I love my partner, but I want more sex than him

Questions and discussion about your sexual lives, choices, activities, ideas and experiences.
springflower
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I love my partner, but I want more sex than him

Unread postby springflower » Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:30 pm

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 4 and a half years. I’m 21 and he is 22. We live with each other and a couple of friends. I love him very much and believe he also loves me. In the past we’ve had really great sex and we communicate about it clearly during and after. When we have had sex in the past year or so, it’s satisfying for both of us, the only issue for me is frequency. Ideally, I’d have sex once a week or once every other week. But lately it’s been more like once a month or once every 8 weeks. Despite discussing it with him more times than I can count, nothing has changed.
I have a higher sex drive than he does, and I initiate 9 times out of 10. I let him know when I want sex—explicitly, with my words, and with physical queues. He usually gently rejects me, but I’m still left feeling sad and down on myself. It’s hard not to take it personally.
I suspect that in addition to a naturally lower libido, that some personal problems of his that we’ve discussed are part of this. As long as I’ve known him he has struggled to complete important tasks, to maintain consistent effort when challenged, and to start new habits or routines. I’m studying psychology in school, and I have hunch that he’s dealing with undiagnosed and untreated ADD or ADHD; he’s actually agreed with me when I’ve suggested that to him. His self esteem is rather low as a consequence of this. I’ve asked him more than once to get help for it, both because I want him to be happy and because I think dealing with these problems will ultimately solve our sexual issues too. In May, I practically begged him to figure it out and see a therapist. He agreed that it would be a good idea for him, and promised he would. He made a few efforts but it’s September and he doesn’t have a therapist.
I feel like I’ve tried everything and I don’t know what to do now. In terms of actually solving the underlying problem, it seems like there isn’t much I can do—it’s up to him to seek therapy. But in the meantime I’m trying to carry the weight of these feelings of deep sadness and helplessness. Masturbating doesn’t fulfill my intimate needs, and often leaves me feeling worse because it reminds me of my relationship troubles. Please, I’d be grateful for any advice you can offer.

Sam W
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Re: I love my partner, but I want more sex than him

Unread postby Sam W » Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:02 am

Hi Springflower,

Oof, that sounds like a stressful situation for both of you. I think it's good that you've acknowledged that, at a certain point, addressing some of the bigger stuff he's dealing with is up to him, and not something you can really control.

You mention that you two have discussed the mismatch in desire a number of times. Can you give me a sense of how those conversations generally go? And when you say you're feeling like you've tried everything, what are some of the things you've tried?

springflower
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Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:59 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: Kindness
My primary language: English
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My sexual identity and orientation: Bisexual
Location: California

Re: I love my partner, but I want more sex than him

Unread postby springflower » Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:28 am

Typically I describe how I’m feeling, and he is often apologetic but he says he doesn’t know what to do. In the past I’ve tried stepping back and letting him initiate sex, because I thought that his guilt over rejecting me might be contributing to the problem. But in the end it just meant that we didn’t have sex as often and neither of us felt any better about it. Once we tried negotiating so that sometimes he would give me sexual pleasure without reciprocation when I was in the mood and he wasn’t. He wanted to meet my needs in those cases, I know that, but often those times left me feeling sad and undesirable and just generally down on myself. We’re both monogamous types so although we brought it up, opening up the relationship wouldn’t make either of us happy. Based on the non-results of my attempts at seduction, I’ve come to the conclusion that his desire to have sex has nothing to do with me; I suppose this should make me feel better but it’s had the opposite effect on my self-esteem—like maybe if I were more (attractive, laid back, what have you) I could influence his desire. I know that’s not how these things work in my head, but the thoughts still hurt my heart. We communicate pretty well but between the two of us we haven’t found a solution that’s stuck.

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 6743
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
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Location: Desert

Re: I love my partner, but I want more sex than him

Unread postby Sam W » Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:55 am

Thank you for those details, they're really helpful. I'm not super surprised that him trying to meet your needs when you were aroused and he wasn't didn't end well, since sex that feels like obligation (or that you feel like your partner is doing out of obligation) doesn't usually leave people feeling great.

In terms of other things to try, these two articles may give you some ideas about navigating a relationship where there's an arousal mis-match: https://www.scarleteen.com/article/advi ... ng_libidos, Reciprocity, Reloaded.

I think it's sound to recognize that his libido has more to do with other things going on in his life (and in himself) than it does with you. That being said, it can be really rough to feel as though you aren't desirable to a partner. Can you think of things besides sex that would help you feel desired, or have helped you feel that way in the past?

springflower
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Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2020 2:59 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: Kindness
My primary language: English
My pronouns: She/her
My sexual identity and orientation: Bisexual
Location: California

Re: I love my partner, but I want more sex than him

Unread postby springflower » Sat Sep 12, 2020 12:28 pm

Verbal affirmations and physical contact in daily interactions are both important for me to feel desired, but primarily I require quality time spent together—dates, both casual and formal, and of course sex. Quarantine has made it really difficult to get out and do things together, both because so many businesses and public places are closed and because it’s harder to be motivated nowadays. My boyfriend doesn’t often include affirmations in our day to day conversations. He’s said that to him, that he loves me is a given, and his response to “are you attracted to me” would likely be well, of course! I don’t know how to ask him to do those things more in such a way that he’ll actually do it. If you have any ideas about what else might make someone feel desirable, I’m open to suggestions.

Mo
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Re: I love my partner, but I want more sex than him

Unread postby Mo » Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:54 pm

There isn't a way to ask him that will guarantee he does it, but I do think it's something you could ask about! Maybe you could say something like "because we aren't able to spend much time together right now, verbal affection would mean a lot to me, even more than it normally does. Can you try to [compliment me, give affirmations, express attraction, whatever you want to ask for] more often?" And then see how he responds.
I think that's a very reasonable thing to ask for; a lot of relationships are being disrupted in some way by the pandemic, and often when relationships shift or people can't see each other in person as often or at all, people have to figure out different ways to express their affection for each other. It sounds like he might think his feelings for you are obvious and don't need to be stated, but it's not unreasonable to ask him to express that to you more often. Plenty of people need or want that kind of reassurance in their relationships. Hopefully if you bring it up you'll be able to have a good conversation about the ways you can communicate with each other that feel affirming and supportive to you both in this current situation.


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