Sexual Excuses - What Do You Say When You Don't Say
"Yes" To Sex?
How To Stay Faithful For The Rest
Of Your Life -
And Have Great Sex In Your Long-term Relationship!
No matter what reason you offer your partner for not
enjoying sexual intimacy with them, the reality is almost certainly something
more complex and deeper.
For example, to say that you are "too tired
for sex" may superficially be true, but do you create an opportunity for
sex at any other time rather than the end of the day when you're feeling
Would you consider reserving Sunday morning
for sexual intimacy with your lover instead?
The answer, sadly, is probably not, because
although you may well be tired at the end of the day the deeper truth is
likely to be that tiredness is an excuse for avoiding sex and a way to
avoid facing the question of how much intimacy or not you feel towards
So start by asking yourself: do you really
want to have sex with the same person for the rest of your life? Is that
idea acceptable to you? Is long term faithfulness in a sexual relationship
your ideal or is it something you put up with?
And if it were possible, would you like to
enjoy that long term commitment?
Among the excuses for not having sex - described
invariably as reasons - offered by couples who seek therapy for the lack of sex
in their lives the following feature time and time again:
- He/she just doesn't turn me on.
- I don't find them attractive. But then, what can
you expect in a long-term relationship?
- Sex is never as good when you've been doing it with the
same person for so long.
- He just doesn't turn me on like he used to when we
first met. He was muscular and slim them. Look at him now - he's
gone to seed.
- Her breasts are droopy and saggy, and my God, she's put
some weight on - when I look at her body I just feel disgusted.
- The chemistry you have to feel to enjoy sex with
someone has gone - that's just how it is in a long-term relationship.
- We're too old for sex - it's only natural not to want
it after you're forty!
- We simply don't have enough time to have sex, with the
family and the business and all the pressures we face.
- It just doesn't work like it used to.
- Sex has lost its magic - that's what happens after a
while, isn't it?
- We just don't feel like it.
- Somehow we never get round to it.
- Sometimes I think it'd be nice, but it seems like too
Couples use statements like these - and many
others besides - to try and explain the absence of sex from their relationship.
And when they do have sex it may just be an attempt to make themselves feel
better, or to pacify their partner who gives signs of wanting more sex, or to
keep up an average that the couple feel they should be sticking to - say sex
once a week or once a month.
Let me state here and now that I don't believe
any of this.
I think sex can be wonderful in a long-term
relationship no matter how many children you have, no matter how much time
pressure you have, no matter how much or little communication there is currently
between you, and no matter how much intimacy you feel.
Why do I say this?
Because I see, over and over again, that
couples who tackle the fundamental issues undermining their sexual relationship
can always enjoy wonderful sex again with each other. Being faithful is not an
Intimacy is not possible when you feel distance between
yourself and your partner.
Intimacy comes from closeness and communication
between a couple. When things start to feel familiar, or routine, or even
boring, couples tend to stop communicating. The next thing that happens is
that couples stop initiating sex.
t this stage they both know how good sex can be
and how rewarding they find it, and they may even wish that they were still
having sex, but the reality is that somehow it seems too much effort to
It seems too challenging to look at their
partner and find a way of expressing their sexual desire, especially if one
partner thinks they may be rejected, or they have got out of the habit of
expressing their sexual needs. And the longer this goes on, the harder it
For all the reasons that we looked at in the previous
section, even when you're secure at home you may find the subject of sex
difficult to raise.
And, yes, if you're under
stress, financially, or in
any other way, it seems harder still. And yet I know that the more you can communicate and connect
with your partner, the closer you can feel to them, the better you will feel,
and the easier sex will be (and the more rewarding too, for that matter).
Now, think for a moment about when you feel
sexiest: is it when you're at home, or when you're on holiday? Is it when you're
having sex in a comfortable bed? Or is it when you're having sex somewhere
slightly risky or even illicit - in the countryside, while camping, or in a
It's important, in fact it's absolutely crucial,
to understand that a decline in sexual desire or a loss of faithfulness (a
desire to try sex outside the relationship) is neither due to the fact that you
are with the same person nor even to the fact that you've doing the same things
with the same person for so long....
No, the truth is that a decline in sexual activity is down
to more fundamental issues with your relationship.
These issues include a lack of communication, the
build-up of resentment and anger between you and your partner, or perhaps a
sense of boredom that's crept in because of a lack of experimentation and
As we've already seen it's possible to turn
yourself off to sex: this is routinely justified by saying things like "I just
don't feel in the mood" or "I'm not excited by my partner any more". But those
are symptoms of the problem, not causes.
So at this point I offer you a challenge. If you
feel that the only thing wrong with your sex life is your partner or the type of
sex that you've been having (not often enough/exciting enough/raunchy enough or
any variation of those words) then let us try and establish how sexually
sensitive you currently are. In other words, have you turned
yourself off sex?
Before we do this, however, I do want to make the
point that I firmly believe there are a group of men around mid-life whose
decline in sexual interest is due to a significant drop in their testosterone
The men who fall into this group may not be
helped enough by these exercises alone. The men in this group, that is to say,
men around mid-life whose testosterone has declined significantly, may need
therapy of a more physical kind - including testosterone replacement therapy.
Consequences of low testosterone include - low
sex drive, erectile problems, premature ejaculation, irritability, low bone
density, fatigue, exhaustion, and
The best way to start checking this out is to fill in a
questionnaire which will help to establish if your testosterone levels are lower
than they need to be to maintain your sexual health and sexual interest. Take such a test. It
will at the least give you an indication of the state of your hormonal system.
It may even be worthwhile for every man over forty years of age who is reading
this website to check out this simple questionnaire and establish for himself if
there might be a physical basis for his sexual problems.
I have also
included several pages of information on what has become known as the male
andropause - that is to say, the equivalent of the female menopause - a state of
affairs where a man's hormones decline more sharply than is normal for men in
There is information on this page to help you find a way
forward if you happen to be in this group.
Having said all of that, I still maintain that
even men whose testosterone levels are low can dramatically improve the state of
their sex lives by using the exercises on this website.
After all, none of us, no matter what our age, no
matter what our level of physical fitness, no matter what how attractive we may
be, no matter how high or low our sex drive, is immune from the effects of
familiarity with a long-term partner: lack of communication, loss of intimacy
and a reduction in sexual interest.
And all those things are easily reversible, so
that you can enjoy the best sex you've ever had - faithfully, in your long term
relationship, with your long-term partner.
So here, then, is a short exercise which may give you some
sense of how turned on or off you currently are. (Not just to your lover, but
generally, towards sex.)
On the assumption that you are not feeling highly
sexual towards your lover at the moment, it is probably reasonable to assume
that you do not get much of a sexual thrill when you think of them.
So close your eyes and imagine your lover naked
in bed. Is there anything exciting about this for you?
Does it summon up images of running your hand
over their naked body, kissing them, fondling them, cuddling them, stroking
them, or in any other way engaging in the initial stages of what we would call
Try and measure your response to this fantasy on
a scale from 0 to 10, where 0 represents zero sexual response and 10 is being
wildly aroused - as madly aroused as you ever have been in your life.
Now cast your mind back to an exciting episode of
sex: perhaps something that happened to you in your teenage years, or your early
adulthood; an episode of sex where you were tingling with sexual arousal and
Summon up the
image, whether it is with your current partner or an ex-partner, and think about
it for a moment. See if you can take yourself back in your imagination to
the heady heights of your sexual desire at that time. A
nd now rate this
experience on the scale of 0 to 10. How does it compare with your previous
fantasy, of being with your current lover, right now? Do you have some
fear of intimacy which might be
causing this lack of arousal, or perhaps you suffer from a fear of rejection?
If your score on the second part of this exercise
was higher, ask yourself the following questions: do you think that you have
lost the capacity to be sexually aroused with your lover, or do you think that
you have somehow turned yourself off?
As I hope is now clear, the answer is that you
have probably turned yourself off, no doubt for very good reasons. That is not
the issue; the issue is the fact that you can quit easily feel more sexual
arousal and more sexual excitement than you are allowing yourself to feel at the
You have not mysteriously lost the capacity to be
turned on by your lover - to some degree you are choosing not to be turned on.
If you still doubt this then take the palm of your right
hand and run it over the skin of your left arm from shoulder to wrist. How
would you describe that experience? You probably didn't feel much
But now do it again and take your time. Run your
hand slowly, delicately, gently, over the surface of your skin.
Halfway down your arm lift your hand right hand
so that you just brush over the hairs on the back of your arm with the
underneath of your fingertips. Focus your whole attention on the sensations
you're experiencing. Shut out what is happening around you and focus only on
your hand and arm. And now consider how that felt.
Do you see how, when you focus your attention wholly on
the sensations you're feeling, that the sensations seem much greater? Your
awareness of your own sensory input - your sensuality - is so much
The point I'm making is that you are most likely applying the
same degree of filtering to your sexual experiences as you are to the touch of
your hand on your arm - and in doing so you are losing most of the stimulation
that would make you feel sexually aroused, and which would lead you to connect
sensually, erotically, and ultimately sexually, with your lover.
In the next section we will examine the sexual myths that
contribute to people's beliefs - to your beliefs - that you are not capable of
being turned on, or that you have lost the capacity to be turned on in your