Dear Mrs Salisbury: 'My partner doesn't have a sexy bone in her body'
Psychologist Robyn Salisbury helps a reader with a relationship dilemma.
QUESTION: Ages ago you wrote that one reason for loss of desire might be that the sex you've been having has not been desirable.
I so related to that but what do I do about it?
I love my partner heaps but she hasn't got a sexy bone in her body. She's very focused on her career, she's attractive and dresses smartly with an emphasis on power.
She gets dressed and undressed in the bathroom with the door closed. I'm into powerful women but she refuses to flirt with me or be seductive and my attempts to seduce her were only ever accepted when we're in bed with the lights off.
Now I'm finding I don't really want to do that any more, I've lost my mojo, so we haven't had sex for nine months. Is it all over for us?
ANSWER: Well, the fire's certainly gone out from lack of attention. You cannot keep sex alive single-handedly – as you've found out.
I'm curious about how you two met, what drew you to each other, whether you had more sex and passionate sex at first, what you each made of the relationship beginning, whether there were any big hurts that may still be getting in the way?
Have you had feedback about what is erotic for her and forgotten to act on it? Have you two talked at all about this apparently detached situation?
It's time for some deep searching honesty from each of you. What does your partner want? Perhaps she desires another woman or man.
Can she enjoy pleasuring herself or is she just not interested in being sexual? Perhaps she wasn't enjoying the sex you two had but didn't have the courage to say so.
Unless she makes the time to explore and claim her own sexuality for herself, the chances of the two of you having a sexual relationship seem slim to me.
Alex Comfort (author of the The Joy of Sex) says "rage, don't disengage", so please don't stay quiet for fear of starting an argument.
Fight fair, of course: name your concerns and your wishes, show an interest in what hers are and together work out if you two can create a future for this relationship.
If one of you values sexual passion and the other is adamant she is not interested in that, then you have a decision to make.
Robyn Salisbury is a clinical psychologist. Email questions to MrsSalisbury@sextherapy.co.nz
- Sunday Magazine