Are you sure you don’t want it?
Don't want sex?
You think you don’t want sex but in reality it might be about you not wanting to have sex with your partner – because of everything but sex!
There’s a lot of talk about a missing sex drive and about how you get it back.
However, before you jump on board one of those classic 5 step guides, just do a quick check of whether you actually HAVE lost your sex drive!
A missing sex drive… One of the absolute biggest sexual problems in Western civilization and one of the sexual problems sexologists are most often faced with in our clinics.
But is the sex drive always missing?
Even if that’s what it feels like?
No it’s not.
That’s what my experience tells me, anyway.
For a while, you can have been so convinced that your sex drive is gone that you don’t even consider that something else might be playing up.
Some think they should get rid of their partner, because their sex drive have been missing for years. And for some couples, yes, this is the right thing to do but what if there is another solution?
In most cases, you can change this and the solution doesn’t always have to be “a new partner” – even though this is probably what springs to mind.
Also, it’s tough to say goodbye to a partner you love and have spent several years with just because your sex drive is playing up. This is why so many men and women feel at their wits end.
Should I stay with this partner whom I love, and live with a missing sex drive and a dead sex life for the rest of my life? Or should I leave my loved one and (possibly) have an active sex life with a new partner?
The either/or thinking kicks in and the frustrations are really difficult to put an end to.
Before you throw in the towel, though, or pull the ‘divorce card’, there might be another way.
Your sex drive is not gone!
A lot of the men and women I work with, their initial reaction is pure joy that their lust is actually there. Their second thought is terror and grief. Because even though the lust IS actually there, the lust for their partner has gone away. And this causes a lot of people to feel really upset.
A classic question to ask yourself is this: “What’s wrong with me? Why have I lost the lust to have sex with my partner?” And when the self-criticism kicks in, blows it out of proportion and makes your brain work overtime, it’s really freaking difficult to stay calm and handle the actual issue at hand.
And hey, take a step back. There are two sides to every story!
Just because you’ve lost your lust for your partner, doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s anything “wrong” with either of you.
One thing you need to know about sex drive is this:
There can be so many reasons to why it’s affected – positively and negatively.
But if we walk around thinking it should be stabile and at the same level our entire lives, we’re setting ourselves up for a terrible disappointment. It will, regardless of anything, peak and troth.
A rule of thumb is (and please keep in mind, there are no rules without exceptions), if your lust for your partner is low, it’s something in the relationship that keeps you from wanting to be intimate with him or him.
Intimacy, for many people, requires a large amount of trust and security, especially when we’re dealing with intimacy in a long-term relationship. That applies to romantic relationships with several years behind them and where the rose-coloured glasses are long gone; the relationships where you know each other really (really!) well.
My clients often tell me that it’s significantly more taboo to lose your sex drive for your partner than it is to lose your sex drive in general. It just IS really difficult to say out loud, that no, you actually don’t want to sleep with your husband/wife.
If it’s the lust for my partner that’s missing, it’s something in our relationship that’s actually causing this or it’s something my partner does and that means I can’t fix it all on my own.
If this is the case, you have to be 100% honest to your partner and tell them what it is that they do that causes your sex drive to go away and furthermore, creates an emotional distance between the two of you.
There’s a difference between men and women’s sex drive
Studies show that, in general, there IS a difference between men and women’s sex drive.
Women’s sex drive is more affected by psychosocial factors than what men’s are.
These are things like the state of the relationship. Whereas men’s sex drive is more affected by their sex-hormone testosterone; this means that they will very rarely let a bad mood or an argument stop them from wanting to have sex, simply because the hormones are on their side.
However, men can also lose their lust for their partner – and at the same time feel their sex drive in their daily lives, just not towards their partner – just like women can.
And of course, women can feel quite frisky as well, despite a bit of trouble on the home front – just like you’ll find men who will feel affected by arguments and a shitty mood, and won’t want to have sex (or might not even be physically able to). Because nah-uh, men won’t always feel aroused by the flick of a switch.
It’s never black/white and that we keep telling ourselves the story of “men always want sex!” is such a lie that even Pinocchio would envy the nose that’ll grow from that little tale!
We have to look beyond the Mars/Venus boxes and become more nuanced in our way of looking at men and women and we definitely have to be better at not looking at lust, sex and love all one-sided.
The problem is that it’s rarely easy and it’s rarely one-coloured.
15 reasons to why men and women can lose their lust for their partner:
We affect each other with how we behave. Our behaviour either makes our partner feel attracted to us or it creates a distance between us.
It’s such a great thing to become aware of what behaviour affects you and your partner’s lust for sex with one another. Sit down and talk it over, it really does pay off. More often than not, the smallest changes will make a massive difference.
- Bad hygiene. I.e. doesn’t shower that often, don’t brush their teeth etc.
- Your partner displaying a behaviour that upsets you and hurts you again and again, and behaviour your partner won’t change even though you make them aware of how it upsets you.
- A boring, monotone and unsatisfying sex life where one of you might not enjoy it or might not be able to orgasm/ejaculate.
- Your partner ridiculing you in front of others/laughs at you (you’ll be surprised by how many people actually experience this in their relationships).
- That it’s always the one person who needs to initiate sex and be the ‘active’ one for 99% of the time.
- That you never feel desired or attractive in the eyes of your partner.
- That your partner ignores you if you’re upset and want to share what’s on your mind.
- Your partner being stressed and grumpy with you all the time.
- Your partner lying to you, making it difficult to trust him/her.
- That your partner doesn’t show much interest in you and is busy with their own life, making you feel like you’re just providing a service.
- Your partner ridiculing what’s important to you and tries to make you, your dreams and your goals worth less than their own.
- Your partner not wanting to share the domestic tasks and leaves you with most of the responsibility to get everything done at home.
- Your partner cheating on you – several times, maybe.
- Your partner being a bad lover and displays a selfish behaviour in bed.
- Your partner watching a lot of porn and expects your sex life to be like a porno movie.
Consider whether you’ve lost the lust for sex in general or if it’s the desire to be intimate with your partner that’s gone missing. Have a think about whether there’s something in your relationship – or in how your partner behaves – that has changed since back when you desired your partner. You can even go through the list above to figure out what’s going on with you guys.
Please remember, there is always a logical explanation to why you lose your sex drive.
Regardless of whether it’s the lust for sex in general or for your partner only.
Your sex drive won’t just go away for no reason; there’s always something going on. If you become aware of what the reasons are, you can try and change them and you’ll find that your desire will slowly (but surely) return.
Please keep in mind: If your sex drive suddenly decreases out of thin air, you’re feeling unwell and you suspect that you might be ill, please do go and see your doctor. It’s better to go one time too many.
Love & take care,
Maj Wismann – Clinical sexologist and couple’s therapist with private clinic since 2006.
More about this topic:
► Online Workshop: "Get your sex drive back & keep it for life"
► Q&A: Lack of libido - What to do?
★ Are you also having problem with your sex drive? Or have you managed to turn things around? Or have you experienced that your partner is having a sex drive problem? It’d be amazing to see some comments from anyone who can relate to this topic
*Please remember to keep a nice tone. ALL negative comments will be deleted immediately. I wish to create a positive and supporting space where we can support each other, and I therefore have a zero-tolerance policy towards rudeness, condescension, negative inputs and disrespect.