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Am I being to difficult to please by not getting enough sex (as the woman)?

Published on April 2, 2010 by lynn770

I've been seeing my bf now for 6 months. At first it was great, seemed like we had sex every day or close to it; often enough for me not to have any complaints. Then after about 2 months, he started rejecting my advances more often, but we still had regular sex - maybe 3 times a week. For a while it just seemed like things were "calming down" and we were settling into coupledom. We are steady at 3 times a week, but its beginning to feel like a struggle. I feel like I am always the one who wants it, and since he doesn't want it as much as me, its always up to him. I feel like I'm constantly "chasing" him. I stopped initiating a few months ago, and only initiate occassionally. But literally every time I initiate or make an advance he declines. We've talked about it a couple times, and he blames it on that he works second shift ( 4-11pm) and he's tired more often, and when we first started dating, he was working part time. During a subsequent conversation, he asked me whether I am satisfied with our frequency, and I told him I would like it more, about 5 times a week. He said he just can't do it. I say its a struggle because he's so unpredictable with when he wants it. Nothing I do could put him in the mood if he's not already in the mood. He also sets up my expectations but then doesn't initiate. Like, he might make a sexy comment during the day about wanting me that night, but then he won't initiate. I've tried playing hard to get, and that doesn't work. If i play coy or push his hand away, he'll just stop and doesn't try hard at all to seduce me. That may sound like a game, but I've wondered if why he doesn't want it enough is because he thinks I'm always available. So, I've tried to be less available, but that ends in more frustration too because I end up waiting several days to reject him, but then when I do he completely accepts it. I am also recently divorced. I was in a sexless marriage and was rejected constantly. We only had sex a couple times a year when I was married, which really took a toll on my esteem. Now that I'm single, my esteem is better, but I have been starved for so long, I'm at the point where 3 times a week is not enough. I realize I'm bringing the sexual starvation baggage into my new relationship. I understand that all men are not insatiable, and they don't always want it - they're tired or stressed out etc. I understand cognitively that just because a guy doesn't want it, that doesn't mean he's not attracted to me or doesn't find me sexy or whatever. But my heart doesn't see it that way. I get very angry when he doesn't initiate (not in front of him of course) and its very hard to cope with. That is the most important way to me for him to show that he finds me desirable and loves me. It doesn't take that long - 30 minutes max and its the easiest way for him to make me happy. It doesn't cost anything, and he certainly enjoys it too. I know I'm probably over thinking this. But I just want it more, and I'm starting to think that I shouldn't have to compromise. Why should I? There are people out there who want it as much as me. Its not like I want it an unhealthy amount. He's got great qualities otherwise - he's funny, considerate - he give me flowers for no reason, makes me coffee in the morning, rubs me for no reason, constantly tells me I'm sexy and beautiful. He even told me yesterday that I'm the love of his life, which he's never said that before. I just don't get the disconnect between him telling me I'm sexy, but then doesn't want it for a few days. I also think our relationship is too young for us to be settling down sexually. He's looking for a job where he doesn't have to work second shift, and he says things would be better if he worked normal hours. So, I suppose the question is - is sexual quantity incompatibility a dealbreaker?


I'm pretty much in this exact same situation. That said, 3 times a week is a lot. More than average. You'd be lucky if you got 1 time a week, which is what most people strive for. Wanting it 5 times a week is completely unreasonable and way too demanding. My god, he's a human being, not a machine. Why don't you get a vibrator to fill in the gaps? You say that you understand his side of things and that it doesn't mean he isn't attracted to you or doesn't want you, but clearly you don't understand that. You're acting shallow and superficial to this poor guy. And honestly, it hurts a guy's ego to know that he isn't fulfilling his woman's sexual desires which can hurt his drive even more. It's clear that you do have sexual baggage from your past relationship. I had this issue too. You need to realize that he is not your ex and you are no longer in that situation. It sounds like you have a very serious sexual compulsion/addiction and you should really seek counseling for help with your esteem or you are going to otherwise destroy your current relationship. There is a deeper problem causing this unrealistic need for sex. You're trying to fill some void and you need to work that out. It's not your boyfriend's fault or his problem, it's yours and you need to deal with it. You say you feel like you shouldn't have to compromise. If you truly feel that way, you should not be in a relationship. Having a relationship with someone is about compromise. It's not all about you and what you want all the time. If you want to go out and find someone else who wants it "as much as you" because that's more important to you then your relationship and your boyfriend then you should break up with him to find said person. But I do think that you want it an unhealthy amount. Everyday is an unhealthy amount. Your rationale makes no sense. I really hope you figure this out because no matter who you end up in a relationship with, things are going to settle down. Of course you had sex everyday when you first started but that doesn't last. People always become less frequent as time goes on. I know how frustrating it can be to wait for your partner to notice you, but the underlying most important thing is the relationship itself and being with the person you really care about. There are other ways to be intimate besides sex. His flirtation with you/touching you is healthy. Why does it always have to lead to sex? And who would want that honestly? He's probably at his wits end because he can't compliment you or show you that he loves you in any way other than to have sex with you. Again, that is not healthy. You need to figure out a way to have your relationship based on more than just sex.

Read The Sex Starved Woman (or The Sex Starved Marriage) by Michele Weiner-Davis. I got it and read it last year. It was very helpful and informative. It also had exercises for couples.

Now, having said that, you have only been together for 6 months. I do not know whether you are a committed couple. By "committed" I mean that you have made some formal agreement that you will have a sustained relationship, such as having set a wedding date. At 6 months this is probably premature.

This is quite early in your time together to already notice such (possible) incompatibilities. It may or may not be a deal breaker. It may be that you fear being in yet another sexless marriage. It may be that this is a reaction to your recent divorce, which you may not have dealt with emotionally yet (it can take years, especially if you do not address it).

I would want you to focus on whether the sexual need is turning into neediness based on a reaction to your sexless marriage. Take some time to reflect on this and work through the emotional trauma that divorce inevitably brings, even if you decided to initiate the divorce.

I wish you the best, Michelle E. Vasquez, MS, LPC

@Michelle - You've made some good points. I realize this is probably left over from a very hurtful marriage. Even though I realize it, and know it congnitively, that doesn't mean its automatically dealt with. How does one deal with that and not bring it into other relationships, other than time?

@ Adrian - You've made some good points as well, but I think you're too harsh and you clearly didn't get it. You're right, he's not a machine, and everyone has their limits. Of course there is more to this relationship than sex, which is why I'm asking this question in the first place. If all he was to me is a piece, then I wouldn't worry about whether this is going anywhere. But, why on earth would you say that "I'd be lucky to get it once a week"? Do you think that quantity is a one size fits all for any relationship? Do you really think once a week is healthy for all relationships? I'm 32, hitting my peak, and was sex starved for over 5 years. I don't have an addiction. Please. If I were addicted, then I would not be able to be committed or monogamous and I'd be screwing everyone I could. I'm not doing that or even open to that. And I don't want it an unhealthy amount. If a man wants it every day, he's just normal, but if a woman does, its an addiction? If anything, you're basing you advice on your own libido, which clearly is quite dormant. You should realize that there are women who are more adventurous and interested in sex than you and be more careful what you say.

There's nothing wrong with wanting sex every day, but demanding it is wrong. Your guy is tired from working an awful shift. And although guys are usually the ones pushing for more sex, I doubt most of them could really keep up a pace of sex every day.

I think it's a bad idea to push him to go ahead and do it anyway. If he makes a habit of having sex when he doesn't want to, he'll want sex even less. You'll end up with no sex or bad sex or a break-up.

I don't think frequency is the real issue, though. I think the real problem is that you feel like he doesn't want you because you have a higher sex drive than he does. So you resent him and push for more sex. This makes him withdraw. There is a cycle that can develop between couples where the high drive person gets more and more frustrated and the low drive person feels pressured and resists. Also the low drive person can't get in touch with their own drive because they are so busy resisting the pressure. They may even hide it when they feel the drive.

Clearly the reason you are having such a hard time with this cycle is that you in a marriage where there was no sex at all. Naturally you are afraid of ending up like that again. Also, it may be that your husband's work schedule makes him ignore you more than you like so you just don't feel loved in general and sex ends up being the thing you argue about.

Right now I think the top priority is figuring out how to get out of the cycle. It's difficult, but I think the best idea is for you to just stop asking for sex. Let him know that you are stopping. Be sure you tell him this without being angry and resentful. Let him know that you don't want him to feel he has to have sex. Tell him you think you have overreacted due to your past and you don't want to blame him for what your husband did. Be understanding about his work schedule.

I don't know what to do about the problem of being always available and wanting to feel more in control by saying no. You are not alone in your feeling. Unfortunately, the reality is that he is more in control because he is the low drive person. I think if your goal is more sex, it may make sense to accept being the one who is always available.

Okay, some practical suggestions.

Have sex in the morning. He should be less tired then.

Do more than your share of housework in order to get more sex. Sounds awful, but if he's tired, it's one way to get what you want.

If he's tense or worried, listen to his problems and be supportive so he feels better.

Romance him. Spend time talking to him and saying nice things. Look at tips guys give each other on how to get more sex out of women. Give him a massage.

Masturbate in front of him. Maybe even with him in some way.

Go to bed naked without saying anything.

Flirt all day and let him see you. Don't expect to get sex that day, but know that you're flirting the day before may be foreplay.

Consider using porn if that doesn't bother you.

Read things out loud to him. Talk about sex.

Consider having a time out from sex where you do sensual things but don't have sex. That may make him want it even more.

Go away somewhere for the weekend. A chance of scene often helps people.