My partner doesn't want sex - What's wrong with me?


Sexual interest, desires, fantasies, passions and sexual behaviors are complex.

Jenny dressed up in her sexy red mini dress, stylish very high heels, and made sensual, inviting remarks to Tom all through their romantic dinner date.  He even appeared to respond with seductive words and sensual touch.  But that only lasted at the restaurant.  When they got home, the mood somehow shifted.  He went directly to his computer to "finish some business he had forgotten he needed to do."  Jenny waited patiently, coaxing him to "Come to bed."  Finally and reluctantlhy, he closed his computer, washed up and joiner her in the bed.  As she reached out to touch him, he said abruptly, "I'm so tired.  I need to get some sleep now.  Let's do this later, tomorrow." 

Hank gave in to Judy's request to see "her type of movie," romantic, slow moving, and definitely not his favorite type of action show.  He also agreed to eat at that health food place that serves skimpy portions, although he loves to indulge in a huge, satisfying meat and potatoes meal.  Hank held Judy's hand and put his arm around her when they walked.  He often reminded her about how beautiful she looks, how soft her hair is and how much he likes to touch her. He tried to stir up her desire with casual sexy innuendoes.  But just when he thought he was getting somewhere, his sexual passes were shot down.  She told him she could not stay over because she has something important to do the following day. 

Does any of this sound familiar to you?  Have you been trying and trying to get your partner sexually interested while you keep receiving the cold shoulder?  Have you been avoiding sexual contact with the partner you "say" you love?  Was your relationship once hot and heavy but the pzazz seems to have disappeared and you are struggling to bring it back?

Sexual interest, sexual desire, sexual fantasies, sexual passions and sexual behaviors are complex.  Each of us has our own unique Love Map, a term coined by noted researchers, sexologist and psychologist, Dr. John  Money.  We really don't know what is going on in anyone else's consciousness.  We don't know what fantasies are lurking in another person's brain.  We don't know what images they have seen or words they have heard that triggered something in their brain's pleasure center.  We don't know what words or actions or body language we have expressed that is turning them on or suppressing their sexual interest.

Think about yourself and your own thoughts, desires and sexual interests.  Do you have fantasies about something you have never told anybody about?  Have you done something sexual that you have kept a secret from everyone, including your best friend?  Do you get turned on or turned off by some subtle action or physical attribute or body movement of another person?  Have you honestly shared all of your thoughts and feelings, desires, turns and turnoffs with another person?

Okay, so I know that sexual interest, desire, fantasies and behaviors are complex and I can never really know what is going on in my partner's mind and body.  So, what can I do about this.  How can I create passionate sexual love with the man or woman I desire?  And what is wrong with me if my partner loses sexual desire, especially if he or she used to be all over me with sexual passion?

The solution is both simple and complex.  The only way to bring back the passion is to be tuned in to the nuances of words, body language and touch in both yourself and your partner.  Communication is key.  But we often communicate much more with our body than with our words.  Watch, listen and decipher the meaning of what you see and hear and feel.  Study your partner.  Ask questions.  Find out what your partner is most concerned about, what has stimulated or suppressed him or her in the past, what he or she is most passionate about.  When you touch your partner, do it with an attitude of discovery, newness, learning, and intrigue.  Imagine being blind and touching to discover what another person's skin feels like.

Keep in mind that there is a certain level of excitement at the beginning of a relationship that often quickly wanes as this person becomes familiar and more real to us.  Some people thrive on that newness and lose interest as they get close.  Also, as we spend more time with together, our true personalities emerge more clearly.  What appeared to be exciting to us in the beginning may becoming boring or feel inappropriate as we get closer to another person. 

We cannot force anyone to feel love or passion or desire.  We can monitor our own behavior.  We can create a loving and sensual atmosphere.  But as the saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."  We call our partner a "partner" because it takes two people to create the relationship.  Once the struggle becomes too much, it may be time to back away, to seek couples counseling and sex therapy.  If our partner refuses to get counseling, then maybe we ought to go for a few sessions alone, to review with an experienced professional what has been happening in the relationship.

Sometimes the issue is not sexual, but the result of other life stressors.  When finances are tight, when we are worried about money, job security, housing, food, health, children, aging parents, or just a lot of current stress, one of the first things to go may be sexual desire.  In that case, an understanding partner can allow the space and time needed for that passion to return.  Putting sexual pressure on a stressed out partner will most probably exacerbate the problem. 

As I have said a few times in this article,  sexual interest, desire, fantasy, passion and behavior are both simple and complex.  There are always specific factors having specific effects.  The complexity is to discover what is really going on and how to reach into your loved one's heart.