Newlyweds with no sexual chemistry

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Dear Emily,

I’m 30 years old and I got married six months ago. My husband and I dated for a year before we tied the knot.

He’s a wonderful man: hardworking, kind, generous, romantic and sweet. He treats me very well, but there’s a problem: We are not sexually compatible.

When we have sex, I don’t feel any spark. I don’t feel satisfied at all. I love him and we have great emotional chemistry, but we have no sexual chemistry.

We had no premarital sex because of his conservative religion. I had great sexual relations with my previous boyfriend but we always had intense arguments, and he cheated on me. My ex-boyfriend and I didn’t have good emotional chemistry but I enjoyed sex with him very much.

I want to tell my husband that I’m not sexually satisfied with him, but how do I tell him without hurting his feelings? Is it really possible to be in love with someone with zero sexual chemistry?

—Unsatisfied Wife

It’s best to nip this problem in the bud this early to prevent it from escalating. You may love him dearly, but sex is a huge component of marriage—more so to you, because you’ve already experienced great sex with someone else. You cannot just sweep this issue under the rug and take cold showers to make your desire go away. It won’t.

You ask if it is really possible to love someone with zero sexual chemistry? Yes—if the person remains a friend forever.

If you have an honest talk with your husband, who you say is wonderful and treats you well, there’s no way he will not listen and do something about it. He’d want to make you happy and make this marriage work.

Get this problem out in the open, possibly while you two are in bed. Teach him quietly what it is he can do to satisfy you, and you, him. Be his teacher, as it appears he’s a neophyte in this. There is no shame for him not to know much about sex because of his conservative religion, just as much as it is also no cause of embarrassment for you to know a lot about it. Did he know you were no blushing flower when he married you? Would it have been a shock to his virgin mind?

Tell him what is it you want or show him how you want it. As in geometry, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. There is no going around this if you want to be content in your marriage.

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