because I love taking pics of myself (quite the opposite, this page has been a huge learning experience for me to evolve into being someone who doesn't hate my own image after struggling with body dysmorphia and eating disorders in my 20s). I built this community to create a space where women can feel empowered in their sexuality, and in their bodies. . It would be much easier not to post every day. Not to constantly have to make myself vulnerable to public judgement, to online bullying and trolls that have no idea how deeply their words cut, but I do it anyway, because I believe in a world where women can be free to dress and act however they feel comfortable without constant fear of slut-shaming, sexual harassment and abuse. I do this because I believe it's possible for us to grow through education and exposure. Because I believe a woman can be 'sexy' and a multi-dimensional worthy human being all at once. And because, a single positive comment, email or DM I get about opening someone's mind up is worth a hundred trolls. . This ISN'T a post to judge those who judge me. I refuse to use my words to shame or bully other women, and I implore you not to get involved in arguing with these people either (as much as I appreciate your support) because that's not why I've built this community. I've built it for you guys; the people who support my message and want to help make this world a safer, more tolerant, sex and body positive place for women. To help each and every one of you to find your inner sexual goddess, and liberate her. There will always be people that miss that message entirely, that will continue to judge and criticise me, but this community isn't for those people. It's for you. THANKYOU for helping me build it. 💕
Be a fly on the wall a few chardonnays into any girls' night and you're guaranteed to discover that's simply not the case. When women are alone and the boundaries are loosened, we readily share sex stories with similar fervour to any group of men.
Vibrators continue to be one of the top-selling online products for women, and lingerie brands aren't having any trouble getting us to part with our credit cards in exchange for faux leather teddies and lace G-strings.
There is not some strange global phenomenon occurring, whereby these same, sexually healthy women's libidos are all simultaneously vanishing into thin air a few years into marriage. If it were the case, the percentage of married women having sexual affairs wouldn't be skyrocketing.
The reason your wife isn't having sex with you, is a far more uncomfortable truth: she's bored.
Research shows women - far more than men - crave novelty in relationships.
It's why we love date nights so much, and devoured the Fifty Shades Of Grey books, despite the terrible writing. Newness, mystery and spontaneity are key factors in the process of female arousal.
Unfortunately, we don't learn this in school - or anywhere, for that matter. Men are essentially left to scrap together what knowledge they can from the pages of RedTube, where the orgasms are instantaneous and the women never require foreplay.
Pair that with a lifetime of telling women their bodies are sources of pain and shame, and you have a recipe for a sex-starved relationship. Or - at best - sex that's painfully unsatisfying.
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I get at least one comment online a day calling me a ‘whore’. It’s almost always directed at me by a man.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The other comment I get most from men is, ‘I wish ALL women could be as horny as you!’.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It’s interesting, the paradoxical arousal and hatred my openness about sex inspires in men. Mostly because it demonstrates how profoundly female sexuality is misunderstood.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The truth is, I’m not unique in any way. The stories I tell are universal to women. I know this because, the comment I get most from WOMEN online is, ‘Thank you for telling my story. I relate to everything you’re saying.’⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Men label me as a ‘whore’ or ‘horny’ because they think I’m different. Because they haven’t heard these stories from other women. Ironically, the very reason other women stay silent and repressed is because they’re terrified of being branded with one of these labels. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ As women, we’ve been taught that displaying our sexuality leads to slut-shaming. The very kind that I, as an openly sexual woman, experience every day. Either that, or we’re pathologised - deemed ‘hypersexual’, ‘sex addicts’ or branded as having high libidos.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In reality, I don’t have a high libido. In fact, among my group of friends, I’d probably be on the lower end of the scale. Women reach out to me every day to tell me how much more sex they wish they were having, how scared they are to share their desires with their partners, and how terrified they are of letting anyone know their sexual history, because they’ve been made to believe their ‘number’ is far too high. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It’s time to acknowledge that women are equally as sexual - if not more so - than men. Removing the shame from female sexuality benefits us all. We could ALL be having more sex - and probably kinkier! - if we stopped crucifying sexual women.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ So let’s call out slut-shaming when we see it. And destroy labels like ‘whore’ and ‘horny’. Because female sexuality is SO much more complex than that. And we all deserve to experience it in all it’s nuanced glory.
I'm aware you might have gotten to this point in the story feeling rather depressed and hopeless about it all. But take heed, this problem isn't incurable.
In fact, it's easily solvable if you're ready for a perspective shift.
Here it is: "Horny" women like myself aren't the exception - we're the norm. Most women simply won't own up to the fact they crave sex for fear of slut-shaming, which brings me to my second point: Women who actively seek out sex aren't wh*res. And calling us so is only perpetuating the culture of female sexual oppression stopping you - yes, you, the guy reading this - from getting laid.
Finally, you might be surprised at what a few surprise date nights, trying something new together and asking her what she likes in bed will do for her "lost" libido.
You might even discover that, actually, it was never lost to begin with. You just needed to know where to look.
Nadia Bokody is a freelance writer and Instagram influencer. Continue the conversation on Instagram | @nadiabokody