Can You Force Sexual Energy Between 2 People?

This is a response I started writing to Uma1980 about her story "How do I make myself feel attracted to him?" EP Link

This story really got me thinking, if I went on a date with a lovely man who was perfect for me 'on paper' and 'ticked all the boxes' and then there was simply no sexual chemistry would I keep trying? I might consider one more date, or become platonic friends, but I decided I would most likely just accept that the sex part was not there for us. Then I would move on, stop dating a person I was not attracted to and accept it. There is no shame in just not feeling the spark with a potential new partner.

Then I wondered about ex's. Obviously there was sexual attraction in the beginning, but by the time the relationship had run its course the chemistry was gone. I cannot imagine sleeping with any of my ex's. There is no shame in that either.

But my husband (he ticks all the boxes) and I keep trying because we are married and neither of us wants to leave the relative safety of our dysfunctional partnership. So we talk about the concept of having a sexual relationship again, but when it comes time we both make sure to be busy, or asleep or whatever other avoiding techniques we are using.

I thought some more and decided you cannot force yourself to be in a sexual relationship with someone you are simply no longer attracted to or turned on by.

I think I need to examine my motivation for trying to force sex back in to the marriage?
Is it because I are still attracted to him? No.
Is it because society tells us that we are married and supposed to be having sex, even though neither of us is interested? Yes, in part.
Is it because I genuinely miss sex and would like to be in a sexually satisfying relationship?(I think I would need a new partner for that!) Yes, I would like to have sex again.
Is it because I love him (platonically) and want to remain in my secure and familiar surroundings (house, job, family etc.) Yes, this is a big issue.

In my case it is all of the above, but the main reason I go through the motions of making an effort is because he says he wants sex. But actually he does nothing at all to create the feelings or circumstances to make it happen. I honestly do not think he really wants sex, just thinks he should. And as he has an attractive wife he probably thinks he should be attracted to me. But I do not believe he really is and thats another issue.

I no longer feel any attraction to my husband for 2 reasons, both are from my head, but both have significant influence on my heart. I no longer trust him (emotionally) and I cannot be physically (or intellectually) intimate with someone I do not trust. I also do not respect him in some ways. How can I respect myself if I shared my body with someone I do not respect and someone who does not respect himself?

Our relationship is not so clear with regards to who is the refuser. It used to be me, but for the last 6-7 years it has been him. Mostly due to medication, depression, weight gain and alcohol abuse. So why do I stay?

I am co-dependant and although I am working on this I have a long way to go.
I am in a financially advantageous situation and am not ready to stand on my own.
I am not good at intimacy and had a messed up childhood.
I want to go to University next year and without my husband's financial support it will be impossible. So if I just stay until I graduate...
In some ways I like our platonic marriage, I am free to do almost anything I want (I have never played around) and being in a sexless marriage does have some advantages.

I do miss sex and I often feel as if I am wasting my sexual peak. I am 35 and in good physical condition, magazines and media tell me I should be having the best sex of my life right now and I have not had any in years. If I were to have sex I think it would be losing my virginity again! After so long being without someone else touching me I think I would have some fear to overcome.

Because I am a fair person I have told my husband many times that he should leave me, he doesn't. In some ways I feel my husband is the perfect man for me, he as complementary 'problems' and if we managed to solve our issues together we have the potential to be happier than most. But, if we continue to drift along it will eventually get to the point where I guess one of us will leave. I think it will be me, but I have to get a little further with my co-dependance therapy first.

I am looking forward to, and fearing the comments. I know there are probably a number of glaring issues to be pointed out. Last time I posted here I was overwhelmed by the responses of this wonderful community. I had to do a LOT of thinking, searching, meditating and therapy after that and I thank everyone who commented as I have made a lot of progress since then. Of course there is a long way to go, but progress is progress and I thank you for your part in it.
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7 Responses Dec 15, 2012

I'm not sure which is a stronger feeling. That you don't want to leave because of economic fear, or your husband doesn't want to leave because you aren't able to support yourself. Either way, you're both together until you can somehow afford to leave.

If you don't trust your husband, you'll never want to have a real relationship with him. Nothing he does is likely to change that, so he'll quit trying. Now you're both stuck in a sexless marriage.

As I read it, all of the real decisions are yours to make. How will you support yourself in the future? When will you leave? When will a true relationship become part of your life?

If you're really going back to school, there's no time like the present to get serious. Are you really making plans to fulfill a program of study, or are you just thinking about it? Years will go by no matter what, but a true plan requires commitment from you. Do you have a plan?

Life IS short. You ARE wasting what could be some of the best years of your life. You won't get the years back. Think about it.

(cocking an eyebrow) "he says he wants sex. But actually he does nothing at all to create the feelings or circumstances to make it happen."Maybe he did and when it didn't work he stopped trying. I've also seen plenty of stories about overtures made by spouses to their refuser who placed condition on sexual relations and when they were met... bubkis.<br />
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If this guy wined and dined you and dropped 15 pounds, you'd be up for it? Maybe. Might it be an excuse for your own refusals? If it is, no judgment here despite my tone. My constant drumbeat is for people to make themselves aware of the Coolidge effect and either face it head on and declare you won't be controlled by animal nature, OR surrender to that same animal nature and find a new mate. EITHER answer beats the frustrating self-torture you describe. <br />
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It helped me a lot when I learned WHY my wife takes longer and longer to get "in the mood." I think it's possible I never would have married if I knew 20 years ago what I know now. At least, not with the "til death do we part" stuff. No idea if we can keep muddling through as we do, but I'm not sure there's a point to it other than maintaining my vow to God. (Which is a big honking reason.)With all sincerity, I wish you inner peace, whatever the outcome.

"This story really got me thinking, if I went on a date with a lovely man who was perfect for me 'on paper' and 'ticked all the boxes' and then there was simply no sexual chemistry would I keep trying?"

NO. One of the major boxes HAS to be chemistry. Having chemistry with someone means all those pair bonding activities come more naturally. When times get tough those pair bonding activities get you through the hard times. Pair bonding means eye contact, hand holding, snuggling, light routine kisses, soft intimacy, laughter, inside jokes, touch and social interactions. All these things are much more natural if there is chemistry between the members of the couple.

There will always be a million convenient excuses not to do what it takes to create a happy, fulfilling life for yourself. If that's what you really want, you are going to have to start going out of your comfort zone, even a little at a time. Otherwise in 20 years you'll still be in the exact same place.

See if you can find some concrete, measurable steps to get headed in the direction you want to go: school, financial independence, self-confidence, whatever, then set deadlines for getting them accomplished and stick to them. Tell us and we will encourage you and kick your ***. I think you need people to hold you accountable right now, until you can do it for yourself.

Good luck!

<p>Essentially, you are staying for the money - at least for now.</p><p>Women who "marry for money" tend to carry a negative connotation in life rightly or wrongly, but for some reason this is not so for women who "stay married for money"</p><p>Your choice is to stay for the money. I got no problem with that choice at all.</p><p>But given your desc<x>ription of your alcoholic drone of a husband (as per your other stories) there would have to be a shitload of money for this equation to balance.</p><p>Tread your own path.</p>

Its not sex you miss, its being wanted and desired. Sex is the tangible outcome, the act which would normally be the culmination of this, hence the term sexlessness. <br />
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For those who manage to bring their refusing spouses to the negotiating table, one of the gnawing issues to address is whether there IS desire for them. If so, why does it take the threat of divorce or the potential destruction of the marriage to elicit action? <br />
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For those who keep trying, past a point, I believe it is not desire or love which primarily motivates the ongoing plodding existence in a situation devoid of intimacy and passion - there are so many reasons given. What it takes to get clarity is brutal honesty. We look at ourselves sin the mirror unbl<x>inking and see ourselves flaws and all. We accept our part in the dysfunction and we dig our way out. <br />
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Whether it is staying or leaving, we recognize that we make that choice and we understand the consequences and pain. No one gets a pass on choice.

I understand. A few years ago, I scraped what seemed like bottom. I went to school, graduated, and now I'm at least able to stand on my own. But I haven't, for many of the same reasons. Plus, I agreed to buy a house, and let our expenses grow when I made more money. (Don't do that.) I also expected my goals to be reached, and now I'm thinking about grad school. I couldn't do that on my own either. So...stuck is an addictive environment.