My girlfriend is having problems with sexual intimacy for quite a long time now, should I keep giving her more time, or is this just not gonna work?

I wanna start with saying that the relationship, which is almost a year now is great and she’s a really great girlfriend, it’s just that the sexual intimacy part of the relationship has been pretty bad and inconsistent for the last 6 months. You will probably say it’s really important to communicate about the problem with your partner. And I fully agree, and we did. Its just that she’s isn’t the best communicator and finds it hard to talk about it. It kinda annoys me sometimes that she never brings it up by saying “how do u think it’s going” or something like that, but it’s alright, I communicate a lot and I don’t wanna give her more things to improve on. One more thing that’s important to know, is that her ex wasn’t the greatest and wasn’t very respectful with the sexual part of the relationship. With gaslighting her into sex when she doesn’t really want to for example. This is really bad and I’m completely against that and I’m trying to be very respectful and patient with her. Though it’s been a long time and it’s not really getting better. In the beginning of the relationship she was very into being sexual intimate with me, and that was amazing, but after some time it got less and less (I think after about 3/4 months). After 6/7 months it really began to get inconsistent and I started noticing a real difference. Yes, cuddling was still there, and it still is right now, it’s just the kissing, sex or other sexual activities started to get less and less. Sometimes 3/4 weeks without any sexual intimacy (apart from some small kisses or pecks like when see eachother). After a month of noticing I wanted to talk about it Ofc. And that was pretty hard for her but she understood, she would try to improve on that part because it made me insecure and just unhappy with the relationship. After 3 months of it getting better and then a 6 weeks without again and having to talk about it again, and her saying I’m bringing it up too much. We are at now, 11 months in.
Updates:
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And I’m not sure what to do anymore. Because it’s just making me feel insecure and unhappy about the relationship and next to that, I just want that in a relationship. Being sexually intimate with each other as much as possible. And we talked about this a lot but with her saying I’m bringing it up too much (which I’m not in my opinion) and not really seeing improvement. Is this normal? This is also my first relationship so i don’t really know what is normal… what do you think?
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Most Helpful Guys

  • Direct answer? This isn't going to work.

    But I want to be helpful, so let me break this down because you admitted this is your first relationship.

    Even in healthy relationship where things don't work out, it would be wise for everyone involved to take some time to be single and let emotions process and take stock of the relationship you were just in and heal so to speak, get the good and press on.

    In bad relationships, this has to be underscored.

    Now let's bring this into your relationship and how it is negatively impacting your girlfriend.

    I'll be pulling quotes from your post.

    "One more thing that’s important to know, is that her ex wasn’t the greatest and wasn’t very respectful with the sexual part of the relationship. With gaslighting her into sex when she doesn’t really want to for example." - This is a red flag.

    That tells me, she shouldn't be in ANY relationship right now. Something like this, she absolutely needs to process emotions and heal. I would even argue that she should be in counseling to be honest. She shouldn't even be in a relationship.

    Instead, she started a relationship with you. This is not good. She can't "whiteknuckle" this and you're finding out why right now.

    Now, she has to do what she skipped in the middle of the relationship with you, and you're paying the price.

    You sound like me, we're great at communicating, but we want that back in return. And if we care about someone, we try to compensate for their lack of doing it by asking probing questions.

    " In the beginning of the relationship she was very into being sexual intimate with me, and that was amazing, but after some time it got less and less (I think after about 3/4 months)." - You were benefitting from her disconnect from the previous relationship that she again, hasn't processed and healed from.

    Being away from him, she's coming back down from that "high" so to speak, you're witnessing the results, giving you a false positive. So what you experienced in the beginning of this relationship, wasn't a healthy version of her.

    "After 6/7 months it really began to get inconsistent and I started noticing a real difference. Yes, cuddling was still there, and it still is right now, it’s just the kissing, sex or other sexual activities started to get less and less." - because cuddling is comforting, but the rest is a reminder of the previous relationship. - again none of this was processed and she didn't heal from it.

    "And that was pretty hard for her but she understood, she would try to improve on that part because it made me insecure and just unhappy with the relationship. After 3 months of it getting better and then a 6 weeks without again and having to talk about it again, and her saying I’m bringing it up too much. We are at now, 11 months in."

    - There was no consistent change, because the issue causing it isn't resolved.

    So, what can you do?

    I'm going to be careful here, because you have to make the decision , ultimately.

    I'll give you my opinion on what to do should you stay or go. They are similar. They HAVE to be, if you genuinely care for her.

    Option #1 - you stay - This only makes sense if you do the following:
    1.) Stop asking about sex
    2.) She agrees to go to counseling - not couples counseling - just for her.

    This requires no sex from you because she can't have that pressure during this healing process. If you can't endure that, then...

    Option #2 - end the relationship and demote her to friend -
    This benefits you both in the short-long term if you

    1.) Still get her to counseling that she needs.
    2.) She's under no pressure or obligation to you sexually

    and this allows you to take a moment and when you're ready, date someone else.

    I want to make it clear - I'm not discarding your needs, but THIS woman? If you truly care about her, she needs to heal, man. That would be too much to have on one plate.

    She has to heal. Just my take, I hope I've helped or at least sparked an idea. Be safe and good luck.

  • If you love her legitimately then I think taking couples counseling might be a good start. Don't make sex the first topic though when you go into couples counseling or at least avoid it at first. If the counselor asks you can tell them that your sex life has been poor and you feel that trauma from her past as well as you possibly underperforming in the relationship could be the cause of it. Remember if you go to couples counseling your goal isn't sex your goal is to fix whatever is broken in the relationship and the thing that is broken isn't sex the lack of sex is just a byproduct of the thing that is broken whatever that broken thing may be and maybe something's broken on both ends which is why you go to couples counseling so that way you can figure out what is broken and figure out how to fix it if that's the case she might be more open to sex also I feel like your relationship will just go a lot smoother in general.

    Take it up with her first. Also don't forget to apologize about bringing up sex beforehand because you know it's a difficult topic for her and you should legitimately be sorry or at least empathetic to her situation. I will give you an example.
    "Hey babe I love you and I know this topic stresses you out and I'm legitimately sorry but this isn't just about sex. I've done a lot of thinking and asking around and came to the conclusion that something is wrong in the relationship and I really don't know what it is if it's on my end I would wish to improve upon myself I don't want to stress you out any longer and in the long run I feel the best way to do this is to go through couples counseling so I can better understand you, myself and the situation we're in. Don't go blaming yourself though I know you're putting an effort and I will and truly appreciate it I think you for the effort and I want to put in more effort as well and show you that I care.

    With these things you need to ask in phases. First you need to butter them up because these things are stressful and if you want them to listen and you don't want them to get mad you need to first show them that you understand that you are upsetting them and let them know that your empathizing with their situation. Then you want to point out something is wrong however you need to do so without pointing blame and if you do end up having to point blame pointed at yourself any blame that has to be pointed should be aimed to yourself because if you upset her she might not be open to it also pointing blame towards her can leave a long-lasting stain on your relationship when someone is not in the best emotional state.

    • Then you want to point out her efforts and let her know that you both notice her efforts and appreciate them. The reason you want to do this is because you don't want her to feel like she's inadequate or that she hasn't improved because that can get very upsetting if someone feels insufficient. Then you want to bring up couples counseling as a possible solution because this will provide a neutral and possibly safe environment for her to express herself. Then of course you want to point out that you are wanting to put effort into this relationship and that you want to do better as a boyfriend and that you're doing this because you care about her. The reason you want to do this is because number one it will make her feel better and number two that's kind of your job as a boyfriend is too put effort in when your partner can't put in any further effort same goes for the girlfriend though if you can't put effort into one thing then she should and where she can't put in effort you should

    • Then finally you use a finishing statement to summarize how you feel. Keep in mind this only works if you're being honest so if you're not honest it's not going to work. When you say you love her you need to say it honestly. When you say that you notice her efforts you need to legitimately notice her efforts. And when you say you think you could have done something wrong you need to legitimately feel like you could have been the issue. Legitimacy is literally the most important part in this process. If you're any bit insincere she'll notice and she will not bite. If you're being sincere about it all then she probably will but again you still will have to butter her up and things like that but if you're doing it out of legitimate love then that shouldn't matter

Most Helpful Girls

  • I’ve actually done this before. My ex partner did not respect me and long story sort I became a SA victim. Which ultimately made my sex drive increase a lot with next partners but with my ex we dated for around 4 1/2 months. We used to be very sexually active till an incident happened and i would Postpone things maybe to once every 5/6 months or just a birthday. Also from being in that relationship i picked up on i wasn't Ever willing to be sexually active for awhile because I had never had foreplay and been super into things. Maybe talk to her about that and try to spice things up if you guys always only makeout and then go stright to sex. Also beware of how ur last interactions went when in bed together. Weather you grab her hips or get aggressive in a playful way she might distance herself. Also would say if it doesn’t improve, she most likely doesn’t trust you with her body and don’t know if she ever will get to that point as i went 3 years with no sexual attraction to my ex before i broke Up with him and i never Knew why I thought i liked Him turns out i did Not.

  • There are man, possibilities. Just few that comes to my mind.
    She might feel pressured. For example if she kiss you you would escalated to sex immediately.

    She is not satisfied in other parts of your relationship. If she has problem with for example you not spending time with her as she would like, it may reflect in the bedroom.

    Her love language is not touch and affection and as you don't feel loved when she's not sexually intimate, she doesn't feel loved for example if you don't help her with chores.

    Her sex drive is not that big as yours and she was trying when you guys started dating and when you first mentioned you are not satisfied but she cannot increase is as much as you would like to.

    The best thing would be to talk about it, but it doesn't seem like an option. You could try to have a discussion about how she feels in the relationship if there is something she is missing and what you can improve. So she would not feel like the only thing that is wrong is her. Hope it helps at least a little bit.

    • To the first thing u said about making her feel pressured. I’m very careful with that. I’m already very happy if she kisses me, and we talked about it. She told me she was scared that kissing instantly means sex. But I’ve told her, and proved to her several times, just a kiss or kissing, is TOTALLY fine with me. Also talked about other parts, and I’m always trying to improve for her. But she said that those things are not the reason behind her not being sexually intimate. She just doesn’t know she says. Yea the sex drive difference might be a thing. And thank u :) for giving me another angle, I didn’t think about it that way, that she was trying to keep up with me in the beginning. And yea, a lot of talking, it’s just that she doesn’t like to talk about this problem too much, because it makes her feel likes she not trying hard enough or sum.

    • Happy to help at least to give you another angle. I thought about it bit more and I might have other insights that nobody shared yet. I read other comments and saw, that you guys are pretty young. That you are 20 and she is 19. Maybe try to also consider, that guys feel most sexually in their twenties, but for girls, our sexual drive is on top in our early thirties (based on what I learnt in psychology and human sexuality on university, plus I can see it on myself). Not saying that you should wait or anything but maybe she´s just not really ready yet to be that sexual. You also wrote that she was pressured to have sex with her previous boyfriend. Unfortunately you don´t know the impact it had on her. Nobody really does right now, I guess. Sure even she might think she´s alright but it could have created some blocks in her. For example from my own experience; some really hurtful comments about my breasts that my boyfriend in my early twenties said to me, still have effect on me till this day, being too vigilant whenever I´m taking of my bra 10 years later with much more respectful partner. Logically I know there´s nothing really wrong with the way I look and that my current partner likes how I look and he tells me all the time. Still subconsciously I have this fear of them being too weird and ugly and that I should not show them to anybody else even the person I love and trust. ...

    • And third thing that I thought of is what kind of medication she uses. It can have a huge impact on sexual desire. I can give you again example from my experience. Some hormonal contraception can have really weird effect on the girl´s mood. If she uses one type maybe it´s a wrong type for her. After one kind of HA I became apathetic to any kind of sexual intimacy, even kissing and touching. Fortunately my doctor changed it when I told her, and everything was great again. Some antidepressants can have the same effect. Again it´s really hard to pin point the cause, if she doesn´t want to talk about it. And maybe you already covered all this thing I wrote about. I would suggest both of you to go to some professional, even separately. And I have to say that I admire that you´re trying to fix the problem before jumping to some conclusions like no sex = immediate breakup. Fingers crossed that you guys find the best solution for you two :)

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What Girls & Guys Said

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  • So my advice to any person regardless of the reasons... is that if you are dating someone that makes you feel insecure in any way you need to break it off before you get too invested in the relationship. Seriously dating brings out the worse type of insecurities in people, and if you are feeling this way then its probably is not meant to be. These types of issue seldom work themselves out, and even in the case in which they do or may the damage is mostly already done... so you got to be a very a special type of person to move past it.

    My advice is this... when two people meet and its meant to be they find ways to make being together as easy as possible for the other person. When you feel you're working way harder than you should be to make the relationship work, then your are probably over compensating for the other person and that's a dangerous thing to be doing.

    Yes you want to be emotionally sensitive to the other persons needs, but at the same time you can not allow them to neglect your needs in the relationship. It can leave feeling very unappreciated, emotionally unfilled, and deeply wanting for what your not getting. This usually leads to the worst type of toxic relationships where you develop some underlying resentment against the other person, and that plays out or cause you to act out in other ways.

  • She may be a great person but you don’t sound sexually compatible. It does sound like something is wrong, you guys could go seek help. It doesn’t sound like it’s going to improve on its own.

    • Im 20 and she’s 19 tho. I really want it to improve but I find professional help a little too much for our age

    • I get it, but it does sound like she has a problem. 2 people in love kinda want to have sex a lot. Are u sure there’s no sexual abuse in her past?

    • Other than her ex pushing her into sex even when she said she didn’t really want it at the time, not really. But I think that is pretty bad already, but that’s also why I have been so patient and trying to make her feel as comfortable as possible. She did tell me once, that she isn’t a very sexual person in general. But I don't know what to think of that… She was very sexually intimate with me in the first couple of months. And yea it’s not just sex, we don’t really make out either, and if we do, which is rare, it’s either me initiating or she has consumed alcohol😅

  • Women like that are USUALLY
    “Victims of R—PE”.
    In general , all women are usually very sexual themselves and horny. I’ve even witnessed women cheating on their husbands because they guy at work was extremely attractive and hot.

    So no.. This girl got some kind of issue going on.
    ____________
    UNLESSSS…..
    She actually plans to date you for over a year and then give you the BUNS. As a test. It’s a test women convince other women to test the purity of their man the faithfulness. It’s called the 90-day-dating-rule.
    Look it up.
    But that’s something she should have communicated with you at the start.
    ____________
    Another reason is because she might be interested in someone else and trying to break up with you. OR ; in this case have you break up with her.. so that it’s not painful for YOU. She either thinks you have an extremely tiny one. Or she found something better romantically or physically.

    Just look into it. It could be any of those reasons.

  • Maybe you've asked her the wrong question.. Instead of asking why she's lost interest, maybe what you should of asked her is, in what way have you changed towards her since the beginning, when she was more engaged with you sexually?

  • Incompatible sex drives is absolutely a thing. There could be any number of reasons, though. Past trauma, lack of sex drive, stress, cheating, she's lost interest but is afraid to go there. Hard to say if she won't really discuss it.

    If the sexual intimacy is a high priority for you in a relationship, though, this may not be the one for you.

    • Yea it kinda is for me. I’ve learned that about myself. Because I definitely tried to lower my needs of sexual intimacy, but that didn’t really work. I feel unhappy and i don’t feel as loved because of it. Do you think it is possible for her to change this or do you think after 6 months of having talked about it a few times and didn’t really improve, it’s just not gonna work out?

  • Sounds like your sexual wants are not compatible

    • Yea that crossed my mind too and it’s not just the sex, it’s all sexual intimacy. Sex, alternative sexual activities and kissing (& making out). Those things are very inconsistent and don’t happen that often. And the hard part is that I love the others parts of the relationship but I’m a very sexual person and love being obsessed with each other sexually. And she says she wants to work on it but it’s been 6 months since the first time we talked about it, and from time to time it improved but in the end, it didn’t really… So that’s why I don’t really know what to do. And that’s why I’m asking you, is this ever going to work, can she change, or is she really just “not a sexual person”. OR she not really into me anymore…

    • I can't know if she will change or if she wants to but it dont look that way when u bring it up and she stops again and now says u say it too much it would seen she dont want to do it that much and is happy how it is now

  • Maybe she feels like you’re pushing her too much

  • If you already did everything to try improve the relation, there's not much you can do. A therapy may work. Seek for a therapist with her. Her self needs to seek for it, if she was in a toxic relationship.

  • Well I think you should just give her a little more maybe a couple months but if the intmacy is not there still maybe she might need some therapy cause it could be a mental think since her ex was disrespectful to her sexually.

  • If you stay with her it will take a lot of work and love

  • No it’s not normal and don’t listen to these women trying to shame you for wanting a sexual relationship with your girlfriend.

    This isn’t going to improve. It’s been nearly a year. Move on. Or learn to accept only having sex once a month. 🤷‍♂️

  • I say convince her to see a therapist.