The Sex-Starved Relationship
100 Comments


Being in a relationship where it doesn’t feel like there’s enough sex sounds like a trivial and somewhat comedic luxury problem As though someone were complaining there wasn’t enough tennis or yoga between a couple. But an absence of sex isn’t trivial in the least. It’s a humblingly serious problem and might even be what dooms the relationship itself. One statistic stands out: in an average year, in the OECD countries, 70% of those who initiate a divorce cited a lack of sex as the first or second reason for parting. If there’s one generalization we can make about couples, it’s that a lack of sex, by which we mean something like less than four times a month, is an alarm bell we should listen to. Why is sex such a key part of keeping two people close? Because in sex, two people accept each other in the most profound of ways. The apparently dirty and shameful sides of us, the way weird fantasies and the unusual longings, are legitimated through sex. Someone else witnesses and accepts us as bodily and psychological beings. Sex symbolises an end to loneliness and a reaffirmation of trust. Not daring or wanting to have sex with a partner is tantamount to admitting that one can’t be oneself in their presence. A lack of sex is bad enough, but far worse is the way in which the reciprocated longing for sex tends to manifest itself. Typically, a person who wants it doesn’t ask very clearly, maybe merely sliding a hand over in a timid, half-hearted search for reciprocation. They don’t complain calmly, don’t deliver an eloquent self-confidence speech about how difficult they’re finding it, and don’t inquire sympathetically as to what might be going on in their partner. Far too often, they tend to quickly move on to symptomatic behavior, where in their disappointment and sense of humiliation, are acted out, rather than discussed. They bang dishes, they get mean, a whole raft of conflicts then develops that has ostensibly nothing to do with sex, and yet is caused by its absence. One starts squabbling over the in-laws in the state of the kitchen. The one who’s been let down sexually behaves so badly, they start to seem like a monster, further reducing the chances of sex ever taking place. Eventually, the sex-starved party may simply go off and have an affair, not because they don’t love their partner, but because showing their desire has become so fraught with rejection that they’re out for a bit of revenge. The lack of sex discussion is so hard to have because quite simply, it feels so shameful to be unwanted sexually. It plays into every worst fear about unacceptability. It’s bad enough when it happens on a date. It’s even sadder to have to admit that one’s being rejected by one’s partner inside the apparent safety and commitment of a long term relationship. Maybe there’s something wrong with them, but far more likely, there’s something revolting about us. The key to a process of reconciliation is to rein in one’s wilder feelings of rejection and self-disgust in order to be able to consider why the other party might have gone off sex. Here’s a key fact: everyone wants sex in principle. When it isn’t wanted, it’s because the condition for sex is not being met, and then, not communicated. Privately, the sex-rejecting party has a problem they’re not sharing. They might in secret be thinking, “I might have sex, if only you listened more to my problems with my family,” or, “If you gave me more time to do my work,” or, “If you weren’t so mean to me around domestic chores.” There might be kinkier reasons: “I’d have more sex if you allow me to play out certain fantasies,” “If you were more broad minded about role playing,” “If you were more into kissing, or wanted it rough, or could be more submissive.” The person being denied sex hasn’t usually had any chance to hear these reasons in plain, unaccusing, gentle terms. Or maybe they’ve heard them, but without a sober awareness of what’s really at stake here. There’s been no proper communication. Therefore, a classic recommendation, deliberately artificial, is that the two parties, aware that their entire relationship properly depends on getting this right, should write each other a letter titled simply, “What I want from sex.” It’s a chance to be deeply honest about your true sexual identity; it’s then incumbent on both parties to take the other’s words seriously and in good faith. Two people are always going to be a bit sexually incompatible, but we shouldn’t get so scared and angry at this that we create a secondary barrier of hurt, punishment, and shame. We should take the first steps to finding a way in which what you want and they want can, in a modest way, be harmonized, and the sarcasm and banging dishes can stop. Every time such a conversation about sex happens in the quiet of the night, the angels of relationships hover over the bedroom and sound their silent trumpets in celebration, because another couple have just critically improved their chances of lasting a little longer together. If you like our films, take a look at our shop: theschooloflife.com/shop. You’ll find lots of thoughtful books, games, stationery, and more.

100 thoughts on “The Sex-Starved Relationship

  1. For all we know the powers that be contribute to this lack by working us to death, food that is GMO, chemicals and unreliable medication, lack of understanding and solutions when women go through the change, and blue pills that make old men horny.

  2. I know… but i do not like sex not any more it makes me vomitate… i am grateful for my loliness… and i think that in future many people will loose rinnegheranno il sesso so i feel! Good life!

  3. The rejector knows exactly what the rejected is looking for with the hand across the sheets thing. They really have to explain it to them on top of being rejected?

    It's all on the reject? even if say, the reason the rejector isn't interested is because of some particular type of sex they are missing.

    The rejector has more of a responsibility to explain, or request things than the bewildered, dejected, unconfident reject.

  4. I've told her and I keep getting the same answer. Not to be an ass but women always wanna blame the guy when simple shit like this can keep the relationship alive. Of course I'm going to lose attraction to you if I'm not sleeping with you

  5. I believe that a great sex life….2 people who are legitimately hot for each other …is the foundation upon which the whole relationship is built. I learned this the hard way. And always from here on in…the sexual rapport we have is crutial to the rest of it. Blah sex or bad sex and I will invest NOTHING into the relationship 'cuz it's dead in the water and can only get worse. You're either turned on by each other or you're not. Therapy won't help.

  6. After I got married she just was not in the mood NEVER, she is beautiful, funny, hard worker, etc but after many rejections I just lost interest, I got tired of asking for sex. I have not been unfaithful but man! Watching hot women is very very hard and my imagination starts to fly

  7. This is what I dealt with for 3 years, it made me feel horrible and even do something I never thought I was capable of, luckily I found out she never loved me anyway and just used me for my money, and THERE it is!

  8. I think sex is over rated, it's communication, companionship, friendship and affection that are important in a relationship not body slapping.

  9. Its funny how people say Sex is “super important” when it really isn’t emotional connection brings outs more physicall connections lack of emotional connection wont lead to any progression of the sort

  10. Women are the ones to blame. If the man doesn't want sex it means A) he doesn't find you attractive, so it's your fault or B) his libido is low so he physically cannot get an erection and have sex. On the other hand, when women refuse to have sex, it's nothing else but selfishness. All they have to do is spread their legs for 5 minutes, zero effort. And stop complaining about rape, it's not rape to let your supposed "loved one" bust a nut in you. It's just a chore.

  11. I can't speak for all men, but I love sex. I love pussy. I will not be in a relationship with a woman who can't or won't satisfy me. Life is too short.

  12. The accuracy of this entire video is scarily true. Less than 4 times a month though? Ha! Try once every 3 weeks for two and a half years… I feel vindicated by this video to a large extent. Even going away and getting a private chalet together did NOTHING for us. Well, I 'gave' one night and that was that. That was my last straw.

    And no, we're not together any more. I miss her and love her still, but felt so unwanted for a long time no matter how much work I put into exercising. I have since had to work out myself that the reason our intimacy died is because of my temper, which I had for a few reasons, one being the lack of sex, so she didn't feel loved. It was a vicious circle…

  13. I cried my eyes out while watching this film (beautiful animation, lots of empathy and a great voiceover btw!). Two years ago my partner lost interest in me and I’m at the end of my wits now. We had lots of conversations, a few arguments, nothing helps. I tried so many things, lingerie, gadgets, roleplay, hotel dates, perverse games, toys, stories, fantasies – nothing helps. I am a pretty, sporty, smart, funny person with good vibes. I am creative and caring. I always praised him as a lover, as a man, as a professional. We have no kids together so there are no conflicts over chores, upbringing. We spend some time together and some time apart so there is space to start missing each other and not get bored. I have used all my resources and nothing helps. I love this guy. I have no idea what else to do. I feel like a piece of shit.

  14. Ok but what if both of them dont feel the need for sex with each other, but still they are happy together? What does it mean?

  15. Strange when you talk about sex and dating like that. Casual sex should be be up front and mutual.
    Likke the song goes How Can We Be Lovers If We Can't Be Friends.
    I thought a real relationship started with companionship and learning about the other person. Likes dislikes common interests abilities and flaws. Accepting those things about the other person and becoming true companions. In that way the absence of sex whether because of illness or old age you will still want the love and companionship from that person.
    Because no matter what the comfort of that person can carry the relationship through anything.

  16. just wanted to post somesthing positive here. I have a great girlfriend that i love very very much and i am very vocal about that, and vice versa. We talk very open about sex and its still great after 3 years. We kiss and cuddle a lot. We often talk about the good things that happen to us in life. We praise and recognize the good things we do for each other. We dont get into stupid arguments because nobody needs to be right and we dont need to dominate ourselves. We arent to money focused, were both broke students but soon engineers. We do everything we can to spend as much time together as possible.

  17. As soon as you have to bring it up it forfeits the whole point because it takes the fun out of it and makes it awkward. Then the other person feels like thats all you want. Lol just leave them.

  18. If something I can share, don't have sex with your partner, and be a dick to them the next day. That behavior broke my trust with my partner for awhile. I be completely vulnerable, and the next day he blows up about something, and its taken out on me. So, the sex got less and less, and hes freaking out about it thinking I don't love him when the reality is that he made it very hard. I want to have sex, but my emotional state was damaged. There was one day he did it, and I literally flipped out, nearly tearing everything up around me that was paper. Finally got to him that he should learn emotional control and be more mature if something is bothering him instead of being angry and threatening. It sucks that it had to get to THAT point where I nearly went insane for him to finally understand that his behavior was NOT acceptable.

  19. I haven’t had sex with my wife for ten years, but I still love her and keep thinking how sad it is for her to be married to someone so physically repulsive 😞

  20. This doesn’t mention anything about menopause and how that effects us. It was like someone just turned off my sex drive switch! I’ve tried every supplement I can find, I’ve gone to two gynecologists & hormone replacement therapy! My Drs have basically said there was nothing out there to help me! Not like the blue pill men have! I used to get flirty with just one cocktail.., now I have to be shitfaced. I can’t even remember the last time I had an orgasm. This all started at 47! It’s been a nightmare and I feel soo guilty!
    Thing is..I know what it feels like to be rejected. My husband went through a bout of depression in our 30’s & was switched off too. It felt terrible to lay there wanting to be with him and knowing he wasn’t into it. A few years later…We were finally on the same page and then fucking menopause!

    Hey scientists!! Invent a pink pill for us ladies!!! Most of us WANT to be intimate with our mates!!

  21. SEX is life with out Sex life empnty ineeded seriouse good loveing relationship meet me i loveu forever 💑💑😍😍❤🌷🌷

  22. With my ex husband I never wanted sex bcos he was abusive. There are usually reasons. With my husband now he can get it whenever unless I'm too tired for real.

  23. Am 23 and my man (boyfriend) is 30………he wants sex so much and I don't want it.I can have it once in a while or once a year and I wouldn't mind,so each time I say no he forces himself on me and appologise afterwards and it's hurting me because that's not the life I want.

  24. If someone doesn't want to have sex accept it period. To do otherwise is selfish and one sided. Most likely the are orgasms too. No wonder you are not having sex!!!

  25. I am in sexless marriage for last eleven years…… My husband blame me for……. I feel unwanted all the time……. Don't know what to do…… Just struggling……. Sometimes it feels dirty to even talk of…….we did have a good relationship for a month….. Then I conceived…. Everything changed since then….. I can't leave him as he is the father of my daughter neither wants to live with him……I just keep myself busy

  26. My girlfriend has been on meds for 1 year and ever since the sex has vanished, we have sometimes but she isn't as into it as she was and tries to avoid it from happening in the first place 🙁 we had a great healthy passionate sex life and then things changed, 2 days ago she decided its best we have a break, cut communication completely to see if it brings it back because we both love each other, now all I can think as I am so sexually rejected is that it must be me and she will find someone else in this time apart, I pictured a family a life a world with this girl, I am absolutely heartbroken, it's the worst feeling being defected by a loved one, I don't wish it on anyone

  27. I want 4 times a day. Hell even once a day. But having sex every 7-9 days is killing me. I am starved to death. And now my marriage is falling apart 🙁

  28. Seeing that graphic 2 minutes in talking about showing symptomatic behaviors like banging dishes around, then zoomed out it's a bazillion dishes feels so deeply personal in every way. Lol

  29. Haha, men don't get laid as much anymore cause they expect the women to work or go 50/50… well guess what, you do that, and she's gonna get too tired from work to have sex with you. Housewives do a better job, even with kids on top of that of letting their husbands relieve stress testing his reach and her flexibility.

  30. Managnous relationships are responsible for health problems, lowering a man's confidence, testosterone and self-worth… Why? Because he is only paired with one woman which is completely unnatural in nature

  31. The last four years of my relationship were like this. I was a monster, and it traumatized me so much I couldn’t enjoy sex with my next partner…it became associated with that feeling of rejection. Only being honest will help, guys…take it seriously.

  32. No no its not you, its me, i feel like this right now and i dont want to, but if u cant understand that i dont even know what to tell you.
    I mean GOD DAMN IT WOMAN undress and fuck till the dawn. after all that ive done to make sure u see that i understand you, you slap me back at my face with this shit?
    Not cool.

  33. Ita unfair that sex isnt treated as a neccesity such as eating or drinking to survive.. sex is treated as entertainment.. i see it as a neccesity… and its even more unfair when your partener sees your neccesity as something they can pleasure when they want.. and not compromise.. even if im not horny.. if my partner needs sex, ill find a way to pleasure her, because its my responsability

  34. I think you need to do a video on the emotional starved relationship, where one person puts in no effort for affection but expects sex.

  35. The problem is we fed up having sex with one partner which’s why we want to find someone new , taste something different and dump ex girlfriends letting them forget of us .

  36. Good example of talk before you get married. If ur highly sexual then talk to ur spouse to see if they're the same. If not why be unhappy with ur future marriage. Drop the rlsp now n find someone else.

  37. I totally understand my wifes position, makes complete sense.
    Abused at a young age, busy house with teenagers and a toddler. Middle aged, all friends are busy in the mix of family life, and life is freakin exspensive.
    So here we are, maaaaybe once a year maybe. But life is hell, life is pure hell. It is VERY hard to be a married woman, and it is VERY hard to be a married man. So since i know that sex plays 4th fiddle for the vast majority, then i will just get these kids raised as fast as possible, and fade away.

  38. I just ended a relationship because of this.
    She was perfect in every way: so smart, funny, empathetic, and absolutely gorgeous and beautiful both on the inside and outside.
    We were a perfect match, except this. For her, the need of physical intimacy wasn't as important as it was for me.
    I opened up and shared many times how it made me feel when I think we didn't have enough sex with each other, but that just made her feel under pressure and stressed her. So everytime I got the thought, I tried to hide it and push it away, and everytime we cuddled or slept together and it hit me, I had to get away not to get carried away and get into a bad mood.
    It started with typical sexual frustration: easily annoyed and almost looking for things to argue about. Then it started to get emotional. I started questioning myself, got easily jealous, hated the way I am – why I just can't appreciate her, that I have her in my life, that we have a future planned together, and a constant feel of guilt was haunting me. I used to wish I could remove the need I had so I could just be happy and be in love with her.

    Then came the emptiness. I started to feel lonely, and unhappy. It was this point I started to realize how much the abstinence was tearing me down. The thought and feeling of us not being connected anymore, and that the passion and love making is gone just made it worse. That it's starting to bring out more bad in me than good. All this happened during a year.

    Only 2 days has passed now, and I'm in a dark hole in hell. I miss her more than anything, and the love and feelings I have for her are so strong and real it's killing me.

    All this because of lack of sex.

    Everything was perfect. But then this tiny need slowly fucked it all up.

    I'm sorry. This was a very personal share with no discussion or thoughts on the video, but I don't have anyone to talk to right now or to purely let it all out to, and I needed to share this somewhere with someone.

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  40. I suffered from Sexual Rejection from my 4 years marriage. My wife would give all kind of excuses when it came to intimacy issues, endless tiredness, long day, mood wasn't right, dishes weren't done, son's was sick, she was sick etc. So I bought all kind of stuff to help with her endless tiredness, a washing machine, 2 in 1 Washer Dryer so she would not need to bother with drying the clothes, vacuum machine, etc etc. Then I go for hypnotherapy, family constellation therapy, meditation, praying, learning Yoni Massage etc etc, to identify whether is my problem or hers? I was divorced now and never been happier before. So communication does not work if one partner is completely shut down. I think the reason why I married her was I planned before my time to come to this life and I chose her to learn life tougher lessons and now I have grown and advanced spiritually, I appreciate her input and I wish the universe does not deliver any karmic effect to my ex wife, because I know how painful it is.

  41. Oh my God I barely finished watching this video. It just resonated with me in the deepest way. It’s part of the reason of my separation and soon to be divorce. We just didn’t share the same sex drive my husband and I. Mine is always crazy high and his… just wasn’t. He would end up feeling like a prude and I would end up feeling like a sex maniac. We went to couples therapy and everything. It got to the point of resentment where I would wait and wait and wait for him to be ready that during that time and I resent him for having to wait for him so long. Then when he was finally ready I would want to get back at him by withholding, but I just couldn’t do so because I was just yearning too much too long so we’d have sex and I’d resent him even more for making me feel I had no control in the relationship. It was really bad. And the psychologist was right, I started looking for it in other people, many other people. At one point I thought I was a sex addict went to SCA meetings and everything. Eventually my new personal therapist said you’re not a sex addict.. you’ve been so unfulfilled and unhappy in your marriage that now you’re acting out. Wow.. And all this just bcuz of 3 little letters.. smh

  42. Been married to a woman who I really love for 7 years but she doesn’t care about sex at all. This is a nightmare because I love her and I don’t want to leave her but I’m highly sexual and if I’m not getting it with her I will be forced to cheat… it’s a terrible dilema and I have no idea what to do… her lack of sex has translated into me no longing wanting her sexually 🙁

  43. End toxic loveless relationships/ marriages . It will be very hard at first as you will be divorced raped in family court. You will suffer financial set backs  and might   lose the right to see you children. Your sanity and happiness  is at stake! After the trauma you will be reborn and have the peace of mind and freedom you must have to heal. Young  men..don't waste your youth and time chasing women. Focus your energy and time chasing money and improving yourself then women might chase
    you. The vast majority of young females of today have been run through more then the Holland tunnel. You will never find that unicorn of the  romance novels. She will never be your girl. It is just your turn.  Aside from sex what do the vast majority of a women bring to the table ?  grief ,stress, nagging, financial loss, boredom etc.
    Never again get into a long term relationship, co-habitate and never
    get married because you have way too much to lose. Enjoy your life doing what you want and keep your hard earned money. For older boomers like me it is a difficult hurdle we must deal with .It is  better to be alone then to be miserable with someone else.  A wise old man said "If it flies, floats or f****" , rent it don't buy

  44. Im in my first year of marriage and I found out I dont like being intimate. Its so difficult because I dont want my husband to feel rejected. I just cant spread my legs in a second. When im stressed tired sleepy I just want my own space without feeling sufficating

  45. This is the saddest video I’ve watched . Men , when you want sex and you’re married , make that shit happen !! My husband requires sex every night , and I’ll tell you there are nights I could skip it , but then after we’re done I’m glad we did . It should be a equal exchange though . Make sure she gets off , and honestly there should be no reason why she shouldn’t want it too !

  46. If the divorce papers, get approved by the judge this week, my soon to be ex husband would complain about lack of sex. The problem was I couldn’t bring myself to have sex with someone who couldn’t just enjoy me. He wanted porn, to involve other people in the bedroom, talk about involving other people in the bedroom. Why was just me not enough? It certainly didn’t help that I had a second job yet still rarely if ever got help with domestic duties. Funny thing is, he’s the one that asked for the divorce.

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