My husband and I are trying for a baby – but it’s turning him off sex

Something that should be a pleasure has become a chore and he’s having trouble getting aroused

My husband and I have been married for three years. He is 31 and I am 29. We have sex once every two or three days. But now we’re trying to have a baby and need to have sex for 10 consecutive days at the time of ovulation. This turns my husband off and at times it’s difficult to arouse him. He says that sex now is more of a ritual than a pleasurable experience. He says he does want a baby and he does like me. Instead, it’s some kind of internal pressure for him. As a result he cannot ejaculate on some days. Could you please guide us on how to deal with this?

Being expected to ejaculate on demand is certainly a huge pressure, and many men who are trying to facilitate conception find it a turnoff. Try to soothe your own anxiety about conceiving and instead help him – and you – experience greater pleasure. Some couples seek to boost their erotic connection by approaching their lovemaking time more playfully, with games, dressing up or erotic toys. Experiment. Talk to each other about your fantasies and try something new. Simply shifting the focus from conception to pleasure and fun will make all the difference.

Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a US-based psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.

If you would like advice from Pamela on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to [email protected] (please don’t send attachments). Each week, Pamela chooses one problem to answer, which will be published online. She regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence. Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions: see gu.com/letters-terms.

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