Thought Catalog

What Happens When Guys Aren’t In The Mood To Have Sex

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We’re told that we’re sexual beings. We pleasure ourselves to images of sex, we dream about sex, we crave sex. But we also go through periods where we don’t want it, where the mere thought of having it sends chills down our spine and makes our private parts recoil. In the past few weeks, that’s how I’ve been feeling. The few times I’ve made out with someone, I’ve felt like my heart (or perhaps, more accurately, my dick) wasn’t in it. Just the thought of having to get naked and grind on someone else has left me fatigued and disinterested. Even worse, masturbation has felt like a chore, something I’ve done out of obligation rather than desire.

This is sort of the worst nightmare for a dude. Society has been telling us since birth that we’re sex machines, which makes moments like these all the more miserable and terrifying. When a guy doesn’t want to have sex, or worse, can’t have sex, it sends him into a serious shame spiral. We feel like we’ve let our gender down and start to feel anxious and depressed. We ask ourselves, “When will I feel sexual again?” Chances are it’ll be next week but in the moment, it feels like forever. We fail to realize that, like with most things, we must ride this tepid wave out. We will feel sexual again. El pollo will come home to roost!

There’s an implicit pressure for men to want to have sex all the time, which can create feelings of guilt and shame when we don’t. There have been times when I’ve had zero interest in having sex but I relent because I don’t want to let my partner down. WTF? Why can’t I just say, “I’m not in the mood”? Why do I feel like my dick gets chopped off when I say that? Women deal with a major set of pressures when it comes to having sex but men do as well. We all have to deal with the ramifications of the media, of societal attitudes. They affect the way we all behave in the bedroom. We might as well have a focus group in our bedroom whenever we get intimate.

I’ll never forget the first (and only time?) I was unable to get an erection with a guy. It happened a few summers ago with someone I was super attracted to. It had only been the second time we hooked up, which made the experience even more traumatizing for me. I worried that he might think I have erectile dysfunction or something and apologized profusely, saying “THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THIS HAS EVER HAPPENED TO ME!”, which felt like SUCH a lie even though it was true, I swear! I don’t know why I couldn’t get it up. Maybe it’s because I was sober and it was in the middle of the afternoon and I was nervous. Like Say Anything nervous, shaking like a leaf.  We try to drown our sexual experiences in alcohol, which makes us sometimes unable to deal when some boy is kissing our neck in your room at 2:30 in the afternoon. It’s raw in the best possible way but it might’ve freaked my dick out. It was used to being wasted? I don’t know. I don’t even really do the drunken hook up thing but maybe that day just felt too real. Whatever the reason, it made me feel wretched and I put off seeing him again for a week in fear that my penis might be broken. It wasn’t and we ended up having a fruitful sex life. So there.

I may feel asexual today but I know it’s only a matter of time before I get back on that horse again. I just have to remind myself not to freak out about it because it just exasperates the problem. You hear that, penis? I’m blogging to you. TC mark

image – Angusf
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  • Mitsur

    ‘I’ll never forget the first (and only time?) I was unable to get an erection with a guy.’What.

    • Anonymous

      Oh my god… you mean Ryan is GAY?!?!?!?!?!

      • Sohaib Qureshi

        lolxxx… its mentioned only in like… ummm … his EVERY article :P

      • Gregory Costa

        He’s not gay, just confused. It’s one of those 5 things every twentysomething goes through, as you will soon read in Five Things Every TwentySomething Goes Through.

    • Sophia

      ryan’s gay. he’s also a really good writer, you should check out his other stuff, he’s like el supremo on thought catalog. :)

      • gvest

        ryan’s gay. he also writes extremely often. you should check out his other stuff, which will be easy because he rarely goes more than 1.3 days without posting an article, he wrote how to be a 20 something so you almost forgive the shitty quality of most other articles he posts but eventually they get to be too much.

  • Anonymous

    Is this article suppose to gain empathy from guys whether straight or gay? Or is it meant to inform girls? 

  • meg

    When I saw this title on my twitter I turned to my roommate, read it, and said “I have never experienced this with a guy…” and she said “ya me neither.” HOWEVER after reading it, I feel enlightened!

    Thanks! =]

    • pandanator

      I’ve experienced with a guy… And even really sexual guys. They just can’t keep up with my sex drive. Or, ya know, being human and all, sometimes guys have other things on their mind that become more important than getting off. CRAZY, I know. /rolleyes

  • Ronan

    OP’s first time on thoughtcatalog, I see.

    good article. sadly I can relate to this.

  • Guest one cares.

  • Guest

    sometimes when you break a guy’s heart, he doesn’t want to have sex.  or maybe he will, but he will be trying not to cry the whole time. ha ha haaaaa..ha.

  • Cowboy Santos

    the end is near. 

  • Guest

    If Jon Arbuckle lived in Manhattan his name would be Ryan O’Connell.

  • Mung Beans

    Yeah, it’s super fraught.  This happened to me a couple times with a dude in high school, and I always felt like, in those moments, his dick was telling me HIS TRUE FEELINGS ABOUT ME even though we totally banged all the time 

    • Guest

      he probably hated your guts, kid

      • Mung Beans


  • Gregory Costa

    No, I’m not in the mood for sex.  I have a love for Lovecraft…delving into the black abyss is to me the keenest form of fascination. 

  • jerry

    I’m a male who almost never has sexual feelings.
    It has put me in some odd/awkward situations.
    I’m okay with that though.

  • hardeeharhar

    I feel like the first 3 paragraphs said exactly the same thing. 

    Buuut I did learn something, so there’s that… 

  • banter

    you mean “exacerbates”, right?

  • romeo

    loooooooooool super funny guys !

  • shane

    My boyfriend is older than me I’m like at the peak of my sex life and I get nothing its as if I don’t matter I want to do it everyday he has only slept with me five times in five years and even then only he was pleased he thinks fingering me will always do but really its getting to the point where I’m done

  • Setoshino

    Reblogged this on The World Without Us.

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