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

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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. 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.

    1. 21.1
      Trilby

      Wow… I’m kind of shook up by your analysis which I think is dead-on. I’m afraid you have described my soon-to-be-ex bf to a T. He once told me he never watches porn. I don’t believe it for a minute. I stalk him on Twitter and his main contacts there are a cesspool of women who attract attention by trying to out-slut each other. I’m not thinking too clearly, sorry.

      This bf has recently been very uncommunicative and non-sexual with me and told that (bingo!) he has a problem with long=term relationships– defined as anything lasting over FOUR MONTHS! He said he is working on this, and sadly I know HOW  he is working on it– by sitting downstairs (we live in the same building) drinking too much, sleeping too much, watching football, and ignoring me.

      I am really at the end of this thing now and sad about it because when it was fun, it was SO MUCH fun. Now I guess it’s over….

      1. 21.1.1
        Karmic Equation

        Once a guy changes from who he was when he was courting you to who he is when he is in a relationship with you, you need to forget the guy he was when he was courting you. You need to evaluate your happiness and relationship based on who he is now and how you feel now.

        If you don’t like who he is, how he’s behaving, or how he’s treating you, you should break up with him.

        Who he was when he was courting you wasn’t the “normal” him. And you probably weren’t the “normal” you either during that time 🙂

        If you’re only 4 months in and he’s already saying he has a problem with LTRs, he’s not that into you anymore.

        Cut him loose and find a man who can better meet your needs.

        1. Trilby

          I’m afraid you’re right. Very accurate assessment. It’s sad tho’ and makes me not want to be in any relationships ever again, which I can do because I’m fairly old now. I was happy being single after a bad marriage and that lasted 5 years. Then I started this thing with the much younger guy downstairs. But you’re right, the fun isn’t coming back and I’m not sure I’d be happy to just be his supplier of cigarettes and vodka. Yeah. I’m out. Thanks for the reply. You are right on target!

        2. Christine

          Thanks for the words of wisdom–I’m seven months in my relationship and I’m sure that slowly but surely, our “real” selves will come out more (the sometimes cranky sides, etc.).   It’s like the Chris Rock joke that on a first date, you aren’t meeting the real them, but their “representative”!   I think we’re both slowly starting to see each other during our “worst” behavior, not just our “best” (so far no major dealbreakers but it still pays to be observant)

    2. 21.2
      julie

      I have the same problem. My man was the same from very very early on.   No touching etc. Now he can’t even kiss me other than a few pecks, no sex nothing.   I can from the way he behaves with everyone that he has intimacy problems, he can’t even cuddle my grandchildren. Has no idea on a lot of things. Basically I decided to stay for nearly 16 years in a relationship such as this. It never gets any better.   My advise if you want a loveless relationship and someone who never wants to spend any time with you and always sleeping then by all means stay. Otherwise find someone who actually WANTS to spend time and wants to be intimate and connect with you. Don’t stick with a selfish Self centred individual.   Think think and look beyond those rose coloured glasses

      1. 21.2.1
        Susie

        In regard to the above post….Is it possible that your man was sexually assaulted at any time in his life ?   Men don’t want to talk about this subject and many men will never tell their partners ( or anyone ).    It’s a COMPLICATED set of emotions they are trying to deal with ALL ON THEIR OWN.   I don’t know if this is applicable to the original post,   but something to consider before resorting to name calling and insults.

        If your man (or woman) has serious intimacy issues and you want to help them……Do some serious research and approach without judgement.   There is alot of information on line now about the many consequences of experiencing a serious trama.   Abuse happens in many different ways…..and people are generally not “assholes” or “losers” for no reason.

         

    3. 21.3
      JJ

      As a guy, I agree.

       

  2. 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.

    1. 22.1
      cj m

      I got somewhat turned off to sex very early in my current relationship and I’m now so active that my girlfriend needs time to recover pretty often.

      If this happens in every relationship, it’s not a good sign but I’d not give up on it so soon. It’s not so simple to pinpoint the reason for this.

      He might get over it, he might not. He says he wants to want sex but is unable to get the drive… that’s concerning to me because I’ve seen this happen before and it’s often a very genuinely terrifying prospect for a man. He might not even have the slightest clue why.  

      1. 22.1.1
        JER

        Hey cj m, I have noticed that despite one poster saying “men never post for help” you do seem to have experience. Would you mind sharing that experience?   You said you were “turned off to sex”, what had turned you off?

    2. 22.2
      Raf

      He needs to travel the world raise money while he is travelling go to many parties and just enjoy life. Some men need that change it makes them feel alive. Everyone is different we are not animals and some of us are odd but that is fine.

  3. 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.
      

    1. 23.1
      Joek

      Most men have some kind of “struggle” with monogamy…it is what it is. Sorry you can’t empathize.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    1. 25.1
      cj m

      I read your comment and felt like my brain was just dying… Wow! I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite so ignorant and then I got to the…

      “Porn is neither great or healthy”

      Well… It’s not NOT-great and not UNhealthy. You aren’t compatible with some guys! Well done! It’s almost like that’s what dating is for!  

      “I don’t spend hours looking at porn making a self fulfilling prophecy.”

      You don’t sound like you have to. It all seems to be in your head, unravelling and rearing its ugly head in your comments.  

  6. 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.

    1. 26.1
      cj m

      “You should believe any man that tells you he’s not wired for monogamy”

      Why?

      “And drop him”

      Why?

      “You’re getting a glimpse of his character”

      Or you’re not.

      “Or lack thereof”

      Wow.

      “I’m not saying all men are like this”

      Doesn’t matter.

      “I like sex as much as anyone”

      And less than others, I am sure.

      “porn has set up for ideal standards that are usually unobtainable”

      If you are fat, ugly, prudish, closed-minded, incapable of fantasizing, self-concious, incapable of understanding the difference between reality and fiction, unable to see yourself as being different from an actor etc.

      “It does nothing to uplift one’s soul”  

      And…. Yeah! That’s not the goal of porn. Porn is meant to satisfy a desire. People like to watch others have sex. Some people live their fantasies in their relationship. My girlfriend and I have no stigma with porn and have had sex while watching it, found inspiration from it and met new people through it. It almost sounds like you’re that person with a drinking problem who has a problem with Bars.

      “has nothing to do with love”

      Well done! You deserve a cookie! It’s almost like your brain turned on just as you finished typing this drivel.

      I am also not really a monogamous type. I could live in a monogamous relationship but luckily for me, my fiancé is rather alike me in that regard. She used to be rather monogamous until she decided that she wanted to be more adventurous and share both romance and fantasy with me. So in that sense, the porn had some part in the love.

      I’m concerned about the mental well-being of the man in question. You’re just concerned with his porn collection. Seriously, the man you describe would have just left her ass a while ago and found a new semen deposit box.

      You only come across as being ignorant and inexperienced. Come back in 5-10 years. Open your mind too.  

      1. 26.1.1
        Buck25

        Well stated and right on the money. Obviously some women here think every man is supposed to be emotionally wired just like them, and when we aren’t and openly say we aren’t they label us as “bad” “of poor character” etc. etc. They think they’re supposed to be handed commitment whenever they want it, on their terms; whether they actually do anything to make us want to commit to them …well, that’s not in their game plan. “Get what I want, give as little as I can get by with” is the motto of the type. My advice? Run for the hills at the first inkling of that attitude you encounter, no matter what she looks like; she doesn’t want you any more than that, you don’t want her.

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 31
    Christie Hartman

    It looks like this guy’s dopamine high wore off. For him, it doesn’t just mean things settling down like it does for the average person. I feel bad for the OP, but worse for the boyfriend – the OP can find a new man, but the boyfriend is stuck with a serious problem that isn’t going to go away on its own.
      
    I’m pretty impressed with the answers to this post. As a side note, I was recently involved in a Facebook debate, where it devolved into the usual Mars vs. Venus crap. A couple of men claimed that men are such simple creatures and merely need some sex and beer to keep them happy. Every responder on here can attest to the fact that this is a bunch of crap.
      
    And Evan, I disagree with your statement that men are not naturally monogamous, for many reasons. But that’s for another time.

  12. 32
    Annie

    @23

    I agree it can be a fear of intimacy. Men can connect to females, emotionally through sex.  But lately, sex to some is all about gaining sexual excitment to greater and greater degrees, without any capacity for intimacy or any recognition that sex is an intimate act in the first place.

    I even read of one guy, who quite unashamedly admited that men have to lie to women to get sex, because women should offer it up more. He  said it’s a woman’s fault he lies to her, because  women should make sex more available to  men and not “play games”.  

    So now, a woman choosing carefully who she will be intimate with, is a woman playing games.

    Unbelievable.

    @24

    It IS an entitlement problem I agree.

    How many times have you heard men say they prefer porn, prostitutes and one-night stands because they don’t have to deal with all that female emotional stuff. They want their emotions(and Ego) to be fed, but have no interest in the needs of the female.

    If they are bored, she needs to “spice it up”.

    @25

    Exactly. It is a self-fullfilling prophecy.

    Neither males or females are monogamous. But there are things you can do in the right way, to give you the best possible chance at monogamy.

    1…stop thinking you are entitled to continual sexual excitment just because you want it and blame the female for not inciting that lust in you.

    2. Stop giving yourself that continual sexual excitment via porn, prostitution and 1-night stands and blaming a woman for your sexual-ADD.

    3. Accept the problem may be you, your entitlement issues and your inability to show gratitude to a woman, who has chosen to be intimate with you and taken a big physical and emotional risk on you. She has given you her trust.

    If you look up Mark Gungor on youtube, he has a marriage seminar with segments posted. Look at his segment on “sex before marriage”. I’m not religious, but I think he has got this issue spot on. I’d be interested to know what some of you think about what he has to say.

    You can really tell the difference between men whose early sexual experiences were not based on love.

    OP needs to get rid of this guy, he has to sort this out, on his own.

  13. 33
    Annie

    Also an addon to that last comment, it isn’t just men doing this, women are as well in their own way. Sorry if that sounded one-sided, that is simply my experience, but I think it works both ways.

  14. 34
    Sarahrahrah!

    A sudden drop in sex drive can be a sign of cheating.   You may never discover if this is happening or not, but I encourage you to protect yourself until you make a decision.

  15. 35
    hunter

    She needs another man for sex, there is nothing wrong with seeing two men, just so every one knows about it.  

  16. 36
    Tia

    only 7 months into it and the sex drive is already gone. I think women give up way too much too fast these days. my god where is the intrigue. so does she move on and 2 months into another relationship start this all over again?

    it could all end tomorrow. or it could go on forever, in which case im doomed
    – The Smiths

  17. 37
    Mike

    Look guys want a freak in the bedroom a girl friend who stands a chance in a relationship is going to help him explore his fantasies and many woman are uncompromising in helping him achieve this so he moves on to the next searching to find that one special girl that will curl his toes.

  18. 38
    Venus

    @Mike
    Women also want a freak in the bedroom.   Best way to get her to expose her wild side!   Most guys just don’t know how to get her there.   Freaks arn’t born, they are made!  

  19. 39
    SS

    LOL at Mike @37…
      
    Guess this guy hasn’t found that one special girl yet… but if he was my boyfriend, I would gladly let him go so he can continue on his eternal quest to find the woman who won’t bore him after four months!

  20. 40
    NonExist

    Maybe they could also go to sexual couples counseling.
    If Lana wants to try further things to stay together.
    I think for him it might be related to emotional intmacy because of it dying after 7 months with anyone.
    And for the long term, working together on an issue is paramount.

    Have had that experience myself. And I think it was a combination of living together and the person I was with. Mainly the person I was with because I only lived with one person.

    Not saying it was any of the women, but for some I felt sexual and nonsexual ardor that burned like a supernova, and others I enjoyed mostly nonsexual affection and not much sexual fire.

    And all of them were mentally and physically attractive in my eyes.
    So sometimes it is just one of those situations where the puzzle pieces do not fit together.

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