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No Sex: How Much of It Is Me, How Much Is Him?

By January 9, 2012 - 6:05pm
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My boyfriend and I met online, a little over a year ago. He's 37, and I'm 31. When we first began talking, he was adamant that sex and physical closeness were very important to him. When we met for the first time, he seemed very turned on by me and our time together was very satisfying.

We live together now, but almost since moment one of this arrangement, things have been off. He barely touched me for the first few weeks after moving in, and after I brought it up with him, he expressed that he just wasn't a very affectionate person in that way, and that it was a conscious effort for him to allow someone into his personal space in that way. He was physically abused as a child and teenager, and reacts to being touched when he's asleep like a war veteran with PTSD, so I believe this. He's also made a very significant effort to work on it, and the physical affection (hugging, kissing) has increased a lot.

Sex, however, is non-existent. At the outset, I initiated it because I had no reason to expect he didn't want it, but he consistently seemed uninterested. When I brought it up with him, he told me the new job he had started made him angry, depressed, and exhausted. I could understand, since he'd been going to school while working short evening shifts for years and was now getting up at 6am. He's also an introvert, and was forced into a customer service / accounting position, which he loathed. He said he simply had no energy. He also said he needed time, and was glad we were developing a relationship not based on sex. He didn't cite it as a reason, but he has an issue with PE and I know it makes him self-conscious. He made an effort at first, and we'd go to bed early, but it wasn't difficult for me to tell he wasn't into it, and after a while, I stopped suggesting it.

I know that I have brought it up with him too often, because he was receptive and willing to talk about it at first, but now he rolls his eyes and says things like: "Do we HAVE to go into this again?" The last time we talked, I told him that I didn't feel like the reasons he gave me for this lack of sex were the whole truth, and he finally admitted to me that if I wanted things to improve in that department, I should continue going to the gym. He said he needed to "be able to pick (me) up and move me where he wanted me." I asked him why he hadn't told me this six months ago, and he said he'd tried, but I was too emotional and he was afraid of hurting my feelings.

It is true that I am a big girl. I am 5'8 and I currently weigh 220lbs, and I am not confident at all in my appearance. I've been scorned for it in the past by other men and it's hurt a lot, and I know my man sees that in the way I shy away from initiating sex (and I'm pretty sure he prefers to be the submissive one). I've been working very hard on this since I began this relationship, because I understand self-confidence is beautiful and I want to have the whole package with this man. I currently eat well, go to the gym 5 days a week, and I've lost 25 pounds since we started dating. He compliments my efforts, and is very encouraging in a totally positive way. It still hurts, however, to feel like my man isn't attracted to me in that way, and I can't help but worry that he'll leave me for a 'better model,' even though the one time I suggested that, he said it wouldn't happen. I mean, he chose me, knowing I looked the way I do, because he cares about the person I am inside.

Every other aspect of our relationship is great. I know he isn't cheating on me (and I believe wholeheartedly he never would). I don't trust people easily, but I trust him. He's nine of ten things I ever wanted in a man, but I want 'the whole package,' for us as a couple. I am struggling with the feeling that it's all on ME, though he admits his part in it. I also worry that the damage to my self-confidence in the bedroom (and as a woman) will be hard to repair.

How does a girl get her groove back after (and while) dealing with something like this in a relationship? I am not going to end it, because I recognize the aspects of myself that contribute to the issue, and he's told me it's something we'll work on together. How much will losing this weight really help? How long do I need to wait before I bring it up with him again, or should I just let the self-confidence I gain do my talking for me?

Any advice is appreciated. Thank you!

Add a Comment26 Comments


Why is he like this

March 22, 2013 - 7:24pm
EmpowHER Guest

I endured a sexless relationship for three and a half years - the frustration and rejection was truly devasting - to the point that when it finally (thank Goddess), ended, I became celibate for the rest of my life. Living with someone your'e supposed to be intimate with - but aren't, in my experience, was far far worse than being single where I could at least pleasure myself.
Women can't rape men or ever persuade a man to have sex with her, if he's that messed up, selfish, closet gay or whatever. Best thing to do is to get out and move on before you get contaminated and damaged to the point where you can never trust a man on an intimate level again.

November 28, 2012 - 6:44am
(reply to Anonymous)

I became celibate for the rest of my life....

then why did you leave?

cant persuade to have sex? ever heard of coming onto a man?

March 22, 2013 - 9:16am

"I also worry that the damage to my self-confidence in the bedroom (and as a woman) will be hard to repair. "

- Yes, hun, it will be. I went through the same problem for over a year (my new husband did not want to have sex). With my husband, it was a power play. Sex and money rule the world and he had both on his side. We separated after 11 months, but since have gotten back together and attempted to fix things best we could. He is now very interested in sex and so am I, of course, but I still won't initiate for fear of rejection. I just cannot handle him brushing me off even one more time. I'm sure he would not, considering his interest for the last year, but I cannot take that chance. My self esteem is shot and with that, came quite a bit of resentment. All those feelings of inadequacy and self blame have changed who I am, sadly. I'm working to get back to who I was or at least who I could be now, but it proves to be a long road.
I just wanted you to know that in my experience, it wasn't worth the wait. I love him very much but he caused a break that cannot be repaired. Not by him, anyway, though I would have sworn otherwise until recently.
I think someone else mentioned it, but my mother always tells me that if the bad times outweigh the good for a significant amount of time, walk away or prepare to live the way you are now .... miserable and desperate to feel accepted and wanted. Being alone would have been a much better option for me. It still may be.

November 5, 2012 - 9:56am
EmpowHER Guest

For all the women out there who are having sexual issues with their men, seek couples counselling. Ignoring the problem won't solve it. You've tried talking and its not working. You NEED an intermediary. Someone who can referee the situation. My advice, give them an ultimatum, counselling or split. If they are not having sex with you, they are the one with the problem and for some reason they don't feel safe talking to you about it. Don't give up without trying. Think of it as your last resort. You may be surprised at what you find out about each other. Also, for the woman who's BF is on the internet chat sites all night. He has an addiction. He should see a therapist or go to a Sex Addicts Annonymous meeting. He's not alone. There are thousands of men out there going through the same thing. The internet is one of the leading causes of sex addiction. I hope this helps. Best of luck in all your relationships.

October 23, 2012 - 11:45am

Ily80, I know about as close as a person can how you feel... when I read your post I actually though maybe you were dating an ex of mine who has an eerily similar history and way of handling things. Since you wrote the post awhile ago, I am going to hope things have gotten better. However, if you're still stuck in the same quandary, here's how I see it:

-It is okay to want to lose weight to improve yourself, but it is NOT okay for him to make you feel bad about how you look.

This kind of emotional abuse and manipulation is so easy to buy into if you don't have a voice in the back of your head reminding you that this is HIS excuse, his externalization of his own insecurity. He can't cope with performance issues, so instead of dealing with it in an appropriate manner, he's taking it out on you. Shame on him.

It seems like he has made some effort to make things better, but if the two of you really want this to work, couples counseling may need to happen. Your situation is really too complex for you two to tackle without support from the other.

July 19, 2012 - 2:44pm
EmpowHER Guest

The more I see comments like these on this site and others, I think online porn, chat rooms, etc., is ruining real sexual relationships. Men become addicted to online porn and where does that leave we women?

June 23, 2012 - 7:46pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Just maybe men resort to other options when his partner doesnt initiate or show interest. Ie coming onto him

December 28, 2012 - 2:07am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)


December 25, 2012 - 5:56pm

I am in the same situation, my BF and I have been together 5 years and engaged 2. The past 2 years we barely have sex. I mean we have gone without for 6 months. I have asked several times why and have brought it up and I get pushed away. The past few weeks I have tried to iniatte things, but I get rejected and he will say, "what are you doing? I mean we dont even kiss. He says he is tired, he is not in the mood, he said to be the other night, Im trying to get back on track, and IM like what does that mean? He doesnt really pay a lot of attention to me, physically, he says we dont have that kind of relationship and IM like well I want to. He is 38 and IM 32, and Im like he should be in his prime. I workout and take good care of myself and Im like ready to go! He would rather read or watch tv and Im like dude, what is up? I have tried asking nicely and suggesting medicine and he doesnt want to talk about it. The other night when I was rejected I made him sleep on the couch. I mean seriously? If he isnt happy with me than why is he with me? We have a house, dog, etc, but no wedding plans. I have cold feet cause now im worried. He doesnt ever want to have sex with me. It's sad... what should I do? IM really having bad thoughts and second thoughts about this. I mean I put myself out there and he was like" what are you doing? I was like kissing him and that's what he says to me? Any man would be like ok let's go! I dont get it.... Im frustrated.. big time!

June 23, 2012 - 7:51am
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