Should I Stick Around If My Boyfriend’s Sex Drive Is Gone?

Evan,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for 7 months. This past month, our intimacy levels have severely dropped. A friend of ours who we confide in mutually passed along to me that my boyfriend told him that he just doesn’t want me sexually. He says he wants to want me, that I am beautiful and sexy to him, but he doesn’t have the drive.

 

 

Prior to this conversation with our friend, he and I had had a fight about our lack of sexual intimacy. I told him that I didn’t feel wanted by him and that I always have to initiate sex and that when we are being intimate, he doesn’t do any type of foreplay with me at all. I do all the kissing, touching, etc and he just lays back and enjoys the ride. Other aspects of our relationship were great, but have been affected by that. I know that this issue has made us both resentful and I just need some insight into how I can make him want me again. He says it happens to him in every relationship, that the sex starts out great, but he loses his drive if he is with a woman longer than 4 months. He won’t talk about it, so that we can get to the root of it and move past it and improve our relationship, yet he says that he wants to work on it and make it better. What can I do to help this situation? –Lena

The real question, Lena, is whether this is a black/white situation or a gray situation.

It takes two to tango, and he’s sitting in a folding chair with his legs crossed.

If your boyfriend has no sex drive, never initiates, offers no foreplay, feels that every relationship beyond four months is doomed, and is not actively looking for solutions, then there’s nothing you can do.

It takes two to tango, and he’s sitting in a folding chair with his legs crossed.

That’s black and white.

But if he acknowledges that there’s a problem and is willing to make adjustments because your relationship is worth preserving, there’s a chance of preserving it.

Really, it’s the same as ANY relationship dilemma.

If either party is willing to change, it’s got a chance; if neither party is willing to change and the status quo is unfulfilling, you’ve gotta get out.

Still, for perspective, your boyfriend’s experience is very common. Maybe not to the extremes that he’s taken it (NO sex drive. NO desire after 4 months). But since sex for men is usually about what’s new and exciting, it’s hard to keep things new and exciting with the same woman forever.

There’s no more conquering, no more unknowns at the end of the night, no more surprise about what she’s going to look like naked, no more wonder about what happens the next day… I’m not saying I’d trade in my marriage for this; I am saying that these are things that men often miss when they’re part of a couple.

Personally, my desire was always high when my girlfriend (now wife) and I were living separately – even after we got married. But once we moved in together (after about two years), my desire definitely dropped – which is to say that we didn’t have sex every time we saw each other.

While familiarity doesn’t necessarily breed contempt, it can certainly temper excitement.

So please, understand, your boyfriend isn’t alone in his feelings. Men are not naturally monogamous, but many of us do choose it.

While familiarity doesn’t necessarily breed contempt, it can certainly temper excitement.

If you want to make things work, do your best to not take things personally. Talking about sex and where your relationship is going is a sure way of killing desire.

Next, do your best to keep things interesting. Ask him about his fantasies. Role play so he can pick you up all over again. Come up with a game where he has to try to please you in order to win the right to be pleased himself. Anything to rekindle the spark and get back to having fun and making spontaneous love.

And if he’s not willing to play along, you have to say goodbye.

Not because he’s a bad man, but because he’s not a man who will keep you sexually satisfied for the rest of your life.

 

 

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Comments:

  1. 1
    starthrower68

    Another woeful tale of where we have gotten to as a society.

  2. 2
    Ruby

    “But since sex for men is usually about what’s new and exciting, it’s hard to keep things new and exciting with the same woman forever.”

    Since when is 7 months forever? That is still a pretty new relationship. It sounds like this guy has some big intimacy issues, if he can’t do anything but just lie there after only a few months of dating. On top of that, he sounds very passive-aggressive and withholding. I’m not sure how you can work on something that he won’t talk about.

  3. 3
    Terri

    SEVEN MONTHS into the relationship and he has lost his sex drive?  Something is very wrong here!  What then can you expect after 5 years?  At this point, there should be wonderful sparks between you.
     
    My husband and I were together a bit over a year before we married and we could hardly keep our hands off each other.  It took a number of years with very gradual cooling down but never got to the point where there was so much effort required.  Of course, the level of excitement cannot be maintained but we have a 9 year old grandson.
     
    Yes, men have more difficulty being monogamous.  Back in grad school, we learned about an experiment with goats.  Each male was kept with one female and as goats tend to do, they had a great deal of sex.  After awhile, the males were no longer interested.  However – when a new female was introduced, the male response level started all over again – very high!
     
    Sex for humans is supposed to be fun and spontaneous and not a CHORE!  I do not believe it should have to be worked at so early in the relationship.  He has problems that I feel are way too deep for you to solve.  If I were you, Lena, I would move on.  This is not the norm!
     
     

  4. 4
    Venus

    I suspect that his issues are a lot deeper than stated here.  She should get out of this before the real stuff hits the fan. 

  5. 5
    Angie

    Lena,
     
    It seems that your boyfriend is agreeing with what you have accused him of.  While it may be hurtful, he told your friend flat out that he doesn’t want you sexually.  Your boyfriend probably doesn’t like emotional intimacy, period, and you pushing for MORE from him is going to make things worse.
     
    I think the first few months you are with someone you like and are attracted to are fun, and your boyfriend probably likes “fun”, but then when things starting getting deeper and more serious, he withdrawals.  I’m sure other people must have felt dread when someone is making things more serious than you can personally handle… and dread and amazing sex often don’t go hand-in-hand.
     
    Telling this guy how you feel probably won’t work for him.  Being fun and carefree and taking away ALL pressure possibly will… but that’s you compromising what YOU want.
     
    I’d say, if you want to give it a shot, do NOTHING sexually.  Lay beside him and do absolutely nothing but look hot.  If he eventually initiates something, tease and tease and don’t give him access to anything for as long as you can handle, and you just lay there and enjoy it.  But if he just lays there for more than a couple weeks like he is your buddy, I think it’s time to move along because you can’t change him.

  6. 6
    starthrower68

    He could have intimacy issues but it sounds more like a character issues. He probably can’t become aroused with one woman because he changes partners like he changes socks.  I would have called the whole thing off after finding out from the friend he looses his sex drive after 4 months.  This dude doesn’t sound like a good bet for the future.

  7. 7
    Brenda

    So agree with the posters above! Very poor bet for the future!  I had the same situation with a man who has never married – we dated for 9 months and he broke up with me 2 1/2 yrs ago, saying I didn’t sexually excite him any longer (he expecting me to initiate, he having great problems sexually because he is a former addict, sober several years but never worked on his sexual dysfunction issues) – he has moved on to several different women, same problems after 2-3 months and on to the next………he met me for lunch the other day to see if we could “reconnect” – and he shared the same issues, again never sought help for this even though he told me he would when he broke up with me………..some things never change and of course, my answer was  a resounding “no”

    Don’t waste any more time with this man!  There are MUCH better men out there.

  8. 8
    Detha

    When a man looses his sex drive this early into a relationship the future prospects for this realtionship isn’t good.

  9. 9
    Diana

    His “wanting” to work on the situation is completely valueless. It’s not his words that count. It’s his actions. If he’s not even willing to talk about it, there’s little hope for improvement. This isn’t a sexual problem. It’s a psychological one. My guess is that he could have an unrealistic expectation, meaning that once the initial intensity wears off (though four months is very early), he isn’t turned on anymore. Or it could be intimacy issues, or even just plain laziness, i.e. there are some people who have immature ideas about long-term sex. If they have to “work” at it by trying to be creative, imaginative, searching deeper for lasting fulfillment, they’re not interested. Only the exciting, quick fix will do. And all of this doesn’t matter really. If he has a habit of no sex drive after a mere four months with women he presumably found attractive, sexy and thus, highly desirable, something is wrong and he’s not a keeper. Imagine if you married, had two children together, a house, bills, overworked, long days, etc. How’s the sex going to be then with a partner such as this?

  10. 10
    Margo

    I’ve never had this problem with a man, and I hope never to have it.

  11. 11
    Born Again Virgin

    From my first-hand experience, there could be a possibility that the man is a closeted gay.  I was married to one (just divorcing), and what is being described is a common trait among closeted men and women.  It gets darn-near impossible for a gay male to pretend sexual attraction to ANY woman when he’s fighting with urges inside.

    In my humble opinion, she should take this as a huge warning sign.  If it’s bad now, it has no where to go but down.  Taking the pressure of him will just let him believe you are okay in not having sex.  Trust me.  Did that the last 10 years.  If you don’t believe my say-so, then you can ask any of the men/women in my support group who have experienced this.  Look at the possibility the man is gay.

  12. 12
    Flower White

    I have to say it because I live in a city with a large homosexual population: is he bisexual and just tired of you?

    Otherwise he’s not into you. imho

  13. 13
    helene

    I have been in a situation like this and through bitter experience I can say that the worst thing you can do is listen to people who try to be heplful by suggesting you do this, that or the other. “Spice things up” “play it cool” “talk to him” “go to therapy” “get new lingerie”…. it is all utterly pointless. I participated in an online forum for people with “mismatched libidos” for a couple of years, and you know what? In the whole time I was on that forum, there were NO men who were the low libido partner in the relationship who joined the forum seeking help support or insight. There were women who wanted more sex than their men, tearing their hair out. There were men wanting more sex than their women, also tearing their hair out. There were also a lot of WOMEN who wanted less sex than their men, but who realised this was causing problems and threatening their relationship and who wanted to find a way to move forward, somehow or other. But like I say, there were NO men like your partner seeking a way forward. All that happens when you try to “solve” a situation like this is that you end up dancing round a maypole, while your partner stands still in the middle doing nothing. Any plan to solve any sort of relationship problem should involve BOTH partners actively committing to what HE is actually going to do, and what is it that YOU should do, in his opinion. Unless HE comes up with such a plan, and the input he suggests is equal on both sides in your view. then don’t waste time here, because that is all that you will do. Sorry to be so negative, but you cannot solve this on your own – nor should you even try. Good luck to you…

  14. 14
    Michael

    Stop looking for reasons or believe everything you’ve heard. He saying, “…it happens to him in every relationship, that the sex starts out great, but he loses his drive if he is with a woman longer than 4 months,” is an answer he came up with because you keep asking him. He is telling you he has lost interest in you. It could have absolutely nothing to do with sex. Men are not machines, and if something about a partner isn’t working for them, they can turn off sexually. In all honesty, do nothing other than move on and accept it.

  15. 15
    Gem

    He sounds like he has some real deep-seated sexual issues, maybe intimacy issues as well.

    Even if (and I don’t think this is the case at all) he has gotten bored with the same ol’, he would warm up once things got going. But if he lays there and doesn’t kiss you or explore you there is something seriously wrong. He admits this always happens to him so clearly it’s not you, and no amount of lingerie, and games, imo, are going to change things.

    I’d get out. But if you love this guy and think he’s the one, the only way I’d stay is if he agreed to couseling, and I’d be watching closely to see if he shows genuine action in finding a solution.

  16. 16
    Flower White

    He’s not into her!

  17. 17
    Margo

    IMO, if a man can’t get it up because he needs a new relationship every 4 months, then he is a loser. Don’t waste your time on him. To the OP, why would you want to stay knowing how he is??

  18. 18
    Laura

    It’s a heartbreak now, but better now after <year than after a decade of marriage and two kids. Then you've got the challenge of deciding which is the lesser heartbreak – coping with a sexless marriage or breaking up your children's home.

  19. 19
    Ames

    Is he very young? He sounds very selfish and lazy. Perhaps he doesn’t have a real idea of how sex in a long term relationship is. It’s less exciting, but more comfortable and fine tuned.

    I must admit the possibility of him being gay/or bisexual popped into my head right away. He may really be gay but the excitment of a new woman can help stimulate his mind to the point he can sleep with her. A better question is “Was he ever REALLY into sex in the beginning?” and also how much effort did he put in initially v. now?

    Best of luck to you. I’m not sure if I agree that men aren’t naturally monogamous but I’m certain you can find plenty who will be regardless. Don’t let it get you down.

  20. 20
    Margo

    I agree with Michael #14. Yeah, it does sound like he doesn’t want you anymore. Good for you because you can certainly do better.

  21. 21
    Annie

    Interesting. I’ve been reading a lot about this lately for a couple of reasons.

    1. I am sick and tired of men blaming their lack of desire on their need for variety.
    2. I am sick of men blaming their need to cheat on their partners, because their partner has a sexual preference that does not include porn induced lust.
    3. I am sick of women writing in like this woman, believing in her heart, she must be either doing something wrong, or that she can fix him.
    4. I am sick of men saying that women need to spice things up or else he will get bored.

    The issue here, is with men. And they need to begin to own their problem in this area, instead of blaming women.

    It is complete BS.

    There are men out there, that connect sex with emotions. But what that REALLY means, is they connect sex…with a female that they care about. The deeper the bond these types of men have with a woman, the more they will want to feel close to her through sex.

    So many men, in this porn induced culture had their first sexual experience in a lust based environment. Therefore, they try and re-create the lust environment to get their sexual needs fullfilled. Hence, it is the womans fault for not creating this “lust” environment to “fullfill” a man’s sexual needs.

    BS..he’s done this to himself.

    I realize now that men who cannot attatch their emotions to sex, are simply not worth your time. I know how to pick them…bully for me.

    It sounds like the OP’s BF has attatched sexual desire to lust based situations only, which for him was probably variety. Not every man is like this.  Let him go, move on.  He will never connect with you.

    And more men need to wake up, instead of blaming women for what they are doing to themselves.

  22. 22
    LK

    I don’t want to be another negative voice here, but I have to agree with the other posters that something is wrong with this guy. I think that sometimes women jump on the low sex drive issue too quickly – not realizing that a guy might be stressed and just needs some time or might have a lower libido than his partner (something that’s hard for me to accept since I always think of guys as being sex crazy all the time!). However, four months is the “just finished dating and starting a relationship” phase, it’s in no way enough time to get old and tired of being with one partner. And especially if this happens to him in every relationship, there is something really really wrong here.

  23. 23
    ckay

    That was a pretty insightful comment, Annie. The idea of sexual desires only being present in lust based environs is a real thing for some folks [not just men], and I believe at the foundation of that is sometimes a fear of intimacy and transparency…not all the times, but def sometimes. 

    And, I also do not agree that most men are not wired for monogamy. I believe they are told that their sex drives are untameable therefore unblameable and this is a narrative that is also shoved down women’s throats since we were girls. And with the ‘studies’ to back and ‘prove’ it, we women usually silently accept that most of our men will ‘struggle into monogamy.’  So, we grow up believing this is the reality, because men tell us it has to be our reality.
     

  24. 24
    SS

    I had to think about this one for a while, but the more I thought about it, the more I agree with Starthrower, Ruby and especially Annie @21.
     
    Something not too far off from this happened to me a few years ago, when a partner of six months started to say that he didn’t feel “connected” to me sexually anymore and then found a way to imply that it was something that I was not doing… although when I confronted him about the fact that he was still initiating sex on a regular basis, it couldn’t be that bad, now could it?
     
    His exact quote was, “I can’t answer that.”
     
    The problem was, he wanted to keep upping the ante… lingerie wasn’t enough, different positions weren’t enough, different places weren’t enough, etc., etc… and it was just SIX months!
     
    I really became bothered by this sense of entitlement he seemed to have that because he was no longer “pleased” (so he said) that I needed to keep doing more to keep him interested. He was 40 and had never been married… yet claimed that he wanted to be. I told him when we began dating that I was interested in a long-term commitment… and he agreed that he was as well.
     
    But I realized that one thing I was not going to do was jump through hoops sexually to “prove” that he should want to stay with me. And perhaps it wasn’t me or any past women that were the problem — maybe the “I’m not that interested in sex with you the way you’re doing it” issue was the excuse he used to get out of a relationship that appeared to be getting more serious because he was certainly fine with it 3-4 months earlier.
     
    Like Annie said, I am very bothered with the men who have taken too many cues from porn culture (whether they watch regularly or not) and expect that they should be in a lust-filled sexual situation at all times… and if a girlfriend of 6-7 months is not continually “performing,” then he’s no longer interested and will move on because he’s bored. What a ridiculous sense of entitlement these types of men have… and way to give their partners an unnecessary complex! I tell ya, even though I had a pretty healthy sense of my own sexuality, dealing with a damaged man like that caused me to have doubts when I entered into the next relationship, and I had absolutely no reason to feel that way about myself!
     
    I didn’t address the gay/bisexual issue because that’s out of my realm. But this whole culture of “getting bored” sexually with a woman after a few months and looking for the next best thing is quite sad… I’m not surprised that these guys don’t have lengthy relationships or end up messing up the good ones they have, because their priorities and mentality are totally OFF.

  25. 25
    JerseyGirl

    “He says it happens to him in every relationship, that the sex starts out great, but he loses his drive if he is with a woman longer than 4 months.”


    RED FLAG. He is telling you out right that he can’t really commit to a woman longer then 4 months. I went out with a guy on the first date told me that his relationships never lasted longer then 3 months. When I asked him why; he kind of just shrugged and said that he got restless. As far as I was concerned, the date was over right there. He was telling me outright, whether he realized it or not, that he doesn’t take women very seriously.
    And I 100% agree with ckay’s comments about not agreeing that men are not wired for monogamy and therefore how “untamable” and “unblameable” men are for these actions. The truth is that both and women are *wired* for both. It’s about what *you* as a person choose. Because monogamy and having many partners supports two different drives in both men AND women. Women have these drives just as much as men do. New partners aren’t *just* exciting to men. However our culture seems to excuse men more for it. And we live in a mentality where women should be *thankful* that a man barely commits to us through his divided attention between us and porn and other socially accepted outlets men use to deviate from their partners for short periods of time.
    I would be curious what this guy’s porn habits are too. While it’s all new-age to say how great porn is and how healthy it is, look at our culture. Porn is neither great or healthy and it’s affected the way many men view sex. It’s not a mater of men being “programmed for variety”. I like variety myself but I don’t spend hours looking at porn making a self fulfilling prophecy. I wonder what this guys porn habits are.

  26. 26
    starthrower68

    You should believe any man that tells you he’s not wired for monogamy and drop him like a hot potato.  You’re getting a glimpse of his character – or lack thereof – right then and there.  I’m obviously not saying that all men are like this because they are not.  I am, however, constantly amazed at people who don’t behave in accordance with their stated desires.  And to follow up with what Annie said, I like sex as much as anyone but porn has certainly set us up for ideal standards that are usually unobtainable.  It really does nothing to uplift one’s soul and has nothing to do with love.

  27. 27
    LK

    I really like the comments made about sexual entitlement and this is something that I have not thought about. The letter writer should know that there are normal guys out there that understand what is reasonable and not.
    After reading this, I’m so glad that I found my current boyfriend, who is very reasonable. He’s not particularly big on foreplay (it doesn’t really bother me), and since he doesn’t do it, neither do I. And it’s fine with him – it’s not fair for me to ask me to do something he’s not willing to do himself. When I finally made a comment about it, he’s been trying harder. I can still see that it’s not really his thing, but at least he’s trying to make me happy. That’s how a guy should be acting!

  28. 28
    Terri

    When a man tells you upfront that he is a certain way, i.e. loses interest in sex with a woman after 4 months, believe it.  This is a warning, a red flag.  If a man says he is “no good, will break your heart” as some have been prone to tell women, again – believe it.
     
    So many women feel that they will change the way he is, they enjoy the challenge, that he may have been that way with “them” but I am different.  It will be better for him with me!  I CAN CHANGE HIM!!!
     
    If he has bad habits and tells you about them, he knows himself best.  You will not change him!

  29. 29
    kenley

    Terri@28,

    I completely agree with you about listening to and believing what a man tells you.  As you say so many women think they can change the man.  In addition, some women just ignore him or pretend that he really didn’t mean what he said.    And, then they are shocked and angered when he behaves the way he said he would.

    In the instance of the OP, however, it’s not clear to me if the guy told her that he always loses interest after four months before they started having problems or after. Either way, I agree that what she needs to do is leave.

  30. 30
    nathan

    I don’t know what exactly this guy’s issue is, but as long as he’s not willing to talk about it, and try and figure something out, the relationship is at a dead end.
    I wish the letter writer luck in either having a shift in dialogue, or in moving on.

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