Share this article

print logo

Dear Abby: Aversion to sex traces back to mom

Dear Abby: I’ve been married more than 20 years and have three children. What I haven’t had is a real desire for sex – nor have I ever had, as far as I know, an orgasm. Before my wedding, my mother warned me that sex was overblown, uncomfortable and messy, but she said I had to put up with it if I wanted children and a good marriage.

Movies, television shows and erectile-dysfunction ads all suggest that “normal” women are just looking for the next opportunity to jump into bed with their man. Am I a freak? Are there others like me? What do I tell my girls as they grow up?

Waiting in Wichita

Dear Waiting: Your mother did you no favor by saying what she did about sex. Sex can be “messy,” but it is also supposed to be pleasurable, and both parties should be able to enjoy it. If sex is painful, then something is wrong.

I would never label you a freak. However, you may be asexual, because some people are. If you have never experienced an orgasm, you may have married a man who was also sexually inexperienced.

It’s a mistake to judge what sex is supposed to be like from movies, TV or advertising. Your gynecologist would be a far more reliable source of information and could recommend some reading material for your daughters. But please do not give your daughters the same message your mother gave to you, because it was wrong.

Middle-aged sisters don’t talk

Dear Abby: I have two daughters, “Mary Beth,” 48, and “Anne,” 50, who do not talk to each other. The last time we were all together was a family vacation in 2010. They live in different states, and they don’t reach out to each other.

When Mary Beth wrote her feelings to Anne, they were viewed as hurtful and vindictive. I received a copy of the letter, but I didn’t think they were. That was two years ago, and Anne never sent a reply. She said, “Oh, Mom, I don’t know what to write. Can you help?”

Frankly, I think Anne prefers the lack of contact with her sister, and that even though they are sisters, there is no bond between them. What do you suggest? The silence is unbearable. I want to hear the “noise” again.

– Disappointed Mom in Reno

Dear Disappointed Mom: Nowhere in your letter did you mention how Mary Beth feels about the fact that her letter may have caused an estrangement. As an adult, Anne should have responded to that letter. It isn’t unusual in families that are geographically separated for sibling bonds to loosen. Daily life can be profoundly distracting.

I’m advising you to continue to see both daughters, but not involve yourself in their relationship. I’m not sure what kind of “noise” you’re looking for, but if you poke into this, it could be an explosion.