My sex drive plummeted after my BF moved in. WTF?
April 5, 2014 12:00 PM   Subscribe

My boyfriend and I have been dating for 1.5 years, and he recently moved into my duplex with me. Now that we're living together, I just don't feel sexy or like I'm wanting sexytimes. :( It's very distressing, and I'm not sure what to do.

Until recently, we saw each other every 3 weeks because of his work. I felt a lot of desire for him! Now we live together and my desire has dropped off. I don't know what gives! Some ideas:

* I've gained about 10-15 pounds over the last year, and also haven't been exercising much. I'm going to work on those things.

*My bf has some issues with maintaining erection and rarely orgasms through sex.

*We've done a lot of negotiating about things like positions because I like more vanilla sex and he wants more variety and pressure. This has at times made me feel obligated. This might be contributing.

* In general because he wants sex more than I do, he often feels frustrated. We are working on trying to schedule sex, but sometimes that also feels like an obligation. But the truth is I just don't feel desire like I did before. Recently he noticed I was trying to avoid sex and he felt very bad. I did too.

I would be very interested in hearing how other people in this situation have resolved it. I love my bf very much and want to feel sexy again!
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (8 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
When you only see each other every three weeks, sex is in low supply and therefore heavy demand. Now that you've moved in together, scarce supply has been eradicated and it's normal for demand to drop after an initial binge.

Having said that, given all of the issues you two deal with around sex, I'm not surprised you're finding sex a point of stress rather than desire. It sounds to me like the two of you need to take intercourse off the table and find less contentious, more mutually satisfying ways to please yourselves together -- vibrators, dildos, Fleshlights, oral, manual, joint masturbation, etc.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:29 PM on April 5, 2014 [5 favorites]

I think it's pretty normal to feel a drop off in the intensity of sexual desire when you go from long distance to seeing each other every day. Think about it- when you saw each other every three weeks, you had three weeks of saving up your sexual energy, thinking about and missing each other, and only a few days to (ahem) expend it all. Now that you live together, you can use some of that physical desire for hugging, kissing, snuggling on the couch, cuddling in bed, etc. etc. It's less of a feast or famine situation and more of a constant regular diet of whatever amount of physical contact works for you guys.

I think it takes time to adjust to this (or at least, it did for me). I found that I was accustomed to feeling desire as "HOLY CRAP I missed you so much, let's get naked immediately!!!!" and it took time to get used to moving from lower key "oh hey that's nice, I like you" into sex, if that makes sense. You guys might also have to talk about initiating sex and what your expectations are- more regular access to each other makes this a little harder/different than being long distance, which for me at least being together=automatic assumption of sex whenever possible because you only have so much time together.

The most important thing for me, though, as the person with the slightly lower sex drive and more anxiety over it (as it sounds like you are) was to CHILL OUT about it. Me feeling guilty and weird and stressed over oh no has it been too long, ugh I've been so tired, am I being unfair if I just want to cuddle? was completely and utterly not conducive to feeling more like sex. This is where talking about it and having a partner who is understanding of the need for adjustment to your new situation is especially important, imo. Also realizing that living together means more sex overall, and being ok with every time not being amazing and perfect and mind blowing for both parties. Sometimes it's nicer to just get naked and do stuff and see what happens, and not stress out about things not working quite right or one person wanting to stop a little earlier or whatever, because you can always try again later, no pressure.

I hope this is helpful! Another thing I didn't mention is remembering to cultivate your own sex drive and sense of being sexy, in whatever way works for you (exercising, masturbating, making an effort to dress up and look nice for your partner, etc.) WITHOUT it being explicitly about attracting your partner or having more sex.
posted by MadamM at 12:41 PM on April 5, 2014 [5 favorites]

My guess: not only has sex gone from scarce to something that's always available and therefore not special; it's also that living with your boyfriend has made him more familiar. Morning breath and laundry and "did you clean the catbox/no it's your turn to clean the catbox" and all the rest of your daily routine are not sexy.

The only thing I can honestly recommend is exercise, because for some people the increased circulation sort of wakes the whole body up, including the libido. But as far as conquering the mental part, the part where it's hard to feel physical excitement about your omnipresent live-in partner? If you figure out a solution to that one, you'll deserve a Nobel prize.
posted by fingersandtoes at 1:05 PM on April 5, 2014 [3 favorites]

have you recently started using hormonal birth control? That can have a huge effect on the libido.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:33 PM on April 5, 2014 [3 favorites]

It sounds like your sexual incompatibilities are being brought to the forefront because they're something you now have to negotiate on a daily basis, rather than once every three weeks with the added handwave factor of the LDR longing. You guys are going to have to get creative and really talk about the ways you can both meet each other's sexual needs.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 2:40 PM on April 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

When you were infrequently seeing each other you probably "cleared the calendar" so you had time/energy to spend together. Are you still doing that or is sex now just one more chore in a never-ending list of things that have to be done. Maybe agree to "schedule" (I know you don't like it, but try it a couple of times) every two weeks (a compromise between the previous three weeks and your current rarely), one day that is just you guys doing what you want with no chores or errands - because both of you equally and proactively got those chores out of the way in anticipation. This does not work if you have burnt yourself out the night before doing everything you had mentally scheduled yourself for that "free day" though. It has to be an equal effort. Maybe even getting a room for the nigh so you aren't in the same old sleeping bed. Hopefully you can jump-start things.
posted by saucysault at 3:34 PM on April 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think it's lovely that you have this much self awareness about your sex drive and how it's changed. It's very common for (some) women to have a lower libido once they begin cohabitating with a partner.

Have you been up front with your boyfriend about this, in the way that you have explained here? If not, I would recommend opening up about the fact that your desire has decreased -- saying almost exactly what you do here: "I just don't feel sexy or like I'm wanting sexytimes. :( It's very distressing, and I'm not sure what to do." Then give him the other details that you've given us.

Relationship issues can't be addressed by one person coming up with a plan. This has to be addressed as a team. No shame, no blame, just the reality that you're experiencing and your desire. There are, of course, *some* things you can do on your own -- Your intuition about doing something to get active again sounds like a very good place to start. Here are some other suggestions/questions/reactions:

1) All of the icky feelings you have about sex these days (anxiety, worrying about his feelings, possibly thinking of it as an obligation) -- first, just get comfortable with accepting that this is how you feel. Sit with it for a while without trying to do something about it.

2) At some point relatively soon, share these feelings with him. And if that's a scary process, be honest with him about that, too.

3) It sounds to me that you have more than the typical "one partner has a higher sex drive" issue going on .. it would trouble me if my partner rarely reached orgasm. Do you think you two are just sexually incompatible? "Negotiating" is not really how I think two compatible people approach sex .. while listening and adapting is something every couple does, "negotiating" sounds very business-like and stressful. If you two don't want the same things in bed and aren't turned on by what the other wants, then you may just not be good lovers for each other.

4) I'm curious why you have stayed in a relationship for 1.5 years with someone who doesn't want the same thing as you in bed. Is sex just not that important to you? Incidentally, seeing a lover (and presumably having sex) once every three weeks is not that frequent. Even if you "really" desired him during those times, that would strike me as a fairly low libido, period. But people differ in how much they want/ need sex and how much importance they accord it in their lives. How important is it to you? To your partner?
posted by Gray Skies at 3:44 PM on April 5, 2014 [3 favorites]

Do you reach orgasm during sex? Does he have any intention to work on his issues (or commit to only doing things that you like) so that sex isn't a long, uncomfortable, slog for you? What I'm hearing is that he wants you to want to do things you don't like. That sounds unreasonable and unsexy.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:13 AM on April 6, 2014 [4 favorites]

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