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Author Topic: Worried about lack of sex in new relationship
Socks
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Hi [Smile]

I've been in a relationship with a lovely guy for just over 5 months. We see each other every day after work and spend the weekends together.

Now, I know I am a natural worrier. I was recommended this site a while ago by someone on a body image forum. I have only had one relationship before and although I fell out of love with that person, I always seem to compare the two relationships. In this one, we hardly seem to have sex at all, maybe twice a week, whereas in my last one it was more like twice a day. I probably wouldn't worry so much if I hadn't heard on numerous occasions from 'sex experts' that couples should be doing it at least three times a week, and that is for people who have been together years and years! I feel that something must be wrong. I don't have a high sex drive but I feel he must not find me that attractive and that worries me.

Another thing is he is not always able to cum from penetration and I don't seem to be able to either (inc. in my last relationship) so I feel I'm not exciting enough for him. He does try to reassure me otherwise, but I'm not convinced.

Am I right to be worried?

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KittenGoddess
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Every person and every relationship is different. So comparing two relationships, or looking at averages (or how much sex somebody "should" be having) isn't really that useful. What is more important is what works for the people involved in the relationship. If that's 3x a week, fine. If that's 1x a week, fine. If that's only when the moon is blue, fine. There really is no right amount here.

Are you happy with the sex that's happening? Is your partner happy with the sex that's happening? If the answer to both of those things is yes, then there's no reason to worry in the least. If the answer is no, then it's time to talk about it and see where you both are.

Have you talked with your partner about these worries yet?

Per your second question, have you ever heard the saying "different strokes for different folks"? Well, that's really what it is. People are individual, bodies are different...the same things aren't going to work for everybody. Intercourse isn't the be-all, end-all, ultimate answer, best thing ever in the entire universe for everybody. And that's okay. If your partner (or you) prefer a different type of sex to intercourse, that's not abnormal nor is there anything wrong with it. To think about it another way, I really like cake. Specifically, I prefer vanilla cake with whipped icing. Now chocolate cake is okay, and I'll eat it if it's there...but if I'm buying the cake, I want vanilla. This doesn't make me unexciting or weird. People don't point and laugh at that chick who likes the vanilla cake...it just means that I've got a preference. Sex is the same way. Some people may prefer one sort over another, which is fine. Again, if you and your partner are feeling good about what you're doing, if you're enjoying it and satisfied by it, there's no reason to worry about it. Other than these worries, are you feeling like you are both enjoying what's going on?

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Sarah Liz

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Socks
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I have talked to him about it a bit but I'm hesitant because I don't want to either scare him off or make him feel pressured/not good enough. I love him regardless but just worry that it is a dead-end relationship because maybe we don't feel enough attraction/desire? If we'd been together 6 years I'd be fine with it but at under 6 months you'd think we would be doing it a lot more.

Perhaps it's just my own insecurities coming out again (which he knows about) - not having regular sex seems to make me feel more unattractive. But what if that is the reason why? He wouldn't want to admit that to me [Frown]

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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You know, I want to add, from your first post, that anyone who calls themselves a "sex expert" and says there is a specific frequency for sex for everyone that's a minimum....well, isn't. That's a pretty serious no-no for anyone working in sex advice or information when it comes to sound advice and ethics. Any expert who has any kind of education or training in the field knows that.

Like Saffron made clear, all couples and relationships are different.

But I hear you saying this is perhaps less of an issue in terms of your relationship and more about you feeling like, for you, you need sex with a partner in part to validate your own appeal. I think that can be okay when it's something sex does in part, and only one part of what sex offers people, but it's one of those things where you want to pay attention to how much of a part it plays in your own self-esteem, you know?

So, to check in, aside of that issue, and the idea something must be wrong at this frequency, is sex a couple times a week something you're okay with, or would you say you want and need a relationship with greater sexual frequency?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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

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Socks
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Thanks both for your replies. They are very reassuring. I realise I may sound a bit silly!

I would be completely fine and happy with it if he really is... He says so, so I should believe him...

[ 03-26-2012, 05:30 AM: Message edited by: Socks ]

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Saffron Raymie
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You don't sound silly, Socks. From popular culture, we do tend to get continuously bombarded with myths and incorrect information about sexuality. One of these myths is that boys or men "should" all have very high libidos and be wanting sex very often.

Another myth is the one that says that if we're extremely attracted to a partner, we'll want to engage in sex with them more often. However, we know this isn't true either, as sometimes other things are enough; such as fantasizing, hugging, talking emotionally, kisses, or sharing other parts of ourselves with them - such as hopes and dreams.

However, although we know that these messages bombarding us are false, and that human sexuality is incredibly diverse; that all genders have different libidos which vary wildly between people (and can be all over the place even within one person), as well as all having different ways of expressing extreme attraction; it's still very easy to internalize these messages subconsciously - because they're so prevalent everywhere we look.

[ 03-26-2012, 07:05 AM: Message edited by: Saffron Reimi ]

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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Socks
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I seem to have a big issue with this. Last week we had sex almost every day, which I was very happy about. I felt good that he wanted me so much. Then we had visitors over so we couldn't, which was fine, but we talked about what we'd do when they had gone, but now they have he was too tired. To me, this feels like rejection, I'm too ugly, he's gone off me. Yet I know how pathetic that sounds, and he probably really is tired which should be fine. I feel bad that it's not fine, and can't ignore the feeling that he is making an excuse. I just don't know what to do to stop getting so anxious about this - I know it's not right to be like this.
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Socks
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I seem to have a big issue with this. Last week we had sex almost every day, which I was very happy about. I felt good that he wanted me so much. Then we had visitors over so we couldn't, which was fine, but we talked about what we'd do when they had gone, but now they have he was too tired. To me, this feels like rejection, I'm too ugly, he's gone off me. Yet I know how pathetic that sounds, and he probably really is tired which should be fine. I feel bad that it's not fine, and can't ignore the feeling that he is making an excuse. I just don't know what to do to stop getting so anxious about this - I know it's not right to be like this.
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Robin Lee
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Hmm....I wonder about looking at this from a slightly different angle.

What other things does your partner do that help you feel loved, desired, wanted by him--attractive to him?

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Robin

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Socks
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He does kiss and touch me a lot. He tells me he loves me and that I make him happy. Sometimes he says I look good. This is obviously all great!

I can see myself that I am probably too needy. I don't want it to get in the way of a fantastic relationship but I can't control my thoughts [Frown]

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Robin Lee
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It's completely okay to have needs. As Heather says above, it's okay for you to have sex be part of what validates you your sense of feeling attractive. It's also important that sex be more than that, and that you have other things that are validating.

Your partner tells you that he likes the way you look. Yet you are still uncertain. What do you think this is about? For example, is it about the way you feel about him--how much you feel you can trust him? Or is it about how you feel about yourself.
.

Also, a thought about sexual frequency: As has been mentioned above, this varies for each couple. It also varies based on what's going on for the couple at the time. So it's not abnormal to be sexual frequently, then for that to taper off for a while. You mentioned above that in your previous relationship sex was consistent and frequent. There's nothing wrong with this either. Something that springs to mind, and I'm definitely not saying that this was the case with your previous relationship, is that sometimes couples have sex when they don't have or know other loving ways to relate to each other. Again, I'm just putting that thought out there to perhaps give you some perspective on your current relationship.

So to sum up, it's definitely okay to have needs. This is a partnership about what both of you want. So, the way I see it, it's not about you being less needy so you don't put any pressure on the relationship but perhaps about you becoming more confident in yourself. Does that distinction make sense?

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Robin

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Socks
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I think it does make sense.

I was bullied at school and regularly made fun of and called ugly. I feel unattractive most of the time and it's probably due to that.

I wouldn't say my previous relationship was better but it was my first (not his) so all I knew to expect.

I feel like I need to be validated constantly in some way or another. Is this healthy? It doesn't feel it...

Thank you.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Socks: I wouldn't say it's unhealthy for people to need to often feel validated, but if that always has to come from external sources -- in other words, if you can't also do it well yourself, for yourself -- that's suggestive of some problems, for sure.

As well, I think if and when we find we need a TON of validation in one area of our lives, or around a given thing -- like our sexual appeal -- that can also be a helpful clue something is off. Like, maybe we're trying to get too many things from sex, get things from it we should also be getting from other places, too, putting too much emphasis on our sexual value, having troubles in a relationship where we constantly need that validation, etc.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
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

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