I am never horny
November 26, 2020 6:15 AM   Subscribe

I feel like if I never had sex in my life again, I could be totally fine. But is something wrong? Am I missing out on life?

I, late 20s F, have never really enjoyed sex. I've only had sex with one person, my current partner (who is male and the same age as me), and back when we were younger I was definitely hornier, but then it pretty much petered out after a year or two (and we didn't have sex that much either). The only way I have ever had an orgasm is through masturbation. I don't even masturbate these days and even if I do, I can't really orgasm, or if I do, it feels like a "weak" orgasm. I don't really like porn although sometimes it does get me aroused ... but actually, even when that happens now, arousal sometimes causes my genitals to just kind of hurt and feel like they can't actually achieve orgasm, which is sort of new (within the past 2-4 years)... it's like maybe parts of me are somewhat aroused but everything else isn't enthusiastic and that results in an odd discomfort.

I've never had an orgasm from penetrative sex, and I've never had penetration feel comfortable (it always feels uncomfortable, if not actively really painful). I also never really liked oral sex either - never orgasmed from it. My partner measured his penis and apparently it is considered really large(?), about 7.5-8 inches and also quite thick, so I am not sure if that's part of it. My partner and I basically do not have sex, which I think he misses but is tolerating. We have a happy, very affectionate and cuddly relationship otherwise.

My lack of interest in sex doesn't bother me and I rarely think about it, until every now and then I hear about other people my age having all this sex and I wonder if there is something wrong with me or grossly atypical about my experience. The problem isn't even actually the sex anymore, it's that it has now developed to a point where I don't even have an interest in masturbation / it doesn't do anything for me.

Hormonally, there was a time where I wasn't regularly getting a period, so the low estrogen and testosterone probably would have explained it, but I get a very regular cycle now so I think my hormones are pretty much normal.

No particular cultural or religious beliefs about sex that would be inhibiting me. No trauma. No health issues that I know of aside from low blood pressure. I don't think I identify as asexual but I certainly kinda feel asexual. I guess I should probably start with a doctor, but I just wonder if anybody has ever experienced something like this and remedied it.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (33 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Asexual doesn't imply aromantic (they are separate things). Asexuality also comes in gradations (look up "grey ace"). There's not necessarily anything wrong with you.
posted by heatherlogan at 6:39 AM on November 26, 2020 [13 favorites]


If neither you nor your partner are unhappy, there is nothing to fix. Now, it's important to say that you shouldn't feel like you have to fix your lack of sexual desire for your partner. If they are unhappy, what needs fixing is that unhappiness. Maybe you try various things to see if they get you to yes. Maybe that gets fixed through some other outlets. Maybe that is fixed through finding a new relationship. But the bottom line is, you aren't broken or even abnormal, there's something other people like that you don't.

I know a lot of people who found comfort in reading a lot more about asexuality, aromantic, and gray ace. It's nice to know enough people are like this that there's a term and community out there. I know people who didn't want a label, you don't need a label to learn more.
posted by advicepig at 7:05 AM on November 26, 2020 [4 favorites]


No. You’re not missing out. The only time I ever enjoyed sex was when I had a partner a few years ago who was actually into the sensual aspect of sex, and turns out that what I was actually not fond of was BAD sex. If the sex you’re having hurts and results in barely any pleasure at best, much less actual pain, then you’re having bad sex in which you are not sufficiently aroused. If your partner isn’t making sure you’re sufficiently aroused before initiating PIV, then he is not good at sex. It has nothing to do with his dick size. It has nothing to do with your body parts. Everything you’re feeling is classic “not into it” lack of arousal.

If he wants you to be a more responsive and enthusiastic sexual partner, then he needs to get A LOT better at being a skilled sexual partner himself, and that doesn’t just mean doing things in bed, that also means engaging you emotionally so that intimate time in bed is a pleasant experience and not one where you are now obliged to do the painful thing he wants.

Or, you can break up with him and just be celibate. Really. You are not missing out on ANYTHING. You say you can orgasm through masturbation, so it’s not like you’ll be condemned to an orgasm-less desert. I hereby award you lifetime permission to never have bad sex again. If your partner is willing to listen and experiment and be patient, then you might be able to improve the sex aspect of your relationship. If he’s the kind of guy who reverts to the same routine all the time (kiss, play with boobs for way too long, assume that any vaginal moisture at all is the same as being fully aroused, say things like “Well, *I* got off, so what’s the problem?” or “All my other girlfriends liked what I did, so it must be your fault”) then ...don’t bother. You do not need to waste your vagina on someone who doesn’t appreciate it.

Some people might say, “Well, nobody can help you orgasm during sex if you don’t relax and tell them exactly how to do it” or other garbage. Bullshit. If you wanted to just relax and have an orgasm, you could masturbate, and get that any time you felt like it. When a partner is really into you, personally, and clearly enjoys the experience of being with you no matter what you’re doing, who will just touch you because they want to touch you, then it’s a hell of a lot easier to get there yourself. When you’re with a partner who approaches sex like it’s a contest to do the absolute minimum foreplay required to physically enable him to get to penetration, who acts like lube is a sufficient substitution for arousal, and who acts impatient with the idea that he should delay his own pleasure because you need more time to get into it, then you’ll wind up with unpleasant, painful, bad sex. Because no shit.

But you don’t have to do it. Ever. Spending the rest of your life NOT getting vaginal rug burn is a positive, I promise. It may or may not lead to better sex in the future, but bad sex is NOT better than none.
posted by Autumnheart at 7:07 AM on November 26, 2020 [27 favorites]


There are many reasons it could be, and yes one could be you're asexual. If you're having other things happen, like low enthusiasm/energy in general, depression, etc. that might be a reason to see a doctor. But if it's just lack of interest in sex, period, that just might be how you are.

Just FYI very few women have orgasms from penetrative sex alone, and large penises don't have much of anything to do with it.
posted by emjaybee at 7:08 AM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]


Honestly, this is only a problem if it's a problem for you - if you want to be having more sex, or desiring it more. Or if it's a problem in your relationship, because (like many, if not most couples) you have different sex-drives. It's not a good idea to be comparing yourself to other people (who are unlikely to be 100% truthful or representative anyway), or to fictional representations of sex in movies, books, porn.

For instance, it's not common for women to orgasm from piv sex alone, so you are statistically average there.

Also, not having sex very often, or not wanting it much, is far more normal than most people realize. There are some interesting conversations over at mumsnet about this issue. Here and here - but I bet you'd find more on the site.

If sex is painful or uncomfortable, I would advise talking to a sensitive and sex-positive doctor - someone at a sexual health clinic specifically, who deals with this all the time. If it's just that you worry you ought to want something you don't, then that's an area where reading more about myths v reality of sex would perhaps help.
posted by EllaEm at 7:11 AM on November 26, 2020 [3 favorites]


Oh, and by the way, dudes being terrible at sex: super duper common. I mean sure, go see a doctor just to make sure you’re healthy, but there’s no reason to assume that you have a hormone problem or are asexual, when the answer is almost invariably “I’m not turned on because this isn’t a turn-on for me”. Especially for dudes raised on porn, where you’re dealing with literal years of programming, where what they believe is pleasurable sex really isn’t.
posted by Autumnheart at 7:17 AM on November 26, 2020 [15 favorites]


For what it's worth, I bought myself a nice selection of black rings (a symbol of asexuality, worn on the second finger of the right hand) earlier this year, and the main thing I felt about it was relief. Having spent much of a twenty-year marriage being pressured for sex I didn't want, sex that was sometimes painful when I gave in... the thought of just not ever having to do that again was really quite glorious.

I have every sympathy with folks who feel that labels are limiting or essentializing. For me, though, "ace" has been freeing. It might be worth your while to think about applying one or another of the ace-spectrum labels to yourself, not to keep it necessarily, but just to see how the idea makes you feel. Might lead to more clarity for you?
posted by humbug at 7:28 AM on November 26, 2020 [6 favorites]


Any chance at all it’s just sex with men you’re not into?
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:38 AM on November 26, 2020 [12 favorites]


I was the same way throughout my teens and 20s and then the horny hit in my early 30s like a wrecking ball. My ability to orgasm changed as well. Not saying this happens to all women but as we age our hormones obviously change and mine just happened to swing in the direction of a teenage boy.
posted by Young Kullervo at 7:41 AM on November 26, 2020 [7 favorites]


super extremely normal and common.

And while it's possible (likely, even) that your guy is bad at sex (so many of them are); it's also very common for women to be turned off by the very comfort and familiarity of a long term monogamous partnership (gruesome irony! but true.) a fair amount has been written about this (although not nearly as much as other pernicious nonsense.) if you're interested i'll come back and recommend a couple of books. Esther Perel's work, I think, is the most cited; but there's another one I read a while back that I thought was more illuminating.

In any event, I don't think there's anything wrong with you. I also do not actually believe this can be "remedied", although there is a whole industry out there who would love to pathologize it and sell you testosterone supplements and a whole bunch of other useless-or-worse shit. If it could be "remedied", the entire "not tonight dear I have a headache" trope would not even be a thing.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:54 AM on November 26, 2020 [4 favorites]


Here to recommend Emily Nagoski's Come As You Are. You are not abnormal. There is nothing wrong with you, but mismatched desire can certainly be a source of stress in a relationship. Seconding Esther Perel.
posted by SinAesthetic at 8:16 AM on November 26, 2020 [11 favorites]


I wish I could give you a hug (or if you're not into hugs, a prudently distanced nod of respect.)

I don't think you need to be fixed. You've heard lots of good responses above and I hope some of them are resonating. I wanted to add on as someone who's been in a similar place, and nth that (any potential medical issues excluded) this is only a problem to the extent it's interfering with your happiness and well-being. Sometimes it's hard and sometimes tbh I wish I could be different, and maybe somebody some switch will flip in my brain and I will be, but I can't live my life waiting for that. It helped me to recognize consciously that sex I was willing to have but didn't want to have just made me feel lousy. (Which sounds obvious but this stuff really can be super hard to figure out.)

One thing that helped me was finding a local ace meetup (the one near me is remote right now but still active.) Even though I'd known ace-identifying people before, the first time I got to sit around a table chatting with people who (are still on a huuuuuge spectrum but) Got It was a really positive experience for me. And we always had people there--not necessarily the newest people--who were questioning or not interested in a label.

Seeing a doctor is solid advice but if you end up feeling most yourself at "kinda feel asexual" or kinda anything else that's a totally okay place to be and you're not alone there.
posted by jameaterblues at 8:30 AM on November 26, 2020 [2 favorites]


No particular cultural or religious beliefs about sex that would be inhibiting me. No trauma.

Nothing wrong that needs to be fixed, but this stuff can be hard to figure out on your own. a good therapist can assist in finding areas that elicit heightened emotion and show you your own desires and inhibitions (and ambivalent feeings) in sexual contexts.

you're ok no matter what - just sharing that i learned a lot this way - maybe useful.
fwiw - cis/het/male
posted by j_curiouser at 8:39 AM on November 26, 2020 [3 favorites]


Um, I dunno... my knee jerk reaction is to scream : hell yes you are missing out.

My theory is that you've (like many of us) were divorced from your pleasure circuitry because our patriarchy "rewards" that with being called a "good girl" who doesn't do the sex stuff.

Our reward was the "crazy-making" option of being a man's sex-toy/object/free-labor/therapist/mama/possession forever branded as "happily ever after" by propaganda fairy tales.

Um... I feel like you ARE missing out. You missed out big time and were re-wired. You missed out on exploration and laughing and joy and rolling orgasms and mystery and smells and water-breaks and shaky knees and finding out how your body works in a loving and passionate arena because the culture told you what to expect from one, equally poorly-rewired-man.

The difference between you and your partner is that the world is created in his image, so he can bend his desires in any ways he wants - the internet and media will provide him with endless fodder to keep his sexual physiological responses moving, even though you two may not feel so connected anymore. There's a market for his problem.

And from my experience he'll be told that this is a "you both" problem - so like, (from my experience) you're gonna have to do more work than he will to keep this alive. You're gonna have to bend to him, hold your nose and barter with "love languages."

In this circumstance it's easier to kill your own sex drive (unconsciously) than it is to cope with what's been stolen from you.

For you... honestly I think you should read Come as you Are, and Intercourse by Andrea Dworkin. When you start piecing yourself back together, I hope you can find the experiences that I think you still have plenty of opportunity to explore if you want. They're there there waiting for you.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 8:43 AM on November 26, 2020 [17 favorites]


That was a long way for me to say - it's happened to me, it happens to a lot of married women, and I've seen many of us leave our marriages to find what we've missed out on without regret or apology. And I wish that for you too!
posted by Dressed to Kill at 8:45 AM on November 26, 2020 [5 favorites]


It took me years to realise I was asexual. I tried everything to fix myself. I blamed the patriarchy, I blamed trauma, I blamed my religious upbringing. So I went to the doctors and I went to therapy and I read self help books and I worked at it for years. And it didn't get any better.

So I gave up. And now I never have to have sex I don't want again. And I might want to in the future. But I don't right now. And that is such a relief.

So yeah, try your doctor and try therapy but also take some pressure off yourself.
That said, not getting an orgasm from penetrative sex alone is pretty normal for most women.

(Asexuality is generally defined as a lack of sexual orientation - you may still have a romantic orientation - so it's a lot about how you feel about people as well and whether you feel attracted to people.)
posted by Laura_J at 9:51 AM on November 26, 2020 [5 favorites]


Some of what you’re describing (weak/hard to achieve orgasms and lower sexual desire) could be related to SSRIs or certain other psych meds, if you’re taking them. If so, changing meds/finding meds that don’t cause that for you can be tricky but it’s something to consider and a legitimate reason to ask a psych med prescriber to try something different.

Also, as something of an aside, the recently-published book Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex by Angela Chen is a really interesting, well-done deep dive into relationships, sex, and the ways we talk and think about them and you might find it useful.
posted by needs more cowbell at 10:19 AM on November 26, 2020 [2 favorites]


"Arousal sometimes causes my genitals to just kind of hurt and feel like they can't actually achieve orgasm"

Other comments have covered a lot of great book recommendations and offered reassurance already, so I'll just pop in to say - if you're having pain during arousal, it might be worth discussing it with a trusted healthcare provider or gynecologist?
posted by cnidaria at 10:21 AM on November 26, 2020 [9 favorites]


My partner and I basically do not have sex, which I think he misses but is tolerating.

A big question is whether he's actually happy with the situation or seething underneath at being denied what's a normal part of most relationships. See deadbedrooms for the other side of this. There's nothing wrong being being asexual or uninterested in sex, but it is bad to keep a relationship going that an unhappy partner may feel resentment towards but unable to back out of (particularly during covid times). Have a hard but important conversation about this with him. And be aware of what pressures you're putting on him to keep the relationship going if he's not happy. I wasted years in a miserable relationship with a borderline asexual who who guilt me into staying every time I tried to break it off. We'd both have been happier in the long run if we'd just admitted we weren't compatible early on and found partners that better suited our needs.
posted by Candleman at 11:28 AM on November 26, 2020 [8 favorites]


For what it's worth, as a person who increasingly sees myself closer to asexual than "normal" sexual... I really disliked Come As You Are. I had no interest in identifying as "a person who loves sex". The metaphors, which the book is chock full of, did not resonate with me at all. I know it's often recommended here, and I bought it on that recommendation, but I found it didn't leave space for folks who just... aren't sexual. Who don't relate to on and off pedals. Given the that the book spends time on how "everybody is normal!", I felt very, vey unseen when I finished it.

My husband is great in bed, I enjoy sex when we have it, I orgasm easily, and I'm still... Just not that interested! So sure, explore whether sex differently would make you feel differently, but it's fine if you don't. You're not missing out. Sex is just one of many, many things that could bring joy and pleasure in your life.
posted by stillnocturnal at 12:11 PM on November 26, 2020 [12 favorites]


I also came here to recommend Ace! As people are saying, a lot of this is really individual—it's a question of whether you are being prevented (by physiology, trauma, inept partner, etc.) from doing something you want to do, or simply don't want to do something that the culture is telling you is required for normality. The fact that you said "is something wrong?" sort of suggests the latter, but the fact that you asked for stories where people have "remedied" low desire sort of suggests the former. We can't really know that, and you might not know for sure either! However, I think reading more about asexuality would at least be clarifying—you might see yourself there and you might not, but in either case it might give you more vocabulary for what you're experiencing.
posted by babelfish at 12:33 PM on November 26, 2020 [4 favorites]


I don't particularly see myself as asexual and Come As You Are didn't really resonate with me either (and the tone/style felt grating), which made me feel weird since it's so highly recommended here. I think it can probably be great and paradigm-shifting for some folks but it's not going to be for everyone. If you don't like the book, you're still normal too! (lol)

I do personally find the general concept of "responsive desire" useful, which is partly why I read the book, but the writing about it there didn't feel more useful to me than what I'd seen online in various places after googling. YMMV.
posted by needs more cowbell at 12:53 PM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]


Are you on the pill or other medication?

I felt a variation of this on the pill. Sex without it (which I didn't have until I went off it) was a whole nother world entirely. I think since you can no longer achieve orgasm solo it's worth checking if there's something medical going on.

If not, and you're both genuinely fine with it, then it's fine.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:57 PM on November 26, 2020 [2 favorites]


>it's like maybe parts of me are somewhat aroused but everything else isn't enthusiastic and that results in an odd discomfort.

This sounds like there’s a *response* because there’s mechanical stimulation but maybe that you’re not really fully in the headspace one needs to be in to really relax? I think you have to be relaxed to enjoy yourself, alone or with someone. Are you stressed? (From work or anything, not just your relationship.)

Since this is a new phenom, you said 2-4 years? It seems more situational. I wouldn’t jump to categorizing yourself as a this or that before looking into it more deeply, or trying some of the suggestions above.

Maybe it’s stress. Maybe it’s to do with the relationship. Could also be a health thing (are you sedentary? That can kill libido. Luckily working out can help if it’s just that.) Quick edit: also some people use pot to relax.

But yeah I think you’re missing out.

(Also yeah, a lot of men are terrible at oral so I wouldn’t count that as a benchmark. Penetration alone doesn’t yield Os for most women. Def check out those books.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 1:15 PM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]


Oddly, one thing that may be going on is that your partner may be the one who is not too much into sex and has to have certain kinds of personal stimulation in order to perform or orgasm at all. If his repertoire is limited and he's not coming across as really aroused then you may be responding to that where a partner who was thoroughly enjoying himself might be able to trigger a response in you. It often happens that guys get so they need a certain type of stimulation at a certain angle to get any pleasure. Sometimes this is due to conditioning, as when they have been masturbating and doing it really intensely, so anything less intense no longer works, or sometimes it happens when their vascular health is suffering, particularly if there is a testosterone drop due to age and lack of successes.

Good sex is a feedback loop where one of you gets aroused and that arouses the other one, which then arouses the first one more... if that is not happening then it's no wonder you feel like sex isn't working.

The fact that you don't know for sure if your guy is unhappy or not about the loss of your shared sex life could be because his feelings about it are not strong - sex is meh for him too, or could be because his difficulty performing either to satisfy you or himself is threatening and saddening enough that his feelings are so strong that he doesn't want to even think about it. It's definitely work considering if what is happening is that neither of you are really getting aroused.

Finding arousal uncomfortable is sometimes something they used to call "pelvic congestion" and more gentle foreplay or massage on the genital area, and a hot bath can help with this. It can happen that some of the structures involved in arousal are not as elastic as they might be because they haven't been used. If you wanted to work on this I would suggest masturbating in the bath. (Please note that there is something else now called pelvic congestion which has to do with varicose veins and is not the same at all. I'm using the term the way I first heard of it when it described something closer to priapism, where the area gets engorged but it doesn't lead to an orgasm or go away and the area feels uncomfortably tight. Back in the day when anorgasmia was considered normal in women this was a thing that women complained about when they had sex but never had orgasms.)

You might want to think about the various scenes and tropes that you find most fulfilling when you read or watch movies. Sometimes that can be a key to figuring out what kind of dynamics work for you. A dynamic that may not on the surface appear sexual could be one that works for you. If you figure out that you are aroused by something such as stories of schoolboy angst, it won't do much for your sex life with your partner, but could help you understand your own arousal pattern and show you a path towards some enjoyable sexual feelings.
posted by Jane the Brown at 1:20 PM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]


When I was your age I had a libido the size of Sandusky, Ohio. I was choosy about my partners, but once someone earned my trust I would have happily had sex 36 straight hours with them. I was content with that.

Then a couple years ago, likely because of menopause, my libido just completely and totally VANISHED. I was (and still am) single, so there's no one I am disappointing with my disinterest, and save for an occasional messing about with a trusty "toy", I just do other things with my time. I am content with that.

I think asking yourself whether you are "normal" isn't quite the right way to go about it, or whether you are "missing out" one way or the other. I have lived both ends of that extreme, after all, and have found a way to be content both ways. Instead, I would ask yourself whether you personally are content. If you are, then it doesn't matter what the rest of the world thinks is normal. If you're not, then it doesn't matter what anyone says you "should" do. What other people do is what they do. You do you - it is your life and you get to choose how you spend it. I mean, there are people who probably think that I am "missing out" by not eating casu marzu cheese or balut, but who cares because come on, I will never eat that so oh well.

Also:

My lack of interest in sex doesn't bother me and I rarely think about it, until every now and then I hear about other people my age having all this sex and I wonder if there is something wrong with me or grossly atypical about my experience.

It is entirely possible that what you hear about other people having "all this sex" may be made up by people trying to boast that they are these Unquenchable Sex Gods. Yet another reason not to compare yourself to them.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:52 PM on November 26, 2020 [5 favorites]


A few things in your post give me pause. First, if arousal causes you physical pain or discomfort, I would strongly suggest that you see a gynaecologist.

Second, it's normal for women not to become aroused from penetrative sex. Third (following on from the second point), penis size is also pretty much irrelevant. These are ideas about sex popularised by porn, which bears very little similarity to the way that sex actually works in real life. In my personal experience, the most significant element of sex is mental state -- if I'm not mentally in the right space, the mechanics of sex (whether solo or with another person) are just friction. They don't do anything by themselves.

Fourth, another idea which seems to be popular is that there's some objective standard of attractiveness and that attractive people of the same gender are essentially interchangeable, so if you don't find a particular person of the appropriate gender attractive, then there must be something wrong with you. And maybe there are some people whose brains really are wired like this -- but mine certainly isn't. I become attracted to very specific people, those people usually aren't "conventionally attractive", and if I'm not attracted to someone I have zero interest in having sex with them. Fifth, it's possible for your feelings for someone to change.

I've had extended periods when I wasn't interested in sex at all. There were times when I wondered if something was "wrong", and if I would ever spontaneously feel sexual attraction again. In my case, the overarching problem was that I was no longer happy in my relationship but didn't want to acknowledge it, and subsequently I experienced a rollercoaster of emotions after the relationship ended, which was also not conducive to arousal. And then, after some time had passed, it turned out that yes, I could still experience attraction.

Of course you are not me, and some of this may be completely off-base. Asexuals are real, and there's nothing wrong with not being interested in sex. But I would caution you against picking an explanation and fixating on it as The Obvious Answer. I've done that before, because I wanted to believe literally anything other than that I was no longer attracted to or in love with my partner (who was also my first and only sexual partner) and that we should break up. I switched from taking the pill to an IUD because I convinced myself that the hormones in the pill were suppressing my libido (by a happy coincidence I actually like my IUD more than taking the pill, but it was a stupid reason to change, and it didn't fix anything). I spent years of my life navigating my partner's resentment about my lack of enthusiasm for sex, coming up with explanations for my behaviour which were intended to reassure me as well as him.

I urge you to reevaluate whether you are happy and fulfilled in your current relationship -- not because having lots of sex is some kind of magical experience that you're missing out on, but because I know how easy it is to become so used to a comfortable, mediocre situation that you don't notice it getting progressively worse and worse until you are really miserable. Both you and your partner deserve a compatible partner -- whether that means, for you, someone who is also not interested in a sexual relationship, or someone that you are sexually attracted to.
posted by confluency at 2:04 PM on November 26, 2020 [11 favorites]


Oh here's another way you can look at it: If you're WONDERING whether you're missing out - you already ARE.

If you're Wondering whether something is wrong with you - it's not that you're necessarily seeing that you're broken (you're not) but I suspect that you are recognizing something *has been done* to you and you don't know what and you don't know how to get out of it.

I think what's been "done" is that you've become a successful candidate for marriage, and you've got the "ideal" situation according to patriarchal standards. Your wistful thoughts, dreams etc. don't figure into that model.



If you're fulfilled, you don't sit wistfully. You're living.

Wondering if you're missing out is good enough reason to end a relationship. Full Stop. Doesn't matter if your partner is THE BEST person. They're not entitled to stepping in the way of your self fulfilment even if they're well-meaning, nice, well-mannered people.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 6:04 AM on November 27, 2020


if you feel pain or discomfort with other types of penetration (tampons, fingers, the speculum at the gyno), you might look into vaginismus. it's something you only have to treat if you want to, so you'd still have to figure that out, but it can absolutely lead to apathy about sex (in any definition). on top of that, whether recovery leads to an increased/regained sex drive is probably pretty individual, but you can find tons of stories about recovery at r/vaginismus.
posted by gaybobbie at 9:09 AM on November 27, 2020 [2 favorites]


Also, not having sex very often, or not wanting it much, is far more normal than most people realize.

Man, I am enjoying saying, "the Sex in Australia survey!" in my bad, fake Australian accent - mostly not-perfected through watching The Katering Show - way too much. (But "most reporting very high levels of physical pleasure (men, 88%; women, 76%) and emotional satisfaction (men, 86%; women, 84%) in their relationships" (n=20094) despite "significantly lower" reported average frequency of sex in this century, I'm a bit jealous. Sounds like there's still lots of going down under going on Down Under, if you know what I mean...)

Anyways, another guy here to say that besides the existence of Ace people, I've had periods in my adult life when my libido has (temporarily so far, in my case) dwindled to nothing, too. Sometimes precipitously, and in response to entirely emotional factors, though that's probably just one of several causes on different occasions.
posted by Sockpuppet Liberation Front at 11:57 AM on November 27, 2020


I too feel like screaming that yes, you are missing out, please don't throw away any more of your good sex years convincing yourself you don't care when most likely the problem, as suggested by other commenters above, is 1) most men are so very bad at sex, 2) it's easier to kill your own sex drive than figure out how to make a bad-at-sex man good at it, and exhausting that it's on you to figure it out, 3) most likely he is acting like he's okay with this situation right now but seething inside; he may be able to keep it up for a very long time, but not forever, and 4) your libido will come raging to life with the right partner, and not only that but your body will learn how to have better orgasms as you grow older and have more experiences, until you reach the point when the idea of settling for bad sex is totally unacceptable.
posted by Bluesocking at 12:12 PM on November 27, 2020 [4 favorites]


it's easier to kill your own sex drive than figure out how to make a bad-at-sex man good at it, and exhausting that it's on you to figure it out

quoted for extreme truth.

I feel like what I said above could be read as a "this could just be how you are" comment and that's not how I meant it. What I meant was more like "this could just be how your partnership is." I do suspect (there's no way to verify this of course) that many, if not most, women "settle" eventually, for all kinds of reasons. And I also believe that long term monogamy is - for many if not most women - libido-depressing, paradoxically because of its familiarity. BUT THAT SAID, if you don't have to settle for that -- if you're not attached to this person, in whom you're not interested sexually, in a way that it would seriously harm your life if you split - and if you are curious, as you seem to be from this question - then yes, yes, go see what else is out there.
posted by fingersandtoes at 1:32 PM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


You've received some good answers here. Don't let the people who are "screaming" at you that you're missing out plant a lot of doubt in your mind. It could be true that you are missing out and may have regrets in the future, but that is for you to evaluate for yourself. Sometimes people who find sex to be very important in their own lives have great difficulty imagining a life in which that is not the case. Everyone deserves to be taken at their word when they report their own experiences of sexuality, but it's very common for asexuals to get pushback (I don't mean to imply that you are necessarily asexual, but you are dealing with questions and assumptions that asexuals face).

I would recommend seeking out information from the asexual community, if only to help normalize the diversity of human sexuality. Asexual Reddit is pretty fun and friendly. Once you have fully internalized that whatever is normal for you is perfectly acceptable, you can better determine what you want out of life sexually.
posted by Comet Bug at 2:42 PM on November 28, 2020 [3 favorites]


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