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

man sitting on the edge of the bed, woman looking at him

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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  1. 41

    I think (although I don’t see a date) this is a rather old post, but wanted to comment regardless. Sexual compatibility is, and will forever be, an ongoing problem.

    First  a couple responses to some general ideas tossed around…

    Men  are not automatically flawed, losers, gay,  a bad bet for the future, intimately challenged,  wrong in the head  etc. just because they have a low libido, or lose their libido  at some point in countless possible situations for countless possible reasons. Just because a man is not exactly what a woman thinks he should be does not make him a bad guy, or mean there is something wrong with him. Men are individuals, and that’s  OK.  That’s human nature.  If men were as shallow as women think they are they wouldn’t be half as shallow as a very large population of women. For a number of reasons…      

    Now, this girl…My advice to her is cut-and-run!  She hasn’t  known him that long, and  she’s been flat out told he  isn’t sexually attracted  to her. Perspective is key because who in their right  mind  commits to a relationship with a person who is not physically attracted to them? We’re not talking libido, or how many times they do it in a week. We’re talking straight up sexual attraction. And it’s not there for  him.   Regardless of circumstances it’s kind of  a necessity for any healthy romantic relationship.  Starting, or continuing. It’s just that simple! The  sadness will ease after a while if she ends it,  it  will turn to sorrow and eventually bitterness if she continues to long…

  2. 42

    @AMES #19 : You said “Is he very young?”
    What YOUNG man do you know who can’t get it up after 4 months? This guy is OLD-they both are! 40’s-50’s. You just want to try to blame it on young men when we all know OLDER men are the ones with these weird can’t-get-it-up-problems. Nice try, though. But we gotcha.

  3. 43
    Peter 61

    @Braveheart 42.   Speaking as a 61 year old, I can say that age does not automatically create problems.   It depends on the woman involved.   A sufficiently passive aggressive partner can probably kill sex drive in a 25 year old athlete.
    This relationship is not too bad.   A lot of women wait until they’ve reproduced before they deny sex to their husbands.   Sex is a mutual obligation in Christian marriage and I believe that lack of sex is grounds for a woman to request divorce in some Jewish traditions?

  4. 44

    Weirdly enough, me and my boyfriend have been together for 7 months and were having the same problem!
    although, when I try to talk to him about it he just says he doesn’t know why he doesn’t want sex! I get the whole ‘it’s not all about sex’ ‘we had sex a few days ago’… He admits that it’s strange that he doesn’t want sex much anymore… But he can’t give me and answer as to why.  
    But he doesn’t get that it’s not the frequency of it, it’s the fact that he never comes on to me and sometimes when we do have sex, I can clearly tell he can’t be bothered. We have had a few non sex related problems lately, so I’m just putting it down to that.
    but what I’m gonna do now is take sex off the table completely, just for a few weeks to see if that helps. I know that men like a chase so maybe if I don’t offer it to him, and pretend that I don’t want it… It may help! Maybe you should try it too! 🙂

  5. 45

    Braveheart 42 – it’s not because you’re older that the sex drive diminishes – it changes.   I agree with Peter on that.
    In the situation of the woman OP, I would be absolutely furious that he had confided in a friend about intimacy issues.
    There are men (one of my friends is a psy) who cannot maintain erections when they love someone, and there are those who cannot get excited once they’ve “had” the woman.
    I’d say move on.   Particularly as he speaks about your sex life with someone else.   This is no intimacy at all – for me, it’s a complete deal breaker if a man talks about the sex life he has (or does not have) with me, with another person, i.e. other than someone in the medical profession.   That sucks!

  6. 46
    Lady Z

    All I have to say is that the same goes for many women. As least myself. I could never imagine being with the same (penis) for the rest of my life. And I’m married. thank god my husband alllowed us to have an open marriage. Neither ex is naturally monagamous. I would say women even more than men.

  7. 47

    What it all boils down to is the sexually chemistry you two have. You can’t force chemistry or make it happen. It’s either there or it’s not. It’s inforunate that a relationship can be so fulfilling emotionally, mentally, spiritually – but come up short sexually. It happens everyday to people so dont feel bad. I have girlfriends who have boyfriends and they can’t keep their hands off each other. It happens organically . However- I know a lot of people where it’s the complete opposite. I would say try holding out. Don’t advance him sexually. Go to bed before him if you have too. And don’t grow resentful- which you more than likely will since you are not getting what U need sexually. something important to remember is if you want a future with this person, if he’s like this now- what’s going to happen if you guys get married and you’re together 15-20 years ? it’ll only get worse. i would consider moving on…  

  8. 48

    He may want to be the dominant one.  

  9. 49

    I’ve wasted too many years with a man who hates sex and any kind of intimacy.   He never had   a full time job, is on a ton of anti-depressants and I have to basically support him and pay his child support. I   believe he is more gay than bi, because when he is around a man (even a stranger) he is all “aglow” !   He sees a therapist an a shrink, but he expects me to support him.   He never desired sex and I had to do everything.   we have been married almost 8 years. I am sick and tired of begging for sex anymore.   I can no longer get excited about sex when your partner would rather take out the trash than have sex with his wife. once in a while i’ll get a quickie clinical type encounter with him , which does nothing for me.    I can’t afford a divorce because i am on disability and have to pay all the bills.

  10. 50
    mr. headless

    i am having a similar problem and i feel its a little weird.obviously not the ‘4 months thing’ because he is probably just trying to not make you feel like you are not the problem because it happens all the times.the reason why i lost interest in having sex with my girlfriend it simply because of her movements during intercourse,i couldnt take charge of the sex and quite a bit of her anoying habits in the relationship.the other thing is she wanted sex more than i,and i lost my natural desire of trying to change a female’s indecisive   minds.

  11. 51
    John Jensen

    The idea that ‘men’ are more likely to want more sexual partners than women do is absolute garbage. There are just under 2 billion married couples on this planet and based on all known research, about 1 billion of those folks are not living monogamously. Please get a grip on reality, which is that if half a billion men are having ‘extramarital sex’, then about the same amount of women are. Or are you suggesting that nearly all are having sex with one girl in the back of Billy’s Pool Hall? How extraordinarily stupid that concept is. The fact is that neither men or women are ‘wired’ for monogamy. If they were, they would mate for life as do many mammals on the planet. The fact is, we don’t mate for life, and neither are we actually monogamous. At least the facts on the ground says that is true. So lets quit bullshitting ourselves and every one else, blaming infidelity on the male gender. It is equally shared, so quit peddling a myth. We (humans) are NOT ‘wired’ biologically to be monogamous, and THAT is the why half of all marriages end up in Divorce Court, and half of the rest are sustained by multiple sex partners. The only folks that are not having extramarital sex, are those who don’t have ANY options. And the whole world is in denial of those facts, by clinging to the bullshit myth that ‘men’ are more likely to want different partners.

    1. 51.1

      @John: ‘the only folks that are not having extramarital sex, are those who don’t have ANY options.’ Not true; some of them have this thing called morals. Ppl like Evan. Or like my older brother, one of those staunch Christians who really practise what they preach. Just cos u can’t stand the thought of monogamy, u find some way to be dismissive of those who manage to not cheat on their spouses. But that’s wrong; it’s taking credit away from those who deserve it, and shirking ur own moral responsibilities. As long as u think this way, pls don’t get married.

      I have some agreement with u on your point that pple shouldn’t blame men for all the infidelity, women cheat lots too, maybe for different reasons, but cheating is cheating anyway.

  12. 52

    my husband and I dated 2 years,got married almost a year ago.We had the best sex I had ever experienced while dating.He is into short skirts and heels. I dressed that way then and continue   to dress that way now.He always told me if I wanted to keep his attention wear short skirts.As soon as we moved in together 4 months before we were married things changed.He couldnt get it up.or when he did it wasn’t very hard.this went on a few months .then sex became good again for a few months. then fast forward anotherfew months ,same thing.he is on pills now but his testorone levels are normal.I don’t turn his head anymore.he went from highly sexual to lazy or disinterested.I am hurt.I feel like,what the heck.this is not why I got married.I no longer feel like he finds me sexy.we are having sex sometimes,but now I feel he does is out of duty,or to appease me.A woman can tell if a man really is turned on.I see other men look at me all the time.what gives?honey —– run.

  13. 53

    me and my bf of 3 years had sex frequently when we were first together but the longer we were together the sex slowly died out. we went 9 months then had sex once then 15 months then had sex once. he openly admits why he wont have sex with me. its cause he had so many partners in the past that he is used to different women constantly not one woman for years. He tried to have sex with me a little over a month ago but he had issues staying hard. i love him to death but its hard to deal with the no sex thing. i just wish that he could want sex with me frequently again.

    1. 53.1

         Perhaps he should seek medical care.   He might have a physical issue since you did mention that he is having trouble maintaining an erection.   His excuse that he’s had to many past partners could be his way of trying to come up with a “manly reason” for his problem.     If you still love him, you might gently broach the subject with him.   Good luck, trying to get a man to go the Dr. for ANY reason is difficult enough, but for ED, well that’s a real doozy.  
         Another possibility, he is/has fallen out of love and is withholding sex as a form of distancing behavior.   This is a tough one.   If that’s the case, it’s devastating to find out, but then at least you can move on, rather than stay in a loveless relationship.
           Good luck to you.

  14. 54

    thanks for the advice but every other part of our relationship is great. i know that he hasnt fallen out of love with me cause i found a receipt from a jewelry store for an engagement ring that he has been making payments on and is due to be paid off on our anniversary. im excited about that i just hope he can get over not having sex with new people every week.    

    1. 54.1

      Hi Mira – Glad to hear that he hasn’t fallen out of love.   Can you live with the lack of physical intimacy ?   Help might just be one little blue pill away, if you can get him to agree to it.   Good luck to you !

  15. 55

    Hi Lena, Not sure how old this post is but I’m experiencing a similar situation. So I told my boyfriend I love him not his “sex” and I took it off the table. Yes…omg..I broke the rules and it worked. He can’t keep his hands off of me! I think he wants a challenge a sweetie. Let him conquer you. I don’t dress different or act different except I’m not showing any sexual interest in him and he loves it. The pressure to have the recommended sex life is off and spontaneity is back after five years.  

  16. 56
    Shannon Carr

    Here ‘s a concept for you… Sex with the same man,especially one who just lies there, also gets boring as hell!!!   Reading this article makes you want to run to the nearest sex shop, and grab the biggest fake penis that you can find! At least then you don’t have to worry about it being monogamous!!!!

  17. 57
    Anna love


  18. 58

    Saying that men are not naturally monogamous is like saying it isn’t natural for humans to stop at a red light at an intersection or it isn’t natural for us to not eat three deserts instead of the main course.   In other words, what we learn as children is to control our impulses. Women are not naturally monogamous either in my experience either for the same reasons. The problem is accepting that when someone stops working as a team, there is no team. The one who gives the least in a relationship has all the power…the relationship cannot go any further than that person is willing to give. And if that is coupled with a lack of concern of how it affects the other party and lack of self-concern as to why there is so much avoidance, there is a clear message there. Time to move on in such cases, because time is wasted in waiting on someone to be something they don’t want to be…

    1. 58.1

      You’re ridiculous. Women crave sex for reproductive purposes and men do as well. But a woman can only get pregnant by one man at a time. This is much more toned toward monogamous relationships than a man who can impregnate 3 and more women daily. Try to learn some evolutionary psychology before you go being all Feminazi.

      1. 58.1.1

        I’m not ridiculous or a feminazi to have an opinion. But you don’t seem to show respect so I’ll have to call you a clown 🙂

  19. 59

    Ok so a woman leaves the guy for no sex. Then she gets told she is insensitve or demanding. There is more to a relationship than sex. Blah blah. Then she finds out he is cheating. She is called slut or whore.   I am so sick of this.   What are we supposed to do when this happens?  
    This is about power.   Men want power. They get it by having sex with many women.   They get power by making her feel she is ugly. Then she has to prove herself worthy of his penis.   It’s like a reverse rape.   

  20. 60

    I know this is a very old thread, but for anyone facing this situation currently:

    It sounds very much like this man is addicted to porn. It’s a real thing, and it’s a real problem. When someone is introduced to porn very early in their sexual development, like many boys today with the Internet, then the pathways in their brain that are being exercised are the ones that connect novelty, variety, and instant gratification with sexual release. So, when these boys get into a loving relationship, they stop responding to stimuli once these things are no longer being triggered.

    This is a problem that takes a lot of time, patience, and empathy from both parties to fix. Months to years. There are many good articles online about the healing process, so I won’t go into it here. But if you and your partner are experiencing this problem in your relationship, do some research on porn addiction. Good luck.

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