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. 81
    Lilacsky

    I think this is a very delicate situation where it can lead to disaster and heartache. I have been going through this myself and I’m also in a new relationship. I also get all kinds of excuses.

    I wonder if these men put themselves in their partners shoes….This is not healthy AT ALL! seriously this can do major damage to how we feel/ see ourselves. If a man doesn’t try its time to move on, period. If he does try I think its worth a shot, but if the trying stops than what? The thing is those that put time into someone can’t take it back, it gets old starting over all the time. Idk but this a selfish thing to do   because if a mans just making excuse when he knows damn well why he won’t have sex, its some evil bullshit. I agree with most the posters on here and that porn is a killer for REAL INTIMACY. I think people are selfish, and if you aren’t willing to please your partner but yourself…that’s some bullshit. Wtf is wrong with people?!? Depressing, and it does hurt. I know I’m dealing with it now. I really don’t know what to think or do anymore, done gave up.

  2. 82
    Willing to wait?

    I feel like crying just reading this but can’t My boyfriend is literally at arms length.

    I don’t know how it happened that his drive just went away. We used to do it at least once a week. Now everytime I ask he just sets me a schedule like this Friday or next week. Then when something gets a little skewed on his schedule it’s the first thing to go.

    What I tell myself, “at least he’s not cheating”

    But it is killing me when he refuses me. I feel so unwanted when he does that.

     

     

  3. 83
    james

    i don’t see what problem is , i was with my gf for 10 yrs neither of us had sex of any foam .   we had best relashionship ever . were still dating

  4. 84
    Amy

    Leaving your relationship is totally up to you! I will say that my relationship with my husband has been horrible.   We’ve been married 50 years and he hated sex, it was revolting, smelly, messy and turned his stomach to the point of throwing up. So in all these years we hadn’t had much sex, maybe a dozen times in 50 years. I wanted to leave but I thought things would get better, they never did and my family wouldn’t support me. I will say I messed up my life, no love, intimacy no children, saying Im leaving you would have been much easier when I was younger.This is my opinion I would leave, there is a guy out there who will love you and take care of you. Maybe you don’t think so but he’s out there for you. He may not be a hunk of your dreams, no one person can be perfect.

     

  5. 85
    Jmf

    Maybe he is really attracted to men.   It kind of makes sense – if you are beautiful and everything else is great….. maybe he sees you as a friend, and is attracted to the male friend that you two talk to. A lot of gay men try being straight by being in a relationship with a female, but it doesnt work out.

  6. 86
    Shaun

    Terrible advice! Actually shameful! Two reasons:

    1) Not to talk about it. That’s toxic behaviour and will further reduce trust and intimacy.

    2) Assumes it’s the woman’s fault. The implication being she just has to try harder to be sexually attractive and pleasing to him.

  7. 87
    VS

    I am a Gay man, I adore my partner and love him very much, we have known each other for over 10 years and  been together in a relationship the past 6 months and have had no sexual intimacy from the start and I have tried everything. Like the said partners above, mine says he is attracted to me and aknowleges there is an intimacy/sexual problem and is “working on it”. But actually he has done nothing and nothing has changed. Not only does that result in resentment from me it ends up in dissapointment for us both! I think there are other underlying issues that need professional help but unless they do this (with or without your support), it will not improve, it cannot be one sided. It is not a problem unique to hetrosexual couples, and my partner is not straight.

  8. 88
    Kelly

    Rejection, resentful, and hurt.   No effort from him.

     

  9. 89
    Rodney

    Do you enjoy doing the same things as him? Do you take interest in the things he takes interest in? Camping, music festivals, sporting events, weekend float trips/getaways?

    It could also be that he despises his job and self esteem issues play big into sex drives. It could very well be money issues. I don’t think lack of sex is reason enough to leave him. Think about how society tells us that men are typically the ones who crave sex and women are the ones with “headaches.” Would you have thought it’s fair for the men to have just fled when their wife didn’t put out? I think that there could be several underlying issues. Maybe he doesn’t feel like you try to connect with him. Maybe he has low testosterone.   Maybe he’s struggling with something. It’s your job as a partner to find out what it is.

    Maybe he just isn’t a very sexual person. He could love you endlessly but his penis won’t let him express that.

    It’s just sex. If you truly love this person, find something else to bond with, to get intimate, outside of sex.

    Now if he’s not willing to do things outside of the bedroom with you, I’d understand because then it doesn’t sound he’s really in it anymore.

  10. 90
    Marcy B.

    It depends on why you’re with him. If you’re with him for what he has (or what you have together) and the sex is part of that (what he has or what the two of you have) then you will wish toIf you are with him because of who he is, then the gone sex drive won’t matter. I think you already know the answer.  

  11. 91
    Chloe

    What people need to realise is that some men just don’t have a high sex drive. Me and my man have been together over 5 years now and he has had no sex drive since the first year. In the past 4 years we have communicated a lot about the situation and we have both tried our hardest to get him more excited about it but like i say the simple fact is that some men just don’t want sex. Well it’s not that they don’t want it, it’s that they don’t have the need or have the urge for it like others. Sex really isn’t a big deal and if your man is telling you that he finds you attractive and sexy then he shouldn’t have to prove himself to you because that just adds more pressure…. what if this was the other way round and the Female didn’t have the drive for it, these comments would be a lot different

  12. 92
    Janeca

    I been with my boyfriend for 7 months and we stopped having sex 3 weeks ago. Doesn’t seem like a big problem for some people but to me it is because I enjoy sex and just being touched. I keep asking him and trying role play and lingerie but still get nothing

  13. 93
    Amy Seeman

    Evan is a big fat chauvenist. I am a super sexual woman and also enjoy new and exciting pleasures. I am always the one getting bored while men get attached to me. So FUCK YOU and your stupid beliefs of just wanting to control a womans sexuality. People are people.

    1. 93.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Not big. Not fat. Not chauvinist. Not wanting to control your sexuality. Other than that, this was a highly cogent comment.

    2. 93.2
      Yet Another Guy

      @Amy Seeman

      I do not see anything in that blog entry that demonstrates controlling behavior. Evan offered a few solutions, one of which was terminating the relationship.

      With that said, no one is arguing the fact that women are sexually liberated today. However, sexual liberation for women comes at a price. Just as no woman wants a man who commits easily, no man wants to be the man who pays full price (committing for sex) after a woman has had a string of one-night stands. Regardless of what you say about men attaching, you will eventually attach to a man, and your past sexual behavior will determine your future with him.

      Women always complain about the double-standard when it comes to one-night stands, that men who have large numbers of one-night stands are lauded while women who have large numbers of one-night stands are slut shamed. However, the reason why men who have large numbers of one-night stands are lauded is because of the difficulty of accomplishing that feat. Have you ever wondered why there are no female pickup artist sites?). That is because there is not a woman on the planet who cannot have a string of one-night stands if she so desires because women are the gatekeepers to sex. All a woman has to do is show up and say, “yes.” Most men do not remotely share the same experience. Another reality is that women tend to become more selective when they have one-night stands whereas men become less selective. In effect, one-night stands are a way for a woman to date up attractiveness level-wise whereas men have to date down for one-night stands. This dynamic is an evolutionary response. It is an opportunity for a woman to have access to better genes than she can acquire through a relationship because guys will have sex with women to whom they would not commit because they are not attractive enough.

      1. 93.2.1
        Amy

        Evolution MY ASS! Ever heArd of Adam and eve???

        Explain to me then why men always gets so pissed when women look at other men??

        They get more pissed at women than women do at men. Fact.

  14. 94
    Marika

    YAG said:  

    “Just as no woman wants a man who commits easily”..

    That’s not true. Some women are turned off by a guy wanting to commit quickly. Certainly not all. Similarly some men care about a women’s sexual past. Not all. And certainly far less so now than in past eras. I know you care a lot and this is how you see things, but you don’t speak for all men and certainly can’t speak for women.

    1. 94.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Marika

      How many times have we encountered a comment on this blog where a women described a man who committed easily as being “clingy?”   Most of the women I know do not want a man who commits easily because it does not make them feel special.   I know a lot of women because I have all sisters, two daughters, and mostly nieces (i.e., women out number men in my family by a large margin).

      I would argue that more men feel the way I feel than you could ever imagine.   It is just that it is not seen as being “progressive” for a man to voice it, so most men do not voice their true feelings on the subject.   My attitude toward paying full cost (committing to a relationship) for a woman who has recently had a string of one-night stands (zero cost) is primal in nature.   It is a response that is ingrained in men to avoid committing to a woman who presents a high risk of being made a cuckold.   We can argue that past behavior does not determine future behavior, but I have yet to encounter a promiscuous man or woman who is not a fidelity risk, or at a minimum, a loveless-sexless marriage risk.   Not all people can have one-night stands.   For many, it goes against their moral code.

      There is also the difference in how women and men see one-night stands.   I have never been asked by a woman if I had a one-night stand.   However, when it comes to being asked about prior relationships, I have often felt like I was dealing with an inquisition.   The reality is that women want to know if a man has severed ties emotionally from his previous woman before getting involved.   Most men do not care about a woman’s previous relationships.   Why? Because men get involved for sex.   Love always lags sex.   Commitment is the price that most men have to pay in order to obtain sex.   Nowhere is this difference more evident than on the dating sites/apps.   Most women suffer little to no stigma from listing “Currently Separated” on their profiles whereas most separated men are treated like they have the relationship equivalent of leprosy.   Why? Because most women join the dating sites/apps with the goal of a long-term relationship (LTR), and a man who is separated has a LTR value of near zero.     Most men could care less about a woman’s LTR value because most men join dating sites with the goal of having fun and obtaining sex.   An LTR is a side-effect of seeking fun and sex (i.e., men look for sex and find love).

      Another illuminating difference between men and women is that   when a man cheats, it is usually seen as an assault on a woman’s dignity whereas when a woman cheats, it is usually seen as an assault on a man’s manhood, something that cuts at the core of his being.   That is why most marriages end when the wife cheats whereas it is not always a done deal when a man cheats. A woman cheating on a man cuts at his core so profoundly that it causes stress to the point where he cannot function.       The typical male response when stressed is to remove the stressor, which, in this case, is the cheating wife.

      TLDR; The reality is that women do not get their panties in a wad by a man’s sexual past because sex is so cheap to women that it means nothing to them.   Men have been trying to get with them since they were teenagers.   Feminist women attempt to project this view onto men.   However, most men do not feel this way because sex is expensive to men (especially in the United States where the man pursues, plans, and pays is practiced on a regular basis).   The majority of men will never be able to access sex outside of a relationship.   In essence, most men have to pay full price for sex, so the thought of another man not having to do so cuts at their core to the point where they have to evaluate where they rank in the male social hierarchy.   The difference between guys like me and the guys you think are okay with a woman hooking up with a lot of men is that we are willing to voice how we feel about the topic.   I can assure you if the given the choice between two women with equal qualities except for level of promiscuity,   most men will choose the woman who is less promiscuous.   That is an evolutionary primal response that exists to protect a man from being made a cuckold.   Why do you think Evan promotes the idea of making a man wait until he commits before having sex with him?   Sure, it filters the serious from the non-serious, but is also has the psychological effect of making a man who is willing to commit feel like he dealing with a non-promiscuous woman, a woman worthy of making an investment.

      1. 94.1.1
        Marika

        I didn’t read your whole comment – I know your views on this YAG, very well.

        To reiterate, you speak for some men and have an outsiders view of how some women operate.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Marika

          On one hand, you say that I have an outsider’s view on how women operate.   On the other hand, you say that I do not know how men operate, even though I have an insider’s view of male behavior.     You cannot have it both ways.

          All I ask is for you to get unfiltered responses from men you know with respect to this topic.     Ask men you know if they had to choose between one of two women who were equal in all aspects except for one was promiscuous and the other was not, which one would they chose.   I guarantee that those who select the non-promiscuous woman will grossly outnumber those who choose the promiscuous woman.   The cold hard truth is that the majority of men on this planet prefer women who have small partner counts.     That preference is as hard-wired into men as male height is hard-wired into women.   Sure, there are men who do not feel this way, but they are the outliers, not the other way around.

          With respect to women, while my sample is small in the grand scheme of things, I have yet to be asked by a woman if I had a one-night stand; however, I have been asked many times if I was still emotionally attached to the last woman with whom I shared my life.   I have never asked a woman if she was still emotionally attached to the last guy with whom she shared her life because she is having sex with me, and I, like most men, have that achievement as our immediate goal (men look for sex and find love).   However, I have inquired into how many one-night stands/hookups she has had in the last few years because that will affect the level of investment I am willing to make in her.   It is the difference between what men and women value.   Men value sex from a woman that is easy for them to obtain, but hard for other men to obtain.   Women value commitment from a guy they desire commitment who does not give commitment easily.   Why? Because men and women think differently when it comes to losing their partner.   Men fear another man taking their woman away via sex.   Women fear other woman taking their man away via love.   If men did not fear other men sexually, there would be no such thing as performance anxiety.   Performance anxiety is caused by a man fearing that he will not measure up to the other men with whom a woman has had sex, literally when it comes to penis size.

           

        2. Nissa

          YAG – Not surprisingly, I come at this from a different viewpoint than you. I would say, it matters WHY a man is willing to commit easily more than it matters if he commits or not. Is he committing because he’s socially awkward, has limited options and is desperate? Yeah, that’s highly unattractive.

          Or is he committing because he’s a guy who knows what he wants when he sees it, and is confident in his ability to switch gears if things change or things turn out to be different than they first appeared? That’s highly attractive.

          A man who has the balls to actually go on dates tends to fall into the latter category – or is at least closer to that on the spectrum – and is therefore more attractive.

          Additionally, while you find it more attractive when the woman you are dating has not had any one night stands in the last few years, there are many men who would view that as evidence that a woman is sexually checked-out, and therefore desire her less. And God forbid if she wants to wait for boyfriend status to have sex, because then she is labeled as ‘difficult’ and dumped.

  15. 95
    Marika

    Hi YAG

    Again, I didn’t read your comment in full. It’s all been said before.

    My only point is that it’s impossible for you to speak for women and you can’t speak for every man on the planet. A mid 50s American could very likely have different views to a mid 30s Dutch native. For instance. It’s actually pretty arrogant to say otherwise.

    I also think it’s unhelpful to tell people on this blog (who are most representative of people not acting in our own best interests in dating) that it’s ‘normal’ to reject a good man who wants to commit without making you jump through hoops or to be obsessed with and hung up on a woman’s sexual past. Perhaps those things are standing in our way.

  16. 96
    Marika

    Interesting contributions Nissa. You’re right that not all men act in ways that indicate they value sexual purity/discernment.

    I think using ‘biology’ or hard wiring can be misleading, given that sexuality is viewed differently across cultures and certainly attitudes change, at least slightly, each new generation, particularly in our post modern world – there are millennials who don’t even believe in gender as a fixed construct.

    If we walk around with a set of fixed rules we think everyone lives by, this is not helpful, IMO.

  17. 97
    Benito

    Anyone who believes that it is unnatural for men or human couples to be monogamous needs to read the work of the most successful relationship counselor of all time, Dr. Sue Johnson, who has done MRI brain studies that have shown that couples who have “hold me tonight”relationships with each other are the happiest people on earth. She has proven that monogamous relationship love and its need in society can be proved by science.   The brains of “hole me tight” couples look significantly different than “player” males who sleep with lots of women. She is going to win the Nobel Peace Prize as she is transforming relationship therapy. She has a 78% success rate with her clients, and she only deals with the worst of the worst, like vets with PTSD and wives who were sexually abused as kids. Evolutionary Psychology, which “Red Pill” right wing men’s movement guys support like religion (who are fearful of the power that women are attaining in society), is almost universally recognized as bad science by psychologists who actually practice with patients and influence the lives of million of folks. These theories are never used in couples therapy, but spout your crap if you wish. There is zero excuse for ANYONE to commit adultery. It is 100% a choice. As Kathryn Hepburn once said, “animal nature is what humans have been put   here to rise above. It is our purpose in life.” That all being said, the one thing as a male that I have never understood about men who have a lower sex drive than their women is this: 1) How about giving your woman oral sex? As a famous female porn actress once said, any guy who is great at giving a girl oral sex will NEVER leave a man who she is having a fantastic relationship with outside the bedroom, even if he is bad at intercourse. You do not need to be horny as a male to give your gal oral pleasure. Consider it a gift of love like giving her a wonderful birthday gift. Just start with this, and continue with it for several weeks and see where it takes you. I almost guarantee you that the sexual relationship will advance to some degree. 2) Women need to understand they are not the only victims of sexual abuse in our society. 1 in 9 men are sexual abuse victims (and those are just the dudes who report it), but research shows that their symptoms can sometimes not emerge until they feel the sex they have with their partner is related to emotional intimacy. I do not know how soon this woman waited to have sex with her man (I recommend that people wait as long as possible, for purely psychological reasons). 3) Men have been taught in this culture that to show emotional vulnerability around women leads to them being kicked out of the bedroom. It’s viewed as unsexy behavior. Why? Most women are raised by stoic, quiet knight in shining armor dads. Their moms modeled for their daughters that this is a “sexy man” that is “worthy of bearing children” through marrying her dad. The sons are raised to be like the dad. Disney children films almost always end with some male knight in shining armor rescuing the female that sweeps her off her feet. Almost every cultural institution we have, from Sex In the City to romance novels to comedy clubs to Hollywood movies to Cosmo Mag makes fun of or chastises heterosexual males who are sensitive or who express emotional vulnerability. Women in this society are bred to reject guys who TRULY express their vulnerabilities and feelings. They say they want it, but they would rather have their boyfriend die on his horse than fall off it DUE TO THE WAY THEY WERE TAUGHT BY FAMILY AND SOCIETY. If you don’t believe me, read Dr. Brene Brown’s powerful book “Daring Greatly” in which she empirically shows the ways in which mothers, sisters, girlfriends and wives shame men who share emotional vulnerability such as sexual difficulties they are having. I am not trying to blame females for these issues, but women often do not realize the ways in which they shame men for their feelings and weaknesses. That just leads to them becoming more and more introverted. They think, “I am a failure in her eyes.” These issues are not just all the male’s fault from a psychological standpoint, and I am sick and tired of male “can’t keep it in my my pants” bheavior being blamed on a form on psychologically that has been discredited by reputable psychologists who work with patients in real clinical settings. A real psychologist doesn’t tell the woman that it is natural for her man to want to have sex with millions of other women besides just her. Nonsense.

    1. 97.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Nice distribe, Benita. But thou dost protest too much. As you pointed out, infidelity is a CHOICE. Men must rise above their nature. I agree. And it’s in our nature to want variety in sex. That’s why there is so much infidelity in spite of the fact that happily married couples are the happiest of all. Basically, you have your facts correct but your interpretation of them makes no sense. Look around: men make the choice to be monogamous because what they gain is greater than what they lose. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a challenging choice between variety and consistency.

  18. 98
    Yet Another Guy

    After revisiting this blog entry, I believe that the LW is equating the loss of desire with the loss of sex drive.   Sex drive is the desire to engage in sex, period.   A man can have a perfectly healthy sex drive, but lose desire for a woman.   The same is true for women.   Desire, not sex drive is what causes us to want to pursue sexual contact and please our partner.

    1. 98.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      This is a good observation, YAG.

  19. 99
    sindi

    A. he is young guy and isn’t ready to settle down.   B.   he has porn at his fingertips literally 24/7 and is using it. C. move on, you’re too young to settle down also. go out and have fun and when you start getting older, then find someone to settle down with and have a family before you get too old to have kids and to enjoy them.

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