There’s something uncomfortable we all need to talk about.
This is for all you women out there in a relationship with a man who does not try to have sex with you at least a few times per week, if not daily. And, of course, it’s for those men too.
Note: for the sake of making this easy to write I will use heterosexual relationships as examples, but I’m sure this will apply to all types of sexual relationships involving modern men.
In my years of diving deeply into the intimate details of Nice Guy’s lives, I’ve been struck by a recurring theme: lack of sexual leadership by men. By this I mean guys who do not boldly and directly initiate sex with their partners (and women they’re attracted to in general), men who use indirect methods to meet their sexual needs (manipulation), and/or men who rely on pornography for sexual stimulation.
Ever been with a man like that?
These men tend to be passive and avoidant in all forms of sexuality, including touching, kissing and verbal sexuality (dirty talk). These men wait for a green light from women before making a move. They will not attempt any sexual move that puts them at risk of rejection. They get emotionally agitated when rejected sexually, demonstrated by completely fake acceptance (masking rage), depression, or by taking it personally.
This whole effect has a disastrous outcome. Women around the world feel unattractive, frustrated, confused, and forced into masculinity. They feel that their partners do not find them attractive, or that their dates just want to be friends. And everyone misses out on playful, uninhibited nooky.
Let me make a couple of points clear here:
- It has almost nothing to do with sexual desire or how attractive you are. Most men want sexual release frequently, and when push comes to shove they are not that picky about who they’re attracted to.
- It is rare for a straight guy to have a genuinely asexual platonic relationship with a woman. This doesn’t mean men can’t be your friend, just understand there will often be attraction and they definitely have at least considered shagging you. There’s nothing wrong with this. Relax.
So what’s going on here? Why are men hiding their sexuality and avoiding rejection? Has your man really lost interest in you, or is there something darker happening behind the scenes?
I want to help women with these issues in two ways. Firstly, understand what is happening psychologically with your man (or that guy you just dated who didn’t try to kiss you). And secondly, what you can do to help him.
There are a number of contributing causes to male passive sexuality. I’ve learned of many, through my own experiences, psychological research, and the many anecdotes of both my male and female clients. Here we go…
The initial feminist movement was great for gaining equal rights for women in most countries. We’re almost there. Once religion stops ruling the moral sphere for society we might even achieve some sort of gender-equality.
But like all extreme movements, it went too far in some areas. Namely, third-wave feminism became synonymous with man-hating. In the 60s and 70s the message seemed clear: you men are all selfish rapists! Obviously, this was not the intended message by most feminists, but it was certainly the message that many men received.
Men were also told to be more sensitive and caring, which we took to mean “be more like a woman” and to stop being masculine.
It became the least fashionable thing in the world for a man to show sexual attraction to a woman. Even a wink was considered assault. It became difficult for men to safely understand the difference between harassment, assault, flirting and foreplay. And there was no-one there to teach us, because they were too scared to give the wrong advice.
The stage was set for a whole generation of men (who of course were to become fathers and rolemodels) to become scared , ashamed, and confused about their own masculine sexuality.
Many boys are conditioned as they grow older to feel ashamed of their sexual desire. They are told that it is materialistic to be attracted to girl before you “get to know her.”
Romantic movies portray the asexual wimpy friend as a hero, and the sexually dominant male as a sleazy sadist. Words like “sensitive” and “respectful” are over-emphasized and misunderstood by men to mean “you have pretend to care more than you actually do before you can shag her, or else you’re a rapist.”
Many boys are raised almost solely by women. Fathers are away working and emotionally distant (and they are victims of this shame as well so their rolemodelling is no help), and most school-teachers are female. This means that a boy’s model of what it means to be a man comes filtered through female interpretation and the unrealistic media.
Women have the best of intentions when they tell a boy how he should treat a woman. Unfortunately this description often includes complete lack of sexuality and leadership, and gives the boy a picture of a lower-status, passive and asexual friend (be polite, compliment her, buy her dinner etc.).
When you ask a woman about her “ideal” man, she will often describe the caring and nurturing side. However, This is not what she is sexually attracted to. It would be pretty rare for a mother to tell her son “On your first date, make sure to playfully spank her on the ass, and don’t wait to the end to go for a kiss.” Guys grow up with no intuitive sense of when it’s OK to behave this way, and when it’s not. So they opt for the safest option: do nothing.
Women are also encouraged to feel massive shame about their sexuality, thinking that wanting sex is “slutty.” This causes women to pretend not to have high sex-drives, further convincing men to believe women do not welcome sexual attraction.
I didn’t realise that women actually enjoy sex more than men until I was in my mid-20s! And I’m not even one of the worst cases. One of the reasons men become obsessed with pornography is because it’s the only media outlet that shows women enjoying sex, especially beyond the traditional vanilla (religious) relationship model.
Combine all of this with the boy’s first sexual experiences in early teen years. If he’s been conditioned to think that sexual desire is shameful and then he gets rejected when asking a girl out for the first time (like what happened to me), he will consider this as solid proof that he should be passive. He will then wait patiently for a girl to select him, causing him to forever place women on a pedestal of status above him.
He will constantly seek their validation and approval. This makes him even more ashamed of defiling one of these goddesses, so he holds back sexually, and eventually he will settle for any woman who is willing to initiate, even if he doesn’t love her.
Movies and TV programmes give boys the impression that men should not develop sexual feelings towards a woman until after they are attracted to her personality. This does not line up with reality. A man decides whether or not he wants to sleep with you in less than 0.000001 nano-seconds.
A man does not need to be attracted to your personality to want to have sex with you. It’s the way men are biologically wired – accept it, or be forever disappointed. So this concept of telling a man to wait for intimate connection before showing attraction is a common example of men being made to feel that their natural desires are “wrong.”
Want to know what happens to men who are constantly conditioned to believe that they should repress sexual desire? They eventually snap. Just look at what happened with the Catholic Church. I used to rehabilitate child sex offenders, and can say without doubt the leading trigger to their offending was shame.
In the end, you get men who think it is basically wrong to want sex. It’s as simple as that. There are plenty of exceptions of course, but if you’re a socially active woman then you’ve definitely had these men in your life, many times. Think of any guy who’s ever been nice and friendly to you, without you having to respect him or otherwise earn it. He was probably trying to get laid without being direct. End of story.
THE FEAR OF REJECTION
At the bottom of it all is a dirty, shameful secret: these men are terrified of being rejected by women. TERROR-fied. Overcoming fear of rejection is the most frequent conversation I have in the coaching I do.
Due to everything we’ve discussed already, and combined with genetic predispositions we all have around social harmony, Nice Guys associate rejection with feelings of intense anxiety; a constant dread.
I know men who are quite successful with women yet still feel massive approach anxiety. The thought of going up to a girl and telling her that she’s gorgeous loosens their bowels. Nice Guys require alcohol, signs of attraction, anonymity (e.g. online dating), long-term friendship, and other crutches before they can feel safe to express attraction. Some never do it, even once the relationship has started.
Expressing attraction is a risk-taking behaviour. The fear gives Nice Guys a sickening feeling, linked to thoughts about what would happen if the attraction is not reciprocated. When I ask my clients “What are you actually afraid will happen?” their answers are never clear, beyond a few vague hints at reputation and embarrassment.
They’re so afraid of rejection they can’t even explore the idea of it without support. Some can’t even admit to it, yet their behaviour shows avoidance of social rejection in every area of life (e.g. sticking with a job they hate because they’re afraid to ask for a promotion).
This can continue well after a romantic relationship is established. I used to think that every time a girl I was seeing said No to sex that it was all over. Often it was, but this was actually due to my other people-pleasing behaviours, and I didn’t see that so I just further reinforced the false belief about rejection.
Men in relationships continue to be sexually passive because of the underlying fear that sexual rejection will signal the end of the relationship entirely. It’s like Billy Connolly once said:
“Women need to feel loved to have sex; men need to have sex to feel loved”.
I am NOT advocating sexual assault, of course. No means no. But waiting for a clear invitation before even suggesting interest is weakly passive, and will leave many women waiting in vain. Men have to take a risk – part of masculinity is assertiveness. But they often don’t, because…
AFTER VALIDATION THEY DON’T NEED TO “CHASE”
Women who email me each week often ask why their guy “stopped trying” after the initial 3-6 month courtship. What happened to the roses and dinners and romantic/sexual gestures? Often this stuff ends shortly after you’ve put out for the first time. Is it because Nice Guys are just shallow manipulative sex-fiends?
What’s happening is the guy is trying to feel good about himself. He has been conditioned to worship and seek the approval of women (remember all the female teachers etc.?) and cannot function without it.
The courtship was not really romance, it was a misguided and unhealthy attempt to receive your validation. Once you give that validation (e.g. have sex), they can finally relax, which often means no more effort at all.
One thing I’ve noticed about truly confident men: they do not chase. They make their desires known directly, and encourage you to either accept or reject them. If you try to string them along, they get bored and move on. They will participate in courtship, but only if there is equal investment (i.e. they will only chase if you chase back).
SEX is the ultimate validation for the poor damaged Nice Guy (I say this with love; I used to be one). When a Nice Guy gets laid he finally feels that he has received your acceptance. So he no longer has any reason to keep manipulating you into liking him more. It has nothing to do with how attracted he is to you.
It was never about you.
FEELINGS OF WORTHLESSNESS
You can imagine what happens to man over time when he is programmed to see sex as the only proof that he is a good person. He starts to feel worthless when he doesn’t get it, and chasing sex feels like a chore that he doesn’t even get to enjoy.
And worst of all, he creates a pattern that amplifies this effect. Because he is so passive around sex (waiting for you to initiate), he rarely gets it. He’s not making any effort to turn you on or initiate because he’s waiting for you to make a move (that he doesn’t even really want because sex now feels like a job to him). So you think he’s not interested and sex just stops happening.
Now he feels even more worthless. In his mind, even his partner doesn’t want him. And when you finally do get drunk or frustrated enough to give in and initiate, it only enables this process even more, because now he’s getting intermittent rewards. This is a psychological concept that explains why people love to gamble; we are wired to become more obsessed with occasional unexpected rewards than we are with consistent rewards.
He has now unconsciously made you responsible for his self-worth, and he blames both of you for the lack of sexual activity.
And a final point, one I’m no expert on, is that men these days simply have less testosterone. Our diet and behaviour are increasing oestrogen levels, which exaggerates these issues. It’s hard to feel like a man when you’re flooded with ‘female’ hormones.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?
So there you are: with a man you love, or on a date with an interesting guy, yet suffering through a boring sex life. What can you do to help him rediscover healthy masculinity?
Firstly, try to understand what you’re dealing with here: a frightened little boy. A man who has been brainwashed into thinking that women are the leaders in sex, and that he should wait for full outright expressed permission before even considering sex.
Here are my top tips for re-programming your man and helping him unleash his masculine, powerful sexuality:
- Tell him what you want, directly. The upside to these guys is that they are eager to please you sexually and get a massive thrill from your pleasure. Use this to your advantage. Give him explicit instructions on what to do physically, and encourage him to surprise you. The more he sees himself as sexually successful, the more courageous and risk-taking he will become over time.
- Encourage him to be sexually dominant and tell him to lead. Give him permission to initiate without needing a ‘sign’ from you. Tell him things like “It would turn me on so much if you just randomly grabbed me and kissed me”. Spell it out for him at first, so he can safely challenge his boundaries. He’s going against his programming here, so be patient and relentless. Do NOT take over leadership responsibilities out of frustration, as this is only a short term solution that actually increases the problem.
- Talk openly with him about his views on sex and leadership. Ask him who he thinks should lead and initiate. Let him know its OK for him to do this with you. Create a safe space for him to speak openly about his sexual shame.
- Call him out on his shit! I once had a girl tell me that it was annoying that I made jokes about how I didn’t get laid. This was a total revelation – I thought it was a good thing to show lack of sexual activity, until this happened. Some of my biggest changes came from girls in my life simply being honest and not enabling me. This is great to do when dating.
- Spend a weekend away with him, naked and debaucherous. Dedicate a few nights to exploring all of your fantasies and his. Show him that nothing he wants sexually is ‘wrong’ (of course it’s still OK to say no to it, just don’t call him a freak). This weekend will make him much more sexually comfortable around you.
- Encourage leadership, but don’t nag. Force him to make decisions for the both of you outside of the bedroom. Allow and support him to take risks. Don’t allow his passive feminism to force you to be masculine. E.g. if you’ve just started dating, make him choose where and when. Encourage his masculinity in other areas, like health and career.
And my NUMBER ONE TIP:
Get him to read “No More Mr Nice Guy” by Dr. Robert A Glover. Go through the book with him and encourage him to do the exercises. It will be painful for both of you but may save your relationship.
Good luck! And let me know your thoughts or questions.
Dan’s Top Resources
Dan has 3 bestselling non-fiction books available in both written and audio form:
- The Naked Truth, his latest release, shows you how radical honesty builds self-confidence and relationships
- Nothing to Lose explores how to build confidence from the inside by correcting the programming in your brain
- The Legendary Life is a very practical, action-focused guide on how to plan and execute a life plan that brings you your ideal lifestyle
Dan continues to put out high quality online self-paced courses through the Udemy platform
- Nice Guy Recovery: how to transform from a people pleaser into a confident beast.
- Shamelessness: how to relieve yourself of the “not good enough” story
- Powerful Honesty: takes you through step-by-step development of your communication skills to be more charismatic and powerful in your honesty
- The 3X Confidence and Authenticity Masterclass program: use the famous 3X Model to build confidence in all areas of life
- Financial Freedom for Beginners: includes everything from budgeting, to getting a raise, to investing in the stock market, to starting a side-business and more
- Overcoming Your Fear of Rejection… Permanently!: covers the psychology of “rejection” and what actions to take to make yourself immune to the fear of it
yeah no chase blah blah but don’t go mixing feminism in there. Are you crazy? Speaking from a mans view here, it’s because they literally cannot be bothered. Or they have been ‘Ruined’ by internet porn.
I think you’re assuming that because this doesn’t apply to you that it also doesn’t apply to all men. You may want to research more on Nice Guy Syndrome. I would ask how many men have you interviewed deeply about this subject? You might be surprised at how different some men are to you. I totally agree that in other cases men have been psychological ‘ruined’ by porn, as there is a lot of research supporting this.
Who taught about life? You’ve got just about everything backwards. Chasing is fun. It’s a dominant act.
Chasing can certainly be fun. I’m not denying that it’s the right thing for you to do. What I’m saying is that for some guys, perhaps guys different to you (but also perhaps not), chasing represents a needy “I must take” belief system, one which will never be fully satisfied and will cause them to seek approval their entire lives, essentially becoming unable to create a genuine and fulfilling connection with others.
If that’s not you, consider yourself lucky, because nearly all guys I assess who consider chasing fun tend to be hiding massive insecurities about their own worth.
I disagree that chasing is a dominant act. If one person is chasing another, then who is really dominating? In my mind, a dominant person is the one who believes in their value so strongly that they inspire others to chase. How can the one trying to be seen as impressive be considered dominant over the one they are seeking to impress – the one who feels no need to chase?
Perhaps when you say “chasing” you really mean “seducing”? I don’t want to mistake your meaning.
Seduction is best described as deliberate manipulation, designed to make someone attracted to you. If that isn’t a description of neediness and approval-seeking – the least dominant/confident traits – then I don’t know what is!
Yes, there is a playful fun way to escalate your sexual connection with another person. But it requires no chasing, neediness or manipulation. It can be achieved through bold honesty, being willing to walk away, and most of all, through displays of honest sexual confidence. For me, it’s much more fun to express to a woman “I am powerfully attracted to you, if we’re left alone together things will happen”, than to chase and try to convince her to like me.
Keen to hear your thoughts on this.
Hello, interesting article. I can see the validity in many points, but offer yet another pov… I am single (divorced for four years), and have barely dated in that four years (rebuilding life, career, finding myself, etc) but have discovered I do not like to initiate, and moreover – now own it, embrace it and honestly… do not give a f**k because it’s not: the 1950’s, and I don’t waste time nor do I want to waste the time of a female – who statistically is bombarded by advances about 50 to 1 compared to men. And admittedly, I don’t enjoy ‘games’ of such nature; no chase, pursue, woo, court or anything other time wasting nonsense. Mostly, I would venture to believe, this stems from my newfound ability to simply turn off anything (and I do mean anything) that would render me back to a state of depending on anyone else for anything (yeah, sex too – I nixed mother nature like turning off a light switch). It’s quite empowering actually, and I’ve been more productive than in my whole life years combined. That said, I don’t think I’m quite Asexual, but I’ve found nobody (on the rare occasion I go on a date) even remotely feels chemically interesting (and yeah, I’m guarded as a motherF too I admit). Then, when women find I don’t respond to their advances they are somehow horrified. Hmmm, cake and eat it too phrase comes to mind. Anyway, point is – I’m not gay, not asexual, just not buying into the human weakness of needing to waste time for so-called happiness that comes with so-called romance. Food, water, air and my creativity… life sustaining, that’s passion.
Wow, seriously, I have never been more in agreement with any opinion on the inner – workings of nice guys (men), & their completely backwards, watered down sexuality, than I am with your words. What a refreshing, honest, intelligent, genuine way you communicated what I feel is the biggest misunderstanding between men & women & all the crap that has been somehow annoyed to dominate generations. I am a woman who has a very high sex drive when in a relationship especially. My life however, has been spent trying to, well basically be a good girl, moral, respectful of the boundaries.. these were not the key to my fruition. I have third to be me in the most honest form which is my femininity. I love being feminine even now as I’m middle aged. I’m not the girl who wants to initiate nor be the girl that questions her core as a woman. Desirability makes me feel alive I bloom in its consequence. I am finding it unbearable to be forced into not being myself… having to question my worth or even ask for it….wtf? If he truly loved me, knew me, I wouldn’t be sitting in my car alone because once again, he is content to just exist without the joy of a sexually honest relationship. Thank you for being the man to say exactly what I needed to hear. My blinders, my excuses, my facade of reasons why, all gone. I get it.
Dan, from personal experience I can affirm every word of what you have said here. Also I have to wonder about the comments here. I suspect they are a for of denial and part of the game than many men play in the company of other men: Cock dueling. In my experience, most men are afraid of appearing to other men as pussies. So the bravado is more masking than substance. Just my opinion, of course, but based on close relationships where old friends have become honest in their old age about their hangups.
Hey Steve, thanks for your candor mate. Yes, I suspect some of the more aggressive comments here are coming from pain more than truth. As I get older, I also find my male friends are coming clean about their inadequacies and revealing what I suspected – we’ve all got issues!
wow, seems like someone finally got me. Thanks for this. a lot of guys are hiding behind cloak
I read your article about the nice guy syndrome and some things I do agree with and other things I don’t. I have been in a couple of relationship myself and currently in one right now ,we’re at first everything was going great she would initiated the sexual contact as I would initiated the sexual contact, But as time passed she stopped initiating sexual contact while I kept on initiating sexual contact and when I tried to bring it to her attention so that we could try to work something out, she just blew it off as I’m the one who has the problem that I am too sexually active. yeah I have read in plenty of different places saying that women are more sexual than men are in my experience .I haven’t come across one at all or else I wouldn’t be looking for answers and commenting on this site about women having expectations of what guys should be in what they want. yet the guy wants the same thing in return and they can’t seem to do the same for there guy…my feelings about a long-term relationship is that sex in a relationship is very important and that both need to continue to keep there sexual relationship going as the years go bye..you have to work to keep it going..people fall in and out of love..it take two who really understand what it takes to keep it going..so many couples have looked for sex outside of there relationship, cuz of lack of it at home…women need to understand what is needed and willing to do to have that relationship that they have envisioned in their minds..well that is my opinion on long-term relationships.
Hi Frank, sounds like your issue is more about balanced investment and respect. It’s common for Nice Guys to end up doing all the “work” in a relationship, often because they aren’t willing to lose their partners over disrespect, so setting boundaries becomes a joke. Check out this podcast, hopefully it will help https://soundcloud.com/thebrojo/how-to-set-boundaries-through-healthy-confrontations
“Think of any guy who’s ever been nice to you without you having to earn it. He was trying to get laid. End of story. No exceptions.”
Wow. This is a fantastic view of the world… So what about my uncle and his friend? My sister’s boyfriend’s father? What about my highschool science teacher? My boss? My neighbor? And the guy who helped me change my flat tire? They all just wanted to f*ck me, huh?
I’ll be sure to never again waste my time reading an article you’ve written.
I appreciate the strong point of view. Disagree with it, but totally appreciate it. I don’t think you want to know what your boyfriend’s father, high school teacher and boss really have thoughts about. I’ve heard what guys like this talk about when women aren’t around. The truth would bother you deeply.
So, your saying that men are disturbing and sexually driven monsters incapable of higher human functioning such a non objectification? Misandry. Looks like you were influenced a little to heavily by third wave feminism. Good people ( men included) are capable of kindness without expecting anything in return. The problem with your article (and to be honest, society) is that you hold men to low standards of decent behavior. This is why being a “nice guy” never works. It would never occur to me that you are doing nice things for me but not asking me out because you want me to sleep with you. I would assume you were a kind person and I would do similar nice things for you in return and assume that you were my friend. That’s logical. If you truly belive that men are only nice to women because they want some kind of sexual reciprocation and validation then you and all like you need to go to a therapist. Your worth does not require external validation.
Hi Julia, thanks for your honest interpretation, resentful as it may be. Allow me to address your key points
“So, your saying that men are disturbing and sexually driven monsters incapable of higher human functioning such a non objectification” – no, I’m not saying that, that’s a Cathy Newman style interpretation you’ve done there – I don’t say what you said anywhere in the post. I don’t even hint at it. I simply say men want to have sex and will often hide this intention behind “nice” behaviours.
“Looks like you were influenced a little to heavily by third wave feminism” – look harder: https://soundcloud.com/thebrojo/feminism-is-dead-who-killed-it – I’m firmly anti-3rd wave feminism, whilst remaining realistic about the impact it’s had on many millions of men.
“You hold men to low standards of decent behavior” – this whole post is about men improving their leadership skills and enhancing their masculinity – i.e. holding them to a higher standard of behaviour.
“I would assume you were a kind person and I would do similar nice things for you in return and assume that you were my friend. That’s logical.” – that’s far from logical – it’s emotional. Logical would be assuming that every human has an inherently self-serving motive for their acts of altruism (i.e. we get a rush of dopamine whenever we believe we’ve “helped” someone), as clearly demonstrated by numerous studies in the field of evolutionary biology, psychology and neuroscience. There’s nothing wrong with this – we can learn to be both self-serving and ethical simultaneously – but being blind to it is an invitation for manipulation and con-artists.
“If you truly belive that men are only nice to women because they want some kind of sexual reciprocation and validation then you and all like you need to go to a therapist.” – Read the post again carefully. Yes, sex is not the ONLY reason men are nice; but it is the MAIN reason that Nice Guys are nice to women they’re attracted to. Sometimes I use exaggeration in my posts for effect, but I’d hope in reading this you’d clearly see at the beginning I’ve said who this article is about and who it is for: men who refuse to initiate sex. This is not all men… but it is probably most men.
Guys might be talking like that when in company of other guys,just to make a macho impression.What they would really do given the chance is another matter.As for you,you’re nothing but a sex obsessed guy and you view the women and relationships accordingly.Sad really.
“you’re nothing but a sex obsessed guy” – why do the people who disagree with me always have to resort to name-calling? I’ve never understood the benefit of that form of argument, and I never stoop to it myself. However, I’ll assume you’re upset but not actually as mean or aggressive as you appear to be in text, and I’ll address your arguments as rationally as possible.
I encourage you to read through the comments and notice how many guys willfully admit to what I’ve claimed in this post, and how so many women assert that I have accurately described their partners. Maybe it’s not just me who thinks these things are true.
Further, notice this article is not claiming to be about ALL relationships or ALL men, it’s exclusively about SEXUAL relationships with NICE GUYS. And Nice Guys are indeed obsessed with sex, as you put it, so the tone of the post is probably valid.
What a guy would really do “given the chance” as you say is not the same as what he WANTS to do. I am not saying all guys would act on their impulses, I’m simply saying they have the desires.
I would just like to add something to this – I don’t understand why some women have such strong reactions as this one, I’m a woman and my mind runs wild with thoughts of sex with every man I meet, boyfriends father, boyfriends brother, friends, the postman, you name it. I have no intention to act on it, I accept that I’m human and thoughts happen. I thought this was a human trait, not exclusively a male one? I can only assume that the women I see respond like that have a very low labido, are completely asexual or are outright lying.
There are many women who feel that way, and will “friendzone” you in a second, for showing courtesy and/or kindness!
Hi- the article is interesting and makes some good points. Disappointed to see that you seem to view men and women as so very different. In many frank and open discussions with countless women, in private what we say about men would probably surprise you deeply.
Put a women in bed with a naked man – attractive at least- and if there were no consequences and it were safe etc, women would love to have anonymous sex.
What puts women off in the double standards in how we are perceived and judged for loving sex as much as men.
We love sex as much and want good sex as much but often men think we go off it. This is only because we get bored easily by many of our husbands or partners same old routine. We enjoy and want lots of sex but maybe not with them anymore.
I think your article is excellent but you are misguided in viewing men and women as so different. We are not.
Whenever a couple seek advice on how to spice up their sex life, it’s always suggested that women wear sexy clothes and make all the effort, but what we also need is men to make more effort. It’s give and take, not just give.
Please guys, can I let you know on behalf of all females: most of us masturbate an awful lot and watch porn when you are not around. You are not alone.
I have tried all what you suggest to encourage my partner to initiate sex and he dies after we talk about it but it so wears off. I agree that men have been taught to play down their masculine side and it’s a shame- in the bedroom it’s sadly missed by us ladies. We are happy to instigate half the time but it’s not normally what we prefer but we are prepared to do it. Men need to be prepared to also. Give and take
Excellent response. Guys, read this comment above. I agree that men and women (and gay and straight) share these similarities. My article may read like I see guys and girls as different in these areas, but actually I don’t see it that way at all. I’ve written this focused on guys / masculine tendencies, with reference to the misconceptions guys hold in their minds. But there is a whole other shame story worth exploring for women. Here’s a great article on the shame women face: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jessica-dimas/taught-to-be-ashamed-of-my-sexuality_b_6199926.html
Totally agree with Good But….
I’m a girl and I’m over being straight up and asking, and initiating sex being the one that gives it all and gets nothing in return even when I show him what I like.
I wish my man would take the lead when I ask him show him rather than the other way round. Now I just reach for my toys when he’s not around, I have even played with them in front of him and all that happens is he’s happy and I’m left hanging.
I don’t see why I should have to brush his ego every time, it would be nice if he tried
Yeah, you don’t have to try help him. There’s no obligation to try. Could be he cannot be helped, in which case I’d recommend breaking up.
That said, if you have an entitled attitude – “he should just do x y and z” – I would guess that the attempts you’ve made so far to help him probably made things worse rather than better (e.g. criticizing him). Do what you always do, get what you’ve always gotten.
How you interpret a relationship that started off sexually high powered, then suddenly stopped overnight- reduced me to having to beg for sex and literally throwing myself at him. Used to be I couldn’t get through cooking dinner, he had me up on the counter lol. He tells me I’m beautiful and sexy and he’s very attracted to me, and I know he’s not cheating- because he works from his house and when he’s not working he’s with me 24-7. He seems to have just lost his libido and seems unwilling to see a doctor or do anything about it. He smokes a pack a day, never exercises, doesn’t eat right, doesnt sleep right and is a heavy marijuana user. I clearly know what the problem is. I’ve been patient and understanding, I didn’t pressure him, I’ve tried to model a healthu lifestyle, tried to not focus on sex as the central element, I would set up creative dates for us to just be together and have fun. But we are literally plutonic now. I just gave him an ultimatum -not to manipulate him, but to assert my self and stand up for me, and make him understand that my needs are important, and if he’s not willing to take action to address the problem, then we can’t be together. I have been patient and understanding for over a year and a half and we’ve only been together for two years. He would tell me he’s stressed from work, but then even on non-working days, he still didn’t want to have sex. He’s tired, he’s stressed, he’s full- ate too much, always something. I never belittled or emasculated him, I was supportive and patient, I offered to take him to see a doctor to see if he had low T or blood pressure issues. I would even make the appointment but he would make up excuses why he can’t go, or not prioritize going and just expect me to be in a platonic relationship. If I bring it up he gets angry and defensive and reverses the tables and accuses me of treating him like a human dildo expecting sex 24-7. Shit, I’d settle for more than one semi-flaccid pity f*** once every three months much less how he could possibly consider himself being used for sex- it’s ludicrous. So today I asked him to come over after his shift and he tells me, “I would but I’m really tired coming off my shift and I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed.” Basically telling me, I don’t want to see you in case you want sex. So let’s just avoid each other until I am in the mood. Well, that was pretty much the breaking point. I was calm but I put my foot down and gave him the ultimatum. I told him I loved him very much and to take as much time as he needed to ‘recuperate’, and to call me after he sees a doctor. Needless to say, that it did not go well. He is angry that I gave him an ultimatum, he is resentful that I asserted myself and he’s gonna go but he’s not doing it out of love that’s for sure. Not sure there is anything more I could have done. Maybe he loves me but he’s just not into me like that anymore, wish he’d just be honest. Do you think I did the right thing? Could I have done more or behaved differently? Man’s perspective would be helpful.
Hi anon, I’ll email you with a more advice, but for now I see a few key points:
1. the sudden loss of interest tells me that he went through the classic Nice Guy courtship phase (highly sexual for the first few months), and then once he “got” you his motivation to impress you ended, so his REAL libido came out (he was never really that sexual, just nervous about impressing you)
2. The health factors certainly play a large part, he’s like to have low T and probably long-term depression – but the poor eating and drug use are just symptoms of deeper confidence issues – he’s self-medicating
3. He has some form of sexual shame – seems he is worried he will disappoint you sexually (this is a big deal for Nice Guys), which tells me he puts a lot of pressure on himself to perform but also sees himself as unable to perform, so he thinks “Why bother? I’ll only disappoint her anyway. Better to just not try”
4. He probably has a porn addiction
5. He definitely has Nice Guy Syndrome, and until he’s willing to deal with that properly, you might be able to force brief changes with ultimatums but they won’t last
Anon, yes I am a 23 year old female and I have been in my relationship for 5 years now. Everything you just put point to and explained is the story of my relationship. This hasn’t been a recent problem either this has been on-going since our one-year Anniversary; we lived with a roommate at the time and his excuses were the same and to add that “but baby, Jon-doe is coming home soon. (We had a two bedroom house, small place but private if need be) going off the authors perspective—which I would like his feedback to this also; if I were to “call him out” of course in a flirty way of my choice his response is always “you only point fingers, but what do you do?” Well for the first couple years even living with our roommate at the time, I would try to initiate something and be told the same excuses and that he didn’t need that all the time. Well two years ago I found that he didn’t need the sexual attention because he was watching porn and on the day that I came across this action he lied about it like I was gonna dump him over this lol I just wanted to address the fact that all our disagreements were complete bull considering that the proof of time frame was in the morning before work when I was laying in bed beside him as I always have. I just don’t see this to be an acceptable ongoing problem for young adults in serious relationships in their early twenties. I am only giving a visual here; I’m not overweight which doesn’t matter in terms of love but compared to him I am small and petite and have always had decent connections with whom I chose to date. This is not the case here and yes for some reason I feel stuck. We’ve bought a house together we have a dog we have worked with the same company but different locations and at home we have nothing in common. I spend most of my days off stressing over what we should do or could do. I put in more effort and always feel lonely. It’s hard to talk to someone who doesn’t say much at all. Especially to his significant other…someone please excuse my run-on sentences and partially incorrect grammar and give me some insight…
Thanks for the insight. Your article was on point regarding my frustrations with my seemingly shy supposedly so romantic boyfriend. Sigh. This is going to take more time than I ever imagined.
Indeed. Unfortunately for all women in this situation there is a tough choice: do you stick by him through a long, hard road of transformation (assuming he even wants to change), or do you cut your losses and move on? Email me if you want help with the decision 🙂
Thank you for your article, I quite enjoyed reading it and agree with many of your points. My boyfriend of 3 years and I are having these same types of issues. He is very “feminine” and was raised by an all-woman household, (mother, sister, grandma, aunt, female cousin….etc. and no good male role models). Although, I love that he has so much respect for women and is very nurturing, kind and supportive, it bothers me that he does not initiate very often. At first I didn’t mind too much because I was preoccupied with school and didn’t notice, when I began to notice, I didn’t bring it up right away. I brought it up for the first time about 6 moths ago, thinking that he had lost sexual interest in me. He didn’t tell me exactly what was wrong and just reassured me that he did find me attractive and that wasn’t the problem. Since then, having talked about it again in two different instances I found out that he has a lot of anxiety related to rejection and/or not being able to do a satisfactory job (telling me this was very hard for him to do.) This is really sad for me because I love him and accept him the way he is. I understood that he was not very experienced when I started dating him and I feel that the only way that he will get better is by practicing. It is very reassuring to know that this is not an uncommon thing. Thank you for the advice, I will try to talk with him about this more openly and work with him to better our situation!
Good for you Jessica, he is showing signs that he wants to change but is held back by fear. There is hope for him yet!! The safer he feels being open and honest, the more bold he will become. I recommend playing the Question Game with him: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1552175718362986/permalink/1677703315810225/
I’m so stoked that you’re taking such a caring persistent approach with him; that’s what he needs the most.
Two thumbs up for the reply!
Do appreciate this article, been dating a fella for a few months and it’s so frustrating to see someone so confident in other aspects of his life yet never initiate sex. He has never stopped me when I do but it’s such a blow to a woman’s confidence that I always have to be the instigator, how do you tell the difference between nice guy syndrome and a one sided relationship?
Yeah it can be a challenge to know the difference between sexual shame and lack of investment. The key will be about his willingness to change when you confront him about his behaviour. Is he willing to try taking risks, be a leader, learn some new behaviours? I recommend you have a straight talk with him about it, ask if he’s willing to change, and then together set goals. If he sticks with the goals, you have a chance. If not, his words were empty, and it’s time for you to make a decision about staying with him as he is.
This was a real eye opener.
I’ve come to realize that I have this innately but am lucky enough to not suffer any problems from it. The reason for that is because I’m together with a very masculine girl. Half the time she likes to wrestle me down and that has inspired me to do the same to her. This very rarely goes directly to sex but it’s more often like way-in-advance foreplay, sets the stage for what’s to come a few hours later.
There’s no problem forcefully grabbing and holding your partner down so that only a very sharp “No” will suffice.
She’s thought me that.
Still, I have no doubt in my mind that before we got together I would never have been able to deal with a feminine woman instead, for the reasons stated in the article.
There’s some slight challenges in dating a masculine woman too, as she can be clueless to when sensitivity and assurance is called for in the same way as when guys associate among themselves but imo, it’s not any major disadvantage.
Happy where I am, I have no desire to cheat or end it, but I do want to reclaim my masculine side, which is why I actively approach women at parties, drag them up to the dance floor, gets lightly physical etc.
I do it well and don’t offend anybody with this (funny how it never actually was too complicated to read the lines really). The only problem I seem to have caused on occasion is to tap into some poor girls unmet desires (which obviously won’t be met by me) because men by and large, don’t do this anymore.
Thanks for sharing KJ, and there’s nothing wrong with a woman taking the masculine role more frequently while the man takes the feminine role… UNLESS you want to be masculine and are not living up to that – then it will erode your confidence over time. Interesting observation that you’re masculinity at parties shows you that women are missing out on this regularly. I see the same thing myself; the unsatisfied desire, particularly in women who are in long-term relationships – they can get quite flirty if you just show some assertiveness. Makes you wonder what their men are not doing.
I recommend you check out “The Way of the Superior Man” by David Deida to help guide you in establishing who is masculine and feminine in your relationship, and when you should switch roles.
I need help…..when we first married – 40 years ago – i promised myself i would never put my wife under any pressure for sex – although i was- and still am very highly sexed. To cut a very long story short, i have, over the years, “allowed” my wife to…..control the household finances – drive the main car with me in the passenger seat – she books the holidays as well as a full time job.- etc…..bla bla bla….
I do the house cleaning and decorating and have a full time job – but with out any doubt she does not respect me as a “man”. I have been emasculated. The thing is – years ago when women wanted “new man” they didn’t reckon on the fact that they would actually end up despising them.
I know i’ve left it too late – i’m 59 – i just don’t know what to do any more. I know my wife prefers to pleasure herself sexually when laying next to me in bed. I would say i have had sex around once or twice a year for the last 15 years (and that is only pity sex when we have been away) – i haven’t had intercourse for about 20 years.
But – here is a thing – when we are out in public – shopping for instance – she will very often link my arm – but in the confines of our own home will do everything she can to avoid me or any intimacy – i just do not understand……..thanks Dan
Thanks for opening up mate, I will respond to the email you sent, cheers. And for those others reading this: it’s NEVER too late
HI there Im wondering if you can answer my question, my partner of a year never seems to touch me or initiate anything it always seems to be me. Im an attractive girl and I know he loves me. When I do initiate things hes all for it but its quite sad how he never touches me often and seems to just wait for me or dosnt really care if we do it or not Im not sure. I thought maybe he is seeing someone else that’s why hes doing this but then that’s just jumping to conclusions and I don’t want to do that. Along the way of our relationship he will message me and ask me for sexual things, like he is scared of rejection, Im not sure. Hope you can help answer my question its driving me nuts and Im loosing my confidence in the process.
Hi Krissi, it definitely sounds like a fear of rejection to me. It’s like he waits for a “green light” from you before being sexual, because he’s scared of what it means if you say no (e.g. he thinks it will be over, and that he will be seen as a rapist or something). The first suggestion I always make is to talk with him openly and honestly. Sit down with him and say “We need to talk about sex. I want you to initiate but I don’t see it happening. Tell me why”
Email me for more details 🙂
I read my man this article and asked him these direct questions he just says I don’t know… When I point blank give a very direct example of thing I would like something easy like take my hand and lead me in the bedroom he doesn’t do it and later when we revisit this and I’ve asked him if he has more thought about the article he just says no and never tried to thing I suggested…. When i ask him why he doesn’t remember my suggestion and this goes in circles…im the ultimate miss unconditional acceptance and dont regret anything he says/likes but I can’t get my needs met and they are pretty minimal…. What gives?
Hi Mary, this is a common issue. The guys seems completely unmotivated to change. Sometimes he genuinely isn’t, in which case you’ve got no chance. Other times, he wants to change but is too blocked by shame. I’ve emailed you some resources to help.
Would you please send me the same resources you mentioned in regard to a man that is acting in shame and unable to initiate sex. Thank you so much.
P.S. the podcast mentioned was very insightful. It resonates with me and made alot of sense. I appreciate your post and this article s well.
I took PAX training and this ties in well to it.
Done, check your email 🙂
I say smash the male sex role. Let men wear short shorts to the mall and bikinis, and g strings to the beach. Tell women it’s their turn to initiate. End sexism now: this is what the feminists said. “Sexism,” you know, it’s a word invented by feminists, and it is a terrible form of oppression. Feminists hate sexism. So let’s end it. Stop men from rape? Stop men from initiating period. End patriarchy now. Women are in control now. They are responsible.
This is how many men feel. So how do you solve the problem? I know, hip hop and Hillary Clinton warmongering. Well, it doesn’t seem to be working. Men don’t want to go to war anymore, don’t want to send their sons to their death for the capitalists. What are we to do? The birth rate is dropping. I know: import millions from the most backward and sexist third world toilets we can. There should be plenty of men among them who will initiate. They know what women want.
Thank you for writing this! I’ve been searching for months to figure out how to change my sex life. About 9 months ago I decided to date my best friend. He was the nicest person Ive ever known and he has always treated me like gold. I’ve never been in a better relationship; we never fight and have the best communication skills. But we have NO sex life (until I get drunk..just like you said), and that’s not okay. I’ve never been wit a guy who just refused to initiate before and I had no idea how to fix it. This article helps a lot, now I know where to start. Thank you!!!
Great to hear Trish, and you’re in such a great place because of all the good stuff in the relationship currently – with this last problem solved it would be ideal. Check out this other article, just to make sure it’s not just about sex (there may be a deeper connection issue that needs addressing)
My boyfriend can go quite awhile without sex. I always have to make the first move and it’s frustrating. I tried to speak to him about it, but i feel like i get nowhere with the conversation. I can feel him hard as a rock in bed, but makes no move. Just rubs my back a little bit and gives up and rolls over to sleep. I feel since i stopped initiating sex first that our relationship has fell apart some. We’re fighting more and im really moody. Please help!
Wow! Very sad! I would LOVE to be married to someone who had YOUR attitude. Then, even if you told me you were not “feeling it” on certain nights, I would KNOW that you still felt something for me. Best wishes! I am sure that I would “give up” , if my own wife turned me down enough.
This is probably one of the most informative articles I have read on this subject. Thank you!
My boyfriend & I recently got back together after a cpl week break …3 years together in total. He sed he didn’t think I loved him & that’s why he ‘dashed’.
Anyway, I left him to it & he came back…
The reuniting convo was short…
(Me)I show ‘action’ & less words
(Him)He tells & no action.
He wants me to marry him & wants a baby ( I already have 2 children. Ages 11 & 8.
I’m 31 & he’s 30.
However….. he won’t initiate sex. I try, he doesn’t take bait. If I mention I want more he tells me I’m selfish coz he hasn’t been well. (He went to docs for blood tests but came back normal & he’s still working and he’s a plasterer….but he can’t have sex with me) sex will do right now.
Making love..is…yea right! I can’t evn get a passionate kiss.
Iv this minute recembed a msg saying he can not wait to get home to me tonight, he’s missed me so much… always does. But that’s normal. Get those daily.
He can not b cheating. He comes straight home after work & he’s not masterbating…I don’t think. I beleive this because wen he’s in bath he wants me to sit on loo at talk to him.
Wats going on????
Hi Lily, sounds like quite a frustrating situation, I’ll flick you an email to discuss further. First piece of advice I always give when I get these questions: talk to him directly about it. Say something like “I wish we had more sex, but it seems like you don’t want to. What is going on from your point of view?”
If you’ve already done this, I’m keen to hear what his response was.
Is he depressed
Tells me he fancies me everyday…that I’m beautiful
I look better now than I ever have
I’m confident now / I didn’t used to be
Must note….he will send a message….saying he has a big ‘tool’ now and again…I feel testing the water (like he’s seeing if im interested or something)….and if I say something like…oooo yea… He’ll change subject to something random …or say “gotta go busy”
Help me plz
You’re dancing around the real issue here. The real reason men stop initiating sex is because women use sex to manipulate men. They’re taught to do it from childhood. Well, men have had enough. If you’re going to withhold sex to punish or manipulate us, we’re going to stop initiating. It’s as simple as that. No, we are not controlled by our hormones, as you think we are. Women will need to demonstrate that they are worth our time and attention. Until then, get used to men ignoring you. That’s what you wanted, and now you’ve got it.
I hear a lot of resentment in your comment. I have no doubt some women have treated you poorly in the past, but do they represent all women accurately? How are you choosing the women in your life – is there something in the way you meet women that makes it more likely that you will find the manipulative ones?
Well, someone sure upset you, John.
It’s sad that you think women are trained to manipulate men with sex. Also quite misogynistic, though I’m sure you consider yourself The Nice Guy Who Gets Hurt.
Maybe someday you can heal and appreciate the woman in your life who no doubt tried very hard to express her love for you and wondered what was wrong with her when you pushed her away because she wasn’t the one who made you feel low.
Not afraid of rejection… tired of it. When there is assertiveness there is a headache not to far ahead. NEXT!
hi I’m in a 3 year relashionship
I’m told I’m loved every day and beautiful
but my boyfriends actions are confusing.sex just seems to have tailed off, I’ve wondered if he’s bored of me or no longer aroused.he shows lots of affection but sex never happens.ive been getting more resentful thinking it’s me been to avaliable. but when I really think about it, it has always been me who has been the leader with sex.hes never pushed me for sex and I know his ex didn’t give him sex.how can i tell the difference in losing interest or if it’s this issue.also last night I know he had mastrabated to porn even though we not had sex for 2 weeks! I’ve started sleeping in another room because I’m hurting deeply and he’s upset about the not sleeping next to me.but the lack of sex doesn’t even bother him.what can i do and to note it’s not a porn addiction.your post has really got me thinking?? please help!!
and to add we always end up having sex when drunk! also he admitted he saw me in my gym wear and thought nice wink wink but thought he will later!! he never initiates
I’m also now stopping all sex because I need to get to bottom of this.i don’t even think he’s noticed! just want to know is this loss of interest or the green light example?
This is the best article I’ve read on this subject!
I’ve never replied to articles on the Internet before, but I feel compelled to comment how well you see the big picture.
This read has made me much more aware. Especially how need for validation and feeling of worthlessness is linked together.
Fear of rejection and shame before sexual expression have become my default obsessive thoughts, unless I’m up to any task at hand. Feels like this matches descriptions of a ‘snap’ inducing behaviors.
Thanks to you less people might become angry and/or stressed, whose problems root from pent up sexual frustration.
Can you recommend anything to reduce the crippling nervousness and racing thoughts that kills my mojo, every time I consider approaching girls I want to bang?
Thanks for commenting on the post.
Regarding your question about overcoming nervousness, the main issue I notice is that the reason you’re approaching the girl in the first place is to get sex. That’s a lot of pressure to put on meeting someone!
Check out this video and let me know what you think:
I don’t get this crap I know you think you’re Mr. know it all but everything isn’t the man’s fault. Its always the guy who has to be changed. Every man doesn’t want to screw every woman in the world if you think that your an idiot. There’s more problem with women going frigid. A human being can I ly take so much rejection. omg I’m so upset after reading this, there’s so much wrong in what your saying on so many levels I don’t know where to start so I’m just going to try and calm down and forget I read this
I wonder why you’d be so upset about a blog writer being wrong. If a child tells me that there’s a monster under their bed, I don’t get upset, because I know it’s not true. I’m sure you’re OK with people being wrong.
The only time I get upset is when something hits a nerve deep inside me. I read the anger and resentment in your comment and I feel for you. You WISH your sexual pain with women was the girl’s fault, because you’ve been hurt by women so often in the past. I get it, I do. I used to blame women for my pain also, there was some satisfaction in convincing myself that they were at fault.
I don’t think me being “wrong” upsets you, it’s your history with women – your inner wounds – that my words have aggravated. I want to help you – I love helping men repair their emotional relationship with all women – but possibly you’re not ready for that. There’s still too much bitterness there.
The title of this post is “Why your boyfriend doesn’t initiate sex”, not “All men are at fault for sexual issues”. If you’re already powerfully, respectfully and shamelessly initiating sex with the women in your life, then this article has nothing to do with you.
Sorry this is bull shit. You are a Mangina and you side with women in hopes of being favored. More men initiate sex more than women, even your own post mentions that: supply and demand tells you that women have the power because they been just sitting there for centuries and enjoying the attention and the desire men seek. When men play the same card, punks like you write this stupid shit. You are extremely naive or in denial of reality. Do not preach that “bitter” guy gospel to me. I know my way around town.
“I know my way around town.” Good for you.
Where is the flip coin?? the post where women are supposed to initiate more???? huh Where is it. Wait let me guess…”men are supposed to be the initiators, always the one who wants some??? Why don’t you remove your ball from your girls purse and reattached them to your person. Instead of bowing down to this one sided bull shit.
Let me start by saying you nailed with this article, That being said I am well aware of my shyness and adoviance, Let me give some back ground on me, I was a chubby awkward red headed teen who loved my comics and super heroes so needless to say I wasn’t a ladies man in high school I wanted to be but I never had a solid male role model growing up seeing as I could only see my father on weekends. I didn’t become sexually active until I was 20 years old and it was just awkward, I have only had 4 real relationships in my life, and well all 4 of those women ended up cheating on me with another guy, and well if it happens enough to you… you start to feel like a worthless looser. I must be bad at sex and not good enough for anyone. Now at 37 it’s been 10 years since I have been in a relationship and 13 years since I have had any form of sexual contact with a woman. I am shy and display avoidace behavior out of not wanting to be hurt again, I know it sounds stupid but if what’s the point anymore they’ll just cheat on me so why not just stay single, Now I am not bashing women I love them, I am lonely, and my friend is worried about me to the point where he’s annoying the crap out of me, I am lonely and I do miss women, but the fear of getting burnt by an cheating faithless person keeps me alone shy and sad.
It’s sad to see such an optimistic person get their hopes destroyed by a few bad people. Unfortunately, in our neediness we find others who are unhealthy, and it can often seem like these others are all that exist. I feel for you mate, and I’ll email you privately with more support. Thanks for sharing, I know many men who would resonate with the story of being treated poorly by women but still loving them.
Dan thank you for sharing this, it has been one of the most to the point articles on the subject I found online. Please allow me an observation and a question.
I am not sure that you can get anywhere by encouraging someone to be dominant, it is kind of contradictory, you can not say to a man ”I am not the leader, you are” and convince him he actually has the lead, he obviously does not in this constellation! The woman remains the sexually dominant figure, when you have to tell to a man what to do, even if you try subtle ways in the sex game; you can always encourage someone to continue, but you can not convince to initiate…
The guy I have been dating for the last couple of months is exhibiting also a sort of this behaviour. We go out, we sleep in the same bed. At the beginning we would make out and at some point he would stop. As you mentioned above a night that we were drank I took over the situation and we had penetrative sex, but after a while he lost his erection. I tried to initiate sex the next morning thinking the previous night not working out was because of alcohol consumption and he told me very clearly that he did not want to. To give you something more of the context, we don’t live in the same city (Italy), but I spend at least a weekend every two weeks at the place where he lives and happens to be where I was born and raised. I am Italian and he is Danish, both 35 and single, we work in the same sector and we are both fairly successful.
So here it is my question to you and my request for help because I like him and I am very confused, how can you tell if the man is dealing with erectile dysfunction or he is, as you very well put it, sexually passive? Can it also be that in our times when sex is so easy and meaningless as a result, he is waiting to be sure he feels something for the woman and vice versa?
Lastly, could I do something to give our getting to know each other a chance? I admire him in many ways and would like to share things with him.
I would really appreciate your views. Many thanks
Hi Elena, thanks for bringing this up. From what I’ve seen, sexual shame and erectile dysfunction often go hand in hand. A man will have painful emotional experiences with sex because he can’t get it up, and then starts avoiding sex because of this possibly happening. A vicious cycle. Given what you’ve describe, I’d say your man is probably in this trap.
What will help him most is becoming comfortable about it, which will come from having deep, meaningful and vulnerable conversations about sex. Share with him what you’re feeling, and ask that he reciprocates. Aim to have no secrets left. This will probably have a huge impact on his shame.
would of been nice to have my post acknowledged ..
Hi Sadie, I replied to you via email, perhaps it ended up in your spam folder.
My live-in boyfriend (63) and I (58) have been together since April 2014, and living together since January 2015. He was more enthusiastic about sex when we lived apart in a long distance relationship (6 hours drive apart) and saw each other almost every weekend for 6 months. We used to have sex at least once every week, but after a few months, it dwindled down to once every 3 weeks, and now barely once a month. We’re both regular cyclists, fit and look great for our age. He compliments me all the time for my looks and I am still attracted to him.
I’ve initiated several conversations over the past year about our lack of regular sex and how ideally I would love for him to be more assertive and seduce me. He is very affectionate and kisses me, holds my hand everywhere we go, tells me he loves me … we’re happy together and all, but we hardly engage in SEX. I know he masturbates in the bathroom on a regular basis, but when I confronted him gently about it, he lied and said he NEVER masturbates. I know for a fact he does and wouldn’t mind if it didn’t diminish his desire to have sex with ME! I told him it’s a natural activity and nothing to be ashamed of and yet he won’t admit it. He has had performance issues in the past and takes Viagra, but there are occasions when he doesn’t need it. His odd response to my confession that I wish we had more sex and he could be more assertive was that he can’t “share me.” What a reaction and lack of a solution. Rather than try to be more interested and engaged in sex with me, I have to live with it or move on, but he is not going to change. Bottom line: my thoughts are that he finds it easier and quicker to self-pleasure than to have sex with me. The rare occasion when we do have sex, he seems to thoroughly enjoy it. I wish it lasted longer – my only complaint, lol.
What struck me here in this forum was that many of the couples in similar situations are younger than we are. So I guess I don’t have to feel so bad that it happens to all ages.
Hi Julie, indeed it’s a problem for all ages. In your description what I see the most likely issue is that your man has shame around sexuality (evidenced by lies about masturbation), and that this causes him to feel pressured during sex (evidence by erectile dysfunction and preference for masturbation). Simply put, he sees sex as a chore because it’s emotionally challenging for him, rather than as a way to connect with you.
If he’s unwilling to be honest, face the issues and change, you’re left with few options I’m afraid. If you express that you will have to leave him rather than tolerate this, he may be prompted to seriously consider working on this issue.
I have a problem very similar to sadie and would like to talk to you or know your response to her
Yeah he won’t comment to hers for some reason 😫😫
Hi Kia, I’ve been responding in private email for the most part, rather than posting on here. I’ll email you the resources
Me and my girlfriend are in a relationship of around a month but I don’t initiate physical contact, I sit next to her and consider it but never make the move and I don’t know exactly why. She initiates by holding my hand and touching my thigh. I feel like if I do it she might not want it.
Hi anon, this sounds like a case of Green Light Syndrome for sure. Many guys are scared of getting a No, thinking this means they’ve somehow hurt the woman. In the #metoo age this fear is heightened – men are becoming terrified of accidentally abusing women sexually, so they play it safe by doing nothing at all. I’m glad you’ve picked up on this early – there’s still a chance you can fix this! I’ll email you personally with more support
Hey mate, unfortunately your email bounced back as invalid. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want more support
I am having these issues with a guy I’ve been seeing for a little over two months. It took him right at two months to even kiss me. We aren’t youngsters. I’m 36 and he’s in his 40’s. We live a distance from each other but still try to see each other once a week with our work schedules and kids.
Just this weekend, I had to grab his hand so he would hold mine. When I seen him this weekend, we hadn’t seen each other in a week and he didn’t even grab me up and hug and kiss me.. Actually he didn’t kiss me at all. We’ve only had sex twice. Only that first time, he initiated. I did the second time. He has yet to perform orally and honestly I’m quite frustrated.. We have taken everything so slow that I’m to the point of weighing other options. I don’t know what else to do. But I will NOT initiate again. I know he’s got a different side because he showed me a sex candle and showed me that he had a few other sex related things.
I guess I wonder if he takes his time to show that side or if he’s all talk. He told me once that he thought I was very attractive. Just once.. He does plan our dates and make reservations at restaurants but he doesn’t do anything much in the physical department. Does it get better with time with very passive men? Or is this something I have to deal with or move on? It’s sad because I like him a lot. I just don’t see this going much farther if something doesn’t change.
Miss Frustrated – and there’s the manipulation: “I will NOT initiate again.”
Why is it OK for a woman do play this game, but not a man? You have every right to decide with whom you have sex. But so does he. Why do you feel you have a right to his body? Or that he has to be attracted to you? Please do him a favor and dump him now. You are obviously not sexually compatible. But of course, the only solution is that he must bow to your wishes.
A man can not win at this game. If you’re polite and respectful, they’re frustrated because of the lack of sex. If the man pushes for sex, he “only wants one thing”. I swear, women decide in advance that they are going to complain about and try to control the man. No matter what he does, it was the wrong thing, she is mad, and it’s his fault. No wonder men are bailing out of the dating game in hordes. And this male author is encouraging men to fall into their traps. Do listen to him guys – he’s working for the enemy.
Interesting that you see women as the enemy, perhaps this is the source of your discontent. It also implies that you do not take responsibility for your own pain. Perhaps this, also, contributes to your dissatisfaction with connections.
Oh wow John! Can anyone be anymore insensitive? If you’re not going to act like you want to be around a woman and she’s to do all the chasing, guess you’ll stay single forever. We’ve all been hurt. I don’t care who you are. But I’m the type woman who takes care of everything, a house, kids, full time job, etc.. When I’m with a man, I want him to be that. A man. I want physical contact. Who the hell doesn’t? There’s no sense in crying over not having a woman if you’re not doing anything to keep her around and keep her interested. It isn’t manipulation. It’s life. And a man who doesn’t care for his woman or her needs is a very selfish man.
Wow, this article was very helpful to me. I feel like you have been watching me throughout my life and relationships with women. I really see where I was conditioned to be a “nice guy” and wait for a clear invitation, the sad part is that I lost a marriage in the process.
I feel for you mate, we all learn the hard painful way!
I don’t initiate anymore because it became a burden. we had sex 1 out of every 5 times I initiated. We were having sex like twice every month. My pursuit to increase that rate always failed. So I though she was just not into multiple sex occasions so I cut back on the initiation. Then the nagging, silent treatment, and all the dramatic tantrums started. We had one sided conversations where i pretty much asked questions and got no responses or vague responses. I staged romantics dinners and initiated sex again, the first one after the long period of sexual tension was a success, then we went back to 1 out of every five trials again. I can count maybe three times in a year that she initiated, one of the times she just wanted to make out and cuddle. Ok she’s a girl blah blah.. but it was like I had to put in work for both of use to enjoy sex. I pull the plug on the relationship after about a year or so. My question to girls is WHY DOES THE GUY HAVE TO DO ALL THE WORK SO BOTH CAN ENJOY SEX.
Sounds like a very unbalanced relationship, where you were not respected. Check out this podcast episode on balancing investment in a relationship https://soundcloud.com/thebrojo/balancing-investment-in-a-relationship
the solution/prevention lies in the sexual drive of the betrayed spouse is victim blaming, and it is an inappropriate shift of responsibility. The average male is exposed to pornography for the first time by age 11, which is long before most men meet their wives. Pornography would be an issue for someone who is addicted regardless of who they married and how often she was willing to have sex. When the author chose to use the story of the man who experienced the addiction and then went on to discuss how his wife “never withheld sex, even though she was hurting”, I was appalled. The archaic expectation and treatment of the wife as property whose duty is to appease her husband’s sexual appetite even in the moments when her heart has been broken by his virtual infidelity shuns natural consequences and takes the individuality and validation out of the woman and instead states that the husband is the only one who deserves to be cared for when such a disaster befalls a marriage. http://www.howtomakehusbandhappy.com
I love your article and it was enjoyable to read!
my husband is most definitely the brainwashed type
I had a feeling something was a little off when it came
to the bedroom scene and at one point I was starting to think maybe it was me why he was behaving like that.
but your article was the piece of puzzle that I needed
to understand what is going on with my sex life.
it just didn’t make sense cause my husband and I love, care and support each other very much on all levels of life but WTH happened in the bedroom o. O?
I’d like to Thank You for your point of view it has given me the opportunity to understand my husband, to better not just our sex life but our relationship as a whole.
I and my husband are in our twenties, both of us are physically active, healthy and attractive. I’ve always had men drooling over me, so I know that I’m attractive and sexy, but my husband almost never initiates sex, even though whenever I initiate it, he’s always happy to proceed. I don’t initiate very often because I feel like if he doesn’t, then he must have a reason – maybe he is tired or stressed. (He goes to school and works 2 jobs, sometimes getting little of sleep)
However during the summer he wasn’t as busy as he is right now, and he wasn’t initiating it anyway. It really frustrates me because I feel deprived of attention and catch myself wanting to flirt and cheat with other guys that would give me even slightest sign of attention and show admiration. I almost cheated on him with some guy who barely spoke English but was very romantic and assertive towards me. I caught myself and stopped interaction with the guy, because I didn’t want to do anything stupid and act out of my frustration and emotions and hurt my husband, whom I love. He never really tells me anything romantic or says that I’m sexy, which is also very damaging to my confidence. I had relationships before him and was always praised by my previous partners – the relationships didn’t work out for other reasons. I even had an extremely toxic relationship for almost a year only because the guy was giving me compliments right and left and sex life was amazing, even though everything else was horrible!
I talked to him about that, and he said he just wasn’t raised that way, his father is very quiet and doesn’t really show affection to his mom (especially verbal), even though they seem to have good loving relationship overall.
But he is always nice and caring and holds my hand in the car.. I tried talking to him about us not having much sex and he said we are just very busy, and he thinks having sex once in 2 weeks is not too bad… I asked if I wasn’t sexy for him, and he said that I am sexy, he is just busy with everything.
I can definitely agree with your point of view, my husband grew up in a family of very strongly opinionated women about women rights and women treatment by men. Maybe even a little too strong. Also he was mainly raised by his older sisters because his parents worked a lot.
He does masturbate, I know it because I asked him. And he confirmed that he does. I have no problem with that.
He is really nice guy, we get along very well. We love and respect each other. The story of us meeting and then getting married is truly like a beautiful fairytale.. But our sex life makes me really doubt us.. he is the first guy that I had who is so passive towards having sex with me until I initiate, even though he always throws sexual jokes around me and even more so around his friends..
I’m truly lost here and don’t know what to do.. I had relationships where sex was great but everything else not so much, this one is the opposite.. sometimes I try to convince myself that sex is not that important.. but other times I feel very moody and even resentful towards my partner because I am not satisfied sexually and emotionally..
It doesn’t matter what feminism intended in the first place. Feminism was for women only dealing with women’s problems. This is what the movement preached–that women had all they could do dealing with women’s issues and that men’s issues were irrelevant. This is what was said. Women talked about ending sexism. Feminists coined the word “sexism” as a negative thing that needed to be gotten ridden of. Well, men want that, too. Men want to be loved for their bodies, too. You can easily find millenial high school girls on the internet who have posted anti sexist dress code signs in their high schools saying things like, “We have the right to wear revealing clothing to school and boys need to be taught that it has nothing to do with them and that we are not sex objects.” Nothing about wanting the same social freedom for boys to show their bodies in school, and boys can’t without being sent home. So how do you explain to millennial women who have no idea what a male thigh looks like that in the year 1970 in many schools in the USA boys were also coming to school in short shorts and swimming on swim teams in flower print bikini Speedos. Check out the yearbooks from that time period. I defy you to find that kind of male swimming attire being sold in liberal pro transgender Target or Wall mart these days. We actually had equality on the body issue in the seventies. We even had it in the year 1960. There was less sexism in the movie, Muscle Beach, with Annette Funicello where both genders paraded about California beaches showing an equal amount of flesh–also in the 1960 movie Where The Boys Are, a film about rape, by the way, in which the male characters react very sensitively to a female rape victim in Miami Beach. But take a look at the equality of flesh being exposed by both genders in that movie, then look at the horrid hateful sexism against the male body today on beaches. There are no bikini Speedos on the beaches today in the USA and also in many other countries that have had hip hop forced onto their cultures (I am writing to you from southeast Asia, so come and take a look). Why? Because the feminists hated things like Speedoes on men and often said terrible things to us on the beach, “Oh gross. Look at that sicko man.” so the feminists got what they wanted, an equally misogynistic response from the Hip Hop movement in both song lyrics and fashion. So, hey, why bother? It is going to take a couple generations of MGTOW before we can look honestly at this problem and say that sexism against men and boys and their bodies and expecting them to do most of the initiating is toxic to the relations between the sexes
I was married for 17 1/2 years. 1 1/2 of those in separation, 15 of them not having sex. And I mean NO SEX. he wouldn’t even sleep in the bedroom with me let alone a bed. The first year was fine, (actually, less than a year) and the only reason I got pregnant with triplets was because of my lonliness already a year in, i “got him” in the shower, then prayed and begged God to let me be pregnant because who knew if I’d have another chance. He liked to tell people we “were trying” but between May and November (which was the shower scene) we only had sex twice. He wanted to adopt.
I went my entire 30’s without sex, cuddling, kissing, petting. Id try only to be pushed off. I thought it was me. That I must be horrible to be with. Until I found his ex wife (they were only married 3 years) and heard a story similar to mine, just no kids and she didn’t put up with it as long as I did.
I Never Turned him down in the beginning. Never complained, always enjoyed every minute (I’m a taurus. I love sex) and to be stuck in a marriage that was so sex less and loveless did a number on me. I never found port, or evidence of an affair.
And have since come to find thar I’m considered pretty damn sexy by men 🙂 I’m starting to feel pretty and attractive, I’m just sad it took me till I’m 45 to feel this way and not dump him sooner.
Maybe have been experiencing pain during sex and had to stop him. He feels like he was hurting you and of course he doesn’t want to do that, so in an attempt to protect you he’s not pushing the matter. He probably thinks you’ll initiate when you feel ready.
you explained very well about this , Thanks
Thanks for this explanation
I read most if not all of the comments here but my case is a little different and I could really use your opinion. Thanks!
So, I have been with my girl for a year now. The first ~6 month were great sexually:
– We would both initiate and fuck like bunnies almost daily. We had 3 hour marathons etc.
– We had sex in public places (locker rooms, cinemas …)
– I was/am very dominant sexually (which she acknowledge actually)
– She asked me to fake “rape” her even
We are/were happy but still the sex got less in quantity and quality steadily.
Now, after a year, it is 99% me who initiates. And I still do initiate every few days.
I get rarely “rejected” and if so mostly for valid reasons:
– “I have my period”
– “People can hear us”
– “I need to go to work in in 20 minutes”
My problem is, while we still do have sex regularly, it is always because I want it. And she often makes me feel like she just “endures” it now. Boring sex with her being a starfish. He not doing anything proactively and kinky. And as soon as I am “done” she puts cleans herself and puts on her clothes and seems happy it’s “over”.
She flat out refuses sex when she’s on her period now. She did not do that 6 month ago.
I understand, but she did not mind that much for the first half year. Why now?
I got BJs (without asking for it explicitly) regularly. Not anymore. I have to ask for it and she makes clear she does not enjoy it.
We talked about it a little and she says I should not be surprised as this is normal for relationships that the sex is exciting and plenty in the beginning and becomes less interesting and less frequent.
The problem is that I really see this literally as a loss of interest in me. She taking me for granted. Curiously, though everything else in our relationship speaks for her being absolutely happy. We cuddle a lot and share fun hobbies and go out together etc.
So my current hypothesis is this: Now that I’m committed to her and moved in with her, she get’s all the benefits she wants out of the relationship (emotional intimicy, attention, security etc.) irregardless of how much “sex” she invests.
While before she used my sex drive to get my attention and commitment to “catch” me. She actually pretty much admitted that before …
Does that sound correct for you?
I’m thinking of reducing my availability to “fix” this situation because it get’s really tiring to always be the one initiating an activity that both are supposed to enjoy and want.
Thanks for your opinion.
Hi Marc, sounds like exactly what I’ve written about here, only in your case it’s the woman who’s doing it. I’ll email you with more personal feedback
Let’s back up a minute. Please convince me why I should even have a woman in my life. What value do they bring? I don’t see anything, not a thing. And don’t say sex. Sex is nothing but a woman’s tool of male manipulation, so it’s actually a huge downside to me. I really don’t see anything positive that a woman could contribute to my life. Please prove me wrong.
There’s no reason why you should have a woman in your life beyond simply wanting to. If you don’t see any value in women, then I suggest you either stay away from them forever, or accept this challenge:
Spend 6 months on a mission to find the value in women. Talk to them honestly. Seek to understand them. Ask them to educate you about themselves, all the while trying to keep an open mind by assuming that you are presently and temporarily blind to their value, rather than believing that no value exists.
I believe all humans are valuable. I’ve learned this belief through seeking evidence; it’s not faith but fact. I’ve explored people deeply for many years to discover this simple truth. I also believe men and women are equally valuable, thought this was not always the case. I had to let go of my hateful presumptions to find this truth.
If you want to cling to the belief that women are worthless, you are free to do so. My only question would be, does it feel like a good use of your life to do this?
Is this passiveness a part of a man personality. I recently went through a situation with someone I was dating and we basically broke it off because she said I was too passive as well as laid back. I’ve talk to people about this, most say you are who you are, and I shouldn’t change, but I kinda feel most woman do not want a passive man, and I should not wait on meeting someone who will deal with that. As I started to reflect on this situation, it made me take a look at my past sexual situations, rather in a relationship, or just a one night stands. I have been passive (not initiating) in all of them. I”m now 49 and coming to this point where I need to address this. I also think this is one of the reasons why my wife ask for a divorce some years ago. With me going on 50, and this has been inbreeding in me over all this years, how will I truly get over this? Any advice will help, I’m scared I will end up alone, especially around my lack of confidence (which I believe is part of it) and my passive ways. I am definitely one those guys everyone consider super nice.
I’m consider a very attractive man to woman that see me, but beyond that, I found I really lack the confidence, and now realizing about my passiveness has played an effect on my love life. I’m hoping I can find a answer soon. I will pick up your book and Dr. Glover book, but any other suggestion will help.
Hi Samuel, your story sounds like so many I’ve heard before. It can be conflicting to hear the advice “just be yourself” and then feel like you’re living by that without any luck or love. I believe “yourself” is a fluid concept, and I also believe passivity is never authentic. True confidence means you’re all in or all out – Hell Yeah or Fuck No. Passivity shows a fear of the consequences of making a decision and acting. At least, that’s what it meant for me. I was passive for 25 years but now I realize that was never truly ME.
Check this out for more tips on how to move on to a new version of you
Hey Dan – are you on the enemy’s payroll or something? Don’t ask for permission??? You are leading us right into the feminist trap. One accusation, and your life is ruined.
You can tell your female readers that we’re through with them and their games. No amount of sex is worth putting up with a woman. Sex is the #1 way that women think they can manipulate men, and you’re encouraging men to play along.
You sure don’t think much of men. You put any many next to a female, and he automatically wants sex??? We need ‘validation’ from women? It’s not normal for a man to have a platonic relationship? Really?
If you’re not a woman, you are sure under their spell. Good luck with that. The rest of us have smartened up and moved on.
“Enemy’s payroll” – I don’t know what happened to you, but your hatred for women seems to own you completely. Is that hatred any less of a “spell” than what you see me under?
“Don’t ask for permission?” – in case I wasn’t clear already, I’m not saying go beyond the point of consent. No means no. I’m saying make a move without needing a signed contract of permission. Get to the No instead of imagining it. If your move is met with resistance or outright rejection, of course you should stop. But initiating will often require risking this rejection.
“The rest of us have smartened up and moved on.” – moved on to what? Loneliness? Sexlessness? My life with women is currently sexually satisfying, full of mystery and intrigue, and abundant in feminine compassion. Why would I want to move on from that? Have you considered moving on from resentment? That’s what I moved on from.
Some of the statements I made in the post are extreme and generalized – I thought that was obvious, though sometimes what I think is obvious is actually unclear, and I fully acknowledge that. The curse of writing is that words can never accurately express a belief, thought or feeling. A man can have a platonic relationship with a woman, and of course we don’t want to fuck everyone. I was making the point that most of the time what appears to be platonic is actually masking hidden desire and resentment.
Very interesting post !
I don’t agree with every point in it but it has some amazing insights.
I’m one of the women who always has to initiate sex with my partner. We’ve been together for many years now and that’s pretty much a fixed pattern.
I know I’m attractive but only because I see other guys reaction to me. I have had to flirt in the past with other guys to get the attention I needed but wanted from him.
I’ve tried talking to him about it but he says he isn’t very sexual. It’s as if, over the years, he’s had the wind knocked out of him.
I love him and think he’s incredibly hot but I have become afraid of initiating anything now because there are times when he rejects me.
He rejects me sometimes by saying that he has something to do, or it’s late, things like that. And it hurts like hell. Probably because as women we aren’t used to being rejected in bed.
I love him deeply but for him, sex is indeed something dirty and he can’t handle talking about it. I don’t want to have sex with other men but with him. But I do want to have sex in my life. And I don’t need to be made to feel afraid of rejection.
He’s become so afraid of any kind of intimacy. And other men pick up on that and think that allows them to make passes.
In another comment, I read that someone said that they’ve had other re lationships where the sex was better but the love was worse. That’s exactly where I am.
So, it’s complicated and there doesn’t seem to be a way out of it.
Let me try to phrase what I think John is trying to say in a less belligerent manner:
The problem isn’t that feminism has gone too far—the problem is that some feminists refuse to grow up.
By growing up, I mean discovering, as every adolescent ought, the correlation between rights and obligations.
Bigger allowances, bigger salaries, and greater freedoms come with bigger strains—that’s why “compensation” is a very good description of getting paid in return for something.
Those adolescents who discover the level of strain they can endure and make peace with the compensation they are awarded, turn into adults.
Those who refuse to do so, will go to great lengths to convince themselves and everyone around themselves that the universe is one great collective conspiracy designed to exploit them and deprive them to what they believe to be their birthright.
Women who do not want to be approached by ‘creeps’ cannot complain about men who are wary of being classified as one.
Women who complain about men wanting one thing, cannot be miffed by the gentlemen who do everything to avoid the description.
And of course, women who are just as capable of running businesses, organizations, and offices cannot expect to be shielded from the pain of rejection or the ‘humiliation’ of dirtying their hands.
Of course, many women (and men) are not so capable in this area; the adults among them come to terms with their own vulnerabilities and learn to live with the level of pain they can bear. What they don’t do is blame the other half of humanity for not giving them what they want on a silver platter.
I realize that you mean well, but by trying to convince women that they really can have it all (i.e. become a strong woman without becoming a resilient one), you are contributing to their adolescent fantasies of carefree freedom. In reality, freedom is anything but carefree.
I just wanted to thank you SO much for this article! I am married to a great guy, who is awesome in every way, but this particular issue has really been a bother for many years. I won’t go into details, but I was up late tonight after being frustrated b/c, while he won’t initiate, he will pitch passive aggressive fits about it having been a while. I was at my wits end(we’ve been together over a decade). Your article seems spot on for a lot of reasons. I also have low self esteem, and am used to being pursued by aggressive men, but am very sexual once my heart has been won, so it was very confusing and disheartening for me when he wouldn’t pursue. It has broken my heart many times. I couldn’t figure it out and didn’t want to put myself in a position of always being the aggressor, b/c it’s not in my nature.
I’m going to read the books you have recommended and put these things into practice. Other articles online just didn’t fit our situation and I was starting to worry that he just wasn’t ever going to be into me, but I KNOW he loves me.
Thank you for giving my confidence a boost! I hope I can do the same for his. <3
A much braver woman with her fingers crossed
PS: Please ignore the haters, the article is fantastic! Aren't "resilient" and "strong" somewhat synonymous? lol
I’ve been the one asking for sex he never did since we met and any time he have sex with me he fucks me only one and refuse to do it again then I got anoyed one day and said to him I will never ask him to fuck me again and since then hs has not ask me for me so am wondering the type of guy he is… Now I made up my mind to live me and let him do what he likes I won’t ask for sex until he ask me to.. What should I do now.. I always want him to sex me Aleast twice a week…
This is a very informative article. I am going to show it to my husband and see if he connects with it. We’ve been putting each other through the ringer over this subject for 20 years. I’ve just had it, it’s so frustrating. I also didn’t know it was so common. I’ve been through every phase of this and my desire to continue to try is diminishing and sometimes I think he’s just a huge jerk when it come to listening to me that this is a problem. It’s not all the time but often enough to confuse and upset me. Especially since he acts very romantic during the day.
Green light really sounds like a possible thing here. For the lady this feels like a halfhearted attempt on the mans part that doesn’t indicate much desire. I used to jump on him like a cat with the absolute joy of having him as mine but he embarrassed me but making comments that I was, well a bit much. He’s actually told me that it’s just no big deal for him but upon confrontation or my getting the point of tears acts very sorry and ashamed. So which is it?
I miss feeling wanted. I’m not that old and don’t think its time to “lose it” yet. I still feel it and go of my way daily to make him feel sexy, actually I can’t help it. He is one seriously attractive guy he just exudes something that makes women follow him around when they see him. It’s some kind of magic and he sure does have it. Even other guys notice. It’s making me lose my mind with frustration to have this beautiful, sexy, sweet mostly thoughtful guy in front of me who seems uncomfortable with the actual sex. I am shy to but what a dirty trick life played on me with this one. I’m honestly just heartbroken that it’s an issue for us, because on every other front we are an amazing couple. People don’t know my shameful secret and I wouldn’t out him or make him look bad to others so I don’t get much or any support on this.
So I’ll tell you from my perspective the reason why I don’t want to pursue 100% of the time is because how do I know she’s truly into me? If I initiate and have to turn her on just to have sex that makes me feel un wanted. It’d be nice if it was 50/50. Just to know I’m sexy to her and I drive her crazy the same she does me.
Good clarification here James – initiating does not mean you need to do it 100% of the time, and it does not mean you should do all the “work.” This article is about the guys who initiate 0% of the time, and do very little of the work
I, too, am in a very similar situation to Sadie, and would love to know what advice you gave to her. Please email me so we can talk more about my, I feel, hopeless situation 🙁
I’ve been really moved by this article tonight.
My partner and I have only been together half a year and already I’m struggling to come to terms with the sex we have.
I am pretty much always the one to initiate sex and give the green light, but I find it really difficult to always play this role. It really does feel like a rejection and feels so painful.
My partner had hundreds of sexual partners in his teens and early twenties but said that when he settled down with 2 former long term girlfriends. He has said those women were never really interested and he was conditioned to come quickly to get it over and done with.
He said he has not been with someone who wants sex as often as I do (preferably a couple of times a week at least if I can!) or who so readily wants to please him – I’m very forthcoming with oral sex to him and enjoy the pleasure he gets from it. He always waits for the green light, will back off if he thinks I’m not giving the green light (apparently one night I yawned and so he thought I was too tired – internally I was screaming for him to take me there and then!) and generally comes quickly.
Tonight, we had sex (instigated by me leaving him a naughty note in his lunch box). I wanted more half an hour later. He stopped playing on his phone and said he was tired and needing sleep.
I’m just baffled. I’m so used to more sexually dominant men. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to play my part in initiating sex too but I don’t know what else to do. I’ve tried talking to him about it, weve had discussions about what we like, what we need sexually from each other. He talks the talk and appears genuinely happy sexually with me but then doesn’t follow through. He even boasts to his workmates about our sex life and how much I want him etc to make them jealous.
Hi Leigh, this is a common problem, and I think I might have some ideas about your specific guy. I’ll email you personally
Can you email me the same info please! I have the same questions! Love this article very interesting and helpful
Can you also email me some info please, I also have the same questions!
Thanks Mel, done 🙂
My boyfriend (of 7 months) does not initiate sex at all. He has a blockage. We kiss, we cuddle, we hug but no sex unless i pleasure him. I found out he had in his previous relationships women that were sexy. Now, I am different than them. I am a lady he says. He has no problem to get an erection in that department but he tells me he has blockage due to my body type that he will try his best to work on that. He loves me, adores me and wants to get married and live together. What kind of help does he need in that domain…. I need to have intimate relationship. Need to make a decision here and he is such a greatttttttttttttttttt guy. Any advise?????
intersting to read, informative
I have been struggling to understand what happened with my relationship for the last couple of years and read numerous articles only to still be confused & frustrated; yours is the first article that truly makes sense of what likely happened, makes me realize I am loved and not being ‘used’, for lack of a better term, and gives me hope that, although there are no guarantees, with time, patience and nurturing, maybe I can get back what I once had with a man I love immensely.
Thank you, for a unique insight. I will definitely be looking at your book and other articles you’ve written.
First let me introduce myself a bit.
I am a male on my mid 30s. For as long as I can remember,
I was never really interested in intimacy or expressing sexual desire.
The first masturbation I had was really an accident. I was curious why
my body behaved that way. It was a few years later when I
discovered what it really was at my school’s public library.
My first and only sexual relationship came in my mid 20s.
It started as a means to shut up my male friends’ mouths
and validate myself as a man to their eyes (and mine). It was two years
into that relationship that I had my first sexual intercourse. It felt
stressful honestly. 7 years passed with the low sexual desire on my part
as a recurring theme for fights with my girlfriend. I tried explaining
what was going on, that I wasn’t sexually driven from the beginning.
I tried to validate her as a sensual woman but that cannot be done
verbally. That cannot be done by cuddling or kissing either.
Eventually the relationship broke down out of failure to understand
one another and communicate in a constructive way.
Which brings us to the present and to the issue discussed.
I still don’t feel intimate with women. In fact for a while after
the destructive relationship it had gotten worse for a while on
so many levels both physical and metal. I have been visiting a psychiatrist
for a few years now. This seems to help me semi-function on a daily basis.
Let me make a couple of points clear on my end :
As a man trying to solve that problem, this article failed to
address the problem altogether. The phrase and I quote, “…You put
almost any man in the dark next to a naked feminine body and he will
want to have sex with it. Despite what they claim, men are fairly
basic mammals.” didn’t help either. It’s more complicated than that.
If males are or acted like basic mammals, I doubt there would be
sexual frustrations (or lack thereof) by the way we know it today.
The root of the problem you are attempting to address lies
in the male psyche as you said. So no other than that male himself
can overcome it, despite the best of intentions of his spouse or
On the risk-taking, approaching a woman subject and to your question
that you ask your clients about what they are actually afraid it will
happen, my answer would be that she would actually accept. That’s what
terrifies me. This is much more complicated than it sounds.
I have read No More Mr Nice Guy” by Dr. Robert A Glover. I liked it.
It was painful to read. What I believe is that a man attempting to read
it needs to be prepared. It won’t help on its own. There are so many
different underlying factors that lead to that same Mr Nice Guy mental state.
Or to the state of abstaining from relationships or intimacy in general.
They need to be addressed first.
My advice for the male reading this, who knows something’s off and
wants to address it. Go to a professional. Someone that clicks for you.
You may not find the right one for you from the start.
Once you do, it’s going to be a tough long journey. It will be bumpy.
But it will be interesting. And in later stages, it will be fun.
I just want to say thanks. I need to read that book. Thanks to this its pretty eye opening and clear what’s I wouldn’t say wrong with me but rather what I’ve been brought up to believe is always correct when in others ways is obviously not. I think it will be challenging to overcome, but at least i have a pretty good Idea of what the right thing to do is. As opposed to just giving up completely.
This article sounds like it is describing a guy I’m seeing pretty accurately and it’s really annoying I don’t know what else to do, he’s a really nice guy and very respectful and all that but just never shows any interest in me, I have to remind myself every day that if he didn’t like me surely he’d stop talking to me. I’ve tried to talk about sex with him but he just seems very uncomfortable with it and barely responds then changes the subject and while drunk I’ve brought up that he doesn’t seem to like me more than once and he says I’m being paranoid and he does like me but it really doesn’t feel like it. I feel like I always have to make all the effort when we have sex and he always wants me to go on top which im really bored of now because its the same everytime and it never lasts long and im always left bored afterwards and he just goes to sleep. I’ve used a vibrator afterwards before and wanted him to be involved somehow but he didn’t seem interested at all I might as well have been in the room alone. I dont know what to do because I don’t think talking about it will ever work he’ll just change the subject and be really uncomfortable around me for ages and when i try anything different he’ll just kind of pull me on top of him again to do it the same as every other time. I like him but I’m so bored.
Hey Ab, this is a very common experience, and frustrating as hell!
Either he’s genuinely uninterested in you (unlikely) or he has sexual shame issues (highly likely).
I’ll email you privately about it
This article was extremely sad but also relieving . I as a female who has a probably more than normal higher dominant trait vs other woman that I did serve in the military. I have many achievements and such that I never really flocked around my now fiance because as I knew going intivthis relationship that he was the nice guy who immediately exhibited sexual initiation problems. 5 years into the relationship he still has them but has gotten better because I made sure I rose his ego to the top at anything. Knowing one small verbal assault would ruin my chances of having a dominant man in the future. I have convinced him that he was the biggest to the best I’ve had. Which were not all untrue. To this day I nurture his delicate ego and he has gone back and forth on initiation. It was harder in the beginning because as a woman I felt he may be using initiation as a power thing which made me resent and at times I felt other ways that he was just a nice guy. I juggled a lot of reasons to why I wasn’t wanted even though I had given him the green light . so I combine many reasons taken from your article. Based on being in a long term relationship with a lot of discussions. You’re article gives me hope and affirmation that I was/am on the right path. I don’t have a problem initiating but not all the time. I get it , guys want to feel wanted as well . I’m good for that if it boosts his confidence. But I do want to feel wanted as well. To feel the seduction a couple can have when both are speaking each others language.
But in all I see him in all the scenarios as a possible reason for his lack of initiation. To tell you the truth , it was never there even in the beginning. Many lonely nights when I slept over wondering why he never put the moves on me even though I agreed to sleeping over in the same bed. I mean come on. I will never understand that even if your a nice guy. I mean give me a break. But since I stayed in the relationship I had to accept his asexual type of behavior. He says he will have sex anytime if I ever ask. So its not that he doesn’t like it. He just doesn’t initiate and will go for weeks without because he chooses not to. Until I say something which then many times turned me off at times so he lost out because I was not going to have sex after I say something and he says ok come into bed well do something because that would only fuel that act . so many times if I was frustrated I ended up letting him know how messed up it was that he just goes to bed without letting me know he is thinking about sex.
But there were times depending on the situation and how I was feeling we ended up in bed because of again my initiation.
He says he will try more and to this day he tells me he doesn’t know why he has issues initiating. I think he’s being honest but I also think he does have some idea that he just refuses to tell. All in all some men have weak egos. I can’t complain though because he is monogamous. I believe that with all my heart andvl know he truly adores me . He has other ways he expresses his devotion and attraction to me. Sometimes its hard though like I said I just want to feel wanted because I enjoy sex very much. I believe its important to nurture for your entire life so lets hope all my effort won’t be taken for granted .
Heartbreaking story Lisa, I can see you truly care for your man and are willing to do whatever is needed to balance the effort in the relationship. I’ll email you about it
I can’t speak for your boyfriend but can totally relate to his not initiating. I was raised in a violent alcoholic home (dad) and emotionally incested by my mother. She made it clear that sex was unpleasant and undesired for/by women, and was only a duty wives have to perform for their husbands. She also revealed that the reason I am so much younger than my siblings is because they didn’t want any more children, but that my dad raped her one night and since abortion was illegal back then, they had to have me. I was repeatedly shamed throughout elementary and high school as I have what is known as a “micro-penis”, and there was no treatment for it back then. The one time in my life I every showed interest in a girl was in high school, but she immediately went up and down the halls yelling out that I asked her out and so I was forced to leave by the laughter of dozens of my peers. I never dated until my 30’s when my now wife asked me out. She initiated and decided pretty much everything in our dating and subsequent marriage life, including relations. After 3 years she said that she was tired of initiating, had experienced no pleasure in any of our previous sexual relations, and that if I ever wanted sex with her again I had to initiate. That was 20 (sexless) years ago. We have settled into a “roommates” existence, and despite many years of various forms of counselling I’ve been unable to overcome my fear of intimacy and fear of rejection. All of that is just to say that it may not have anything to do with how attractive your fiance is towards you, nor how much he cares for you. I will say that you should not marry him if you’re not prepared for things to remain as they are indefinitely. There is an old joke that “men marry thinking their wives won’t change, and women marry thinking their husbands will change – and both are wrong”. My sad life is proof that it is true.
Christ this is heartbreaking to read! Get in touch if you want to have another go at breaking through this – I can often help where therapists have failed (because I look forward rather than back into the past).
Hello, thanks for taking the time to write this article. Many of the points above definitely resonate with me.
(I apologize in advance for the long windedness but I’ve been needing to get this off my chest for some time now.)
Myself: Early-30’s, only child, Raised by a single mother in a very, very small town. Father went to jail for heinous acts when i was very young, Carried on but once I reached the age where I should have started dating It felt impossible to move forward since my fathers history in our town was still well known and talked about (it’s not like I had zero encounters but they were always very short-lived, it felt like the well was poisoned for me so to speak). Eventually I became (and still am to a degree) pretty anti-social (a tendency I am trying to break). However, I now feel that I’ve suffered a form of arrested development in regards to how I interact with women (and people in general) to this day. For example,It’s become very difficult for me to recognize interest and act on it or I will unintentionally give a women the impression that our relationship should be platonic. It sucks.
I suspect that this stems from being socially outcast at such a young age since it severely limited the number of interactions I had with people in general resulting in me not learning social cues very well.
Once I graduated I started working at a place where I met my 1st (meaningful) girlfriend and we ended up dating for almost 5 years, moved in together and started planning a life. (Had a baby on the way and we both wanted to get married) the relationship came to an incredibly painful halt when I lost my job during a recession so she aborted the child and moved back home with her mom (turned out she had been piling up credit debt and was too proud to tell me anything about it.) After this happened I became extremely depressed, demotivated and admittedly jaded. Now even though it’s been ten years It seems next to impossible to have a relationship where I can be that close ever again and it’s rare that I feel a genuine attraction to a person.
Anyways, that’s where I am now.
I agree with most of the points you’ve made especially the men being raised by women and feminism having disastrous effects on how men and women interact romantically. Where I live, Feminism is on blast and even questioning the ideology objectively will have you lambasted into oblivion. There are many extremists. (which has really made adjusting to single life difficult if not downright hostile.) I find it almost sadly humorous how feminism seems hellbent on forcing men into their approved behavioral boxes only to be unattracted to what he becomes if they succeed. (Example: girl at my work the other day was saying men should be trained to not approach women without their explicit verbal consent. Otherwise it was grounds for sexual harassment. I responded that this may be one if those be careful what you wish for scenarios and was told that since I was not a woman my opinion was invalid) What makes this beyond frustrating is how discussion cannot even be had when it comes to feminism, it’s either agree with what I say or you’re a sexist bigot, but that’s another conversation.
Anyhow to wrap this up, I’m just to a point now where as stated above I just don’t really want to put the effort in anymore as it’s just been thrown in my face too many times. I’m sure there’s more I could say but I gotta stop for now.
Again If you took the time to read this thank you for hearing me out (i know i got off topic more than once) this seemed like the appropriate place for the subject. any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I feel you brother, we live in a dark time for love between men and women. It’s too easy for both “sides” to get jaded. There is hope out there though – it’s amazing how MOST women respond positively to powerfully masculine men, and the loud extremists do not speak for all women. I’ll email you personally because I’d like to help you more
I really hope I get a response. I’ve been w/my bf for 6 months. When we first started dating we used to have “story time” he was amazing at it, where I would get speechless, which is very rare. We also agreed sex was important in a relationship. Anyway,.. when we first started messing around it was really,really great. Like we were in hs again. He loved the way I smelled ( if u know what I mean). I’ll get to that part in a minute. So, the first night we had sex he had issues performing. I thought it was me. He went to go down, I said no because I just got off of my monthly. So, after that night we talked about it He told me it wasn’t me. Ok,.. so after all that. I always initiate sex. I give oral – I do everything! He had only performed oral twice in 6 months. I don’t understand. All that talk,.. I don’t get it?!? He’s the nicest guy I’ve ever been with. I always had to have the bad boy. Please help me. Never have I had this issue before.
Hi Christen, I’ll send an email with more details, but in brief your man may have a classic case of being scared of The Pussy! What I mean by this, is that Nice Guys often respond to a “rejection” with a permanent behaviour change. In your case, all it took was one time where you said “not today” and he interpreted that as “never again”. He won’t really know why, but he’ll now be scared of hurting you sexually (generally speaking), and will associate this with going down on you. All because you said no once! I know, it’s unfair etc., but you need to have a conversation with him about this. Talk to him about what you’ve written here, and ask him to open up about why he’s different now.
PS. Do you really want a “bad boy” or do you want a nice guy who can also be sexually assertive/aggressive?
See if you can help with my situation Dan Munro. I have been with my boyfriend for 10 months now. We have been living together for a month now. We sleep in the same bed every night. He has been suffering from insomnia lately so sometimes he will get up in the middle of the night and go to sleep on the couch. Before we were living together we were in a long distance relationship. In all the time that we have been dating he has never tried to sleep with me. At first I thought he is just being a gentleman for the first few months and didn’t want to pressure me to do something I wasn’t ready for. I think this may still be the case, at least I hope so and it’s not because he doesn’t find me sexually attractive. If he wants to wait for marriage I’m fine with it then at least I know it’s not anything to do with me physically.
Last night I think I may have heard him masturbating on the couch, which I find very upsetting. He doesn’t lay a hand on me but he obviously has urges. I don’t want to bring it up that I heard because of course he would be embarrassed about it. If he was masturbating over me wouldn’t he stay in the bed with me? So got a feeling if he was doing that it was over someone else. I do love him and I do want to sleep with him. Maybe he thinks I don’t. I don’t know how to initiate a discussion about it. And let him know it’s ok. I’m looking for some useful, constructive advice here.
I think what I noticed most was the lack of honest communication between you. You’re guessing how he thinks and feels, which tells me you two aren’t talking about it openly. Nothing can change until that happens.
I recommend you check this out and then try to initiate an open discussion with him. There is no secret way to solve it – you’ll need to have a loving confrontation.
So I happened across this article and my situation is slightly different.. I’ve been married for 8 years and together for 10. I am his type physically as he is mine. My husband has adhd which adds a big layer of challenges to the submissive male situation. All adhd related articles say something like- be encouraging, tell him how you feel it’s a process etc. But the cycle goes like this. He doesn’t initiate. I can buy new bras panties sexy heels etc and he sees them and says I look sexy or will comment about how later he’s gonna take them off etc but then nothing. I can send him sexy pics or texts and none of that guarantees I’ll get sex. What I like is a few times a week which I don’t think is too much to ask. We have the same tastes sexually, I love giving oral and when we do actually have sex it’s great for both. However…
Weeks can go by and he will comment that we should make time for sex and STILL do nothing. So I have an honest conversation with him. I say that I feel like I’m more interested in him sexually than he is me. That I would like him to initiate. Take me by the hand, do something besides words. He says he will work on things. We then have sex but it feels like it’s to shut me up or prove me wrong. Then the process starts over. He was raised in a religious sex shaming household which I know plays a part. He enjoys porn privately but his hyper focus means we don’t incorporate it with our sex because if it’s on I don’t exist. His adhd is a huge obstacle causing him to never initiate with anything not just sex but any changes he says he will work on but never follows through. I plan our dates, I pay the bills, I initiate sex.
But what’s ironic is that at work, he’s the man. He teaches others and is looked at as a leader and has a serious job. But there’s no dominance at home. It’s like he uses it all up there. And you were right about the sexually frustrated one being the one to seek help. I only came across this because last night I was rejected. In bed as he’s browsing through Netflix and I’m with him in a skimpy shirt no panties rubbing his thigh and he could care less. Made a comment about how he thought he had chaffing so needs to let everything breathe. This morning I mention over coffee it would have been nice if we had sex last night and he says yeah but I wasn’t really in the mood. What’s ironic about my situation is if I tell him I’m tired of initiating and that I’m not going to anymore, that day suddenly he can and does. But after that encounter it’s back to same old. Idk it’s just frustrating that he knows I’m more than willing and it makes no difference.
I’m honestly not expecting a solution I’m just frustrated and stumbled across this article. I’ve tried everything they suggest for adhd and nothing works. It’s because you can’t make someone change and add adhd even if they want to change they literally won’t do anything about it. In every other way we are extremely compatible and very happy. But his inability to ever take charge in anything leaves me feeling undesirable and like a parent. Oh well. At least I know I’m not alone lol.
I have to call out something I believe is the main issue: the ADHD is a cover-story he uses. The fact that he can lead at work shows that ADHD and leadership are not mutually exclusive.
This has almost nothing to do with ADHD! It’s especially disproven by this: “What’s ironic about my situation is if I tell him I’m tired of initiating and that I’m not going to anymore, that day suddenly he can and does.”
What I think the main issue is that he has allowed himself to get into a passive pattern with you. This is probably compounded by a porn addiction (severely reducing his interest in real sex) and his victim-mindset about ADHD, which you somewhat enable. He’s also a promise-addict – he gets such a sense of pride in promising change that he feels no need to follow through (this is a common trait in people pleasing types – all talk, no substance).
I suspect his sexual shame is the REAL issue.
If he’s interested in getting support for that, I can help him. ADHD is in no way a genuine barrier to leadership (it actually enables more bold impulsiveness and spontaneity).
Wow thank you you’ve definitely given me a lot to consider and finally it’s a different point of view which I think was desperately needed.
No worries Ashley, let me know how it goes
I feel like I’m this “nice guy” described in this article. My wife and I have been married for four years, together for 9. Our sex life is intermittent… Because I think she eventually breaks down and decides to initiate once a month and that positively reinforces my behavior of not taking initiative… Not getting into the drivers seat. Not being assertive. It’s cyclical. After a few weeks, I’ll begin to feel cloudy and unhappy till we break through and have sex again. I don’t want to say that I Never initiate .. But I do end up selling her approval and negotiating sex. I’ll start down a path and see how it’s being received. If positive, I’ll continue. Continue assessing her responses. Yadda yadda.
I want this to improve. I want to initiate more. We do talk about sex every month or so… Generally when we’ve not had it for awhile. But .. Again…. Cyclical. Maybe were not having the right conversations.
We were beginning some intimacy the other day and she felt the pressure to take the lead… Which she didn’t want to do and so the moment cooled. She expressed herself (healthy) and I reacted with self loathing (unhealthy).
I am exploring the internet for advice! Would you mind sending me a prescribed course of therapy? Read this book first. Have these conversations. Check out these links. Anything.
I’m desperate to improve this area of my marriage and of my own self in general.
Thanks James, I always recommend you start with No More Mr Nice Guy by Robert Glover. I’ll email you some more support
First of all thank you for this. I have read it alongside a couple of your other blogs. Before commenting here I have also consulted a similar piece at https://mantalks.com/nice-guy-syndrome/. Like you this recommends Dr. Robert Glover’s book.
I have now read the first chapter of ‘No More Mr Nice Guy’ and fear I may be an extreme example of the general problem identified. I am not saying everything applies to me, but enough of the traits apply strongly enough for me to feel moved to contact you directly. To be honest I don’t feel entirely comfortable sharing my full story here but I will give you an overview.
I don’t believe I am at all overstating the case when I say that this problem has at various times cost me:
• my job and sense of security
• my sanity, psychological stability and sense of identity
• self-care and physical well-being
• a lot of the most pleasurable experiences in life
• and the closest thing I have ever met to a potential love of my life.
To sum up my experience in a couple of sentences: I have repeatedly failed to acknowledge my own needs and desires, as if they don’t matter, as if they aren’t important and as if sexuality and relationships are something for other people. I feel like I have caused myself a great deal of unnecessary mental anguish and handicapped myself as a result, not just in that realm but consequently in everyday life.
I describe myself as an extreme example because, in the overwhelming majority of instances, I do not even reach the stage of becoming a boyfriend. I have been told over and over again (in my 20s and early 30s at least) by women that they find me very attractive, and I have a lot of qualities they like. However, I have almost always not acted on any of this due to a crippling lack of sexual confidence. I need to be clear here that I am not talking about acute shyness, an inability to flirt, or to arouse interest, or failure to recognise signals. I am talking about making any sort of move or initiating anything physical, and about my own body language when trying to convey or respond to interest. I have plenty of examples I could share that would illustrate the difference. To my mind, at the time, there were justifications for this lack of confidence, but I now believe it was a self-defeating mental state I had allowed myself to get into, and one closely related to a number of factors raised here and in the book.
Anyway, with what now seems like depressing inevitability, this unhealthy repression caused me to – as you put it – snap in 2005 (aged 33) and it was a spectacular and terrifying mental collapse. Bear in mind when reading this next bit that I am a qualified professional with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.
• I was signed off work (a blue-chip employer) for almost four years.
• I went from being someone who groomed, dressed well and stayed fit to having very little self-care
• I went from having been a 34” waist and 12-13 stone all my adult life (I am 6’3″) to pushing 40” and over 17 stone
• In 2009 I went back to work for the same employer. This was simultaneously a boost and a hammer to self-esteem: for instance I was doing work I could have done almost a decade earlier, and working for people to whom I had previously been senior. I also felt intense shame about the circumstances of my absence and the state of my life: this was actually the period when I gained most weight. After three years back they put me on a ‘Performance Improvement Plan’ and in the end I was dismissed in June 2013.
• I was then unemployed for 21 months; the only benefit was that I lost most of my excess weight through exercise.
I am now recovered and much happier, and have been in a new (excellent) job for three years. I am also buying a house and feel much closer to the person I used to be. However I am 12 years older and still have days when I am furious with myself for not living the life I felt I was capable of, allowing the above to happen instead, and being overtaken in life by men who don’t necessarily have more to offer or are not necessarily more able. This is not self-pity, it is a genuine drive and motivation to address what went wrong. It has taken this long for me to feel stable and confident enough to do so.
I can add specifics and important context that tie in more closely to some of the things you talk about, and may help some of the above make more sense. However I would much rather do that privately if you are interested.
Thank you for your time and all the best.
Hi Arron, I replied to your comment in detail via the email address you provided – let me know if you got it
Thanks – just found your reply in my junk folder. Will get back to you via email. Sorry for delayed response: busy with work and buying house and hadn’t even thought to check for a few days.
i have been with a guy for 5 years… his effort to see me was noted and eventually after 5th date said “when are you gonna take me to bed” ..he never made a single suggestive kiss or touch that gave me the idea he did want to have sex and being a woman i witheld incase of being perceived as being a slut. We did go to bed but there was a bizarre reality. He wanted his own way but it didnt include my own satisfaction. I allowed this to go on for a whole year.. when i approached the subject of what about me ..his response was..”what about you!”
I explained about women having needs too..he didnt know about them ! He thought sex was literally for men only to be thrilled ..and judging my other conversations along with his wife going off with someone.. he thought porn was the answer..saw men enjoying and women just accomodating!
He told me he was shy to ask to instigate..he didnt want to share his fantasies. And he had no idea how to woo a woman. 5 years on… he still hasnt learnt what to do even thou i have asked endlessly. No woman wants to be treated as a whore..for unpaid mattress sex that relates to as much effort as hiring a call girl. At least a man can do is to demonstate his passion for the woman he loves is to let her know how much he wants her. I dont know any woman that thinks that just a minute in a dark room at bedtime and then bing..get turned on ?!! Really ? Remember a woman desiring you is like baking a cake.. you need to buy ingredients…blend them together ..preparing gently before placing cake in PREHEATED oven for best results of a well baked and satisfying cake ! No one wants an unsweetened unblended slice and you wouldnt want a second slice !
Hi. This is hard for me to talk about. I am a woman to start with lol. I have been phycally and emotionally abused , sexually as well. Before the abuse I dated a really nice man and we had sex all the time. Then we broke up and I met my ex who did the abuse. Fast forward to ten years after I dated the nice guy. I am dating him again haha and am so happy to be back with him. The love never went away. Problem is he is just like the men you discribe in this article. Also, so am i. I know I need to help him with this but it is hard and scary for me. I feel like I just need to ask him if we can have sex but I can’t even say the word SEX. I am too scared to say or do anything sexual without being prompted to do so. It’s frustrating because I want to so badly and it’s been so long since we have been intiment. I just feel so wrong and dirty to ask for it or say what I want. I can text it but never say it. He keeps saying “we need to break you out of your shell” but no attempts have been made. I don’t initiate and he doesn’t initiate so there is no sex happining. I do have toys and use them in private and I’ll watch porn occasionally but he doesn’t kno I do that. He knows I have toys though. I know he would probably find that attractive if I did it with him but I just cant. It’s too embarrassing I can’t believe I am even talking about this on here. I feel wrong and gross. Maybe this article is about both of us but I feel like I’m doomed to never have a good sex life because I can’t even ask for it let alone say what I want. Even if we do have sex it is always the same. I have to “help him” like get him ready and I do give him oral sometimes then he’s on top sometimes other times its me and it lasts for a few min then its over and I’m left there just warmed up. I never “finish” unless I do it myself.I get so excited when we actually do stuff then I just get let down. I don’t ask for help “finishing” I just let it be. sometimes he says he is sorry it was so quick but I just tell him it’s fine. I know I am doing a lot wrong here I just am not sure how fix this huge unsatisfying situation…I’m frustrated and it’s getting worse.
Thanks for sharing this, that in itself is a big step forward. Your shame around sex (both of you) will be largely resolved through being more open and honest about it. This is a good start.
In short, you two need to start talking about this, one little bit at a time. This will be hard and uncomfortable for both of you – at first. But look at it this way – once you’ve both able to converse openly and shamelessly about sex, any technical issues can and will be resolved. You both sound enthusiastic but simply scared to lead.
I will email you privately with some more support.
I tried to email you but the address you gave was incorrect. Please email me email@example.com if you want more support
I agree with many points you made. I find myself in a similar situation with my fiancée. His back story is that he was married to a serial narcissist for almost 14 years she is also a doctor). So his self worth was destroyed in that relationship. She actually encouraged him to watch porn. She was totally asexual.
Back to our relationship. It’s not that he never initiates, it’s how he goes about it. He doesn’t try to turn me on. I’ve told him in the past what I want him to do, how I want him to touch me, etc but it’s like he’s forgotten or doesn’t care. I’ve become turned off by the thought of having sex with him now because it feels like a chore. I know that I’m not going to get enjoyment out of it. I don’t want this to continue.
If he’s initiating but seems confused on uninterested about how to please you, perhaps he has sexual shame. This might help
Thank you very much for posting this regardless of the controversy it can cause on some people, this has opened my eyes, add I have a problem with a guy with this issue, I think we all need accept the fact that we still have our primitive instincts and we are facing a whole confusion around them, ethics, society, respect, and everything.
We women, certainly don’t want any kind of sexual harassment, at least from someone we do not like, and if we kind of get the feel of it, we are horrified, and get away. So, still, even with these consequences, we would still prefer this, than men taking back their entire masculinity and being bothered everywhere we go, haha.. but, maybe in a perfect society, we could make a balance on both, men could initiate, but also understand and respect a denial, but probably most women would be overwhelmed with so many options, and anyways, respect, in our society is a myth, so most likely, we would still prefer it this way right?
Still, sad though.
Whilst, girls trying harder everyday to look more attractive because we think it’s a matter of attraction, maybe men must be a bit numb about the whole thing now. They learned not to seek for it. And to get really lazy about it..
What to do then??
Im even thinking, what if he is bi? And somehow losing his liking women side?
But this had revealed a lot to me.. still I do not know how to approach this the best way, I have always ended up ignoring him, feeling resentful, and after a long period of time I succumb, and take the initiative, and then again..a long period, getting resentful about it.. and that’s how we go
.I also thought on ending it, I even started taking with other guys, cause I want to feel attractive again, but I love him, and I want to fix it,. But I cannot be like this anymore, then I think it will happen with any guy I meet, after the flirting time… So frustrating.. I just want someone who is always crazy for me, after 60 years.. Never stop flirting, at least time to time, but at the same time, knows when to give me space.. but letting me know, he’s always wishing me, then I’m sure I would have no problem at all needing space in first instance, Is thit too selfish? Is that at least possible? What am I not accepting? Should I always expect a cold soul next to me? Should I keep trying finding the one, or will bb I always be disappointed?
Thanks anon, I’ll reply in private via email with some advice
I find this article interesting. I know people don’t fit in this little box. Everyone is different with different views and opinions and experiences.
I read this article because I was looking at how to get my BF to initiate more. I have asked him in a secure safe way for him. He says his previous marriage he was rejected all the time. So he doesn’t know other then maybe scared to get rejected. It makes sense. However eben after talking about it, he still has not initiated. I tell him that by him not imitating I feel he doesnt want me. He assures me that is not the case and couldn’t be farther from it. But yet….. still no initiation.
He flirts, make sexual comments, etc… but when in bed he clams up and a different man… idk what to do.
Yeah, it’s common for a guy to learn to become afraid of sex from repeated rejection. Maybe it would help him to listen to this https://theinspirationallifestyle.com/podcast/eliminating-rejection-from-your-life/
Thank You DAN, this is a fantastic article. It describes my situation as a man. I am afraid of rejection. That’s most of the time I don’t initiate relationship even after women send clear green signal. But here is a situation I don’t know how have to deal with. Even after I initiated a relationship say by talking to a girl, she starts confusing. First there is clear eye contact and interest. Then she does something else like moving away from me, walking away. After some time then she comes back and giving green signal. But I already lost interest. How to deal with situation when women give mixed and confusing signals? I am thinking many of these women here are having problems with their men, because they did some thing that made their men worry about initiating intimacy. For example, suddenly leaving, getting irritated etc.
Hey Suresh, you’re not the first guy to find feminine courtship confusing! Maybe this video will help answer that question https://theinspirationallifestyle.com/why-are-girls-so-confusing-about-attraction/
Dan, this is by far, the best article I have ever read about this. I just divorced my husband of over 20 years because he had an affair (and engaged in months of sexual massages after the affair was over) after years of me being patient with him trying to overcome his sexual addiction. He had a raging pornography addiction before we were even married. I tried to love him enough so he would “get over it” and we could have an honest open healthy relationship, but nothing worked. It would get better, but evenly it escalated to the point where my children and I were no longer safe from the abuse, caused by his guilt and shame. I was not innocent in the marriage, meaning I was co-dependent and when things were at their worst, I spent 6 months in 2 emotional/making out affairs. But… we both committed to therapy, addiction groups and religion to help us. We tried for another 10 years. I initiated sex most of the time and I would even have sex with him after he had done behaviors that were detrimental to the marriage. I could not figure out why sex with me was not giving him what he felt he needed from other sources. This article explains it. His mother was very shaming about sexual desires and really pushed his father into a passive role. She wore the pants in the family and even controlled the money. When I your article it helped put everything into place. My husband may have loved me as much as he could but with all the damage that has been done from him viewing his parents relationship, I could see how we were fighting a very uphill battle. It really helped me to understand that there wasn’t necessarily anything wrong with me. I do have healing and work I need to continue, but I understand my ex so much more. I have more compassion and also see why my rejection of him by divorcing him caused him to be the meanest that I have ever seen him be to me. I think this article provides the biggest reason for me to forgive him. I had no idea he was dealing with so much. Thank you and for the people who are triggered by your article and call you names, I am adding some to that: wise, thoughtful, courageous, insightful, helpful, caring, honest, open, authentic. Anytime an article like this is written, it helps men and women. I just barely started a new relationship and can see some of the same patterns emerging. The time to catch them is now.
Hi Leah, thanks so much for sharing with us. It’s people like yourself with long-term experience in relationships with unhealed Nice Guys that understand what I’m saying more than anyone!
Hello, not sure if you’re still responding to comments. However, at about six months into my relationship with my boyfriend sex pretty much decreased from multiple times a week to maybe twice a month with some months not at all. When I asked him what was happening, he shrugged it off at first. I didn’t realize it started right as we exchanged “I love you” for the first time. When I approached him about it again he said that he always saw women as just a sexual object and that he felt like he was degrading me by having sex with me. He said he felt like he was using me and that he felt extremely guilty because sex wasn’t about about a connection but just about getting it over with. We’ve tried weekends away, fun adventurous stuff, and says he will try to get over it. However there’s been little evidence of effort. I’m not sure if you have any recommendations or material he should read. However, it’s become a strain on our relationship. I appreciate any help!
Hi Dakota, this is pretty normal. Guys need some tension and even some aggression to have good sex, and when they start loving/caring for someone it can create a block in their minds (they don’t want to hurt a girl they like and they sex as potentially painful). I will answer your question more in Ask Dan Anything on BROJO website (https://www.brojo.org/ask), but for now I recommend you both read “Mating in captivity” by Esther Perrell.
Hi there, have a strange situation. Just started dating someone and for the first few months of our communication it was completely through texts/calls/video. He came to visit me however for 20 days and we finally got to see each other in person. The first week was pretty strange getting used to each other. Transferring what we felt online into a tangible world. The first time we had sex was during this visit. A lot seemed building up to this point of physical contact though we had met in real life before our long-distance relationship started but only briefly. Basically I moved back to the states from being abroad and he stayed in his home country. Anyways, we don’t know each other super well but I feel immensely attached to him and it feels reciprocal. But in these first weeks of being together I realized our sex drive was not equally matched. I found a few times that I craved sex more than him and left feeling high and dry so to speak. What I am afraid of is a dynamic where we are unmatched sexually. Is it too soon to tell? What I am accustomed to in romances and relations is the first months are usually very hot and heavy. I was taken off guard that this was not the case. He would initiate kissing, foreplay, cuddling, and lots of contact with me in the mornings and evenings when we were in bed together but this would rarely lead to penetrative sex. It is very strange to me since the attraction and love feels there but this doesn’t pour over into making love. I think in all this kissing and foreplay he is not actually aroused. Can that be the real case? He did profess to like “assumed dominance” in sex so I have let him also initiate and try to remain more passive for his tastes. At a loss here, never had anything like this. I have struggled with sexual imbalance before and it was a huge bleak space for me.
Hi J, yes this is a somewhat common issue. On first read I’d suggest a couple of potential factors
1) emotional intimacy was established before sex, so he may now have some hesitancy about ‘hurting’ you with physical acts (more here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjVconKoWDo)
2) he built himself up to be dominant and now has put himself under pressure to live up to this – for men, sex and pressure don’t go well together! He probably needs to ease up on himself and relax, which might require some coaching or therapeutic work for him, because…
3) there’s a good chance he has sexual shame issues (most relationships which complain of mismatched sex drives tend to be other issues when I dig in through couples coaching) – get him to give this a listen https://soundcloud.com/thebrojo/overcoming-nice-guy-syndrome
Hope that helps!
I want to discuss this issue but don’t want to talk to friends about it. My bf and I have been dating for half a year now and I feel that I always have to initiate sex with my bf. I asked him why he never initiates is he doesn’t know and that he just feels awkward making the first move. We kiss and hug all the time but I feel like I’m deprived and have to please myself because I don’t want to be the one alway making the first move. I have told him how I felt and told him to fix his issue. I don’t know how else to help him with that. Please help!
Hi Lisa, I respect you keeping it away from friends etc who might know him. Pressure from others knowing won’t help him with this. Your issue is very common and not unsolvable, it all depends on the specific details for your man. I’ll email you some resources to get started,
My man and I have been together for 2 years, we live together also. we only had sex once a month. Lots of affection and cuddling but no sex or sex acts. We love each other and I don’t want anyone else. But! Bc he never initiates or touches me sexually except for once a month, I’m insecure and that insecurity turns into me shutting down and never initiating or touching him sexually. How do I approach this with him? I don’t believe he would cheat on me or is currently. I would want sex all the time if he were aggressive and always wanted it. Somehow that feeds my confidence. But now I’m just bored and worried we may not be sexually compatible. Some people just aren’t. How do I talk about this in a rational way?? Thank you!’
Hi Lisa, I’ll send you an email with more support
One in nine men in this culture has been raped or sexually molested. These are just the men who report it – it is likely to be much higher. These men very much want to me loved and be in relationships, just like all human beings. But like a man like me that was raped at 14, I am scared of touch. I have read countless articles on the reasons why men do not initiate sex or seem to not be interested in sex, and it seems to always be blamed on low hormones, medication, the dude must be gay, feminism, and NEVER rape or molestation. If a women first starts dating a man, and he never shows interest in sex, I could be concerned bout molestation or rape more than any other factor. Men who are violated become disgusted by such activity. They feel it is dirty. Or just flat out asexuality. I do not feel asexuality is wrong or bad. It’s just the way a person is. Sadly, they want all the emotional aspects of relationship but without the sex.
Thank you Ben, this is a point I completely overlooked in my article. Sexual shame comes from many sources, and men are as affected psychological by rape as women. Good on you for having the courage to add this comment.
My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and he never initiates. On the rare occasion that he does, it’s awkward and dry. I’ve tried talking to him, being patient, understanding and giving him space but I always end up feeling unattractive, unwanted, frustrated and resentful. It’s pushed me to be the initiator, which works for some time but then he will turn me down (even after I initiate) and this just sends me into a downward spiral. I’m afraid it’s starting to seriously affect my self image and mental health. I also feel guilt and shame for placing so much emphasis on “sex.” He’s told me he was abused as a child, he’s been rejected repeatedly in past relationships and has a poor self image. I’m incredibly saddened and feel defeated because I love him but I feel like there is nothing I can do.
Hi Erika, sounds like your man is experiencing sexual shame (which you’re now beginning to have in reaction to him). I’d suggest he checks this out https://www.brojo.org/course/overcoming-sexual-shame
I’ve been with my BF for 3 years and we love each other a lot and hug and kiss all the time – but we dont Or hardly have sex. we both recognize it is a problem we have to fix but I feel like I’m the only one trying to fix it because I’m the only one initiating!! Before I would sometimes be faced with rejection or feelings that aren’t really mutual. I’ve tried everything, even telling him exactly that tonight’s the night but I still end up doing all the work. I’m so sick of initiating and not getting the pleasure out of it. Pls help!!!!
Hi Cher, from what you’ve written I would guess that too much affection may actually be your issue. Check this video on why sex can die with love:
Thank you for writing this article. It’s the only article that has come close to hitting the nail on the head for me. I’ve looked for some kind of explanation to the lack of my boyfriend’s sexual initiation for half a decade now. In the beginning of our relationship, alcohol was a big factor. We hooked up at a party and then built a relationship from there. We soon fell in love and built a life together. I love our relationship – we are supportive of each other, kind to each other, and our fights never get out of hand. It’s not perfect but it’s wonderful. The sex however has always lacked for me.
We have good sex sometimes. Our sex life is not all bad. But over the last 5 years, I have always initiated and it’s always been very clear that I have had a much higher sex drive. But he masturbates often. Maybe not everyday, but maybe 3x a week at the very least. I also masturbate daily, but it’s directly correlative to not getting enough sex. We actually have sex maybe once a week, twice if I push the issue.
I have always made it a point to create a supportive atmosphere between us for sex. He’s been rejected by many women and I know he has some deep issues with shame and rejection. But it’s been 5 years of me trying many different tactics and the problem still remains – it affects my self esteem greatly when he doesn’t initiate sex or romantic things. I’ve tried to present him with different options. I’ve tried to take the lead. I’ve tried to fall back and let him make the first move (we end up not having sex for weeks, and I cave in). I try to talk about sex openly and without judgement. I try not to talk about sex at all. It seems that I’ve tried it all and I am frustrated.
To make things worse recently, we are expecting a child. My self esteem is already fragile and now I’m dealing with my body changing and becoming even more unappealing to him (I have a suspicion that he is not the “attracted-to-pregnant-bodies-type” and that’s ok, it just adds to the difficulty). I think this problem is going to be exacerbated by the pregnancy.
When we do have sex, it is often in the same routine and equation. I initiate with touching, he does not reciprocate but instead will jump to penetrative sex in one of three positions. There is minimal kissing, no talking, barely any sound from his part, and then climax. I can only name a few times that there has been any spontaneity. When there is, I enjoy it and give him so much praise afterward to encourage that behavior. But I deep down I know it will probably be another calendar year before that comes back around.
I have had countless tearful conversations about this with him. He says he to wants to try to please me but his responses are full of self loathing instead of curiosity or willingness to change small things. Is it not important enough for him to change? Are my feelings being discarded on purpose or is he trying to overcome some emotional hurdle by himself?
Any advice would be appreciated.
Hi Katie. This is a sad story. Firstly, let me say clearly – this is NOT about you. From what you’ve described, he brought these issues with him into the relationship, and I would assume they’d come up with any partner he had. His harmful behaviour towards you (e.g. ‘discarding’ your feelings) is more him lashing out in pain than anything personal about you. It’s a fear response deep in his psyche.
This is not something you can help him with, not directly anyway. You’ve tried everything a partner can do. He needs professional help. Your continued support will be part of it, but he needs coaching (or therapy) to deal with the root causes of his confidence problems.
If he’s ready to work on his confidence and shame issues, I’m happy to meet with him or refer him to someone helpful.
Hi MF, I’ll email you some stuff privately
Starting this off straight up.
I’d say this is why these things are happening but I question this as well because it doesn’t add up either.. I’ve been married 2 times, 1st was a 6yr abusive marriage, 2nd he was the love of my life- he was mentally abusive when he didn’t have weed, then he got off on other drugs pretty bad, so I ended it. I’m 32, & my bf is 20. Hot & Heavy sex for 3 months, then it went to 3 times a week to 2 to once a week, and recently 1 time in 2 weeks, now were on 10 days again.. He tells me he loves me a lot, he will grab my arm in bed and put it on his chest he will hold me or pull me up to lay on his chest, he even touches me sometimes quickly, glances at me in a sexual way that hes turned on like he use to, I come on to him & he turns me down or if I ask he says I don’t know or shrugs his shoulders. Normally 15-30 late goes and masturbates.. The sex is crazy good on both ends, very fulfilling.. I’m open to anything & he loves that about me, why turn to porn? I feel worthless & alone, I feel like scum. We’ve been together almost a year, he’s broke up with me 2 times & said he was done 3 other times but then said sorry he was just mad.. Please help me understand. He pays the rent and gives me money anytime I need it, other than that it feels like a roommate that’s just here to hold me at times.. what’s wrong with him? I do everything & never bitch, only over sex..
Hopeless & confused..
Long story short, we can see a pattern of you somehow subconsciously choosing psychologically unhealthy men. Sexual problems are common in men with mental issues – it’s a symptom of deeper issues around shame etc.
I’d recommend you switch the focus from trying to fix your sex-life to trying to understand yourself. Why do you end up with men like this? What confidence issues do you bring into relationships? Why do you tolerate such poor/selfish behaviour for such a long time? Why don’t you value yourself more?
The answers to these questions are the real journey that will solve this issue permanently. Contact me if you want support answering them
2nd marriage was 10yrs… Also I work at the hospital, I take of myself very well.. clean house, I cook for him.. I do everything. He has his own house, several cars and trucks, motorcycles.. half a business with his dad. Hes very mature for his age but needs to majorly grow up on being selfish.
I can understand that, never quite thought of it like that. I know what I am and what I can bring to the table, I’m a hell of a good woman.. I guess I just want to believe that if someone cares or love you they will change by seeing their wrongful doings. I am a preacher’s daughter, raised up in a holiness church so my view on people and life are much deeper than the normal. I still believe in God but I don’t go to church anymore. I have a huge heart and that’s my biggest downfall when it comes to forgiveness repetitively; I annoy myself with that as well. I actually had a talk with my bf last night after posting this. I cried to him and told him maybe it’s his age that causes they problem and I asked him if he wanted to be with me and he said yes, I told him his behavior was not acceptable and I wasnt going to feel unwanted anymore, that it was me or the porn ( I said I didnt care for him doing that if I was not around or asleep) he said I choose you. I checked his phone today to discover he deactivated his account, he doesnt know I seen that, waiting on him to tell me about it. We had sex after we talked as well. Maybe things will change for the better? Thank you, and I am definitely going to think on what you said as well.
Wow! I’m stoked you took such bold and honest action. That’s what a great relationship is made of, well done. I was inspired to email you a more personal video message – check your inbox for that soon
I am 19 years old and my boyfriend got 28 . He never talked or asked for a kiss. I gave him signs but he said p’lease say’.
I was like burned inside. And said nothing. He never understands where there is no direct sign. He had sex earlier. I don’t know what he wants. He encourages to life. also he talks about marriage and happy home. what I should do.
If I’m understanding you correctly, it sounds like you need to set strong boundaries with him about what you expect from a man. You’re only 19 so you probably don’t have much relationship experience, and that may make you doubt that what you want is valid. Check out this podcast and see if it helps
So why is every article catered to men can’t and let’s adjust to them, and all women have to change and men are boo boo handle with care is complete bullshit and my boyfriend doesnt try to turn me on he jacks off and doesn’t even shower till after I get to his house so why would I want to put his needs first
Sounds like you guys have an unhealthy relationship
My boyfriend and I have been together since last April. We are right now struggling with him to initiate things sexually and it has been very frustrating for me. I feel like I am the one who always has to initiate. We are great outside of this, as he is very loving, sweet, and loves me in all other ways. He tells me he is attracted to me, and loves to have sex with me and loves me as a person and I see that of course. We have had several talks about this and he finally admitted to him being slower to come onto me and he has been like this with previous relationships. So what can I do to help him open up more and initate? I know I keep talking about this with him and it is not helping as I am bitching about it lol.
Also, he does masturbate like 2-3x a week, does this have any effect on relationships do you think? Is there really a separation between sex and masturbation in a relationship?
Also I’m 23 and he is 27.
Short answer; he needs to figure out what’s holding him back. Is it sexual shame? Is it fear of rejection? Is it diminished sex-drive from porn addiction? Or is it something else?
I recommend he has a talk with a coach like myself or a sex therapist
So my man and i ate both 29 yrs old and have been together for over a year now. We dated like 7 years ago for abouy 3 years. So i feel he should be way more comfortable to initiate sex., Be more open about it, and try new things. He changes the subject when i try to talk about it or just says he never realized he was that way. He was recently diagnosed with kidney failure… has high blood pressure and since then seems a little depressed because of this huge bomb being dropped on him finding out about his condition. Its almost like he never wants to even have sex anymore. We dont live together so we decided to only see eachother on the weekends when hes off of work to miss eachother a little keep things exciting. We used to do it 2-4x a day. Now maybe once every weekend. Do you think its because of his medication?/depression maybe? It makes me feel totally unwanted and he almost seems embarrassed to talk about it. Please help!
Sounds like a mixture of issues – medication and depression are combined with sexual shame and perhaps something deeper that he’s not talking about. That said, sexual frequency does go down over time. 2-4x per day is a lot compared to your ‘average’ couple, whereas once every 2 days you’re together is pretty common.
Get in touch if you guys want a coaching session to talk through it firstname.lastname@example.org
Loved the article and agree quite wholeheartedly with everything you said just based off expirence of several years dating and noticing patterns in men. This was very helpful and I appreciate your point of view. I’m curious if you have any comments towards my current situation which seems semi related but also complex in other ways. Currently I am in a committed relationship where I find myself being the partner with the higher sex drive and he definitely fits the description of a nice guy who will at the drop of a hat do almost anything I ask of him but he deeply struggles to initiate sex. He doesn’t watch porn at all. He’s even told me he lacks to desire to do so. Which I think might also be related to shame. We do have sex but I have to preface it ahead of time and if he’s not feeling up for it he avoid like the plague and if I openly tell him it’s okay to say no, he will get angry and tell me no way you’d be okay with it( I think this is a form of fear of rejection). I can sense the shame he feels. He will touch me but he’s communicated that he doesn’t want to come off as rapey and even expressed he’s not the kind of guy that just sees a girl and thinks I want to do her. I so struggle to believe this and think again is super deep shame he’s feeling. If I express I’d like him to make more direct moves to express himself in that way and it’ll help me feel desired he generally gets defensive. I’ve discussed how I noticed he has girls on his Instagram that are burlesque dancers (who he personally knows and performed at live events for a show he does) and how I actually find burlesque sexy and would like to maybe explore that with him, he heard it more as , I was mad at him for looking at other girls and got extremely defensive and shut down. He didn’t even register that it was me attempting to sexually connect with him and give him permission to explore things he likes with me. Again Shame I think. His shame sometimes leads to ED and other issues during and before sex. He often closes his eyes which can be very hurtful on my end but I think he’s trying to keep his anxieties at bay. I try really hard to make safe places for sexual talk and open dialogue about turn ons and such a but I have to be very gentle or he’ll get defensive and shut down. I want to find a way to give him space to explore his sexuality and also maintain my feminity during. I also don’t want to pressure him because it adds to the shame (I assume) and also effects his self esteem which is the last thing I need or want. It feels like an up hill battle and I’m trying to keep it from damaging my self esteem as well. Any advice would be so appreciated.
Hey K, firstly I love how compassionate and considerate you’re being with his issue. You’re quite insightful, I’m sure you’re right on the money with you suspicion that his behaviour is driven by shame. He sounds like a classic case of the kind of guy I’m talking about in this article. I’ll flick you an email privately soon with some advice
I really liked your article about this topic. I found certain oarts really interesting. I am a 34 yo women with a 6 years relationship. My Partner has some issues what you wrote down here. Our reationship started in an odd way, maybe I made some mistakes, because I was the one who started to be interested about him, and he was a bit passive in the beginning due to emotional injuries in the past, so we were just “freiends with benefits” at first, and he pushed me away emotionally for a while. Anyways that time sex worked pretty well, actually for me, better than before ever. I did not fight with this, and slowly he realized its a bit more like a sexual relationship, and we slowly moved together and he opened up. I love him so much, but I always felt that he keeps some emotional distance, because the first time when he said to me he loves me was 1 year after we got together. But slowly during the years turned out we are a very good together, we are cliking in every way, our opinion, lifestyle, interests, there is love, trust, warmness and respect between each other. Our sexual intenzity started to decline after two or three years which meant from every day to lets say twice per week, and I noticed we mostly adapt for him, when he has a desire to have sex, not me. But he initiated less and mostly in the mornings. Athough I am very patient, and like is said its a unique relationship I felt it would be more healthy if I would be the one who engages the sex and he would initiate. in 2018 our relationship had a big bump, but since we are not that couple who fight, we hardly noticed that something is wrong with us (just a slight feeling when you cannot find your partner anymore), moreover he asked me to marry him, I said yes. Then 2019 turned out that we have a big trouble in our relationship, although we still loved each other, we started to feel the desire to quit (we moved far from our home country, from Europe to Canada), and we staretd to speak about the problems, and we decided to try to solve it. We worked a lot and fixed a lot (in my case I became more feminine how I was ever before in outside and inside too), and we love deach other in the dark times. To be honest We had to go trough that phase when we had to decide we want to continue with each other or not, there were a lot of confusions, and we put the engagement “on hold” until we figure out how will be the future.
Then slowly 2019 passed and we have been together still, and my fears passed away and become sertain that I want to be with him even though I would had a chance to go away, and slowly or relationship has restored, except one thing, the sexual intimacy. Like I said he wasn`t the most initiative person in the world, but he started to complain that he lost all his desire to have sex. Not with me, he just simply not thinking about it or fantasying about it, he even not watches “adult-movies” and nothing. I think he also had to go through that phase like me to deicide that he wants to continue with me or not, but he was behind me in this decision, so this whole situation led to this june, when he confessed me that he needs some time to think about us, and we separated for two weeks. In this time I sent him away once, because I felt if he feels he cannot love me, we should end our relationship for good, to not suffer anymore, and I was not mad at him. I still loved him so much, I just felt I don`t want us to suffer anymore. But when I sent him away, he did not want to go, and he said during this two weeks he thought through our whole relatinship and he feels that maybe he is not that person who can love a woman with a big fire of love, but he loves me with deep feelings what he don`t want to share with other women, and even though he could go away now when I sent him away, he does not want to elave and he wants to fix us finally. And he confessed that the only thing which botehr him, that he is completely lack of sexual desire, and its not about he doesn`t find me pretty or sexy he just doesn`t feel it, even every time when we have sex is suprisingly good for him, just he doesn`t feel the motivation to start. And before he left for this two weeks he felt that he is struggling to initiate sex, eh felt its more like a job like a pleasure, thats why he was confused.
So now, he is very motivated, loves me so much and much more determined and intitates sex, and according to him its better than was before, which is very good but I still feel this emotional swing in him, which means I know there is a possibility that he will fal back in his negative feelings, and I am afraid I am waiting for him in vain.
Some of my friends says we are meant to each other like pea and shell and they said I should remain with him and help him to go through this phase, while others call me stupid because de does not love me, just we are too good together to leave, and I should send him away for the best. I know its not easy to say anything from this, its a 6 years history behind us. I am just asking about your opinion that if a man hesitates after 6 years, means what my friends says that I am “not the One”, or there is a way to fix this part of our lives. I feel its very stupid reason to break up because the sex, moreover once it was good, and now its not horrible (we still have at tleast two timew per week), just it could be better. There is any wasy that I can encourage him or bring back the ability of seduction towards him?
Thank you in advance,
Hi J. Unfortunately I didn’t have to time to read your entire comment, but I skimmed through and saw some key points.
Firstly, this video might explain why the sexual energy died as you got closer together: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjVconKoWDo
Secondly, I recommend reading Esther Perells book “Mating in Captivity” to learn how you can rekindle the fire.
And thirdly, if you want me to go into depth to help you, email me email@example.com and we’ll book in a time to talk.
What is your degree in Dan? You’re a man giving advice to woman about other men. You sound like the kind of man that spent most of his life as an “incel”, and if you are married I am going to assume you are the kind of man your wife’s friends – and probably any female coworker – wouldn’t want to spend a day with. That is coming from a man with a degree in behavior analysis with many male and female friends almost of which I’ve never had sex with. I enjoy bringing my female partners around them and I like the insight from having those relationships. My bisexual friend group is probably more healthy then your entire history of friendships, which I am guessing center around a sense of machismo and repressed emotion.
Hi. Given your blunt approach, I’ll reply in like:
You seem to be dominated by your subconscious judgments and assumptions, all of which are almost certainly factually incorrect. I suggest you study critical thinking as additional material to your behavioural analysis.
To help you get started, here are the following logical fallacies you committed in your post:
– ad hominem fallacy – attacking the author rather than the points (invalid)
– Dunning-Kruger effect – you’re 100% sure of yourself rather than open to potential inaccuracies (unreliable)
– anecdotal fallacy – you use your own individual experiences as a source of evidence (invalid)
– false dichotomy / tribalism – you create a “you vs me” argument which overlooks nuance and makes it personal rather than objective (invalid)
– mind-reading fallacy – you assume you understand how I think, how my friends and family think, and how members of your own social circle think without verification (unreliable)
– credentials fallacy – you present your credentials as if they give weight to your argument, even though you haven’t made any factual claims (unreliable)
Hope that helps broaden your worldview
Do you know of a good therapist for this?
Myself; Esther Perell; any official No More Mr Nice Guy Coach; and Steve Taylor from Relationship Matters in New Zealand