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to not know what I'm supposed to do about a low sex drive?

(35 Posts)
iloveuihateu Mon 20-Mar-17 16:17:16

This isn't a TAAT but more a thread inspired by a current thread which I've posted on already but don't want to derail.

I'm 34...I have a lovely DH whom I adore. We have a very affectionate relationship...holding hands, hugs, kisses, playfights,etc and tell each other how much we love each other all of the time --I know <passing you a bucket>
We are newly married and have been together in total about 3 years. All is rosy except that I have no sex drive. Nothing. Zero.

Not just re: sex with DH but I don't feel the need at all and don't masturbate or think about other men. Nothing.

I used to (before DH) but think it's my medication...I can't stop taking it as I have bipolar. I've taken several different meds before which did not work and my psychiatrist has strongly advised me against changing as I am considered as being a high risk of relapse during the transition . I'm the main breadwinner and self employed so a breakdown would have serious consequences (homelessness!).

I've spoken to DH before and since we got married. He would like sex every day but understands my situation and says the rest of our relationship makes up for it.

However I get fairly terrified when I read all the other threads about this from the other perspective which say 'everyone deserves sex', 'you should walk away and find someone as life's too short not to have sex' etc etc.

AIBU to not try other things to find my sex drive? And if so what are these 'other things'?

I would be heartbroken if my DH decided one day he'd had enough and left...sad

coragreta Mon 20-Mar-17 16:53:40

Go to your GP and talk about the medication you are on and the side effects. There might be something they can do.

VestalVirgin Mon 20-Mar-17 16:53:45

Well, you'd have to figure out how this medication suppresses your sex drive and what can be done against it without it counteracting the effect you want.

I'd start with getting hormone levels checked.

Other than that ... save money and when you are no longer at risk of homelessness, try changing the meds?

Your DH says he is okay with it, believe him. People on forums sometimes have weird ideas. (Especially about sex. Living without sex is perfectly possible and not as bad as it is made out to be)

hardhatfirmlyon Mon 20-Mar-17 17:05:30

I will get flamed for this - was on the other thread and have NC's for this as it is not very MN advice. However - what it is is my real life experience and something I have talked about at length to a number of real life friends..

Just do it. I have a DH with a high sex drive, we probably have sex 3/4 times a week. I'm not really that fussed. It is quite rubbish and quick a lot of the time, sometimes it is better than that. If it was down to me it might be once a month, or less.

It is genuinely how people get along in real life with their partners not looking elsewhere, especially if everything else is alright. I honestly don't get this idea that all of these people in long term relationships are burning with desire and horny and desperate for a shag with their DH's and that is when sex will happen and only then, that is bullshit, and an entirely unrealistic expectation which puts a lot of pressure on people who think that this is a reality. Like it is not reality like porn isn't reality, or romantic films are not reality. It isn't real.

I do not believe that everyone is up for it all the time at the same time as their partners - a lot of people, when propositioned for sex by their partner when they aren't feeling it will (in their heads) will be thinking 'oh for fucks sake, go on then' a lot of the time. Doing it to keep their partners happy. It is JUST sex, it isn't torturing small animals or poking yourself in the eye or sticking a poker up your arse. It is just plain old sex, just do it, then he/she is happy, you move on with your day, no fuss no drama. If an entire generation goes along with this fantasy that you both must be in the mood or it doesn't happen that is bonkers. No wonder relationships are so short lived these days!

Anyway, rant over - the PC police will be along to tell you that he must respect your space (of course he should - not advocating anything else) and that you should only EVER do it when YOU want it and that's it (obviously you need to consent btw, that goes without saying, but IMO you can consent and be doing it, consensually for reasons other than being desperate to shag him/her. For example I will consent for an easier life, or because I love him and I want him to be happy and in a good mood. Or because, if I don't then eventually I will be bringing up our children on our own whilst he finds somebody else to have sex with).

But it would be really really interesting to know whether anyone with the opinion that only when you are well up for it should you consider it is honestly in a long term relationship with that attitude, low sex drive (but with someone with a higher sex drive), both happy, with a faithful partner who is willing to live like that forever?

Lastly your DH sounds lovely, and understanding and he may well be one of the good ones who will live like that & I am only saying what I have found to be true for myself and my friends. I hope you find a solution that works for you OP.

gabsdot Mon 20-Mar-17 17:15:10

I couldn't agree more with you. I've been married 23 years and we used to have a great sex life. Now I'm not that fussed. I'm 48, my juices have dried up sadly. But we still do it a couple of times a week, it keep DH happy and sometimes I even enjoy it!!!

User537853643 Mon 20-Mar-17 17:33:03

hardhat I actually fully agree with you, my oh has a much higher sex drive than me, mine is once a week at best, his is everyday 3 times a day if he could I still do it most days even if I'm not up for it.

UnbornMortificado Mon 20-Mar-17 17:44:37

It's not risperidone is it? I've heard similar before but it's difficult when medication is involved.

Delatron Mon 20-Mar-17 17:59:23

Agree with the above. I feel bad as I never initiate and i'm never in the mood. However, when DH initiates, I go along with it and most the time end up enjoying it anyway!

iloveuihateu Mon 20-Mar-17 22:01:44

It's Venlafaxine that I think is having the effect.

We need £4400 per month just to keep going (critical bills, food, commuting) so not much chance of getting to the point that I have space for a breakdown (also the possibility of suicide so not keen for that reason alone).

iloveuihateu Mon 20-Mar-17 22:04:19

I also go along with it when DH initiates however because he knows I'm not into it he hardly ever initiates....he will initiate about once every three months or so and then we have sex.

It's touching that he's so caring but sometimes I wish he'd initiate more often so he doesn't go without (but on the other hand I don't want to have sex so I don't initiate).

...and before people say this is a red flag for an affair he definitely isn't.

UnbornMortificado Tue 21-Mar-17 07:42:48

It's an SSNRI what your on, there are other AD's with the same properties and makeup Duloxetine is the main one I think.

It's not a picnic changing meds, personally it's not something I'd risk if I was stable for the sake of my libido. Your psychiatrist says the same and he will know you better.

If it gets to the point it's affecting your life there is other options there. I actually felt similar for my first year on a different SSNRI then my libido came back.

Is there no medication that could help with your libido? I know increased sexual drive can be a side effect of some medication.

It sounds rough and I'm sorry your going through it.

(Im not a doctor just long term MH patient/carer)

Kione Tue 21-Mar-17 07:51:09

We are like that too.
We haven't had sex for a year now sad but had a DS in this time.
I am really dreading the fact that I just have to do something at some point. I had a massive tear so I am scared of that too...
Sorry to hijack! But you are deffinitelly not alone and I am following!

TheStoic Tue 21-Mar-17 07:51:20

Keep talking to him. Don't assume that because he is ok with no sex today, that he is still ok with it next year, or even next month.

You have other priorities, your mental health. He obviously understands and supports you, but try not to take that support for granted.

PurpleWithRed Tue 21-Mar-17 07:57:13

I'm with HardHat - post menopause my libido has just evaporated and I could happily go without sex for 6 months at a time but physical touch is really really important to DH as a sign of love, especially when initiated by me: I think of it as a gift to him, and I still do enjoy it once I get going so it ends up win win. I've gone as far as setting a diary reminder that pops up once a week.

MrFMercury Tue 21-Mar-17 08:01:54

I'm in a similar situation although mine isn't medication. It's partly I have a large none cancerous cyst near my urethra that physically makes sex painful. It's taken years to get medical people to take it seriously and they're currently considering whether they can risk removing it. It's hard to want sex when I know it will leave me in pain and bleeding. Plus I'm disabled after sudden catastrophic illness and he's my carer.
I sometimes try and make myself to along with it but my DH knows me very well and he can tell. He's told me in the past how crap it makes him feel if he realises I'm not really up for it and how he'd never expect me to put up and shut up but I also read the threads and feel very anxious that he will eventually get fed up and look elsewhere. There's already been a near miss when he joined a carers group and one of the other members made it very clear that she was interested. He realised in time where it was heading but that's made me even more scared. If he left me I'd lose my children too as I'm not able to care for them on my own. It's hard to feel sexy when it's become tied to do much other stuff in my head sad

Guavaf1sh Tue 21-Mar-17 08:04:54

Hardhat is so right! I've so often wanted to say the same on so many threads but the threat of a flaying kept me from it as like she says it seems to be mumsnet heresy to say it, even though that's how the world actually works and we are better off for it. Otherwise everybody would be constantly LTB

PhoenixJasmine Tue 21-Mar-17 08:15:09

I can kinda see the point you're making - but what I don't like is the sense of duty aspect. And also - it disturbs me that someone would want to have sex if their partner wasn't into it. That's pretty grim. It's like using a human as a sex toy, and I wouldn't feel comfortable to use my partner like that. So I lose respect for the higher sex drive party in the situation. Ick.

pipsqueak25 Tue 21-Mar-17 08:17:29

i'm bi polar too so i get the meds low libido angle, post meno too so that has had to be addressed but i can't understand women who have sex 'to keep dp / dh happy' ?? confused, a poster on here said about the sex being mainly rubbish why put up with that ??
op you have a close relationship and can be intimate without penetrative sex, if you have orgasms as a result that is the added bonus. you sound very close, play fights are great etc.
you do need to keep dh in the loop about how you feel but also listen to his needs too, there has to be understanding and compromise on both sides, but don't do anything you don't want to that feels unreasonable and certainly not to just to prevent dh sulking.

pipsqueak25 Tue 21-Mar-17 08:21:10

purple why worry about being flamed ? you're feelings might be hurt for awhile but this aibu and people need to give honest and frank views [within the guidelines obviously]. you'll get over, i get flamed regularly for straight talking because sometimes the truth hurts and people don't like to hear the truth, they'd rather live in denial - come on be brave ! smile

Butterfliesarefragile Tue 21-Mar-17 09:03:59

You have to take your meds obviously. I'm a person with MH issues as well so get that totally.

If the meds can't be changed and improve then it is literally the awful choice of continue as you are or have sex maybe once a week or every couple of weeks when you don't want to. That is really quite messed up but like hardhat says it's what happens. As long as you keep communicating about it and he is caring.

I don't think of it as a duty /aspect. I think of it as a people have needs and if they are not fulfilled in a relationship then that person may look elsewhere it may be sex it may be something else. Some would put up with no sex and some wouldn't.

I'm not in a truly loving marriage for me I'm in what I see for me as a marriage of convenience to a quite wealthy man who adores having a trophy wife who has my kind of behaviour, that's really messed up but he keeps me safe.

TheNaze73 Tue 21-Mar-17 09:09:45

Communication is the key here. Nobody should be forced into anything they don't want to do. You shouldn't have to feel obliged to have sex when you don't want to but, likewise your DP shouldn't feel obliged to stay in a sexless marriage.

LBOCS2 Tue 21-Mar-17 09:16:53

It's not even a 'duty'. It's 'doing something for your partner because you love them'. We have two small children and I'm still breastfeeding; it kills my libido stone dead. We have sex about once a week; it's about four times as much as I want it.

It's almost the equivalent of giving him a lift somewhere (except usually more fun than that!) - takes 20 minutes, not really an inconvenience, fosters good feelings and appreciation, really isn't a big deal. Obviously if there were issues of consent it would be a different thing, this is just a case of... thinking of him rather than being guided by my sex drive.

pipsqueak25 Tue 21-Mar-17 09:22:20

when posters are referring to no sex / sexless, do they mean no sexual contact or no intercourse ?
it is possible to have a full filling sexually satisfying love life with other forms of sexual contact that don't involve penetration, which let's be honest for most women on its own isn't very full filling without some sort of fore play.
no one has to live in a sexless marriage /relationship but you can live without penetration. communication is king as with most things in life.

Sunnysky2016 Tue 21-Mar-17 09:23:30

OP- Just to say I'm on the same meds, for the same thing and feel the same way!

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Tue 21-Mar-17 09:29:04

Phoenix, I think the idea is that they don't know their partners don't want sex. Fake it til you make it!

Butterflies, that sounds so sad. Is it? Are you ok with it?

I can relate to the OP except I'm not on med's. I used to love sex. Now I just don't care. I miss wanting sex and feeling sexy. It's not just DP though. It's everyone. Even Sam and Dean Winchester. I get that they are exceptionally good looking and enjoy looking at them etc but I just think if I were actually in bed with them, all buff and naked and lovely, I'd just want to read my book and drift off to sleep (maybe on a handsome chest).

I have dreams where I want sex (almost always with DP) and I'm so happy to finally have a sex drive again. Then I wake up and can't even be bothered.

When we do have sex I enjoy the intimacy for a few days afterwards. If it's good at the time I wonder why I don't do it more often. It usually is good unless we're pressed for time/very tired (which we often are).

I don't want to lose the intimacy from our relationship which I think can only come from sex. The actual sex itself I just can't be bothered with. Like the OP says, it's just like nothing there. It's not an aversion, just a lack of desire.

I wonder if anyone's ever had meds to fix this? I guess 2 years of TTC, 2 pregnancies and 3 years of breastfeeding aren't exactly a recipe for sexy times...

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