Dear Annie: I can’t believe the advice you gave “Not Interested Now/Never Was,” who didn’t want sex anymore after 37 years of marriage.
To say she should submit because her husband is good to her is tantamount to saying a young girl should have sex because a guy provided her with a nice night out. — Avon, Ind.
Dear Avon: Marital sex is controversial enough without unfairly comparing consensual, albeit unenthusiastic sex within marriage to some kind of obligatory teen sex after a movie. Read on for more opinions:
From Boston: That husband is a saint. I would happily take care of his needs in exchange for all he does so willingly. She better get on board, or he will be snatched up by someone who will.
West Virginia: I am sure I am one of thousands of single women who would adore a great husband who cherished me. I would make love to him as often and as long as he wanted. Tell her to set him free. He deserves better.
Louisiana: I could live without sex, too, but I know it is part of marriage and important to most men. She sounds selfish to be so unconcerned about his feelings and needs. My husband is 65 and, thanks to Viagra, still wants it three times a week.
Vermont: I was appalled that you said, “Once a week is not excessive.” Do the math. After 37 years of marriage, this woman has had nearly 2,000 unwanted sexual encounters. Seems excessive to me. Sex should be entered into willingly. Anything else is marital rape or a watered-down form of prostitution.
Chicago: I find it sad that this woman stayed with her husband for 37 years just waiting for the day sex would end. I, too, am in a relationship with a woman who only “does it for me.” I stay because she is a wonderful mother and homemaker, and because she realizes our sex life is important to our longevity.
East Coast: My husband of 25 years read that letter and said, “Some women don’t get it.” She loves her husband? He only asks for one thing and she complains? Sex is part of what marriage is all about. If she just wanted a companion, she should have told him before they married.
New Hampshire: I, too, have a wonderful husband, but am not interested in sex. I’m in my early 60s and can’t get comfortable with the thought of him touching my aging, sagging body. I love him with all my heart, but can’t get past the image of how I look getting out of the shower.
Florida: With her attitude, sooner or later her husband will leave her or have an affair. I sat through 10 hours of karaoke every week in support of my wife. She has sex even though she likes it about as much as I like karaoke. We are in our 70s and know how important it is to make each other happy.
New York: She submitted to sex with her husband for 37 years out of duty? It sounds like fraud. After a diminishing frequency of intimacy with my own wife, I hope I don’t have 21 more years of the same. I’d rather be alone.
California: I’ve been married 44 years, and my husband still wants sex once a week.
I don’t enjoy it anymore, but I do enjoy making him happy. It’s hard to understand someone who can’t find enough joy in her marriage to make love once a week. I want to shake that woman and tell her to count her blessings.
Oregon: Maybe you can start a referral service to match up couples who want sex and those who don’t. The problem is the “don’t want sex” women seem to want all the other things a man brings to a marriage.
Thankfully, I am old, single and gay.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.