What to do when he just doesn’t want to have sex?

The other day, my friend G finally opened up to me about what was bothering her. Her husband just wouldn’t sleep with her. Was it her face? Her body? Her personality? Her character? Or was he cheating? I said all the “right” things in the moment – no, he’s probably just stressed at work, how can it possibly be you, etc. I ended by recommending some amount of seduction -  something to add to the intrigue in the bedroom – a black satin/lace nightie that left the right bits to the imagination.

But once I came home, I sat to mull over it, over a glass of iced sugarcane juice. When you watch soap operas, movies, or maybe even read an issue of Cosmopolitan, it’s easy to get misled into thinking that every guy only has sex on his mind all.the.time. The truth couldn’t be farther from that stereotype. Especially after you’ve been married and have a couple of kids, and you’re no longer the adrenaline junkies who only want to make love all the time. Post-kids, the sexiest sentence I’ve heard is one that combines my son and sleep in one sentence with a positive outcome.

Another thing that women can’t come to terms with is having a higher libido and need for sex than your partner. Movies will have you believe that a woman wanting a man either makes her the vamp or a just another sex kitten whose business is to seduce other women’s husbands. Obviously, that’s not true.

So let’s lay the fact on the table – like women, men’s libidos are totally dependent on a variety of other factors too – stress, emotion, work stuff and so on.

But if he’s putting off sex and never initiating, like ever, then there’s a problem.

Now, you need to classify the issue. Is it medical or emotional? Medical issues could stem from age, work stress, medications which affect libido, sleep deprivation and so on. These can be sorted rather quickly if you visit a medical professional.

If his issues are emotional, he may have a problem with you or someone else close to him. You’ll find out real quick if the issue is with you – maybe he’s moody/snappy just with you but pretty nice with everyone else. If the sex has become monotonous, you can do many things to rock that boat – role play, different positions, watching porn together, different lingerie, trying out fetishes and fantasies within reason, etc. If you’ve been self-involved with your own work and other things, taking a holiday together to unwind will help.

Think about when this started. Did anything change dramatically? Did you gain a lot of weight, from say, pregnancy? Or did he change jobs? Try to pinpoint the timing of your dry run and you may be able to pin down the reason too.

Provided he’s not sleeping with or hoping to sleep with anyone else, and if both of you are willing, talking to a therapist will certainly help too. It’ll clear the expectations, improve communication and lighten things up in the bedroom.


If you have any sex/relationship questions for Ms Black Lace, write to blacklace@zenparent.in. Your questions will be treated with confidentiality and answered on the column.