Why Does My Boyfriend Only Want Sex a Few Times A Week?

Dear Evan,

I have a problem with my boyfriend and our sex life.

I want sex more often than he does. I have never had this problem before in other relationships and it’s starting to make me feel rejected.

We have sex two or three times a week, but the other day I wanted it again in the morning (we had it the night previously) and I came onto him and he pushed me away saying he had just been in the shower.

I’ve always been told I’m attractive and have never had any problems with men before so I don’t know why now. We’ve only been going out for about 7 months and in the beginning (before we slept together) he was really eager, but a couple of months down the line it’s all slowed down. He’s even told me I’m the best sex he’s ever had so what’s going wrong? I don’t know how to handle it.

Sarah

Dear Sarah,

I get this question as much as any other question. Except for maybe the “He’s just not that into me” question, which takes on many forms.

But I haven’t tried to tackle it until now, because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say. I’m no Dan Savage/Sari Locker/Dr. Ruth sexologist. I’m just a dating coach who’s dated a lot and spends 90% of his waking hours talking about dating, sex and relationships. So take what I say with a grain of salt.

You didn’t say how old you are, Sarah, and that’s relevant to the conversation. Because a man’s sex drive – and testosterone level – is highest when he’s 18, and a woman peaks in her late 30’s. (If I’m off, forgive me.) What this means is that as our hormones slow down, we meet up with women who’ve never wanted it more. You can see how this can cause a problem.

You’re equating his sex drive with his attraction to you, and they’re not entirely correlated.

Instead of taking his lack of desire personally, I’d take it to heart when he says you’re the best he’s ever had. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to want to have sex as much as you. You’re equating his sex drive with his attraction to you, and they’re not entirely correlated.

Plus, one’s sex drive is highly individualized. For many, sex is best when it’s exciting and new. Once you’ve been together for seven months, the attraction may still be there, but the excitement may not be. This is why some men turn to porn, and others, to infidelity. Lust may be enough to start a relationship but, in and of itself, it’s not enough to sustain a relationship. Are there some couples who have extraordinary sex lives? Sure. But there are many more who, after a long day at work, just want to go to sleep.

And that’s another thing to consider – sex, done properly, is a lot of work. It’s fun work, no doubt, but in order to do the proper foreplay and pleasing and switching positions and stamina thing, you need a lot of time and energy. And frankly, we don’t always want to be all adrenalized and sweaty at 1am, especially if we have to wake up at 6:45am….

You might think these are all lame excuses – that true passion transcends time and energy – that real attraction never wanes and that the mere thought of your lover should get you excited. But that’s not true. Not for everybody. In fact, there’s a very crude adage that I heard once upon a time which made a strong impression on me:

“Show me a beautiful woman, and I’ll show you a guy who’s sick of fucking her.”

Ouch.

It takes a lot of work to keep repeated sex with the same partner interesting; a lot of people aren’t up for that kind of work.

I don’t endorse the language, nor do I endorse the sentiment, but the underlying point rings true (for BOTH sexes). It takes a lot of work to keep repeated sex with the same partner interesting; a lot of people aren’t up for that kind of work. This doesn’t mean you should despair – nor does it mean that your boyfriend’s not interested in sex. From this guy’s standpoint – 2 to 3 times a week is a decent sex life. And if that’s not satisfactory, you might need to consider alternative plans.

I wish you the best of luck.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Kat Wilder

    Sarah,
    Evan bring up good points, but the person you should be asking is your boyfriend, not Evan (sorry, Evan).

    Because, if it’s a loving, respectful, honest relationship, you should be able to talk with him about uncomfortable things. And if you can’t, you have a much bigger problem than different sex drives.

  2. 2
    Markus

    EMK, ballsy of you to break that quote out. I thought we got our man-cards taken away from us if we mentioned that. Seriously though, here’s another quote, “you don’t know what you go ’til it’s gone”. I remember the days of turning my ex down for sex because I had a hockey game that night or not getting any because I stayed up instead of going to bed with her. Than everything went to crap and I realized I would’ve killed for it. She’s still one of the hottest women I was ever with and would love to be with her again. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had great sex with hot women since. I THINK I have learned my lesson and will never take it for granted. However, my lessons are not everyone’s and I can only say what I’m planning on doing.

    Bottom line for the letter’s author. Communicate that it’s an issue and dumpsville is an option. That said, baby, you gotta spice it up from time to time.

  3. 3
    starthrower68

    Well, there’s something you don’t see every day. The gf is upset because the bf won’t “engage” with her enough. Interesting….very interesting….

    1. 3.1
      Tanya

      I have exactly the same problem.

    2. 3.2
      BeenThere

      Happens all the time.  It’s not new.

    3. 3.3
      AJ

      I have the same problem with my boyfriend..

    4. 3.4
      Danielle

      Pretty sure starthrower68 was being sarcastic…..

      Its a cliche and yes I have the same problem with my bf too.

    5. 3.5
      Allie

      This is not a uncommon problem. This is a common problem that is the norm in girl talk.

      1. 3.5.1
        Leila

        well my husband just walked hope things look up hope we have some tonight

    6. 3.6
      Leila

      i am to having the same problem my husband we’ve been married for two years and he only wants sex on the weekend I want more what can I do aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa😊

  4. 4
    Lance

    I understand what Sarah is going thru, because I’ve been that guy and had my gf make the same comment. Back before I got into social artistry, having sex 2-3 times per week seemed like a perfectly healthy, reasonable amount considering the length of their relationship. Seriously, does anyone on the board disagree with that? In theory, you could have sex with your partner 7 days per week, but that rarely happens. At first blush, it appears the passion just wanes naturally…

    Here’s what I went through. After I hit rock bottom in my relationship life, I did a lot of self-identification. One thing I identified was that I was mediocre in the sack. That was a difficult realization to make because it FELT and LOOKED like I was having great sex with my gf. She even said I was the best, which further reinforced the fallacy. And, who the hell wants to admit that they suck at the dirty deed? Well my friends, mediocre I was. Without getting too detailed, I wasn’t manly enough in the sack and I wasn’t having the pornstar quality sex that my woman craved. I wasn’t fulfilling my role as a man and I wasn’t making her feel like a woman.

    So I fixed that. The quality of my sex life increased several fold. So now, if I have sex with my partner only a couple of times in a week, they’re absolutely ridiculous, off-the-wall affairs. I’m screwing like a champion, because I am a champion. And she’s not complaining about anything.

    So my question to Sarah is, what is the quality of your sex truly like (not the quantity)? Is your man a sexual master? Do you get off? The quote shouldn’t be that it’s the best sex *he’s* ever had, but is it the best sex *you’ve* ever had? If the answer is no, you both have some work to do.

    I would be remiss without offering a bit of advice. For him, read a few books about becoming a better lover. If he’s incapable of improving his bedroom game, you should ditch him. If you really want to be with him and decide to compromise on the sex, then get yourself a guy on the side to fulfill your needs.

    1. 4.1
      Mich

      Lance, you are frightening.  Your post sounds like the ranting of a certifiable pervert.  You are training yourself in infidelity and using women – the recipe to have you divorced and diseased, not to mention all the women you have hurt.  You should seriously consider getting professional help.  It sounds like you have a sexual addiction or social dysfunctional problem.  You will never be in a stable, good relationship doing what you are doing.  You will end up that old pervert people warn their children about.  Change while you can.  Sex is not worth ruining your life and future for.  Best wishes and I truly mean that.  Will pray for you.
      An old Spanish proverb:  The man who has love one woman has loved them all.  The man who has “loved” many women has loved none.

    2. 4.2
      Tanya

      No.
      Either the sex is good,or its not. Thats all.
      Theres no such thing as its good for one and bad for the other.
      Sex is about chemistry.
      Unless your high off your shit by smt, you’re gonna notice if its not good for the other party.
       

  5. 5
    downtowngal

    Evan’s right in that knowing both your ages would be helpful. Also, what is his past dating history? Maybe he’s on the shy/slightly nerdy side and hasn’t had a lot of girlfriend history; I dated a guy like that once, said he’s never had so much sex in his life and we did it 3-4x per week.

    I disagree that it might be something you’re NOT doing so he’s turned off. What about the rest of your relationship – is he caring and thoughtful? Is he great in every other way except for this? Even if you’ve both settled into the plateau of the relationship, he needs to learn how to make you happy. And you should figure out a way to communicate this. Or make yourself less available.

    The bottom line is, if he can’t satisfy your needs it’ll become a bigger issue the longer you’re together. He just might have a lower sex drive, or he’s selfish,

  6. 6
    Sarah

    Wait — I’m confused. Today sex is work? The other day EMK said it was entertainment! 🙂

  7. 7
    smartcookie

    I had a similar problem, except we weren’t even doing it 2-3X a week and we hadn’t been dating for more than 6 months. I think 2-3X is good if the effort is there in those 2-3X.

    In my other relationships, I felt like he wanted it too much (sometimes almost every day), so it was really strange for me to be on the opposite side. He even made comments like-“but we fooled around for 40 minutes!”. Really, people keep track of how much time you spend?????

    I don’t know-if things are slowing down before a year to a point where I think there is a problem, that’s a red flag for me (I’m 34). I don’t think it should seem like work by that point-I also think it would be difficult to do it more than 2-3X a week. Who has that kind of time ; )

  8. 8
    Sarah

    I should add that I am not the letter-writing Sarah. But I wish I had this problem. These days, no boyfriend. Alas.

  9. 9
    Austen Rodger

    Dear Sarah, Safest tact is always to ask questions and then listen carefully to the answers don’t react badly and you try some other activities

  10. 10
    Deathslayer

    Why Does My Boyfriend Only Want Sex a Few Times A Week?
    *
    He’s got this car here he can waste time with, video games he can play, magazines here to quell his libido if necessary; you’re redundant.

    He’s miserable because he has disposable income, gets to do stuff he wants, gets to own the motorcycle the married guy next door isn’t allowed to have. He has altered his paradigm to conform
    to the reality of his situation. In other words, he’s found a way to survive.

    What this means is that as our hormones slow down, we meet up with women who’ve never wanted it more.
    *
    Close, but no cigar.

    What it means is we KNOW the consequences of getting a woman pregnant and not wanting to deal with a 204,000 plus over 18 years expense, alimony, and child support. Also, ‘Sarah’ is under the delusion that men WANT sex all the time.

    Sorry, we DON’T. We kinda HATE being seen as nothing more than human vibrators for a woman…it tends to turn us OFF.

    So, I’m guess she considers herself an ‘alpha female’…sorry, but alpha females do ZILCH for the libido.

    Also, so you’re ‘attractive’…that means WHAT to a man…you’re nice to look at and that should arouse a man? Sorry, but if your personality is grating, even Viagra won’t make us desire you. Plus COMPARING a man to others you’ve been with before is bringing baggage into a relationship that TURNS MEN OFF.

    So he doesn’t want it as much as you do? Good. HE has control and power over himself…SELF-CONTROL.

    Can you say the same, ‘Sarah’?

    Deathslayer

    1. 10.1
      VonRacq

      great response Death slayer.  As a mature woman I’m just as turned on by watching movies and laughing with my boyfriend as i am in the sack.  Maturity and confidence is more of a turn on and if your relationship evolves and is a good freindship then being good lovers is easy.

  11. 11
    vino

    Interesting posts. Often one hears men complaining they don’t have sex enough in their relationships.

    downtowngal wrote “The bottom line is, if he can’t satisfy your needs it’ll become a bigger issue the longer you’re together. He just might have a lower sex drive, or he’s selfish,”

    Not to be snarky – does that same rationale apply when men do not have their needs satisfied?

    Communication, people. Sheesh.

    1. 11.1
      Lily

      As a divorcee from thirty years of marriage with less then thirty orgasms, I cannot stress enough how important it is to be sexually compatible. Sex is my favorite sport! If it is not his, we are in trouble!

  12. 12
    BeenThruTheWars

    Sarah, I agree with what’s been said here — even the “crude joke,” as there’s an underlying truth to it. I also know that men detest feeling pressured to have sex, or more sex, or better sex. They particularly detest feeling as though they are being compared unfavorably with other men in this regard (which is why one shouldn’t go on and on about one’s former lovers). There are those who legitimately complain when their women NEVER initiate anything, but I don’t believe that’s the case here.

    Is it possible that you are feeling a distancing from your boyfriend in other ways, either subtle or overt, and are responding by being more needy and demanding in terms of wanting “proof” that he is still as into you as he was? Sexual frequency isn’t proof of the strength of a person’s love — which I found out the hard way.

    Is your man experiencing money problems, career problems, or anything similar that’s causing him to have a lot on his mind outside the relationship? That, too, can diminish his desire for sex until he works things out and can regain a sense of mastery of his world.

    Most relationships will go through one or more cooling off periods during the first year, for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s the man’s instinctive reaction to a feeling of “too much intimacy, yikes!” that makes him want to pull away and get back in touch with his independence. That’s part of a natural cycle men go through (even after they are married), and it’s antithetical to the way women tend to operate (craving continual intimacy).

    The worst thing a woman can do when she feels her man pulling away is to go chasing after him, making demands and piling on the pressure. It only has the effect of making him want to “stay away” longer, and can wind up alienating him and causing real damage to the relationship. You might want to try pulling back yourself a little. Not in a game-playing sense, but in a “Gee, I’m tired, it’ll be great to get a good night’s sleep, ‘nite, honey” sense. You aren’t withholding sex — if he wants some, fantastic. You are his loving, willing partner. But consider the concept of completely removing any sense of your being the aggressor in the bedroom. Create some space for him to think, “Hmm, she isn’t all over me like usual… ” so that HE can be the one who seeks YOU out. Let him be the man. Let sex be his idea. It’s a powerful strategy when you hit the 6- to 9-month doldrums and well worth a try to see how he responds.

    If you completely drop your demands and expectations and passively wait for his overtures for a few weeks… and your sex life drops off even more, or you sense a distinct emotional withdrawal in the affection area as well — then, as others have said, you have bigger issues to deal with than just a disparity in your desire for frequent sex.

    1. 12.1
      Danielle

      Thanks, this sounds pretty much exactly like what my boyfriend told me last night. I feel like a huge needy idiot now, didn’t realize it was so common. Ya saved me haha.

  13. 13
    Markus

    I hope I never have to read another deathslayer post again.

  14. 14
    Steve

    Markus Apr 1st 2008 at 08:53 am 13
    I hope I never have to read another deathslayer post again.

    What he said.

    1. 14.1
      Trace

      Steve
      Markus Apr 1st 2008 at 08:53 am 13
      I hope I never have to read another deathslayer post again.
      What he said.”
       
      What they said….
       
       

      1. 14.1.1
        Michelle

        what  everyone said

         

  15. 15
    $Francisco

    For my own clarification they are having sex 2-3 times a week (which is more than the national average) and they just had sex the night before; this is the problem, right??? Or is it?

    Sarah said that she has been called attractive and sex had not been an issue with past boyfriends either. She even said that before becoming intimate with her current boyfriend he seemed very interested. So now since she has been turned down for sex (I don’t know if it is the very first time or not) there seems to be a problem.

    Is the problem the fact that the myth that men can turn on and off their libido as easily as their Playstation being challenged? Is it that the reason which Sarah’s boyfriend rebuffed her a bit lame (c’mon, can’t you take another shower)? Or is it possible that Sarah may equate either her worth or the viability of a relationship by the frequency of sex?

    Whatever it may be, it was still amusing to read that someone felt the at the end of it all, the boyfriend was being selfish. Ah, the advantages of being a man! 😉

    1. 15.1
      liz

      Francisco your commit literally made me laugh out loud, even tho i have to admit, i too in the past have been found guilty of being the “Sarah” of this story and being left to feel somewhat less desireable just bc my man didnt want it on one of the many other occasions in which he did… But hearing it from this view makes me see just how silly “we” females can be at times…

      1. 15.1.1
        Danielle

        I totally agree. I am currently the ‘Sarah’ and realize how silly I was being.

  16. 16
    vino

    Okay, so deathslayer’s post was, shall we say, less than most cordial.

    I think, if you sort through some of the invective and made up facts, that he’s saying Sarah’s boyfriend has other things he can do, other things on his mind, legal concerns re: sex, and issues of power and control re: Sarah that may affect his desire and ability to have sex when Sarah wants it.

    I’m making an effort to see what someone is truly saying, even though I may not love the tone or technique. I hope we all do.

  17. 17
    Steve


    vino Apr 1st 2008 at 09:36 am 16
    Okay, so deathslayer’s post was, shall we say, less than most cordial.
    I think, if you sort through some of the invective and made up facts,

    Well there is a lesson in dating right there, to bring things back to the topic of this blog. People aren’t going to ignore bitterness and bizarre statements from people they have just met. They certainly aren’t going to agree to go out on a date with them either.

    You don’t even have to be as bad as deathslayer to use this form of non-invasive birth control. Having a gripe against an entire gender will work. So will using adolescent language when talking about women or dating. Either will get a person tagged as a loser.

  18. 18
    vino

    We may not always love the MANNER or STYLE of posters and their communication. I do think it’s premature to dismiss out of hand all posters who don’t conform to most standards of ‘polite’ discourse.

    deathslayer’s post is written in a ‘shock and awe’ way. I liken it to a terrorist attack – not conforming to normal rules, destructive, but designed to draw attention and make a point. Other posters have done similar things, male and female, though maybe not so subtle as ds…

    Any reader may choose to ignore these kinds of posts. Talk about pro-choice! 😉 Evan’s blog is great in that he allows for all viewpoints, mainstream or no. I choose to read ds’s and other similar posts for what they may offer. If nothing else, the anger tells a story in and of itself that is worth considering in this little mating dance where it seems both sexes all too often have 2 left feet & no rhythm.

    1. 18.1
      Lily

      Evan’s clients are primarily women. Many of us have come out of emotionally abusive marriages and deathslayer’s words and tone may act as a PTSD type of trigger for us. This needs to be a safe place where we talk respectfully to each other.

      1. 18.1.1
        JennLee

        it would be great if everyone could talk to each other in civil tones, but many do not, and many women here are just as bad if not worse. We never stop to consider that many men have been emotionally abused also. We are more comfortable seeing men as abusers and women as victims. But it is better if we learn to see the truth of things, not just what we want to see. I don’t want people’s thoughts to be censored unless they become abusive, especially if they become abusive towards specific people. Of course, I have seen some very nasty and personal things directed at men who dare to post something that is not a popular. I don’t need a safe place, I need a place to learn. I’m so over this, “we need a safe place,” from my fellow sisters who then would be offended if somebody said they were not the equal of a man. Men don’t whine that they need a safe place where only their thoughts and feelings are not censored, but women’s are. How about a little courage to go with our roar?

      2. 18.1.2
        joek

        Sorry, mo one owns your triggers but YOU.

         

        Geez, tryin to make other people, who don’t even know you, responsible for YOUR reactions.

    2. 18.2
      Allie

      All view points should be allowed

  19. 19
    JerseyGirl

    Often, when men complain about not getting enough sex from their wives, their wives are usually advised to work harder at giving their partner more sex because of the benefits to both of them. It sounds like this girl’s man needs to put more effort into their sex life because she just isn’t happy. She shouldn’t “settle” for a sex life she isn’t happy with. I think if the situation was reversed, most men would be suggesting ways to the man on how to engage his partner in more sex. Instead of telling him to just settle for what she is willing to give.

    Especially if he is looking at porn, and not meeting her needs; this is a huge red flag for any woman. If a man isn’t having sex with their partner because of time spent with porn; this will only build up resentment in a woman.

    I conside Evan’s advice unfair. I think if the roles were reversed and the man posting the question was a man, Evan would be suggestion ways for him to engage is partner in more sex. I have never heard anyone, especially another man, suggest to another man to settle for the amount of sex his partner is giving him if he was unhappy with it, the reasoning being because of complacency. Which is what Evan seems to be suggesting to the woman. To settle for whatever her partner gives her even though it does not satisfy her. I would hope most men would want to satasify their partner.

    1. 19.1
      KE

      THANK YOU!

  20. 20
    Steve

    Vino;

    Let us know how that philosophy works out for you

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