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Debra Macleod and her husband, Don, are the husband-and-wife authors of Lube Jobs: A Woman’s Guide to Great Maintenance Sex, Lip Service: A His and Hers Guide to the Art of Oral Sex and Seduction, and The French Maid: And 21 More Naughty Sex Fantasies to Surprise and Arouse Your Man. Their books have been covered widely in newspapers across the country including The New York Times and USA Today and been awarded “Best in Bed” by Women’s Health Magazine. In her various capacities as a marriage and divorce mediator, a couples’ communication, and conflict resolution specialist, Debra has helped thousands of couples resolve their problems and improve their relationships. For more information, visit her website debramacleod.com.
Don asks Debra:Don: At some point in their relationship, most long-term couples have to find a way to deal with their different sex drives. We did, and that was part of the impetus behind Lube Jobs. Men often want more sex than their female partners-not always, but often. Maintenance sex is a way to bridge the gap. So why do so many women hate the idea of doing it?Debra: There are any number of reasons why a woman doesn’t want to perform maintenance sex. For starters, maybe her partner hasn’t approached the issue in a mature, communicative, and loving way. Perhaps she feels more exploited than appreciated when she does do it. My point is that maintenance sex is a two-way street. It isn’t just about a woman lubing up and putting out, it’s also about a man making her realize how loved, respected, adored and irresistible she is, and how much her efforts to keep him sexually satisfied mean to him.Don: What kind of reactions did you receive from your female friends when they heard you wrote a book on maintenance sex?Debra: I’ve had warm and cool reactions. Most of my friends are in happy, healthy relationships and are grateful for new ways of performing maintenance sex. The same old tug-and-twist hand job or two-minutes of mundane missionary can get boring. Sexual variety is exciting-and arousing-for both parties, especially if the couple has been together a long time. That being said, I’ve also borne the brunt of some evil glares, as if I’ve betrayed the sisterhood by writing on the topic. A woman’s personal attitude and circumstances really determine her reaction to me and to the book.Don: Does sex have to change after marriage? Most guys know this joke: Why is the bride smiling? Because she’s given her last blowjob. It seems that many women have high sex drives during the dating phase, but then their interest in sex dwindles after the ring. What’s the deal?Debra: Yes, sex does change after marriage. Then again, a lot of things change after marriage. Children usually come into the equation, as do in-laws, a mortgage, conflicting schedules, domestic routine and-O horror of horrors-sexual familiarity. It’s hard to have a spontaneous quickie on the kitchen counter when you have to pack four lunches on it beforehand. The cynical may say that women use sex to get the ring and then relax into a state of sexual apathy, and that may indeed be true of some women. But for most, the demands of daily life simply take their toll on the libido. A woman may still have an interest in sex: She may not, however, have the energy for it. That’s the kind of situation, and woman, that Lube Jobs tries to help.Don: If a man wants more sex in his relationship, how should he approach this touchy issue with his wife or girlfriend? How could he bloodlessly present a book like Lube Jobs to her?Debra: Quid pro quo. If a man wants his woman to fulfill his needs, he must be willing to fulfill hers. The worst thing he can do is hand her the book and say “I’d like more sex and this will help you give it to me.” For a better chance of survival, he should sit down with her and ask how he can help reduce her feelings of stress, fatigue, or sexual apathy and increase her feelings of contentment, appreciation, and sexual affection. That’s a much safer place from which to start a conversation of the “I’d like more sex” variety. It opens up a dialogue where both parties can express their needs. After all, maintenance sex is about maintaining the relationship as a whole, not just a man’s sex drive.Don: What’s been your favorite part about writing our books? Is it what you expected?Debra: I love writing our books because it allows me to have a career while still being a stay-at-home mom. Going into it, that’s all I had hoped for. An unexpected delight has been the response of our readers. My favorite kind of feedback is when a couple says our books have made them re-appreciate or re-discover each other, both in and out of bed. No, it’s not finding a cure for cancer, but I do value marriage and monogamy, and I’m happy when my writing has a positive effect on a long-term couple’s relationship.Debra asks Don:Debra: Do you think that the average woman trivializes how important sex is to her man?Don: ‘Trivializes’ isn’t the right word, at least not always. Sometimes women just don’t understand how much regular sex means to a man. To us, sex is the glue that holds the relationship together. Without that glue, things feel like they’re coming apart. When a man has sex with a woman he loves, he feels loved in return. It gives him confidence and makes him feel like he’s important to her.Debra: For women, quality of lovemaking is often more important than quantity. That is to say, many women would prefer longer but fewer sex sessions. Why can’t men approach sex the same way?Don: Because our bodies are different. It’s that simple. That’s not to say we don’t appreciate quality-we do-but for a lot of men, the more, the better. Of course we still enjoy long-session lovemaking, but a few quickies to top things off also feel great.Debra: Why do some men whine or pout when their woman doesn’t feel like having sex?Don: Because they don’t know what else to do. Men aren’t always the best communicators. We want to ask for more, but we’re scared we’ll only make matters worse. Sexual frustration can bring out the worst in our behavior and can make us seem more immature than we are.Debra: Do you think a sexually-satisfied man is less likely to stray?Don: Yes, but sexual satisfaction isn’t just about sex. It’s also about satisfying a man’s ego and sense of self-worth. Marvel at his endurance in bed and pretend that you need his muscles to open the pickle jar. It might sound ridiculous, but a man likes to feel masculine in the same way that a woman likes to feel feminine. Don’t you like it when we tell you that you’re beautiful or sexy? Men are no different. But frequent sex doesn’t guarantee fidelity. Choosing a good man does.Debra: What’s your favorite ‘couple’s story’ in the book?Don: The story about the couple who is racing around town on a hot summer day, desperately looking for a tent for a big backyard party. They can’t find one and start bickering. The wife makes her husband pull into an alley where she gives him a ‘happiness hand job.’ I love that anecdote not just because it’s funny, but because it shows how the silliest problems are amplified when a guy isn’t getting any. It also shows how quickly a man’s mood can improve! I think it reflects the spirit of Lube Jobs.Five women who need this book:MRS. MY-HUSBAND-CRAVES-SEX-MORE-THAN-I-DOEven in the healthiest and happiest of relationships, many women find that their partners crave sex more often than they do. Once or twice a week might feel great for her, but he wants it every day?!? The lube jobs in this book are a great way to keep him satisfied when she’s low on energy, when it’s that time of the month, or when she’s simply not in the mood.THE DIAPER-DEPRESSED MOMShe’s always had a career, but now she’s at home all day with a crying baby. With constant nighttime interruptions, and a serious case of feeling fat and frumpy, she no longer has the energy or the confidence to sate her husband’s sexual appetite. Lube Jobs offers new moms tips on overcoming diaper depression and using their big, new milky breasts to their advantage.THE CORPORATE EXECUTIVE She’s a big-wig at the office, working twelve-hour days. And even when she’s not at the office, her mind is still focused on the job. She spends so much of her day in her head, that she’s no longer connected to her body’s wants and desires. What this woman needs is stimulation. Lube Jobs offers women tips on how to stimulate their libido, from romance novels to aphrodisiacs to visualization.MRS. BORED-IN-THE-BEDROOMTired of her husband’s lack of foreplay and the missionary position, she’d rather pop a DVD on or go to sleep. How can he expect her to get excited? Lube Jobs explains how to put the sexy back in sex. By explaining what she needs to her husband, and by preempting his boring passes with creative and kinky bedroom scenarios, she can turn boring into scoring!THE STRESSED-OUT STAY-AT-HOME-MOMShe’s got a million-and-one things to do every day: laundry, grocery shopping, dry cleaning, dinner, PTA meetings, and help with the kids’ homework. With her exhausting schedule and household anxieties, how is she supposed to find the time and energy to get it on in the bedroom? Plus, the kids might hear! Lube Jobs includes ideas and scenarios that take place not only in the bedroom, but also in the closet, the car, and the office. Several lube jobs can even be included in your daily routine-shower anyone?-so that you can get the job done without veering off schedule.
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