Dear Dr. Betty,
I am 23 years old and been with my partner for just over six years. He is also 23 and we are both healthy with normal jobs and social lives.
My partner and I have previously had a good sex life with up and downs, which can be expected, but lately we have been in a down that has lasted for about six months. Sex almost has to be scheduled in days in advance for it to happen. It has not been spontaneous and if I try to initiate spontaneous sex my partner is tired or does not want to. I have started asking my partner 'can we have sex tonight?' He often says he's too tired. Or he says yes we will soon, meaning in a few days to a week.
I understand if he's tired and I'm trying not to pressure him or nag. We have sex once every 2 to 3 weeks. We have spoken about this and I've told him how it makes me feel. He is understanding and comforting but we don't seem to come to any resolution.
Also on a few occasions, it might have been 2 weeks since we had sex and whilst I am out my partner masturbates. He tells me when I get home that he couldn't wait. I say it's fine because it doesn't bother me, masturbation is fine. What does bother me is that now he doesn't want sex with me.
How can I bring some of the spontaneity back into our sex life? How can I convince my partner he is not to tired for sex? How do we get out of this pattern?
How can I talk about this with him without it becoming hostile? How can I express this without pointing the blame on him?
If I had the answer to your question, I could retire with a gazillion dollars! This is the average experience for any couple who has been together any length of time. For young people (especially guys) to have sex with one person, it's only natural their sexual curiosity intensifies. Men are hard wired to spread their seed while women seek the security of a committed partner to help raise her children. The problem is that society feeds us the myth that "love conquers all" and that sex with the same person only grows deeper. Sorry! It doesn't work that way as you have discovered.
If he's watching online porn while masturbating, that's a double edged sword. I think it would be better to give each other permission to have sex with other people every so often. Sexual reality will lead to some kind of appreciation for each other, but extreme images of hot women willing to do anything to please a man is damaging to both men and women. Remember porn stars are getting paid to "perform" because it's a job!
What you are dealing with is "sexual reality" versus "romantic fantasy" which happens to all couples. This is one of the problems with going steady at such a young age. Our teens are a time to learn about sex through experience with different people. Just so you know, there are plenty of books about "How to get and/or keep a man." That's why Cosmo became so popular. Just make sure you are enjoying your own orgasms with your masturbation practice. You might bring a cute girlfriend home and tell your boyfriend you're interested in a threesome. I promise you, he won't be too tired for sex then. Or one time when he comes home, you're having a BIG orgasm with your new sex toy. That will get his attention. Unfortunately variety is indeed the spice of life.