Monthly Survey: Would you like to participate in Relationships Australia’s quick, two-minute survey? Yes No thanks

How can I talk to him about my needs?

Their religious backgrounds may be cramping hubby’s sexual style.


My husband and I married last year. We are very happy together, except sex is disappointing for me. We both come from religious backgrounds and lived at home before the wedding. Neither of us had other serious relationships.

Our religion is very strict about sex. It is forbidden outside marriage. We accepted this and became best friends because of it.

I was very keen to be a loving sexual partner and read much on the subject in preparation. My husband was not interested in talking about it but I thought all would be well once we were married.

It is not his fault; it is due to the strict instruction we have both been subjected to all our lives. He considers sex is for men’s pleasure.

Women are not supposed to have any needs. I can’t explain how I feel to him, he sees it as a threat to his masculinity. It would help to talk to someone but who?


It is good you are interested in a positive sexual experience and you have developed such closeness together. This is precious and care must be taken not to jeopardise it. Your husband may actually want to improve things but feels uncomfortable talking to you or thinks he should know how to be a loving sexual partner.

Sex is a very important part of communication in an intimate relationship and everyone learns by trial and error. Each must seek to please the other as well as themselves. To enable this, couples have to share their wishes. Focus on general communication in day to day life. Give praise for ordinary gestures, thereby increasing his pleasure in pleasing you. Carefully approach talking about sex, avoid blame or criticism. Praise him for what he does do. Share your reading with him, and leave information around.

It is common to need input from a sex counsellor or therapist. Contact SHine SA (phone 1300 794 584, email or visit the website or Relationships Australia SA for confidential counselling and information.

Submit Your Questions

Have you got a question you’d like us to tackle?

Fill out the form below or send questions to Family Forum, The Advertiser, 31 Waymouth St, Adelaide 5000.

We treat communications in strict confidence except when the law demands otherwise, as in child abuse.

Relationships Australia (SA) appoints panels of general practitioners, medical specialists, lawyers, therapeutic and financial counsellors to discuss each letter before the appropriate professional answers it.

  • Our CEO Claire Ralfs wishes everyone a happy Neighbour Day this Sunday. Remember it takes a neighbourhood to raise…