She’s back! Gynecologist Hilda Hutcherson, M.D., a member of WVFC’s Medical Advisory Board, has written many articles for us as one half of WVFC’s “Sex Talk Team.” In the past, Dr. Hutcherson and her teammate, gynecologist Patricia Yarberry Allen, have had many vigorous—and frank—discussions of sexual matters on this site, from terrific orgasms to the use of sex toys to sex after hysterectomy to vaginal conditioning.
Now Dr. Hutcherson is back with us, ready to write the occasional “Dr. Hilda on Sex” column for us. Both Dr. Allen, WVFC’s publisher, and Dr. Hutcherson invite you to send Dr. Hilda any questions (firstname.lastname@example.org) you may have been too shy to ask. Like this one, for instance. —Ed.
Dear Dr. Hilda:
Thanks for writing about sexual issues. It is reassuring somehow to understand that some of my questions and concerns are shared by others. I am 46 and have regular periods. I use an IUD for contraception. I am a stay at home mother with two middle-school children who are doing well but who really take up almost all my time with their after-school activities: sports, music, friends, and then the Saturday morning in-season lacrosse and hockey games that often require long drives. My husband commutes three hours a day and has a stressful job that, fortunately, makes us financially secure. We have always been best friends and love being parents.
The problem is that I just don’t have any time—or, if I am really telling the truth, the energy—for sex. My husband is a very thoughtful lover, and wants me to be orgasmic, which is a real drag because I just want to get it over with and get some rest. I was never a woman who lived for sex, but now I dread nighttime, and often stay up late doing emails for the PTA and other volunteer work that I do for the children. This is causing a big rift in our relationship. I just don’t know how to fix it. I can’t give what he wants me to give. What should we do?
Dr. Hilda Responds:
Thanks for sharing your story. It is one that I hear almost every day. It is not easy to take care of a home and two very busy adolescents. At the end of the day, sex can begin to feel like one more chore that you need to do for someone else.
Believe me, though, sex is as vital to your physical and mental wellbeing as it is for your husband. I, personally, feel that sex is important for a good marriage. We all know that sex releases chemicals that make you feel closer to your partner. And is it really fair to ask him to go without sex? You say that he is your best friend and a good father. He works hard to provide financial stability and is a thoughtful lover who works hard to make sure you are sexually satisfied each time. He is obviously attracted to you. Unless there is something that you are not sharing with me, he is a great guy. Straight out of a Harlequin Romance novel! Your children are important, but so are your husband and your marriage. So let’s figure out how to get your mojo back.
The first thing I would recommend is a visit to your doctor to rule out any medical problems that might be causing your loss of desire. For example, hormonal problems, like thyroid disease, might cause fatigue and low libido. Review your medications, even those you buy over the counter.
Then begin to relinquish some of your many activities so you can have energy left for sex and intimacy. You might begin with decreasing your volunteer activities. Find other parents who can share the driving to after-school activities. Talk honestly to your husband about your feelings. He may have his own suggestions of ways to make life easier and less stressful for you.
Find a few minutes in every day to relax and breathe. Carve out some time for Marcia! And schedule time for sex with your husband! Make it a priority. Try sex in the morning, when you are well rested; it is often the best time for an older man. Or take a nap in the afternoon so you have more energy for sex later.
Here’s what I want you to do this week: While the kids are at school, go out and buy a matching set of sexy undies that make you feel delicious. Stop and get a manicure and pedicure on the way home. While getting pampered, read a few chapters of an erotic novel, like Fifty Shades of Grey. Stop at the grocery store and buy chocolate sauce, and place it on your bedside table. Call your husband and tell him that you have a big luscious surprise waiting, so he’d better hurry home. Send the kids out to a sleepover with friends or family. Meet your husband at the door wearing only your new undies and a pair of high heels, preferably red! Then let your imagination run wild.
Marcia, you can do it! And you ‘ll be happy you did. But if this doesn’t work, make an appointment with a sex and marital therapist.