Love your blog! It seems that, after searching through your archives, many women have asked about what to do when their boyfriend has low-to-no sex drive, but what about if the tables were turned? I’m in my early thirties, and have had many long-term relationships–some great, some horrible, some somewhere in between. No matter the circumstances, I have always lost interest in sex a few months into the relationship.
I warned my current boyfriend of this very early on. He is a wonderful guy. He makes me feel safe, confident, and loved. There are no games and there is no low-level anxiety and insecurity lurking here. I’ve explained to him that I sometimes need help to “get in the mood” by him initiating sex. He has said that he feels it’s useless to do this as there’s a 90% chance I’ll turn him down. I feel horrible about this and sometimes feel it is my “duty” to have sex. At the same time, he is resistant to giving me what I’ve clearly asked for multiple times. We have been together for a year and three months at this point, and we seem to be lacking some communication here, as well as intimacy. Does this mean the chemistry is gone? Is this potentially the “wrong” relationship? —Anne
You meet a man.
For the first few months, he’s the most charming man in the entire universe. He texts during the day, he calls you at night, he makes plans in advance. Dates last for full weekends. In your experience, this guy is the best communicator you’ve ever seen. You two can work everything out and you always know where you stand with him.
Eventually, he changes.
He doesn’t text regularly. He doesn’t want to talk on the phone. He sees you as much, but doesn’t linger as long. You get the sense that he’s pulling away, but he swears he’s not. The more you push him to explain why he’s cooling off, the more he shuts down.
One of the best parts of healthy relationships is that you don’t get rejected by your partner.
This is who he is, he says. There’s nothing to talk about, he says.
How do you feel about the prospects for this relationship?
I mean, he’s a good guy, but he’s not the same guy you dated at the beginning. And while you don’t expect the fireworks to continue, at the very least, you expect him to care about your needs and make you feel safe, heard, and understood. His failure to do so casts a large shadow over your relationship and puts your future in doubt.
You’re well within your rights to want more from your boyfriend.
And your real-life boyfriend is well within his rights to want more sex from his girlfriend.
Both communication and sex are cornerstones of romantic partnerships and, if either of them is neglected, it can cause a major rift. Hey, if two people want to have sex once a year and they’re both cool with it, fine, but, in general, couples have to attempt to meet each others’ needs. You’re not meeting his right now.
I’m not “blaming” you. What you’re feeling is natural — to you.
“No matter the circumstances, I have always lost interest in sex a few months into the relationship.”
There are many reasons for this. Some people have low sex drives. Other couples become so familiar, so it’s hard to get as excited on a regular basis. My sex life admittedly dropped after my wife moved in. But, even so, neither of us ever claimed to have “lost interest in sex”. Not entirely. Not the way you claim.
So, to answer your question, is this the “wrong” relationship?
At the end of the day, a man needs a woman who makes him feel sexy and attractive.
It may be, but not because of your lack of chemistry. It’s the lack of communication and creativity that is killing you.
Let’s face some facts here:
1) You have an unusually low sex drive — with everybody. Your boyfriend shouldn’t take this personally. But that doesn’t mean that he has to accept the status quo. If I were you, I’d be talking to a sex therapist or getting my hormones measured. Because even if you’re content with your lack of sex, few men will be.
2) You two haven’t figured out a healthy work-around for this problem. You’re not wrong that you need help getting into the mood. Many people do. But one of the best parts of healthy relationships is that you don’t get rejected by your partner. Of course, sometimes, one of you is too tired or in a bad mood. However, if he makes a move and 90% of the time, your answer is no, it makes perfect sense that he’s not inclined to do it more. He needs your help. He needs your signals.
And if you can’t give him signals, since you’re never “feeling” it, then maybe the simplest solution is to put sex on your calendar every Friday night. Busy married couples do this all the time. Scheduling sex means that you’ll anticipate sex all week. It means he knows he’s not going to get shot down when he makes a move. And who knows, maybe if the sex is good, it’ll mean that you even want to do it more.
This isn’t an ideal solution, but it may be a creative breakthrough for you. At the end of the day, a man needs a woman who makes him feel sexy and attractive. And if you simply can’t do that — not with him, not with anyone — I don’t think the solution is to keep shopping around for the mythical guy who makes you permanently horny; it’s to figure out why no man seems to be able to do the trick, and learn to find a compromise that works for both of you.
If that sounds impossible or unpleasant, you have one option left: find a man who is okay with sex once a month and doesn’t mind being consistently rejected by his wife.
You may discover that such a man is hard to find.