Does This Confuse You?

my husband and I tonight are sitting here discussing our sexless marriage...why he seems to be missing the "want sex" chip. He told me he's an eternal optimist & just keeps hoping that something will work...we'll touch a certain way, it will just happen somehow, somehow something will fix us. I asked him if he though Tinkerbell was going to fly in the window and sprinkle her magic dust on him or what?? now he's mad and won't talk me.
suenit suenit
61-65, F
7 Responses Dec 26, 2012

What would his response be if you told him that you loved him very much and you want to stay married to him and be with him but you refuse to live without sex and that you are going to find a lover? Would he get off his *** and pounce on you a bit more often, or would he throw you out and get a divorce?

Is it abnormal not to "want sex"? I never do. It takes work, but once a little work is put in then it is fine. I think that it is weird and juvenile to "want sex".

yes, I think wanting to have sex with your spouse is a very highly functioning, normal thing to desire...I think it's weird to not want such an important part of a relationship and I think not understanding that concept is pretty weird also.

So, you don't think that sex is a normal part of married life? Is this the sex is immature argument?

I think sex is a normal part of life, married or not, I just don't "want" it. I just make it happen. I just think that people want to have sex when they are growing and developing and then once a persons hormones adjust, then you don't have the "want" or desire it anymore. There is of course the honeymoon phase of a relationship, but after that wears off I think that most people lose desire.

I just don't think that having sexual desire is important. You can have a healthy sexual relationship without that adolescent desire. I wouldn't pressure somebody who doesn't feel desire to change. How awkward and depressing would that to the person lacking desire.

Sadly, I think you are TOTALLY missing the point. If you only have sex because you think you should, rather than because you feel desire, then you are missing out on a crucial ingredient for sexual and intimate expression.

Whilst this may be fine with you, because you do not know what you are missing, your partner /spouse is likely to be on his forum (at some point) telling us his partner does not desire him but has duty sex instead.

Duty sex is sex where desire is absent in one partner. It is crushing for the other person and can lead to relationship breakdown.

"How awkward and depressing would that be to the person . . . . who HAS desire!"
You are a classic example of a Refuser partner. Although you may not actually refuse your partner you do not take part in a joyous way because of mutual desire. Instead. if you are having sex at all, it is from a sense of duty.

It is tragic that you think sexuality is "weird and juvenile"! I beg you NOT to partner with anyone whose sexuality varies from your own. Find a partner who feels the same way as you do about sex and you both stand a chance of a happy relationship.


Your perspective is not objective. You have lost your desire so you think that this is the norm.

Our hormones adjust in adolescence so that we develop from a child into an adult. Once our hormones have 'settled down' we are then in the adult state where we want sex as a default setting. It is when we have an unusually low sexual hormone count that the normal default setting to want sex is missing. We become adults in order to become sexually reproductive animals not to loose our sex drives in the transitionary process.

You may think that wanting sex is 'weird and juvenile' but if adults didn't have this normal sex drive then the human race would have died out years ago.


I have taken a college course on human sexuality and no where in the text did it state that sexual desire is the norm. I think that it is really inconsiderate that each of you abjects to the idea of not having desire. Not inconsiderate to me, but to the whole entire populations of people who do not experience this desire. Almost everything imaginable exists on a continuum. For you all to insist that lack of desire is abnormal is to shame an entire group of people. The reason I posted the comments I did in the first place was because this woman wants to persuade her husband into feeling that he should be feeling something that he isn't. I just wanted to show that there are different ways to look at the situation. I think the better idea is just to be supportive and enjoy what you have and realize that people come in all different flavors. I have been in a monogamous relationship for over three years and we have a very satisfying sex life. To say that I should find someone with the same sex drive as me is to assume that I don't enjoy sex and that I am not satisfying my partner nor being satisfied. As for refuser partner... this term does not even exist in wikepedia. Way to coin a phrase to make people feel ashamed of who they are or to feel justified in their pursuit of adultery. I just joined this social network less than a week ago and the responses to this post makes me feel that it is not much different than other social network sites. No one feels comfortable hearing a perspective that doesn't suit their own intent or purpose.

"No one feels comfortable hearing a perspective that doesn't suit their own intent or purpose." Very true. Obvuiously YOU feel most uncomfortable with what you see as confrontation about your sexuality . . .

You are entitled to be without desire. Whilst I do not agree that this is the norm, there is plenty of evuidence on this forum alone to suggest you situation is not uncommon.

But I certainly DO caution you against a partnership with someone whose desire levels are vastly different from your own. Almost everyone here who posts because of a sexless marriage has been or is in a relationship with someone whose desire levels are very different from their's. This is the single greatest cause for distress, heartache, broken marriages and pain on this forum.

If you knowingly choose a partner whose desire levels are very different to your's, you are deliberately choosing a partner whom you are unlikely to satisfy over a long term relationship.

Your own statement "the better idea is just to be supportive and enjoy what you have" reflects what almost ALL of our Refuser partners say to us . . . and they do not say it out ofunkindness or to intentionally cause hurt, they say it because they simply DO NOT UNDERSTAND how desire changes a relationship.

Refusers is not a great term, but it exists because it largely encapsulates the rejection of desire that our spouses / partners feel and which dictates their behaviour in their relationships.

No-one should be forced to have sex against their will - but people who desire sex should not have to live without it or have it seriously "rationed" in a married relationship.

Anyone with reduced or absent desire is being very selfish if s/he inflicts this on a partner or spouse knowingly.

I am pleased your sex life is satisfying. Can you honestly say the same for your partner? Does he / she have the same attitudes as you to desire? If so, then your partnership is likely to be successful and happy. If not, then it may be very difficult for him / her to sustain a loving and intimate relationship with you over a longer term.

It is important that you realise this is NOT personal criticism. I don't know you and I have no reason to wish you anything but personal happiness. But I am very well aware that the discrepancies between individuals regarding desire can and DO seriously affect relationships in negative ways.

I hope for your sake that your relationship is fulfilling, happy and long lasting for you both. But please be aware that you do have reason to be aware of the pitfalls that may lie ahead . . . .

The desire for intimacy should not be dismissed as adolescent desire. sex, is a is a common experience but, love and intimacy with the opposite sex is an incredibly beautiful experience. (It's not immature and it's not dirty)

Miss Jaded:
"For you all to insist that lack of desire is abnormal is to shame an entire group of people." I don't wish to judge or shame any person for the lack of desire; I agree with you; there is a continuum of interest; But, are you suggesting that a person who is denied sexual intimacy with their spouse is simply using the spouse's denial as an excuse or justification for the pursuit of adultery? I am sure that you did not mean to judge or offend people who are sincere and wish to have a complete relationship with their mate.

Very nicely received responses from you all. Of course I did not mean to offend or judge those sincere on pursuing a complete intimate relationship with their mate. That may have been defensive on my behalf. Perhaps I do feel uncomfortable with my level of desire, but by no means do I consider it abnormal. I understand that love and intimacy with the any biological sex can be beautiful. I just feel like everyone was so ready to jump the bandwagon to dis on this desire-less spouse. I still DO NOT think that desire is essential. Sex is needed for reasons other than desire. People need sex for intimacy, physical pleasure, bonding, stress release, ect.. Sex is very important and should never be forced, but I don't believe that desire is essential.

In case you missed it in your college course, are you aware of the Rosmary Basson model for female sexual desire? One of the most damaging aspects of presumptions about sex in contemporary culture is the notion of the simultaneous desire and lust, which even in well-matched couples isn't always there.

I think what you'll find if you read more here is that the fundamental problem is not the desire on its own, but that the person is not willing to do whatever they can to help their partner their partner be satisfied in an exclusive relationship.

As for your own situation, do you think it likely that your partner is unaware that you view wanting sex as "weird and juvenile"? Perhaps you could instead be as accepting of his sexuality as you want others to be of yours.

I would like to offer an apology. I did not know that this was a 'sexless marriage' forum. I am still getting the hang of this site. I was just looking at titles and reading stories and stumbled upon this one and decided to respond. I can understand now why people are so passionate on the subject. I will be more careful in the future about which forums I am posting in.

no worries:)

13 More Responses

What strikes me about your husband's reaction is that it is such a massive insult. I am curious to know, was there a time in your marriage when there was a lot more sex happening? Or has there always been this super reluctance on his part?

this is a second marriage for both of us & first marriages lasted 20 plus yrs for both of us. My exhusband and I had an excellent sex life but blame the failure on our different work schedules. I have found out in the last year from my present husband that no sex was one reason for the failure of his first marriage, however, when we dated it was good but as soon as we got married (after dating 3 yrs) it came to a crawl..i'm talking from our wedding night on literally it slowed WAY down to eventually nothing..I mean NOTHING. I will say I always felt a reluctance on his part, almost like he was unsure what to do,etc, so there were many red flags and unfortunately I decided to ignore every one of them...nobody's fault but my own.

I feel for you. My wife gave up sex a few years ago and refuses to discuss it. It's debilitating; I love her and we have shared much but I need a lover in the worst way.

I'm sorry:( it's very unfair and torturing especially when you do love the other person but pulling the plug because they're just not into it anymore is extremely selfish...there are lots of things I'm not into anymore but I committed to them so I do it...guess that's the difference between him & I.

Got to say that I am not confused by this in any way.

However, YOU are, and as long as you stay confused, then this bullshit just goes on - - - - -and on - - - - and on.

Tread your own path.

i'm really being a little catty..sorry...this actually does not confuse me a bit...i'm completely on to him but it helps to keep a sense of humor I find!

I have had those conversations myself in the past and ended up on the losing end. I don't have them anymore ~ it's easier that way. Good luck to you.

Same place I'm in LadyBronte....I give!!!! A lot easier.

I understand, I give till it hurts, then I get really angry and blow up then I'm good for another 3 months or so.

Obviously he didn't understand your point...or maybe he did and he can't take it? You obviously need him to take some action instead of just "waiting it out"? I'm having a similar problem with my wife. Hopefully he can understand your point when he cools down...?

won't happen but I appreciate your optimism:) he's got a million of them (excuses)...his "waiting it out" is actually avoidance..THAT i am not confused about. Sorry you're having a similar's no fun.