This post is not for the vets or people whose wives actually like sex when it happens. Some women are legitimately psychologically conditioned (by you) to be disgusted at the thought of any physical contact with you. This post is for you guys. Her reaction isn't just because you're a fat slob and she's afraid of getting lost in your rolls. It happens even to in-shape men. Primary cause? Being butthurt when sex doesn't go your way.
There was a time a few years back when I tried to initiate sex with my wife and it went horribly. Despite trying to go along with it, she gave enough subtle clues that I stopped and asked what was going on. "I'm just not attracted to you. You're too fat and the thought of having sex right now is really disgusting." She wasn't saying it in a mean way - she was just being honest, but you'd better believe that destroyed me inside. These "Ick! What's he doing?!?" reactions had crept in not just during initiating sex, but any time I tried to touch her.
Why would holding her hand make her recoil? She learned over time that physical touch = "He wants sex." Because she thought sex with me was gross, that meant physical touch from me was gross too. I lived in this for 7 years with several periods of 6+ months with no sex at all, the longest being 18 months. That said, THERE IS HOPE!
I'm not an idiot. At my worst, I weighed 275lbs. No matter how hard I tried, there's no way I was ever going to convince her that physical touch with an obese man would be desirable. Don't kid yourself on that point either. That said, to turn things around, I didn't have to be a male model either. Once you're in pretty good physical shape, you can begin your journey toward deconditioning the psychological scars you'd left behind on your spouse. "Pretty good physical shape" probably means both benching 185 and having under 20% body fat. These are incredibly easy benchmarks to hit. They are not the end of your physical fitness journey by any means, but they are prerequisites before starting this process. Try doing this before then and it may backfire. Don't say I didn't warn you.
It took me [EDITED]
less than 2 4 months to go from 275 at 29% body fat down to 18% body fat and another 2 months to drop to 15% - and my bench went up from 160 (having not lifted in 5+ years) to 225 in only 2 months. That's nothing. You can do it. 2 more months in and I'm maxing the bench at 285 and at 15% BF.
The reason you need both is because just as much as 'fat' is unattractive, so is 'scrawny.' Don't be either.
LEVELS OF KINO
Anyway, once you've got a moderately acceptable body, here's the path I followed that healed the psychological scars I had given my wife about physical touch. She still has psychological scars from other people about sex itself, but that's a different story - my touch is now a source of pleasure to her - something to be desired and that she longs for, not something to be disgusted at.
LEVEL 1: Start by small acts of physical touch. Put your arm around her shoulder while watching TV. When asking her a quick question, put your hand on her upper-arm. When driving, pat or rub her thigh periodically. Most women receive it very well if you come up behind them while they're doing something and wrap your arms around them, sometimes even snuggling into their neck or kissing them on the neck. DO THIS ONLY AT TIMES THAT SEX WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE.
- Don't do anything more than this for 2 weeks unless she initiates [remember, this is geared toward overcoming psychological conditioning, not just getting sex]. If she initiates: NEVER TURN HER DOWN. EVER! If you reject her, you're training her that initiating with you = pain (incidentally, the same thing she trained me to believe, which is why I had given up on initiating for long periods of time). Even if she does initiate, don't skip any steps. After engaging in whatever activity she initiated with (making out, sex, holding hands, whatever), go right back to this path as if she had never initiated. Don't take it as an excuse to skip ahead. I tried skipping ahead at one point due to positive reactions and escalation from her making me think I was ready for the next level ahead and it backfired ... had to start over from scratch.
LEVEL 2: Start touching her out of a normal context, but still in relatively innocuous ways. Maybe you hold hands in public, but now you're going to hold her hand while sitting on your couch. Maybe you used to rub her leg in the car with a short smile, and now you're going to rub her leg while you're eating dinner. Again: do this only at times that sex would be impossible. This phase lasts another 2 weeks (psychological reconditioning takes time).
LEVEL 3: Implement the 10-second kiss. As above, during some time when sex would be impossible (ex. when you're leaving for work), instead of your normal peck on the cheek or lips, hold it and keep the kiss going for 10 seconds. For the first few attempts, she might pull away - don't force it, but put your hand on her cheek or the back of her neck if it helps encourage her to hold it (don't tell her what you're doing, though - just enjoy it for as long as it lasts). If you can only get her to 2 seconds, so be it. Eventually she'll get to 5, then 8, then 10. Once you have her at 10 seconds, do this at least once a day - go longer if you feel like it and she's willing. When you've got 10 seconds for 2 weeks, you're ready to proceed.
LEVEL 4: Add peripheral touching during the 10-second kisses. Now you're not just making out briefly or holding her head, you're putting your hands on her waist, maybe sliding them very slightly under her shirt - not trying to cop a feel of her chest, just trying to engage skin to skin on a part of her body that she doesn't normally feel skin contact (i.e. hands, face, legs, feet don't count - abs, butt, hamstring, back - live there). Do this for another 2 weeks - again, at times when sex is impossible.
At this point you should never be touching her when you're alone in a room together with no other time commitments. The reason for this is because you need context (rather than you verbally) to explain to her that the touching is not associated with sex - it's just touching. That way she can actually enjoy it and not be afraid you're trying to initiate sex with her, which she is still psychologically conditioned to think is gross. At this point, you're only trying to de-grossify physical touch itself. By de-grossifying touch, you'll be 75% of the way toward de-grossifying sex as well. So, up to now you've only been touching when in the car, about to head out to work or an appointment or when she's about to leave, when you have friends over, when the kids are up and walking around, etc.
If she's not responding well, camp out here. Backtrack if you need to. She should be responding positively before you move from one phase to the next.
LEVEL 5: If she is responding well, the next step is tricky: engage in overtly sexual behavior at times that sex is impossible, but where privacy exists. For example, when the kids are up and playing or when you're about to walk out the door - initiate the 10-second kiss and put your hands on her front torso/belly like before, but this time slide the tips of your fingers just beneath the waist line of her pants. It should be just enough to make it clear you're going further than before, but that you're not trying to initiate sex either. If your whole hand is down her pants, you've gone too far.
Your directive here is to show her your desire without having to say it - to make her feel wanted rather than just being told she's wanted ... but to do this with a lingering elipse "... to be continued." That sense of mystery is very attractive. "What would have happened if only ___ weren't standing in the way?" If she doesn't look for the sequel, at this point don't bring it up. If she initiates, wanting to finish what you started, go for it! Again, NEVER REJECT HER!! But at the same time, your goal here is not to get sex; it's to recondition her psychology about physical touch. If she thinks you're doing this just to get sex, that will undermine your greater goal. But if she herself wants sex, that's fine and you're free to engage.
LEVEL 6: Once you're able to accomplish level 5 in convenient settings and it's well-received (regardless of whether she asks to see the sequel), start doing it at inconvenient times. If you have company over for a meal, follow her into the pantry when she goes to get some food and start the 10-second kiss. She'll immediately backlash, but you continue. If she gives a hard no the second time, stop. If it's more an "I'm too embarrassed, what if we get caught?" with a blush, keep going. This is much easier when there's no one else around, but more exciting with the company example. Once the 10-second kiss lands, follow the same pattern as above - hands on torso, slide fingers slightly past the pants line. Let this phase percolate for a while.
People who don't understand the nature of the wife who is psychologically conditioned to be disgusted by physical touch won't understand this and will give me heat, but let me repeat: DO NOT escalate to sex yourself. If she does, go for it ... but always return to the plan right where you left off and don't skip any steps just because you think she's over her issues now.
LEVEL 7: By now you're ready for actual initiation at convenient times. Wait until there's a night when the kids are in bed, no major appointments in the morning, and no major life-stressors getting in the way. Plant your 10-second kiss, hand on her abs, fingers playing underneath her pants-line, then just pull her in close and say, "I want you." Her response doesn't matter unless it's a hard no. Your second phrase is always the same: "I seriously have to have you right now." If she does give you a hard no, respect it, smile back and say, "No worries, I'm not going to make you do anything you don't want to do," and then kiss her on the forehead to show her that you're not upset with her for rejecting you. Give her a long hug, make out for a few seconds - whatever you have to do to convince her that you're really okay with her rejection.
- Usually the hard no at your initiation in this phase is because she can't tell if you're still emotionally insecure about your sex life or not. If you are emotionally insecure and show it, she'll think that everything these past couple months has all been an act and it's not the real you. Because she doesn't want to get duped, you've then just lost a month of progress and she's once again convinced that any time sex is initiated it's a source of pain - don't reaffirm that conditioning you're trying to break. If you're not emotionally insecure about it, though, and you can convince her that you are truly okay with her rejection, then this will advance your cause of deconditioning the negative reaction to sexual initiation. She will realize that whether she wants sex or not, you're not going to blow up at her, so she can be free to express herself without fear of fostering resentment between the two of you. The key here: don't be resentful! That's on you. This is the beginning of deconditioning her negative psychological disposition toward sex even beyond physical touch on its own.
LEVEL 8: If she accepts your initiation, you actually have to be good at sex. It's got to be a mutual thing. If you're just trying to please her all the time and not interested in making her please you, this communicates that all that pent-up desire you've been communicating toward her is really fake - it's still so weak that you're repressing it and don't really need to let it out. But if you're purely acting on your own desire and not cultivating her arousal and climax (which is actually better for her than the first mistake), she's going to start seeing you as selfish and it'll affect other areas of your life, although she may want to keep trying in the hope that you'll learn how to please her now that you're actually showing desire for her. Ideally, you want to be balancing between your desire and hers. Personally, it works well for me that I just do whatever I want to do to her until I'm ready to peak, then stop myself and focus on her until I can calm down a bit, then I go at it for myself again until I'm about to blow ... then calm down again while I ramp her up. This both make her feel the full weight of my desire for her while not feeling neglected either - and that's the biggest turn-on for many women.
LEVEL 9: Once she's responding to initiations at convenient times 80%+, then move on to initiating even at inconvenient times, at your discretion and with wisdom. If she just got out of surgery, that's inconvenient, but wisdom says to maintain restraint, so restrain yourself. But if it's inconvenient because she's tired or has a headache or there's company in the room down the hall or there's an important meeting in the morning - be considerate, but don't back down. First, show her that you want her so bad that you'll overcome your own inconveniences to have her (i.e. when you're the one with the early appointment, or you're sore from working out, etc.). After that, work toward letting your desire for her overpower her inconveniences too. I'm still working on this part of the process, but I've noticed that when I am successful here, the sex is much better than when it's convenient or when overcoming one of my own conveniences. This is probably for two reasons: (1) if she's going to do it at an inconvenient time, she wants to make it worth it, but more importantly, (2) because you're showing her that she's so desirable that you're willing to fight through obstacles she used to put in your way, and that makes her feel really, really, really good inside. You have now become the prince who has fought the dragon and won. Just be cautious for spotting the hard no when it comes. Don't be an idiot.
LEVEL 10: By now your physical touch should be an expected part of daily routine and something she legitimately desires. You can touch her in pretty much any way at any time and she'll enjoy it, although circumstance may still dictate her reaction from time to time. Putting your hand down her pants while you're at a coffee shop with some friends probably won't go over well. But do the same thing at a dark theater and who knows ... that former recoil may now turn into the bashful, "We might get caught!" which might turn into, "OMG, it's worth the risk." I was here at one point very early in my marriage, but long since lost it. So, I know she has the capacity to be there - I'm just trying to get it back.
All of this said, I have noticed that once my wife disassociated my physical touch from an expectation of sex, she became far more receptive toward my physical touch and accepted and enjoyed it freely. Incidentally, her enjoyment of my physical touch then starts to make her aroused, so she ends up wanting sex anyway - something that could only happen if she genuinely believed I wasn't trying to lead her own that road. At some point, that has since evolved even further to the point where she welcomes overt initiation - she now wants to know that I'm leading her toward sex. But don't miss that important disassociative phase, which is crucial in getting there.
In all of this, just remember to be patient. This whole process took me about 3 months with my wife - and I had the benefit of being in shape before it started working for me. Good luck.