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She's a wonderful girl, but I'm not sexually attracted to her...

Tagged as: Sex<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (2 November 2005) 10 Answers - (Newest, 28 November 2010)
A male , anonymous writes:

Hi...I have been going out with my girlfriend for about 8 months now. I am 22 and she is 22. I love this girl so much and she makes me very happy. We have such a great bond together but our sex life is not good at all. I have trouble going the distance most of the time. This is because I am not too attracted to her physically. However, I feel like she is perfect in every other way and I do not want to end the relationship. Please help.

- Depressed and confused

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A reader, anonymous, writes (28 November 2010):

Dear Depressed and confused: I have almost the same problem. I met a 38 year old man 3 months ago. He is very good looking and works out. He takes care of himself. I am 48 and I consider myself good looking also. When I met him, he was sexually attracted to me but I made him wait about 1 month before having sex with him because in this age, you don't know if a man wants you only for a one night stand or what. After that, I gave in only because he could no longer wait. We had sex but he did not ejaculate. As of today, we have made love "maybe" 4 times. He gets hard but cannot ejaculate. I was thinking maybe he has a "male" problem. He tells me all the time that he loves me more than anything in this world, he tells me or texts me more than 3 times a day that he loves me with all his heart, that I am certainly wife material cause he wants to marry me, that he wants to have a life with me and grow old together but he just doesn't "want it". I am very sexually active and am having a very hard time without intimacy. Sex is the very last thing on his mind and I am sad, depressed and I cry alot because I am so frustrated. I am not that kind of woman that goes out and "gets laid". I respect him and love him to no end. I don't know what to do.


Sad and Frustrated

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A male reader, Seringo United States +, writes (5 June 2009):

Hey, I want to say that I totally understand what you're going through. I've been dealing with the same thing. I'm a gay man, 30 years old. I have been in a relationship with a wonderful man for the past 6 months. In the beginning, we had great sex. But somewhere after 3 to 4 months, I started having the same problem you are describing. It's very bothersome because I am attracted to him romantically, but the sexual attraction has gone away. I've been trying to delve deep and find an answer to this. I am in therapy and have been in therapy for more than 15 years. Some things come up. One possibility is that it could be a fear of intimacy. If in the beginning you were sexually attracted to her and then now you're not, it could be that the closer you got, the more you got to know each other, the more vulnerable you have to make yourself. Fear of intimacy makes sense in this view. When you didn't know her, it was easy. Now that you know her, it is difficult. Another possibility is what they call the Madonna-Whore complex. Applied to the heterosexual world, men marry a woman who is almost virginal in his eyes, she appears pure and asexual. Sex is dirty in your mind and therefore only reserved for what you may view as the "whore." Please excuse my using that word, it's part of the complex and I don't condone the use of that word. So it becomes difficult to see your girl in a sexual way, you were taught to marry the pure girl. It's really an awful way to teach a child as it creates many problems in adulthood.

I'm still trying to deal with the situation. We have problems in the bedroom and I can't seem to perform. I get performance anxiety because now I feel I absolutely have to perform, and because I know I've been having difficulties, I freeze and get so anxious I can't perform. I'm considering seeing a sex therapist, I'm only seeing a regular therapist now. But one thing my therapist told me is that a relationship is a two way thing. If both people truly love each other, and truly want to make things work, they should be able to talk things through, to be patient and understanding, and communicate. Unfortunately, it can bring up the other person's inner complexes and the trauma they've gone through in the past, and it may be difficult for them to be understanding. I'm hoping for the best. He really is a great guy and the type I would want to spend the rest of my life with. He has a heart of gold. I know we had great sex in the beginning, and I'm hoping to restore that with help. Good luck to you guy, and anyone going through this. My best wishes to all of you!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (28 December 2007):

I have the same problem and will soon have been living with this man i am not attracted to for a year. I have made every hint imaginable about his clothes, shaving, showering_ may be these are not the problem, i just feel like everyone else seemed to have more sexuality in genral. I know we are not sexually compatable I don;t know why and the longer it goes on the sadder i am. I love him but realize that i need to let him go and me go before this gets any worse. I care about this person but it makes it even harder that my family seems to care for him a bit too. even though they usually dislike many qualities about my past relationships. It gets tougher and tougher and i started feeling guilty about not wanting sex with him i know he can tell/ ive made every exuse in the world. Recently i pretended i was with an ex and found it enjoyable he seemed very pleased. In past relationships the only exuse was after three or four times in a day times in a day "ouch". I love him but dont want to have sex with him 3 times in a month. It makes me sad there is nothing wrong with him down there. I have not been cheating but had been very tempted therefore he is jealous of both men and women that i care about -the point is its gotta stop even though hes great its gotta end

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (26 May 2007):

tell her how u feel it might hurt her but it will help u and her get closer poeple look for the perfect woman and never get them and r left with nothing.."if u really her let her go and if she comes back u will know"

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 December 2006):

I understand completely what you are going through. I have been with a girl for about a year now-- I wanted her more than anything in the beginning; did everything to get her; somewhere, however, the attraction wasn't as strong as I would have liked it. There have been times when the sex was comprable to other women, but the issue is always in the back of my mind. It has been about three weeks now since we've had sex. She has brought it up, and I just try to play innocent, and that I just am so tired, etc. It's really tough because she is amazing in so many ways! And continues to surprise me with her greatness; I really agree with one reply that women's attraction is much like Beauty and the Beast, and that is so powerful. I just wish I was able to see that too. I try to put it aside, but the sex thing really drives me crazy. One good point is that it must be something deeper, because she is really beautiful, and I see other guys staring at her all the time---that is how I was in the beginning! So, I can only conclude that it's me and my preferences. I also know it's not a functionality/ libido thing on my part because my last long term relationship was filled with a lot more and better sex. What to do? Horrible dillema.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (22 November 2005):

talk to her about it. possibly see a therapist. you shouldn't feel pressured to perform in bed. as a female, i can say we really know better (or should know better) than to think it's going to be perfect every time.

figure out why you're so anxious

option number two:

ever thought you might be gay?

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A reader, anonymous, writes (3 November 2005):

Yes, I agree with you. It sounds shallow but attraction to another either physically or emotionally is the force that initiates emotional intimacy. It makes sense, because one would not want to be involved with someone who 'repels' him. Passion and sexuality is an important part of any relationship and it's tough to maintain a physically/emotionally satisfying love relationship without it. However, if it's just her lovemaking techniques in bed is all that is 'turning you off', perhaps explore some ways to help her learn more in this department. If it's her physical self that doesn't cut it for you, then let her go, but you do risk giving up the other wonderful traits points, that you do like about her. She will likley be hurt decide. There is no point in making her hang in there with you...when she can find perhaps someone who accepts her for the "whole total package" that she is.

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A male reader, shymie069 +, writes (2 November 2005):

I hear what you guys are saying and I am taking it to heart. However, I believe that we can work through this. She has turned me on and still does. We have had enjoyable sex before. However, every time we arent successful in bed, I feel more and more pressure to perform the next time, and this makes it a lot harder. I also tend to overthink when we have sex but I never used to. I think this is also due to lack of success in bed.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 November 2005):

I know exactly where you are coming from. I was in a relationship with a fantastic guy for 12 years but never ever felt the sort of attraction to him that I now have with my current partner. Sexual attraction is very important in a loving relationship. It makes for better communication all round if you can be open and honest with your partner and let them know how sexy/attractive/hot they are too you! It certainly keeps the romance alive! You might be best to make the break now and wait for the right person who has ALL the qualties you are attracted to instead of living life day to day with 2nd best. Be true to YOU. You only get one chance at life so live it to the full.

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A female reader, Bev Conolly Australia +, writes (2 November 2005):

Bev Conolly agony auntThe physical attraction side of a relationship can be really immaterial, or it can be a deal-breaker. It mostly depends on your feelings.

Women, by and large, are attracted to aspects of a man other than the ones men think women are attracted to (that is, other than handsomeness and penis size). As in the story of 'Beauty and the Beast', women can completely overlook physical appearance and still be in love with someone.

Men are generally designed differently to women, and usually need a physical attraction of some sort to stay interested in their partners (this is a perfectly legitimate paradigm, by the way!) OR... they need to have grown to love the woman in their life, and be able to see past her imperfections. The latter option tends to be the way of long-term couples, like Uncle Bert and Aunt Velda who've been married for 42 years.

That doesn't mean that all women have to be drop-dead gorgeous, waif-thin models, but as you would know, it's important to have something about her that attracts you.

You need to try to project into your collective future a bit and decide how important this issue is going to be for YOU. It's not fair to your girlfriend to lead her on - even unconsciously - if you know in your heart that you'll never find her attractive and will never be interested in sex with her. If you tried to do that, in a short span of time, she'd pick up on your lack of interest, and would end up hurt and resentful. If you're sure that this can't be changed, you're probably better to break up now, rather than subject both of you to a sexless relationship.

You say that she's "perfect in every other way" and that you both make each other happy, so you strike me as a good candidate for being able to see beyond the surface of your girl's appearance. But you need to examine your deeper feelings and see what you find. Are you embarrassed by the way she dresses, for example? Would her appearance make you shy about introducing her to your friends and family? Or, alternatively, is she such a winning personality that you feel sure that your friends will shortly learn to love her as much as you do?

Think about whether your concerns are for aspects that she can't - or doesn't want to - change, like she's very tall and skinny, or whether it's something she might consider changing to feel better about herself: something like getting her teeth straightened, or simply wearing brighter colours.

Then you need to talk with her about it. Believe me, she'll already know about the no-sexual-attraction problem! Women have an inbuilt radar for these things. Reassure her that you love her and that she makes you happy, but that you want to find a resolution to this concern of yours.

Maybe you'll find that she grows more attractive as you get older (you're both still really young, you know), or maybe this is something that could be solved with a little collective clothes-shopping (Suggested comment" "You'd look so good in this I wouldn't be able to stop myself tearing it off you!"), or it might be something that you help her acheive for herself, like both of you working on an exercise program to tone up, etc.

Good luck with it.

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