Q&A: Why Doesn’t My Husband Let Me Touch His Penis?

touching his penisI am 26, my husband is 25.  We have known each other a little bit short of a year and we’ve been married a few months. There’s a few issues in the bedroom, mostly things I really want to do and he doesn’t so we don’t do them. Most of these things I can live with and the sex we have is hands down the most mind blowing sex I’ve ever had. Not in that we do special things or anything like that, it’s very vanilla because that’s the way he likes it. I would like to try different things and I’m very open to anything, I also have a very high libido and his is not so high.

Like I said, I can live with most things he doesn’t want to do. Sex has to be enjoyable for both, and I still enjoy it very much the way we do it now.

What really bothers me though, is he won’t let me touch his dick. If this was the only issue we had I could probably live with it, but this is kind of like the last drop to me. I just can’t understand it.

I love his dick, it’s so great. I’ve touched it for a little bit sporadically and it’s the greatest thing I’ve ever touched. It gets so hard, and just really turns me on.. All I want to do is just touch it for a little bit.

He thinks I’m weird for wanting to touch it so bad. He says he’s never heard of a woman “that wants to touch their partners dick all day every day”. Those are his words. I don’t want to touch it all day every day, although I do understand why he might think I do. I try to make him let me touch it before we have sex. And I’ve kind of become obsessed with trying to touch it. I try to do it when he’s asleep, and I’ve caught myself subconsciously doing it when I’m in that half-awake state where you can’t control yourself. The thing is, if he would make no problem of it I would be fine with just touching it every one in a while to get my fix and it wouldn’t look like I always want to touch it anymore.

He says he just doesn’t like it, he doesn’t give me a specific reason why, he just doesn’t like it. Well, my opinion is that sometimes you do something for someone to make that someone happy. I’m not asking you for something big (or theoretically I do), I’m not trying to hurt you, I’m not asking if I can be glued to your dick for the rest of our lives, I just want to touch it for a little bit sometimes. I feel like I can’t have every part of him, it’s so frustrating. When I see how hard he gets before we have sex, his dick looks like it wants to rip straight through his underwear. It looks so fucking hot, it turns me on so much, at that moment in time it’s the greatest thing in life. I love every part of him and I just want all of him, I JUST WANT TO TOUCH IT.

It just frustrates me that, even though he doesn’t enjoy it, he can’t just let me have it for a little bit. I can’t understand it. “I don’t like it, so you can’t ever do it.” Needless to say he also doesn’t like blowjobs while I love giving them. In the time we’ve been together he’s let me do it for about 2 minutes twice, then he just wants to fuck. He’s also never gone down on me, which makes me sad, but I can live with it and I can understand why someone wouldn’t want to do this.

The worst thing is sometimes I try to touch it before sex, he will say he just wants to fuck now and “I promise I will let you touch it a little bit before we go to sleep tonight”. I will get so excited and think about how I can touch him later all day, but later in bed he just rejects me again. Why make such promises??

I don’t really know what I should do about this situation. Should I approach it differently? Should I just accept it and try to get over it? How do I get over it? It’s the one thing I want and it’s right in front of me but I can’t get it. Are there any men that feel the same way that would like to explain their side a little more? Or are there any women that had to deal with the same situation? How did you deal with it?

I would also like to add he’s Chinese, is this a cultural thing?

Nessa’s response:
First, how awesome is it that you love to touch his dick?! Sadly, a lot of wives just don’t have the urge or desire to touch her man’s body, let alone his private area.

We have no secrets when it comes to each other’s bodies. He shaves my vagina/sphincter area, I check him for hemorrhoids. He pierces my nipple, I pierce his guiche. He brushes my hair, I lick his eyeball. We are not disgusted by each other. That goes for sexual stimulation. His dick is your dick, so technically, you should be able to touch it anytime you want to, right? I think so. I feel that I have a right to my husband’s body. In fact, just this morning I slapped his ass like 3 or 4 times when he walked in front of me and dared him to tell me to stop…he didn’t.

The only reason I can think of that can keep him from fully enjoying being touched by his wife is that there may be a psychological issue. And it reminded me of a friend of mine who was “diagnosed” with frigidity. I didn’t know what caused it, or if it was a combination of different factors that caused a woman to be “frigid”: being self-conscious of her body, fear of rejection, etc. I was young myself so I didn’t know any better. It even became a matter of “That will never happen to me.” As I thought about that, I started to wonder if there was a male version of frigidity. There is: hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

[…] it is assumed and widely verified that sexual desire occurs less frequently in women and that arousal is much more complicated. One could argue the etiology of this fact, whether it is that women possess lower endogenous testosterone or that female children are socialized to be and feel less sexual, but that is another topic. What is true, however, is that women suffer from desire disorders more than men, most commonly hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) (Goldstein et al., 2006; Laumann, et al, 1994, p. 370 & 371). To be precise, the prevalence among men versus women is about 15% versus 35%, respectively (Levine, 2010, p. 40).

The Diagnostic and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, text-revision (DSM-IV-TR, American Psychiatric Association, 2000) defines hypoactive sexual desire disorder as, in summary, “Persistently or recurrently deficient (or absent) sexual fantasies and desires for sexual activity” that causes personal and relational stress, and that cannot be accounted for by Axis I disorders, substance use (including medications), or other medical conditions (p. 541). The disorder is further defined through lifelong versus acquired, generalized versus situational, and psychological versus combined factors (p. 541). There are many chemical factors that can lead to HSDD in men, most commonly anti-depressant medications (specifically, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and anti-hypertensive medications) as well as hormonal issues (hypogonadism or endocrine dysfunction as a result of environmental xenoestrogens) and psychological issues (anxiety, depression, and other Axis disorders) (Levine, 2010, p. 40). All of this makes a differential diagnosis more challenging.

Once ruling out medications, mood disorders, and hormonal issues, it becomes important to identify whether the situation is lifelong or acquired and situational or generalized. Further, men will often report erectile dysfunction rather than low sexual desire, further complicating diagnostic efforts (Levine, 2010, p. 41). This tendency to underreport desire disorders can likely be traced back to the cultural myths about male sexuality—a mechanical problem is bad enough, but male socialization conveys that not wanting sex is simply not masculine (Fracher & Kimmel, 1992). When clients find it difficult to discuss sexuality or sexual desire issues, The Sexual Desire Inventory (Spector, Carey & Steinberg, 1996) can be a useful tool for acquiring information in a way that allows more openness for the client (Meuleman & Van Lankveld, 2004, p. 291).

For those clients who profess they always have experienced low desire (lifelong variety), and who also believes that the low desire is ego syntonic, continued treatment may not be desirable unless the client is dissatisfied with the situation. For example, 27.4% of men aged 18 to 59 who were living with a partner had sex three times or less in the last year (10% had zero sex) and two-thirds of the men who had no sex were not troubled by it (Laumann, et al, 1994). For these men, lack of sex drive may be a character trait or an aspect of temperament with which they were born.

However, as Levine suggests, the situation is seldom as simple as innate low desire and no feelings about that loss of intimacy:
Lifelong HSDD usually reflects the constitutional endowment of sexual drive, although the internalization of antisexual values and experiences of abuse or neglect may produce a lifelong low sexual interest level. (2010, p. 41)
Levine goes on to suggest that attachment issues, which can inhibit adolescent sexual development can sometimes be at the root of low desire. In women, low desire or frequency of sexual behavior is associated with avoidant attachment, but in males it is associated with ambivalent attachment patterns (Feeney, 1999, p. 371). However, this is only one opinion—a study by Hazan, Zeifman, and Middleton (1994) found that avoidant men and women report low enjoyment of sexuality whereas ambivalent subjects of both sexes enjoy cuddling but not overt sexuality (cited in Feeney, p. 371)—there are very few studies that look at attachment issues and male hypoactive sexual desire.

Most often, HSDD manifests later in a relationship after a time of relatively normal sexual function and behavior (acquired variety). The reasons for this loss of desire can be physical, especially low androgen levels, as noted by many researchers (Knussmann, Christiansen & Couwenbergs, 1986; Mantzoros, Georgiadis & Trichopoulos, 1995; Nilsson, Moller & Solstad, 1995). There also can be other physical issues to rule out, including “various combinations of direct illness effects: treatment effects from medication, radiation, or surgery; psychological reactions to being ill; spousal reactions to the ill partner” (Levine, p. 41).

After ruling out all other issues (these are commonly seen as acquired generalized causes), the next step is to examine acquired situational issues. According to Levine, these tend to occur shortly after marriage. One variation, the Don Juan “casualty,” typically values the seduction more than conquest, and once he has “won” the women whom he often sees as a wonderful person, the sexual impulse is gone. In another variation, the pornography “casualty,” the man has been shaped and has shaped his sexual scripts through pornography. For him, an actual woman is too complex and intimidating for him to feel sexual toward. Finally, the “practical marriage casualty” results when a man chooses a wife for status and social benefits without really feeling any romantic interest. Each of these assumes a somewhat normal sexual fantasy life but a sexless relationship.

The therapist should also examine more complex, relationship-based issues. Among the variety of reasons a man may feel no sexual chemistry or desire for his wife include the following: he is having an affair, he no longer finds her sexually attractive, he finds her complaints about his sexual functioning overwhelming, her new status as a mother has rendered her asexual in his eyes, and perhaps the most irrevocable issue, he is a closeted homosexual and can no longer pretend to feel attraction for his wife even though he cannot face his sexuality. The job of the therapist is gently to explore these possibilities with the client while always keeping in mind that, “For men, sexual behavior is the ultimate expression of their manhood; beyond manhood—their personhood” (Gaylin, 1992, p. 117).

Levine argues that there are no physiological treatments (magic pills) for low sex drive (p. 42) and that there does not seem to be anything resembling a Viagra for low desire. However, he also states that none of the most common psychotherapies—cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, sex therapy, Psychodrama—have proven useful in treating HSDD (p. 42). Therapy can involve the man by himself, the man with his partner, or placement into a group with other men who experience similarly limited interest in their partners. While the group work may not do much to repair or save the relationship, it can help the man better understand his avoidance or motivations.

In lifelong/generalized HSDD, successful therapy may simply entail helping the couple develop strategies to maintain intimacy and a sexual common ground. With situational/acquired HSDD, successful therapy may include exploring relationship issues, physical attraction issues, family of origin issues, and a variety of other factors. Finally, it is also possible that the man developed a part—a subpersonality—whose role it is to suppress sexual desire, generally as a result of some shame-related experience (Schwartz, 1995). If that part’s “burden” can be identified and removed through therapeutic intervention (often a form of active imagination), then therapy can focus on trust-building and the creation of intimacy within the couple, but without sexual contact, until physical desire returns. However, it is handled, sensitivity to the importance men generally place on their sexuality as a major construct of their personal identity is crucial.
~ Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder

I have never heard of Chinese men, culturally speaking, not enjoying their penis touched. But judging from this article, it’s likely that your husband can certainly be affected by one or more of these factors mentioned: effects of illness and/or medication, decreased desire toward his woman as she is now “conquered,” intimidation, and relationship issues (no sexual chemistry, asexual feelings toward his spouse). HSDD is something that may be beyond your reach. If you suspect this, it’s probably something that he (and you) should discuss together. Hopefully his machismo does not stand in the way and you can get to the root of the problem of you not being able to touch his dick.

Ryan’s response:
Not sure what to think about this question because really, the issue could be resolved with a simpler question: “Why doesn’t my husband want me staring at his penis?” I assume, with your self admitted worshiping of his penis, you’d also like to suck on it, stare at it, as well as touch it. I think most women really attracted and in love with a man have this urge. And with a blowjob you could touch his penis all you wanted.

To answer your question honestly and not focus on the “touching” as a single issue, but focus more on the bigger picture, why he doesn’t want oral sex, touching, and studying/staring at his penis. This is where I think the problem could be.

Not sure what type of man this is, as I’ve never dealt with any guy that doesn’t enjoy blowjobs to some extent. And I can honestly think of one issue that would prevent a man from wanting a woman touching/oral/staring at his penis…his own self esteem. I’ve heard of a lot of guys that can’t cum from them, but they still enjoyed receiving them. I have no idea if this is part of the Chinese culture, or your husband just doesn’t want you to look at his penis because he is self conscious. With touching, blowjobs, or looking at his penis, he may feel you are judging his size, shape, or other minor things he considers flaws. I know when I met Nessa I was so shy that I hated knowing she was touching my penis or looking at it in the light I didn’t know if she studied a bunch of other guys and I didn’t add up. I didn’t know if she even thought it was sexy or to her liking. I can still remember laying in bed totally embarrassed while she played with my penis (it was in the middle of the day, so although I would have wanted the lights off, that wasn’t an option). She was laying in my lap after we had sex for the first time, playing with my shriveled up after sex penis, making the pee hole “talk” to her while she moved it in a way that it looked like a mouth talking. She “baby talked” my penis, and then changed her voice to make my penis reply to her. I can still remember what she called him, Mister. I also remember thinking about a million things, all of which embarrassed me.

“I wonder if she thinks I am too small.”

“Does she think the freckle on my penis is hideous?”

“I bet she thinks it’s ugly.”

“The veins probably gross her out.”

“Is she making fun of me?”

“Does she notice my curve?”

“Does it match my body?”

“Why the fuck is she calling my penis Mister?”

If you are self conscious, regardless of how confident you seem, you tend to stay away from the things that make you feel uncomfortable or show “weakness”. It may be possible that your husband wants to feel big and strong around you at all times and is emasculated by his own self image of his penis size compared to his own perception of what a penis should look like. He may be self conscious of a woman from a different culture (if you are not Chinese) having ideas of how a penis is supposed to look because of his physically differences to the men in your culture. This is kind of how I felt. I remember wishing I could just make my penis totally meaningless so Nessa could judge me for me only, my personality, the way I made her laugh. But no matter what, as a woman, she was drawn to wanting to touch my body, explore my penis, and even measure my size with her hand and wrist, only to later measure her hand and wrist with a ruler to know my actual size. She wasn’t doing it to hurt me, but it was just something that turned her on knowing, whether I had input or not.

This is probably one of our biggest fears as men, and truthfully, there isn’t anything we can do about it.

Until I trusted that Nessa wasn’t going to make fun of me, or I understood that my flaws became her own flaws, I didn’t feel comfortable around her. To be honest, it took years for me to let her look at my body when I wasn’t half swollen already (never showing her my totally flaccid penis). I wanted her to see me as always thick and large, not shriveled and tiny. I felt it made me more attractive as a man. I felt it made her think about it more during the day. I didn’t understand that my body became her own body, and if an outsider was to judge me, she’d be more offended by the negative comments than I was. It was now HER DICK. She had no choice, just like me. She had no way to make it bigger if that is what she wanted, just like me. She fell in love with a man and his dick became hers in every way. To understand that your woman adopts your size, your shape, your “appearance” much like it’s part of her own body that she can’t control, but still loves it with all of her heart, is when us men open up. At this point in my relationship, I do not feel my dick, regardless of it’s flaccid state, will turn off Nessa. I think she prides herself in my body and dick, more than I ever could.

In my situation, threesomes with other women played the biggest role in realizing my wife adored my body, especially my dick. You can tell a person in their face that their dick is perfect, and never really believe them. But seeing Nessa tell other women to “suck on his huge dick” or “how does his big dick feel inside your body” opened my eyes to how much she has accepted me. You just can’t fake enthusiasm or seeing the girl you love tell a total stranger how much she loves your huge cock, knowing that other person would have no reason to lie or stroke my ego. Not that I am suggesting threesomes, but in my situation, it changed me in every way around Nessa.

Now, without threesomes, how do you get your husband to understand that you love his dick in every single way? Time and communication. Maybe let him “accidentally” find a letter to a friend about how huge you think his dick is. Maybe just tell him everyday that he is the biggest dick you’ve ever seen in real life. Or maybe just tell him you want to suck on his dick for hours and you can’t be happy with sex unless you get this. Either way, this is a problem that can be resolved with patience and communication.