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Is There Something Wrong With the English?

Roz,

I married an American with an English and Irish background. We have a great marriage, I think. But I don’t think we’re compatible when it comes to sex. He says I’m too emotional and “touchy feely” and that I want to make love too much. He blames it on my Mediterranean culture, but it never bothered him before. Now it’s two years into the marriage, I’m not about to change my ways. How do I teach him to give me what I need?

===> What you’re describing is probably a mixture of upbringing and neurology. Some babies are total cuddle-bugs, and others are born with less need or even tolerance for a lot of cuddling. That’s the neurology part.

Upbringing has to do with what he experienced growing up, and that’s partly familial and partly cultural. I used to watch the families in the park across from me, and even at a distance I could tell which were the Latino families. They sat close, carried babies on their shoulders, put heads in laps, hugged a lot. Gorgeous!

But that’s about proxemics, the study of people’s tolerance for physical closeness. Sex drive is something else. I’ve known some very horny Englishmen! I suggest you sit down with your husband and work out other ways you can receive love besides sex—and that he agrees you’ll make love a little more often.

Meantime, if you know he’s uncomfortable with your being all over him like a coat of paint, back off just a little so he won’t feel overwhelmed. In other words, meet in the middle, without blame or resentment. There’s a reason you were attracted to each other!

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