replied 8 years ago.
Hi again, and thanks very much for your detailed reply.
No, I didn't fall asleep reading it! : ) You expressed yourself very well, and helped me to understand the many facets of the problem.
I don't think your husband is not paying attention to you in a sexual way, because of the way you look, and I can recommend how to get some beautiful photos taken, later, but first I'd like to concentrate on the main problem.
It was 'key', when you asked him why he didn't make love to you, but resorted to pleasuring himself, without your knowledge, and he said 'I don't want to start something I may not be able to finish.' He's afraid he won't 'last' and will leave you feeling disappointed/unsatisfied, in addition to feeling embarrassed and 'inadequate' if this should happen while your making love.
I also think he's not being generally affectionate, loving and cuddly with you, because he knows it will lead to you expecting it to culminate in lovemaking (and you would have every right to expect that!), and he's afraid he won't be able to satisfy you. Men are very sensitive about these things, and if they feel they won't be able to have the endurance to last during lovemaking, it terrifies them. While your idea of seeing a doctor and/or therapist about this problem is excellent, and he agreed at first, he's embarrassed to discuss such an intimate, personal subject with any doctor, and that's why he told you he'd make an appointment, but then put it off.
Viagra may help, if he needs it, but again, this should be prescribed, if necessary, by his doctor, who knows his medical history, etc.; I've seen the commercials for Extenze and to tell you the truth, I'd be reluctant to try something that wasn't or doesn't need to be, prescribed by a doctor. I have a feeling it's a whole bunch of nothing, and you'd be wasting your money.
At this point, I'd definitely take the reins and make a doctor's appointment for him, and accompany him; don't go into the actual office with him when he sees the doctor, but do go with him to the appointment. Tell him that the doctor knows his medical history and many men who experience the problem he described, do go to their doctors to discuss the problem and get a prescription for something like Viagra, if the doctor feels it's safe (according to any other meds he may be taking) and it may be of help. A doctor is a doctor, and he's heard and seen it all, so he shouldn't be embarrassed.
I also think it would be a very good idea to start seeing a therapist together, one who is very experienced in marriage counseling and sexual dysfunction issues. Don't EVER mention the words 'sexual dysfunction' to your husband, as I feel it will worsen the problem. Research therapists in your area, on your own, call a few, ask to 'interview' them, and choose one with whom you will feel comfortable, and with whom you feel your husband will also feel comfortable. In your husband's case, I think he may prefer a male therapist. Just make sure he has many years experience in marriage counseling and helping with sexual problems within the marriage.
I think both your past medical histories, yours with your intestinal surgery--I'm so glad to hear that you are on the road to recovery, now--and your husband's back problems, then taking the pain medications, have interfered with your normal sex life. While he was on the medications, it might have played havoc with his libido, and in addition, even if he wanted to, he probably couldn't have sex, or it would have caused severe pain in his back, so there are many factors involved, which have derailed both of you from having a satisfying sex life.
I admire you for being so patient and trying to give your husband the chance to be intimate with you again, after such a long time, but now is the time for action, not only words.
As far as the photos go, if you have any 'Glamour Shots' or similar places in your local malls, that would be a good choice, and also, many private photographers take photos that make you look most flattering and sexy, in a tasteful manner. These places will do your hair and makeup for you, so it looks best under the bright lights/flash. Look in your local Yellow Pages under 'photography' and call a few places. Make sure to ask if they do hair and makeup, too. I had photos like these taken a few years ago, (in fact the one next to my name was one of them), and I loved the way they came out. The 'sitting' was done by a professional photographer in my area. They can take the photos as sexy and as tastefully as you like, but if you ever feel uncomfortable, i.e., if they ask you to do something you don't want to do, leave immediately. I'm not trying to alarm you, just be prepared; there are many unscrupulous people out there. Also, before your appointment, go to the studio and ask to see samples of their work. Where I went, the woman photographer showed me photos of other women who took the pics for their husbands or boyfriends and told me, you can do whatever you choose, re: the sexy factor. I saw some pictures that were beautiful, but not something I would be interested in doing, and she said, it's totally your choice. Don't emphasize the 'sexy' part when you discuss taking these photos, just be honest with the photographer and tell her (I think you should go with a woman) that you want them as a gift for your husband and would like to look great and 'attractive' for him. It can't hurt, and I think it's a great idea, but I don't think photos are going to save your marriage/sex life. You definitely have to begin therapy and your husband needs to go to his doctor, so I hope you're able to help him accomplish these seeing these professionals, ASAP.
I hope things improve for you both, soon, and please let me know how it's going. I think you have found a good starting point now, and things should go well, once you get on the right track with the right professional help!