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

a woman thinking if her low sex drive is because she is with 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. 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

  2. 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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