Perfect Buds

The If-Busters

Late Bloomers

Early Bloomers


Sexual Explorers

Sexually Dissatisfied Wives

Overcoming Rejection

Why Sacrifice Pleasure?

A Way of Classifying Sexual Identity

How Pleasure-Claimers Get Better Orgasms

Some Observations from the Survey

Second-Chance Women

"After my first  marriage, I knew I wasn't going to do it again unless the sex was great. 'He would have to be a very good lover,' I told everyone. And, he is. On a scale of one to ten, the first  was a one-half. The second is a nine."

-a thirty-nine-year-old New Jersey writer

            Jane, Washington writer, is married to her third  husband. The first marriage ended in divorce, the second in the death of her husband following a long battle with cancer. I didn't  know numbers one and two, but Wesley, the third, is as good as it gets. An independent  woman, Jane  professes not to know why she has married three times while so many women  lament their inability to marry once. My  guess is: She likes being married, likes men, and is very good in bed.

            The remarried women in my survey, who were willing to talk about how and why, fall into two groups:

  • Second-chance women, the majority, who like me, marriage, and sex and express confidence in their erotic skills. 
  • Second-time losers, the minority, less than 20 percent, who claim they are as unhappy this time around as they were the first  time, don't seem to like their own men, marriages, and sex lives.

            Sex seems to be even more important in second marriages than first. Perhaps that's because it was one of the problems with husband number one-and also perhaps because second wives are older (as we've seen, women do reach orgasm more easily after age thirty and particularly after  thirty-five for both psychological and physical reasons).

            "My second marriage is so much better than the first, sexually and otherwise," writes a thirty-eight-year-old Florida secretary. "The first time I was nineteen at the time of early bloomer and pregnant, which I got to be without ever having had an orgasm! Terrible start, wouldn't you say? 

            "We were both ignorant about sex. Five years, two kids, and no orgasms later, I was on my own. I would have become enmeshed in another no-orgasm marriage-I was desperately lonely and constantly broke-but my mother, bless her heart,  intervened.

            "She said, 'Ginny Sue, don't marry  another man unless you have that special feeling down  there from being with him.' I didn't know what she was talking about. She couldn't  say the word 'orgasm,'  but eventually I figured out that  she was saying.  I'd been with two men without ever feeling  strongly attracted to either one of them. I didn't marry either  guy. Daddy helped me financially for a few years. Then  I met my husband.

            "It was  worth the wait! He turned on the switch inside me the first night  we met. He picked up my hand and held it and  I thought, 'Jesus, what this zzzzing!

            "I love kissing, and he kisses my neck, back, forehead, my  ass, everywhere. My ex wasn't much of a kisser. He kind of sucked on my lips until they hurt or he rammed his tongue into  my mouth. But kissing is all my husband has to do most  times, and I'm ready. He also taught me how to have an orgasm during intercourse by using one of our hands or in the sideways position by having  a thigh pressing against  my clit.

            "I am crazy mad in love with this man!"

Who Is She? 

Second-chance women are 12.5 percent  of my observation from survey, and are women who:

  • Were remarried.
  • Report  a high level of sexual satisfaction with the marriage. 

            According to the National Center for Health Statistics, over 40 percent of marriages are remarriages, meaning one or both partners has been previously married. Half of men who divorce will remarry within three years and half of women who divorce will remarry within three and one-half years. The second marriage isn't any more likely to last than the first, but  the odds for success increase if you make it past the  four-year mark. Just as you suspected, the statistics prove men do marry even  younger women the second time around, when the average age difference between  bride and groom is double what it was in the first marriage. The odds of remarrying do favor the younger divorced woman.

            Several studies, including a national survey conducted by the University of Wisconsin, have found that approximately 40 percent of women who divorced in their thirties will not remarry, nor will 70 percent  of the women who divorce at forty or beyond. 

            The numbers would seem to indicate that older women are not desirable as brides, but it is often the women who overcome rejection the role. Many older women do not want to be married again. Though they may form long-term monogamous relationships, they elect not to marry their partners. Over half  the divorced women in my survey are involved in such relationships, some women in my survey are involved  in sex relationships , some as live-ins, others not, and they report being satisfied with the arrangement.

            Sociologist Andres Cherlin, Ph.D., made the case in his book, Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage, that women with less sex education , younger children, and lower-paying jobs remarry more quickly than other women do because they are dependent on a husband's income for basic family survival. The majority of the women in my study who were the least satisfied with their second marriages did remarry at a younger age and apparently from economic necessity. The unhappily remarried were more likely to consider their work jobs, not careers, and to have less education and earn less money than the happily remarried, the second chance  women.

            But, happily monogamous women, those partners in long-lasting marriages, are also more likely to have jobs, if they work at all, then careers. Why should financial dependency make for happiness in a first marriage while the reverse seems to be true in a second? Perhaps children are part of the explanation. The financial demands of parenting must weight heavier on men who are the stepfathers, rather than the fathers, of those children. The mother's inability to care for them independently puts extra pressure on him and the marriage.

            Whatever the underlying reasons, financial dependence, too often a motivating factor for remarriage, appears to work against the women.

But What About the Sex? 

Not surprisingly, women who rate their second marriages as generally dissatisfying aren't pleased with the sex. Second-chance women, however, report the sex is much better the second  time around. The majority are, in fact, almost euphoric about the difference.

            "I wouldn't  have married again if the sex weren't great between us," writes a forty-year-old Chicago executive who, like the majority of second-change women says good sex, not his salary, influenced her choice of a mate. "It was never good with my first husband. I believe many women marry the first time, as I did , for reasons of emotional  and financial security. We were brought up to believe  you fell in love with a good-looking man who could take care of you-and the sex would  follow. It doesn't necessarily. I don't  blame myself or him for  the first divorce.  It doesn't  make me a failure. We weren't lucky together, that's all.

            "This time I chose wisely. The sex is  fantastic. We are very inventive and playful with each other. If I'm in a sexy mood, I can have my first orgasm during the foreplay from the friction of our bodies rubbing live together. He excites me enormously. And he's quite skilled. He's found places with his tongue I didn't know I had."

            Why is the sex better for second-chance women? 

Next >>

Sexual Victims

Discarded Women

The Clock Women

Independent Women

Revirginized Women

Monogamous Women

Second-Chance Women

Surviving the Droughts

Wives Who Have Affairs

The Saboteurs of Pleasure

Conclusion: Your Sexual Turning Point?

The Women Who Doesn't "Need" an Orgasm

What Does She Know About Sex that You Don't?