Seeing a sex therapist or a sex coach can be very helpful in getting desire back in to your life. One important thing to know about female sexual desire is that it is a little bit more circular than male sexual desire.
For men, often times desire -> arousal -> plateau -> orgasm
For women, sometimes sexual play/arousal needs to come before desire.
A sex therapist can help you get in touch with what makes you feel sexy to help boost your levels of desire. I would imagine being the mom of two young children could be zapping your sex drive, as it can be quite exhausting.
Sometimes our bodies can surprise us and do unusual things- like stop feeling sexy when we're with someone who we think is sexy!
It may be psychological in that this sounds like someone who you really care about. Often times casual sex, with little pressure and thus less potential to get hurt, can make it a lot easier to 'get it up' so to speak. It can sometimes become harder to maintain, or even develop, an erection when the stakes are higher and feelings are on the line, because you are much more vulnerable.
My advice would be to relax and really check in with your fears around intimacy- not just sexual intimacy but the idea of being close with someone in a relationship capacity, and what fears you may have around the idea that if they leave you it might hurt.
Additionally, it sounds like if you haven't gotten physical yet, there is a lot of pressure to perform. Anxiety can be a brutal erection killer, so again, try to practice relaxation methods, meditation, and deep breathing. And remember that sex should be about pleasure and the journey, not just the grand finale. Try focusing on her, relaxing, and breathing deeply!
All couples establish a 'language' around initiating or declining sex. It's always important to ask yourself (and your partner), is this language working, or do you need to co-create a new dialogue around sex?View Thread
The best place to find a therapist to address those specific needs is via AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists). They have a directory of certified professionals:
You are correct, intentionally 'withholding' sex as a punishment for bad behavior is manipulative and unhealthy in a relationship.
That being said though, this may not necessarily be what is happening. While I am not your partner and can't speak for her, here is another possible explanation for her behavior:
For a lot of women, sexual arousal and interest in sex stems from feeling safe, loved, and comfortable with your partner. She may be feeling insecure knowing that you are lunching with someone you are attracted to, and that is what is putting a damper on her willingness to have sex. It may feel like a punishment or manipulation but it could be more about her feeling jilted (read: not sexy, not attractive, not loved).
The best way to combat this scenario is to express to her how you feel about her and make sure that she understands and knows how much you care about her-- and only her.View Thread
There seems to be a small issue of trust raising its head in your relationship - trusting each other, and trusting your own selves. Your husband seems to be ashamed by his actions, so he is struggling with self-trust. It sounds like you are struggling with your own feelings on several levels. I'm curious -- is looking at porn the "fetish" that your partner admitted? Is there a certain type of porn he's looking at? If a couple shares a computer, it's fairly easy to come across the web history. I'm wondering if you made this discovery by accident, or if you were checking up on your husband. If it's the latter, I would question what is going on right now with you in this relationship. Unfortunately, we are not responsible for a partner's shame and all we can do mitigate it is to be open and accepting and consistent. Your husband could be experiencing shame from his early family or religious conditioning. He could be trying to replay that shame now, this could be one possible reason for keeping it secret and lying about his behavior. It's possible that dynamic of secrecy and deception plays into his unconscious psychological needs right now. Although you proclaim your acceptance, it sounds like you're not completely sure how you feel about your husband looking at porn, and he might sense this. It's also possible he's hiding other behaviors. I would say the first step is to clearly define your own sense of values in the relationship. When we concentrate on our own needs and well-being, we are better able to communicate this to others.View Thread
You recognize your current problem and you're able to associate it with your past trauma. Victims of sexual abuse respond in many ways besides shutting down. The vast majority of sex addicts have experienced sexual abuse. You have your whole life ahead of you, and the fact that you are able and ready to face your traumatic past and your current unmanageability portends well for your future. You may find a certified sex addiction therapist in your area through www.iitap.com, and there are also many great and helpful 'S' groups that are free -- these are 12-Step Fellowships that focus on Sex Addiction including SAA, SCA, and SLAA. A simple web search will bring up more information. Typically sex addicts find recovery through a combination of counseling for sex addiction and 12-Step recovery. There are also inpatient centers that specialize in sex addiction or offer outpatient intensives. Take the HBI - Hypersexual Behavior Inventory test here and see how you score: http://thecenterforhealthysex.com/tests/hbi_hypersexual_behavior_inventory/ While sexual virility seems to be the stereotypical young man's dream, what you describe when you "can't seem to get enough" is the painful reality of the constant unfulfilled hunger resulting from addiction where the fix no longer fixes anything. Everyone becomes sexualized, which results in disconnection and lack of intimacy in every relationship. Just as a drug addict turns to drugs to self-medicate from life's pain and problems, a sex addict turns to sex to avoid feeling pain, stress, anxiety, grief, etc. This is a progressive disease meaning that it gets worse. Addicts typically risk their physical health, their legal health and their psychological health as the behavior escalates in search of a better 'high'. Please seek out help, your life is worth it.View Thread