Boyfriend doesnt enjoy sex

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Lemon
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Boyfriend doesnt enjoy sex

Unread postby Lemon » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:16 pm

My boyfriend and I have been dating for a while, and hes expressed a concern a few times in the relationship that nothing hes done sexually with me or anyone in the past has made him feel pleasure. He says it feels like nothing to him. He says he only feels pleasure when he masturbates, but wants us to find things that he can find pleasurable together. I can make him cum, but he says its just his bodys reaction and doesnt feel like anything to him. Our first solution was to try some new positions, and for him to try not to masturbate. Those have not worked, and the latest solution he has proposed is for either a threesome or for him to have some one night stands. I am not comfortable with those, and we talked about that. Do you have any other ideas for solutions for us, or an idea for why he may be having this issue. I do not want this to end our relationship, but i am afraid it will. Either way though, he does have a problem that i wish to be fixed in some way.

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Re: Boyfriend doesnt enjoy sex

Unread postby Heather » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:15 am

I have a few more questions in order to do my best to help you with this, if you don’t mind.

Can I first check that he feels the desire to be sexual with you (or anyone else)? In other words, does he want to be doing the sexual things you have been? Is he feeling excited and aroused when he does, or before he does?

When he says it feels like nothing, is that also true when you do *exactly* what he does when he masturbates? Or when he masturbates as part of sex with you?

When he talks about wanting to add partners or have one-night-stands, what is that about for him? Obviously, if he is saying he is not feeling physical sensation, or much of it (which seems unlikely, but we’ll get to that later) with partners, these things wouldn’t change that. So, is that about those scenarios being more of what he finds exciting or wants emotionally? What has he said about those asks?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Lemon
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Re: Boyfriend doesnt enjoy sex

Unread postby Lemon » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:06 pm

Yes, he has the desire to be sexual with me. He has a really high libido, and can get turned on really easily. He doesnt have any issues with losing his erection or anything, he just says it doesnt feel like much. At first i was skeptical that he just didnt want to use a condom, but is it possible that he just doesnt feel anything with a condom on? Could he be sensotive to that? When he masturbates during sex he likes it, and when i help him out he says that its not enough. Hes had the same issues with past partners.
So the one night stands and adding partners i feel comes from a past thought process of his where when things were not working with someone, he just thought to himself that maybe with the next person things would feel right. He admitted to me that those two options may not do anything to help him, because by now he knows that he cant just assume that itll be better with the next person, becuase that hasnt been true for him. Emotionally as a whole though he doesnt do well with talking that stuff out, and we both realize this and do our best to make it easier for him to express what he wants.

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Re: Boyfriend doesnt enjoy sex

Unread postby Heather » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:22 pm

Condoms are super thin, so no, no one is going to have sensations then put a condom on and not have them. (If you're curious, put your fingers inside one then rub the condom with your fingers inside.)

Since he feels things just fine with masturbation, even though he is describing and apparently feeling this as physical, I'm betting it's not. Someone can't have sensation from their own hand then not have it from someone else's. That's just not how your nervous system and body parts work. Sounds much more likely this is an interpersonal and/or emotional issue. It's not likely to be fixed by the "right" person, either.

So, a few thoughts:
1) It could just be that the thing he likes the absolute most -- to the point it makes every other way of feeling sexual feel so meh he describes it as feeling nothing because in comparison to masturbation, maybe it does -- is masturbating. That could be about the physical or the interpersonal, and from the sounds of things, I suggest it's both. He could probably experience other things differently in time by masturbating less and spending more time doing other things as far as just the physical goes: it may be he's just so used to the very specific way he masturbates, he's gotten habituated to it.

However, that won't likely answer any emotional or interpersonal issues, which it sounds like there also are from what you say about the communication issues and avoidance. That leads me to my #2 suggestion and a couple more questions:

2) He could do some work to sort out what emotional or interpersonal issues may be at play here if any are (which again, I feel certain there are). How does he do with intimacy and communication in other areas of the relationship? How open is he to taking some positive risks with you and working on really talking more about this? Does he have any trauma history, sexual or otherwise? That can also play a part in things like this.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Heather
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Re: Boyfriend doesnt enjoy sex

Unread postby Heather » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:28 pm

Oh! Two more things, just to be sure I really have as much of the picture as I can here:

Does he get any pleasure from YOUR pleasure? In other words, when he says he hasn't experienced any pleasure with you or other partners, does he also mean that he hasn't experienced emotional or physical pleasure (our genitals aren't the only body parts we can feel pleasure in, after all: our whole bodies, mouths, fingertips, all of it, can too) in sex with other people?

Also: when he says he very much has desire to have sex with you, but isn't satisfied with any of it/experiencing pleasure, do you have any idea of WHY he wants to and chooses to have sex with you or other partners? In other words, since he isn't apparently getting any pleasure out of it, what *is* he getting out of it?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Lemon
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Re: Boyfriend doesnt enjoy sex

Unread postby Lemon » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:36 pm

Hes expressed that he enjoys helping me have pleasure, so im assuming he finds pleasure in that at least. I dont know if he has any trauma in his past, as he doesnt share enough for me to know. He is not very good at talking most things out, and has shown some signs of at least commitment issues in the past. The only thing that i know is different from his past relationships is that hes actually acknowledged he has some sort of issue and that he would like to find a way to fix it. In the past he always just kept it to himself and let it end those relationships. He scared easily at first in the relationship, but i think he is slowly opening up. Do you have any tips on how to get him to talk about stuff more openly?

He did “try” to masturbate less. But he believes that it didnt help and im sure he could have taken that option more seriously than i thi k he did. I did in the past voice that maybe a sex therapist or going to a psychiatrist could help him out. Is this something i should bring up again maybe?

Lemon
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Re: Boyfriend doesnt enjoy sex

Unread postby Lemon » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:38 pm

The issue is that, he seems afraid to hurt me so he only voices the issues with sex when hes gotten a little drunk, because it gives him courage to talk it out. Hes not a big confronation person. I an totally in to just pick up some bottles of wine and let us sit down and figure this out. Its just finding which option i can do that wont freak him out i guess.

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Re: Boyfriend doesnt enjoy sex

Unread postby Mo » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:59 pm

It can be hard for some people to learn when and how to effectively communicate how they're feeling in a relationship, and it sounds like this is something your boyfriend struggles with a bit. You can certainly tell him that being honest with you isn't inherently hurtful, and that even things you may not want to hear are better discussed openly than hidden away, but ultimately there isn't anything you can do to get him to open up beyond letting him know that you'd like him to do so.
I think talking to a therapist or counselor of some kind could be helpful for him, since they're often good at helping people learn better communication skills. When you've mentioned it to him in the past, what was his reponse?

Lemon
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Re: Boyfriend doesnt enjoy sex

Unread postby Lemon » Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:42 pm

When i gave the option of him seeking a therapist he was sortof confused and surprised. Like i told him he could talk to a sex therapist, and if he wanted it to be something i did with him i would. But he didnt know that that was a profession and didnt really look at it as a serious option. I think he would be more open to the option now, since this is the second time he has brought the problem to my attention, and he seems more open to finding a solution that works for us both.

Im having problems because i can tell he wants to talk things out and wants to fix things. And that he wants to open himself up and let me in, but it feels like something is holding him back, whether thats fear or something from his past i dont know.

I do really appreciate all of the feedback i have received though. Its been such an amazing help. Thank you so so much for taking the time to answer my questions. Means a lot.

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Re: Boyfriend doesnt enjoy sex

Unread postby Siân » Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:21 am

Hey Lemon :)

Glad you've found this conversation helpful! I think that if your boyfriend is open to seeking a therapist it may be helpful. A sex therapist may be able to help with this element specifically, but if he wants help with opening up and communication more generally (which would almost certainly help with communication around sex too) a more general counsellor is also an option. One option is to search for an LGBT+ friendly practitioner, even if he doesn't fall under this umbrella they are likely to be open and non-judgemental when it comes to speaking about the sexual element of your relationship.

Is there anything else you'd like to talk about just now, or questions that we can help you out with?

Heather
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Re: Boyfriend doesnt enjoy sex

Unread postby Heather » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:20 am

I want to add that I don't think getting bottles of wine to loosen him up to talk is the good way to go here. If the only way he can feel comfortable talking is when he's not sober, that's a problem that you probably don't want to enable, especially if you have any interest in a solid relationship with good communication and with him learning how to communicate.

Probably -- from what I can tell in all this -- the best bet is for him to just seek out a general therapist. It sounds like these issues happening in sex are also happening outside of it, so while they are manifesting a lot in sex per your notice, they are likely bigger than that. (Plus, sex therapy tends to be harder to get covered by insurance, and there are far fewer sex therapists, so finding one can be a lot harder.) I'd suggest he instead work on seeking out a general therapist and just be very clear in screening appointments about the issues he's having to find that right person. I don't know what all his stuff is, obviously, and from the sounds of things, you don't either, so it will be on him to be honest with therapists about that.

If it turns out therapists think that a sex therapist is the right bet for him, they'll let him know that.

Too, if therapy is something within reach for you, I'd also add that you might find having your own therapist is helpful with some of the challenges you're experiencing in this relationship. And if you're the kind of person inclined to get hyper-focused on helping a partner with all their stuff (I am myself very familiar with this problem!), having your own therapist can also help you be sure you are focusing on your own needs and issues, including anything that might be at play with any of this on your end.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Lemon
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Re: Boyfriend doesnt enjoy sex

Unread postby Lemon » Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:20 pm

Appreciate all the help, he says hes not comfortable seeking a therapist at this time. We will try the options you helped with, and I will attempt to get him to open up more. If we end up with nothing working then I guess he will need to seek a therapist in the future. Thank you all very much!

Heather
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Re: Boyfriend doesnt enjoy sex

Unread postby Heather » Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:37 pm

Don't forget that you also have agency here, okay? What does or doesn't happen in your relationship isn't just up to him.

So if, for instance, you're not comfortable having sex with a partner who says they experience no pleasure, you are in no way obligated to keep having sex with that partner.

It's also not on YOU to get HIM to open up: that's for him to do. You not only really can't do it, it's actually not really sound for you to try, and doesn't tend to set up a particularly healthy, equitable relationship between peers (rather than say, how things tend to go between parents and children, where there is a lot of one-sided doing-for). The best you can do is to behave in such a way that would make another person feel safe being open with you about loaded things. It's on him to actually do the effort of opening up more and figure out what he needs to do that, and I'd encourage you to try and keep that in mind, particularly if you want this relationship to actually benefit both of you, not just him, you know?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Lemon
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Re: Boyfriend doesnt enjoy sex

Unread postby Lemon » Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:39 am

I see, we are currently doing some "long distance" for a couple months because of the way school ran this year, and he seems to keep focusing on the problem and unable to think about other things. I don't want to have a relationship focused around problems I am unable to help with, so we decided to take a break, and he is going to focus on figuring out what he needs from the relationship and how he thinks that solving this problem can go. Hopefully that means things can start over and be better in the future when we are in the same state again, and if not then we will both just move on. I really appreciate all the help I received here though. I cannot thank you enough.

Heather
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Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
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Location: Chicago, IL and Vashon Island, WA

Re: Boyfriend doesnt enjoy sex

Unread postby Heather » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:35 am

That sounds like a good call on your part to me. How are you feeling about it?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Lemon
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Re: Boyfriend doesnt enjoy sex

Unread postby Lemon » Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:17 pm

I am ok I guess, like its not the option I wanted, and I am hoping that it will help things and that we can get though it. It just hurts a little right now, and we never actually defined any rules in regards to the break so that hurts too.

Siân
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Re: Boyfriend doesnt enjoy sex

Unread postby Siân » Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:20 am

I'm sorry that it hurts, big decisions like breaks or breakups usually do. It sounds like you've come to this point out of a long period of trying to work through this in all sorts of other ways that were also hurting and taking a step back to each focus on your own needs for a bit is a good, brave decision.

I hear you being concerned about the "rules" during this time; before getting too into that, have you thought about what YOU want from the next few months? Because that would inform the kind of boundaries (if any) you set. Probably you're going to need a bit of time to just feel a bunch of things and work through your thoughts, which may be easier if you're not in constant contact for example. What kinds of things are you doing to process this a little and look after yourself just now? We have some ideas here if you need them: Self-Care a La Carte

Another nice thing to think about might be what other relationships or parts of your life you'd like to put some energy into in the space given to you by this break, what do you think?


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