5 Reasons Your Husband Finds It Hard To Talk To You About Sex

How to have *that* talk.

Husband nervous to talk to you about sex Africa images, Shann Daniels | Canva

Many women assume that their husbands are honest and open with them about their sexual desires, needs, and satisfaction. However, this is rarely the case with the male clients I see, which is why I write posts encouraging them to be honest. These men have totally normal desires, but they are unable to verbalize these desires to their wives, who are under the misapprehension that their husbands are satisfied. 


Here are five reasons that men find it difficult to be fully transparent with their partners about how they feel about their sex lives. This post can be very eye-opening for women, and can also help men think more clearly about why they feel vague dissatisfaction in bed.

Here are 5 reasons your husband finds it hard to talk to you about sex:

1. You are rejection-sensitive and don’t handle feedback well

Rejection sensitivity is a hallmark of atypical depression, which is the type of depression most women have. If you are very sensitive to any perceived rejection, then your husband is likely scared to upset you by giving you any feedback that isn’t wholly positive. Even if he just suggests something new in bed, many rejection-sensitive women will interpret this as him saying, “I’m completely unhappy with what we currently do,” which would then lead to a huge fight or tears.


RELATED: 9 Scary Ways Rejection Messes With Your Mind

2. He is scared that all sex will stop if he isn’t completely effusive about it

In situations where you have made clear that you would be done with sex if not for his desire to still be intimate, the man may feel very anxious about his sex life stopping entirely if he suggests in any way that he is not 100% happy with it. This is counterproductive because then neither partner is getting the sex life they want. The partner with the lower sex drive is not getting to be celibate, and the higher libido partner is not getting sex that they actually enjoy.

3. He has low self-esteem and thinks crappy sex is all he deserves

When men feel insecure about their attractiveness or desirability, particularly if they are late bloomers, they may feel that they need to accept bad sex, because this is all they will ever get. When people think they don’t deserve any effort or attention, this generally derives from not being treated very well by caregivers early in life. Sometimes it can also be from seeing one parent treated poorly by the other, and then identifying with the mistreated parent. Often, men who saw their mother shrinking from their father’s touch or condescending to him will assume that this is how they deserve to be treated by their own wives.


RELATED: 8 Signs Of Low Self-Esteem In A Man

4. He thinks that expressing any sexual desire is disgusting, anti-feminist, or coercive

Having a sex drive and sexual preferences is healthy, and neither creepy nor coercive. Men who fall into what I call a “gentleman eunuch” role were generally raised by mothers who experienced sexual trauma or were raised very sex-negative. These mothers pass down an anti-sex and anti-male perspective that makes their sons feel apologetic and ashamed of their sexual desires. This stops them from being able to openly express these desires to their wives, or anyone.

5. He has limited experience and does not understand that 'normal' women do exciting things in bed

Men with very limited (or no) sexual experience before marriage think that married people don’t do anything exciting in bed and that things outside of quick intercourse are just in porn. Often, these men have 5 to 10-minute quickies with their wives and assume that this is all that anyone is doing. While they are not happy with their sex lives, they assume that any other needs they have can be satisfied by watching porn, because it would be abnormal to bring up any new ideas with their “nice, normal” wives.


RELATED: What To Do If You And Your Partner Have Different Sex Drives

Couples counseling can be transformative for couples where sex is awkward, unfulfilling, and/or boring because the couple can finally learn to communicate openly about sexual issues. I have worked with couples who are married for decades but have never had an honest conversation about sex. So many people overestimate what their partners understand about sex, and how well they can communicate about it. As I discuss here, your smart spouse may know a lot less than you think about sex!

If this post resonated with you, and couples counseling feels too scary, individual therapy can also help you learn to communicate better and also can help you address your core self-esteem issues that may be stopping you from thinking that you deserve better than someone who phones it in. Remember too that the woman cannot know she is “phoning it in” if she has limited experience and has never received any feedback from you that isn’t positive.

RELATED: How To Get Your Wife To Talk About Your Sex Life


Dr. Samantha Rodman Whiten, aka Dr. Psych Mom, is a clinical psychologist in private practice and the founder of DrPsychMom. She works with adults and couples in her group practice Best Life Behavioral Health.