‘Sexless in Seattle’ Asked:
Dear Dr. Zoe,
For most of my adult life I’ve struggled with not being interested in sex. I’m not a victim of sexual assault or abuse, I’ve just never had much interest. This is a struggle I’ve kept to myself due to hearing comments from people like “I’d kill myself if I didn’t like sex.”
I’ve been with my husband for 7 years (married for almost 2), and he is so patient and kind with me. I wish it could be enjoyable, but I don’t know what to do! Help!
Dr. Zoe Answered:
You are not alone. Despite our sex-crazed culture, there are others who struggle with this issue as well. It actually wouldn’t be an issue at all in your life, except that you are married to a man who desires sex.
Since you have never been interested in sex, it may be a good idea to have a physical examination by a gynecologist, alerting them to your concerns. It would also be worth having a blood test to see if your hormone levels are within normal range.
Even though you have never experienced any abuse or trauma, you may have received some negative messages about sex as a child, which could possibly be a contributing factor. You may want to consider seeking individual therapy to explore those issues (if there are any).
If you have already explored all of that or if none of that seems to work, then it is highly likely that this is just how you were made. And there is nothing wrong with that! The conundrum, however, is that your husband desires sex and it seems to me that there is a part of you that would like to desire it as well or at least enjoy it.
There are things in my life that I don’t love to do, but I have learned to make them as enjoyable for myself as possible. This takes effort. You will probably never be swinging from the chandeliers waiting for your husband to come home and devour you. But if you lower your expectations of what sex should be for you, you could probably get to a point where you enjoy the closeness with your husband. And this means taking some time to explore what could make sex more enjoyable for you and understanding what makes it less enjoyable. Do you like hugs and kisses? Do you like to snuggle? What makes you feel eww, yuck! And what makes you think, “This isn’t so bad.” If you and your husband could work together to maximize the good parts and minimize the negative ones, you will find that you will enjoy sex more.
It’s wonderful that your husband has been so patient and loving with you in this area. You can return the favor by letting him know that you are motivated to make things better in the bedroom. The best Christmas gift ever could be scheduling some sessions with a sex therapist who can offer some great techniques for helping you learn to experience more enjoyment in your sex life.
I’m glad that you are reaching out and looking for some help in this area. You don’t have to suffer alone. Continue to seek out help until you find something that works. Sex can be enjoyable, even with a low libido.
You’ve got this! It just takes a little grit and grace.
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