My young husband has no sex drive!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2012
My young husband has no sex drive!
Mon, 12-10-2012 - 11:50pm

 My husband and I are in our mid-twenties, we've been together 5 years and married for over 1.

I love sex, it's important to me and if it were up to me, we would have it every day! Unfortunately it's not so important to him. 4 out of 5 times I have to initiate it, and half the time he turns me down. I don't understand it, I am 25 years old, I'm very attractive, and I'm willing to try anything in bed!

We've discussed this issue a few times and he just sees sex as something dirty and pointless. He was raised in a very Christian household and was taught from day 1 that sex is wrong. He loves when I go down on him, but rarely returns the favor, and when he actually does, I get the sense that he just can't wait to get out of there. I could spend all night pleasuring him and he can't stand reciprocating for more than a minute. I'm very clean, I shower twice a day and I keep it smooth and clean down there... so I know that hygiene isn't the issue. 

Really, the only time we have sex is in the middle of the night once every few weeks. He will only initiate sex is in his sleep and he usually wakes up kissing me. It's like sleep-walking, but instead, it's sleep-sexing. This isn't satisfying for me because I know he's only doing it because he didn't know what he was doing. I feel so sad about this... I'd never have an affair, but honestly, I don't want a passionless, sexless marriage for the rest of my life! I'm in my prime, I'm very sexual, and I'm gorgeous. This isn't fair! 

I want to be spanked, tied up, taken, told what to do. Honestly, I wish my husband would ravage me, but for now I would settle for him touching me. It's very upsetting because I know I could so easily find someone to have sex with me, but I want him, I love him. 

Earlier this afternoon he confessed to me that he just doesn't have a high sex drive. So here I am, typing to strangers and looking for answers. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-21-2003
Wed, 12-12-2012 - 9:34am

<< I just didn't realize how mismatched we were before the wedding. >>

I'm curious about something. You mentioned you've been married one year and with him for five years. In the four years before your wedding, did his lack of sexual enthusiasm not come through in ANY way? Whether or not you had actual intercourse, sexual enthusiasm (or its absence) gets communicated in a thousand ways. I really hope you don't react defensively to the following, but I strongly suspect (based on human nature in relationships) that you did have some inkling of his sexual style, but didn't want to face it head-on because you loved him and thought you could change him.

Promises are well and good, but only if you can keep them happily and without resentment. Do you really think you'll stay happy and resentment-free in 10 years at this rate? In 20? I believe that long-term happiness and fulfilment (yours and his) are more important than gritting your teeth for the rest of your life in order to tick off the "kept my promise" box. I also think that leaving now would be kinder than waiting until you have kids and drawing them into a divorce.

Nobody on this board takes divorce casually. If everyone is singing the same tune, perhaps you can unblock your ears, at the very least, and listen to what you're hearing without prejudice. Think about it, really think about it, rather than dismissing it out of hand. Whether or not you end up agreeing with us in the end, at least you'll have given your situation the benefit of a balanced appraisal.

JMHO again, Freelance

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2004
Wed, 12-12-2012 - 10:39am

It was not disservice. In fact, I've made him a very happy man. And a happy man he is, it's me who is struggling.

If he is as good a man as you say, he won't remain very happy knowing you are not happy and being unable to make you happy.  This is not one of those issues that can be fixed simply by him realizing that you want him to change.  You can't make him be someone he is not.  Accept him as is, open up the marriage, or divorce.  That may sound trite and simple but it's based on several years of being on this board and reading about how others have been dealing with ML and with dealing with my own ML issues over many more years.

You are not ready to hear the truth yet.  I don't blame you for that at all.  It's not easy to hear that.  But mark my words that you will remember what we've all told you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 12-12-2012 - 11:23am

Well it actually wasn't "one brief paragraph"--it was whatever you chose to write about your situation.  If there is more, then you should explain it to see if people's opinions will change.  I guess you really have to weigh whether all the guy's other wonderful qualities are so great that you could tolerate an unsatisfactory sex life for the rest of your marriage.  Because that's the one thing that you can count on--he is not going to wake up some day and become a sex maniac or someone for whom sex is really enjoyable.  there are people who make compromises all the time in marriages for various reasons.  someone might say "well I really love my DH, he's a great guy, I wish he didn't smoke, but I'll live with it because I love all the other things about him."  But then it's not really fair to be nagging him about smoking all the time--if you married him knowing that he smoked.

I assume that you didn't have sex before you got married.  At some point I assume that he might have mentioned to you that he wasn't that interested in sex or that he had been rasied ultra conservative Christian.  And I also assume that you weren't a virgin when you got married and probably had sex w/ other guys before him.  Normally I would assume that a young woman virgin doesn't start off having sex by doing things that people might consider kind of kinky--usually you have to get comfortable w/ sex first and then try more varied things.  Did you ever mention to him the kind of things you liked to do?  I agree with the person who said that you somehow assumed that you could change him to your liking.

I really would suggest some marriage counseling for both of you.  At least then you will feel that you've really tried everything possible to make the marriage work.  I hope he can get out of the idea that married sex is dirty when it really should be a beautiful expression of love.  Maybe if he can get that out of his mind, at least you wont' have to have "sleep sex."  

And after being divorced twice (once my idea & once not) I have come to the conclusion in my older age that marriage should NOT be that much work if you are married to the right person.  Of course I think both people should make an effort to be nice to each other, to be considerate and not to take each other for granted.  But if you look at your relationships with your best girlfriends, do you constantly have to "work" on your friendship?  i doubt it--you stay friends because you like each other & have fun together and share your feelings.  If a girlfriend was incompatible with you, you just wouldn't be friends.  People who marry the right person aren't constantly working to change the other person into someone else.  They accept the person as he is.  I have been in therapy and was talking about how I wanted my DH to change certain behaviors and the therapist said "If your DH has to change for you to be happy, basically the marriage is already doomed."  Because it wasn't something superficial that had to change, it was something that was intrinsic to his nature, which generally people can't or won't change.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2006
Wed, 12-12-2012 - 11:44am

 << In fact, I've made him a very happy man. And a happy man he is, it's me who is struggling. >>

Stick around. You will discover that the lower libid0 partner (your H in this case) eventually becomes just as unhappy as the sex-starved partner. Unless you are the exception to the rule, you will make sure that he knows his inadequacies (ad nasuem) in the course of (honestly and with the best intentions) trying to find mutual? sexual fulfillment in your marriage. In fact, you will look back on it and wonder in bewilderment how you got there.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-21-2003
Wed, 12-12-2012 - 12:32pm

<< I have come to the conclusion in my older age that marriage should NOT be that much work if you are married to the right person. >>

YES!! Life experience has led me to the exact same conclusion. If you're compatible and in love, the work is minimal and doesn't really feel like work -- it's just basic stuff like courtesy and give-and-take. If a marriage feels like work most of the time, it's out of balance, IMO. F.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-11-2011
Wed, 12-12-2012 - 1:17pm

Sorry to hear about your situation.

I have been married for over 15 years and am dealing with ML for about the past 5 - 6 years.  It is very frustrating on both sides of ML, learned a lot from LLs on this board.

While this is not what you want to hear, getting out now may be a good option, you have no kids and are young.  I think I understand how you feel about not giving up, the reason I'm still with my wife.  I do love her, and we have kids, but the ML has put a strain on our marriage.  There are some good posts on here to read, I suggest reading some of the older posts on this board. 

ML is a cycle that if both the HL and LL don't recognize and understand together, it builds momentum like a snowball at the top of the hill.  Sometimes even when you have the best of intentions the snowball becomes an avalanche.

In fact last night I just had a fight again with my wife.  This started with something not really related to ML a few weeks back, and then she made a comment the all I want from her is sex, if you read some of the posts, this is the fartherst thing from the truth, and it really made me angry with her.

Like someone else said you really have 3 options.

1.  Accept him and his LL and try to deal with it, come here to vent.  This is where I am currently at.

2.  Have and open marriage, which I'm guessing he will not want to go along with.

2.  Leave and don't look back.

I wish I had the magic answer to help, but if I did, I would not be here either.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-11-2011
Wed, 12-12-2012 - 1:28pm
Glenn brings up a very good point here: "You will discover that the lower libid0 partner (your H in this case) eventually becomes just as unhappy as the sex-starved partner." It comes to the point that you will both make each other feel inadequate / not good enough to each other, without even trying.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2012
Wed, 12-12-2012 - 11:43pm

We did have sex before the wedding, and it was a lot better then. I didn't see this coming, this drop in our sex lives... it's not that we never do it, it's just not nearly as often as I would like. And after talking with him about this, he just tells me that is not as sexual of a person as I am and that he thinks because of how he was raised, he feels like sex is kind of "bad". He wants to try to step away from this thought and he has been trying... honestly I just came to this board looking for ideas on how to improve our life together.

I understand that a lot of people got divorced and are now happy, that's great for you all. Divorce isn't an option for me, I am in love with my husband and I want to spend the rest of my life with him, I just want the rest of our lives to include a lot more sex. Maybe marriage counseling is a good idea, thank you to the person who suggested that. 

*still hoping*

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2012
Thu, 12-13-2012 - 12:04am

"In the four years before your wedding, did his lack of sexual enthusiasm not come through in ANY way?"

We had lots of sex in the years before the wedding, part of me thinks it was because I was still new and exciting to him, but he assures me that this is not the case. I don't know what happened. We might have sex twice a month, and that isn't enough for me.

A few weeks ago I opened up to him and told him how I felt our ML was a problem for me and I told him about some of the "kinkier" things I'd like to do, and he was willing and understanding, he even seemed intrigued. He confessed that he thinks growing up in a Christian household with his parents constantly beating into his head how bad sex is may have something to do with how unsexual he is. He says he doesn't know how to change that thinking and that he wants to. His parents never told him about the beauty and pleasure of married sex, they just didn't want him sinning as a teenager. Anyway, the preaching didn't work as well as they'd hoped and we've both had previous sexual partners.

Before the wedding I did have an inkling that he felt premarital sex was "wrong". While it never stopped us in the beginning of our relationship, I started getting that sense once he started going back to church. It's like he felt guilty or something. We had Christian premarital counseling (they never talked about sex for pleasure, just encouraged us to abstain till the wedding). So for the 3 months before our wedding, we didn't have sex. He told me that once we were married, he would feel ready to open up to me completely and that we'd do it all of the time. I didn't expect that "all of the time" meant twice a month.

We have no interest in children, and I especially don't want to go down that road until we get our sex life figured out. 

I just need some non-divorcy advice. =\

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 12-13-2012 - 11:27am

This is very unusual to me that he would have no reservations about having premarital sex but when you got married, then his interest waned--that's when he should not feel guilty or shameful about having sex.  Glenn makes some interesting points.  I do think if you're determined to stay married, then marriage counseling is essential.  Maybe you could do some investigation & find a Christian therapist or pastor who could explain that married sex isn't anti-Christian.  I was raised Catholic and the Catholic church is only anti-birth control so  you could be doing it all the time as long as you don't use b.c. (and are married).  Why do you think there were so many Catholic families with lots of kids in the old days?  And how about the Duggars?  (that TV family with 19 kids)--they are ultra conservative Christians and make no secret of the fact that they still desire each other sexually which is obvious since they are always popping out kids.