- Your partner’s masturbation habits aren’t related to your sex life, but you should explain how the lack of intimacy makes you feel.
- Each of you should share a list of mood killers so you’re on the same page about how to enjoy sex.
- Try not to become frustrated with or judge your partner, as he’ll be less open to solutions.
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I’m concerned about my sex life with my boyfriend. We used to have lots of intimacy in our relationship, and it’s just not there anymore.
I’ve tried telling him on multiple occasions that I need more intimacy, but things don’t change. He’ll show me more affection for a couple of days, then it goes back to the way it was.
We’re a blended family with three children at home, which can cause a lot of stress, naturally.
My boyfriend had also admitted to masturbating more then we have sex. I understand his need to pleasure himself, but our partnered sex life is lacking.
I don’t think it should be such an issue to make time for us. I don’t know what to do anymore.
How can I get through to my boyfriend?
It’s great that you want to prioritize feeling closer to your boyfriend, and that you’ve made him aware of that need.
Perhaps a more collaborative approach, one that lets your partner voice his concerns and needs, will help you settle on a better way to create intimacy.
First, it’s important to remember your boyfriend’s self-pleasure habits have nothing to do with your partnered sex life, as sex therapist Rachel Wright previously told me.
“Your partner watching porn and masturbating is not a rejection of you, it’s simply him having time to himself,” Wright said.
That doesn’t mean it’s OK for your partner to ignore your needs. But keeping masturbation out of the conversation may make him more open to your ultimate goal of feeling more connected emotionally and sexually.
When you can, agree on a time to have a serious discussion about what you both need to make sex feel exciting and worthwhile, and discuss how the lack of sex has been affecting you individually.
It’s possible everyday stressors, like taking care of your three children, working, and keeping your home tidy, are impacting your ability to enjoy sex together.
As sex therapist Bat Sheva Marcus previously told me, parents often go through dry spells because of their demanding lives. She suggested you and your boyfriend both make honest lists of the reasons you aren’t in the mood for sex.
In Marcus’ experience, parents say lack of childcare, poor sleep, little exercise, and stress keeps them from enjoying sex.
Once you have your individual lists, you can work together to come up with ways to tackle those problems, like hiring a babysitter, agreeing to make sure the house is tidy before sexy time, or taking turns watching the kids so you each get enough sleep.
Most importantly, do your best to keep the conversation non-judgmental and don’t blame your boyfriend.
Instead, focus on how the lack of sex plays on your emotions. You could say something like, “I’ve noticed our sex life is dwindling, and it makes me feel disconnected from you. Can we work together to find a way to be intimate, just the two of us, once a week?”
Your boyfriend might reveal that he’s been feeling disconnected too, or that he’s dealing with personal issues that decreased his libido.
Throughout the conversation, remind your partner that you care about him and want to better understand where he’s coming from so you can be on the same page about your sex life.
This approach is more likely to allow your partner to open up and share what’s really been going on so you can move forward together.
As Insider’s resident sex and relationships reporter, Julia Naftulin is here to answer all your questions about dating, love, and doing it — no question is too weird or taboo. Julia regularly consults a panel of health experts including relationship therapists, gynecologists, and urologists to get science-backed answers to your burning questions, with a personal twist.
Have a question? Fill out this anonymous form. All questions will be published anonymously.
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