DEAR ABBY: I just finished reading the letter from "Pressured" (April 23), the wife whose husband keeps track of how often he and his wife have had sex and his determination to have sex 100 times per year. She was wondering if this is normal.
I can tell her that my former husband thought we should have sex five times a week. He kept a calendar of when we had sex that also included who initiated it. I explained to him that I was more than willing to have frequent sex, but that he also had to be an attentive, caring husband.
Our marriage counselor believed he was suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression and was probably a diagnosable narcissist. Surprise, surprise. He pronounced our marriage counselor to be inept and divorced me.
"Pressured" says she has a good marriage, so I assume that means she has a caring husband. I would advise her to do her best to enthusiastically and creatively meet his needs. Most men express love and feel loved by having sex. Scorekeeping could be his ineffective attempt at communicating his need to feel loved. -- THE EX-MRS.
DEAR EX: Thank you for writing. The saying "men are from Mars, women are from Venus" aptly applies to the responses I received from my readers about that letter. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: Most guys may keep track of how often they're having sex, although more likely it's how long since the last time, or maybe how many times a week. But this guy is an idiot for letting his wife know that he's tracking it, let alone that he has a goal of 100 times. Hopefully he's not procreating, just "recreating" in bed.
Abby, I thought you knew men better. "Fifty great versus 100 'so-so' times" -- are you kidding? Surely you know the saying, "Even bad sex is pretty good sex." We guys will take it any way, any how, anytime. For us, it's all good, all the time. -- DAN IN IRVING, TEXAS
DEAR ABBY: Unfortunately, my husband also likes to keep a running tab of our sexual frequency. It galls me.
I saw a movie years ago in which a couple saw the same therapist and one tells the counselor, "We NEVER have sex. We only do it three times a week." While the other says, "We have sex ALL THE TIME. We do it three times a week."
We must consider the other person and his or her needs, whether they're emotional, sexual or physical. Emotional and physical are not necessarily the same. -- DENISE IN MICHIGAN
DEAR ABBY: For most men, sex is just a little less important than breathing and eating as essential to our existence. Men are getting fed up with being deprived. I have often considered extramarital sexual pursuits, and I feel I'd be justified in doing so. I know I'm not alone.
Men have needs, and should have a right to share intimate relations with their wives. If not, we should be given the green light to fulfill our needs elsewhere. -- JAMES IN KENTUCKY
DEAR ABBY: I had to chuckle at "Pressured." I have been married 20 years and have five children. I figure my husband and I are intimate an average of 260 times a year. Needless to say, my husband greets me with a smile every day, and our marriage is rock solid. -- KNOWS THE SECRET IN UTAH