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My Older Boyfriend Wants Sex More Than I Do

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Dear Athena,

I'm a young guy with an older boyfriend, and this may sound funny, but he wants sex more than I do. I like sex — don't get me wrong — but I just don't want to do it as much as he does. I usually give in, but then I'm annoyed after and find excuses to leave, or we get into a fight later. When I avoid it, it's even worse. I love him. I want to stay with him, but I just can't have sex all the time. What should I do? How can we deal with this problem?

Signed,

Sexed Out

Dear Sexed Out,

Here's a little secret: Age doesn't always define sexual appetite. Libido does change over time, but just because you're young doesn't mean you're all about sex, all the time. And being older doesn't mean you've lost your sex drive. You guys are a great example of this.

So talk to your partner and get on the same page. The best way to solve this problem is head-on. You love him. I'm assuming he loves you, too. So he should be open to talking this out and making some sort of compromise.

I am not suggesting that you come up with a sex schedule, but perhaps you can invite him to see that intimacy isn't always about straight-up sex. Holding hands, being naked in the shower, kissing in a booth at a bar and dancing in the street are all sexy. Even cuddling up on the couch for a game of Scrabble or a Netflix marathon can be intimate.

If you feel pressured to "give in" and have sex, that's just going to push you two away from one another. He should be able to see that. He must feel it already, since you're starting to fight about this.

It's important for you to reassure him that not having sex all the time doesn't mean you don't find him attractive or sexy. Tread carefully; you don't want to negatively affect his self-esteem or foster distrust in your relationship. So be kind as you explain that there are other things you're passionate about besides sex, and that you want to share these sides of yourself with him. Make him understand that you're not avoiding his advances for any reason other than that you have a smaller sexual appetite. Promise to let him know when you are in the mood for sexy time.

Try this conversation after spending a great day together. Remind him that you love him. Hopefully he'll understand and find other ways to be intimate. If he still pesters you after you've talked, well, let him see how he feels when you're not available for sex at all. He'll probably do what he can to keep you.

Yours,

Athena