If you are also not sexually attracted to your partner anymore, then perhaps you have come to the right place today. Sexual attraction brings a certain degree of a spark and chemistry to a relationship that might wane over time. There are plenty of reasons why sexual attraction between partners may decrease over time but there are also plenty of other ways to revive that excitement in your relationship again.
The following is a real-life query posed to counseling psychologist and certified life-skills trainer Deepak Kashyap (Masters in Psychology of Education), who specializes in a range of mental health issues, including LGBTQ and closeted counseling.
I Am Not Sexually Attracted To My Partner – What To Do?
Q: Is losing physical attraction normal? I am a 48-year-old and overall a happily married man. My problem though, right now, is my wife’s weight. I hate to sound like the typical shallow guy but she has put on at least 30 kilos since we got married 22 years ago and because of that, I am not sexually attracted to my partner anymore. That being said, I have never cheated on her and like to think I never would. But my sex life is exceptionally unsatisfying due to this problem. We are basically in a sexless marriage at this point.
As for me, I’m in pretty good shape as I go to the gym, etc. I also still get a lot of attention from women because of how I look. I know my wife feels bad about herself and the fact that she doesn’t get much attention from men anymore. When she was young, she was a natural beauty, and I think she took that for granted because she never had to work at it.
Now she seems unwilling to do anything to get her mojo back. I don’t know what to do. I hate to think that with my life not even (hopefully) half over, that’s it for sex. Sometimes I wonder if I should just randomly hook up with someone to get it out of my system and take the pressure off my wife. Or should I start a casual relationship outside of my marriage? I also wonder if monogamy is natural and if it’s realistic to expect men to suppress their sexual feelings for their entire lives. I admit, I probably got married too young, and if I hadn’t, maybe I would have chosen someone different and not be having these issues. What do you think about this?
From the expert:
Dear Adam, I have a simple piece of advice for you regarding the issue of how you are not sexually attracted anymore and that is: emotional counseling. I’ll explain this to you in reasonable detail. I will first address the weight issues of your wife and then the questions, concerns and doubts you have raised about your sex life and monogamy.
At the risk of being very simplistic, generally, people put on weight because of the following reasons:
- As a personal or cultural habit: Taking way more calories than one can burn off during their day
- A medical problem: They are experiencing a medical issue that has slowed down their metabolism or has created another biological complication that doesn’t let them lose weight properly
Another important reason, which is often ignored, is the depression or anxiety-related issue that one might face. Have you ever noticed people finishing a tub of popcorn faster during a more anxiety-provoking part of a thriller movie?
When we were sad in our childhood years, we were given candies, fries or our favorite ice creams to calm us down, thereby unwittingly increasing our tendencies to eat. As a result, even as adults, when we are upset or face any other emotional challenge, a lot of people turn to eating to calm themselves.
Food, sex and socialization have similar calming effects on our brains. So it would be of value to talk to your wife about the lack of intimacy and the weight issues (from the health point of view also along with the sex angle). You could also discuss getting help. Do it after you have ruled out the possible health complications that I had mentioned earlier.
Related Reading: What Is Sextech? Meaning, Benefits, And Why You Should Care
Losing physical attraction is not uncommon
You also have to realize that the process of finding your partner less and less sexually attractive is not very uncommon. Yes, sometimes the physical appearance of your partner can accelerate the process. You can take solace in the fact that sooner or later, the same is valid for the majority of couples, even if you were married to a supermodel. I understand your concern when you feel that your sexual life has halted sooner than what would have been usual in your imagination.
Non-monogamy works only when it is consensual. Even then, it is complicated. I am all for couples exploring and deciding their boundaries. However, remember when non-monogamy is non-consensual, it’s called cheating. In my experience, not a lot of good comes out of it, more than the range of the moment for which it remains secret. Cheating guilt, shame and insecurities creep in sooner or later. So choose wisely.
If You Are Not Sexually Attracted To Your Partner, Then Try This
Sexual attraction is not something that can be conjured overnight, as they show in the movies. There is a lot more that goes into being physically attracted to someone, wanting to make love to them and showing them your most raw and vulnerable self.
A dry spell in your marriage may seem like a cause for concern right now, but rest assured when we tell you that it can be taken care of. If you are not sexually attracted to your partner anymore, don’t jump the gun and head to a strip club or a bar to pick someone else up. It is essential that you give it your best in this relationship before running right off. Apart from the expert-backed tips, you can try these things with your partner to revive the sexual spark:
1. Start scheduling sex
Pick a place, time, position or anything else that will help you stick to it! A lot of therapists recommend scheduling sex as a way of bringing back the erotic spark into your marriage and sex life. It may seem like a dull, monotonous and forced thing to do at first but do consider trying it as it does have many benefits. The moment you decide to stick to a plan and a timetable, the better you will be at committing yourself to your partner.
Right now, because of the lack of sexual attraction, you probably keep finding reasons to not have sex with your partner. A reader from Minnesota told us, “After 17 years of marriage, there was a point where I was not sexually attracted to my husband anymore. If I was given a choice, I’d rather watch TV on the couch with him and then go to sleep. But the moment we decided to start scheduling sex, we were not only doing it much more but also enjoying it better than before!”
2. Consider if there’s something internal that is holding you back
As the above query posed, the man’s issue of being in a sexless marriage had to do with not being attracted to his wife’s body anymore. However, that is not always the reason when a dry spell hits your relationship. The reasons could actually be plenty and sometimes, the problem might actually be with you. So before you start blame-shifting erratically, take a look within yourself.
Have you been thinking too much about an ex lately? Is there something particular that turns you off? Have you been watching way too much porn? Time to consider these things before you put the onus of your sexless marriage on your husband or wife.
3. Try new things in the bedroom
The greatest thing about sex is that if you really try, the exploration aspect truly never ends. There is so much to do in the bedroom, so many sex positions, a wide range of sex toys and crazy new things to help you understand what you like and what you don’t like. Who knows, you might even stumble upon a new, kinky fetish along the way?
Take our advice and do some research with your partner. If you are not physically attracted to your partner anymore, it might be because the sex has been too dull for far too long. It’s up to you now to change that.
4. Talk to them
“I was not attracted to my wife anymore, ever since I got a new job. I was so preoccupied by what was happening around me, I stopped appreciating my wife like I used to. This terribly hampered our sex life until one night when one of the boys from work told me to straight up talk to her instead of ignoring her advances. Once I felt understood by her, it helped me let my guard down. That combined with some crazy good sex toys and accessories, we slowly worked our way back up again,” shared Trevor, a marketing manager at a firm in New York.
So yes, talk and talk and talk to your partner. If you think you are losing physical attraction toward them, the only way to fix this problem is to let them in on the concern. The more you hide it from them, the more you will feel urged to satisfy yourself in other ways.
5. Consult a sexologist
If none of the above things have worked for you, well then this is the last resort. Time to bring in the big guns. You’ve done your best, now it’s time for an expert to take over so you can work on your sexual compatibility again. Don’t be shy as they are only here to help and not judge.
Even though it can be extremely unnerving, dwindling sexual attraction in a long-term relationship is neither uncommon nor permanent. How a couple handles this inevitable situation determines the outcome. So hang in there and don’t give up until you’ve exhausted all your options.
At certain times, yes it can be normal to not feel sexually attracted to your partner. You may be going through stress internally, there may be a rift in the relationship or you might just be irked by your partner over something. However, all these causes are temporary and can be worked upon.
Yes, absolutely. While these two things mostly go hand in hand, it is not necessary to be sexually attracted all the time to someone that you love.
At Bonobology, we highly doubt that such a thing is possible. Unless two asexuals are involved with one another, good sex is important to any relationship for it to flourish.