The XX Factor

Is Unconditional Love the Enemy of Lust? No, It Makes Me Braver in Bed.

Photo by Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Earlier this week, we asked readers to write in telling us if they think unconditional love actually kills desire. Many responded. We’ll be publishing some of those responses Friday. Here is the first.

From: Sarah

For me, unconditional love has completely turned around my sex life. It’s led to better sex, more desire for my husband when we’re not having sex, and more overall satisfaction with life and our family.

I’ve been married for 12 years and have two grade-school-age children. For most of my marriage I suffered from a low-level insecurity that my husband would leave me. I hid this from my husband, and even from myself, because my feelings of neediness and vulnerability were so shameful to me. I considered myself strong, and neediness was weak. I pushed these emotions down so much that I didn’t even realize I was feeling them until I started therapy for an eating disorder—which I thought was totally unrelated but, as I’m discovering, is completely related.

Therapy’s helping me find the sources of my insecurity, and I’m feeling more comfortable in my skin. My husband has stood by me at every step. One day I told him how scared I was that he would see the “real” me and not love me anymore. He said, “Knowing the real you makes me love you even more.” That was a pivotal moment for me. It was his unconditional love.

Soon after I started being braver in talking about sex and preferences because I didn’t think, “Oh god, he’s going to leave me if he finds out what a freak I am.” He, in turn, became braver and has shared more things with me. In the past year, we’ve had more kinky sex than in the first 11 years of our marriage.