Mr. No Sex

Dr. Darcy:

I've been with my boyfriend for almost 3 years. He never comes on to me for sex. I tell him all the time I want more and try to love on him but he pushes me away. He denies this but we never have sex. I know this isn’t normal. What is he trying to tell me? I feel so rejected and very insecure. I am afraid I’m no good and he's not turned on by me. I don’t want to lose him but feel so embarrassed. I have talked to him many times but nothing changes. Why doesn’t he want to have sex with me and what can I do?

ANSWER

You’re to be applauded on your insight.  In relationships, sex is the ultimate power play.  What he’s doing is hurtful on two levels:  First, he’s withholding.  Second, he’s denying that anything’s wrong, which is enough to make anyone question their sanity.

He may not realize that he’s trying to communicate anything to you.  It’s a very passive aggressive way of asserting power – and the passive-aggressive partner often feels disempowered within the relationship in general.  And as I mentioned, he’s probably not even aware (consciously) of what he’s trying to say to you, what he’s angry over, or what pain it’s causing you.

Look, the boyfriend needs a good shrink.  He’s got something going on that needs to be worked out.  It’s possible that you’ll get it resolved through couple’s counseling, and he may be more open to that then if you give him my prescription for individual counseling ~ but regardless of what modality you choose, the guy needs to learn some new ways of communicating ASAP.

Meanwhile, let’s deal with the one thing we can absolutely effect:  You.  You are entitled to a sex life, however, you’re in a sexless relationship. I’m presuming that you’re not allowed to seek sexual gratification outside of the relationship, so what are you supposed to do about your needs? Burn through vibrators indefinitely?

What’s worse is how this is affecting your self-esteem.  You’re already reporting that you feel insecure, rejected and that you’re questioning your skills in the bedroom… If you don’t work through these feelings, you’ll carry this baggage to every subsequent relationship you have.  It’ll be like his little gift that keeps giving over time.

Get into couple’s counseling with an Imago therapist.  If he won’t, get yourself to an individual therapist so that you can become strong enough to leave Mr. No Sex.  It’s bad enough that married women will sometimes go years without sex, but you my friend have no strings attached.  If he won’t service you, I’m betting many others would be thrilled to pick up his slack.