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Losing intimacy
A loss of intimacy or sexual desire can happen in any relationship. Both men and women can experience a loss of desire and it can be very difficult for the other partner to cope. If may feel as if the partner who does not want to have sex has shut down. It may seem as if he or she never initiates sex or has lost interest in completely. Even a temporary dip in your sex life can lead to other difficult feelings, ranging from minor frustrations to more severe distress. There are many reasons a couple stops having sex. There are psychological and physical symptoms that can affect sexual desire, or there may be other factors at play, connected to your environment or other social pressures. Psychological factors Psychological factors could play a major role in sexual problems. Your mental and emotional state can have a significant impact on how you feel about sex – including whether you want to have it at all. Your thoughts have a powerful effect on your body and, once you find yourself in a negative frame of mind, it can be very hard to move forward. Think about how you have been feeling lately. Have you been under stress? Are you anxious about something? Perhaps this could be influencing your partner too. How do you think they might be feeling? Physical factors Intimacy can be affected by physical problems like erectile dysfunction, low desire, vaginismus, pain during intercourse, and premature ejaculation. These might be caused by psychological factors, a poor diet, lack of sleep, or side effects of some medications. If you are concerned about any of these problems, seek advice from your doctor. After the birth of a child, both women and men can be anxious about having sex again. Women may still be in physical pain, and men can worry causing damage. On top of this, new parents are often very busy and exhausted, making it difficult to get back to the way things were before. There is more information on this in the section on 'parenting together'.  Environmental factors Where you live and your immediate surroundings might also play a part. If you or your partner live in a shared house or with parents, you may worry about being overheard, or just feel strange about having sex when there’s someone else in the house.Other stresses in your life, like troubles at work, money worries, or a family crisis, can also put extra pressure on your sex life. What is your current situation? Could something unrelated be causing a problem for you and your partner? Social pressures Portrayals of sexuality in films and TV, or even on our friends’ social media profiles might lead you to think that everyone else is having sex all the time. Even if you know this is unrealistic, it can still put pressure on you to measure up. Sex is very personal for every couple. What feels right for one couple may not be for you. Try to let go of the pressure to do what you think you should be doing, and instead just focus on being happy with your partner. Sex is a difficult subject to talk about, but each of us has our own needs and desires and it’s OK to talk about these with your partner. Try have a frank and open discussion about what you’d like and any problems you might have, encouraging your partner to share their side of things too.   If you can break the cycle of negative thoughts and start to think positively about yourself and your sex life, it will help you start to get back on track.  If you are concerned about any of the issues raised above, seek professional support from a doctor, or a sex and relationships counsellor.
Article | intimacy, sex
21 4 min read
“He never wants to be intimate”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Hello everyone, I've been needing to get something off my chest for a long time now. It's something very personal and I can't bring myself to talk to anyone in my social circle or family, because I feel very embarrassed, neglected and as if something is wrong with me. I've been seeing my partner for about 10 months now. For context, I haven't had very many sexual partners as I've always been in committed relationships since my teens (and am now 24). My partner (28) on the other hand has had many sexual partners and has never been in a committed relationship before me, and would, I quote, "pump and dump". So a very big player who would just fuck around, pardon my language. At the beginning of the relationship, physically everything was great, we were both very into each other and would be intimate almost every time we saw each other. However, after 4/5 months of being together, the physical intimacy became much more scarce. He would never initiate, or say he was tired. I was the one always initiating and trying to be intimate, and they would just make up an excuse or laugh it off like a joke. I would try everything, wearing sexy lingerie while walking around the apartment, joining them in the shower, walking and lying around naked... And they would just either ignore it or react as if I was making a joke. And now it's gotten to a point where I'm too worried about rejection to even try anymore, and it's such a horrible feeling knowing that if I don't try, they'll never even bother to initiate (which is the sad reality). It's just feels so humiliating, that the person that's meant to love me and be attracted to me doesn't even want to touch me. He talks long term goals, including marriage, potentially having kids and buying property together, so I know he's not cheating on me and is very much attracted to me still. I am considered by societies standards as conventionally attractive, and receive a lot of attention from the opposite sex. But I don't get any from the person I love, and it makes me feel as if I'm disgusting or something is wrong with me. I feel so ashamed and humiliated, and am so worried because we're not even a year into our relationship and we're already having intimacy issues, and we're both a young couple who should theoretically be in their prime physically. There are also issues when we are intimate. I only climax from oral, not from penetrative sex. He said when we first started seeing each other, that he was a "selfless lover" and couldn't selfish if he wanted to be, because he got off on his partner getting off. And he couldn't get me to climax through regular sex, and I did tell them I could only climax through oral, and then he just gave up. He doesn't even try. In the 10 months we've been together, I can count the number of times he's gone down on me on one hand. And he always says how he "loves" how I taste and makes these remarks like "I can't wait for dessert" or something along those lines, but then never actually does it. So it makes me feel so dejected and as if I'm dirty and disgusting. I'm at a point where I don't know what to do anymore, I feel as though I've given up. Even going to bed, he doesn't cuddle and normally comes to bed after I've already fallen asleep.so I just end up crying myself to sleep. I don't know what to do anymore, I just feel so alone and dejected.
Ask the community | sex, communication, sexless
“Conditional sex”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I have been with my partner for over 4 years although I have known him since I was a teenager. We both have been married before and have children from previous relationships. When we first got together sex was amazing and all the time, I had never felt so fantastic and I felt that I had finally found someone who understood and matched my sexual desire. I took ill and was stuck at home for over a year, lost my job and my confidence and gained weight. While I was unwell there was a change, I was often the one to initiate sex and he would say it would be selfish for him to want sex when I was ill. I said I could make the decision if I was up to it or not there would be an argument and he would huff for a while but then carry on. We did always however have a good level of closeness always holding hands, hugging and being together. Once I recovered we got back to having great sex again but there was a change, he seems to only want sex if I wear a dress, stockings and heels. This is 'what he likes' and it seems he is just not interested in me otherwise and he rarely initiates sex. These conditions that seem to be almost like rules now make me feel quite sad, I miss just making love on a Saturday morning or having a 'quickie' when the kids are out. He may think I look sexy when I dress like this but I just feel unattractive and under great pressure and I never feel good enough. He is a perfectionist and he will point out if there is the smallest snag in my stockings or I haven't shaved properly. It is as though he has standards that I just don't meet anymore so he would rather do without sex. I love him deeply and fancy him like crazy but I am sexually frustrated and scared we are drifting too far apart to fix it.
Ask the community | sex, communication, sexless
One simple change to improve your sex life
If you are among the many couples who put so much pressure on themselves to have amazing sex that you are avoiding it all together, one simple change could make all the difference. In a poll of 6,000 people, nearly half said they were happy with their sex lives. However, that leaves more than half of us wanting something more. Just over half said they had not had sex at all in the last month. Researchers involved in the study suggested that simply changing your attitude can make all the difference to how happy you feel about your sex life. Many couples say they want sex to be more spontaneous but, due to the nature of our busy modern lives, it’s sometimes necessary to plan for our intimate moments. This may not be such a bad thing, especially as it can reduce the pressure you’re putting on yourselves, and help you enjoy the sex you are having. Another easy way to change your attitude is to recognise the good things you already have. Rather than trying to live up to sex you see on TV, or what you imagine other people might be doing, just allow yourself to enjoy the reality of your own relationship. Remember also that sex doesn’t always have to mean intercourse – it all counts, and the important thing is that you both have a good time. If you’re very busy or exhausted after a long day, sometimes just an intimate cuddle can be enough to help you feel close and remind each other of the connection you share. Psychosexual therapist Cate Campbell says: “It’s sad that so few people are sexually satisfied and put pressure on themselves to perform. Noticing what is going well, rather than dwelling on problems, is quite difficult when we’re all bombarded with messages about how sex ‘ought’ to be. “Sex definitely doesn’t have to be disappointing – there's plenty that can turn your situation around so you can enjoy a sustained, fulfilling sex life. What constitutes a satisfying sex life can vary wildly from one person to the next, so working out what makes you tick is a great starting point”.
Article | sex, communication
“Loss of intimacy”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   My husband and I have been married 3 yrs with 2 kids together (4 kids total). Our sex life has always been great but for the past year it hasnt been. We will have sex every now and then. Maybe every 2 weeks and sometimes every month or longer..I started to become curious as to why he lost interest and noticed he was watching porn on his phone. I knew he did off and on but noticed how often he was doing it for the past few months...he would even look at this stuff during his lunch breaks at work awhile telling me he was taking a nap. His addiction affected our marriage because he never desired sex with me anymore but every now and then. We got into a heated arguement one time and he admitted he had a problem. We decided to take internet off his phone completely so he wouldnt be tempted anymore but he still isnt being intimate with me... the sex still isnt happening as often and when I confront him he swears up and down there is nothing wrong with our sex life, with me or anything that he is just lazy. He will only initiate sex if I have complained that day about it. I finally decided that I wasnt going to complain or ask him for it anymore because I didnt want to get my Hope's up that we would have sex more...I dont know what else to do
User article | intimacy, sex