Dry spell, girlfriend has low sex drive
My girlfriend and I haven't had sex in a month and a half. She has an incredibly low sex drive because of a lack of sleep and time, as well as the amount of stress she experiences as a result of school. I have a lot of issues with this, as my sex drive is pretty high (ideally, at least once a week). I don't want to force her into anything, and I don't want to put more pressure on her on top of her current workload. She graduates in a month, luckily. However, I don't know that I can cope with another sexless month. This issue (and the frequent rejection that comes with it) have really done a number on my self-esteem. If anyone has any suggestions on a reasonable compromise for us or what we/I can do to make it through the month, I would greatly appreciate it.
Know this: Sleep is to a woman as sex is to a man.
A sleep deprived woman, plus under pressure, school obligations . . . no wonder she is not thinking of sex.
What did you do to help out at this time? Take her out, suggest a weekend away, massage her feet?
She doesn't have the time for any sort of vacation, respite, or a quality date, sadly. She doesn't respond well to pampering, either. I try to help her out with her schoolwork whenever possible. In general, I try to be as supportive and helpful as my own workload allows.
If you have honestly tried to nurture her at this very stressful time, and she does not respond, then move on.
It may be in her character to shut down in this way when she is under stress. That will not make for a good marriage.
Do you see this as a pattern for her?
DAVY, while I appreciate where you're coming from, you're completely off-base. I'm using sex as the anchoring point here because it's the simplest way to phrase it. And I'm not looking at sex here as some sort of release or extension of masturbation. It's a source of affection and intimacy in a relationship that is important to me. There is a general lack of affection in our relationship that I would like to repair, but our ability to do so is severely constrained by her schoolwork.
And Rudy, I have considered that we might be too disparate to manage a relationship. However, I am incredibly fond of her and would like to try to make it work, if possible.
I have seen this pattern repeat itself pretty consistently over the past several months we have been dating. Neither of us has gone so far as to consider the possibility of marriage, but your point certainly stands, SUSIEDQ. However, I would still like to continue to try to help her.
Wherewolftherewolf, I am the same woman you speak of. I have no sex drive and am too stressed to want to even think about it. My boyfriend and I find us fighting about the same thing. My question for you is Do you actually pay attention to her and care about the things she is doing? Men need love as the woman needs to feel wanted. I find that the most reason I don't want to make love is because I don't feel he is actually careing about what I am trying to do to better myself and is caught up in what he would rather be doing and only comes to me because he has a need. Not saying it is true for you. My suggestion would be try a date night when you both can put your workloads on hold for the night and just pamper her as much as possible. She has a lot on her plate as you do too. And if she doesn't respond then there may be another issue that may need to be dealt with. Sorry you both are going through this, I know it is very tough. Good luck and I hope atleast some of this helps.
SPUNKEE, I take an active interest in what she's doing. I find a lot of it really interesting. We spend a good portion of the time talking about and even critiquing one another's work. And like I said, her schedule scarcely allows for that kind of date. She misses at least one night of sleep a week (usually more) and spends most of her time confined to her school's campus.
Speak to her about it. A relationship can never be only giving in to partner's requirements. If so that relationship can never last for a long time. It has to be both ways. Even though she is sleep strived, bogged down with school work she can surely take out 15 mins for you atleast twice a month? Have quick sex for this next one month. Then let her catch up on her lost out sleep and see if situation is better? (If your drives are not matching it could be due to the way you want to pleasure her and the way she actually requires it are not matching? Speak to her about this also and see how she requires it. Everyone's way to go about it differs and only the person with whom you are having it can guide you here.)
I've talked to her about it many times, sadly. I'm also not quite comfortable asking her to force herself to jump into bed with me.
And quickies are out of the question, as I take too long.
Her pleasure in sex is a whole other issue. She has never experienced an orgasm (she's had her fair share of boyfriends and partners) and I have asked several times what I can do to make it more enjoyable for her. She says she enjoys sex just fine without an orgasm, though I continue to try to communicate with her and make it as enjoyable as possible for her.
She's also very prone to UTIs, which makes her hesitant to pursue sex, though she does use antibiotics.
I understand how you feel. My last relationship was a lot like this, it took a huge toll on my self esteem being rejected by someone I cared so much about so often. It actually became less about the sex and more about just not feeling attractive or wanted. I waited 3 months , I tried everything from talking to them to ignoring it (the internet is full of really stupid and embarrassing suggestions but I think I tried just about all of them). In the end it we broke it off for multiple reasons, it did hurt though. I would suggest trying to explain to her how being rejected is making you feel and trying to get that feeling from other things than sex (if she's really not that into it). I mean, just having her call you sexy more often might be able to help. Best of luck though!
Why is she spending so much time on campus and not sleeping? Has she done this before?
You said she graduates in the month, perhaps things will get better.
You need to see if her temperament is one that has no time or space for intimacy. She sounds like an extremely intense person. Is she a workaholic? You can't change that and that's how it will be if you marry.
You have been WARNED now. Decide if this is her character or if this is just a stressful time and she will mellow out soon.
Your problem lies right there. She doesn't have an idea as to what turns her on resulting in lower sex drive (Don't know if she has faced abuse earlier). She needs to work on it before she can make you happy. You can't take this issue into a serious relationship for if you both do so it will form its cracks sooner or later.
Ask her to read erotic material and form fantasies for herself, might help her understand herself. Of course this cannot be done immediately as she is busy as of now.
NEW2THIS, you've pretty much hit the nail on the head.
RREX, I'm aware that I can't change her. That's not my objective. I'm trying to find some happy medium for the both of us.
SUSIEDQ, this is a common thread with all the people in her department. All of them are worked to the bone and are severely sleep deprived. During times when her workload has lightened up, or she has had a break, things have been much better in all areas for us.
SHIVANGI, I'm aware of this issue, and I've talked to her about it extensively many times. She's a bit on the conservative side in some areas and really doesn't have much interest in porn, erotica, masturbation, and the like. As far as abuse is concerned, I've been with someone before with a history, and it is something I've brought up with my girlfriend. To my knowledge of what indicates abuse/trauma and what she has told me, she has not experienced it. Though she has dealt with some seriously dick-headed men in relationships and the like.
See at one point of time in my life I was the same....conservative and naive too. When I realized that its affecting my relationship I updated myself and rediscovered myself. Until then I too had a low drive and pretty much looked upon it as a bother to get over with. But once I updated and tried various things I really discovered there was more to myself. Ask her to view it in the same light....its for improving the quality of the relationship and is pretty much a necessity in Life.
talk to her. if u love her enough u will be patient
SHIVANGI, can you be a little more specific as to what you did, or what caused your epiphany?
FIONA, while I appreciate the sentiment, let me be clear: my plan is to stick it out. I am looking for ways to make it easier to do so for my girlfriend and I to make it through the month.
@HITTHENAIL - These problems come even in a wedlock. Glad you haven't faced any issues as such in yours.
@WHEREWOLFTHEREWOLF - What I mentioned are not short term fixes that can be fixed in a month. First of all she might have to realize that her lack of understanding herself physically is not only affecting her but also her relationship. To begin with she needs to explore herself (spend time with herself alone) as to what kind of touches and where she likes to be touched. Some women like soft touch, some hard touch with a little pain etc. (You can ask her to do this and let you know by next time). Then she needs to form fantasies (here erotica stories might help her imagine situations. It is easier for women to read and imagine themselves with their partners in those situations rather than watching it. Again you can help her by asking her what erotic stories she found interesting.) This much she needs to do all by herself before you both come into the picture together. Once the basics are understood, she can easily guide you and thereafter you two can have a good time exploring other interesting things like sex games concentrating more on foreplay, may be try a mild blindfold (one that can be removed anytime by the person if the need is required). Blindfold helps by adding a little suspence. If you guys like role playing, may be add that with some costumes and stuff.
This is the path of exploration and only trial and error will help you understand what exactly turns her on.
Thinking back, probably my partner's sexual disinterest made me realize I had to change, else I could lose much.
GWENDO, I've wondered that myself, but bringing it up with her numerous times, she assures me that school is the reason behind it.
HITTHENAIL, while I can appreciate where you're coming from, that doesn't line up with her worldview at all. She's been sexually active at least 6 years before we started dating, and has actively sought out sexual relationships. She has her fair share of morals and convictions, as do I. They just don't line up with yours.
SHIVANGI, that definitely sounds in-line with what I've been told before, and the approach I've been trying to take with her. Do you have any advice on encouraging her to explore her sexuality on her own, or would it be better if I just let her figure it out for herself?
PEOPLE. FOR THE LAST TIME. This is not just about sex. It's about a defecit of affection and finding mutual compromise. I am not some sleazeball whose only concern is getting laid. I'm not looking for an out, either. I'm looking for help in managing the coming month in terms that are both fair for me and my girlfriend. I've been very patient about it for the past 6 months, and I don't think it's unreasonable that I'm starting to feel a little downtrodden about it.
If your emotional bonding is good may be you can encourage her to explore herself for you. I guess thats the best you can do about it. Rest she has to do.
I think you have raised an interesting issue.
However I personally did not post as I found it hard to remain objective about it.
I would suggest you focus on you....
Wait until the the graduation is over and then discuss this with her....
Are you graduating also? maybe you could focus on that too...
Do you exercise? you could up the anti on that to help you relieve stress and frustration? From reading your post I am hearing that this issue has cause low self esteem in you. I am sorry for that it not nice to be rejected. However I do think as a consequence you are feeling out of balance with the relationship ans yourself.
Truth of the matter is this can get better.... not the way you would hope .. in an immediate way ( sex)... now you know by now that going down that road is not working. So go a different one....
I think you are scared that you are loosing her, and connecting through sex helped you feel bonded and it is no longer present. You are trying to go back ways here, understandable but I suggest you stop allowing this to eat at your self esteem...
What you can do is change yourself and how you are looking at this situation.
I would back off for you , spend some more time with your friends and do things that you enjoy..... mind yourself here.
Getting through the net month is about raising your self esteem for you, in a month YOU will be in a better place to see rationally what has or has not happened.
Take it easy
I guess what I am really saying is I think you care for her quiet alot, and you wanting to help her..... and I do think it is meant well.
Truth is only she can do that.....
This relationship is taking too much of your time, self esteem, etc. Do not let it take anymore.
Book yourself in for a massage ..... or even better how about book her in or both of you go....
Its an hour out of your time!!! Be spontaneous, it is simple and won't solve things over night but it will be doing something positive for both of you...
QUICKMIND, I'm not trying to reprogram my girlfriend to suit my needs. I understand that she functions differently than I do, and I respect and appreciate that about her. And I'm not trying to reduce my stress over who she is. I'm trying to reduce my stress over her unavailability as a result of school, very much in the same way that people try to cope with long distance relationships. As far as the sex thing goes, you seem to see this as me manipulating her into fitting into my definition of what sex in a relationship should be. I'm not. Asking her to explore her sexuality a little bit and to try to understand it a bit better so that I can help her enjoy it more is not unreasonable, I think. I don't plan on force-feeding her erotica, hoping for her to turn into some sort of nymphomaniac.
Seriously, can we just stop with the judgement here? I care about this girl a lot. I'm not some manipulative jerk. Maybe sex was a poor framing for this issue, but I'm basically looking for reciprocated affection.
MOUNTAIN, I'm not graduating, no. I exercise a few times a week when I'm able. That said, you're probably very right about the whole thing. And about the massage: believe me, if I had the money, I would.
Okay what is it exactly you want to happen here?
Can you be honest with yourself?
You know you cannot make anyone do anything they do not want to do or cannot understand.... or value as much as you do.
Compromise here is wanting her to address the lack of contact for over a month.
Okay I am going to be blunt here.... you are being sensitive to her needs but she is not to yours. But you think you know the reason 'low drive' so that is part of her and part of the girl you fell for. Or is this is now presenting a problem for your relationship, You want to know how you can work with this.
If it is affection lacking..... why did she withdraw? Is it because it always leads to sex?
Do you really know this girl?
Was there a trigger to this ........ or is this the way it has always been and you have reached breaking point?
I am going to say something , I think your issue is trust.
Bring yourself back to the arguments, what in those can you take ownership of? How do you respond?
Have you being angry?
Are you treating her as a project, (unconsciously) you say it is not your intention, but it may come across to her like that. You mentioned a previous girl with similar issues? has this ever being voiced to your current girl , in passing or anything? This can also contribute to her withdrawal.
I think on some level you want to get out of this relationship..... and it is she who has the issue.
Now there has been some suggestions, dates, massages, and you have an excuse... money, time. Your thought process goes back to her libido and how to overcome it. You have tried talking and how does she respond....
Ideally, we would return to how we were operating over winter break. We had a bit of a blowout shortly before over similar issues and a short breakup. Anyway, after the blowout, she made an earnest effort to make room for me in her schedule (though she definitely had more time), was more present, and I felt a lot more satisfied with the level of give and take in our relationship. She has since mentioned that she would like things to go back to that as well.
I think a portion of the affection issue is that she tends to get caught up in her own head. This is a pretty consistent thing, but a lot more so when she's in school, dealing with large projects. Large amounts of affection (e.g. kissing) generally lead to sex. Though I think part of it is the scarcity of both (mostly pecking, and she's not big on PDA).
We've had a couple of blowouts, and during one, I did get pretty angry. For the most part, I'm pretty understanding and more than willing to concede to her workload and what works for her, mostly because there's so much pressure on her. Though I do make a point to mention that I feel that she could be more present in the relationship.
The previous girl had a completely different set of issues (related to abuse, assault, and so on), and I have talked to my girlfriend about it a fair bit. In fact, both previous girlfriends definitely had their fair share of psychological issues, with which I made a substantial effort trying to help. My girlfriend has accused me of having a "white knight complex", which does seem pretty accurate. So yes, the "project" descriptor might not be too far off. She does get annoyed with me for trying to be overly attentive, but I also wonder if that has something to do with her previous experiences with men (who were not great to her, in my opinion).
On some level I may want out, but I would like to get through the month before delving into that particular area of subconscious thought.
I'm not quite sure what you're asking at the end there. Are you saying that I'm offering excuses and using her libido as a scapegoat?
I think you will get through the month..... you are quiet self aware.... and Id say with someone like you a girl would need some space....
The helping part of your personality is something you should look at more, and explore more for yourself.
Is it a possibility you are carrying some guilt, from something you are not aware off, responsibility for something that was not yours? it could be a possibility that it is spilling over into your romantic attachments?
It is a nice quality but perhaps you could just accept people for who they are and maybe they do not need to be rescued.
What happens to you when you you cannot play that role..... who are you really?
Is it a possibility that you do not trust her? Give her credit , we all have issues, isn't that what makes us human.
You make a valid point. I appreciate the insight.
No problem..... relationships can be hard, this is an obstacle to overcome.....
Sometimes we ourselves are the obstacle.
Take it easy.....
And I don't know about guilt, but I do think that I've carried over a fair number insecurities from my previous relationship, which might be a big part of the issue. Trust could be an issue as well.
I thought from your very first post that you were playing the "critical parent" role, but didn't mention it.
But since you are talking about being in a "white knight" role, please consider that you may be in other roles that make it difficult to please. That can be an affection killer, for sure.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!
SUSIEDQ, would you mind giving me something more specific to go off of? This is definitely something that warrants a fair bit of introspection, but I'd definitely like to hear more about your suggestions/take on things.
I'm not by any stretch of the imagination saying that I'm completely displeased with the relationship. On the contrary, I really enjoy the time that I do spend with her. I might have a few issues with it, and it gets difficult at times, but it's nowhere near the scale you to which you have blown it up. There is already a precedent of what I'm hoping for in our relationship THAT BOTH OF US WOULD LIKE TO EXPERIENCE AGAIN. It's not some lofty ideal. I'm not trying to moderate her like some Stalin-eque version of a boyfriend, setting quotas for sex and affection.
If you want to contribute, and give me some feedback here about what you think I'm doing wrong, that's fine. Just don't be a dick about it. And no, doing so would not be playing into my little sociopathic quest for internet validation, but thanks for your concern.