Sexual Excuses: What Do You Say When You Don’t Say “Yes” To Sex?
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 tired?
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 your partner.
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?
Do you want sex with the same person for the rest of your life?
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 – it’s boring. 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 much effort.
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 idealistic dream.
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 initiate.
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 gets……
Sometimes the subject of sex is 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 friend’s house?
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….
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 excitement.
How to start having sex again when it’s died away
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 levels.
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 depression.
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 midlife.
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 foreplay?
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 sexual excitement.
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 moment.
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 sensation.
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 greater.
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.