My girlfriend won’t have sex with me! Isn’t physical intimacy essential in a healthy relationship?
Is she no longer attracted to me? How can I have an honest conversation about what’s going on?
If you’re asking yourself these questions, you’re not alone.
Sexlessness is on the rise, and one study found that approximately 15% of men and 27% of women haven’t had sex in the past year.
Furthermore, about 15-20% of married couples are in a sexless marriage.
If your Girlfriend never wants to have sex, it’s normal to feel confused, angry, or even scared.
You might be worried that you did something wrong. You may also wonder if this is a good reason for ending the relationship altogether. Let’s get into everything you need to know.
Why Doesn’t My Girlfriend Want to Sleep With Me Anymore?
Help! My girlfriend doesn’t want to have sex with me anymore! I don’t know what to do- is this grounds for ending the relationship?
Sudden changes in a relationship can be jarring for anyone. For example, if you two enjoyed a great sex life in the past, it could feel disappointing when things suddenly change.
Or, if sex has always been a problem, you may feel helpless about things improving in the future.
Sex drives, of course, can fluctuate, and people may not want to have sex for a variety of reasons, including:
- Relationship incompatibility
- Hormonal changes
- Fear and anxiety
- Sexual trauma
- Relationship problems
- Emotional changes
We’ll explore each of these reasons in more detail below!
Why Is My Partner Not Interested in Me Sexually?
Men often blame themselves if their partner no longer wants to have sex.
However, even if you play a role in the issue, intimacy is a dynamic, complicated topic.
There’s rarely only one reason explaining why someone doesn’t want to have sex. Instead, this change usually results from a combination of factors.
Understanding these factors and having healthy, effective communication with your partner can dramatically improve the situation.
How Often Should a Couple Have Sex?
There’s no fixed answer to this question. Every couple is unique, and your sexual needs will differ.
With that in mind, research shows that couples who have sex once a week tend to be happier in their relationships.
However, it’s normal for sex frequency to fluctuate over the lifespan of a relationship. For example, sex is exciting and novel when you first begin dating.
Then, you two can’t get enough of each other! You just want to spend all weekend in bed!
Subsequently, younger people tend to have sex more often than older couples.
For example, someone in their twenties may average sex around 80 times a year, but that number decreases to around 20 for people in their sixties.
Stress, hormonal changes, work, and family obligations can all impact one’s sex drive.
But instead of comparing yourself to other couples, ask yourself this: how often do you want to have sex?
What number feels realistic to you? What would make you feel more satisfied in your current relationship?
And better yet, what does sex actually mean to you? Which acts are (or are not) included in your definition?
For example, does sex need to be penetrative? Does it need to result in an orgasm for one or both partners? Of course, everyone has different answers to these questions, but it’s helpful to know where you stand.
Assessing your expectations accurately can help you determine how you want to move forward in your relationship.
Finally, remember that more isn’t always better. Many people agree that they’d rather have high-quality, enjoyable sex even if the quantity isn’t as frequent.
Take that into consideration as you reflect on what sex means to you- and how often you expect to have it.
15 Reasons Why Your Girlfriend Won’t Have Sex With You
It can be frustrating and discouraging if your Girlfriend continuously rejects your sexual advances.
You might wonder if you did something wrong. Or you might assume that she’s pulling away from the relationship.
There are many reasons why someone stops (or reduces) having sex. Here are some common explanations.
#1 She Isn’t Ready
If you two haven’t had sex yet, she might not be ready to take that step. Everybody has different timelines when it comes to intimacy.
Some people feel comfortable sleeping together on the first date- others need significantly more time.
Either way, it’s important to respect her consent. It’s never okay to pressure someone into having sex.
And if she feels obligated to sleep with you, she will only resent you and the relationship.
#2 You Two Are in a Rut
If the relationship feels boring or unfulfilling, she may not have much of an incentive to have sex with you. It may not even be on her radar.
Think about how connected you’ve felt with her lately. For example, when was the last time you surprised her or went on a date? When was the last time you genuinely complimented her?
If you don’t know the answers, you may be in a rut in your relationship. You can take the initiative to improve the situation by being more attentive and romantic.
Doing so might not lead to sex right away, but it can remind her that you genuinely care about her.
#3 You Don’t Focus On Her Pleasure
Be honest with yourself: how hard do you try to care for her needs in the bedroom? Do you make it a serious priority to maximize her pleasure?
If not, she might find sex burdensome or pointless. Nobody wants to feel used or devalued.
Many women enjoy making love and feeling connected. So, if you’re only having sex to ensure your own pleasure, she’s likely to get resentful.
The next time you’re intimate, take the time and effort to satisfy her. Ask her what she wants and listen closely.
If she benefits from all the pleasure, she’s likely to want to repeat the positive experience!
#4 You Resist Using Protection
Nobody wants to feel like it’s their sole responsibility to protect themselves.
Nevertheless, unplanned pregnancies and STDs are possible, and your Girlfriend may be rightfully concerned about these risks.
Even if you don’t outright resist using protection, you might show slight reservations without realizing it.
For example, have you ever rolled your eyes or been annoyed when she asked you to use a condom? Or have you paused when she asks you to pull out?
If you’ve ever made these mistakes, she may naturally resist (or cut down) on having sex with you.
Part of her probably doesn’t feel safe. The most effective way to move forward is by initiating a conversation about protection and asking her what she needs from you.
Remember the best behavior is changed behavior!
#5 She Finds Sex Painful
Unfortunately, sex can be extremely uncomfortable for up to 10% of women. Painful sex can be challenging, and you certainly don’t want to make things worse.
If you suspect this is the case, it’s essential that you convey your support and compassion.
Remember that the pain is very likely not your fault. Painful sex can emerge from hormonal changes, medical conditions, poor lubrication, and inflammation.
She may benefit from seeking medical support. As her partner, it’s important to encourage her efforts to take care of herself.
In addition, you should be open to any accommodations (using lube, trying a different position, or taking breaks) that she needs to make during sex.
#6 She Feels Guilty
We all grew up with different messages about sex and sexuality. Some families and cultures shun sexual interest.
They make it sound like you’re dirty or sinful for having such urges.
Guilt may play a powerful role in your Girlfriend’s sex drive. If she, for example, grew up believing that she needs to wait until marriage, she may feel torn about having sex at all.
You may be able to tell if your Girlfriend struggles with guilt if she:
- Frequently makes comments about “letting things go too far”
- Sometimes has sex with you and then says she shouldn’t have afterward.
- Struggles with religious guilt or ambivalence about her religion
- Is adamant that you two can’t talk about your sex life with anyone
#7 She’s Having Sex With Someone Else
This isn’t the reason you want to hear, but it’s a potential reality to consider. If your Girlfriend no longer wants to sleep with you, it could be because she’s focused on someone else.
Unsure if she’s cheating? According to Dr. Robert Weiss, some of the main signs include:
- Sudden changes in appearance
- Increased hostility or tension
- Secretive technology use (adding passcodes, clearing browser data, trying to hide her phone screen when she’s around you)
- Blaming you for cheating
- Working longer hours or being unavailable at different points
He also notes that changes in sexual activity may indicate cheating behavior. Sometimes partners will want to introduce new toys or try different positions.
Unfortunately, this might mean they’re learning these techniques elsewhere.
#8 She Doesn’t Feel Attractive
Maybe she’s recently gained some weight, or her appearance has changed in some way. Regardless of what’s different, feeling unattractive can tank a woman’s sex drive.
Sex is inherently vulnerable and exposing. You two, after all, are tangled up naked together!
So if she’s suddenly shying away or insisting that the lights must be turned off, it could be a sign of insecurity.
Don’t overlook the power of ongoing compliments! Make it known how sexy and beautiful you find her- don’t hesitate to praise her as often as you can.
While this may not “fix” her insecurities, it can help her feel more confident and attractive in your presence.
#9 She’s Mad at You
Even if it isn’t the healthiest coping strategy, many people withhold sex when they feel mad at their partners. This can either be an intentional or unintentional punishment.
If you think that’s the case, it’s important to ask her what’s going on. Did you do something to upset her? Can you two work together to resolve the issue?
At this time, leave sex off the table- your main priority is restoring your connection. Once you achieve that, sex may return naturally.
#10 She’s Experiencing Trauma Triggers
Sex can be triggering for many women, especially if they have a history of sexual assault.
Research shows that 1 in 6 women have been victims of attempted or completed rapes. These traumatic experiences can undoubtedly impact one’s physical and mental health.
She might be experiencing trauma triggers if she:
- Appears to be dissociating (acting as if she’s not really there) during sex
- Feels uncomfortable with most touch, even if it isn’t sexual
- Covers her body regularly
- Experiences immense shame about her sexual past
- Struggles to trust you with intimacy
#11 She Wants to Break Up
Towards the end of a relationship, one partner tends to start withdrawing. This action can be obvious or slight, but it’s usually how a person starts “preparing” emotionally for the breakup.
Breakups can happen out of nowhere, but that’s rare. While sexual interest tends to wane, you’ll also likely notice problems in other places, such as with communication, connection, and overall relational satisfaction.
#12 She Is Asexual or Demisexual
About 1.7% of adults are asexual, and 86% of those individuals are women. Asexuals can and do have sex, but they have very little interest it.
Many times, they can enjoy fulfilling, intimate relationships. However, sex isn’t a top priority, and they may be turned off by it altogether.
Demisexuality refers to experiencing sexual attraction after forming an emotional connection. In other words, she won’t want to sleep with you until she feels truly connected.
Keep in mind that some people use these terms when discussing their sexuality. Others prefer to avoid labels (or may not even be aware of them).
But it could be a variable affecting your Girlfriend’s sexual interest.
#13 She Really Is Tired
Although many people believe “being tired” is just an excuse, it has its legitimate place. Most of us feel bogged down by busy schedules.
We tend to overpack our days, leaving little room for rest or relaxation. If this applies to your Girlfriend, she may not be in the mood at the end of the day.
Try to talk to your Girlfriend to figure out what’s going on. Is she tired because of increased stress? Is she not sleeping well?
Furthermore, if nighttime sex is too burdensome, can you two problem-solve to determine another optimal time?
#14 You Two Are Arguing Often
Yes, some people enjoy having hot make-up sex after a contentious conflict. But if you two are always fighting, no amount of sex will likely salvage the relationship.
Instead, you both need to do some soul-searching and find out why you keep arguing. What issues need to be resolved?
How can you both improve communication? What changes can you make today to make things better?
If things feel frustrating in the bedroom, they also probably feel frustrating elsewhere. Pay attention to those first, and sex may improve all on its own.
#15 She’s No Longer Attracted to You
Have you undergone any significant changes lately? For example, has your appearance declined?
Are you no longer prioritizing physical hygiene? Have you become more snappy, cruel, or even withdrawn in the relationship?
Women will often want to stop having sex when they don’t feel attracted to or in love with their partners.
But attraction doesn’t usually disappear overnight. Instead, it’s a more gradual progression. That’s why it’s important that you’re honest with yourself.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to get complacent in a relationship. You may start taking her for granted and assume that she will always stick with you.
But complacency can lead to boredom and even apathy, which can deteriorate a woman’s sex drive.
What to Do When Your Girlfriend Won’t Have Sex With You?
If your girlfriend won’t have sex with you, it’s time to understand more about what’s going on.
Healthy communication is critical when it comes to prioritizing your relationship. Here are some steps you should consider.
Ask Her What’s Going On Directly
You can obsess over why she isn’t sleeping with you–or you can be upfront and ask her about it.
Ideally, you should have this conversation during a neutral time (i.e., not right after she turns down having sex).
You might consider using a script along these lines.
I’ve noticed that we haven’t had sex in a few days/weeks/months. I want to talk about what’s going on. Are you okay with that?
Relationships involve two people, meaning no problem is squarely one person’s fault.
Even if you feel like your Girlfriend is the one making things difficult, you need to reflect on your own part in the dynamic.
Remember that nobody wants to feel attacked. If she isn’t having sex with you, there is likely a good reason why.
You both need to work together to determine a reasonable solution for moving forward.
Avoid Any Passive-Aggression
You may be tempted to take out your frustration on your Girlfriend. But passive-aggressive comments will only further divide the two of you.
They will also put your Girlfriend on the defense–if she feels like she needs to protect your ego, she will resent you very quickly.
Instead, practice being honest and assertive with how you feel. It’s okay to be upset or worried.
But your job is to state those emotions explicitly, rather than hide behind them or use them as weapons in a conflict.
Ask How You Can Change
As mentioned, there are several reasons why someone might stop having sex in a relationship.
Once you’re aware of the why, the next step is figuring out how you can work on things.
Ask her directly what you can do differently. Maybe she wants to try something new in the bedroom.
Maybe she feels like you go too fast and don’t consider her needs. Or maybe she wants to be romanced more outside of the bedroom.
Listen to her feedback and be willing to implement those changes.
The more you consistently show that you want to satisfy her, the more likely she is to open up to you again.
Ask If She’s Willing to Go to Therapy Together
Both partners are dedicated to making things work in a healthy relationship.
They listen to each other and integrate feedback appropriately. They want to be the best partners they can be.
Couples therapy can help you both restore intimacy in the relationship. If she’s willing to go with you, that’s a good sign! It means that she’s dedicated to improving your dynamic.
However, if she refuses to go, that’s a cause for concern.
It may mean that she doesn’t want to work on the issue- or that she doesn’t think she has a problem.
Consider What Constitutes a Deal Breaker
Only you can decide your boundaries when it comes to sex. Do you want to have sex at least once a week? Once a month?
Or do you simply want to feel like you can enjoy intimacy in your relationship, even if that isn’t in the form of penetrative sex?
It’s reasonable to have deal breakers in a relationship. Think about what they are and what (if any) compromises you’re still willing to make.
At some point, you may realize this just isn’t the right relationship for you. That’s okay! Remember that there’s never a good time to break up with someone.
There are, however, significant downsides to leading someone on when your heart is no longer in it.
Can a Relationship Last Without Sex?
Sex isn’t inherently necessary when it comes to being in a relationship. However, there are a few things you need to consider if your Girlfriend doesn’t want to be intimate sexually.
You’re Still Having Some Form of Intimacy
Marriages do need intimacy to thrive. Sex is just one type of physical intimacy. Only you can truly decide if sex is important and necessary.
People have different priorities (and libidos), but you need to evaluate what matters most to you.
If you aren’t having sex, affection is still important. You can be physically affectionate through kissing, hugging, cuddling, and other forms of engaging in touch.
Emotional intimacy, on the other hand, also matters. Emotional intimacy refers to feeling safe, supported, and connected to one another.
Couples often achieve this through spending time together, actively listening, and being vulnerable.
Emotional intimacy often coincides with physical intimacy and vice versa.
Therefore, if you two struggle in the bedroom, there’s a good chance you’re struggling outside of it, too.
You Know It’s Temporary
Sex can ebb and flow in a relationship. Maybe your Girlfriend is recovering from serious surgery, or you two just had a baby, or she’s going through a particularly rough patch at work.
You need to be understanding and supportive if it’s a situational issue. Once she feels less stressed, things can and should return to normal.
But if it’s been much longer than that particular situation–and things still aren’t improving–it’s reasonable to revisit the issue with a conversation.
She Is Working On It
Sex issues don’t resolve themselves overnight. It’s unrealistic to expect anyone to make massive changes instantaneously.
But if your Girlfriend is proactively improving intimacy, that effort should stand for something.
You Agree to Alternative Arrangements
Some people decide to have open relationships when one partner doesn’t want to have sex.
If you want to stay with your Girlfriend, this may be a conversation worth having.
Open relationships are most successful when both partners clearly state and recognize each other’s boundaries.
For example, you two need working parameters for what is unacceptable. You also need to define the limits of your relationship.
Open relationships can be risky. One or both of you may become jealous. You might feel like you can’t trust one another.
You may also realize that you’re incompatible- it’s important to review these risks before diving into this dynamic.
You’re Willing to Give it a Time Limit
Some relationships can survive without sex if you’re willing to set a request for yourself. Usually, this means recognizing and validating your need for sex.
For example, you might tell yourself, I’m leaving the relationship if things don’t get better by this time next year.
Having a defined timeline gives you the chance to work on the relationship. At the same time, it’s also helpful for reminding yourself that you don’t need to wait around forever.