Dear Love Guru,
Maybe it’s a strange thing for a guy to be writing to you but I don’t know where else to turn and I’m getting desperate. I’ve been with my girlfriend for 3 years. This last year our sex life has not been satisfactory for me. Her interest in sex has decreased dramatically and I ALWAYS have to be the one initiating. Even when I do, it seems like she does it “to please me” and not because she feels like she wants to have sex which makes me feel horrible. To be honest, once she gets going, the sex is always great, however, I’m tired of all the stupid excuses of “I’m tired“, “we don’t have time,” etc., etc., and sex seems to be “scheduled” for Saturdays every 2 weeks just to keep me happy… What is very confusing is that nothing has changed with her. We still do a lot of favours for each other, she does nice things for me all the time and still wants cuddling and all the lovey dovey women like, so again, I have no idea what is happening. Unfortunately, and I’ve come up with this revelation recently, I’m the type of guy who gives and “feels love” by having sex. I feel closest to her when we have sex… I don’t know how to explain this… also, I am a guy with a VERY high sex drive and, I apologise but I don’t want to be sorry for being what I am… a man with an exceptional sex drive. Whenever I talked to her about this issue, she just tells me that she cannot possibly ever hope to come close to my drive or that I need to calm down (horny-wise). For me the problem is not the sex once every 2 weeks, although I would like it to be at least once a week, but that it feels very scheduled “lets get this out of his system” from her side. It’s making me feel depressed and very unappreciated. I’ve always admired women from afar and she doesn’t mind, but lately my “scanning” is taking on a new “hunger“. PLEASE PLEASE help, I really love this woman and I don’t want a life without her. I tried everything from talking to changing tactics. EVERYTHING! Please share your thoughts.
It seems the problem here is the difference between your sex drive and that of your girlfriend, and the effect this is having on you and the relationship. It is not an uncommon problem and certainly nothing to apologise for to anyone. Sexual satisfaction is a vital part of a person’s well being and physical intimacy is a fundamental way of expressing and receiving love. It strengthens the bond between partners.
First of all, if it is a conventional relationship with your current girlfriend that you are after, I would steer clear of getting involved with other women, rather face the issue head-on and find a way to remedy the situation – as you are doing. Sex drives vary from person to person, whether male or female, and it is a relative issue as what may be high for one person may not be for an other. So there is no right or wrong, or too much or too little, only what is going to work for you as a couple.
In women, the sex drive peaks and dips at various phases in life, often at the start or end of relationships or with pregnancy, menopause or illness. Desire for sex depends on an interaction of several components – physical and emotional well being, experiences, belief-systems, lifestyle and the current relationship.
It is best to find a good time to talk to her about how you are feeling. Be patient and sensitive while trying to make your point and try to understand where she is coming from. Explain that physical intimacy is important to you emotionally and goes beyond the physical act of having sex. Unresolved conflicts, or some grudge she may have been holding that you were unaware of, might come up – so do take the time to listen attentively.
Men are often more motivated to have sex because it is easier for them to orgasm. And women usually need to be aroused first to experience desire. It would help if you could find out and/or if she would communicate her sexual needs and preferences. Becoming attuned to what stimulates her mentally and physically, what is sexually pleasurable for her, and what makes her achieve orgasm will increase the incentive for her to have sex.
Even though you may be feeling rejected and unappreciated, sometimes the root of the problem might not involve you directly but it may be stress and anxiety caused by work, financial or daily worries. Discussing ways of coping and offering support will help to alleviate this if that’s the case. Also, a healthy diet, exercise, getting enough sleep and relaxation, are mood and libido boosters while also improving body image. These are basic factors to take into consideration.
Health issues, alcohol, street drugs and medications can also be libido killers. Conditions such as depression, anemia, unbalanced thyroid and hormone levels; and medications like certain anti-depressants or birth control pills can affect a person’s desire to have sex, so it is worth ruling these out and discussing them with a doctor. Also try to encourage your girlfriend to talk to a doctor if she experiences pain or discomfort during sex, or if she might be embarrassed to discuss certain worries regarding her breasts or genital area. Poor body image and low self esteem can contribute to a low sex drive.
If all else fails you may want to talk to a sex therapist. This will include counselling, education about sexual response and techniques; and recommendations for books and exercises that will help you as a couple.