Better after

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Photo credit: Rachel Robinson
Rachel Robinson

Dear Dan: In a recent column, you said you never hear from married couples whose sex life got better and more frequent over the years. Well, now you have. My wife and I were married 24 years ago, and we are currently having more sex and better sex than we did in the first years of our marriage. There are many reasons why, including therapy, antidepressants, and weight loss and subsequent surgery — but I would have to say that the big reason is communication. If you had known us 25 years ago, Dan, you would not have given us good odds. We’d been dating only a year and a half when we got engaged, and we’d known each other less than two years. I was a virgin, my wife was not, together we hadn’t gotten much past second base, and neither of us had laid our kink cards on the table. We were (and still are) introverts with poor communication skills and anxiety/depression/mental-health issues. I won’t say it’s been fairy-tale perfect — the kind of perfect that makes you barf and roll your eyes — but it’s been pretty damn close. My wife has been incredibly GGG, and I hope I have been, too. So there you go, Dan! Now you know there’s at least one couple out there whose sex life has only gotten better over the years.

—Better Erotic Ties Totally Enhanced Relationship

Dear BETTER: Last week, I responded to IMDONE, a woman who married a man despite the sex being “infrequent and impersonal” during their courtship. To the surprise of no one who has ever given sex advice for a living, the sex didn’t get better after IMDONE and her boyfriend got married. “Here’s something I’ve never seen in my inbox: a letter from someone explaining how sex with their partner was infrequent, impersonal, uninspired, unimaginative, etc. at first but — holy moly — the sex got a fuck of a lot better after the wedding,” I wrote in my response to IMDONE. I did allow for the possibility that my sample was skewed; people with good sex lives don’t write to tell me everything’s fine. So I invited people whose so-so sex lives improved after the wedding to write in. And did they ever: My inbox is packed with e-mails from couples whose sex lives got better after the wedding. Here are a few.

Dear Dan: I was a very experienced woman (five years as a swinger and partners numbering in the high double digits) when I first met the man who would become my husband. My husband-to-be was a virgin. Sex was barely OK and very infrequent. But we were both in our early 40s and ready to settle down. We also had an amazing friendship, and we were never as happy apart as we were together. It helped that we shared some kinks and were both up for what we agreed would be a nice and mostly companionate marriage. So we got married. And, wow, did everything change! We went from once a month to a couple times a week. Turns out he needed that emotional attachment to feel safe and secure enough to open up and relax and enjoy himself. We’ve been married for years now. The sex is still good. It’s not as frequent as it once was, but it’s really good when we have it. So, yes, sometimes it does get better!

—Woman In Fucking Ecstasy

Dear Dan: Am I the first or the hundredth person to write in? Yes, sex for us got better after marriage. I suspect you don’t see it in your inbox very often because this isn’t what most people would consider a problem and we don’t want to waste your time! All it took for the sex to get better was practice and paying attention to cues and solving problems. I strongly suspect that perseverance and a bit of luck were also major factors.

—Practice, Practice, Practice

Dear Dan: My sex life improved after marriage. I am a straight male with a highly stigmatized kink. I was deeply ashamed of my sexual interest even before my mother discovered my porn when I was 14 and told me I was a pervert that no decent woman would ever want. When I met my wife, our sex life was OK — but I was never fully present, because I would have to concentrate on my fantasies in order to sustain an erection. I eventually retreated into masturbation. My wife knew I was masturbating in the middle of the night instead of having sex with her, and that led to some enormous fights. So I told her about my kink, fully expecting that it would result in the collapse of my marriage. We didn’t speak about it for a week, and then she calmly asked me if I wanted to do this with her instead of just watching porn about it.

—Partnership Improved Sexual Situation 

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