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My Boyfriend Has NO Sex Drive

Question:

I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for only 4 months. The first two months we had a good sexual relationship. We were often intimate but definitely less than what I would have preferred or was used to with a new relationship. My boyfriend expressed that in the past he has had issues with affection as well as having a low sex drive. He is open to discussing this and to getting help.

He believes that part of the reason he has these issues with sex is that he ties it to a time in his life when he was using drugs. Now he looks at sex as something dirty. He said he can have random sex with no problem. But sex with someone that he cares about gives him anxiety.

He told me that he will avoid situations where he thinks it may lead to the bedroom. He won’t kiss me and now, more recently, he won’t even go to sleep in the same room as me. He makes excuses but when I finally had a heart to heart with him he admitted that he was avoiding having sex with me.

His behavior makes me question if he really cares about me. Is he attracted to me? He tells me that I can’t look at it in the same way as he does because it has nothing to do with his attraction to me. Instead it has everything to do with his own issues with anxiety about sex.

I think he is an amazing man and I want to try to work through this. He said he is willing to seek therapy but my concern is will therapy really work? Will we ever be a “normal couple” or will this be a constant struggle. This is such an early stage in our relationship that I am contemplating leaving him. But I have not been with someone that I have cared this deeply for and so I don’t want to run if this is something that can be fixed. Please help!! Thank you!!

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Answer:

There is no way anyone can tell you if this will ever be a “normal relationship.” A lot depends on his ability to overcome his problems about women and sexual relations. Let me explain:

Your boyfriend is one of many men who cannot have anything but casual sex with women he does not care about. Somehow, in his mind, there is something wrong with having sex with a woman he loves. You are such a woman. Its counter intuitive because one would think he would want to have sex with you because he cares about you. In actuality its the opposite. Now that he care about you sex is forbidden in his mind. It may not make sense but it happens with more men that you may imagine. A variation of this theme is the man who can have sex with his wife until she gives birth to their first child. Suddenly, she becomes forbidden and he loses his sexual desire…for her.

In other words, your boyfriend needs a lot of psychotherapy over a long period of time, in my opinion.

I believe that you are right to question your future with this man when this problem is emerging so very soon in the relationship. Four months is a very short amount of time. It is no wonder that you are contemplating leaving him even though he is such an “amazing man.”

A successful marriage includes many things and one of them is satisfying sexual relationship between husband and wife. As a therapist who worked with many couples, both married and not married, whose central problems had to do with sexuality. In many cases the problem was that one had a greater sex drive than the other, whether the male or female. In other words, if they were not well matched for sexual drive disaster lurked.

Your boyfriend is quite correct when he assures you that the problem is his and has nothing to do with you. Of course, most people doubt their attractiveness when their partner shows little or no sexual interest.

It is important that you weigh very carefully whether you want to stay together. As I often tell people, if you are asking the question, as you are, you have really made your decision.

Best of Luck

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