Is Your Male Partner Withholding Physical Affection or Sex? Helpful Advice From Women

Rate This
Is Your Male Partner Withholding Physical Affection or Sex? Helpful Advice From Women 5 5 5
couple in bed
Photo: Getty Images

“I'm sick of myself for allowing him to hold my happiness in his hands by deciding when we're allowed to have sex. I feel rejected and ever-plummeting confidence.” If this statement sounds familiar, you are not alone. Many women report their current relationship as going through a sexual slump, and are baffled, asking, “Why won't he have sex with me?!”

How to Begin the Conversation, Communication Tips:

  • Don't talk to him about sex because that's far less important than asking him if he actually wants to be in this relationship.
  • The best approach depends on what the cause of his not wanting sex. He needs to be able to communicate his feelings and concerns.
  • Give him the "space" to let you know what he's thinking. "Space" means no guilt trips, listening without judgment, no interrupting, etc.
  • Talk about it together: what are you noticing different from when you two were having sex?
  • Are you both able and interested in meeting each other's needs (sexual and non-sexual)?
  • Ask him: "why aren't we having sex anymore"? This is an open-ended question where he can't answer yes/no and just leave it. He doesn't need to be pushed in a corner or made uncomfortable but your concerns have to be addressed or the relationship will (should) end.

Medical, Physical and Emotional Conditions:

  • Depression can do more than affect your sex dive -- it can effectively kill it. People who are depressed lose interest in things they love -- including sex.
  • Low libido in men (low sex drive is related to emotional distress, depressive disorders, weakness, pain, problems with body image).
  • Porn “addiction” or preoccupation.
  • Diabetic or other medical condition.
  • New job occupying his mind and is excessively stressed.
  • Worried about satisfying me to such an extent that he no longer wants to try.
  • Smoking and other drugs were more exciting and fulfilling.
  • He's a very emotional guy and his anxiety and stress gets in the way of wanting to be intimate.

Add a Comment7 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

My wife's continual rejection in the beginning of our marriage caused my arousal to give up. I am now permanently unable to "perform." Psychologically, over ten thousand rejections will create a problem.

I have to ask: Why is this always about women? Men are told we are "too" sexual and to get a prostitute (at least that's what my wife told me in our first year of marriage). And now, when women are ready for action, men are confused and damaged!

November 10, 2015 - 9:28am
EmpowHER Guest

I have been dealing with this. I was in a 4 year relationship with a guy who I knew loved me and lord knows I still love him, but it has currently been almost a year since I started noticing that he never wanted to have sex. We have discussed it and had conversations about it and I've told him how it makes me feel unloved and unattractive and unwanted. After pointing that out to him he said he was sorry and would like to work on that. Well we have been intimate once in the last 10 months. I have realized after going so long without it I no longer want to. I don't even want to be touched. This man has been my best friend for the last four years and it so hard to think of my life without him, but at this point we are just friends. We ended our relationship yesterday....well I guess I ended it is the right way to say that. It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but I have to think about my own health and peace of mind. I have been laying here in bed thinking about everything we did over the last four years and can't help but think I just lost my best friend and it hurts more than I can explain.

October 14, 2015 - 10:39am
EmpowHER Guest

my husband of 3years will not have sex with me because he says he doesn't want to get me pregnant even when we use condoms, if we have sex once in a while. Another excuse is that he says he has a lot on his mind. I am tired of asking. But I am getting impatient and tempted to do what I don't want to do.

October 4, 2015 - 4:21am
EmpowHER Guest

I am a 42 yr old female , I have been in my relationship with my man now fir 2 yrs and 6 months . I love him very much ! I to am going through this in our relationship , he just never wants to be intimate , I want it a lot more then him. We have talked about this and the answers I got from him were nor satisfying to me but I some what understood what he was saying . He told me that he's a little stressed about his job , he is exhausted when he gets home and it has nothing to do with me or my looks . He said he loves me but just never feels like being sexual plus he takes a medication that plays a roll in his wanting it . I am having a hard time with this being the only hurtful thing in our relationship , I have thought about cheating , I have thought about leaving . I am now seeing a counselor and I'm working on me , I began to feel uncomfortable, unloved , unattractive and my self esteem and my attitude was changing and i didn't like how I felt sad and unhappy all the time . Counseling is helping me ! I did realize that me asking for sex from him often makes him angry and i felt like I was pushing him away so now I try my hardest to just not ask . I do take care of my sexual needs by myself now when I get overly frustrated from wanting it and not getting it . It seriously does hurt the relationship . Now I'm working on me , I'm working out and I'm painting again , trying to find things to keep me busy and happy is helping and i feel better and feel better about myself as well . I do still feel like I'm unsure if this will be my future long term love of my life or just my best friend . I truly love him and want to spend the rest of my life with him , but I want to be happy and content in every way . Only time will tell because I deserve to be loved and desired and happy . My best advice on this is just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean that they don't love you . But feeling loved , appreciated and having someone give you there all is important and if you are not happy , talk , get answers , try counseling or get out . Because we all deserve to be happy and be with someone who is going to show us they love us in every way and I want nothing less . Good luck to all . Thanks , Tabitha

May 4, 2015 - 4:00am
EmpowHER Guest

I went away for more than a week and i was hoping he'd be wanting me but he hasnt touched me yet and ive come back close to 2 weeks now. He just doesn't care

February 27, 2015 - 11:18pm
EmpowHER Guest

ok what should i do my husband said he will never have sex with me he thinks it a flesh thing should i just end it

December 18, 2014 - 3:55pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

He could be gay or bi

February 22, 2015 - 2:49pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Sex & Relationships

Get Email Updates

Sex & Relationships Guide

Susan Cody HERWriter Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!


4095 Health


2628 Lives


2415 Lives
3 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

Have you joined the IUD trend? What kind of birth control do you use? :
View Results