AdviceHey, Bonita!

When ‘Not Tonight’ Becomes ‘Hardly Ever’

My girlfriend and I have been together for about three years. I love her very much—she’s kind, smart and funny. I love her family, too, and I could see starting a family with her. For the first time in my my life, I’m seriously considering marriage. If I proposed, I think she’d say yes. But I have one major hang-up: We barely ever have sex.

The sex itself is incredible, when we have it. And we used to have sex quite a bit: several times a week, plus the occasional two-a-day. I didn’t expect that pace to keep up forever, but it’s now at about twice a month. She’s told me she is still attracted to me and still enjoys sex, but on a day-to-day basis she’s almost guaranteed to say “not tonight” or “not now” for one perfectly good reason or another. We’ve talked about it, and she says she’ll try to accommodate my drive, but she’s never interested and I feel like I’m pressuring her, so I’ve resorted to frequent masturbation.

I don’t think this is a problem marriage will solve. In fact, I worry it’ll get worse. I’m not ready to say goodbye to frequent sex for the rest of my life, but I’d hate to ruin a good thing if I’m being ridiculous. So, am I? Is twice-weekly sex with your wife too much to ask? Are we not a good fit, or is my sex drive unreasonable?

Bothered Biweekly

Thanks for providing all the details. I can see that everything seems to be pretty hunky-dory except for how often you have sex. The attraction hasn’t waned, and neither has the desire to be together, so you’re probably wondering, “What gives?”

When I was younger, I used to walk away from situations like that. Anyone reading this column has probably picked up on the fact that I have a pretty high sex drive, and twice a month would have been a deal-breaker for 21-year-old Bonita. But at that age, nothing was permanent, and I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything for the rest of my life, whether it was working the same job or dating the same person. And marriage? Hell, no!

But we all get to a place in life where we want something more permanent, and that often means putting up with situations that aren’t ideal in order to reach our end goals. You and your probably-future-wife are not making whoopee as much as you’d like to be. You’re masturbating a lot to avoid pressuring your partner, and you don’t see the situation resolving, but you’ve been together for three years. Have you two have had a lull in your sex lives before?

Life gets in the way of dating and relationships more than we realize. What seems like disinterest is sometimes just a busy mind with literally no room in it for sexual thoughts. Are you two dealing with anything else in your lives right now? Job stuff, home improvements, moving, family drama: All those things can take our attention away from the needs of our genitals, as well as the genitals of those we love.

I don’t think the issue lies with the actual sex. I think there’s probably something distracting her from her sexuality right now, something that’s taking so much of her energy and attention that sex is a literal afterthought for her laziest days, which apparently happen twice a month.

In the past, I’ve heard of people asking their partners to be near them while they masturbate—a “Can’t you just sit there while I do it?” sorta thing—and that makes for an extremely uncomfortable situation, so please don’t do that.

Rather, talk to her about how her life outside of your relationship is going. I’m sure there’s something squirrely that’s got her attention. Be supportive towards your partner through her tribulations, and be ready for her on the days that she is truly peaceful and relaxed. Most of us are best at indulging our sexuality when life is sunny and calm.

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