How to Keep the Sex Drive Alive

Hi Edahn,

Not sure if you still reply to stuff, but I guess I can still try. I found you through your responses on Psychcentral and you seem very knowledgeable. I am 30 and I've been on a relationship for about 4.5 years with a girl. We did LDR for about 2 years.

In all my relationships, I can kiss and think about (or have) sex with the girl at the beginning. After a while, I feel repulsed. As if the girl was family. I think my girlfriend is beautiful but something blocks me from seeing her as a sexual person, though I have sexual desire for other women. Once things get serious, I just don't feel aroused.

I did some online research. I feel like it is a Madonna-Whore syndrome. I also thought this could be some kind of asexuality (fraysexuality to be more accurate). I saw your answer about the attachment disorder (avoidant type), but I can't really see myself as an avoidant. Also, I was religious until my very early 20s, protestant, which means I had my first sexual experience quite late (mid 20s). I grow up hearing sex is for married couples, and even kissing without commitment should be avoided, which is why I avoided teenager parties and stuff like that when I was young. I do believe all this could have some impact on my problem.

HERE'S THE THING. You go around life thinking other people have got something you don't. It's a syndrome that applies to people--not just you, not just guys, hell, maybe not just people. It's ubiquitous. You think people can do something that you can't, because they have something that you don't. "They're wired differently. They had a different mother and father. They grew up in a different culture."

It's bullshit. We're all the same and we're all struggling with the same shit. Some people find ways out, some don't. You just haven't found your way out yet.

Every guy deals with that you're experiencing because of genetics. We're wired to mate, not to be in relationships. You have to think about things from the standpoint of biology and evolution, and from that standpoint, what's most important is the number of potential kids you're having, not the quality of of your long-term relationship. Read more about EXACTLY WHAT YOU'RE EXPERIENCING here (forget the Madonna-Whore stuff).

If you want to have a long-term relationship you need to figure out how to work around the biological barriers. The barriers are the boredom that you're experiencing, the lack of sexual motivation, the attraction to novelty, the feeling of being alone, of routine and responsibility, and the loss of your personal edge, which is connected to your sexuality. All that stuff is how evolution makes sure that you go and have more children with more people. (We're personifying evolution here; it doesn't have any real motivation.) It's the internal mechanism that makes you turn off.

Your job is to hack it. Find a way to get your edge back, and to get your happiness back. Find a way to outsmart your own body. Not by being a fake--we never pretend. But by finding what, in your relationship, satisfies you. Being open, being intimate, having a go-to person, being sexual without being cringey, being independent and non-needy while still trusting and enjoying companionship. 

Right now, take a deep breath. Picture yourself in a relationship. Maybe it's with this person, maybe it isn't. But I want you to picture yourself happy. Picture going through your relationship with someone you trust. Picture sharing. Picturing being funny and witty and having that mirrored in your partner. Picture having new experiences, exploring new places, trying new things (obligatory not just anal) and fucking up and laughing about it. Picture getting through arguments and returning to your baseline of closeness. Picture interesting conversation. Picture bad jokes and people rolling their eyes but secretly loving it. Picture having sex, not because it's Sunday morning at 10am (I'm looking at my neighbors as I write that) but because you feel close and want to express your closeness. 

Make that vision of yourself personal to you. Internalize it and keep it somewhere sacred. Trust it and work towards it by being the person you want to be in a relationship. Make room for your partner to be the kind of person you want to be with--not just qualities like "nice" but behaviors that create and sustain chemistry like humor, intelligence, creativity, adventurousness, and attentiveness. Don't demand that she be that, just allow it to come out, and if it doesn't come out, move on. Good luck.

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