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Sex issues- some perspective appreciated

(53 Posts)
XrayPerspex Mon 01-Sep-14 10:19:00

Hi all

My girlfriend no longer seems to want to have sex. After trawling through some posts, I thought I should answer some commonly asked questions first. Excuse the bullet point format-

We live together

Been together 3.5 years, lived together 18 months

Neither of us have changed body shape recently

No kids

The issue has been on and off for about 6-8 months maybe?

We love each other. That's not in question.

We both work very hard/long hours in demanding jobs - she is determined to make her job a success. It seems to take most of her energy. Everything she does she tries to make a success of, except, it seems this aspect of our relationship.

She has rarely (never?) made the first move

We have enjoyed a better sex life in the past

We both like a drink. She drinks more than me, and probably, I suspect, more than she should. I probably do a about 15 units a week mostly at the weekend- (she is much smaller than me)

We share the workload around the house equally

I am, as time goes on, not making an effort as it seems to lead to more rejection. The feelings of rejection I have had have really mounted up on me, leaving me quite upset and I am considering to not ever make a move again in order to avoid this. Clearly this will only make the problem worse... or will it? I don't want to end the relationship because of this.

Anyway, some perspective will be gratefully received. Am happy to answer any questions to clarify/elucidate. Is sex therapy a way forward (has anyone experienced this?), and if so, how do I broach the subject easily?

eurochick Mon 01-Sep-14 10:20:33

What contraception are you using? The Pill kills my libido stone dead.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Sep-14 10:27:07

I would suggest that the part about both working hard in demanding jobs will be a big part of what's wrong. If she's not got a particularly high sex drive in the first place & if she feels 'safe' in the relationship (in the sense of taking it for granted) then a schedule that creates a) no time together and b) fatigue is not going to improve your sex life. Alcohol livens some people up and for others, it acts as a sedative....

How much time do you get together as a couple? Are you affectionate/intimate with each other in ways other than sex (cuddling, kissing, hand-holding)? Does the problem persist even if you're in a more relaxed setting e.g on holiday? Did something change or happen 6 - 8 months ago that you can identify?

XrayPerspex Mon 01-Sep-14 10:41:31

Hiya -thanks for the input.

Condoms as contraception

Yes, we are intimate in other ways, although I have to say that I feeling less inclined in this area as time goes on; clearly a vicious cycle. I was certainly not that cuddly in bed last night. I wasn't being petulant and it wasn't 'on purpose', I was feeling a bit distant- I guess because of a recent rejection. Things do improve when we are on hols/trips, etc, but I guess my concern is that I will stop making the moves in case I get another rejection.

There's nothing I can pinpoint that happened 6- 8 months ago.

Flossiex2 Mon 01-Sep-14 10:43:22

How old are you both?

XrayPerspex Mon 01-Sep-14 10:45:08

I'm 44, she's 36

Abilly72 Mon 01-Sep-14 10:48:50

This will get worse and go downhill rapidly to a non relationship if either of you do nothing.Females not initiating and constantly rejecting equals another man[maybe female] in the background.It is just not a relationship if there is no sex and especially if there is constant rejection.Good Luck

XrayPerspex Mon 01-Sep-14 10:56:17

Yes, I do plan on fixing it. I am pretty sure there's anyone else involved (no time! and she's not the type), but I'm sure others have said that in the past and been surprised.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Sep-14 10:59:11

You must, must, must maintain the intimacy if you want to survive a dry spell. Where it often goes wrong is when one party only values sex, sees rejection of sex as a withdrawal of love & regards the cuddles and kissing purely as a precursor to sex.... 'making the moves'. Whilst the other party regards any kind of physical intimacy as a satisfactory expression of love in isolation and that sex is not the be all and end all.

So you have to talk to each other to bridge the gap. But take it very carefully because once you start a conversation which has any sense of 'I'd like more sex' about it you're instantly introducing the world's biggest passion-killers i.e. expectations and pressure.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Sep-14 11:00:54

"Females not initiating and constantly rejecting equals another man[maybe female] in the background"..... It's only one of many possible reasons for a six month dry spell. I dispute the word 'equals' hmm

XrayPerspex Mon 01-Sep-14 11:03:42

sorry, correction to above post. *there's NOone else involved

ClashCityRocker Mon 01-Sep-14 11:11:04

Totally disagree with abilly. In fact, you often find the opposite to be true.

If cogitoergo is absolutely spot on.

Sometimes it's nice to just cuddle. I think a lot of relationships go through dry spells for want of a better word particularly with work and time stresses - ours certainly does.

I would suggest remove the sex issue for the moment. Not because it's a non-issue, but rather it is a symptom rather than a cause.

Maintain affection; make time to do fun things together. And make sure quality time doesn't equate to a precursor for sex - for example, if you're taking her out for a nice meal, you don't want her to be sat thinking 'he's gonna expect sex at the end of this'.

Fwiw, I also think it's quite common for one party to mainly initiate sex - it's an easy habit to fall into. The trick is to read the signs - if she's saying she's tired and yawning or had a shit day at work, she probably isn't going to be receptive. Cue you feeling rejected, and the problem getting worse.

XrayPerspex Mon 01-Sep-14 11:11:20

Yes, thanks- I will try to make sure that I don't let it 'get to me' and still maintain intimacy. I definitely want to do that anyway.

XrayPerspex Mon 01-Sep-14 11:43:45

I think I find it hard to read the signs as, frankly, she has never given any in the past one way or the other. Sometimes she'll go to bed naked/with just knickers on (as opposed to pajamas). Also, and I suddenly realised that this may be important ( I am so used to it now that it didn't even cross my mnd until just now)- she doesn't much do snogging- foreplay rarely includes this , and if so, I will let her initiate this, because I know that if I do it she may not like it. In all my past relationships, sex is often instigated with a kiss. With this one, this isn't the case.

itsbetterthanabox Mon 01-Sep-14 11:55:19

You've been together a while so she won't have that rush of lust. You are both tired a lot. Sex is hassle tbh.
What happens when you talk about it? What does she say? Don't talk at the time in bed. Another time.
Sex toys can help as they mean you get aroused much quicker. She into that? If kissing and touching isn't much of a turn on/takes ages it seems more hassle than it's worth. Vibrators work much faster! Also do you always go for penetrative sex? She may not want that for a variety of reasons but feels she can't tell you. Try just oral and mutual masturbation.

itsbetterthanabox Mon 01-Sep-14 11:56:01

I mean the vibe for her btw.

Scarletohello Mon 01-Sep-14 12:00:47

You don't kiss?? For me that in itself would be a massive problem. Can I ask why? I couldn't be with someone who didn't love a lovely long snog...

kaykayblue Mon 01-Sep-14 12:08:11

My partner once told me that when he didn't wear his socks to bed then it was a sure, conscious signal to me that he was up for sex.

I was in hysterical laughter for about 20 minutes.

Anecdote aside, have you actually spoken to her about how you feel? Have you told her that you find it difficult to read her signals for when she is trying to tell you that she is in the mood? Have you asked her to make a more conscious effort to tell you when she is up for sex? Have you told her that you are beginning to take it as a personal rejection when you feel like you are the one going to her an she is saying no the whole time? Have you asked her if there is anything else she would like to do other than penetrative sex?

Do you talk to her about how her work is going and support her in that respect as well?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Sep-14 12:08:13

Agreeing with the PP, I find the idea of no kissing/snogging rather cold. When you said earlier that you are 'intimate in other ways'... what does that mean exactly?

XrayPerspex Mon 01-Sep-14 12:08:58

Kissing? It's not been a massive problem for me/us , but may be part of/a symptom of the current problem perhaps?

Sex with us is normally instigated by cuddling, touching, caressing, etc. Kissing comes later.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Sep-14 12:15:44

Are you able to 'cuddle touch and caress' and enjoy it in isolation? Or would one or both of you automatically interpret it as 'sex is next'? Would you be able to have a conversation where you reassure each other that cuddles, touches and whatever are good and, if that's as far as it goes, no-one feels rejected and no-one feels pressured?

XrayPerspex Mon 01-Sep-14 12:19:05

intimate- touching, stroking, having fun...all the usual stuff. We do kiss when not having sex, but mostly closed mouth/pecks, etc- with sex it just happens 'later' rather as part of foreplay- that's the best way I can describe it really? I think that she has had some issues with her teeth that make her feel uncomfortable with kissing until she's horny.

Further answers below!
Anecdote aside, have you actually spoken to her about how you feel?

Not so much- in bits maybe but frankly, its not been that easy to bring up and she is defo uncomfortable talking about it.

Have you told her that you find it difficult to read her signals for when she is trying to tell you that she is in the mood? Yes.

Have you asked her to make a more conscious effort to tell you when she is up for sex? Yup, but she hasn't.

Have you told her that you are beginning to take it as a personal rejection when you feel like you are the one going to her an she is saying no the whole time? Not so much really- I feel that she would be very upset to hear this.

Have you asked her if there is anything else she would like to do other than penetrative sex? A bit, but could do more

Do you talk to her about how her work is going and support her in that respect as well? very much so- this is a very strong part of our relationship

XrayPerspex Mon 01-Sep-14 12:21:14

I get what your saying Cogito- no expectations should be set when being intimate. Now how do I go about saying this without upset?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Sep-14 12:43:03

"how do I go about saying this without upset?"

I would go the route of saying that you're worried that the intimacy in your relationship is dwindling. Express understanding for this full-on career she has leaving her with no energy but also that you miss connecting physically, kissing and cuddling etc. Don't make the direct point that 'no sex' = 'rejection' because that's rather a zero sum game and it instantly adds pressure. However, you can say that you think being closer and more tactile (rather than more sex) would make both of you more happy and relaxed. I think a partner who couldn't agree with that statement would be struggling really.

XrayPerspex Mon 01-Sep-14 12:43:30

you're -typing in a rush

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