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New boyfriend has little interest in sex

(65 Posts)
dancingbymyself Wed 20-Jan-21 09:03:21

I met someone online at the end of last summer and we had an instant connection. We went from texting every day, to seeing each other every day. At the end of the year he moved in - we were both clear we're in it for the long haul.

It has all been so easy and effortless, apart from one area - sex.

Initially it was great: spontaneous and fun.
When we started spending every night together, he raised that I seemed to expect sex every bedtime, and that he felt under pressure. This was completely fair - a) he's very much a morning person so exhausted by bedtime, and b) my awful baggage is that I have got used to quantity of sex as an indicator of how much someone likes me.

Since then, I have completely backed off and not initiated, but it just means we are barely having sex once a week. I know he's even resisted full on kissing in case it's led to anything.

Last night I made a comment whilst watching a show about sex, and it has upset him. We've had a talk this morning about it.

He feels his life has been turned upside down, and with a new home, the pandemic, work stresses, he is struggling to feel in the mood. He also wants sex to feel spontaneous, but that's so difficult when I'm now scared of him feeling under pressure.

It feels like we've just had a major misstep over this and I have no idea how to get it back. We both see a real future together and it's so frustrating that we can't seem to get this back on track.

Any suggestions? I really don't want this to be a big thing, but I also feel really crappy that I'm trying to find ways to get my new boyfriend keen to sleep with me!

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EvenMoreFuriousVexation Wed 20-Jan-21 09:10:22

I think he's actually giving you a clear message that he doesnt really enjoy sex - with you or anyone else - and that the quantity of sex is going to go down.

I've NEVER heard of a relationship where the parties ended up having more sex as time went on. It dwindles from the "honeymoon phase".

You have already gone past the most frequent sex you will ever have with him.

For me this would be the end of the relationship. I have a high sex drive and would not be happy or fulfilled in a relationship where I worried that my partner was giving me more sex than they truly wanted.

After only 6 months this would be an easy decision for me, before feelings get deeper and more difficult to disentangle.

BigButtons Wed 20-Jan-21 09:10:26

Everything has gone very quickly and he probably is feeling overwhelmed.
Having said that your sex drives might well be Mis matched.
I do understand the whole thing if sex being a marker of how much someone likes you and validates you as I have battled with similar issues.
Everything is so weird right now though. Normally you both be out and about doing your own stuff and coming back together etc. If you are really only seeing each other and are locked in together then everything becomes magnified, there is nothing else to focus on.
If I were you I would take your focus off him, off sex and it put it into you and how you can give to yourself so that you are not putting all your expectations and needs onto him.

dancingbymyself Wed 20-Jan-21 09:13:36

I should add - we had a conversation very early on about how often we like to have sex and we both said daily, so I have felt worried it was something I've done.

Ordinarily I would agree that it's not a good sign, but it is such strange times and he's lost access to everything he loves doing. We're together 24/7 which is a lot of pressure for a new relationship.

Arghhhhh

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ThisTooShallBe Wed 20-Jan-21 09:15:48

‘Sex at bedtime’ is a bit routine while ‘spontaneous’ is less pressure. How about initiating sex at lunchtime if you’re both wfh?

ThisTooShallBe Wed 20-Jan-21 09:17:39

And take ‘sex at bedtime’ off the table.

These are such extraordinary times and your lives have changed so much...

dancingbymyself Wed 20-Jan-21 09:19:11

Thank you @ThisTooShallBe - I've actually taken all sex off the table so that it's his choice. And that has meant very little sex.

We did have lots of fun daytime sex at first because I initiated. Now I'm too nervous to initiate!

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dancingbymyself Wed 20-Jan-21 09:22:07

@EvenMoreFuriousVexation I think if I were reading this thread, I would give the same advice. But everything else has been just amazing, and the sex was really good too.

On paper our sex drives are similar - ideally we'd both choose daily - and it's just like we've gone off course and I don't know how to correct it.

I suspect he may be a little depressed too.

I already feel in deep with him; I don't want what feels like a communication issue to ruin everything that we have.

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Jobsharenightmare Wed 20-Jan-21 09:25:21

I've NEVER heard of a relationship where the parties ended up having more sex as time went on.

This. Also every thread about sexless marriages here start with it was never great/frequent before but now...

You're not compatible I would say. On paper doesn't exist. He's telling you the reality and you need to listen.

TitsOot4Xmas Wed 20-Jan-21 09:30:10

We're together 24/7 which is a lot of pressure for a new relationship.

Deeply unhealthy. You’ve barely known each other 5 mins.

gannett Wed 20-Jan-21 09:36:57

If everything was initially great and he says he'd ideally choose daily it sounds like it might be the circumstances? These two factors jumped out:

he felt under pressure
He feels his life has been turned upside down, and with a new home, the pandemic, work stresses, he is struggling to feel in the mood

Between those two things I'm not surprised that someone's libido isn't at the level it's normally at. Don't underestimate just how unusual and awful the general situation is at the moment. Very few people are at 100% right now.

As unromantic as it sounds perhaps you could try building sex into your routine, at a particular time/day (not bedtime) when you're both at your least stressed. He'll have to get over himself regarding spontaneity, I think.

dancingbymyself Wed 20-Jan-21 09:51:27

@TitsOot4Xmas we're both working from home so difficult to avoid - although that aspect has been great! We run every morning, work in separate areas of the flat and have lunch together, laugh all the time, dance in the evenings! So we've coped with that set up really well, I think.

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dancingbymyself Wed 20-Jan-21 09:53:05

Thank you @gannett, that's closer to how I feel. I don't think this would have been an issue if we weren't in a pandemic.
I know when he's at his most relaxed so maybe I can start initiating more then.

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dancingbymyself Wed 20-Jan-21 09:54:19

@Jobsharenightmare

If I said it's less about how much I want sex, and more that I'm worried about why he doesn't want it very much compared to what he said?

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FinallyHere Wed 20-Jan-21 09:55:36

* my awful baggage is that I have got used to quantity of sex as an indicator of how much someone likes me.*

This does complicate matters quite a lot, I think. How much of your preference for daily sex comes from the comfort of the proof it provides you that he really, really likes you?

How else does he show you that he really likes you? Can you accept the ways he shows you his feelings? How do you reciprocate?

Do you both usually climax during sex or do you care more about his orgasm than your own (maybe as part of that 'proof' )?

How does he feel about you orgasming when he doesn't (by whatever means)?

I do hope that you can see these questions as things for you to think about rather than requests for information from a stranger on the internet.

Hope you can find a way forward that works for you both. All the best.

TitsOot4Xmas Wed 20-Jan-21 10:00:07

dancingbymyself

*@TitsOot4Xmas* we're both working from home so difficult to avoid - although that aspect has been great! We run every morning, work in separate areas of the flat and have lunch together, laugh all the time, dance in the evenings! So we've coped with that set up really well, I think.

End of summer is what, August? September? And you’d moved in together by the end of the year? It’s far too soon to have that level of contact. You can’t possibly know enough about each other in that time to cope with being together 24/7. It doesn’t bode well.

dancingbymyself Wed 20-Jan-21 10:06:15

@FinallyHere I think you've hit the nail on the head. He does so, so much to show how he feels for me. Those are such helpful questions and I really appreciate how you've framed it, ie that I don't need to answer them all on here!

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CaraDuneRedux Wed 20-Jan-21 10:14:00

When he says "ideally I'd like it daily" how much of that do you think is him trying to reassure you and tell you what he thinks you want to hear? Could you (making lear that it's broad outlines you're after, not intimate details or the breaking of confidences) ask him roughly how often he tended to have sex in previous relationships? This might give a more accurate insight.

I've been the partner with the higher sex drive, and the partner with the lower sex life, and both are soul destroying. I'm not sure any relationship can withstand a serious mismatch in sex drives (especially wher one partner's drive dwindles to "every 3 months" or "not at all.")

dancingbymyself Wed 20-Jan-21 10:17:27

@CaraDuneRedux it was very early on when we asked each other that as a 'getting to know you' thing, so I don't think he needed to say it for reassurance.

I do know that daily is what he used to have in other relationships, too. Which instantly makes me feel crap and makes me realise it's more about worrying about whether he fancies me etc, rather than me wanting more sex.

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Respectabitch Wed 20-Jan-21 10:20:44

I also think it's likely that this is the most sex you will ever have. Relationships just don't go from "infrequent sex" to "frequent sex" down the line.

With all due respect, you only have his word for it that he likes it daily, and men often feel obliged to seem always 'up for it'. I would take his actual behaviour as much more indicative. Yes, poor mental health can squash drive, but that is usually trumped by new relationship energy. He also seems to have a lot of issues about sex given his requirement that it be "spontaneous" and he not feel at all pressured.

It's a lot easier to deal with a fall-off of sex to once a week after years and kids if you had an at-it-like-bunnies period than it is to deal with a fall-off from once a week to once every other month.

I think you need to assume that this is the best that sex will ever be and it is likely to get significantly less frequent over time. Can you live with that? I couldn't, tbh. Sex matters to me and it seems that it matters to you too. If it is important to you, burying that and lying to yourself that it doesn't matter won't get you anywhere but miserable.

PLAYJAJADINGDONG Wed 20-Jan-21 10:24:41

If you genuinely have a much higher sex drive than him (and it's not all just seeking validation from being fancied/sex - btw, have you considered therapy for that? I've had counselling for similar history of defining my self-worth through being considered attractive and through sex) then you're not compatible.

I read a post on here once that said (paraphrasing):

"The things you choose to ignore in the beginning will be the reasons you split in the end."

It has stayed with me since. When we really like someone and want a relationship to work we tend to minimise and overlook flaws/incompatibilities but those chooks WILL come home to roost.

dancingbymyself Wed 20-Jan-21 10:25:31

@Respectabitch
I appreciate your honesty.

That's a good point, you'd hope the excitement of a new relationship would override it all. I think I'm attractive and in good shape etc, I make an effort.

Also a good point about the need for it to be spontaneous - I said that's difficult to do if I'm scared to initiate for fear of him being under pressure. He feels we should be able to sense if the other is up for it or not.

Hmm, lots to ponder.

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dancingbymyself Wed 20-Jan-21 10:28:34

@PLAYJAJADINGDONG I'm not sure I do - I want to feel wanted, mostly. And I want to feel relaxed about touching him.

That's a useful phrase, although it makes me feel very sad too. It's the happiest relationship I've ever had and there is so much good stuff there.

I guess I just have to see how we go and not bury this, as you say.

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dancingbymyself Wed 20-Jan-21 10:29:59

@PLAYJAJADINGDONG oh and yes, I've had therapy and touched on this and others insult things regarding relationships. It's a very hard habit to break though confused

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FelicityWhiskers Wed 20-Jan-21 10:38:52

The issue here - overwhelmingly - is that you've not known this bloke five minutes and you've moved him in. It's no surprise you've now got problems. He comes with baggage and has told you he's feeling pressurised and you come with baggage from previous relationships.

The best thing you can do is live in your respective homes and put the brakes on. Does he still have one or did he really Chuck everything in to live with a relative stranger?

It's all far too heavy and it'd have me running for the hills

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