Does My Low Sex Drive Mean He is the Wrong Guy?

Does My Low Sex Drive Mean He is the Wrong Guy?

Hi Evan,

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.

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  1. 31

    Honestly, if I were Anne’s boyfriend, I’d have ended the relationship by now.  I’m not sure why he hasn’t.  If a partner only wanted sex once a month and the rejection rate was about 90%, there’s no way I could justify staying.

    1. 31.1

      Sometimes people stay with someone because they are in love with them, not because they need someone to satisfy their sexual needs.

  2. 32
    Anne OP

    Henriette, please read my above response as it appears you haven’t.  I didn’t exactly HAVE a chance to do any rejecting…because he assumed early on that he didn’t feel the need to do any initiating because he decided I was the dominant one. We women want to feel desired and be swept up too, as I’m sure you would agree.

  3. 33

    @ Anne OP # 28
    That is a completely different picture than the original post.  I am with Sparkling Emerald  # 30.  If a guy won’t initiate sex he would definitely lose his appeal.  If you had made that clear I think you would have gotten a much different response… at least from me.

  4. 34

    Anne OP
    Is it possible that you were attracted to this guy , at least initially, because he did not initiate? If you’ve had a problem in the past with maintaining a level of attraction to your partner, perhaps this guy seemed safer, at first, because you could control the sex. You wouldn’t feel pressure to have sex unless you wanted to. I’m not saying you did this consciously, but sometimes we are not always aware of what motivates us. I’m glad that you “agree that there is likely a psychological and/or hormonal component here”, and I hope you’re able to get to the root cause.

  5. 35
    Karla (NineGPS)

    In all honest I’m curious if you have ever had a toy (dildo). If you have never been super aroused I suspect you are not totally in touch with you inner sex goddess. Sex is a hug deal breaker for many people. Quite frankly I understand it and can appreciate it. Let us not forget we are mammals. 

  6. 36

    Thanks, @Anne29.  You’re right; I hadn’t read this post of yours and that presents a very different picture.  I was with a guy for a year – a really lovely, smart, funny guy – for almost a year and he never ONCE initiated.  I explained on multiple occasions that I wanted him to initiate at least sometimes but he never did.  I ended the relationship.  That wasn’t the only issue but it was a big one and I knew I could not be happy with such sexual incompatibility.

  7. 37
    Anne OP

    Angie, don’t assume I worded things with my boyfriend the same way I worded my email (which I tried to keep somewhat succinct) to Evan.  I didn’t speak in definites, and you telling me “You are wrong on your part” is an unnecessary definite in this case as well.  You do bring up some good points, though. 
    Im aware that a therapist could/should be consulted for this. I reached out to Evan because I am not necessarily looking for a diagnosis from him; rather, I’m interested here in the whole chemistry/compatibility aspect.  Thanks for responding to my question here.

  8. 38

    I believe that some people are actually asexual (even before menopause for women), or have really low sex drives.  I have heard this is only 1% of the population, but I believe it is far higher.  Most people are too embarrassed to admit it.  The Sexual Revolution made these people feel even more embarrassed.

  9. 39

    Intimacy is an important form of communication and if your guy feels that it is off limits then he will shut down in other areas.

  10. 40

    I am a husband who is in a situation where my wife has told me she has no libido. Im to the point where I dont know what to do besides leave. Im happy with once or twice a week shes happy with once a month or not at all. I used to initate all the time and got shot down 90% of the time. Shes a control freak and everything is on her terms. She also tells me that I need to get her in the mood, she needs more foreplay like kissing and touching. When I want to be intimate I will try to start kissing her and she really doesnt respond. She doesnt make out with me like she did in the beginning so its kind of hard to get her in the mood. She wont have sex with me but tells me how she hopes her ex is happy. um you need to worry about your husband, Ive been married to her for five years and have no clue what turns her on. In my experience either shes interested or shes not and mostly not. Im not saying sex is a duty but if you have someone like me that worships the ground you walk on and does everything you want wouldnt that make you want to give me a good bj every once in a while? I dont get it.

    Im in a situation where my wife is always at worj and when she is homes shes alwasy in a bad mood and too tired to be bothered. I do 80% of the work around the house and I never complain. I try to make her life as easy as possible and it does me no good. We have a massage table that I used to setup and give her a massage but its hard to get her to even want to do that and when she does i shouldnt expect anything more than to rub her back. God forbid I start rubbing her butt or get too close to her privates. LAst night I rubbed her shoulders and she didnt even ask it was rub my shoulders please. She gets what she wants from me but I shouldnt expect anything in return. I buy her jewelry send her flowers tell her i love her giver her massages and all i do is listen to her complain.

    I would hate to leave her because I am unhappy with my sex life but I feel like if shes not willing to fulfill my needs then there seems little reason to stay.

    1. 40.1
      peter 51

      It gets worse over the decades. At least you’re sleeping in the same bed.

  11. 41

    [email protected],

    You might want to read a book titled “Too Good to Leave to Bad to Stay” by Mira Kirshenbaum. I found it extremely helpful when I was living with my boyfriend and was very unhappy…even though he is a good person. FYI, I ended up leaving him, but we are very good friends. And, we are much better being friends than lovers. And, I am soooooo much happier. Leaving may not be the answer for you, but this book may help you sort it out. G

  12. 42

    Hi Anne! I’ve been having a similar problem with my soon-to-be husband, except we’ve been together for 3 years. During the first two years, we lived separately and had sex regularly every weekend. This past year though, we got engaged and moved in together. My sex drive plummeted. I know now that it was initially due to stress from the move and wedding planning. However, 8 months later I still can’t get in the mood. Only now I feel the reason is because my fiance initiates too much without giving me the chance to.  And having sex when you are not in the  mood (I don’t care how much lube you  use) it’s not enjoyable and can even be downright painful! My fiance can also be a pest because he wants to skip foreplay (which is the only way I can get pleasure enough to go through with intercourse) and he gets very aggressive (not in a bad way but in a “let’s skip straight to intercourse” way). We’ve discussed the importance of foreplay for me and how it’s necessary to get me in the mood and onto the good parts for him and this process can’t be rushed over. However, it seems like he forgets this conversation Everytime his member gets hard. So I reject him and he feels hurt. I’ve developed a sexual aversion to his advances and a growing performance anxiety from guilt when I can’t give him what he wants. So he gets rejected a lot. It’s like if he would just calm down and stop coming at me so desperately for sex, I would be able to get my sex drive back. Do you understand what I’m saying? So since he won’t stop by means of communication, I’m trying an experiment. Maybe you could try it too. I’m going to try stopping his pesky tendencies by distracting him with blowjobs. This way he gets some sex while my lady bits get a break from all the overly aggressive attention (I’m physically sore from the groping)! Win win? I’m hoping so! I’m hoping to keep this distraction going long enough until my natural sex drive returns. I’ll repost with my findings. Another poster mentioned that men assume we women stay as turned on later as we were in the beginning of the relationship. Yeah we don’t. As the relationship evolves, so do our sexual needs! And they can change completely and THAT IS OK! What turned you on before  may not now AND THAT IS OK! You need to figure out what  you need and how to ask for it better. Men aren’t the best at correctly interpreting what women say so you have to be literal and visual when talking to them (sorry guys but it’s true!) Also someone posted that men can get lazy later in the relationship. Again so true! Once that honeymoon phase of dating passes, men forget they still need to make an effort to woo the woman and pursue her still…even after we’ve started washing their socks for them and watched them pick their nose while watching TV! Guys you really do need to make an extra effort to erase those visions from our memory if you want to get us back in the sack! Also, Anne, have you tried wearing sexy lingerie, masturbating, or setting up a bubble bath prior to you seeing your boyfriend?  Sometimes I find that preparing myself in advance helps me get my mind on sex before my fiance even gets home so I’m ready to go right away. (Shower heads are awesome!) I make my own foreplay so to speak since he won’t. Oh also, if you masturbate regularly despite you two not having sex, then your sex drive is fine and it’s him not you. Don’t let his ego fool you into blaming only yourself in that case. I wish you the best of luck!

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