Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Archive for October 1st, 2010

Sex Appeal

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on October 1, 2010

    Melanie, fifty-one, wanted to feel sexy; she was not feeling attractive to Alfred, her husband of twenty years. She started dressing with the conscious intention of getting male attention. Alfred did not notice the change. Melanie was not angry with Alfred; rather, she was guilt-ridden that she was being “inappropriate.” “Why don’t you tell Alfred that you want him to tell you that you have sex appeal?” I ask, knowing that such plain speaking honesty can be very scary. “That is how I feel, but it would never occur to me to say that,” Melanie responds quietly. “It is interesting that at first you feel neglected by Alfred, but then you feel guilty,” I say. Melanie responds quickly, “yes, guilt is something I am comfortable with.” 

       Maintaining passion in a long-term marriage is a challenge. Asking for sexual attention can be humiliating or empowering. The vulnerability can give way to a deeper intimacy. Knowing what you want and knowing how to ask for it, are the first two steps. Melanie agonizes about how to talk to Alfred about this. Maybe a few rehearsals will help.

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