Sexuality is a spectrum and I’m not about to shame anyone for craving intimacy more or less than my ideal. That said, sexual compatibility is a huge part of a sustainable relationship and when I found myself dating a guy with almost no sex drive, my self-esteem took a hit.
It wasn’t clear at first how different we were.
I like to take relationships slowly, especially when it comes to sharing sexuality, so for the first few weeks of dating, I had no idea we were on different pages regarding sexuality. It was easy to assume things would develop at an organic pace and in the meantime, I was happy to get to know each other on a different level than just the sexual.
He’d experience sexual desire only up until the point of actually having sex.
There were many times we’d get hot and heavy, only to lose momentum just before penetration. For him, the anticipation was the exciting part. As soon as we were about to follow through, he’d lose interest. It took me a long time to understand what was happening. I thought we were just having a series of false starts.
He didn’t like blowjobs either.
We’re all entitled to our preferences, but this was something I struggled with a lot. I love to give blowjobs and I find myself feeling most desirable when I’m pleasuring my partner. I’ve received pretty rave reviews if I do say so myself, so having my boyfriend tell me not to go down on him put the brakes on our sex life in some ways. Suddenly my favorite sexual act was off limits and I didn’t quite know where to go from there.
We did still share sexual experiences, they were just different from what I was used to.
Despite our sexual differences, we did still have an active sex life. Because we were on such different pages, though, it didn’t really look like any there relationship I’d ever been in. There were a few times where he was in the midst of fingering me and he’d just lose interest, get distracted by something totally unrelated, burst out laughing, or get grossed out by bodily fluids. I was often confused at these breaks in flow and I wasn’t really sure how to handle it.
Eventually, we talked about it and it became clearer.
After a while, I expressed my confusion and we talked about what he was experiencing. In general, it seemed he was quite out of touch with his body and especially with his desires. When he talked about his sexual history, there was a pattern of low sexual drive and disinterest in sex in general. It helped me to understand his experience a little more and not to expect this relationship to look like other dynamics I’d experienced. I began to consider the possibility that he was graysexual and that helped to adjust my expectations.
I was so focused on respecting him, I forgot to respect my needs.
Consent is something I take very seriously and I never wanted to coerce my boyfriend into something he didn’t want. I was very careful to respect his boundaries and that’s something I stand by wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, I didn’t fully take into account my own needs and I know there were times when I didn’t express my struggles for fear of pressuring him.
The timing was awful.
Just before we started dating, I’d experienced something of a sexual awakening. I’d had a profound encounter with orgasmic meditation and I felt like I was at the height of my sexual awareness. I was discovering parts of my sexuality that I’d never known and was seeing myself in a completely new light. I wanted an outlet to explore this newfound liberation and was hoping to share these new discoveries with a partner. Unfortunately, I found the exact opposite and my sexuality ended up being very much dulled over the course of our relationship.
I began to doubt my desirability.
Logically, I knew his sex drive had nothing to do with me, but I still found myself questioning whether there was something wrong with me. In the beginning, I could buoy myself and rise above any creeping insecurities, but throughout our year-long relationship, my self-esteem began to suffer. I wanted to be wanted.
It was a huge factor in us breaking up.
In the end, our sexual incompatibility was a catalyst for our breakup. There were a few other factors, but one of the most significant reasons was that we just didn’t fit together in this very fundamental way. Admittedly, things had improved somewhat over the course of our relationship, but it was still a far cry from what I hoped for and I didn’t see things changing dramatically any time in the near future. It was clear we wanted very different things in that department and it was enough for me to bring an end to our relationship.
When I met my next partner, I suddenly realized what I’d been missing.
I didn’t realize it until I started dating someone else, but I’d seriously missed being seen as a sexual being. Suddenly having someone want me again was like coming back from the dead—there was a whole world of passion and desire that I’d been missing out on. I was overwhelmed by how good it felt to share sexuality with someone again and I felt the weight of that sexual and emotional frustration just slide off me.
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