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Relationships and Sexual Aversion Disorder

Group Therapy: I Don't Want to Have Sex With Him, but I Do

This question comes from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

I have been married for 5 years and my husband and I both love each other so much and believe we are soul mates/meant to be/ and do not wish to be with any other person ever.

Problem is I have sexual aversion disorder. This means I have no desire to have sex with him. I don't even ever want to kiss, cuddle, caress, basically anything that may lead to sex.  It's pretty much a form of anxiety. I hate to see nudity/sex on tv, say any sexual words (dirty talking), and never feel horny.


So for 5 years we have been having sex pretty much every day but I hate it. And he hates it because he knows I hate it. Everything else in our relationship is perfect. We are both Christians so we feel it is wrong to divorce plus we don't want to divorce because other than the sex issue, we are in love and want to be with each other forever. He has dealt with this for 5 years so he seriously does want to stay with me and I want to stay with him.

I used to just deal with it and did not care that sex sucked, but now I want to have good sex, feel passionate, basically feel like I have to have that person now and rip each others clothes off!

Is it possible? Read the rest here.

Have a dilemma of your own? Post it, anonymously, to Group Therapy for advice, and check out what else is happening in the TrèsSugar Community.

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Join The Conversation
BiWife BiWife 6 years
I can totally relate on a certain level to the OP. I've been married to a guy for 9 years even though I'm almost entirely gay, so there are certainly times when I do not want a guy in bed with me. Once in a while, I may "take one for the team" and have sex even though I'm really not into it, but we decided (as a couple) years ago that it was better to go without than feel like he was pushing the issue or causing me any discomfort/annoyance. I still feel a bit guilty sometimes that I'm not completely sating his libido. We are polyamorous so it's not necessarily required that a single spouse do that, just that whole ego thing of wanting to be more in bed than a single person can handle. Anyways, it is difficult when he's wanting to be intimate and the idea of what's inside his pants literally turns me off (and one can only pretend he's got an innie instead of an outie for so long, lol), while simultaneously the idea of what's inside a girl's pants turns me right back on. So, I can totally empathize with the situational aversion to sex, but breaking up certainly isn't the only answer. The biggest part of the problem is communication and learning to talk openly about it and not take things too personally is key. Also, I came to our marriage with far more sexual experience than my husband and that was something that took a long time for him to come to terms with. The whole time he knew he loved me and that I loved him, but he still felt inadequate in bed. That too was fixed with communication improvements. I had already done the part of figuring out what I liked, so it was important that I was letting him know what that was. I was really shy about that initially, feeling like I was being a slave driver and not letting him just be passionate, but he convinced me that he wasn't concerned with making me like the stuff he knew, but making me happy - period. Once we got that together, we were able to really make the neighbors jealous if we forgot to close the windows.
Kaesch4 Kaesch4 6 years
On sex and the city i know its very weird to bring up...but the husband can have sexual feelings for other women and masterbate just fine but he cant feel that way about his wife...he feels like shes his wife and his partner who isnt a sexual being but more like a mother type figure.... I agree with an above post that once a day is too much..try once or twice a week. maybe you can find a group of women online whom have the same problem and talk to them about it aswell... maybe what would help you is watchign intimate movies together to take you to a sensual place and set the mood with candles and just sit and relax with eachother...maybe masterbate in the same room and get sexually comfortable arpund him and slowly do things like that till yu feel he is a ummm sexual partner as well as a husband...hes there to help you discover what feels good and all up some money and see a sex theraphis
Arctic-Cat Arctic-Cat 6 years
If you can't afford therapy then try some creative solutions. Now is the time to try and let you inhibitions go (drugs/alcohol may help get the wheels in motion). You don't need to depend on external stimuli for a good sex life but it sure can help get things started. And once you train you brain to see your husband as a sexually gratifying, love man then the rest is just maintenance. Get nasty - go to a classy strip club together Try some role playing - Nurse & patient, plumber & lonely housewife, cop & criminal, etc. Consume large amounts of red wine with dim lighting and sexy music Take a strip dancing class (they are popular now) and put on a show for him with a no touch rule (you can make a video of it if you are more comfortable) Go to a photographer who specializes in nude photography (or do at home) and have your own session and then admire your sexual beauty afterwards Wear super sexy lingerie under your regular clothing that only you know about Buy yourself a vibrator or dildo and start experimenting (keep it a secret until you are comfortable) Try and connect with another female who has a great sex life and chat about it Lower you inhibitions with marijuana, alcohol, ecstasy (just a suggestion to experiment) I think it all comes down to teaching your brain to relax. You don't need a therapist. Just figure out what your triggers are. I think you can do this all without your husband until you are starting to feel more comfortable then bring him in to the mix. My number one rule is don't have sex unless you are sexually stimulated and interested. There is nothing worse to turn you off of sex! But you can still overcome this, be creative and open minded and relax :)
ArmagonAuthor ArmagonAuthor 6 years
(It really isn't fair for someone to say that someone "Isn't a Christian" because of a choice that they made. Who are you to throw the first stone, I may ask? On that note, this really isn't the website to be trying to start fights. We are here to try and help JeannettieP with her problem, not cause drama. If that's what you are looking for, go somewhere else.) Back to the subject... I agree with MySecondLife on the notion that a lot of women need to be more aware of their sexuality. Educating yourself about your "down there" regions and WHY certain stimuli work (or dont work) can help some women understand more about what they may feel durring sex. It also allows you to be more "bossy" in bed, because you can tell your hubby exactly where you want it. ("Go THERE") Mentally getting to know your likes and dislikes also is a key point, because awareness about your sexuality helps you feel comfortable in your own skin. Literally.
JeannettieP JeannettieP 6 years
I was not a Christian when we first got together..I became one a year after we got married.
MySecondLife MySecondLife 6 years
(I did not read all of the above posts. Sorry if I duplicate) Whatever "label" your sexual aversion is given, clearly it is not only interfering with your marriage, it is interfering with your personal, individual happiness and spiritual growth. Yes, spiritual growth! These questions are blatant, but you brought up the subject: Do you ever feel horny? Do you ever masturbate? Have you ever had an orgasm? For many women, a "sexual aversion" is little more than sexual ignorance. The woman doesn't know her own body or have any idea what feels good, what gets her going, and what takes her over the edge. You need to know YOU to share yourself in a loving and satisfying way. That your husband wants to make love to you daily is a COMPLIMENT. He wants you. He desires you. He is willing to be THAT intimate with YOU. Not someone else. Just you. Be thankful. Too many women neglect to appreciate when their man appreciates physically loving them. They think it's "just about sex." Well, it IS about sex -- and that's a good thing people. Who he chooses to have sex with is no less important than who a woman chooses. Why do we, in society, act like there is a difference? Don't women enjoy the climax, selfishly, too? (Most women, that is.) If you truly want to get beyond your current problem, you'll 1) let go of the past, 2) appreciate your husband, and 3) get to know yourself so you can enjoy sharing yourself.
lickety-split lickety-split 6 years
You have sex everyday and you both hate it. Well, obviously you're both getting something out of it because you've both stuck with the program for 5 years. If you want things to change you'll address the issue with a professional, if not, well, different strokes...
JeannettieP JeannettieP 6 years
Omminka, I am sorry you have to go through the same thing. It is terrible. But when you think about, you could be way worse off. I sometimes feel silly that this is my problem and it makes me cry.. when there are people out there with disease, homeless,etc. REAL problems! haha Good luck to you too! You don't have to be married to consider getting therapy..if you do want to be with him in the long run you should consider it. But if you can live without him and move on easily then there is no need I think. Unless this happens with another partner.
omminka omminka 6 years
I dont really have any advice but I can relate to your situation. I've been with my boyfriend for about 2 years, 1 yr long distance and 2nd yr living together. My boyfriend's sexual appetite has always been stronger than mine. If it were left up to him he'd want it 3x - 6x a day, at first bc I wanted our relationship to work so bad I would try to keep up with him/satisfy him with at least 1x a day. Well I began to resent him for it. I feel like he was taking advantage of me. I began with hints that it was too much, he never caught on so I began to tell him no when I wasn't in the mood but I got tired of telling him no everynight except for 2 times a week. Then eventually it became 1x a week (bc of me and I would have to pretty much force myself). We would talk ourselves in circles about the subject and I would get tired of talking about it. I finally would say to him that we should break up because we weren't sexually compatible, bc he will always be unsatisfied and it is my fault. He didn't want to breakup. I was visiting friends and family so for a month and a half we were apart. I was relieved to no longer have the guilt of laying beside him not thinking of my inadequacy to please him. During this trip I also had thoughts of cheating on my boyfriend, to feel the sensation of wanting sex again. I didn't do it but if things had worked out differently there was a possibility of cheating. I returned to my boyfriend, honestly hoping after one and a half months apart and being together again that the spark would be re-ignited between us. It wasn't. Its gotten worse, we've had sex only 4x in 3 months. I know its sounds bad but I'm scared to continue to force myself again, I want to desire it also. I have the same not wanting to be kissed, cuddled with or touched basically by him. I even stopped taking birth control pills, (we use protection), trying to get back a natural desire and with the exception of two days out of 90 I have no desire. He is a very good guy, the best boyfriend I've ever had in terms of how he's cared for me. No everything is not perfect between us, we have normal-living-together problems other than our sex issue, but we are both level headed, respectful people who discuss everything and could make our relationship work longterm. Like I said at the beginning I don't really have any advice, just my own story to share because I related to yours and I've been using the giving-it-some-time method but its only seem to have gotten worse. You aren't alone. I think if I were married instead of just living together I would be strongly in favor of therapy if I wanted to make it work and divorce only as the last option. Good Luck!
nightfang nightfang 6 years
I can tell you exactly what your problem is hun. its his past. you cant get over it because it repulses you somewhat and even probably makes you a bit jealous. I know because sexual promiscuity in men turns me off a lot too. when i was getting to know my current bf, i felt my heart drop when he told me he used to be a bit slutty when he was a teenager (and he then explained he just kissed heaps of girls and i was greatly relieved). When there is something bothering about someone it greatly affects ur sex life because sex is very psychological. i used to have arguments with my ex and found out about things i didnt like and even if he went down on me with the best technique in the world i just couldnt come. i started to thing i was lesbian or maybe even asexual. with my current bf he has a very pure heart and old fashioned morals and we never fight badly n every time he just touches me it drives me crazy. so as already said get therapy to get over this issue or leave.this is gonna sound bad, but maybe have just one or 2 strong drinks to relax a bit coz bein anxious about it is the worst thing,get him to give you a msg and lots of foreplay till ur begging for it.
HollyJRockNRoll HollyJRockNRoll 6 years
JeannettieP, so happy you posted again. Ok, I don't think you have this disorder at all because you seem to be lacking the whole trauma thing, etc etc. Your husband sounds really great (now that you have made clear that he hasn't been forcing you to have sex with him), so I am going to guess that maybe its just technique stuff and insecurity. First off, no one is going to help you feel more secure that your man is only thinking about you but you. You are going to have to just allow yourself to fully believe that. Also, you keep mentioning passion and I'm going to guess that maybe your husband is not having sex with you the way you want. Someone else has posted a message on group therapy about having different sexual taste to her man. Some men are really passionate in bed (they are more of the make love variety), and others are more of the get it in get it out variety. As others have now began to say, you need to talk to your husband about your desires. I'd watch some of the shows you mentioned about that turn you on so he may get the idea. I'm pretty pro-sex shops and toys because there are so many things there just for the pleasure of women (vibrators, etc) that really help/teach a man to focus on his partner. And as you mentioned before, therapy will still be beneficial so you can really find a solid answer for why you allowed yourself to be miserable in the sack for 4 YEARS!!! I mean, that's sort of worrisome. Good luck.
ArmagonAuthor ArmagonAuthor 6 years
JeannettieP, I think an important thing to say here is that you have no reason to be ashamed of what you are feeling. There is a view, both religiously and societally, that while men "need their needs met", women can "make do". Why is it that men can call the shots, get turned on by what they see on TV, and decide what happens in bed, but women can't? The idea that "men need it" and "women don't" is false. Sex is healthy both physically and mentally, and women have every right to need it just as much as men do. Getting hot from something you see on TV, as a woman, is perfectly okay. So is having sexual fantasies, no matter how odd they may be. There is nothing wrong with being turned on by something, or by being turned off by something else. I recommend talking to your husband about something that you would like to try, or about something that gets you hot. Maybe something you saw on TV looks like fun? Maybe you've always wanted to try a certain move? There is nothing, religious or otherwise, that says that a husband and wife can't experiment. Don't be afraid to try new things, to say what you want (or want to try) and what feels good or bad. Some things may work, others may not, but sooner or later you might find something that works for you as an individual, and you as a couple. On the same note... Don't put any pressure on yourself to orgasm. Stressing about something wont make it suddenly happen. Just focus on what you are feeling. Again, tell him what you like or don't like. If he wants to help, he needs to know these things. Sex is portrayed on TV as something that just happens and is perfect every time, but in real life you and your husband both need to learn how to make things click just right for you. Most of the time, that includes foreplay. Lots of women can't orgasm without some form of it. This might be something you two can try and look into. Just because men can suddenly get it going, doesn't mean that women can get stimulated that quickly. Therapy, praying, talking to your husband... They are all things that are important! Be open about what you are thinking and feeling. Just because you are not "getting it", does not mean that you have a problem. Don't look to find a disorder for yourself just because you are in a frustrating situation. The problem is NOT you! It might easily just be about learning how to reach out for ideas and methods that work for you. You have every right to make some decisions too! NOTE: Some guys think that if they try hard enough, they can just "make" it work. Some call it sexual healing, but regardless... Although he is likely trying very hard to, your husband cannot read your mind. It is very likely that he will never figure out what you like unless you tell him when he does something that you like. So brainstorm new ideas! Try new things! It's a brave new sexual world out there!
JeannettieP JeannettieP 6 years
My mom and dad did get divorced when I was 12..I am 25 now. He left. I did not talk to him for a year and then forgave him. We are on great terms now.
JeannettieP JeannettieP 6 years
Hi everyone..poster here. Thank you all so much for your advice. I do plan on getting therapy..maybe getting another job to afford to pay for it because I desperately do want our marriage to work out. I have had many boyfriends before my husband but they never lasted more than a few weeks. I did not plan on getting married young, but when I met him and later moved in with him, I knew he was the one for me. I don't think Christianity had anything to do with it..I was not raised to think sex was dirty or bad before marriage..but my whole life my family, friends, strangers were always telling me how much of a good girl I was so I think that could have made me the way I am today. But mostly I think its due to his past,my regrets,and anxiety that runs in the family. As far as the comments about having sex every day and why would my husband do that to me when he knows it upsets me.....I just diagnosed myself with SAD a week ago. So for the past 4 years, my husband and I did not know I had this. Just recently it was so unbearable I finally had to tell him exactly how I felt about sex. He and I always thought I was just really shy about it, but he had no idea how awful I thought it was until a few days ago. I used to be able to just grin and bear it but lately like I said, I wanted the passion and actually wanted to have sex which I never did before so I just broke down and told him everything. I just loved him so much and everything else in our life is so perfect that it was worth 20 minutes a day of feeling unhappy to keep us together. He has never forced me to have sex...even when I would tell him I am too tired, feel sick etc. I did tell him like Janine had mentioned..that I do feel like a sex toy of sorts. When we would have sex I would think in my mind that he is just using my body and thinking of other women. Even though he told me he always thinks of me, in my messed up mind I just constantly think of negative thoughts. Its like an addiction in a way..I know for a fact that thinks of me when we have sex but the thoughts just come to my mind even though I know its not true. So after he knew how I felt he said there is no way he can stay with me knowing he hurts me that much and thought I was crazy for staying for so long. BUT after hours more of talking and him getting over the initial shock of it I guess he said he does not want anyone else and he would rather live a sexless marriage than lose me. I feel the same way..I don't want to ever be with anyone else so I really want to fix this. There are just so many things going on in my head..bad thoughts, the pressure to orgasm,the feeling that I am a freak for having this, his past,my regrets, how in the world could I ever feel like having sex when to me Sex= bad! I think therapy is the only way to fix it..either that or I have my own Eat.Pray,Love adventure until I am normal again. haha
HollyJRockNRoll HollyJRockNRoll 6 years
spacekatgal, yeah her husband has needs but he doesn't need to include her in those needs EVERY DAY!! Especially if he "hates" it too. Something is up with this guy. I'm Christian (non catholic) and the husband is meant to respect the woman and her feelings. If he needs to get off daily he can do what the rest of us do- jerk off. I'm in agreement with the majority of people here. Therapy is key and I would find someone who specializes in anxiety and possibly sexual disorders and/or personality disorders. However, as someone already pointed out, this really could be the case of I married the only person I have ever been with and well... Poster: I've been in a VERY similar situation to you, or at least I feel as if I have. I lost my virginity to someone who I was totally incompatible with romance wise. He had LOTS of sexual partners and would hold that over me whenever I told him I was unhappy with things between us. Because of my values and feelings about love and whatnot (and past childhood trauma that I came to terms with years later), I allowed myself to become essentially his play thing. He made me have sex with him (basically bullied me into it) close to if not every day (even if I was on my period). I convinced myself we were best friends because we supported one another through hard times, but the whole time in my heart I knew it was bull. I just couldn't deal with the fact I had given my virginity to someone I didn't really care about or whose actions showed didn't care about me. Now, your husband and you really may be close and have a genuine good relationship otherwise, but I just wanted to throw my story out there to you, just in case it hits home. Please feel free to message me if you want. I lived in a Earthly hell for close to five years of my life and it really left a mark. However, truly through the grace of God I found the courage to be honest and get out of it. You can to if that's really want you want deep down. Also, if your husband really is a good guy and all that then there is no reason at all he will be open to not making you have sex with him and going to counseling. In fact, someone who is a good guy will not make you (in anyway, even if its just verbally pressuring you) to have sex.
stephley stephley 6 years
I'm afraid this just sounds untrue to me: You're deeply in love with your soulmate : you both know that you hate to have sex: you still have sex daily , even though you both know you hate it: now you have wild, passionate sex.
weffie weffie 6 years
Sorry but your husband sounds like a total creep! That's probably why you're put off by him... Repeatedly humping on someone who just isn't enjoying it or reciprocating is WAY too much like rape for this to be ok in your daily life... I'd be really afraid that he's getting off on your unwillingness. Does he seem as bored as you, or is he all into it and just ignoring the fact that you're not?
totygoliguez totygoliguez 6 years
I agree with the other comments, you should definitely seek a therapist. I'm not by any means qualified to give you any form of advice, or tell you how to deal with this situation. Seek help because this is not normal.
kismekate kismekate 6 years
holy crap! every day?! i still have a sex drive and yet I still don't want to have sex every day. you are quite a woman/wife for putting aside your issues for his pleasure - much stronger than I could ever be.
Janine22 Janine22 6 years
Also wanted to add that it sounds like you might be experiencing some sort of depersonalization or dissociative symptoms. For example, some people that have had a history of sexual abuse may feel a sense of detachment from their own bodies. Dissociative symptoms are also common in people that have post traumatic stress disorder or have had some type of severe trauma or abuse in childhood, or with "an intense internal conflict that forces the mind to separate incompatible or unacceptable knowledge, information, or feelings." It is hard to say if you actually have some sort of disorder, or you just do not have any sexual feelings for your partner. A therapist can help you explore these issues. Reference:
What It's Like to Date Your Best Friend
What to Say to People Who Ask Why You're Single
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