Fat and Not Frisky

Dear Robin:
I read your blog a few days ago and have some thoughts.  Some woman wrote you and said her husband was looking at a lot of internet porn and that she wasn’t interested in sex.  She casually mentioned she had gained about 25 pounds.  I really disagree with the advice you gave her because I don’t think you addressed the weight issue enough.

You apparently have no idea how weight gain can affect whether a woman wants to be intimate, and I don’t think most men do either. After having three kids, I have gained about 30-40 pounds and I can’t seem to lose it. I HATE working out so I never do it.  My husband would probably tell you I don’t have sex with him enough, but from my side, I can tell you I don’t want to because I hate how I look. I feel gross and unattractive and hardly sexy.

My husband has remained fit which makes me feel even worse.  My youngest is in 8th grade and I don’t work, so I’m sure he wonders why I can’t get this weight thing under control.

I love my husband and I want to make love with him but it just isn’t happening right now. I’m not sure what to do and it’s getting worse, because at this point we haven’t had sex in 11 months and I know he’s not happy about it.

Overweight and Overwrought

Dear O.O.:

I struggled with whether to use your email in my Friday Feedback blog or for today’s advice blog, because I wasn’t certain you intended this to be a critique or a request for advice.  In the end, I’m going to give you some advice whether you want it or not.  Non-consensual advice is my specialty.

lucy

The blog you referred to is here: Internet Porn is Ruining my Marriage.  I hesitated to address the weight issue too much because the writer did not focus on that as her main problem.  Since you have identified your excess weight as the reason you don’t want to have sex with your husband, I’m happy to tackle it here.

Your assertion that I don’t understand the impact weight gain can have on sexual desire is extremely off the mark.  I believe that when we are heavier, we are more insecure (“we” = women, because men don’t seem to give a fuck and I blame that on supermodels).  Unless you are some sort of twisted fruitcake, feelings of insecurity dampen sexual desire, so we need to identify the steps you can take to increase your self-esteem and get back to shagging your husband.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you don’t fuck your husband, and assuming he still wants sex in his life, someone else will.

nosex

Here’s how I see it: you need two specific categories of advice.  First, you need some direction on how to lose the weight.  Second, you need to recharge your sexy battery.  First things first:

HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT

Eat less, exercise more.

Yeah, it really is that simple.  And yet it isn’t, or we wouldn’t have so many obese people in this country.  You know what to do, you just aren’t doing it.  Why?  I don’t know, because you didn’t respond to my email seeking more information.  Let’s talk about me, because that’s fun and informative.

I know EXACTLY why I carry around the extra pounds I do.  I love wine and good food.  The wine does not need to be good, it just needs to be wine.  Although I exercise 6 or 7 days a week, I still have a belly that drives me crazy and back/bra fat.  You know what I’m talking about, right ladies?

fat-back

If I wanted to, I could count calories more closely and be much thinner.  Specifically, I could give up drinking altogether and probably drop 20 pounds in a few weeks.  However, life is too long to go through it sober, especially in this town.

Here’s some basic advice on losing weight:

1. Set not just one goal such as pounds to lose, but a series of goals.  You say you need to lose 30-40 pounds, let’s call it 35.  That’s a really daunting number, isn’t it?  Break it down into chunks of five pounds each, and reward yourself every time you reach that goal.  Maybe you buy yourself a new pair of earrings or a sex toy (after 11 months I’m thinking you might want one), but try not to reward yourself with lasagne and ice cream.

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(The incorrect use of the apostrophe was not mine, I assure you)

2. Pay attention to what you eat, but don’t try to adhere to an extremely strict diet.  We always end up rebelling against those and the result is losing ground, not weight.

3. You don’t work and your kids are in school, so exercise at least a few days each week.  You certainly have the time.  I know you hate working out, so find something you like to do instead of just running on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike.  Have you tried fencing, or martial arts?  Also, your husband would like you to know that sex burns calories too…

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4. Try to find a friend to join you in your weight loss project and challenge each other.  Studies that I haven’t read and don’t intend to show that women have greater luck losing weight when they do it with a friend.  Accountability, support, blah blah blah, so find a fellow chubster and try to recruit her.  I suggest doing this on the phone or over email, as there is a chance of being assaulted if you tell your friend she’s fat right to her fat face.

fatface

HOW TO GET YOUR SEXY MOJO BACK:

1. Think about what you need besides losing weight that will reignite your interest in the Act.  Identify those things and share them with your husband, and work together on finding a solution.  Therapy is probably a good idea.

2. Get back on that horse.  11 months is about to be a year, and once you are counting the time between coupling in years, you may as well find a divorce lawyer now.  If you continue to turn your husband away, your marriage will suffer greatly, which will make you even more unhappy.  Unhappiness goes hand in hand with stress, and stress makes your body release cortisol.  Cortisol makes us fat, which means your weight problem will get even worse, and now you are in a spiraling circle of doom and despair.

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I recently heard from a man in Florida who sent me a letter for this blog on a separate subject.  He told me he had recently divorced, so we started chatting about what happened.  In a very similar situation to yours, his wife had begun putting on weight and refusing sex.  He told her constantly that he didn’t care about the weight and he loved her, but she still wouldn’t let him in the Nookie Box.  Guess how long he put up with that before he finally left her?

9 years.  9 fucking years, or non-fucking years I should say.  He’s now dating his old high school sweetheart (Facebook reconnect) and guess what?  She’s heavy too.  But he couldn’t care less; they can’t get enough of each other, and he’s finally happy.  Meanwhile, his ex-wife has ballooned up to over 350 pounds and she still does’t understand why her marriage fell apart.  OK, back to you:

3. Buy the aforementioned sex toy.  It couldn’t hurt (unless it’s malfunctioning, I suppose).

4. Talk to your doctor.  You should probably do this anyway since you WILL be taking my advice and starting a weight-loss program.  Maybe there are some medical issues at play which feed into your diminished sex drive.  If your doctor is really good-looking, this may also put you in the mood.

george_clooney

*sigh*  Clooney has to go in the blog every once in a while.  Sorry.

5. Think about your marriage and why you chose this man with whom to have children and build a life.  Revisit the way he made you feel in the beginning and evaluate how you would feel if he left you.  If the idea of divorce makes you sick, sad and scared you have got to figure out how you can both work together to get the physical part of your marriage back on track.

You know, one of the greatest challenges in life is to strive for perfection with unbridled enthusiasm and the knowledge you will never get there.  Case in point: I love to cook for my husband, and rack of lamb is a specialty of mine.  I recently purchased some lamb from a farm instead of a butcher, and thus was stuck with having to french it myself.  Frenching, at least this type, is not something I am good at.  The online instructions I used included the following picture:

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After 25 minutes of hacking away like a 1994 Hutu, here’s what I had accomplished:

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Looks like shit, right?  But guess what?  It was fabulous, and the husband (also known as The World’s Most Patient Man) loooooooved it.  See, it didn’t look perfect, but it didn’t have to.  The most important component of a meal is the flavor, not the presentation.

You, my friend, are a meal which your husband would like to enjoy.  He still desires you and wants to be intimate with you.  Try to remember that you taste the same to him whether you are fat or thin.  You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be accessible.  So go on, give him a nibble.  You will undoubtably feel more comfortable once you start losing weight and feeling better about yourself, but try to start the ball rolling now.  You both have waited long enough.

Keep in touch,

Robin

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. echinachea

    Very common dilemma for many women, and the suggestions are all excellent. I would take issue with the “life is too long to live it sober…” but that’s a whole new issue for another day’s blog. When OO says “I HATE working out so I don’t do it…” I want to grab her by the shoulders, shake her until her teeth rattle, and yell: “you have no idea what you are missing, really!” I think I can remember hating to work out/exercise, but it soon became the high point of each day. Even at an age which is probably too advanced to read this blog, I find that if my day does not begin with an indoor bike ride and a long swim, the rest of the day won’t feel right. Maybe if you (OO) approach it as “movement” rather than exercise, it will be easier to get into the swing of things. Believe me, I am not lecturing; I just wish that you (OO) would take my word for it. Like Robin says, start with small goal chunks; make a “to do” list and feel great when you draw a line through a “movement” task accomplished. Give your new life habits plenty time to take hold–you will not be sorry. And if you shape up a bit and still resist sex, it is definitely time to check out those estrogen and testosterone levels. Aging most definitely affects those things, and I hate to say it, but we are ALL aging.

  2. anonymous woman

    If her goal is to lose weight, and she hates exercising — then don’t. Working out doesn’t do much to lose weight. I once spent a year working out a lot, and I lost maybe 5 pounds*. Some years later, I joined Weightwatchers, didn’t exercise at all, and lost 30 pounds.

    I hear her that she doesn’t feel attractive, but does she _want_ sex? If not, how about doing things to rev up her desire. Read steamy books! Masturbate! Get her engine running and she may get over her concern about how she looks.

    *When I was working out like that, I felt great, but that’s another thing.

  3. chicamarie1

    Sex, for most women, doesn’t come easy if they’re feeling anything less than great. It’s easy to blame it all on feeling fat, but I think that most men can have sex whether they’re feeling depressed, anxious, overwhelmed, angry, resentful, whatever. Most women, on the other hand, have their libido shackled by many of those same psychological barriers, speaking from personal experience.
    Maybe it’s not just about feeling fat. Maybe she needs to get a job/pursuit she likes that still allows her to deal with her family. Maybe having a responsibility or pastime outside of her family would boost her self esteem. I don’t think it’s necessary to have a job to feel good about herself, but sometimes women in her situation have egos that have been circling the drain for a while if they can’t maintain a sense of self within the mom/wife identity. I also think desire can grow out of a little shake-up: mom is busy with a new thing, life is different, tensions rise a little. Plus if you make time for something new, like a job, it makes it obvious that you can make time for other things, like exercise.

    1. askdescamp

      Actually, Chicamarie, I meant to say that in my response to her but in the end I forgot to. Thank you so much for raising that point. After the kids are in school, especially with the youngest about to enter high school, staying at home seems odd to me. Can you imagine how lonely and depressed she will be once all of her chickens have flown the coup? And I also wonder if it bothers her husband that she doesn’t do anything outside the home. I know many men who find that to be a major turn-off and it can destroy marriages. So, Overweight and Overwrought, get a job! You might like it!

      1. echinachea

        Seriously sorry to be the Grammar/Spelling bitch (especially since an error on your part is all but nonexistent), but don’t chickens “flee the coop” rather than the “coup?” Of course, said chickens could be “fleeing the coup” if they got themselves mixed up in a regime change (lies were told about WMDs) and then decided to part ways with the rebels, thus fleeing the coup. Sorry; that was truly awful, humor-wise, and I promise to go outside now.

        1. askdescamp

          Yes, I stand corrected.  Actually, I sit corrected, because I’m writing.  Also, you remind me of one of my best puns: I saw a bunch of kids being corralled by daycare workers one time in the park blocks downtown, and the kids were winning the battle.  They were running this way and that and it was hilarious.  I said to my friend, “Look!  A coup de toddler!”

  4. echinachea

    That “coup de toddler” line is brilliant! And you made it up on the fly. You should be on stage (or radio) and I am being serious.

  5. Ali Whiting

    Great advice! I shiuld folliw some of this week’s advice but will have a cookie instead.

    1. CL

      @Ali- hahaha

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