Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Your Turn: “He Never Wants Sex”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:

I’ve been in a relationship with a man for about a year and a half. I am 26 and he is 36. We live together as I moved into his place around the one year point. I love him dearly. He has shown to be the most gentle, patient, caring, and devoted man I could ever ask for. Everything is great with him except he has a very low libido. We have sex maybe two or three times a month. I know for me that’s not enough but I am too content with him to try to make it a dealbreaker.

He values hard work and works two jobs (by choice) putting in 13-hour days most of the time. When he is not working, he’s usually sleeping. This leaves little time for us to even have sex. When we do have sex, it’s usually not quality sex (there’s no foreplay and he doesn’t last long). He doesn’t like to perform oral sex and says he’s always been this way.

I have always initiated the sex in our relationship. I always get turned down a few times in favor of “more sleep please” or a nap or “I’m too tired” before I find that he will say yes. I have asked him to initiate more with me but he always says when he wants to ask, I beat him to it. It’s getting to the point where I don’t even ask anymore because I know the answer will be no.

I would like to have sex more frequently and with more foreplay. Every time we’ve talked about this, we say we’ll make an effort and it happens once and then things go back to the way they were. Like I said, I love him dearly. I used to see myself marrying him someday but I don’t think I could handle a lifetime without much sex. Neither of us want children. — Put Out

163 comments… add one
  • Budj

    Budj March 26, 2012, 9:13 am

    I’ve tried to date women with a lower libido than me and it always ends terribly…we aren’t talking a slight difference in libido, but much lower…and that is the case for you here. Contrary to everything I was told as a late-teen I’m pretty sure it is ok to want to have sex with your partner…(one of my exes only wanted to have sex two times a month and would make me feel horrible about initiating…) Some of us are more physical than others and need that to feel (and keep) a connection with our partners and I don’t think it is unreasonable to ask that.

    Pending any emotional issues he is having with his libido I’m not sure what you can do…you have communicated it and he hasn’t made it a priority for your relationship. For me that is a dealbreaker, but it is up to you to decide how much work you want to put into changing it around without a guarantee it will ever change.

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  • avatar

    Kate March 26, 2012, 9:20 am

    I’ve been there, and one thing I can tell you for certain: It will not change / get better. So you should assume this is how it will always be, or the *best* it will ever be. And if a future like this (or worse) is not something you can tolerate, if you’re completely honest with yourself and take the fear of being alone out of the equation, then you should move on now. Don’t let this drag on for years and undermine your happiness. You’re 26 – don’t sign on for a lifetime of this.

    A book I found helpful in the past is “Should I stay or should I go?” by Mira Kirschenbaum.

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    • avatar

      Michelle.Lea March 26, 2012, 12:16 pm

      I agree with Kate. if you’re not married yet, please take the time to decide if you can tolerate this for the rest of your life. Sex isnt everything of course, but differing libidos can really take a toll on a relationship. It’s not just you that you need to consider, but him as well. Dont marry him with the idea that he’ll change, the you end up leaving. That’s not fair to him either.

      You may also want to consider talking to him directly about it, and be frank. Ask him if this is just the way he’s always been, or does he think it will get better. Be prepared to not like the answer.

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  • avatar

    artsygirl March 26, 2012, 9:24 am

    LW – You didn’t mention why your BF is working two jobs. Is it a short term situation (say paying off debt, working a lot to make a down payment on a house, or working two jobs in order to make a career move)? If this is something that has an end in sight then I would see if you can wait it out – if this is the way your life is going to be forever you might want to think hard about MOA.

    When I was getting my MA, my sex life suffered because I honestly was so exhausted the idea of doing something physical instead of sleeping made me want to cry. Luckily, my program was only a year long so I knew that this was not going to be forever (and my sex drive jumped back to normal after I graduated). I would also ask your BF if he has only wanted sex so infrequently – this could indicate that you have different sex drives and might be a place where you need to evaluate your relationship.

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    • avatar

      iseeshiny March 26, 2012, 9:56 am

      I would like to know this too – sometimes my work is so stressful the idea of expending any physical energy makes me want to go to sleep. Plus when my husband went from a sedentary job to a more active one it took him a little while to get back in the groove.

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  • Lianne

    Lianne March 26, 2012, 9:26 am

    “When we do have sex, it’s usually not quality sex (there’s no foreplay and he doesn’t last long). He doesn’t like to perform oral sex and says he’s always been this way.”

    This leaves me wondering whether or not you are having orgasms during the few times you are intimate with your boyfriend. And if the answer is no, then I have to say that it sounds like your boyfriend is lazy and only considers his own needs. It sounds like you have talked to him about your frustrations and yet nothing changes – at least not for long. If this is truly the one area where you aren’t fulfilled in your relationship, you may want to ask your boyfriend to seek counseling with you. While sex isn’t necessarily everything in a relationship, feeling fulfilled and like your needs are being met are extremely important. Being completely disregarded can’t feel good and you deserve better. I say you have a ‘coming to Jesus’ with him soon and let him know that this is no longer acceptable and if he won’t put in the effort to meet you half way – then MOA.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow March 26, 2012, 10:10 am

      That’s what stood out to me too. It’s not only infrequent, but it’s also bad!

      I’m curious as to whether it has always been like this, or if something changed recently. If his low libido is relatively new, then I think there’s a chance to reignite the spark. If not (and he SAID the no oral thing won’t change), then you might be SOL, LW.

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  • avatar

    Renee March 26, 2012, 9:29 am

    Buy a bottle of wine and serve it with dinner on evenings he is well rested the night prior.

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    • avatar

      savannah March 26, 2012, 9:46 am

      This is awful renee. You want her to get him drunk so he doesn’t know what’s going on?
      This advice would never be given if the genders were reversed. Plus what a terrible feeling that would give her before/during/after.

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      • avatar

        iseeshiny March 26, 2012, 9:52 am

        One bottle isn’t going to render him insensate. I think she was going more for the relaxation theme… light some candles, share a bottle of wine, etc.

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      • avatar

        savannah March 26, 2012, 10:04 am

        The fact that we’re debating between being tipsy and insensate as a precursor to consensual sex is the reason I am creeped out. That is never the way I would approach this issue. Perhaps because I believe this issue is not fixable and wine as a requirement to sex in a long term live in relationship, any amount of wine, seems coercive to me. He is not going to ‘get better’, and in the long term if she picks this method she’s got a great chance of ruining her own self esteem.

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      • avatar

        Renee March 26, 2012, 10:13 am

        Probably some cultural differences here, a bottle of wine with dinner was always a norm for my husband growing up. We associate it with home cooked meals on Sunday afternoons, as well. There is always wine in the fridge, we don’t finish it the day it is open.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle March 26, 2012, 9:58 am

        Savannah, I’m pretty sure that the wine is being suggested as a romantic pre-cursor to loosen the guy up a little. I would most certaintly suggest it if the genders were reversed. There’s nothing wrong with an alcholic lubricant; no one is saying that she should get him too drunk to “know what’s going on” & then take advantage or something.

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      • Budj

        Budj March 26, 2012, 10:03 am

        For me to get to the point of not knowing what is going on would require at least 2 full bottles of wine to myself within an hour.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 26, 2012, 12:53 pm

        When and where Budj?

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      • Budj

        Budj March 26, 2012, 1:26 pm

        haha – you were the only one to pick up on my “Ingredients needed for taking advantage of Budj” call out.

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      • avatar

        Renee March 26, 2012, 10:04 am

        When men are drunk, all they want to do is pee, then sleep anyways.

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      • avatar

        MsBorgia March 26, 2012, 11:49 am

        ^ I’m sorry, but this made me laugh out loud at work.

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      • avatar

        Renee March 26, 2012, 10:07 am

        Sorry, for any confusion. I was going for a more romantic appeal, as you get older we begin to drink not to get drunk, but actually use it as part of the meal.

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      • avatar

        savannah March 26, 2012, 10:14 am

        I understand, I just feel like his issue is not being nervous or scared around sex. Alcohol lowers inhibitions and relaxes some, but that is not his issue. He has a low sex drive which means he does not *want* to have sex. It’s not that he does not find his gf appealing or sexy or doesn’t have romanic thoughts about her, its just that he does not express those through sex. So the idea of getting him to loosen up via alcohol to have sex seems wrong to me, because well he’s not young man, he’s 36, he knows what he wants and doesn’t want so the whole preplanned on her part thing creeps me out. Low sex drive does not make him less of a man and the response of ‘just loosen him up, his sex drive is under there somewhere’ vein is just pretty naive if you’ve ever dealt with this issue.

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      • avatar

        Renee March 26, 2012, 10:30 am

        We don’t know his sex drive due to his long work day. That is why I mentioned the fact, he is well rested the night prior.

        We’re at the point where LW is going to sound like a nag, demanding orders on how he should ‘perform’ for her needs.

        LW loves her boyfriend, communication is there, but where’s the action?

        She wants action, right? She is sick of complaining, right?

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      • Amybelle

        Amybelle March 26, 2012, 10:32 am

        It doesnt sound like he finds her sexy and attractive; he never initiates sex, no foreplay or oral, and it’s over quickly. I would think that if it was just low libido that he would put more of an effort into it when they did have sex, or at least initiate occasionally.

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      • avatar

        savannah March 26, 2012, 10:38 am

        So you thinking he’s maybe on some other sexual spectrum? I did think about that but I don’t know enough about the interactions between say asexuality and very very low libido to say anything constructive.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle March 26, 2012, 10:58 am

        Yeah, it’s actually hard to tell whether this is a true libido issue or if he’s just super, super lazy.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow March 26, 2012, 11:48 am

        Yeah. Even if he can’t get it up, there are other things he could do for her. He sounds selfish to me. I mean, I understand being tired and unmotivated, but twice a month with little to no effort to actually please her is pretty bad.

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      • avatar

        Tinywormhole March 27, 2012, 9:54 am

        My fiancé and I have a somewhat similar issue in that we both work long hours that wear us out and don’t leave a lot of time for the fun stuff. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that for us, sex usually happens on, say, Friday night after we’ve had a couple drinks with dinner and reached that state of relaxation. It’s a great idea to try, LW. Don’t read any farther into it than is necessary.

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      • avatar

        SweetPeaG March 26, 2012, 10:26 am

        I think Renee’s heart is in the right place here… I don’t think she meant for the LW to take advantage of her boyfriend. Just relax him.

        But it honestly won’t solve this issue. This seems to be an issue of the LW’s boyfriend just not caring. She has spoken to him the past about how their lack of sex bothers her and nothing changes.

        Wine will not fix this.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 26, 2012, 12:57 pm

        To be honest, its worked for me. I get in bouts of sexless moods from being overworked and tired. The idea of sleeping turns me on more than sex does sometimes. My SO suggesting a bottle of wine is all it takes to pull me out of it. Calms my nerves, gets me all lovey and I end up very grateful that he pulled me out of a rut and gave me a chance to remember how much I enjoy a little action.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson March 26, 2012, 1:45 pm

        Totally. Sometimes you have to work at wanting to get down.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 26, 2012, 1:51 pm

        Right?! I can also guarantee that not even once have I done “it” and wished I hadn’t after. This whole thread is blowing my mind.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson March 26, 2012, 1:53 pm

        Especially because they’re in a long term relationship!! If they had been dating like 2 weeks I could see where Savannah was coming from with the whole date rape cry. And don’t get me wrong I definitely believe that you can rape a spouse/boyfriend. But having a glass of wine is so far from date rape it’s shocking. Plus it’s not like we’re telling her that if he says “no I don’t feel like drinking right now” we’re advocating she slips him a roufie and waits until he passes out.

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      • avatar

        Zepp March 26, 2012, 10:29 am

        LOL I think she just meant ‘create a romantic evening’ not rape him while he passed out

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      • avatar

        savannah March 26, 2012, 10:35 am

        Theres a difference between rape and lowering his faculties so he’ll just go along with what she wants. Neither is going to fix this issue.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 26, 2012, 12:52 pm

        Oh for god sake. She’s not slipping him drugs in a glass of water. She’s offering him some wine to loosen him up. Sounds like you need a glass of wine too!

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      • avatar

        Nadine March 26, 2012, 12:55 pm

        this, yes.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray March 26, 2012, 12:58 pm

        haha, yes, this. great (alcoholicy) minds think alike.

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      • avatar

        Renee March 26, 2012, 1:28 pm

        I would probably of responded very differently if LW’s age and her boyfriend’s were much younger and not in a long-term relationship.

        Unfortunately for most of us, our first experience drinking is through binging. If you’re not drinking to get drunk, it’s a waste of beer/alcohol. So if you’re younger, one could be concerned with my comment.

        As teens we have limited availability to learn to drink to enjoy. so it takes many of us awhile to learn healthy drinking habits.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 26, 2012, 1:31 pm

        Again, no one is saying get him blackout drunk, whether he’s 17, 25 or 36. Having a glass of wine or 2 to loosen up is completely normal and acceptable behavior.

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      • avatar

        savannah March 26, 2012, 1:34 pm

        Why can’t I just disagree with you? I have to be a binge drinker, younger and from a different culture to possibly have a different opinion?

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray March 26, 2012, 2:24 pm

        You can disagree with Renee but you can’t disagree with me – no one can. That’s just the way things are. And you can’t disagere with that, because I said it and you cannot disagree with me. (I got all A’s in logic.)

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      • Brad

        Brad March 26, 2012, 4:03 pm

        I’m afraid I’m gonna have to disagree with you. You’re not in DC so your pussy powers don’t work on me from Chicago!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray March 26, 2012, 12:57 pm

        I think savannah needs some vino!!

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      • avatar

        savannah March 26, 2012, 1:17 pm

        AA babes. but thanks.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson March 26, 2012, 1:47 pm

        If drinking wine to get me in the mood means I’m getting raped then I guess I date rape myself all the time. Sheesh you need to calm down.

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      • avatar

        savannah March 26, 2012, 2:01 pm

        putting myself out there with that comment
        rude.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 26, 2012, 2:10 pm

        “babes” is equally rude if you ask me. There’s no need to be snotty in this discussion.

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      • avatar

        savannah March 26, 2012, 2:13 pm

        Sure, sorry. I didn’t mean for it be rude.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray March 26, 2012, 2:21 pm

        but what you fail to realize, lbh, is i am an actual babe. like, super hawt. im pretty sure savannah could sense that from my super sexy comments and so she was just trying to be accurate…

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      • avatar

        savannah March 26, 2012, 2:23 pm

        What Addie said

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      • Brad

        Brad March 26, 2012, 4:06 pm

        I demand your personal boudoir photos to verify. Here let me get you my email address…

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray March 26, 2012, 11:41 pm

        Well, I submitted them to Wendy and I failed to retain a copy. Bummer! Because they were super sexy. All hot and steamy like a Bikram yoga studio, ooooooooooh.

        I am really bad at sexy talk, by the way. One time the neighbor started sexy talking and I started laughing at him. Then I reciprocated by calling him “really neat-o” in the heat of passion. … Then strangely I didn’t hear from him for like 2 weeks. Which was weird considering all that game up in there I had.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 26, 2012, 1:48 pm

        Disclaimer-I know nothing about how AA works, really. But is that group of the thinking that anyone who drinks or offers even a glass of two of wine is looking for trouble? I have to assume no, that anything in moderation for a non-alcoholic is ok. So is it really your belief that OFFERING someone a glass or 2 of wine so they can relax so similar to taking total advantage of someone for your own needs?

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        savannah March 26, 2012, 1:59 pm

        I just think that the premise that you should use alcohol to get more sex out of your relationship is wrong, and I’m alarmed at everyone jumping on that bandwagon.It would make me feel like shit to have to get my boyfriend to loosen up via a substance to even want to have sex with me. And yes, I think that the pressure of more sex and ‘oh honey here’s some wine so you can loosen up and have sex with me’ (because you’re not normal on your own) when he says he does not want to is going to be really distractive to their relationship. But I’m clearly in the minority here. so have at it.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson March 26, 2012, 2:04 pm

        You’re looking at it the wrong way – we’re not suggesting the LW gets him to drink wine to force him into wanting to have sex with her. We’re suggesting that she have him drink wine so he can relax and get HIMSELF in the mood. Listen I doubt her boyfriend is like ugh I hate sex. He is probably just really busy and stressed and so can’t get in the mood. But I’m sure he still wants to have sex. Who doesn’t? It’s not about her trying to get something out of him as much as getting him in the mood for himself.

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        savannah March 26, 2012, 2:09 pm

        “Who doesn’t?”- um he doesn’t. If he really has a low libido, that is. Now maybe this is stress related but some people (gasp) do have low sex drives and theres no amount of wine thats gonna get him into the mood. it happens. it sucks, and she’s gonna have to figure out how to deal or not deal with it.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 26, 2012, 2:15 pm

        But why not give this a shot first. I said it elsewhere on here, but it does help me sometimes. I’m exhausted a lot of the time and not in the mood because of it. A glass or two relaxes me and gets me in the mood. 2 birds…
        I don’t see this as bad by any means.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson March 26, 2012, 2:17 pm

        No! I don’t think he doesn’t want to have sex – I think he’s too stressed out and busy right now to make it a priority. I agree that wine is not going to be a permanent fix. This might not be an easy fix a lot. But she said this isn’t a deal breaker, which makes me believe she wants to work on it. Now she just has to make sure he wants to work on it too, and if so this is salvagable. I think it’s natural for people to go through different libido phases in their lives. I do for sure. Sometimes I want to bang all the time and other times I really can do 2 weeks and not even realize it. Often this is dependent on how busy I am.

        For example maybe this will take 4 solutions. Say she needs it at least 3 times a week. So they can sit down and talk about how to make it happen. Maybe once each on Saturday and Sunday if he’s only working one of his jobs those days. And then maybe once in the week. Maybe during the week when he can’t shut his brain off from work (I have a huge problem with this – my brain is turning 24/7 when I’m really busy at work) he can have a glass of wine. Or maybe work fewer hours and start working out to get relaxed and shut down his brain. Maybe on the weekends just scheduling it alone will help. And then maybe he can agree to see a doctor just to check it out and make sure that it is just him being lazy and struggling to get in the mood and not something more serious. Also maybe she can agree to buy some lingerie to help get him in the mood.

        I’m just saying there might be 4 little mini changes they can both make. And if during the week a glass of wine helps him relax then so be it. Obviously if he doesn’t like drinking then maybe he should work out or do something else.

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        Addie Pray March 26, 2012, 2:18 pm

        I agree with you on this LW’s sex problem: they’ve talked about it, he’s not comfortable with more, and she needs to figure out to how to deal with it or not deal with it and move on. There’s no “normal” – and even if her boyfriend is abnormal, so what? He is who he is and no one should ever force others to be more sexually active or adventurous than they feel comfortable being.

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        Addie Pray March 26, 2012, 2:15 pm

        savannah – i agree with you 100% that someone who needs a substance to ulter their mood has a dependancy problem. and it’s always nice when people open up on here about their own experiences/situation, so thank you for that. but there are degrees to everything. Example: if i had a drink EVERY TIME i was sad and that was the only thing to get me through it, then i’d be concerned. (in in full disclosure: i’ve had the problem. i’m in a good place now though.) but having a drink when i’m sad from time to time but not each tme i’m sad and not only when i’m sad, i think that’s ok…. so, in this case, having a drink to relax and get in the mood is not in and of itself a bad thing. i think you’re interpretting the comment in the most extreme situation and there are lots of shades of non-alcoholicy grays where the rest of us are coming from.

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        savannah March 26, 2012, 2:21 pm

        True, and my view is definitely colored from where i’m coming from. My very first response to Renee’s post was very intense, and I was also on the treadmill (yes taking DW’ing to new levels) so it was a very gut reaction, but I still hold that just thinking about it as a long term solution, which is what this LW needs, is not a viable option and could set up some funky relationships between the LW and sex.

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        Addie Pray March 26, 2012, 2:32 pm

        True dat. There’s also a humorous aspect to Renee’s original comment that likely warrant not interpreting it in the most extreme way… But I get that some people don’t like to joke about certain topics.

        I personally find humor in all things – death is my favorite topic to joke about. Also alcoholism. (Basically what I’ve learned about myself recently is that I joke about things to help me get through them.) Actually, I can’t think of any topic that would be completely exempt from jokes. Maybe child rape? That’s one – let’s not joke about that.

        I kind of want to issue a challenge for people to come up with a joke on a very offensive subject matter that is so funny that it’s ok and not offenseive. I’m scared it would just turn up a bunch of offensive jokes.

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      • Budj

        Budj March 26, 2012, 2:35 pm

        It’s hard not to offend people…over time you just learn what jokes you can make in a public forum safely, haha.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson March 26, 2012, 2:54 pm

        You are pretty much my Dad. We went to visit my aunt this week on my family road trip because she is dying of cancer (it’s his sister) and he started joking about putting her down so she doesn’t have to go through the next 2 months since she’s not going to make it out of this alive. I like to joke about everything to get through it. My own fatness – drinking – death – family drama – I call sex banging because I think it sounds funnier. Stuff like that.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson March 26, 2012, 2:57 pm

        @Budj – I try to avoid people that are easy to offend in my private life. So boring. We also try to avoid taking my family to restaurants where we’re all drinking together b/c none of us have filters and no sound control. Case in point – we went out to eat with my parents last weekend and my Dad and I started arguing about the whole war on women thing at the restaurant and somehow started joking about how republicans are willing to fund viagra but not birth control – and he said it was the same issue b/c both benefit women. Face palm. Clearly he was joking but isn’t that a better way to live life?

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      • Lili

        Lili March 26, 2012, 2:58 pm

        @Iwanna—haha is it any surprise that after reading your comment my mind start humming Budj and Addie Banging in a tree…

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      • Budj

        Budj March 26, 2012, 2:59 pm

        haha – I’m not disagreeing 😉 I just try to be aware of my audience while making jokes as I find it avoids many uncomfortable situations.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson March 26, 2012, 3:01 pm

        @ Lily – I like to picture Budj and Addie banging after a stressful day. In lieu of drinking.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 March 26, 2012, 3:07 pm

        I try all of my bad jokes on my fiancee first, because she gets offended easily, that way I know there safe in pupblic.

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        Addie Pray March 26, 2012, 3:37 pm

        There’s an old proverb that says something like – if enough people in a chat room are picturing Addie Pray and Budj banging, then Addie Pray and Budj should probably bang already. I’m paraphrasing but that’s what it says. Hey, don’t shoot the messenger.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray March 26, 2012, 3:38 pm

        Also, I’m picturing Addie Pray and George Clooney banging. I guess now it should happen.

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        lets_be_honest March 26, 2012, 3:24 pm

        WOW! DWing on the treadmill?! That is a new level, I’m impressed!

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      • Lili

        Lili March 26, 2012, 2:31 pm

        I liked your comment to show some support! Plus this line was sheer brilliance..’ but having a drink when i’m sad from time to time but not each tme i’m sad and not only when i’m sad, i think that’s ok’

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        lets_be_honest March 26, 2012, 1:49 pm

        I gotta be honest, the fact that this has even one like let alone 8 at this point scares me.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson March 26, 2012, 1:54 pm

        Like – x8. 🙂

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl March 26, 2012, 2:05 pm

        Just wanted to voice a little support for you here Savannah.

        I think Renee’s wine suggestion would be a great one time fix…but it’s not addressing what is clearly a long term issues with this man and the relationship. Having a drink or two once in a while to help the mood is by all means acceptable and even a good idea for certain relationships. But drinking as the only way to do something that is a healthy part of a relationship- is not okay in my book. The LW and her man need to address this farther than just one night. Look into medical issues, physcological issues, time issues- any and every thing that could possibly be causing this. And create a long term solution that makes them both happy. If they can’t then the LW needs to move on.

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      • avatar

        savannah March 26, 2012, 2:12 pm

        “But drinking as the only way to do something that is a healthy part of a relationship- is not okay in my book” This is what I am talking about!! Maybe we’re just taking the long view and others are thinking about it as a one or 2 time thing but it would just make me so sad if that was the condition for sex every time, or even 50% of the time. Who wants to be in that type of relationship? elective use of alcohol? sure go for it, but not as a prerequisite.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 March 26, 2012, 2:36 pm

        I think the problem people had with your comment is that you took what Renee said to the extreme for some reason. She just suggested the splitting a bottle of wine to relax, and you automatically brought it to black out binge drinking, and taking advantage of him. Nobody on here suggested that every single time she should get him drunk, to get her jollies.
        I know that on one of my fiancee’s BC’s killed her libido, but if she had a drink or two, it would diminish the effectives of the hormones, and she was way more into it. So I would secretly get excited when we went out to dinner, and she would have a drink or two, because I know she would act more like her previous self.
        I’m not suggesting that this is what is happening, well because he is a dude, but there are different situations for everyone. Luckily for us we finally found a BC that works, but it took time.

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      • avatar

        savannah March 26, 2012, 2:47 pm

        Yeah I know, and I said my reaction was intense. The whole idea still really creeps me out because I would never want to be in a relationship like that and I also don’t think its a fixable issue, so with the added pressure and her trying to get him to loosen up via alcohol just seems bad all around. I think it depends too if you read it as a true low libido or as something else. (also the idea that men can’t not want sex is floating around in the background of some of these comments and I think thats short-sighted)
        BC has definitely been known to do that, hopefully your friend switched to one that worked better for her.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl March 26, 2012, 2:57 pm

        Let’s not open the BC libido killer conversation…my BC has just about made mine extinct. Thank you scheduled sex for creating an artificial libido!

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 26, 2012, 2:14 pm

        “Having a drink or two once in a while to help the mood is by all means acceptable and even a good idea for certain relationships. But drinking as the only way to do something that is a healthy part of a relationship- is not okay in my book”

        See, I think this is what “we” were all saying.

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      • avatar

        Renee March 26, 2012, 5:35 pm

        I have several decorative wine bottles in my kitchen, as momentos of special dinners/occassions with my husband over the years.

        I’m really thrown off that somehow, what I suggested could be taken so out of context.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson March 27, 2012, 10:32 am

        I think it might be a culture thing or how you were raised. I have a friend that was shocked last year when my new years resolution was to have one glass of wine a night. Before that I would drink maybe once a month and havel like 3 glasses. She completely thinks you are an alcoholic if you drink one glass every night. I was like well then you and my doctor definitely disagree because I’m just working on my heart health here. (And trying to get my brain to shut off after work). Also that new years resolution – like all my other ones – lasted like two days. It was a bummer.

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  • avatar

    cporoski March 26, 2012, 9:36 am

    I say schedule it. Tell him ahead of time that you need tues/thurs this week. Send sexy texts the day of and see if that changes things.

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl March 26, 2012, 10:00 am

      Scheduling worked for me. My BF has a much higher drive then me, so the schedule helped him calm down a bit because he knew it was coming and it helped me get mentally geared up for it. We only scheduled it for maybe 4 months…we’ve stopped because we’ve gotten into a healthy patern that makes us both happy.

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      • Jess

        Jess of CGW March 26, 2012, 11:36 am

        Great example of how it can works as a transitional tool 🙂

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl March 26, 2012, 12:29 pm

        We were also transitioning from long distance to short distance so it was a crazy time. Setting a specific amount (and frequency) of time each week to be intimate really helped us figure out what our routine was and what our “normal” is. I would highly recomend it.

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      • avatar

        cporoski March 26, 2012, 4:14 pm

        This is exactly my point. Life gets busy and if you start focusing on making it a priority, it will fall into place.

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    • Jess

      Jess of CGW March 26, 2012, 11:35 am

      It is definitely one solution to try if they haven’t.

      Reply Link
    • iwannatalktosampson

      Iwannatalktosampson March 26, 2012, 2:00 pm

      So I used to be so against scheduling sex. I mean how unsexy is that? But I am prone to not being in the mood over dumb stuff. Like for example – if i’ve worked a long day (say 12 hours) in a suit and 4 inch heels, I am exhausted when I get home. But I also like to work out – so I go to the gym right after work. So by the time I get home around 8 I’m sweaty, tired and feel kinda gross in general. Plus I HATE showering my hair twice in a day and I’m OCD and can’t put on a suit unless I’m freshly showered. See – told you I can come up with a million reasons for why I don’t feel sexy sometimes. But when I schedule it I make it a priority, otherwise I can wake up one day and be like “shit we haven’t boned in like 10 days – this is bad”.

      So we schedule it. So even on those days when I’m exhausted and feel disgusting I know to make it happen. So I shower my body and not my hair. That helps. Then I drink a glass of wine which works for two reasons – boosts my confidence – allows me not to feel unsexy for now at this point not wearing make up – lets me sort of wash the stress of the day off of me.

      This was really long but pretty much I just wanted to say that I understand the guy for having a hard time getting in the mood if he’s super busy. BUT that is NO EXCUSE. So start scheduling it. (And roofie-ing him) (Kidding – joke from above. Calm down everyone) (But maybe let him roofie himself).

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      • avatar

        cporoski March 26, 2012, 4:24 pm

        Right! I think people don’t realize that they used to schedule it when they weren’t living together. You would plan “dates” and that is when both people tried harder to be attractive. So each of you dressed up, brushed your teeth, and planned your time together. I feel like alot of the magic goes away because you both collapse at home at the end of the day, put on the comfy pants, and sit in front of the TV. I think by putting it on the calendar, then you both primp a little and put the spark back in.

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      • Lili

        Lili March 26, 2012, 4:39 pm

        I liked your comment, however it made me sad to think back that in my last relationship, I never got to the stage where I felt comfortable being in ‘comfy pants’ around him. It was always sexy yoga pants or dresses/skirts and jeans until bed time which involved some form of VS slips/nighties. I wonder if I’ll be more ‘comfy’ in my next relationship or if i’m just not a ‘comfy’ person. SIGH.

        /End Lili pondering.

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      • Budj

        Budj March 26, 2012, 4:58 pm

        Why would you want to be with someone you couldn’t be comfortable around?

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      • Lili

        Lili March 26, 2012, 5:05 pm

        See thats what I’m pondering. Is it ME I wasn’t comfortable with, or the guy.. such existential angst.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow March 26, 2012, 5:32 pm

        Interesting conundrum. It also has me wondering if, perhaps, I was *too* comfortable in my last relationship. I’m one of those people whose pants come off as soon as I get through the door after work. Actually, it worked out because I made it a rule – my BF wasn’t allowed to wear pants in my apartment! Perfect for cuddling and an easy transition to sex (am I the only one who doesn’t like fiddling with a dude’s jeans?).

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray March 26, 2012, 9:29 pm

        CatsMeow, let’s me and you start a world where all pants must come off at the door. along with muddy shoes. my apartment hasn’t seen pants in a good while. they’re all piled up in the foyer.

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      • avatar

        cporoski March 27, 2012, 8:48 am

        See, I think of too comfortable as only wearing makeup when you go out and never when it is just the two of you. Or changing the second you get home into sweatpants every day. Or even all the icky human stuff and you don’t even try to keep it on the DL. It can happen so easily and you loose the vava voom because you are showing your worst possible self. This happens with my husband too. He sometimes tries to get busy but his breath is horrible and he farts without even trying hide it and i am like gross. **When I say you, I mean couples in general.**

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray March 26, 2012, 9:30 pm

        Budj, are you asking me out again? Transparent, again.

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      • avatar

        cporoski March 27, 2012, 8:42 am

        I think it is all about balance. I think you will find someone who you can be comfy sometimes but don’t forget to dress up other times.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray March 26, 2012, 9:28 pm

        *gasp* — don’t admit to having a glass of wine to unwind. it’ll start a war. p.s. why haven’t you responded to my message?!

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson March 26, 2012, 10:31 pm

        Wait are you talking to me? I cant tell I’m on my phone

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray March 26, 2012, 10:40 pm

        Yes. Check fb.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson March 26, 2012, 11:27 pm

        This friendship just got real.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray March 26, 2012, 11:36 pm

        As real as cheese wiz in a can! (I dunno.)

        But I love that stuff. Sometimes, when I feel at rock bottom, I buy cheese wiz and bugles – you know, those cone-shaped chips you can eat off your finger tips? Well, you take one of those and fill it with cheese and then eat it. It’s so good. I only do that when I’m feeling really low because I figure, eh, I already feel as low as possible – now is a good time to eat shitty food because tomorrow is a new day and I will be good. (There’s logic there somewhere but that’s how my brain works.)

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson March 26, 2012, 11:54 pm

        That’s hilarious my Dad gave me some cheeze whiz to smuggle into the country because it’s soooo cheap in Canada.

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  • avatar

    MellaJade March 26, 2012, 10:09 am

    The lack of energy and libido leads me to think he may have a lower level of testosterone. This happened to my ex-husband who exhibited the same behavior. LW, ask your man to go to the doctor and have his level checked.

    As for lack of foreplay and NO oral? Girl, MOA.

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  • avatar

    Lindsay March 26, 2012, 10:18 am

    If he wants to be with you as much as you want to be with him, then he should be putting some effort into figuring this out. Either going to the doctor (even if he’s always been like this) or trying new tactics on his own. You say that you don’t want it to be a dealbreaker, but then you say you probably can’t live without a better sex life, which basically means it’s a dealbreaker. Even if it’s not, the real dealbreaker is if he doesn’t care whether you’re getting your needs fulfilled. So, if there appears to be no changes in sight, I’d say MOA.

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  • avatar

    iseeshiny March 26, 2012, 10:18 am

    Your last paragraph really says all that needs saying. It’s an issue you’ve discussed multiple times and there hasn’t been an improvement. Mismatched libidos happen. They suck. You don’t deserve the constant feelings of rejection, he doesn’t deserve constant feelings of pressure and failure. It’s going to start wearing on both of your self esteems (trust me!) if it hasn’t already. There is someone out there who will match you in every way, not just all but one crucial one. MOA.

    PS I don’t think I would stay with someone who won’t put any effort into foreplay, especially not once it’s been requested. Quickies have their place. And that place is where you have to be somewhere in ten minutes.

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  • avatar

    EricaSwagger March 26, 2012, 9:19 am

    The thing that stuck with me as I read this post is that your boyfriend works 13 hour days and sleeps the rest of the time. When do you have time for a relationship? When do you talk, or hang out at home? When do you eat? It’s more of a deal-breaker (for me anyway) to be dating someone I don’t even get to spend time with. That is what would bother me the most.

    You say your boyfriend cares about you a lot, and aside from the sex, he’s a great partner and the relationship is good. It seems to me that you live with a close friend, not a boyfriend.
    Relationships need passion.
    I’m a firm believer that when marriages last 60+ years, it’s because the partners are truly in LOVE and passionate about one another (not just love one another — there is a difference… I love my brother but I’m not in love with him). Once the sex goes away, you have a roommate, not a boyfriend.

    Ask yourself how you’ll feel in a year if, even after talking to your boyfriend and telling him how you feel, expressing your concerns and letting him know how important sex is to you… he STILL doesn’t step it up. Because I have to say, he probably will not change his ways. He might be better for a week or a month but… long term it’s unlikely he’ll change (he’s almost 40!). There’s nothing you can say or do to boost his sex drive or make him perform better. Do you want to be with him forever if you aren’t having sex? Do you want to spend the rest of you life content, happy, and cared for, but not satisfied?

    If you have no desire to be with someone else and you’re willing to spend the rest of your life having sex 2 or less times a month, then you should stick with what you have. Most likely, he will always be this way, and it’s up to you to decide whether or not you can live with that.

    It hurts to realize that the person you’re with maybe isn’t your perfect mate. By reaching out for advice you’re realizing that maybe something is wrong. Maybe this man isn’t ideal. Something about your relationship is making you unhappy, and while that in itself may not be a deal-breaker, your happiness comes before all else.

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  • CatsMeow

    CatsMeow March 26, 2012, 10:25 am

    My most recent ex had an insane libido. I won’t go into too many details, but the sex was great.

    However, we did get to a point maybe midway through our relationship where he was feeling like you, LW, and he asked me to initiate more. At that point I felt like your boyfriend; how could I when he always beat me to it?! So we had a talk, and eventually found a good compromise. He wouldn’t take it personally if I didn’t want to do it on a particular occasion, or if I was too tired at night then we would do it in the morning, or in rare instances he would just jerk off in front of me (which I actually enjoy – so sometimes it led to sex anyway). AND… I made an effort to initiate more! I wanted him to be happy and to feel loved and wanted, and I wanted the relationship to work.

    I think your boyfriend should WANT to make you happy. You have to take his needs into account as well, but the fact that he’s not even trying to meet you halfway is what concerns me. Like I said above, if this is a recent development then maybe it can be fixed. If he’s always been like this, then you might have to MOA.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle March 26, 2012, 10:47 am

    You say you’re “too content” to make this mis-matched libidos thing a dealbreaker, but this issue really doesn’t sound workable. Sex two or three times a month is dismal, especially since you guys have only been dating a year and a half with no relationship stressors besides his long work-days. And it seems like you need to persuade him in order to have sex even that much. Not fun!

    My question to you is…does he show ANY potential at all? Or is the vibe he’s giving off more like, “Oh, she’s lucky to be getting these 10 minutes.” Is there any dirty talk, or at least passionate eye contact? I mean, I don’t know what you’re into, but I’m sure that you do (obviously)– sooo is ANYTHING there that makes you think “He’s probably be good if he weren’t so sleepy all the time”?

    If you think there is, maybe take him away one weekend & see if the sex improves once there’s more free time opened up. At the very least, maybe he’ll give you some more honest excuses besides “I need more sleep.”

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  • Amybelle

    Amybelle March 26, 2012, 10:50 am

    MOA! Been there and even though you may think its an acceptable thing now, it will get worse and eventually ruin your self esteem. Honestly something sounds off with the boyfriend more than just low libido; I would consider the possibility that he’s closeted. And before everyone jumps on me ” a guy can have low libido and doesn’t mean he is gay” I agree, BUT this guy doesn’t ever initiate, doesn’t like giving her oral, and when she talks him into it has quick no foreplay sex! Not every relationship has to be full of fiery passion but you need at least a little spark, that’s the glue that keeps a relationship together; without it things eventually fall apart

    Reply Link
    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark March 27, 2012, 2:39 am

      Um, I totally posted this same thought just now way down in the thread and see you posted the same exact thought. It’s really a BIG possibility. And not only for the LW, but also Mrs Pinky sadly… Really, Mrs Pinky — I don’t think it’s you at all. I think its ALL him…

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      • Amybelle

        Amybelle March 27, 2012, 8:36 am

        I really think it’s more likely than some medical reason like low testosterone, that’s pretty uncommon.

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  • avatar

    Ravage Maladie March 26, 2012, 10:50 am

    I don’t know about dating someone with low libido; I’m the one with the lower libido in my relationship. Speaking for myself, I noticed that, apart from the ‘built-in’ differences between us – my boyfriend would love to have sex every day, for me 1-2 times a week is perfect – a lot of other factors contributed to me not wanting sex and, if I did consent to it, to not giving myself entirely.

    Stress tends to cramp us up, not only physically but mentally as well; the sympathetic nervous system kicks in. It makes you alert, on top of things, ready to ‘fight or flight’. Its opponent, the parasympathetic nervous system, allows you to relax, regenerate, and ‘expand’ in a broader sense.
    When the differences in sex-drive between my and my boyfriend became problematic and prompted me to look at myself, I noticed a parallel between my attitude towards the world and my attitude towards sex. I found that I’ve always relied on my sympathetic ‘switch’ to feel like I could cope with the world. At those times I’d be ‘on’ and feel kind of ‘everybody get out of my way, otherwise I will fail to do my job’. In this mindset I used to feel the same towards my boyfriend. I would humor him and try to be friendly, but inside my head I was still in survival mode and would secretly just want to ‘get it over with’.

    It’s been kind of a (spiritual) journey for me to learn how to really relax and surrender to the world – and to another person. I now know that, even though it seems like my job and life in general are so demanding I have to get back into ‘combat mode’, I really don’t; IT’S UP TO ME to choose whether to stay relaxed or get all stressed out. There are actually exercises you can do to slow your heart down and get into parasympathetic mode.
    Since I’ve become more skilled in this area, I’ve noticed a huge increase in both my sex-drive and the feelings of connectedness and intimacy with my boyfriend when we do have sex.

    All this goes to say: a person’s libido CAN change, and it can by strongly correlated with how their hormone levels and major nervous systems are balanced out. If your boyfriend works two jobs, chances are he’ll often be stressed out and ‘closed off’. A dominant sympathetic nervous system can even affect your thyroid gland and simply prevent the emittance of chemical elements that make you want to have sex!

    Having said that, it’s definitely up to your boyfriend to make changes happen and open himself up to you. It seems his current attitude towards sex (and maybe living!) is: a chore that he needs to cross off the list. At least that what it reads like with the no foreplay etc.
    My point is: if I were you, I would try to check with him if the stress of working two jobs could have something to do with it. Talk to him about this. If it turns out no, that’s just the way he is, or he simply isn’t willing to do this kind of soul-searching: move on. Then I agree with all the others that he won’t change and you will never be fulfilled in this area.

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    • ApresMoi

      Dans March 26, 2012, 12:04 pm

      This is so interesting! Thanks for sharing. Sometimes it’s really hard for me to relax and just let go. As much as I’ll want to, I just can’t completely drop my guard thinking about one thing or another.

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    • Jess

      Jess of CGW March 27, 2012, 9:46 am

      Great stuff, thanks for posting.

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      • avatar

        Ravage Maladie March 28, 2012, 9:59 am

        You’re very welcome. Glad it is of help for someone!

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  • avatar

    SweetPeaG March 26, 2012, 10:50 am

    Dear LW,

    Sorry you are going through this. It sucks, big time.

    Is your boyfriend on any medications that may be lowering his libido? I know that can be a huge factor. And if he is, would he be willing to speak to his Doctor about trying something else? As others mentioned, his crazy work schedule I am sure is a bit of a factor. Are his crazy hours a permanent fixture in his life?

    But, honestly… it sounds like you have tried to fix things. It sounds like you have been open in communicating with your boyfriend about how much it bothers you. And it sounds like he hasn’t cared enough to make any significant changes. Not only is the quantity lacking- but the quality too!

    Personally, I think that when the sex life is bad- the rest of the relationship will soon follow in that direction. I don’t think I am superficial, but I do place sex pretty high on my list of important things in a relationship. After being in your place LW, I realize that I need a decent sex life to feel happy with my partner. I need that form of bonding and shared joy.

    And at the very least, when something bothers me… it is important that my boyfriend at least try to make it better and put my concerns high on his priority list. I would personally move on. But, that is only because I’ve been there and I know it makes me miserable. Only you can decide how important this is to you.

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  • avatar

    Renee March 26, 2012, 11:10 am

    If he is tired now, what will he be like if there is a baby or two at home?

    What does he do after work, does he really go straight to bed or watch TV?

    I making the assumption, as simply being tired as the main factor, not something more medical at this point.

    For example, there is no media in our bedrooms. We don’t sleep beside our cell phones.

    We also give ourselves a bedtime, so we’re not so close to drifting to sleep when we’re in bed.

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    • LadyinPurpleNotRed

      LadyinPurpleNotRed March 26, 2012, 11:12 am

      Well she says neither of them want children, so the baby point is moot.

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      • avatar

        Renee March 26, 2012, 11:15 am

        Thanks.

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  • caitie_didnt

    caitie_didn't March 26, 2012, 11:23 am

    Girl, the sex is infrequent, doesn’t last very long, involves no foreplay and no oral???

    MOA- like, yesterday! At this point it’s not even that your libidos are mismatched (which they evidently are), it’s that your boyfriend doesn’t seem all that interested in satisfying you. Life is too short to sign yourself up for years of bad sex.

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    • avatar

      rachelgrace53 March 28, 2012, 12:47 pm

      YES. My thoughts exactly…

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 March 26, 2012, 11:25 am

    LW: I’m sure people have said this already, but I haven’t read through all of the comments yet. I can tell you that things are only going to get worse, and you are really really going to resent him. Right now it might only be 2-3 times a month, but it definitely is going to slow down to at least 1 time a month in the near future. That and the fact that he really doesn’t want to even try to pleasure you, he just wants to get it over rather than find out what buckles your knees, these really need to be a deal breaker for you, because I can tell you, that you aren’t going to be happy in this relationship in the long run. Also I think the fact that he is spending all of this time sleeping once he gets home is not the best situation. I’m somebody who works two jobs as well, and I can tell that it is still very easy to find time to spend with my fiancee. It sounds like this guy actually might be depressed, and that could be a reason for all everything that’s going on, but if he isn’t willing to work on it at all, its time for you to give him that ultimatum.

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  • avatar

    jlyfsh March 26, 2012, 11:26 am

    As other’s have mentioned I’m curious has to how in between working and sleep you have time for an actual relationship. What does your relationship consist of other than living together? If you really care about him and want to give the relationship one more shot I would be very clear with him when you talk about this. Get an idea in your head and how much sex would make you happy. Have an actual number to talk about. Also try and talk to him about being intimate without sex. Ask him to make out with you once a week, bring up the idea of a once a week massage session. Ask him how he would feel about using sex toys. If he truly has a low libido but wants to make you happy maybe he would be up for using the toys on you sometimes.

    I would though be very specific about how the issue is making you feel when you talk to him. Let him know that it is making you doubt your future with him. Most of all I would be willing to be flexible with what the sex entails (like i said above use of toys, massage, etc). If he doesn’t respond to this at all or you fall back in to a routine that you aren’t both happy with, I would say to MOA. Neither of you will be happy if you’re always begging and he’s always feeling like he’s being pushed.

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  • Jess

    Jess of CGW March 26, 2012, 11:28 am

    Whoa, whoa, I’m really surprised at how many “MOA”s are being tossed around this morning.

    Reading the letter, it sounds like her boyfriend IS a caring partner, “gentle, patient, caring, and devoted” has made an effort, and is a hard worker. Can we stop a second and look for solutions rather than chalk it up to MOA rather than face a life without good sex?

    Firstly, no relationship is perfect and all relationships have flaws. It’s up to YOU to decide what you can live with –of course. I would just take a moment to say that if infrequent sex is the worst flaw in your relationship –you would be lucky to count all the other blessings in it.

    Secondly, there are still many things you can consider:

    ** having your BF checked out medically as someone mentioned. Is his testosterone low? Is he depressed? Is he on medications interfering with his sex drive?

    ** would you both consider scheduling sex? Sounds awful, sure, but it CAN be very liberating for many couples. It reduces the pressure on him and the anxiety you feel about wondering when/if it’s ever happening again. It forces you to prioritize sex in your lives AND to determine the amount you both want (weekly maybe to start).

    ** can you stimulate your sex life with variety? Fantasies, role-playing, toys, lingerie, porn, etc?

    ** are there other things you can do to sexually satisfy yourself? This is for discussion with your partner. Things like a vibrator should be fine but virtual chat rooms might not be.

    ** how physical is the rest of your relationship? Cuddling, touching, hand-holding, etc? Work on these areas –create more touching, and you may find that it increases his desire. There is a theory about this called “simmering” if you want to research it.

    ** can he cut back on his work hours or prioritize his sleep schedule in a way that will give him more energy for sex? If getting to bed on time is an issue, consider setting an alarm on your phone.

    Those are just a FEW suggestions for how to improve a problem area in an otherwise great relationship without having to MOA –unless you want to leave.

    My last 2 questions for you…

    1. Is it the sex or is the feeling of being loved and desired? Because, I know that when you are the one to initiate every time, when you are not sought out by your partner, when you are rejected physically by your partner —that takes a toll on your ego. If this is the case, there are a multitude of ways he can show you he loves and desires you that does not have to be sexual. You might want to address these areas first.

    2. Is the sex problem an isolated problem or a symptom of a larger one? If you are looking for an excuse to MOA, you don’t need one to do so. If, on the other hand, the sex problem is the only thing you are questioning, I say roll up your sleeves and work at solving it. If after a lot of effort, you cannot, maybe then you consider leaving but, if you love him, don’t do so without exhausting all your options.

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    • caitie_didnt

      caitie_didn't March 26, 2012, 11:33 am

      eh, for me no oral and no foreplay is an automatic no go. That relationship wouldn’t make it past the first few times we slept together, regardless of how awesome the guy was in other aspects. I need those things, and I’m not going to settle for not having them. How is a guy “amazing, awesome and caring” when he doesn’t really seem to care about keeping his girlfriend sexually satisfied? It’s not like this is a decades-long relationship, it’s only been a year and a half!! If the sex is already bad at this point, I doubt it’s going to get better.

      Reply Link
      • Jess

        Jess of CGW March 26, 2012, 11:41 am

        It really comes down to how LW perceives her partner, so if SHE defines him as loving, caring, etc –I have only her word for it. She describes this is the only flaw in the relationship so I approached my response to her accordingly –solving or lessening that problem. She doesn’t say he doesn’t care about solving it. It sounds like he’s been willing to discuss it and try to solve it but then lapses back into the routine –which is why I’m suggesting that talking about it isn’t enough –CHANGING the routine is.

        And again, if she’s unhappy for other reasons, then she should go by all means. But taking her letter at face value –I think she should work on this before MOA. The man works a lot and he may have a low libido (for any number of reasons). People are too quick to bail in my opinion. The other qualities she describes are hard to come by.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didn't March 26, 2012, 11:50 am

        Well, you might value other qualities more than good sex, but I would personally put a very high priority on good sex….I feel like the two fastest ways to sink a relationship/marriage are sexual incompatibility and financial incompatibility. I don’t know what camp the LW falls into. Like I said, for me- I don’t care how “awesome” or lovely the guy is. If he’s not willing to give oral (which is what I need to get off), we’re not going to continue to date.

        What concerns me is that they’ve talked about it and nothing has changed. If I read the letter at face value, I interpret that as laziness and not caring on his part. Sure, she can try to change up the routine, but does she really want to be the only person putting in any effort? How depressing and horrible for her self esteem to have to practically beg her boyfriend to have (mediocre) sex with her! But, you may read it a different way.

        And be careful about dismissing this with “people are too quick to bail anyways”. Everyone has their own priorities in a relationship and everyone has their own reasons for choosing to stay or leave that aren’t really our place to judge. Can you honestly say that, from reading this letter, the LW sounds happy to you? I can’t.

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      • Jess

        Jess of CGW March 26, 2012, 12:02 pm

        Yes I read it differently. And yes, it is only for LW to decide what her priorities are. And it’s for her to decide how much effort is enough. To give her a fair and balanced reply, offering more than one solution (to MOA) seems helpful.

        My point in saying people bail too easily was directed at the commenters more than LW. I think we are sometimes (note: I do not say always) too quick to tell a person to leave their partner without knowing all the details. I don’t see the harm in making suggestions for problem-solving before pulling the plug.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow March 26, 2012, 12:01 pm

        You’re right that they should try and work on it. She says in the letter that this is not something she would consider leaving him over. They should exhaust every option to try and make it better before calling it quits.

        BUT! He needs to get on board in order for that to work. And the gist that I got from the letter was that he wasn’t taking her concerns seriously and putting forth as little effort as possible.

        (Keep in mind, I’ve been pretty pessimistic lately, so it is entirely possible that my perspective is skewed).

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      • avatar

        MsBorgia March 26, 2012, 12:09 pm

        Right. I could understand not calling a partner’s low libido a dealbreaker. I would, however, call it a dealbreaker if he refused to at least attempt to address the issue with me.

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      • dandywarhol

        dandywarhol March 26, 2012, 3:27 pm

        I totally agree with you. Sure they will probably never had he same libido, but he has to at least TRY. From what I gather, he isn’t even doing that at this point. That would be he biggest reason for me to say MOA.

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    • avatar

      jaybro March 26, 2012, 11:58 am

      ALL THESE THINGS. YES.

      Do NOT feel guilty about MOAing if that is your final decision, but make sure to cover all the bases before you peace out, girl scout.

      Is it a medical issue? Is it a stress issue? Is it a laziness issue? Is it a no-attraction issue? Has it always been this way or is it a recent change? Is he willing to actually, truly work on it, or is he insisting on it being ‘his way’? Etc., etc.?

      Try out every possibility, and if you are still unhappy, then MOA.

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    • Amybelle

      Amybelle March 26, 2012, 12:34 pm

      It doesn’t sound like the boyfriend wants to work on it so why should the LW? And it’s not just infrequent sex, it’s bad sex, it’s a man who can’t be bothered to please his partner on the one or two times a month that she can talk him into having sex. I just don’t see why that’s worth so much effort (that odds are wont help anyway) when the LW states she needs more to be happy. And I don’t see someone who doesn’t make an effort to please their partner in bed as caring and devoted. Obviously it’s the LW’s choice, but I’m basing my advice to MOA on experience (both mine and people I know) Another factor is that women tend to hit their “peak” sexually in their 30s, and what seems like an acceptable sacrifice might not seem so ok then, better to cut your losses now.

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      • Jess

        Jess of CGW March 26, 2012, 12:52 pm

        Is it possible she meant that he is caring and loving in all ways other than sex? Because that’s pretty much what she said.

        Also, I interpreted this line to mean that he is WILLING to work on things, he is just not successful or not following through —: “Every time we’ve talked about this, we say we’ll make an effort and it happens once and then things go back to the way they were”

        That is why I think she might need some new ideas for improving things. I can understand that sex is important and I understand they both need to work on it. But I don’t see why it would hurt to TRY working on it, even just a little, before she decides to MOA. If he says no, THEN leave, yes. But I didn’t sense that he was unwilling from what she wrote. Lazy? Unsuccessful? Yes.

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      • Amybelle

        Amybelle March 26, 2012, 1:47 pm

        Well if he’s just doing it once and and then going back to the way things were it sounds like he isn’t making much of an effort. I just think the odds of this improving are slight enough to not be worth the work it would take.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 March 26, 2012, 2:41 pm

        I agree I don’t think he is making it an effort, he is pretty much doing it once to get her off his back for a little while, and then falling right back into the same pattern, and my guess is that it gets worse everytime. I also think if she really thinks this guys is the one then maybe she should fight for him, but she should be able to tell pretty easily how important it is to him.

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      • avatar

        iseeshiny March 26, 2012, 2:47 pm

        “Off his back” – pun intended? 😛

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson March 26, 2012, 2:59 pm

        Ha! I just lol’ed.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 March 26, 2012, 3:05 pm

        hahaha, I wish I was that creative!

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      • dandywarhol

        dandywarhol March 26, 2012, 3:31 pm

        She should listen to his actions, not words. Yeah it’s nice to hear BS that you want to hear, but if it doesn’t change, then what’s the point?

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    • Leroy

      Leroy March 27, 2012, 12:20 am

      I’m w/ Jess on this. The LW’s obviously frustrated, but seems to want to make this work. I think that it’s a matter of whether her BF recognizes the severity of the problem and is willing to do something about it. His work schedule and fatigue probably aren’t helping, though he may just have a very low libido. She also might want to get him to see an endocrinologist. The symptoms she mentions are sometimes indicative of hypothyroidism.

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  • avatar

    MsBorgia March 26, 2012, 11:58 am

    When my bf and I were in college, he was insanely busy— he had a full courseload (and was a bio major), he worked two jobs, and went to the gym every day at 5 am. I knew that between all the work and studying he did, he regularly got <5 hours of sleep a night. And yet, I still got time to see him, and we still had regular, quality sex.

    I'm not saying "If I can do it you can do it," but my point is that even though he was so swamped we still had time together, because he MADE time for us. He sacrificed time that he could have been sleeping or doing homework— things that, in college, are not exactly optional commitments. Your boyfriend works 13 hour days *by choice* and sleeps the rest of the time? He's still sleeping 11(-ish) hours a day! I agree with the other commenters that there might be something physiological going on (re the libido and sleeping that much), but what stood out to me is that your boyfriend is choosing to schedule himself this way. He might not be acting intentionally selfish, but I think it's worth introducing the idea that your relationship is suffering for his overpacked schedule when it really doesn't need to be.

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  • avatar

    Trixy Minx March 26, 2012, 12:19 pm

    Have you thought about having an open relationship?

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle March 26, 2012, 2:32 pm

      You’re the first person I’ve seen to suggest this, so I’m just replying to second it– since she already tried to talk to him & improve things (only to have it fail) then she shouldn’t feel bad telling the guy she needs her sexual needs met elsewhere.

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      • avatar

        Trixy Minx March 26, 2012, 5:06 pm

        Not to try and diagnose the guy but maybe he is asexual? What worries me is that the guy works 13hrs a day and all he wants to do is sleep. What kind of relationship is that? Aside from trying and failing at having sex do you guys do any other activity?

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  • avatar

    Anon March 26, 2012, 12:45 pm

    I think that the superlow libido is likely just a product of his lifestyle and the fact that he works two jobs with superlong hours. People who are tired all the time are not likely to want to have sex very often. I feel like the only thing that will change the libido issue is a change in his work situation.

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray March 26, 2012, 12:47 pm

    So what’s the question, LW? I didn’t see one. If you are truly “too content with him to try to make it a dealbreaker,” then you’ve made your decision and are, well, too content, and I don’t see a problem here. It sounds like you’re just venting a bit. That’s ok. I do that sometimes. Like this weekend — I vented a bit because, you see, two years my brother’s car was stolen because he left his keys in the car (dumbass); I gave him mine so he wouldn’t have to buy a new one (he doesn’t make a lot of money and I really didn’t need it); but now I need a car so I had to buy one. I didn’t vent to him, mind you, because I don’t want to make him feel bad. But, yea, it sucks for me to see my money go out the door for a car when all this could have been avoided had my brother not gotten his car stolen (dumbass!). But I’d make the same decision over and over again and it’s fine – and I feel better already just venting here about it, thank you, guys, for listening.

    But back to you: It kind of sounds like you’re looking for us to say your sex drive is normal and his is not. But where does that get you? So what? You can’t expect him to do something he is not comfortable with. This guy is not into sex; you’ve discussed it; he’s not interested in changing that. You need to decide if you’re really “too content” with this relationship — it doesn’t sound like you are. It’s ok to move on and find someone more compatible with you. Or maybe you are looking for permission to make this a dealbreaker. For what it’s worth, I’d probably move on over this too.

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    • Will.i.am

      Will.i.am March 26, 2012, 1:04 pm

      AddiePray: It sounds like she doesn’t really want to leave, so she’s clinging to all the other good and hoping that she can get used to the low sex life. I can say that sex ranks pretty high with me too. I don’t need it everyday, but I definitely need it more than 3-4 times a month. Shoot, I like it 3-4 times a week and sometimes a day if it’s a lounge around weekend. My libido is higher now than it has ever been.

      For the LW, I would give it one last shot to get your boyfriend in the mood. Mention to him that you aren’t being pleased sexually and that you will close the door on your relationship if things don’t improve. I don’t see anything wrong in trying one last effort to get that sexual intimacy that you need. I, too, would feel neglected if my girlfriend didn’t want to please me either and it always felt like a chore. That really does impact your self worth.

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  • avatar

    Rachel March 26, 2012, 12:56 pm

    I just don’t get how he can be so caring a devoted, yet not seem to care at all that your needs are not being met in bed. I can understand a low libido, and being too tired/busy to have sex a lot. Those are things that should depend on life situation and may change. But you said that the sex, when you do have it, isn’t even good. He won’t go down on you? There’s no foreplay? I’m pretty sure most guys, even if they don’t have the stamina to last long or have sex often, would feel awful if they were not pleasing their partner. I’m not going to tell you to MOA, because you’ve said you don’t want this to be a deal breaker, but I think you need to really think about what you need to feel sexually satisfied and how you can compromise with him to make that happen. If he really cares about you, and you make it known that this is important to you, he should be willing to budge a little. If not, then you can decide if it’s a deal breaker.

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  • Will.i.am

    Will.i.am March 26, 2012, 1:07 pm

    And when I’m stressed out, nothing makes me feel better than good sexual intimacy. It’s the ultimate stress relief if you ask me.

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  • avatar

    Bijoux March 26, 2012, 1:23 pm

    He’s gay!!!!

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  • avatar

    CattyGoLightly March 26, 2012, 1:25 pm

    All I have to say about this is.. oh no. You can be with someone who treats you like gold in every way outside of the bedroom, but if the sex is infrequent/bad (as it seems to be) it’s probably going to put a strain on the relationship. You’ve told him how you feel, and he hasn’t tried to fix it, so I think you just need to decide if having unsatisfying sex infrequently for the rest of your life is something that you can deal with.

    If it’s already wearing thin after a year and a half, can you imagine how frustrated you’ll be after 5 years? FIVE YEARS of bad sex. It’s not a pretty picture.

    And the thing is, you can have it all. It’s not like there is not another man out there who will be good to you, and he would also probably be more than happy to have sex with you, too.

    While you are in love with this man, he’s not making any effort to fix something that you have said is an issue for you, and to me, that says something. I would try having a serious talk about it one more time, and make sure that you make it very clear that this is important to you. Ask him why he doesn’t want to, how long he’s been this way, is it a medical condition, etc. because maybe he just doesn’t like sex? Anyway, if after this big talk, nothing changes, then MOA. If you’ve told him it’s important, and he ignores that, it’s not worth the years of sexual (and eventually, emotional) dissatisfaction you will feel.

    You might just be incompatible with each other, and I promise that there is someone else out there who will treat you well, but will also want to get freaky with you.

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  • avatar

    Yammy March 26, 2012, 1:33 pm

    I might get flamed for this suggestion, but perhaps you two should consider opening the relationship. Maybe he wouldn’t mind if you have a little something on the side? Untraditional, but it works for some folks.

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  • avatar

    MiMi March 26, 2012, 1:58 pm

    I’m with Rachel, because I don’t see how he is displaying caring and devotion if he’s either out of the house or sleeping and still not prioritizing your love life after repeated discussion. Take a minute and think about your relationship over time – when did this lackluster-ness start? Was he working and sleeping so much in the beginning? Was it waaaay better between the sheets before you moved in? Could there be resentments that have built up? Are there other ways in which you find yourself asking him for time and attention: is the companionship there? The deep friendship? Really take a good look at everything, decide what you want and what you can live with, and then sit down with him for a serious talk, even if it interferes with his exigent napping schedule. Lay it all out and give him your bottom line. Give him a chance to rise to the occasion to be a good partner to you in every way and if he can’t, you’ll have a clear answer to your question.

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  • Tracey

    Tracey March 26, 2012, 2:59 pm

    Back when I was a kid in the mid 70’s, there was a song that was a bit risque for it’s time. It was called, “If It Don’t Fit, Don’t Force It.” Here’s a sample lyric:

    “If it don’t fit, don’t force it, just relax and let it go. Just ’cause that’s how you want it, doesn’t mean it will be so.”

    The song was about a woman who, tired of being ignored and not having her needs met by her lover, finally packed her bags and left.

    Go buy this song. Find it on iTunes, look for it on Amazon, add it to your Pandora feed. Google the lyrics, and memorize this song, because this song was tailor made for your situation.

    You may love your boyfriend, but he doesn’t fit your needs, and you can’t force him to improve on his libido or his sexual interests. All you can do is relax, and let go. Either accept that this is the way he is and learn to cope (toys, masturbation, maybe even discussions with him about opening up the relationship so you can have your sexual needs met – and a good source for how to do that would be reading Dan Savage’s column or checking out his “Savage Love” podcast), or MOA so you can find a man who is more sexually compatible and a better fit for you overall.

    Another recommendation: I read a book a few years ago about how a couple overcame their sexual incompatibility called, “Ill Equipped for a Life of Sex,” by Jennifer Lehr. It’s also available on Amazon. Get two copies, one for you and one for him – or get two Kindles and download the book. The two of you should read it and discuss it. I think it will help the two of you (or just you if he’s not interested) learn about how people navigate, develop, and sometimes become trapped by their sexual expectations and fantasies. It’s a really good book that had one overarching theme:

    Just because you want your boyfriend and you want him to be as sexually compatible as you’d hoped doesn’t mean it will be so – especially if he doesn’t want to change.

    Here’s to finding the perfect fit…without forcing a person to change into something they’re ill equipped to be. Good luck to you and be well.

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  • avatar

    Anna March 26, 2012, 3:29 pm

    It sounds like your boyfriend needs to work less and spend more time having a relationship with you. However, I also want to add that I work at least 12 hrs a night usually when I go to the office. When I get home, I’m still in the mood for at least a quick romp before bed.

    Have you considered that maybe your boyfriend has low testosterone? That can cause low libido in men and can also be medically treated. If he gets checked out at the doctor, they may be able to help him want it more. Something need to happen, because you can’t be with someone who doesn’t please you sexually.

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  • avatar

    Pinky March 26, 2012, 4:59 pm

    Dear LW,

    Welcome to my world. I married a man who would never hit me, yell at me or cheat on me. He’s kind, sweet, caring and gentle. He’s smart, funny, honest and ethical. He gets my sense of humor and doesn’t freak out about my quirks. He’s got a good job. He’s emotionally healthy and affectionate. He’s kind to animals. He loves my cooking and isn’t a bad cook himself. I love this man to bits.

    He also has zero libido.

    You’re in your mid-twenties. Your boyfriend is in his mid-thirties. You haven’t even reached your sexual peak yet and he’s already past his. His libido will continue to decrease. I’m in my early 40’s and Mr. Pinky is in his late 40’s. We went from twice a month, to once a month to once every few months. Thank GOD for the Hitachi Magic Wand or I would murder someone. I look pretty dang good for my age and go to the gym 3-4 times a week and Mr. Pinky often tells me that I’m pretty. He’s a lovely human being but there isn’t near enough nookie. Do I resent him for this? Sometimes. I’ve known him for 18 years, been in a relationship with him for a decade and married for five. I walked into this marriage with the full knowledge that he had low libido, but I was in my late thirties. Are you willing to do this at 26? Really?

    I chose to be in this relationship. Sometimes, I think I’ve made a mistake. Then he turns around and is as sweet as sugar pie and I feel guilty for thinking that way. Mr. Pinky would NOT be cool with an open relationship, but my mind does wander to that route from time to time. It isn’t worth ruining 18 years of friendship over, though. So, I stock up on the AA batteries. I do tell him when I take Mr. Rabbit out for a spin. He isn’t threatened and finds it kind of funny. Ah, well. In my opinion, a good man, a REALLY good man, might be worth the sacrifice. However, I wouldn’t be willing to make the sacrifice at 26. Would I have married Mr. Pinky who is perfect in every OTHER way if I had know that I would be 43 and celibate? Hmmmm….

    The other DW readers have listed a myriad of causes for low libido as well as a number of solutions. They’re all experts on the subject so I defer to them and won’t waste your time telling you what you should do. I just want to ask you, do you want to be in my shoes in 20 years?

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    • Lili

      Lili March 26, 2012, 5:08 pm

      Wow. What a frank and honest response.

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray March 27, 2012, 8:40 am

      I think this will really be helpful to the LW!

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  • liz

    liz March 26, 2012, 10:06 pm

    I think that not having similar libidos SHOULD be a dealbreaker. Sex can be very important to some people, and it appears it is to you. Things will not change over time. If anything, it may decrease even more. I would recommend googling Dan Savage’s column “Savage Love” where he frequently address this topic. It is important that you and your partner are on par when it comes to this.

    I’ve experienced this myself. I thought something was wrong with my ex-bf because he didn’t seem as eager about sex as I did, and never initiated oral. We had other issues, but that wouldn’t have satisfied me in the longterm. Current bf is the exact opposite and it is awesome.

    Good luck to you 🙂

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark March 27, 2012, 2:35 am

    Eh, guy is ten years older than you. Still single and never married at 36. Oh, and not very interested in sex. Refuses to perform oral sex on you… Says it’s always, always been this way. Gee, I wonder why? I mean, do I need to draw you all a road map here or can you all guess where I am going with this? To be perfectly blunt, no. No, I wouldn’t marry this guy if I was you….

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