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What to do when he says "not tonight"

It doesn't mean he's just not that into you.

If you’re like us, you’ve probably been hearing your whole life that men are sex-crazed, insatiable wild animals and women have to fake a headache just to get some dang peace and quiet. So what to do when you have a male partner who’s just not that interested in sex, but you are?

If you already googled it, you probably saw a lot of unhelpful blog posts and comments about how if he isn’t having sex with you, he’s either about to break up with you or he’s having sex with someone else. We’re here to tell you that this is flat-out NOT TRUE. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Some men have naturally lower sex drives. Some men experience a decreased sex drive because of mental or physical health issues, stress, or poor body image. So, basically, all the things that make women say “not tonight” also affect men. And why wouldn’t they?

  2. You aren’t always going to be on the same page about everything. Over the course of a relationship, especially if it’s a long one, it makes sense that there will be times when one person is more interested in sex than the other person, just like it makes sense that two people may not always have an equal desire to cook dinner or to go to a movie.

So what can you do?

  1. Remember (and remind your partner) that sex is not just one thing. There are lots of ways to get there, both by yourself and with your partner. If he isn’t feeling it for himself, he can still give you pleasure. And you can always, always be your own best friend. ;)

  2. Keep in mind that sharing is caring. We know it’s hard, but if you’re feeling hurt, rejected, or scared, tell your partner. And try to speak from a place of vulnerability instead of blame. For example, instead of saying, “You make me feel bad when you reject me,” you can say things like, “I feel embarrassed when I try to initiate sex and you’re not into it.”

  3. Go talk to a couples’ therapist together. If you feel like you need some help opening up or communicating honestly with your partner, and you have the resources, this can be really helpful. Make sure you find one who bills themselves as a sex therapist as well – some couples’ therapists are surprisingly uncomfortable talking about sex, and this is not the time for euphemisms. There are also lower-cost options for therapy, like going to community mental health clinics or to universities that offer therapy with counselors-in-training.

XOXO,
Bedsider

P.S. Stay on top of your birth control, even if you’re not having sex right now. You never know when things might just heat up!

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