Sexual intimacy is an incredibly important component of most romantic, adult relationships.
While it might not be the thing that your relationship is built on, it is something that can help you to feel more connected to your partner.
In an ideal world, we would all have healthy sex lives and our libidos would perfectly match that of our partner.
Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world. There are times when our relationships are less than perfect and things can become a little bit stale in the bedroom.
Sometimes this is a mutual feeling. However, there are times when you might notice that your partner seems to be disinterested in being intimate with you.
This can be a devastating feeling. However, there are many reasons why your partner may not want to have sex with you.
Below, we will look at some of the most common signs and reasons why your partner may not be interested in sex anymore and what you can do about it.
1. They Don’t Initiate Sex Anymore
One of the first signs you may notice when it comes to your sex life is that your partner isn’t initiating sex anymore.
Sometimes it can take a while to notice this, especially if your partner is still receptive to you initiating sex.
It is important to note that this can also apply to any kind of physical intimacy. This can include a failure to initiate hand-holding, kissing, hugging, or touching.
2. They Don’t Respond To Attempts To Initiate Sex
Even if your partner doesn’t initiate sex anymore doesn’t mean that you can’t.
However, if your partner isn’t receptive to your attempts to initiate, this is a strong sign that they don’t want to be sexually intimate with you.
Not responding to your attempts to initiate can involve physically turning away from you, removing your hands from them, or verbally deflecting your advances.
It is important to note that your partner turning down your sexual advances only becomes a sign that something isn’t right if it is a regular occurrence.
Despite what we are often led to believe, men aren’t always going to be in the mood for sex and they are well within their rights to turn you down.
3. They Avoid Making Eye Contact
Sometimes, when there is a lack of intimacy in a relationship, you may notice that your partner has started to avoid making or maintaining eye contact with you.
This can be particularly prevalent when you bring up the subject of intimacy issues in your relationship.
This is a sign that is often coupled with other body language that suggests they are guarded, closed off, or otherwise emotionally unavailable.
This can be a very distressing sign to be on the receiving end of.
4. They Avoid Spending Quality Time With You
A surefire sign that something is going awry in your relationship is your partner avoiding spending quality time with you.
At first, this can be a difficult sign to spot. It will often start with working more, spending more time with friends, or simply spending more time on their phone.
This can escalate into finding any excuse to be busy and unavailable, especially if you start to try and plan things to do together.
5. They Change The Subject When You Talk About Sex
If you have started to notice that something has changed in your sex life, you might try to bring up the subject of sex with your partner.
If their response to this is to change the subject or shut the conversation down, this can be a sign that they are not interested in being sexual with you at the moment and aren’t ready to discuss it.
This can happen when you bring up your sex life within the relationship or sex in general.
6. They Seem Closed Off From You And Your Relationship
This is a slightly more subtle sign to pick up on, especially as it can be present despite the fact that you and your partner are still having sex.
If your partner is less emotionally available to you during sex or they seem like they are running on autopilot, it can mean that they are not really interested in having sex with you.
7. They Are Using Substances More
Many people have a drink or indulge in recreational drugs to unwind and blow off steam after work or on the weekend.
However, if your partner starts using substances more often or in larger quantities, this can be a sign that they are unhappy and trying to escape or ignore their problems.
This can also manifest as partying more with their friends rather than spending time with you.
8. When You Do Have Sex, It Is Different
Even if your partner doesn’t want you sexually like they did before, you may still be having sex from time to time.
However, the sex that you do have might feel different than it did when you first got together.
Signs that your partner isn’t into it include trying to finish as soon as possible, avoiding foreplay, or not making the same sounds and moves as usual.
9. They Go To Bed At A Different Time Than You
This can be a really obvious sign that something isn’t right in your relationship.
Many couples make a point of going to bed at the same time, not only is it a nice way to end the day, but it also leads to more opportunities to get intimate.
If your partner begins going to bed long before you or long after you, this removes any chance of being physically intimate.
10. They Won’t Let You See Them Naked
Sometimes, the signs that your partner isn’t interested in being sexual with you are evident in their behavior.
If your partner begins to avoid changing in front of you or being naked when you are intimate with each other, this can be a sign that they aren’t really into it.
11. Something Feels Off In The Relationship
Sometimes the signs can be incredibly subtle and may amount to nothing more than a hunch or a feeling. Everyone instinctively knows what their relationship usually feels like.
This means that when something changes or feels off, it is immediately noticeable. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to put your finger on exactly what has changed.
12. There Are Other Issues In Your Relationship
Every relationship has issues from time to time. These issues can sometimes end up affecting the sexual attraction between you and your partner.
If you are arguing more, talking less, or working more, it can affect your relationship. These things can lead to a lack of desire for intimacy and affection.
Reasons Why Your Partner Doesn’t Want Sex
Now that we have covered the signs that your partner doesn’t want you sexually, it is important to look at the reasons why they might not want sex.
It can be easy to jump to the conclusion that the problem must be with you and how you look, but that often isn’t the case.
Below are some of the most common reasons why your partner may not want sex.
The most common reason that your partner’s libido might have changed is stress.
When we have a lot on our minds, it can be very difficult to get into the right mindset to be intimate with your partner.
It can also make us feel very tired and we can lack the energy for sex. Some common causes of stress include bereavement, financial issues, childcare, and global events.
A dip in libido can be one of the first signs of many mental health issues.
Depression and anxiety are often first noticed by partners when there is a change in their sex life. If they have a history of substance abuse issues, it can also be a sign of a relapse.
It is not necessary for your partner to have a mental health diagnosis for them to be struggling with their mental health to the point that it is affecting their sex drive.
Body image issues can affect people of any gender.
This can be a common cause of a change in your sex life. When you or your partner aren’t feeling good about their appearance they can feel unattractive and undesirable.
This can lead to them believing that you also find them unattractive.
If your partner’s body has recently changed through weight loss or gain, surgery, or injury, this can significantly impact their body image and desire to be intimate.
Health issues can have a significant impact on every aspect of your partner’s life.
Not only can health issues have a physical impact on their ability to be intimate through stress or direct effects, but they can also cause financial worries that can contribute to a lack of sex drive.
Undiagnosed health issues can also impact sex drive.
There are certain types of medication that have been scientifically proven to have a negative effect on libido.
SSRIs, some heart medications, blood pressure medications, and beta blockers can all have a negative impact on your sex life.
The sexual side effects of these medications can be counteracted if they are the cause.
Sometimes, the reason for a lack of intimacy in your relationship is simple.
Monogamy is great for many people, however, that doesn’t stop us from getting bored with sex every now and again.
This is especially true if you have been together for a long time and have settled into a routine.
It is important to note that sexual boredom doesn’t mean that your partner will want to cheat on you.
Although hormonal contraception for men hasn’t been approved yet, it doesn’t mean that contraception can’t be the cause of his disinterest in sex.
If you are taking hormonal birth control you will know that the side effects can be brutal. Although you are the one experiencing them, they can also affect your partner.
If you are struggling with depression, low sex drive, vaginal dryness, or mood swings related to contraception, it can be difficult for him to see you suffering and turn him off.
IUD strings can also cause discomfort for men during sex.
Consumption of porn is a controversial topic and you will probably have your own views on it.
However, it is reasonable to suggest that if your partner consumes porn, they may have unrealistic expectations about what sex should be.
This is particularly true for anyone who consumed porn as an adolescent and may have learned about sex from viewing porn.
All relationships have their fair share of issues.
However, every so often you might face an issue that has a significant impact on the quality of your relationship and sex life.
There are many things that can contribute to serious issues including arguing, trust issues, and interference from people who are outside your relationship.
If none of these reasons seem to fit your circumstances, there is a chance that your partner is on the asexuality spectrum.
This means that they have a different relationship with sex and may not find penetrative sex appealing in any way.
It is important to understand that asexuality is a sexual orientation and is not something that can be “fixed” or “healed”.
What To Do If Your Partner Doesn’t Want Sex
So, you know the signs, you know the possible explanations, now it is time to look at the things that you can do to get your sex life back to what it once was.
It can be devastating to feel like you are not wanted by your partner. However, it doesn’t mean the end of your relationship.
Below are things you can do to help heal your relationship and get things back on track.
This might seem like an overly simplistic piece of advice. However, it is surprising how many couples fail to properly and openly communicate with each other.
Talking about a lack of satisfaction with your sex life can be highly emotional.
Therefore, it is best to have the conversation in a neutral space such as the kitchen or on a walk, not in the bedroom.
You also should avoid bringing it up just after your advances have been rejected as emotions may be higher.
Use “I” Statements
When you do have the conversation, it is important to use “I” statements.
This helps to avoid sounding accusatory and can reduce any potential animosity between you.
You should talk about how the lack of intimacy makes you feel and how it is affecting your relationship. Make sure that you also ask them what they want.
Being judgmental when it comes to discussing sex and intimacy is never going to help you reach a solution.
Instead, make sure that you go into the conversation with an open mind and try not to judge any responses you get from your partner.
Engage In More Non-Sexual Touch
A lack of sex drive can snowball into avoidance of any kind of intimacy and affection with your partner.
This often happens when your partner feels that there is an expectation of sexual intimacy when any kind of intimacy is initiated.
When you engage in more non-sexual touch that has no expectation of going any further you can restore the confidence of your partner and a certain level of intimacy in your relationship.
Things such as cuddling, holding hands, and offering massages can help with this.
Start Flirting Again
Regaining sexual desire in your relationship can be as simple as reigniting the spark that was there when you first got together.
Over time, we can get very comfortable with our partners. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, it can lead to a lack of flirtation between you.
By beginning to flirt with your partner again it can remind them of the way they felt at the start of your relationship.
Make sure that your flirting pays them compliments and lets them know you value them.
Explore Your Own Sexuality
Exploring your own sexuality can be a great way to bring back intimacy to your relationship.
The better you understand your body and your own sexual needs, the better you can communicate them to your partner.
There are so many ways that you can explore your sexuality. Self-pleasure, sensual dancing, and workshops are just some ways to help you reconnect to your body.
Change Up Contraception
If you feel that your contraception is contributing to the intimacy issues in your relationship, you might consider changing your methods.
This is something that should be discussed with your primary care provider or a sexual health professional.
Time For A Health Check
If you feel that the cause of your issues is your or your partner’s mental or physical health, it could be a good idea to get a health check-up.
If there are health issues that are contributing to your sexual and intimacy issues, it might not be a quick fix.
Therefore, it is sensible to go to the doctor as soon as possible to get the diagnoses and medication that you need to get your relationship back on track.
Explore Their Erotic Blueprint
When you first get into a relationship, the excitement of being with someone new and learning about them is enough to sustain sexual desire.
However, the longer that you are together, the more that excitement starts to dwindle.
This doesn’t mean that your partner doesn’t find you attractive or isn’t interested in you. In fact, all it means is that they have specific desires and fantasies that turn them on.
Many couples end up settling into a sexual routine that is familiar and comfortable but not the most exciting.
Having a conversation with your partner about what really turns them on, fantasies they have, and things they would like to try as well as your own desires can help to bring the spark back to your bedroom.
In some cases, the conversation itself can be a catalyst for regaining sexual intimacy with your partner.
There are so many signs that can suggest that your partner is no longer interested in you sexually.
This can be a devastating thing to realize, especially if you place a lot of importance on being intimate with your partner.
However, there are many reasons why your partner’s sex drive may have changed. There are also plenty of things that you can do to rectify the issue.
There is no reason why your relationship needs to end because of a dry spell.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Some Non-Hormonal Contraception Options?
If you think that hormonal birth control might be a significant contributing factor to the issues you are having with your sex life, you might be wondering what other options are available to you.
Firstly, you should always talk to your doctor about changes to your birth control. They will be able to advise you on the best birth control options for your lifestyle.
Some non-hormonal birth control options include condoms, spermicide, a diaphragm, a cervical cap, and a copper IUD.
What Should You Do If Your Partner Isn’t Receptive To Conversations?
If you have tried to reintroduce the spark to your relationship through flirtation and non-sexual touch, and you have tried to have conversations about the issues with your partner but they haven’t been receptive, you might be feeling lost.
In this situation, it can be a good idea to try and get your partner to go to couples therapy to fix your issues.
Having an independent third party can help to clarify issues and guide you through them.