Is His Low Sex Drive A Dealbreaker?

Is His Low Sex Drive A Dealbreaker?
My boyfriend and I have been dating for 3 years now. He is sweet, patient, loving, and all the things you can ask for in a BF/Husband. One issue is that my sex drive is higher than his. I’d say I’m at an 8-9 and he would be at a 4. On an average, we probably have sex 5-9 times a month. We’ve fought about it plenty of times starting during our first year together. At this point, I never ask for it or try to start it because I know it may not go anywhere and I don’t want to argue or be reminded of how sexually neglected I feel. It’s THAT BAD. Now I feel that we have just become best friends who live together and once in awhile sleep together. When we do have sex, sometimes I feel my mind thinking elsewhere. I believe I have programmed my brain to not want to have sex just so that I don’t feel lonely and rejected when he says he’s not in the mood. I think I lost that spark and special connection with my boyfriend who I love VERY, VERY much. Sometimes I ask myself if I’m happy almost every day because of it. What do I do? Is sex something worth breaking up over??? –Sexually Deprived Female

While I’ve tackled another version of this question before, I think it’s a subject worth revisiting since there are three times more people reading this blog now than a few years ago…

And although I’ll weigh in with my normal blend of facts, reason and personal anecdotes, I’d really like to hear from you in the comments below.

Is sex something worth breaking up over?

You’re not wrong or shallow to ask the question. After all, if you’re only going to have sex with one person for the rest of your life, you’d better be content.

Which is why I would never advocate that anyone marry a man where there’s ZERO attraction “just because he’s nice”. A guy’s gotta be able to turn you on and be a good, game and giving lover – otherwise, you will be perpetually dissatisfied.

The question YOU’RE posing, SDF, is a slight twist on that.

It’s a lot easier to find a guy with a high libido than it is to find a guy who is marriage material.

See, you have the perfect boyfriend. He’s sweet, patient, loving and he’s continually demonstrated his worth over the course of three years.

His only flaw is that he’s got an average sex drive while you have a high sex drive.

It seems to me that the only person who can really answer the question as to whether you should break up with this man is YOU.

People impose arbitrary dealbreakers all the time. We can quibble about which ones are reasonable and which ones aren’t, but ultimately, it’s subjective. And my subjective judgment probably doesn’t mean all that much to you if you feel sexually deprived if you’re not having sex 5 times a week.

Listen, you’re not alone. In the past month, I’ve had two clients tell me, point-blank, that nightly sex was important to them and has been a dealbreaker for them before. That’s their right. It’s also my right to point out that it’s a lot easier to find a guy with a high libido than it is to find a guy who is marriage material. If you have to choose one to marry, I’d choose the guy who is marriage material. But that’s just me.

Alas, the invariable blowback from the gallery is “Why should I have to choose? Why can’t I get BOTH? Why do I have to compromise on something so important to me?”

And that’s where sex is really no different than any other dealbreaker: height, weight, age, education, income, sense of humor, geography, kids, blahblahbah. People who are looking to get married must realize that you don’t get EVERY SINGLE quality you’re looking for in a partner, but if you get most of them, you’re a very lucky person. My wife and I have similar libidos – closer to your boyfriend, for what it’s worth – so this is one thing that we didn’t have to compromise on. But we did compromise on religion, politics, geography, education, and a host of other things. This is what adults do – assess realistic expectations and either adjust or stay true to your list of demands.

This is what adults do – assess realistic expectations and either adjust or stay true to your list of demands.

If you are insistent upon your partner having any quality that may be somewhat extreme – a man with a PhD (3%), a man who is a millionaire (4%), a man who runs marathons (.1%), etc – you are CHOOSING to limit your dating pool. There’s no judgment on you; but it will, by definition, take you a lot longer to find love.

One final point that you seem to have missed is this: you feeling lonely and rejected when he doesn’t want to have sex is YOUR decision. He’s still your boyfriend. He’s still attracted to you. He still sleeps with you. He just has a different biological makeup. It’s like being a chef who gets angry that his patrons don’t want to eat at 1pm after he just fed them a big lunch at 12pm. You can’t take this personally.

So once that’s off your head – and you stop judging him and judging yourself because you’re different, ask yourself: can I find happiness with this man or is sex important enough that I will continue searching for the man who a) can give it to me every night and b) also has all of the wonderful qualities of your current boyfriend.

You’re not wrong whichever way you choose, but it’s clear that the path of accepting your normal boyfriend is a surer route to a healthy relationship than blowing things up for a random guy with an equally high sex drive and keeping your fingers crossed that you’ll also love him VERY, VERY much.

Unless YOU don’t think so, in which case, I wish you the best of luck.


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  1. 121

    I am going through this same thing.  My boyfriend and I have known each other for almost 3 years.  We just started dating 6 months ago.  Our sex life was great at first.  He is 44 and I am 31.  I love him so much and don’t want to leave him.  His parents are not doing very good health wise and we just bought a house.  He claims he is stressed out and has went to the doctor and was told that he had borderline low testosterone.  He won’t take medications for it either.  But it is starting to bother me.  We have had sex 3 times in the last 4  months.  He tells me that he has no want for sex and that he can’t get aroused.  But then will turn around and ask me for head almost every night.  He can get it up then and get off.  But then I am laying there not taken care of and have to use a toy… That doesn’t give me the same gratification.  I want my man back!

    1. 121.1
      Mrs Happy

      stop giving him head.

  2. 122

    I have learned from 2 very different relationships, if sexual intimacy starts dwindling quickly it is time to go, 2 of the men in my life have done this, they say “nothing is wrong, why should I see a doctor, it will get better”, these are lies, they don’t go to the doctor, they don’t care that their partner is hurting, frustrated and possibly homicidal at times, they make their own selfish decisions and you are left to deal with your own feelings. IT NEVER GETS ANY BETTER.

  3. 123

    So appreciate this post… and the response. thank you both.

  4. 124

    I’m currently in a similar situation with my boyfriend of almost 2 years. We just started living together 3 months ago, but his low libido and evident lack of desire for sex has been an issue for quite some time now. And it’s only intensified now. Now before I go on, a few things to take into consideration are: He is an avid marijuana smoker and he works day/night shifts at a car factory. His commute to work is almost an hour one way. So I realize those two things most likely play a factor in his low libido. I REALLY try to be understand of his work schedule. However when the opportunity to have sex with me is in front of him, he passes it up pretty much all the time. I have to nag him to have sex with me, and it’s completely ridiculous that even have to do that. Men don’t understand how important it is to feel desired (sexually) by our man. We don’t need that attention from the millions of guys at the bar. We just need it from the one guy we have at home. And that’s my issue. I feel rejected. He has openly admitted he prefers to watch porn occasionally or masturbate himself because it’s just easier instead of putting in the effort to have sex. Which leaves me feeling neglected. It’s not fair that he’s only taking care of his own needs. So I’m constantly frustrated sexually, which makes me get angry in other aspects of the relationship. I’ve told him this numerous times but he doesn’t see sex as a huge deal. He keeps saying he loves me for more than just sex and he has said that sex now is kind of boring, but that you can’t expect the spark to be there forever. But that he loves me more than that anyway.  It’s just hard to accept that we’re not on the same page when it comes to intimacy. 

  5. 125

    We’re both 27 and I’m experiencing the same situation. We’ve been together two years, I firstly had the serious convo at the start of the relationship but thought he was just shy. Then had the next serious convo about a year later when I realised things weren’t really improving. And now I’ve bought it up four times over the past fortnight, he just doesn’t want to meet me half way. I know he loves me and he says hell try harder to initiate things but he hasn’t. You’d think the following night or two after ‘the convo’ you’d pick up your balls and make a move. But no. And what’s worse is we are now expecting a baby. I’m so stressed out that this is it.. 

  6. 126

    I am in the same situation. On top of that, my boyfriend and I also work opposite shifts.  
    However, I have no problem waking him and for a little afternoon delite, and he has no problem letting me have my way :)

    After two discussions about our different libido’s, we decided I will have to be in charge of this department, in our relationship. He handles the finances, and I handle the sex! hahaha
    I’ll admit, I would like him to take initiative at times, but I would not let this be a deal breaker.
    He is an amazing man, whom I’m deeply in love with, and we have an amazing relationship, in every other aspect.

  7. 127

    I’m a guy (36). My libido is not what it was. I could happily go without for a week or more at a time but I’m capable to go daily also if I wish. I do an extremely physically demanding job and am a terrible sleeper too so sometimes I am shattered but apart from flu, not man flu, real flu, I could always find reserves enough for 15 mins to half hour for a women I care about. 

    If I loved someone, really loved them, I would consider this a minor task to, at worst endure, on a daily basis. “If” it was a matter of enduring occasionally I would make it my mission in life to keep it from her!

    Admittedly if his stuff doesn’t work properly that’s entirely different ball game. 

  8. 128

    I’m so glad I came across this. I felt like I was reading my own story. Only trouble is, my partner isn’t a wonderful boyfriend. He’s a very rough person, and has really high walls. Deep down I see the good person he is and patiently love him as best I can. 
    I was Catholic so I didnt have sex till I was 21 and discovered that I have a very high sex drive. I married a gamer, and anyone who’s been in a relationship with a gamer sees where this went. I would stand in lingerie while he would play WoW and say that he can’t, he’s raiding. So that ended in divorce.
    Now I’m with another gamer. And while I enjoy gaming, I have learned how much of a killer of the libido this hobby can be. Men get incredibly lethargic, and not even a beautiful woman that loves them can pull them away from their controllers for an hour.  Society tells us women that apparently we’re supposed to be frigid bitches who use sex like a weapon. I’ve never turned down a boyfriend for sex. Unless I was sick or in pain, I always put out for my man and yet I end up feeling neglected, unwanted. It hurts when you’re partner isn’t in the mood, because you feel like it has to do with you. Its damaging on a person’s sense of security. 
    I get turned down almost all the time withnt partner. As much as I love and care for him, I still end up crying quietly when he turns me down.
    Sex is wonderful . Its intimate and pleasurable and I don’t understand how people go so long onths, years) without it. Its simply tragic. Maybe we high libidos are the weirdos here. But when you’re drive is high, I think it becomes a physical and emotional need.
    Some of us believe couples should always have separate bank accounts. Some of us believe that couple should pool all their money into one account, share everything. I don’t believe either one is right or wrong. I see the benefits in both. So I just have to decide what I think is needed. And then rank that in importance. 
    My view on money is not as high as sex. Because money comes and goes (goes more often these days) and since its not a big deal to me, I’ll adapt to whatever my partner prefers.
    But sex is an expression of love, and it is important to me. And being with someone that doesn’t want it that much can really tear at you. Make you feel undesirable (you know, the old “if I was skinnier/tanner/brunette/Asian/bigger-breasted he would totally want me right now” that goes through a woman’s head every time she puts herself out there, asking a man- ASKING a man, to take her clothes off and make love to her right there  on the couch and he just goes “nah”. Its disheartening and at times, soul-crushing.
    You have to ask yourself, is this going to continue to make me miserable? Its pretty simple. You can love him till you’re blue in the face. If there is little to no return of that love in a way that you enjoy and can feel satisfied.. Like I said, its pretty simple. We’re not meant to live in misery. 

  9. 129

    I have been married for 2.5 years and i’m having the same problem. We have two daughters, aged 8 & 1, things at home are lovely, my husband is very affectionate towards me all of the time but we only have sex 3 maybe 4 times a month. I have raised the issue on numerous occasions as me myself also have a high sex drive, sex with my husband is amazing and nothing like i have ever had, bit it getting less and less and i’m becomjng more and more frustrated, i couldnt bare to be without him and he promises to make more time for me but then it reverts back to usual, he works very very hard however makes time for working out twice a week to make himself feel better about himself and look better for me so he says and also has the energy for his other kids every fortnight… I dont Know what to do but get angry now, leaving isnt an option unless i want my children to be without their father which i dont. I can sympathise with this woman as when my husband and i first met we were rampant, kids arent to blame either, time together can be easily made if the want for it is really there. has only changed in last 18months. if u are unhappy and have to serious ties like kids then just walk if it affects u so much.

  10. 130

    I’m in the same boat… sex is a once a month affair because I push for it at least once a month with hints etc… been this way since we had our first baby…. 9yrs ago. Ended up having 3 kids.. I timed our once a month activity well to fall preggies. Love my kids and hubby very much. But the lack of intimacy leaves me feeling broken and empty ;( have also had many discussions but it never gets better. He cheated on me 5yrs ago and then i cheated as i felt unworthy of intimacy…. we made it through all that and our relationship is strong. But the lack of intimacy is heartbreaking. 6 to 9 times a month is Wow. 3 to 4 times a month would make me the happiest woman in the world!

    1. 130.1

      I’m always confused at why a refusing spouse would go and have an affair, like in your case, CP.  
      I know the feeling you mentioned about feeling broken and empty.  I think that’s putting it mildly.  But why do you think he cheated if you were a willing partner? 

  11. 131

    I am in a similar situation and very dissatisfied.. I have talked to him about it several times.. There’s always an excuse and still nothing changes even after promises and promises.. I’m so tired of other people always ltelling me how pretty and attractive I am when the man I love and live with has barely ang sex drive. The bottom line is if you have to keep talking about it become so uncomfortable that you start losing interest. I keep thinking it’s going to get better but it never does and now I’m just resentful.. My heart is sad but believe me a relationship needs many things but you have to have the intimacy to survive! It starts making you feel very sad and unwanted and depressed.. I want my lover to desire me and be excited at the thought of love making not have to complain about it. .. I mean isn’t that what makes it the best when two people desire each other If we think about this it’s ridiculous and I say we move on . It will hurt like hell but if we don’t a piece of our spirit dies a little every day . I’m passionate person and need the intimacy. I think 2 to 3 times a week is normal and pretty average.

  12. 132

    I have been dating a guy for a little while now. Overall it’s going really well, he helps me out with chores and errands all the time, gets along wonderfully with my family and friends. Treats me, my things, and my pets amazingly… However, the amount of sex that I want VS. the amount he wants varies wildly. If it were up to me I would have sex at least every other night if not EVERY night (and morning if I had my way) and he seems content to just NEVER have sex. He has said himself he is a “sex camel” and can go without it.
    I am unable to just not take it personally. I try not to but, I can’t help but think he isn’t attracted to me. I know I’m not super model and I do have extra weight I carry around but, I am by no means obese or way over weight. I deal with insecurities everyday as it is and this isn’t helping my self esteem any.
    There is an age difference between us and I wonder if that is part of the explanation. I’m 26 and he is 32 and I have wondered if it is simply the fact that he is past the sexual prime age range of his early twenties that could be causing this rift in our needs and desires.

    Call me crazy but, I believe sex is a HUGE part of any happy healthy relationship. It creates a closer bond and in many ways can reassure a partner that you still love them and find them attractive. I’m not sure how to remedy the situation as ending a relationship that is otherwise perfect over sex is simply not a thought that has even crossed my mind.

    It is however nice to know that there are other women out there that have the same issues in their love life.

  13. 133

    we went from an amazing sex life as we dated 2 years.soon as we were married he started having ED problems . Now even though he is on Cialis still shows little interest. I feel bamboozled,Robbed,Tricked. He used to say ”wanna keep my attention,wear short skirts.” Well that does’t apply anymore I guess .nothing does.We halve been married a year and a half now.I am at the point I am losing my attraction toward him because of all his disinterest in me.

  14. 134

    It is not shallow to be considering a break up over sexual unfulfillment. There is the very real possibility that what she finds unlivable now will only decrease even further within marriage. I am there but now there are children’s needs to consider. Mine is content with once a month or two and even then it is “take it or leave it” and he gets angry or irritated if I dare initiate. He has no interest in changing things. I would rather not go longer than 2-3 times a week but he obviously has me over a barrel with that. Being constantly frustrated magnifies every other problem big or small and it is very hard to keep resentment in check. My children are the only reason I would choose this road. If your boyfriend is not concerned about your feelings and willing to find some middle ground it is a huge red flag and you should weigh your decision carefully as you could possibly save yourself years of frustration (pun intended).

  15. 135

    I divorced 6 months ago from my husband of 10 years because I thought in the beginning of our relationship that I am superficial to see different sex drives as a deal breaker. In the beginning of the relationship we made love once a week (and there were times when he couldn’t get it up even at that rate) which seemed a bit weird for me but I didn’t push him and tried to be as supportive and discreet as possible because I liked him very much. He also told me that he was used to having sex once a month. To cut the long story short it became such a big issue (we even had a year of celibacy because I decided that I won’t initiate to see whether he would… well, he didn’t) in the end. And it wasn’t only the lack of sex, it was the lack of cuddles, kisses, connection. Lack of his will to understand what I would like in a relationship though I compromised, compromised, compromised, tried to understand and accept him as he was – unfortunately I suffered for too long. In the end I was frustrated, passive-agressive, despised him, blamed him though it was my own stupid decision to overlook the sexual part of a relationship, to overlook my core need for intimacy in a relationship. Usually that kind of incompatibility becomes worse and worse over time – really think about it. It is not superficial to desire a physical connection (actually it goes hand in hand with an emotional connection as well) with your sweetheart.
    I have to say that his very low sex drive also translates into the way he lives. He has no initiative, he is very comfortable, has no interests, has no spark, no desire for anything – at the same time he is a nice guy with a kind heart. It was a very, very hard lesson to learn because I constantly suppressed what I felt, thinking that I was superficial because he was a nice guy. Do not make the same mistake and do not settle for just niceness.

  16. 136

    It’s soo weird that I saw this right after having a heated discussion with my boyfriend of 4 1/2 years of the same situation. I feel he has become complacent in our sex life. I’m okay with 2 times a week if that’s all he wants but I do want to feel wanted. The sex has become routine and no passion. Although he is very sexy and in extremely turned on by him, I have to remind myself constantly on why that’s not a deal breaker. I liked your response. It’s good to hear I’m not the only one. The thing is, men like new, and if their sex drive has diminished, it’s prob because they are comfortable with you. Thanks for sharing.

  17. 137

    This is very bad you must make an appointment with a Urologist not normal needs his Testosterone checked He has a medical problem I am inbaresed for him  help this man out.

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