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When libido drops

Is it living in a war zone or something else?

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My wife and I have been together for more than 10 years, practicing some kind of nonmonogamy for more than seven. We tried different things — open, dating others, FWBs — but after a bi threesome with another guy a year ago, we knew that was our thing. For a while, everything was great, but roughly a month after that defining threesome, I came down with a bad case of mono. In a couple of months, we resumed our bi sexdates with our FWB, and I noticed I had a hard time getting horny and even had a hard time getting (and staying) hard. More foreplay was needed and fewer distractions were acceptable. I even resorted to pharmaceutical help. I had a work-related crisis that lasted until March (and blamed stress from that, since things didn't really change), and finally in March I got shipped off to a war zone. And I still don't have the drive I had a year ago. I rarely masturbate these days, and if I do, I need sexts and naughty pictures from my wife (and our FWB) back home to get in the mood. I just recently started to get morning wood again, and I blame all this on the stress of being in a war zone. I'm turning 30 in a few weeks, so that doesn't help, either. What are the chances that this is just an unlucky chain of events, and when this is over, I could go back to being my old horny self?

Currently Occupied Mostly By Arms Though

I asked a doctor — Dr. Barak Gaster, a physician at the University of Washington and a regular guest expert around here — if mono could damage and/or diminish a guy's libido, his ability to stay hard, and his masturbatory routine for nearly a year.

"Mono is a viral illness for which there is no real treatment other than the tincture of time," said Dr. Gaster. "Mono is a pretty insidious illness in that it typically causes really severe fatigue, which can linger for a long time. Other common symptoms are muscle and joint aches."

Could fatigue and aches still be affecting mood and interest in sex? "They could," said Dr. Gaster. "It would not be typical, but they could. The duration of mono symptoms is typically around three months, but they can persist to some degree for one to two years in more severe cases. None of the effects of mono are typically considered 'permanent.'"

You came down with mono less than a year ago, COMBAT, so you're still in that one-to-two-year symptoms-could-persist window. You also dealt with a work-related crisis before being shipped off to a combat zone — that sounds extremely stressful, and not everyone reacts to stress the same way. The stress of being in a combat zone could make the guys around you horny while having the opposite effect on you.

The fact that morning wood is returning seems like a good sign, as is the effect a few dirty texts from the woman (and FWB) waiting for you back home has on your dick. Come home safe — and props to you and your wife for continuing to grow together sexually. That's probably why you're still together, and still in love, despite having married so young.

My wife is a submissive. I'm not a natural Dom, but I've become more comfortable assuming the role. Recently, she stopped hormonal birth control, and her sex drive and interest in capital-S Submission kicked into high gear. She joined FetLife and went to her first munch a couple of weeks ago. She's not shopping for a Dom. She's looking to socialize, discuss this part of herself and not feel like such a freak. She thought she hit it off with a few folks but now realizes she may have been sending mixed signals.

Married, Optimally Nookied, Only Need Advice

The people your wife met at that munch are kinksters, MONONA, not psychics. If she's not interested in playing with anyone other than her spouse all she has to do is say so. Munches are informal meetups where kinky people, from nervous novices to wizened pros, get together without the pressures or expectations of a play party. Your wife's presence at a munch is not an invitation to fuck, of course, but someone who respectfully expresses an interest in playing isn't guilty of bending Emily Post over a bondage bench with the intent to fuck her ass. Most people who go to munches are open to play, MONONA, but those who aren't are welcome. Your wife just needs to let her new friends know she's interested only in socializing.

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