lifestyle

I love my boyfriend – but I really don't want to have sex with him


I’m 20 years old and I have been going out with my boyfriend for nearly two years. I love him so much, and have missed him constantly when we haven’t been able to see each other during the pandemic. However, when I do get the chance to see him, I no longer want to be intimate. I just want to curl up all day and hug. I hate it when he starts to kiss me too much, because I know that means he wants to have sex. I don’t enjoy the lead-up and I feel bad as I never instigate it. Ultimately, I will just do it to get it done with. I just don’t see the point. I have never had an orgasm and now I don’t enjoy being naked or being touched. Despite this, we get on so well and I see a future for us together.

It is a mistake to go ahead and put up with sex when you really don’t want it. Your feelings – including the lack of them – are valid. In just going through the motions, you can set up an emotionally costly habit of bypassing your true feelings in order to please others. Your needs for comforting touch are just as important as his sexual needs, so do your best to negotiate a more balanced give-and-take between you. It is also important to discover the reason for your general lack of sexual interest. Many people are experiencing low sexual drive at the moment, due to Covid-related fear, anxiety and depression. But if you have never felt attracted to him, and if your lack of interest in sex with him continues over time, that may be a sign that he is simply not for you, or that you might benefit from a sexual wellness check-up.

  • Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a US-based psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.

  • If you would like advice from Pamela on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to private.lives@theguardian.com (please don’t send attachments). Each week, Pamela chooses one problem to answer, which will be published online and in print. She regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence. Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions: see gu.com/letters-terms.

  • Comments on this piece are premoderated to ensure discussion remains on topics raised by the writer. Please be aware there may be a short delay in comments appearing on the site.



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