"I’ve never been able to tell a woman what I like and not be embarrassed about it. The way I was raised, even the natural pleasure of touching myself was looked down upon. Now at 54, it’s not that easy to make my 29-year marriage better or know if I should just get out of it. She wasn’t even sexual when we got married so I don’t know what her deal is."
"You’d think at our age, we should be more confident with each other, but we can’t even talk about body parts, let alone trying anything new sexually. It would help my confidence to know I’m not the only one."
No, you’re not the only one with these problems, far from it. Many of us were brought up with such a restricted idea of sexuality that it’s extremely difficult to emerge from the shame and embarrassment and learn to communicate our needs. But it’s worth working on!
You say you don’t know why your wife has never been sexual—have you talked about it? It sounds like you both suffer from upbringings that shamed sexual pleasure—common in our generation. You can’t change what you were taught, but you can decide that it doesn’t serve you anymore, and you’re going to learn how to get in touch with your sexuality now.
We think sex education is supposed to happen in early adolescence, but pleasure-based sex ed is a course we continue to take lifelong. My webinar 7 Steps to Reclaiming Your Sexual Pleasure would be a good start. If you encounter roadblocks with this self-help method, a sex therapist would be helpful. It’s never too late.