It sucks – but some things can’t be fixed

roadeastofengleand | edward dimsdale {photo by Edward Dimsdale}

I‘ve been thinking a lot about sex lately. Seriously, since my last post I’ve been reading and researching why women end up with a lack of sexual desire in a relationship and how to fix it.

If you’re one of those women who loves their boyfriend or husband — he’s a good friend, father and provider — but that ache for him has long since gone …

Here’s the bad news …

You can’t fix it.

If you’re a women who has no sexual desire for your boyfriend or husband, there’s no magic pill, no morning affirmation, no five simple steps that will fix it. You can’t change the way you feel about someone just because you want to.

Sexual desire is an emotional urge to connect physically with someone who attracts you. If the attraction isn’t there any more, I can’t help you get it back.

It sucks. Hard.

It breaks my heart.

The only person who can make you fall in love again is your partner. Your feelings are totally dependent on what he says, does and how he looks.

So to all my women readers, I’m sorry. He has to change [or go back to the person he used to be when you first met] for it to work.

For the handful of men who read this blog, I have so much I want to say. Curiously, it comes back to your head, your heart and your health. There are so many things your mother never taught you about women … but let’s save that for another time…

For now, I’m interested in what the ladies think.

Ladies … what’s the one thing you wished your partner did differently that would make you unable to keep your hands off him? Let me know in the comments (anonymously if you wish).

Part Two – A Triangular Theory of Love


About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing

18 thoughts on “It sucks – but some things can’t be fixed

  1. I wish he really saw me.. Really desired me. I don’t doubt that he loves me, but when it comes to sex, I feel like I could be anyone.

  2. whoa. with all due respect, this is totally ridiculous advice. The notion that it’s your partner that has to change is simply not true in a lot of cases. There are a billion things that can affect sexual desire, and putting the blame on the man’s looks and actions takes the onus off you. It’s hard work to really examine your own sexuality. When lack of desire starts to creep in, take responsibility to do the hard work to get to the root of what’s going on and then talk with your partner accordingly about what needs to change in your relationship. It’s your own body responding to something emotionally or physically (lots of physical/medical reasons sex drive can diminish), so own that instead of throwing out blame on something external.

    1. Thanks Rebecca for pointing out that there could be medical issues that affect libido. Illness, exhaustion, physical discomfort and medication can all affect your sexual desire. There are also psychological factors such as trauma and abuse that can interfere with a sexual function.

      But if none of those things are a problem, and you are no longer sexually attracted to your partner (and once were) then he is doing something differently. I would never advocate not communicating your needs or working on yourself if necessary but a lot of the time all we want is for our men to change even the smallest things. I wouldn’t call it ‘blame’, rather acknowledging that being turned on by our partners takes more than just wanting it to happen.

  3. Hmmmm I have to say I’m with Rebecca on this one. I don’t think that could ever be blanket advice. While I’m sure for some relationships this is the case it can’t be said for all. Many things have affected my desire for my husband over the years, and they have always been transient issues, and the result of anything ranging from how I feel about myself to something as basic as not getting enough sleep. I definitely don’t see it as a permanent on/off switch with no going back, and agree with Rebecca that it’s something you can influence from the inside out.

    1. I agree, Astrid – nothing ever applies to everyone – especially in human relationships.

      There will always be normal fluctuations in desire but I’m guessing that even when you are tired or don’t feel so good about how you look, underneath you still find your husband attractive to you. There is a difference between having something stop you acting on your desire and not feeling sexual attraction at all.

      I agree that it’s not a permanent on/off switch with no going back. I believe the way back is simple and achievable. Not all men understand mysteries of womanhood, and what they learn at school, from their mates and from porn isn’t the whole story. I reckon we need to give them a hand.

  4. what if you still find your partner attractive, but you are one of the countless numbers for whom familiarity reduces arousal? over time, this can lead to to absence of desire for a person altogether – without a loss of love, feeling, or affection.

  5. I agree with Rebecca and Astrid. Think you’ve written some interesting things, but this one has no grounding in fact, perhaps your own experience? Good sex for women starts between her ears and expecting your partner to change is a recipe for disaster.
    Remember the saying that “women partner up, hoping he’ll change and men hope that things will remain the same?”

  6. Well Katie, the provocative nature of this post has done the trick…makes people think.. as it has for me. Result? Agree and disagree all over the place…

    Remove known causes of loss of desire, (health & physical, medical & medication, psychological factors), and what are you left with? Something has changed. If you are quite sure it isn’t you then it makes sense that it is related to the way your partner now relates to you.

    I agree that good sex can start between the ears and that any woman that partners up expecting their man to change is courting disaster. ( do woman still marry with this in mind?) But something has changed .. obviously. Men may well hope that things will remain the same but how many of them treat their woman with the same desire and respect that they did early on in their relationship? Familiarity breeds contempt? Maybe but more likely it just makes them complacent and lazy? Who knows..different for everyone.

    Rebecca you state “take responsibility to do the hard work to get to the root of what’s going on and then talk with your partner accordingly “.. but isn’t that what Katie is suggesting but in a different manner? We are talking about why the female feels no desire for the man she loves… so something must be going on. The depth of personal exploration to work out the ‘why’ may be hard work.. or it may be simple.. Just be wary of making it about ‘him’ with language you use (eg.. ‘I feel’ when you____ instead of ‘you make me’ feel____when you). You do not want him to lose desire for you.

    How many women would not feel love and passion for their spouse if he was to tidy the kitchen, feed the dog and put out the trash and then lock up while they relaxed in a warm bath? Massage my feet or back after that in a candlelit room and I’m yours… Remember when that sort of scenario was commonplace early in the relationship? Before life, kids and mortgages took over?

    Nurture with passion what is precious to you…

  7. For me, it’s affection. My husband is a wonderful Dad, a hard working man, a great provider. But he lacks affection. He thinks a kiss goodbye in the morning a kiss when he or I get home from work and a kiss before bed is affection. Whatever happened to chivalry? There’s no cuddling, there’s no hugs and kisses for no reason. No sitting with me on the couch instead of sitting in front of the TV in his recliner. I don’t need flowers I don’t need cards or chocolates, but the spontaneous affection to show he still has it for me. We don’t have sex if I don’t initiate. He says if I want it I know where to get it? That makes me feel like he could careless about being intimate with me. That of we weren’t he’d be just fine. Marriage cAn be lonely often times. When conversations are only about kids, work, schedules, money, home projects. I’ve brought it up numerous times to him but I always get the answer “it’s on your head” “you make yourself feel that way” I love my husband but quite frankly I’m tired of pleading with him to show he loves me other than just saying it. How hard is it to show affection. I’m not asking him to be up my ass 24 hours a day, but during a free minute can’t he make me feel like I’m still the woman he wants to be with forever? I’m done pleading and begging for more emotion. Either he’ll meet me in the middle and show me he still loves ME not just his wife who he committed to and is stuck with or he won’t and eventually we’ll have nothing between us but possessions and material things.

    Sorry for the rant!

  8. I find it very strange that modern society perpetuates the notion that women must keep themselves up but that men only need to make more money to continue to be attractive. Hogwash! My hubby started gaining weight when we married 20 years ago and hasn’t stopped since. The dashing man I married slowly disappeared over the years, much to my dismay. 🙁 I wish he would still dress nice and wear my favorite cologne but that has stopped as well. His wardrobe these days consists of tshirts and jeans. My gentle requests for dressing nice to go out to dinner or wear his cologne go totally unheaded and totally ignored. :-/

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