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Why does my wife want her vibrator more than she wants me?

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We have a good, largely communicative relationship but when I question her about her vibrator use, she gets very defensive and denies it

My wife regularly uses her vibrator when I’m not around. But, when she does, it seems there is nothing left for me. We have used it together and, when we do, the sex is great, but I desire more sex than she does. I just don’t understand why she doesn’t want me as much as she wants her vibrator. Obviously, she has needs, but so do I. We’re both over 50, make good money, have a good, communicative relationship (except about sex) and love each other. When we try talking about it, she gets very defensive and denies doing it or needing it. Any suggestions?

It could be useful to try to discuss with her the technical aspects of her self-pleasuring. Many men feel threatened by a woman’s vibrator use because they assume it is a replacement penis – which is often untrue. Your wife’s vibrator may be used largely to stimulate her clitoris – the female centre of pleasure. If your normal modus operandi is to focus on intercourse without paying enough attention to her clitoris, it would be understandable if she has chosen to provide herself with supplementary pleasure with guaranteed orgasms.

Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a US-based psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.

If you would like advice from Pamela on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to [email protected] (please don’t send attachments). Each week, Pamela chooses one problem to answer, which will be published online. She regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence. Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions: see gu.com/letters-terms.

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