Dear Dr. Frankie:
My girlfriend and I have been together just over a year and living together for about 6 months. We were friends before we ever started dating and waited a while before we had sex for the first time.
When we started having sex, it was great. However, for the past 4 months, I’ve been feeling very frustrated because I want to have sex and she doesn’t. It’s been so frustrating, that I’m now totally daunted by the task of asking.
When I ask, she uses special occasions (knowing we may get tipsy) as an excuse to wait it out. Or, she flat out tells me no, rejecting me, seriously deflating my ego. When I ask if she’s still attracted to me, she gets an attitude like it’s a stupid question.
She’s told me numerous stories of being cheated on in the past and I could never understand why girls had done this to her but, as bad as it sounds, I’m starting to understand how unfulfilled they probably were.
I don’t know what to do. I’ve pretty much had to resort to satisfying myself on a regular basis because I don’t even want to face rejection from my own mate.
Am I overreacting or putting too much emphasis on sex?
First of all, you’re not alone. Many couples struggle with this and it’s by far one of the most common frustrations I hear couples in long term relationships complain about.
Second of all, each one of us is responsible for getting our own needs met—including our sexual needs. It’s not your partner’s job to sexually satisfy you—you are. You are responsible for getting your needs (and yourself) off. That being said, part of the joy of a long term relationship is being able to have sex regularly with someone you like and feeling rejected when she doesn’t want to is absolutely acceptable. No one likes to be told no when all they want to do is have sex with the person they care about.
My first reaction to your question however has to do with your girlfriend’s responses: playing games to avoid sex, saying no without clarifying and giving attitude to your very appropriate questions are all very unreasonable. It’s not okay to respond like that to someone you’re in a long-term relationship with. She is clearly denying something. It could be her feelings for you, it could be her feelings for herself or it could be something else. What is clear, however is that you two need to talk.
Frequency of sex is a very individual need not only for each woman involved, but also for each couple. Several times a week may be your preferred amount and once a month may be your girlfriend’s. It’s a thick topic and one that requires much empathy, compassion and honesty by both parties.