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PART 3 of 7: Here is Jane's story.
My husband's snoring echoed around our bedroom as I rolled over and sighed. I'd long since grown immune to Jerry's thunderous sleeping noises but no matter how much I tried to doze off, I just wasn't tired. Lately, I'd been too frustrated and wired to let my mind switch off. I couldn't blame Jerry.
He was the perfect - attentive, funny and kind. He never got cross and was a loving father to our two girls. We used to be completely in sync, especially when it came to matters of the bedroom, but lately we'd struggled to make sex enjoyable for the both of us.
Jerry often missed the mark completely or perhaps the problem was entirely my own? No matter what we tried, I just couldn't climax. Jerry started to cotton on. "Am I doing something wrong, love?" he asked nervously, wondering why he'd enjoyed 20 minutes of mind-blowing passion while I'd mostly just stared at the ceiling.
"No, darling, it was fantastic, I lied. His ego had always been fragile, I couldn't bear seeing him disappointed.
After that, I'd put on my best When Harry met Sally performance, panting and yelping along with Jerry until he finished. But that's all it was an act. Worried I'd experienced my last orgasm ever and riddled with guilt that I was lying to my husband, I saw my GP.
He blamed my hormone replacement medications and suggested I ease off them. "But the hot sweats and mood swings are unbearable without them," I complained to my friend, Pat, over coffee.
Suddenly, she got a mischievous glint in her eye. "I think you need professional help of a different kind," she said. "Why don't you see a sex therapist?" I scoffed as Pat giggled. She was always egging me on to be more adventurous but a sex therapist? It was ludicrous. "I don't know what the hell you're worried about," Pat shrugged.
"Do you want to be faking it for the rest of your life?" That night, I moaned breathlessly as Jerry writhed on top of me, but I barely felt a thing.
I knew I couldn't keep this up forever. My husband had always prided himself on satisfying me. He'd be broken if he found out the truth. So a few days later, I secretly booked an appointment with the sex therapist Pat had mentioned and went alone.
"Women's bodies go through all kinds of changes," she nodded after I explained the situation.
"Why don't you rediscover your body and find out what works for you now?"
I felt my cheeks flush red as she gave me a list of masturbation techniques that I could try on my own to see what felt good. "Then you can guide your husband towards what you like," she said. That night, when Jerry went to the pub with mates, I pulled out the list and made my way to the bedroom. Some of the methods didn't do much for me but others had me lost in a world of pure bliss.
Thank God! I thought, thrilled that my sex life wasn't over after all. Later, when Jerry crawled into bed and cuddled up to me, I clutched his hand, showing him exactly what I wanted him to do.
Needless to say, I gave an Oscar-worthy performance but this time, none of it was an act. We both slept soundly that night. Now Jerry and I are more connected than ever before and I feel like a sensual woman again. Jerry still has no idea we ever struggled in the bedroom and I'm not going to burst his bubble.
*Jane is 38 years old and lives in Mount Druitt, New South Wales, Australia
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SOURCES: CEN/MAGAZINE FEATURES
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