There’s a double standard when it comes to the sex drives of men and women. Women aren’t supposed to have a high libido. We are the “withholders of sex.” Centuries ago, a woman with my sex drive would have been diagnosed with hysteria or forced to have a hysterectomy — because women aren’t supposed to like sex.
Luckily, we live in a sexually liberated society, and the myth that women don’t like sex is as outdated as chastity belts. However, there’s still this assumption that men want to bang every second of every day, and I’ve come to realize this isn’t true either.
In my relationship (and many others), it’s the man who doesn’t want to have sex more than once a week, if that. So what does one do to fix this problem? Scour the internet for advice? After finding several unhelpful articles, which validated my feelings, but failed to offer any semblance of a solution, I came up with the best way to approach our lack of sex without insulting his manhood.
1. Remember that love and sex are not mutually exclusive.
My boyfriend dotes on me, opens the car door, and sends adorable “I love you” messages with kissing emojis every single day. Our relationship is perfect — except when it comes to sex. He has a knack for making me feel loved, but it doesn’t change the fact that I feel unattractive or like something’s wrong with me.
So I began the conversation with: “I’m unhappy, because while you make me feel loved, you don’t make me feel wanted.”
This was the best way to start off. He didn’t feel attacked, and I didn’t skirt around the problem. Too often women fail to communicate in a straightforward way, which leads to more problems down the road. Men don’t understand the hidden meaning behind “I’m fine,” and they never will.
2. Figure out what made the relationship change.
Most relationships start out with an intense love life where you constantly want to rip off your partner’s clothes and take them right then and there. This gradually changes in every relationship. You get married and/or move in together. Long days at work or everyday stressors start to take a toll on your sex life. I felt like there was no way to regain the passion we originally had and was getting progressively closer to saying, “fuck it.”
There are other things that can contribute to the lack of sex, though. For me it was weight gain. We became comfortable with each other, which typically leads to more junk food, but as our sex life waned, I began to eat my feelings. Obviously that only made me more self-conscious and angry about the vicious cycle we were stuck in.
I spoke openly about this with my boyfriend. I talked about how passionate we were in the beginning and sited what I thought could be going wrong. Honestly, I didn’t expect this part of the conversation to work, but instead, he opened up in ways he never had before.
I realized that my insecurities and his were similar, and our self-image issues should be left at the bedroom door. When it came down to it, I wanted him and he wanted me. We had to find a way to let go of our self-conscious thoughts and bring back the frequency and quality of our sex life.
3. Have. More. Sex.
When I was preparing my speech, I didn’t know how I could have sex with him in the future without feeling like he was only doing it out of obligation. Once the conversation was over, he wanted to do it right away. I was hesitant, because it seemed like he was instigating sex because I had made him feel bad, but I realized that’s something that I had to get over in order for this relationship to work.
Our sex life is back and just as fantastic as it was in the beginning. We’re not banging all day everyday, but a solid five to six times a week isn’t bad!
This wasn’t the first time we’ve talked about our lack of sex, but it was the first time we talked about it sober, and the first time I was prepared to say how I felt without demeaning or insulting him.
All couples know that communication is key, but when it comes to sexual communication, we often fall short. Stop ignoring the nagging feeling that you’re unwanted or unattractive—That’s not the problem and if it is, it’s likely time to say goodbye.
Remember: The longer you wait, the more awkward it gets.