General Question

lbwhite89's avatar

21 year old female with no interest in sex?

Asked by lbwhite89 (1213points) March 13th, 2011

I’ve been in a relationship with the same guy since I was 17 years old. We’re now engaged and we’ve been living together since January.

I was a virgin when we met and he wasn’t. We waited six months before we had sex. For the first few months, maybe even a year, we had sex often (5 times a week or so, I would guess).

For the past couple of years, we’ve been having sex less and less. It’s not him that doesn’t want to, it’s me. I simply have no interest in it. I love him and love being around him, so it’s not a problem with him I don’t think.

I can tell he gets aggravated when I don’t want to have sex. We’ll do it once a week, if that. Today he asked me why it was “scheduled” for Saturdays. I go to work all day and school and night and Saturday is when I can take a little longer in the shower to shave my legs and all that. I won’t have sex if I’m prickly. It makes me self conscious.

And even when we do have sex, I always want to be on bottom. We never spice it up anymore because we wait so long in between that it hurts when we do it. That isn’t what makes me not want to have sex, because it doesn’t last long and I know if we had sex more often it wouldn’t hurt at all.

I just don’t get anything out of it. Foreplay is fine and we’ll kiss and mess around, but I don’t let him perform oral sex on me because it makes me really self conscious when he’s down there. I don’t even like him to use his hand there.

I’m not a prude by any means. I don’t have any issues with the idea of sex…I just don’t get anything out of it because the interest is gone. It’s causing tension between me and my fiance and I feel like it’s all my fault. If I don’t feel like having sex, I’ll perform oral sex on him, but we don’t do that very often either because of my busy schedule.

I don’t have a medical problem, as in I don’t have a problem getting turned on or orgasming…at least not alone. And I’m currently dieting and have been trying to lose weight for awhile. I don’t feel confident in my body and haven’t for awhile. He likes the way I look, but that doesn’t help. I don’t feel good about myself when I’m naked.

I don’t get it. What’s wrong with me?

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34 Answers

robdamel's avatar

Here is my guess. You`ve had sex so much with him its not even fun anymore. There’s nothing new and exciting anymore. I highly suggest you think twice about marrying him. If even before marriage you`ve guys lost the ‘spark’, then imagine afterwards. I am taking a good guess that your marriage will be a waste of time.

Ever hear the saying ” I love you, but I am not IN love with you”? How about this one: “Its love, but not passion.”

Meaning you love him because you guys get along well. But as i said before, there is no more spice, flame, spark, or whatever you want to call it, in the relationship. Its just plain routine, and you guys having nothing ‘new’ left, or something to look forward too. (Definitely not marriage)

My recommendation? End the relationship and be friends. The mistake? You guys had too much sex, leaving nothing ‘new’ to experience in the future, or to look forward too.

Here is something to consider. My girlfriend and I have been together for an year and six months. We haven`t had sex, and won’t until marriage. It drives me crazy, since men always have that urge, but we kill the urge cuddling and playing around. No sex until after marriage. It may sound lame, but it definitely guarantees that I wont get tired of her anytime soon. After all, we still have new milestones to get to.

My suggestion for future relationships? If you want to have fun, meet guys, sleep with em, but dont count on a serious relationship over long term. (Its definitely not impossible, just a lot harder to happen, since the guy will most likely lose interest, since hes done everything with you)

You met a guy and he is amazing? Sleep with him once every few months if you have too, or let him know you want to wait until marriage and see how long he stays with you. If he stays with you for 6 months without pressuring you into sex, he is a good man. Then sleep with him if you have too, but NOT too often. Remember, leave something for after marriage, or else marriage is useless.


SavoirFaire's avatar

@robdamel While I don’t deny that people can lose the spark, saying that they had too much sex in the beginning is ridiculous (and sounds incredibly prudish). Almost everyone has a lot of sex in the beginning of a relationship. My wife and I had more sex in the first few years of our relationship than some people have during the course of an entire marriage (maybe even an entire life). And you know what? The passage of time has not affected that one bit. The sex we have now is better and more frequent than it was even in our active past.

The problem really seems to be that @lbwhite89 is self-conscious about too many things. She cannot let go and enjoy herself. This is likely to be a recurring problem with other partners and is something she needs to get over in order to start enjoying sex again. It’s not frequency of sex, but feelings about sex. That’s why masturbation is working for her: she doesn’t feel like she’s performing for anybody. Unfortunately, this is a common problem. One thing to try is slowing sex down. Take much more time on foreplay. Try having foreplay without having sex. Reduce the pressure to perform. The boyfriend may be frustrated at first, but it will pay off in the long run.

lbwhite89's avatar

@robdamel Ending my relationship isn’t going to solve this problem. If I had no desire to have sex with him, but could imagine having the desire to have sex with someone else, then I’d know what the problem was. It’s not that there is no spark. It’s not a love vs. in love issue. I am in love with him. He’s the person I want to be with for the long haul. I haven’t lost interest in him sexually…I’ve lost interest in sex altogether. Like @SavoirFaire said, I would have this problem with any sexual partner. Then I can look back and regret leaving the most amazing person I’ve ever met.

@SavoirFaire may have hit the nail on the head. When we were having sex often, I felt much better about my body. We tried new things and I knew how to let go and really enjoy myself. My self-esteem is at an all time low and no matter how many times he tells me I’m beautiful or sexy, it doesn’t help. I think there is an issue with how I view myself. He is more than willing to do whatever it takes for me to enjoy sex, but I never initiate it. I’m wondering if after I do the things I need to do to get back to the weight I was before, will it solve anything?

Me and my fiance get into arguments over this because I tell him he doesn’t know what it’s like to feel ugly, or fat, or like the person he’s with is too good looking for him. And that’s how I feel. Now that I’m talking all this out, I think I have some serious issues to work out.

Oh, and foreplay isn’t an issue. He loves it.

marinelife's avatar

You probably need therapy. You have an issue with your body image. You say that you are not a prude, but you don’t like him to perform oral sex or even to manipulate your clitoris.

That sounds as if you don’t want to let go of control.

lbwhite89's avatar

@marinelife I think it’s more of a body image problem than a control problem. I don’t let him do those things because they make me uncomfortable. Not because he’s in control, but because I don’t feel confident about myself.

I can’t afford therapy though. I guess I’m just screwed.

tranquilsea's avatar

The only reason sex would hurt is because you are not sufficiently turned on before he enters you.

I can feel for you on this one. I had some awful things happen to me in the beginning of my sexual journey that made it impossible for me to relax enough to really enjoy sex (you don’t sound like you enjoy it with your partner). @SavoirFaire is right that you have to have self confidence so you can relax. If you can’t relax you won’t be able to achieve an orgasm with your fiance.

What I would suggest you do is talk with your fiance about what you are feeling. Pull together a plan of how the two of you can work on this together. What worked with my husband and I is him being very committed to giving me an orgasm and me being very committed to relaxing enough to let it happen. Although I was tied up in knots at the thought of my husband going down on me I finally got to a point where I let him. It took quite a few of those sessions before I was able to feel anything. Then finally, I had an orgasm. That was the beginning of a now-great sex life.

You can do this and it will be relationship changing for you.

robdamel's avatar

@lbwhite89 Ah okay, well, agreed with everyone else then on what the problem is. You should trust him more if he is happy with the way you are. After all, since he is your partner whom you try to make happy, then all is well.

sorry if my post offended you. I been on the side countless times where I lost interest in sex with my girlfriend, and I figured the best way was to not do it, leave it for later. It keeps something to look forward to in my relationship. But i see this has nothing to do you wit your situation.

If your body really affects your self-esteem, then its a matter of making it a goal and solving that problem. Don`t say you are screwed, and don`t count on other people. Count on yourself ;)

I once heard somewhere, “If you want it done well, do it yourself.” Other people can help you with words, and by giving you a push, but its up to you. Try to set some goals on how to make yourself feel better. Break it up into smaller goals and reward yourself for accomplishing each one. Talk about it with your partner, maybe leave the rewarding for him to take care of.

Oh, first step about getting a better self-esteem is confidence. Realize what the problem is and accept it. Now, do everything you can to rid yourself of that problem. You`ll start feeling better as soon as you begin doing something about!

There was a topic recently about posting a situation where people had enough about something and what they did to finally face it. Check it out, it definitely should inspire you. Good luck :)

JLeslie's avatar

If I remember correctly you have been through many significant life changes recently, so you are probably stressed and tired. Both impact sexual desire negatively at times. Some of the biggest stresses in life are changing jobs, moving, and relationship changes. I think you have done all of those, not to mention figuring out what to study or pursue as a career in early adulthood is extremely scary for most people.

Pain because you have not done it in a while doesn’t sound right to me. If you are having pain, that might be subconciously causing you to avoid sex, or if you aren’t into the sex you might have pain, kind of chicken or egg, hard to know what is going on. You might want to take a visit to the GYN get cultures done to test for STD’s and a blood test to check hormones. STD’s can change your discharge so it is not lubricating, or hormones can cause a dipecrease in sex drive and lubrication.

tranquilsea's avatar

Another point: if you find you can’t relax you may want to talk to a doctor about having some medication that can temporarily help you relax. My big breakthrough happened when I was taking sleep medication. I wasn’t asleep yet but I was really relaxed when my hubby decided he wanted to try again. Surprise of all surprises it worked. You’d have to be very careful to not use the medication as a crutch through.

The key is to get a lot of good sexual relations under your belt and then the good ones feed your self confidence instead of the bad ones.

SuppRatings's avatar

I may come off as mean, but I promise I am just being brutally honest. I will try to be tactful though. You need to see a sex therapist. From reading your post, it is clear you have some hang ups about sex. This will destroy your relationship, he will cheat on you or end it with you. Sex is very important in a romantic relationship, just as much as talking and communication.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@lbwhite89 You should read Nancy Friday’s Women on Top book. It describes exactly what you are going through, with the body issues, views on oral sex etc.

marinelife's avatar

@lbwhite89 Look around in your area for counseling services that accept payment on a sliding scale or are government-sponsored.

Here is a good article with exercises that you can do to improve your body image.

lbwhite89's avatar

@SuppRatings I’m going to have to respectfully disagree. I have no hang ups about sex. I have hang ups about my body. Nothing about the idea of sex makes me uncomfortable, grossed out, etc. I can talk about sex all day…kinky sex, romantic sex, weird sex, crazy wild animal sex. It’s just that when it comes to doing it, I don’t have any interest. I will do it, but only to please him.

I know this will sound like complete bull from some young girl who knows nothing about life and men and blah blah blah, but my fiance will never cheat on me. As someone who has been cheated on numerous times, he would sooner leave me than cheat on me. As for leaving me, that won’t be happening anytime in the near future. Whenever I bring this subject up, he tells me he understands and for me not to worry about it. Communication is what we do best and he is more than willing to do whatever it takes to support me or help me do whatever it takes to get over this. I know that sex is very important, which is why I’m still concerned about it. Rare sex will not destroy my relationship, but I’d like to improve it before it gets any worse, for him and for myself.

I may very well need therapy for my self esteem issues, but not sex therapy.

@Adirondackwannabe Thank you for the suggestion. I’ll look into it! :)

@JLeslie As for it hurting…it’s partly due to not enough foreplay (my part, not his) and partly due to the fact that I’ve been abnormally tight down there since I can remember. Before I had sex, I couldn’t even get a tampon up there…not even if I lubed it. I can wear them now, but if I wait a few days between sex, it hurts as it stretches. I’ve been checked for STDs, though. I’m clean.

@marinelife Thanks for the link.

JLeslie's avatar

@lbwhite89 You might be having muscle spasms in the area. There are exercises, biofeedback, and other treatments for that. Usually women with that problem have chronic pain though, even when not having sex.

flutherother's avatar

You sound very self conscious about your body and in a mostly negative way. I don’t know what the reason is for that, but it may be the root of the problem. It is not your body as such I don’t think. Take a look at yourself naked in the mirror. Can you not see yourself as your fiancé sees you, that is as someone extremely desirable?

xjustxxclaudiax's avatar

You should talk to a therapist about this. Not only that, but I think you need some girl time. Do you have any girl friends who are also in a relationship? Best friends?..If your open enough, talk to them about it. Maybe they can relate and possibly help you. You girls should also go out and get your hair done, nails, the works. And buy a sexy outfit for yourself to wear in front of your man…Just a little confidence boost and a little fire in the bedroom. Maybe having something little like your toes painted nicely will help you feel a little better about yourself….But still, you might have to seek professional help…


I heard that women who have a low sex drive can boost their interest in sex with testosterone , the male sex hormone responsible for the sex drive in both men and women, administered by their physician. Women naturally produce a bit of testosterone, but only a small amount compared to men, and there is the possibility you may be very low in that department. Check with your doctor.

torchingigloos's avatar

Everyone here is giving perfect advice and all you’re doing is shooting it down and making excuses for yourself. If you ask a question be willing to deal with the advice people give. This is obviously not a good relationship. If it was, you’d be talking to him about this and not an online forum. Time to explore life some more. Now stop making excuses and LOOK… people are trying to help you out here.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Until you feel comfortable with your physique and health (you say you’re dieting) then you’re not going to be able to just concentrate of carnal pleasures of the flesh ;)

Give yourself a mental break and keep doing the things for yourself you believe are healthy and make you feel good, I’ll bet eventually your drive, receptiveness and sensation return or grow even stronger.

These feelings of going in and out of sexual peak happen to lots of women, of all ages. Most of it is triggered by stress, lack of feeling good about the self, lack of feeling secure with surroundings, losing respect for partner, all kinds of changes that couples go through.

ninjacolin's avatar

It sounds very much to me like what you really want is a healthier, more fit body. It sounds like you don’t enjoy the results you’re getting from your current lifestyle in terms of your health and personal upkeep.

lbwhite89's avatar

@torchingigloos I’m not shooting down all of the advice given to me. I’m becoming aware that the problem is my confidence and body image issues. It has nothing to do with my relationship and it is far from a bad one. I do talk to him about this (as I’ve already stated multiple times), but I wanted unbiased advice on what I can do to help fix it. I wasn’t rude to anyone giving advice, even the ones I disagreed with. If I say in my question that I am still in love with him and go on to say that we do not have communication or any other relationship problem, then the issue is obviously elsewhere.

I’m a young girl who has extremely low self esteem that has led to decreased interest in sex. It’s not because I’m in a bad relationship that I need to get out of. If a man was having erectile dysfunction, does that mean that he should leave his wife? No, that’s ridiculous. It’s a problem that I’m causing on my own, and THAT’S the problem I’m asking for advice about.

If I wanted advice on how to mend a broken relationship, that’s what I would have asked for.

bolwerk's avatar

It’s not really socially acceptable to admit, but human beings have a strong desire for sexual variety that doesn’t always mesh well with the cultural assumption that we should be in long-term monogamous relationships. Ruling out a medical problem or stress (you sound busy) or that you’re very self-conscious, it’s possible you just aren’t sexually aroused by your boyfriend – perhaps because the sex is stale. If you’re masturbating, it implies you’re thinking of somebody when you climax, and I will venture a guess that somebody isn’t always your boyfriend. Sex can be stale while everything else goes great (another thing people have a hard time admitting). Spicing things up with some variety seems like something worth trying, and it sounds like you’re deliberately ruling that out.

I really hope you don’t take the medication advice above to heart, but it never hurts to see a therapist and talk about what’s going on. Medication can be decided on later, if other things don’t work. However, other things will take him – you have to try to spice things up, or you have to see what your real problem is either through therapy of introspection. Also, have you considered you don’t want to be “helped”? That you’re fine, and perhaps the real problem is you’re just not so interested in the person you’re seeing – either romantically, sexually, or both? You may want to consider, if you’re not going to have sex with him, it’s fair that you let him have sex with other people. There’s no reason that should necessarily kill an otherwise good relationship. Monogamy is not for everybody, and it’s probably not even for most people.

lbwhite89's avatar

@bolwerk Very interesting advice. :) I don’t think the problem has gotten that serious quite yet for us. If it did, and I honestly just would NOT have sex, I wouldn’t be opposed to letting him have the freedom to find it elsewhere. However, he simply wouldn’t do it. He’s very much the monogamy person. And it may sound strange, but I don’t normally think of anyone or anything in particular when I masturbate. I don’t do it often, but even when I do I’m not that girl that lights candles, gets in a bubble bath, and plays with herself for an hour with fantasies running through her head. I’d just get bored if I tried that.

I’m interested in him romantically for sure. I am interested in him sexually in that I think he’s hot, gorgeous, adorable, sexy, etc. I just wish I felt sexy too. If I did, I don’t think I’d have a problem jumping in the sack with him. And as for wanting help, I definitely do. He’d be amazing in bed if I gave him the opportunity to be. But when we do have sex, I just can’t let myself go enough to let him do what he wants to do to me. I want him to be pleased sexually, but I don’t let myself have the same reward.

I have to admit, though, that your off-the-beaten-path advice was sort of…refreshing. It’s not for us, but it’s a very interesting view to have on relationships, sex, and life in general. :)

JLeslie's avatar

I once heard on a radio show that men don’t get why their female SO’s are so worried abut every wrinkle or little bit of fat on their bodies. The men went on to say that women need to get that their wives naked bodies are like a playground, all full of fun. They aren’t critiquing every little grain of sand in the sandbox.

lbwhite89's avatar

@JLeslie Katt Williams, a standup comedian if you aren’t familiar, made a joke about women that worry too much about their appearance. He said that a man won’t get in the middle of sex and then stop because her fingernail and toenail colors don’t match. haha. And Bill Engvall commented on how men love “boobies” no matter if they’re small, big, perky, saggy, etc. as long as they could play with them. :) Plenty of other male comedians have said the same things.

I know the thoughts about my body are a bit ridiculous. I’m 5’5” and I weigh 137 lbs. I’m not even technically overweight, but I can’t remember the last time I was happy with my body. My fiance tells me that I must look in the mirror and see a totally distorted image of myself. I’m incredibly critical about every single body part. Body Dysmorphic Disorder could even be a possibility. I just never sought help because I do not have anorexia or bulimia.

I think I need to focus on making myself more confident. As long as I’m doing it in a healthy way, I can work to make my body weight what I’d like it to be and go from there. I need to be kinder to myself and stop worrying so much. I feel like I’m missing out on so much because I’m constantly worried about how I look. My fiance thinks he knows the full extent of it, but I’m embarrassed to tell ANYONE how bad it actually is.

JLeslie's avatar

@lbwhite89 Another thought came to mind. Start masterbating more. The more turned on you are, the more turned on you will be. Also, if you enjoy your body sexually, you might start to believe that he enjoys it too. Some people recommend starting naked in a mirror, looking touching. You don’t have to be completely naked, but more then just laying in bed just touching the right places and having it over with in three minutes.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

What @JLeslie just wrote above works, especially if you’re brave enough to exercise naked and grow to be comfortable not only looking at your naked reflection but eventually recognizing and liking what you see there as “you”.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Don’t discount the possibility of nutrient deficiency. Sometimes not having the right nutrients, which many people with industrialized diets don’t, can throw hormones and other things out of whack. For instance, B vitamins or biologically available iodine. Iodine from kelp or other natural sources helps the thyroid, which effects lots of things, including sex drive. And, lots of women have thyroid problems border on hypothyroidism without knowing it.

Plus, consuming healthy amounts of these things can only help your health, even if it doesn’t happen to help your sex problem. :)

deni's avatar

I don’t think you need therapy….but I do think that you just need to let go, and not think about the little things that really do not matter. I know that having hairy legs can make you feel gross, but does your boyfriend give a shit at all? Probably not…I’ve never met a guy that did. Or, rather, I’ve never met a decent guy who did. I’ve also never met a guy who didn’t love giving oral. Your boyfriend probably really really wants to…have you talked about it? You shouldn’t feel self conscious unless you have some weird odor issue, which I assume you don’t. I know it’s easier said than done but if you weren’t worrying about all this stuff I bet you would have a much easier time relaxing and enjoying sex, therefore you’d want it more, AND I also bet it wouldn’t hurt when you did have sex. I really don’t think that only having sex once a week would make it hurt when you do have sex. Right? I mean that’s pretty much what the vag is made for….it seems to me (because this is an ongoing problem for me as well) that it hurts because you’re a bit tense or nervous or feeling worried or something that is making you tense up….and that’s when sex hurts.

I feel you on this one. I’ve even pinpointed my exact problems, and I’ve talked about it all with my boyfriend, but it’s a hard thing to correct and work on. Goooooood luck.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@marinelife, I agree with the great benefits that therapy can provide for @lbwhite89.

Initially, the focus should be on exploring her feelings and experience with sexual pleasure. A treatment plan based on sensate focus should follow. Later on the significant other should be included in the process as she learns to enjoy and desire sexual stimulation.

@lbwhite89: You may contact be through my support service described in my profile. I do not charge for the help I provide.

kheredia's avatar

@lbwhite89 I’m in the exact same position as you are. I’m getting married in June with the man I love and have loved for the past 4 years but my sex drive has dropped significantly in the last year. I sometimes think that maybe it’s stress because I work and go to school as well. Then I think maybe I’m uncomfortable in my own body because I’m not “skinny”. I’ve also thought that maybe it’s because I’m always tired. The truth is, I don’t know what exactly it is and I feel horrible because I know that it bothers him. I have considered getting some counseling because I don’t want this to hurt my relationship. Perhaps you should consider doing the same. I really hope you can find the answers you need because I know the frustration that this situation can cause.

lbwhite89's avatar

@kheredia I’m so glad that there’s someone in the same situation as I am in. I don’t feel like such a freak anymore. Thanks so much for answering. :)

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AnonymousWoman's avatar

You remind me of myself in a way. It sounds like what is wrong is how you feel (or felt) about yourself. Perhaps realizing you are not alone will help (or already has helped) you.

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