This month, in a change to our usual relationship and sex advice, we received an interesting question from a reader on our forum. The reader is concerned that the sex in his loving and committed relationship has all but dried up after 8 months together. We asked three of our writers their advice and thoughts on the problem.
Since May we have only had sex like maybe 4-6 times and even the odd occasion when it has happened it feels like he’s just not interested and is just doing it for me. So it has been rubbish.
We went on a weekend break away, nice and romantic, had a great time together but he was still just full of excuses whether “I’m too tired” or “I’m bloated” or any one of 146 other things and it’s really getting to me now.
We are intimate and I do feel that he loves me as we still kiss and cuddle and have romantic nights in and out but they just never involve sex anymore.
I’ve tried subtly bringing this up in different ways but nothing seems to work and I just don’t want to seem like a dick by bringing it up abruptly.
Obviously I understand that as a relationship progresses that sexual desire might depreciate a bit but not this dramatically and it went from always to never and has pretty much been that way for months now. Any advice would be appreciated.
Ask him what does he want from you?
I’ve personally experienced this situation so feel your pain! And it literally is pain. You may be getting kisses and cuddles but repeatedly being brushed off when it comes to sex is nothing but rejection, and that hurts.
I wouldn’t call you a “dick” for bringing it up abruptly; you would only be mirroring how it felt to you when the sex suddenly died out.
He’s sending out mixed messages and being incredibly controlling by being the one that decides what kind of intimacy you receive and when. Ask him, what does he want from you? Because right now he’s not offering enough to make you happy, feel good about yourself, and feel secure in your relationship, and you should make sure that he knows that in black and white. (Hopefully the thought of losing you will light a fire under his ass and spark the conversation that you both need to have)
There Maybe A Reasonable Medical Explanation…
The so-called honeymoon period of a relationship when you first begin seeing someone can be a truly wonderful period. Whether it’s getting to know your partner’s quirks, excitedly introducing this amazing person to your friends, or all of that rampant sex you have, it’s a lovely time in your relationship. It’s a given that over time that honeymoon period fizzles out a bit, but it’s often replaced by that nice sense of familiarity, which I believe is often a positive thing.
With that familiarity and a deeper, more meaningful relationship often comes the inevitable change of sexual habits, and it’s true to say that sex can sometimes go through a dry patch or period of predictability.
Whatever the reasons are for your partner’s reduced interest in having sex, it is important to raise the issue and try to discuss it with him. By keeping it bottled up and not having an open conversation about your current situation, you risk becoming resentful and that may turn the issue into something bigger. It’s not often an easy subject to talk to your partner about, but communication is key to resolving things.
When talking about your worries around your sex life, perhaps you could take the angle of being concerned about your partner and asking him if he is ok. There could be a number of reasons why he isn’t as interested in sex as he used to be. He may have a lot on his mind or be stressed. He could be depressed or not feeling well. Or it could be possible that he simply has a reduced sex drive. Whatever the reason is, it’s important to be supportive and keep that line of communication open.
The fact that you remain intimate and enjoy kissing and cuddling is a positive, and perhaps that’s a way to begin the conversation; by saying you enjoy the intimacy, but are concerned about the lack of actual sex and wonder if your partner is ok. This will show that you treasure what you have, feel able to talk about your worries, but also that you care about your partner.
There is bound to be a reasonable, understandable explanation for the lack of sexual interest. I hope that by opening up the lines of communication and speaking to each other about the issue, you’re able to overcome it and enjoy a happy sex life once more.
9 Ways To Sort This Out
1. Whilst sex is an important part of any relationship, it is not the most important thing.
2. There is a compromise to be had – as both of you need to be happy.
3. Try initiating sex in different ways, or try other things instead of sex – try giving / having a nice massage or have a shower together.
4. Set up a regular date night, where you go out on a romantic date.
5. Try asking him about what he would like to do in the bedroom – he may be gagging to roll around smothered in peanut butter, but is too embarrassed to ask / talk to you about. Have a chat about your fantasies and start to introduce them.
6. If all else fails, you need to have a frank chat with him and say that whilst you appreciate it is not everything, sex is important to you and you would like to share such an intimate and personal thing with him. If you don’t want to blurt it out randomly in the advert break of Coronation Street, then agree a time with him to have a discussion. Don’t frame it as “this is your problem and your fault” – more as “you are really important to me and we need to be honest with each other, because I want this relationship to work”. Don’t make him feel small about it, or have a go at him. Approach it as a joint issue.
7. If you can’t get over this impasse, then you have to think about whether you should continue to be together – it depends on what compromise you can reach and how important sex is to you.
8. Whatever you do, don’t go looking elsewhere for sex behind his back. If you do, you risk losing him all together.
9. If both of you want to be together, but he does not want to increase the amount of sex to a level you want, then give some thought to you both having an open relationship. However, whilst this may suit some people, it does not suit everyone. Set ground rules and agree on things such as whether you will tell each other when, where and with whom, or whether you both agree not to discuss it at all. Open relationships can lead to feelings of anxiety, jealousy, arguments and mistrust – even if you both think that you are happy with it at the outset. If you do decide to go down this route, then always practice safe sex.
The advice above has been given by our community of writers who have drawn from experiences in their own lives and is should not be considered as professional advice.
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The resident Agony Uncle for THEGAYUK.com with over seven years of counselling experience with the LGBT+ community.