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My boyfriend's slowing sex drive - HELP!

By January 3, 2010 - 9:08am
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I have been dating my boyfriend for over a year now-- from the very beginning, he was very much the more eager one in the relationship- he was the one who made our relationship more serious from the very beginning-- we had actually met over a year prior and reconnected when he got in touch with me while he was abroad working and having recovered from pneumonia. When we reconnected, I asked why he had out of the blue contacted me again, he said while he was alone traveling and being sick with pneumonia, he was laying there one night and thought to himself "Who does he really like?" and decided to get in touch with me. He said he was just more concerned that I wasn't already with someone or already married. So the story is very sweet. From the very beginning, we were attracted to each other and always have a great time. Our sex was frequent and a lot of fun.. About 8 months in, it started to die down.. I am a very sexual person with a fairly high sex drive and I like sex often. Some things with work had been going on with him and he was always very stressed. When we started dating, he was freelancing after having a steady full time position soemwhere for 10 years, and his work slowed down due to the financial recession. He was always talking about work and being stressed and worrying financially. So I took that into consideration and was patient that this might be affecting his sex drive. What confused me a little was that in the beginning, our sex was more frequent, with his stress and all. Later on, he admitted to taking viagra in the beginning of our relationship due to his recovering from pneumonia, it was affecting him sexually. Anyway, I guess my question is, with all this stress going on, and our sex becoming less frequent-- Even after talking to him about it and telling him how it all affects me, he says he's just stressed with work and works non stop and says its hard to think or do anything else. How can I overcome this? I've told him that our sex life is becoming a problem. I even asked him to take a Viagra here and there, to which he gets upset. I know he feels embarrassed for having had to take it and I'm not 100% sure, but i don't think he likes the idea of me requesting it because it makes him feel badly for having to be dependent on something for sex. How do I change things up? How do I turn things around? I now, am always the one initiating it, and it sucks. How do I get things healthier and more frequent?

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EmpowHER Guest

Hi Anonymous,

Thank you for your question. I am also in a relationship with a 10 year difference in age: he is older. This is not that uncommon as we (the younger) usually have a greater sex drive then when we get older. He may be in a settle down mode of thinking rather than the typical "let's have sex mode".

Clearly, it is your decision to stay or leave the relationship based on your needs. In reality, any relationship that we have, we have choices and can deal with certain things while we have those "deal breakers" that cause break-ups. Most of the time, you have to realize that you cannot change the other person, you can only change yourself as we cannot control others.

I know this is not the answer you are searching for although, it is the reality of sexual relationships. I hope this helps by making you think more about you and not so much what he lacks. Keep us posted.


January 29, 2012 - 6:28am
EmpowHER Guest

im dating this guy who is 37 years old and i am 26. my sex drive is extremely high and his has slowed down completely. i really dont know what to do. i love him but is sort of like he is pushing me away. we went from having sex twice a day to once every blue moon. its aggravating!!!!! when i talk to him about he only logical explaination is that he is tired from work. he just always tired. when we do have sex he never last long like he use to when we first go together. im trying to be patient with him but i dont know how much i can take. he tells me that it hurts him that he cant satify me like he use to. we never spend any time together and im wondering why am i in this relationship. what do i do?

January 28, 2012 - 8:53pm
EmpowHER Guest

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September 23, 2011 - 8:41pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hi Amber,

Thank you for your question and everything you explained is pretty common in long lasting relationships as it is called just getting comfortable with someone. When relationships are new, they are so exciting and as time progresses, the excitement wears down and although you may love that person, you do get comfortable and feel as if you don't have to try so hard to please them all the time.

Have you talked to him about how you feel as if you are left in the cold? If your sex drive is so much higher than his, maybe you two can come to an agreement (meet half way) on what each other is excepting out of the sex life. If you want it 3 times a day and he only wants it once a week, then compromise.

Will you let me know how this goes?

Good luck!

August 21, 2010 - 10:33am

Hello everyone,
can anybody help me PLEASE!!!
i have been with my boyffirnd for about 3 years now, im 18 and he is about to be 21, in the beggining of our relationship everything was fun and the sex was about 2-3 times a day, i noticed as pretty much a year goes by we started having sex about 3-4 times a week, then it went to 1-2 times a week, we moved in with eachother from the begining so it cant be that, but anyways another couple months go by and i pretty much have to beg him for sex, and im starting to think hes doing it out of pitty, not that you need to know but he used to last really long in the begining but as time goes on he stops lasting as long.. and i mean a DRASTIC change, i try to make him happy by giving oral , but when that happens he says "oh ill get you back later" that means im not getting any. i mean we have been going through alot of stress lately but thats not whats making his sex drive go down because he still wants oral but not sex, i got so paranoid about it that i was making sure down below was squeky clean all day, im talking a few showers a day because i cant figure out the problem, that didnt work so i tried being more sexy, that didnt work either, so now i dont even ask for it hoping that will make him want it, but no it didnt work, now when i do get it, its not even long enough for me to get pleasure, it sucks because we have been arguing alot more lately, and it seems like hes getting bored with me, he tells me he loves me and theres nothing wrong, but i thought guys were supposed to like to have sex, i dont know what to do and its killing me, what do i do to make him want me again!!!! it seems like he doesnt even want to be around me, hes become lazy, boring and worst part is the no sex part, and just like a man he never wants to talk about it, what the hell should i do, can someone please help me here!! anyone!!

August 21, 2010 - 2:50am
EmpowHER Guest

I have been with my boyfriend and am finding posts like these that'll help me overcome what I'm going through. We were great in the beginning having sex a lot. He is 37 years old and I am 24 years old. He has a daughter who is 13 years old and I have a son who is nearly 3. After a year of being together we got pregnant with our little girl. We broke up numerous times. We had sex until I was 6 months pregnant and had a scare. After that we stopped having sex for the rest of my pregnancy. He is stressed from the business and has been taking medications. Our daughter is now two months old and we still haven't had sex. I talked to him about it and he said he was waiting for me to recover from the birth. Every night when we go to sleep he makes a little bed in between us on our queen sized bed for our daughter. HE said that we would move the bed towards the wall so she could sleep on the end and we could sleep together. It's now been a week since we had that talk and haven't done that. I am getting sexually frustrated and feel that I don't attract him. I feel I'm undesirable. Every night I am hoping that it will be the night and what breaks me is at bed time he makes the bed in the middle again. I am beginning to be depressed about myself and am angry with him. I am starting to hold back with my emotions now and don't know if I'm just being selfish. I want to make plans to leave and go have some fun on my own to buy a battery operated toy. All the income I get usually has to go to bills and have no money in the end throughout the week all the money he gets he spends and gives 10-15 everyday to his daughter for spending. She has called me names behind my back I seen this through her chat logs. I then started feeling differently about her. I want to run away since I'm feeling very unhappy. I think at times that I am going to leave him and find someone who wants me sexually. I love him a lot but feel that he is beginning to control me and is witholding sex from me. Should I wait? For how long? He is always out on taxi trips even out of town trips. I am at home with the kids doing my job. When I have tried to leave he has said he'd miss his daughter too much if I were to take her away. He stops me from taking her. And when I do stay he doesn't last an hour of taking care of her on his own he ends up getting angry. Does he know that he has full control of me What should I do I want SEX just the intimacy between us is what I miss. HE is always sick, tired, busy, or unshowered what do I think....desperately wanting to get laid...is it wrong? Email me @ diamondangellips@hotmail.com to tell me your input on my situation please

April 9, 2010 - 8:11am

Good questions...and your last question is where I will start with a possible solution.

- How do you get things healthier? There are many ways!
- How do you get things more frequent? I think you need to get things "healthier" first, and the "frequency" is secondary.

Unfortunately, there is no "secret" that we can tell you, in order to "make" your boyfriend want sex more often, initiate sex with you, be less stressed or be physically able to become aroused without medication. These things need to come from him, and not on your request (or demands or pleas).

It's great that you have spoken with him about your concerns. He has told you the reasons for his "failures" (stress, over-worked), but what is missing in your description is: how does HE feel about his sex life? Does HE want sex more frequently? Does he want to be physically intimate in other ways for now? How would he like you to show him affection, and how would he like to show you affection?

I believe this is the way to make your relationship healthier, and sex...for now..is going to be off the table. Just with any topic (finances, sex, kids, work, vacations), what matters most in the relationship are these key ingredients:
1. Both people feel heard, understood and listened to regarding their concerns
2. There is no blaming, pleading or belittling (I'm sorry...but asking him to take viagra is inadvertently blaming him for lack of sex, and that is just not the issue right now. The issue is that he is SO stressed, over-worked, feeling blamed, embarrassed and that he is letting you down that he does not even want to initiate sex) when talking about concerns.
3. Both people are responsible for communicating. Your boyfriend can not take the easy way out, and just blame it on stress and that's the end of the conversation. There needs to be some resolution, and he needs to communicate with you now about what his concerns are. Is he OK with the current sex situation? He may be, and needs to tell you that it is on the back-burner for him, for a while.
4. Once everyone has openly communicated their concerns, their preferences, their fears (why are you afraid of not having sex with him frequently; does it mean that something is wrong with the relationship?); once everyone feels that their opinions and emotions and feelings are validated, appreciated, understood...only then can you move to #5:
5. Problem solving. How do we, together, solve our problem? Do we both want sex more frequently, and the trouble is one person is stressed-out? How can the other person help with this stress? (And, one person may contribute 120% to the relationship at one time, with the understanding that the pendulum can swing the other way, at another time in the future; it is not always 50-50, as long as both people feel they are contributing equally to the relationship over time).

Basically, your boyfriend has a few options, as long as he is communicating truthfully:
- He is OK with the sex situation now
- He is not OK with the sex situation now, but is too stressed to solve it

Either way, you will have the information to make your choices. You can choose to also be OK with the sex situation now and honestly communicate with him how you would like to be physically intimate in other ways...see if he agrees (he may WANT to want to, but really be too burned out). What are his solutions, either to manage stress or create a healthy relationship that you can both enjoy.

Does this help?

January 3, 2010 - 9:31am
(reply to Alison Beaver)

I think that makes a lot of sense: Is he ok with the our sexual situation right now? And yes, many of your points are allowing me to see more of the other side and I find it very helpful. I think he would like to have more sex, but he thinks he doesn't have time for it. He literally works around the clock-- and just last night we spent the evening just sitting next to each other while I watched a movie and his face was buried in his computer designing. He has just left this morning to a flight for this super stressful, giant load of work for 2 weeks- which makes me more frustrated that he wont be around. I know he is stressed, but I guess my point is, I feel that for most of our relationship I feel I have always been the one being the emotionally supportive, having to put certain things aside for him because he is so stressed about work and money. I know he wants kids soon.. I know he also wants to move soon.. so i can understand what all the stress is, but where will there ever be time for me. I feel that in a relationship, both parties have needs to be fulfilled and its important for the relationship to do those things... and after over a year together, how much more will it be a 70 - 30 split. I wish I could be more selfless, but I am only human and I just want to enjoy being with my boyfriend and not always have it always be about his needs. It worries me that its like this, but we're not even married yet.. the first year is usually a bit of a honeymoon period.

January 3, 2010 - 9:56am
(reply to FrustrateFemme)

I'm sorry...this does sound frustrating, and is difficult to see into the future to know if this relationship will always be 70-30--with you taking most of the emotional weight-- or if this is just a time/place in the relationship that is temporary.

Honestly, it could go both ways, and could be no one's "fault", but I do think there are some things you can do for yourself, that are within your control, to help the situation feel better.

You are very clear with what you are looking for in a relationship, what you are willing to compromise on, what you are willing to sacrifice, and what your limits are. It also sounds like your boyfriend is, too. I would just make sure that in this stressful time in his life that he knows that you are making a free choice to take on more of the "relationship burden", but that you also need some reassurance from him that he is wanting a different type of relationship in the future (or, is he?). During this time away from him, what specifically do you need from your boyfriend, in terms of behavior that can be measured/observed (more kissing, handholding, time away from computer, weekly walk together, monthly weekend "get-a-way", love notes, etc).

I "hear you" on the "time together", but while one person is on the computer/phone/electronic device. My husband and I had a terrible time with this, and when we were living in Virginia, there was a hurricane that hit the east coast and we were without power for 3 days. It was GREAT for our marriage, because we had no TV, no computer...no technology. We talked more, spent time outside with neighbors, got more exercise, and had to be creative with cooking-by-candlelight. We have tried to institute a "technology-free night" at least twice a month (has to be both of our choice), and when it works, it is great!

Are you looking for a relationship that is a little more fun, and less work? And, again, what is he looking for? Does he see the "work" part of the relationship ending soon, so you two can once again regain some fun, intimacy and relaxation together? I don't think you are being selfish at all; it is good to talk through what you are wanting out of the relationship & what you currently dislike. Knowing what you want for your future---both including him and not including him---will help you feel more in control of your destiny, and you can know that you are not depending on this one person for intimacy, reassurance, validation, love, support...that you have many ways of receiving these things in your life from other pursuits, and that your wish is for him to be a primary part in this. However...there does come a time when he is in a less stressful time, after you've both moved...that if there continues to be more and more stresses and less and less relationship time, that he will need to decide what he wants for his future. You both can be honest with each other, and let one another know what you want, what your wishes and fantasies are, and hopefully they will match and lead you both down the same road together. There is always a chance that this is the life he wants for himself, and not even know it in order to verbally express it to you, but as long as you know what YOU want for yourself and share this with him, you can both make healthy decisions together that benefit both of you.

Lastly..I know what you mean by the first year being the honeymoon period. For some people, it is. For others (my husband and I included), it really wasn't. We were both used to being independent before we met each other, and having to combine our lives was harder than we thought. Sometimes we wonder how we ever got married, as we fought so much the first few years, and now that we've been married 7 years, we finally feel like we "click" and are meant to be together, and love each other more every day. It was not always like this, and for some people they get lucky, and others their paths just don't seem to meet in the same direction (again, no fault of either person; they are just being honest with themselves).

I hope you can find some happiness (and patience...sounds like you will need it with his hectic schedule), and do more things for yourself. The only person you can control or change is yourself, and your boyfriend may be living the life he wants, or he may be living the life that is too stressful but he is unable to change it. Either way, that is his choice to change his lifestyle, decide to learn how to manage his stress better, work on finances/money problems with a professional, talk with you about his future thoughts regarding moving and kids...

Sorry this was so long! I'm also curious if he also feels that his part of the relationship is 30-70 (with you being the 70%), just so there is not a disconnect between you two, and he knows the toll his lifestyle is having on you. He may think you are OK with it, or that you know it will lead to something better...who knows?

January 3, 2010 - 2:06pm
(reply to Alison Beaver)

FIrst of all, you can not apologize for writing something so long. Reading through that, and hearing your experience very similar in regards to time together made me feel so much better. I might admit to shedding a tear or 2! Its obvious I love this man very much. And the funny thing is, we were head over heels for each other after getting together the first and now this time. We both are also very independent people before being with each other, and I guess i need to remind myself of the beauty of that in itself. It's funny how his friends see him change and mine too. For 2 very independent people, we are very much attached to each other. As much as we are lovers, we are very much best friends. Another similarity is that we too fight a lot, but still love each other. We both say to each other, wow, i cant believe the heated arguments we have with each other. But still we want to work so hard through it. Bottom line for the both of us is that we love each other very much. Getting through the past few months was hard, but now somehow feels like it gives way for a new beginning.. like a new chapter. It's so interesting how common that is-- With friends and my sister, I always hear that they have fought constantly, or that they broke up 15 times before finally getting married.
To answer your questions, I do know that he thinks his work situation sucks and wished it wasn't so hard. I have expressed to him how I feel about the 70 - 30 in the past, and he thinks I should wait until it gets better. I know that work is out of his control, and I have a lot of respect for his work ethic. I know that he's doing it all for the future. Maybe the best thing I can do is to hang in there and make sure that we both know where we are and how everything (whatever it is) is making us feel / affecting us. Sometimes, it just isn't that easy. And you make a good point that in the end, as long as we are honest with each other, things will happen naturally and for the better-- change what i can for the better, and let the things out of my control take its course. It's hard when you have so much invested in someone, and when you're feelings are so deeply in it.

January 3, 2010 - 3:13pm
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