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-   -   What to do when sexual needs are not met? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=26199)

DarayTala 08-04-2012 06:00 PM

What to do when sexual needs are not met?
So heres my problem, to put it simply, I feel like I'm just not getting enough sex from one of my partners. But I guess its a little more complicated then that, so here is our backstory.

I met Lady about two years ago and we began a relationship. We took things slowly and began having sex about six months into the relationship. Honestly, it was the best sex I've ever had. With him I feel passion, energy, a very deep intimate connection, its just amazing. We were both extremely sexual with each other at that point, making time to have sex pretty much every day, or teasing and showing how bad we wanted to if we couldn't We had some rough patches when our relationship came close to a year old, mostly because he was scared of getting so close to someone and committing so much. Even during the brief time we were apart and when we barely saw each other, the sexual energy was still so strong and compelling between us. Fast forward, we fix our relationship issues and our sex life is good, we're intimate every few days when we can find time and the sex is still just as wonderful as it was. Then every few days turns into every few weeks, and now every few months. I state when I'm interested, try to initiate things and get turned down, try and give space and not mention it for a time, try and joke about it or say seductive and teasing things, nothing seems to make a difference. When I'm asked why his sex drive changed so much I get shrugs. He has trouble opening up, so either he won't explain to me what happened or honestly doesn't know.

So here I am, having had sex only four times in about seven months. While living together and sleeping in the same bed almost every night. Yes, I could get sex from my other partners, but that really doesn't help in any way. What I miss is the particular intense intimacy I felt with Lady when we slept together. I miss the passion, the wanting. It isnt really about pleasure to me, I can get just as much pleasure or more by fantasizing on my own. Its having such an intense bonding moment with someone I love so dearly, and now feeling like I am barred from it. Theres also the feelings of insecurity and rejection to deal with, not something I usually feel in my relationships, and its hard to get used to. I've expressed to her how I feel, but nothing changes. I feel like the few times we even do have sex, its him trying to placate me and not him really wanting it like I do.

This is getting to a point when I'm feeling frustrated, angry, rejected, sad, and lost all the time. I know it sounds pathetic, but its hard for me because its been an ongoing issue for months, that builds up and feels worse because I don't know why its happening and don't know if theres anything I can do to solve it. I'm completely helpless since Lady can't or won't talk about it, and won't change his behavior. I'm at a point where sometimes I want to just say 'look, I'm not getting my needs met, if you want me to be with you then you need to try and fix this with me'. The only problem with that is this is someone I love very dearly, someone I want to grow old with, and not someone I want to leave for any reason, so I shouldn't threaten to. I doubt I would be able to go through with it, and if I did, I'd be losing an entire loving relationship when right now I've only lost a part of the intimacy that I crave. But what else can I do? I never thought I'd have this need because usually sex matters very little for me and I have a pretty low sex drive. This is way too low for my wants though, and in this particular situation, its eating away at me. My other moral dilemma is no one should have sex unless they fully want to. The last thing I would ever want to do is infringe upon Lady's rights there. But how can I orchestrate any sort of change without risking putting pressure on her? I need things to change lest I go nuts or end things out of rash anger when thats not what I want, but I see no way to get a change to happen. I don't even know if my feelings here are valid at all.

So please help?

Magdlyn 08-04-2012 06:47 PM

Hi, is Lady genderqueer or trans? I wonder, because you call them him and her, and their name is Lady.

My gf is a transgendered female and her sex drive varies wildly, sometimes she's hot, and tells me in IM how she can't wait to do me, but when I get there, she has lost interest. Frustrating! Other times we can be together for several days, I am all wanty, but it seems to take forever for her to relax and get in the mood. She will tell me I am sexy and beautiful, and cuddle me and kiss me, but won't "go all the way." Ugh, drives me crazy sometimes.

It's a combination of psychological issues around her gender dysphoria as well as the hormones she is on.

Am I on the right track?

DarayTala 08-04-2012 06:51 PM

No, Lady is a 37 year old male, who just ended up with the pronoun she from the time we were in a BDSM relationship and it was something he liked at that point that kinda stuck. Same with the name Lady. He definitely is all male though, mind and body.

Magdlyn 08-04-2012 07:17 PM

OK. So you started out kinky, you Domming him, calling him "she" and things were hot. Has the kink gone away as NRE faded? Do either of you miss the BDSM play as well as the sex?

It's a shame he won't or can't open up about why his sex drive died. Of course, lots of (if not most) relationships start out extremely sexual, and then things usually simmer down when NRE fades.

However, pressure to have sex can have the opposite affect! I can relate, even though our partners are in different places, genderwise. You have my sympathy.

I do get sex from miss pixi on average, a couple times a week, though. Or at least she kind of "helps" me masturbate, even though I am not to touch her erogenous zones.

I've spent 3 years looking for a second partner whose sex drive matches mine, and who is so horny I know he won't fizzle once NRE fades... and so I finally found Ginger. He does me real good once a week on our overnight date. We usually have 3-5 sex sessions in 20 hours or so, and it's GREAT. But I still miss having hot hot sex with miss pixi more often, because I am so freeking attracted to her! We've been together 3 1/2 years and have gone round and round this issue. I do feel sorry for her because I'd like sex every day though. I know that is hard to keep up with.

Anyway, I am rambling.

lovefromgirl 08-05-2012 03:32 AM

DarayTala, what are you calling "sex" here? Penetration, handjobs, blowjobs...? Is Lady not even open to receiving pleasure? We have worked out certain compromises for ourselves, but not all couples can be happy this way, which I understand.

A sudden, strong aversion to sex is a sign that something is direly wrong. My own libido's been *cough* flexible; I find that I want it the least when I'm remembering past unpleasantness and when I am acutely ill (mind or body). Is Lady looking after himself otherwise? Does he masturbate, or is that urge gone as well?

Talker or no, this is derailing your relationship. It's worth pushing him to find out what's going on.

CielDuMatin 08-05-2012 03:50 PM

I really don't think that this sort of problem is unique to polyamory - I think that it can happen in monogamous relationships a lot too.

Your statement that you could get sex from any of your other partners, but it's not a replacement is, for me, an excellent example of how the poly mind works - one partner isn't just a plug-in substitute for another.

Does Lady admit that there is a problem, here? If so, then I would recommend spending some time with a couples councilor to have the room and the time for each of you to talk things through. There are many, many causes for a sex drive to fluctuate wildly - he may know what it is, and not feel like he can share for some reason, or he may have no idea, and a professional may be able to help.

DarayTala 08-05-2012 07:07 PM

@Magdlyn - We started out in a 24/7 Mistress/slave relationship. We realized pretty early on that it wouldn't work. He had originally thought he wanted a very strict Mistress, and no emotional connection or love and affection. I didn't really believe that was the case and wanted an emotional relationship, but also liked the idea of having a fulltime slave, so we decided to try it out. By the time we had gotten to know eachother in the first few months, before we even were in a serious relationship, we definitely were developing strong feelings and knew we wanted a partnership as well. After a while we gave up the M/s aspect because Lady did not want to be under that much control, and I didn't really want to have to be responsible all the time. Mostly it was his decision, but I supported it and was happier with how our relationship evolved. We tried a less strict submissive relationship a bit down the line, but again that just didn't seem to fit what we wanted. We are still comfortable being just as kinky in the bedroom when we feel like it, its just not a structure we have governing the rest of our lives anymore. I don't think either of us miss the 24/7 BDSM lifestyle, some aspects were nice, but we were able to get closer without that in the way. We both still love the kink, its just in the bedroom only and something we only engage in when we feel like it. It might help to introduce it into our bedroom play a little bit more though.

I definitely sympathize with what you are saying. I'm definitely able to get sex with my other partners any time I'd like, but what I miss is sex with Lady, not just sex in general. I actually don't have an extremely high sex drive, though not a low one either. I just am not used to sex so very infrequently, or being rejected so very often.

@lovefromgirl - I'm considering any kind of sexual contact to be sex. I would be more than happy to enjoy anything, from mutual masturbation to all out penetration. He also has pretty much lost interest in masturbating entirely. Before this drop in sex drive he would have the desire to masturbate or have sex almost daily, or at least a few times a week. From what hes told me, in this seven month dry spell hes only masturbated once.

I do think theres a possibility its because of emotional issues. The two of us both suffer from bi-polar disorder and are prone to be more sexual during the months of a manic phase, and less sexual when in a depressive phase. These phases can last for as little as a few weeks and as long as a few years. I can fully understand the drop in sex drive, because I can vary from wanting sex multiple times a day, to only wanting it once a week or so. The extreme infrequency here is whats bothering me, along with the fact that Lady has been in worse mental places in the past without it affecting his sex drive, so this is a little bit odd. I guess my hope is finding a compromise so we are both able to satisfy the other, even when that drive to have sex is less strong. Being able to enjoy it for the intimacy even when that carnal urge isn't there, is important to me.

@CielDuMatin - Thank you for the advice, I would definitely be up to seeing a counselor if I could talk Lady into it. He has a strong aversion to that sort of thing because of many bad past experiences with being forced into therapy, or trusting therapists and then being misdiagnosed or given medications that caused a lot of negative side effects and worsened his problems. I am hoping we can find a way to talk things out on our own first, because I'm not sure he is willing to talk to an outside person. He also does not like opening up to people. He does so more with me than anyone else, but its very hard for him because of abuse as a child and some bad relationships. I don't know if he would be able to talk to a stranger even if he tried.

I did make an attempt to discuss this with him earlier and I did feel like we made a little bit of progress. I think part of the issue is that he needs a lot of alone time and wants to do his own thing often. He does spend some time with me during the day, but usually its just joining me while I am in the middle of doing something myself, which is nice because I love his company. We realized though that it might help if he instead just asked for me to come spend time with him when I wasn't in the middle of something, so that the time could be more spent focusing on eachother. I think one problem is that when we are hanging out, by the time we aren't doing some other activity and I want to have sex, he wants to have a bit of space and a bit more time for himself. If we spend more of our time enjoying cuddling and seeing if it does lead to more intimacy, or at least focusing on eachother, maybe it will help the problem a little.

That said, the fact that hes lost interest even in masturbation still worries me. That kind of extreme decline in sex drive is just kind of hard for me to understand.

I hope the added information helps, and any insight you can offer is very welcome. And thank you to those who have already given me advice or support, I really appreciate it. It helps to even just be able to let out my frustrations and feel like I'm not the only one going through this.

nycindie 08-05-2012 07:22 PM

Lady may want to see a physician and have his testosterone levels checked. I wonder if the meds he's on for his bipolar disorder could have affected his endocrine system? If he has lost interest because his testosterone level has dropped, he could use a cream every day that raises it. It also can be an indication of a more serious hormonal condition. This is what my new lover Chessy has been going through. Not to alarm you, but he has a benign tumor pressing on his pituitary gland, the gland which secretes testosterone, and it was the drop in testosterone which led the docs to find the tumor in his head. Of course, not all cases will be as serious as his, but it is a good idea for Lady to have a check-up nonetheless.

DarayTala 08-05-2012 11:50 PM

Thank you, I will definitely try and encourage him to see a doctor. He doesn't have insurance at the moment, so its a bit difficult, but I'll do my best. As far as the bi-polar goes, he isn't on meds at all. Both of us have tried various anti-depressants and other medications in the past, and for a variety of reasons have decided that we would rather be unmedicated then deal with who we become on medication and all the horrible side effects that come along with it. That said, it could be another medical issue. He has been a heavy smoker and drinker most of his life. Since meeting me hes cut down to half a pack a day or less (he was at 2-3 packs a day when we met) and only drinks once a month, sometimes less, but I still worry about the impact doing so for so long may have had.

Out of curiosity, how hard is it to get a testosterone cream? If thats the problem, what kind of issues can it cause if not treated? Hopefully we can afford to fix the issue if its medical.

lovefromgirl 08-06-2012 01:10 AM


Originally Posted by DarayTala (Post 146682)
He doesn't have insurance at the moment, so its a bit difficult, but I'll do my best.

Much sympathy. Am there, am doing it, haven't even got a lousy T-shirt.


As far as the bi-polar goes, he isn't on meds at all. Both of us have tried various anti-depressants and other medications in the past, and for a variety of reasons have decided that we would rather be unmedicated then deal with who we become on medication and all the horrible side effects that come along with it.
Anti-depressants in particular suck for bipolar; they trigger manic episodes. They even trigger hypomanias in the previously depressed. [facepalm] You gave it all a try and you've made your decision. Eminently respectable.

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