I never want to have sex with my boyfriend. Anything sexual just seems like a chore with him, but when I'm alone, I frequently masturbate and I'm very often horny. What's wrong with me, or us? What can I do to want to have sex with him? He knows I never want to and knows I feel somewhat guilty, but never forces anything. I just want to make him and myself happy. He deserves it.
That's a frustrating situation—it's not just that he deserves it, it's that you both deserve to feel satisfied. But be careful about getting too hung up on your ability to get turned on.
One big difference between men and women is that men can get turned on by almost anything, and quickly. A brush of a hand against your boyfriend's jeans or the mere word "blow job" might be enough to get him hard. Your sexual drive is, no doubt, different. You might need different things (and more time) to get into the mood.
One of the biggest dangers of a flagging sex drive is that it often encourages people to do the exact opposite of what might actually help: They pull away.
Instead of retreating, think of ways to get closer. This doesn't mean hitting the sex store. Instead of thinking purely about sex, think about intimacy. Tell your boyfriend that you're not horny, but you'd like to cuddle. There's nothing wrong with kissing, cuddling, spooning, and talking. Even if your boyfriend gets horny on contact, he can tell his Johnson to take the night off. Get comfortable with your boyfriend, ask him for a massage, or just curl up with your Netflix queue. For a lot of people (especially women), closeness precedes passion. Some no-pressure time in close quarters might help you feel more comfortable together and less pressured.
Then ask yourself: What turns you on when you're alone? When you're horny and masturbating, what are you thinking about? What can you share with your boyfriend or integrate into your love life? Don't be shy to share your desire and ask him for what you want.
Finally, don't be shy to ask yourself the tough question: Is your sexual disinterest a sign of deeper problems? Everything might not be hunky-dory; you might need a new hunk.
I've recently started seeing a wonderful guy who lives 11 hours away from me (I'm in North Carolina, and he's in South Florida). His family all lives here, and I was introduced to him through them. We recently had sex for the first time, and it was amazing! It was very intimate and connected. Between "sessions," we cuddled and talked and kissed. Then we slept together touching all night. He has his own business in South Florida but is hoping to move back here to be closer to me and to his family. These plans aren't concrete yet. I'm 30, and he is 36. How do I approach the monogamy concept? We haven't discussed it, but I get the feeling he isn't out sleeping around. I adore him and can easily see him in my future, but don't know how to tell him that without scaring him. Should I wait and let him bring it up? Thanks!
Congrats on hitting it off with a great guy. It sounds like you're really excited—and not just about the sex. You "adore" him. You've made an emotional connection, and you're already beginning to imagine a future with him. In other words, it sounds like you'd be pretty upset if you found out he slept with someone else.
So tell him. You might scare him if you immediately tell him that you're falling for him and imagining a future. But a conversation about monogamy doesn't have to be about anything other than sex. You don't have to propose. You don't have to confess that your heart flutters every time you see him, that you daydream about the days ahead, or that you secretly think the two of you would have adorable babies.
If you would be upset to find out that he was sleeping with someone else, you should not wait for him to bring it up. You shouldn't wait for someone else to offer you the kind of relationship you know that you want. A great relationship never just happens to you.
So don't abdicate your responsibility for your own happiness. Don't put yourself in a situation where you become upset that he's not giving you something he never knew you wanted. Tell him that you don't want to sleep around, and you don't want him to bone anyone else either.
Last year you answered a woman whose boyfriend hated kissing, saying it was strange. Well, I'm in his boat. I'm a grown woman in a relationship with a woman who I love very much and want to spend the rest of my life with, but I can't stand kissing her! (It's not a gender issue; I can't stand kissing men either.) I make myself indulge her so her feelings won't be hurt, and she understands that it grosses me out, so she doesn't try to force me, but I can tell it's hurting her. I hate sharing glasses and silverware too, so I suspect I just have hygiene hang-ups. Is there any way I can make myself move past this childish issue?
First, don't call this a "childish" issue.
Plenty of adults have what you call "hang-ups": Phobias, anxieties, and compulsive behaviors are just a part of life. You don't so much grow out of them as you learn to cope with them, tame them, manage them, and sometimes change them. If you talk about this only as something you should have grown out of, you're framing your problem in a way that's not going to be terribly helpful. Stop being such a baby, for instance, isn't the most actionable advice.
I could try to hype the wonders of kissing for you—It's so much fun!—but that's not likely to make a difference. Looked at objectively, smooching is an odd, unsanitary practice. I suspect aliens would be baffled by our tongue wrestling.
Because you worry about hygiene in other circumstances, the only useful piece of advice I can really give you is twofold.
- An anxiety or revulsion like this is generally rooted a bit deeper. You should speak to a therapist about where this comes from—and hopefully someone with some behavioral therapy experience who can help you learn to modify your behavior so it causes less stress.
- Not kissing is not the kiss of death. You're not alone and you're not being childish.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.