Many of us use sex to connect and build intimacy in relationships, but what happens when the spark is gone?
Before getting to the solution, you need to understand why you’re now in a sexless relationship. There are plenty of reasons, and below a few sexologists share why couples stop having sex.
He likes to spank your booty and you like to make love. This difference in sexual styles can lead to a sexual stalemate. “Couples may not be getting the sex they want or like, or have gotten bored with the routine,” Marissa Nelson, AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, explained. Instead of tackling their lack of satisfaction head on, they stop having sex. “Couples often say, ‘I don’t want to hurt my partner's feelings,’ so they back away from sexual intercourse and focus on the other aspects of the relationship that don’t cause as much stress” In other words, you might be in a sexless relationship because you’re avoiding a much-needed sex talk.
Some women feel pain or discomfort before, during and after sex, and it’s not an easy challenge to navigate. Eventually, it makes a woman feel inadequate and like “she cannot satisfy her partner,” Nelson added. “Many couples choose to avoid sex altogether because they perceive that this problem will never change, or have difficulty voicing their concerns or their feelings (and sometimes anger) surrounding their sexual life together.” If this sounds familiar, it’s time to speak up and seek medical help for the pain.
If you or your man feel unwanted, disappointed and/or under appreciated, it’s going to affect your sex life negatively. Both men and women need to be emotionally connected in a relationship in order to be intimate in the bedroom. “For women, intimacy is often an expression of their feelings of closeness and connection, thereby feeling disconnected from their partner can lead to serious sex droughts,” Joanne Medellin, LMFT, said. Soon, couples unintentionally withdraw from one another and intimacy deteriorates.
With daily responsibilities and trying to juggle it all, sex slips our mind — and our priority list. “Sometimes sex takes a back burner and before you know it, it's been a month, two months since you were sexually active,” Dr. Lexx Brown-James, Founder of The Institute for Sexuality and Intimacy, suggested. It makes sense: we get busy and forget to make couple time. However, it’s important to remember to reach out and touch your partner before you’re no longer lovers and more like roomies.
Sometimes women can't get it on without foreplay but if that’s always the case, you might not be interested in sex due to a lack of sexual build up. “Think of it as a dimmer switch slowly being turned up throughout the day,” Medellin explained. We all have our own personal turn ons. For some women, it’s “a thoughtful love note or text, undivided attention or listening, a helpful hand with the chores, a foot massage, a romantic plan to look forward to.” No matter what your sweet spot, if your lover stops doing what turns up the switch, you won’t be as interested in sex.
Poor Body image
How you feel about yourself inside and out affects your sex drive, or lack thereof. “Whether it’s through weight gain, decreased physical activity, childbirth, or stress, changes in the body can take a toll on one’s body image and self-esteem,” Victoria M. Beltran, health educator, stated. “Many people may not want to be naked in front of their partner because of shame and embarrassment, which will make negotiating and asking for sex much more difficult.” If you don’t feel sexy or attractive, you won’t want to have sex.
Men sometimes get nervous before the act, which can lead to performance anxiety where they can’t get or maintain an erection, or aren’t able to last long. If this is the case, “this may cause anxiety, disappointment and shame,” Nelson explained. That’s a recipe for a sexless relationship but it can be fixed. No matter what the issue or reason behind your sexless union, communication and openness can help. It’s up to the couple to tackle the issues head on and quench their thirst for sex.