Differing Sexual Needs

Fanny lost her desire for sexual contact early in her marriage.

This has become a serious problem for her husband Dennis. Although he tries not to take it personally, he cannot help feeling rejected and demeaned as a man. Also, his biological needs cause him to suffer, especially at night.

Fanny loves Dennis and feels badly about her inability to make love to him. She is blocked by a subconscious aversion toward the male reproductive organ and the sexual act itself. Although she is not aware of the reason, both the male organ and the act of sex seem dirty to her. Her search into why she feels this way has been fruitless until now.

Dennis also loves Fanny very much. This problem, however, causes him to feel great injustice. He needs this contact physically and emotionally. Fanny understands and respects his need, but feels very much pressured by him and also suffers from an unconquerable aversion when he approaches her sexually.

This fear of his approaching her causes her to avoid all contact, even simple affection, so he will not be aroused and the energy between them will not become sexual. She has begun occupying herself with a many activities outside the home, using up large quantities of energy and avoiding Dennis. She also leaves on the weekends for seminars or retreats. She has found some meaning, but also perhaps some escape.

This adds to Dennis feelings of injustice and hurt. He seldom sees her at home and would like to spend some quality time with his wife.

What could each of them have to learn?


1. Does she need to work more deeply on discovering the cause of her fear and repulsion toward the male organ and sexual union?
2. Does she need to force herself to accept her husband sexually even though she does not feel it?
3. Or is her lesson to accept this problem and let her husband work it out from his end?
4. Should she be staying home more with her family even if this does not fulfill her as much as her other activities and even if their material needs are cared for?
5. Should she be there at home creating with her presence a sense of family?
6. Should she feel responsible for Dennis?s unhappiness or not?
7. What does she need in order to find a balance?
8. Does she need to free herself from the belief that sex is dirty or evil?
9. Should she give him more affection and loving affirmation so he can feel her love?
10. Must she distinguish between affection, hugging and caressing and sex?
11. Does she need to express her needs and beliefs to him more clearly, lovingly and assertively without feeling responsible for his reality?
12. Does she need to overcome any negativity she is feeling toward him?


1. Should he pressure his wife to accept physical contact with him?
2. Should he insist that she stay at home more?
3. Is his lesson to accept this absence of sexual contact?
4. Is he in any way doing something that repulses his wife?
5. Does he need to understand her problem and not take this situation personally?
6. How can he find his happiness without doing injustice to his wife?
7. Should he become less focused on the sexual level for pleasure, relaxation or affirmation of himself as a man?
8. Can he feel her love and caring for him without its verification through the sexual act?
9. Does he need to discover if she may not be having some negative feelings toward him because of something he has or has not done?
10. Can he love and feel close to her even if she cannot give him what he needs?
11. Should he express his needs with an I- message, helping her to understand how he feels?
12. Perhaps he should let her overcome this in her own way and timing?
13. Has the time come to become more spiritually oriented and direct his energies in other directions?
14. Or to love and accept himself more and realize that his self-worth is not dependent upon whether she wants him sexually or not?

If you are in a position similar to Fanny or Dennis, look through these lists of possible lessons and observe which seem to ring a bell in your inner self. Also be aware that you may have a number of the above-listed lessons as well as others which are not listed.