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Two years into relationship and have never had sex

Community Member

Hi everyone, hope you are all well!

So I am a 26 year old male and I have been with my boyfriend (23) for more than 2 years and absolutely love him to bits.

When we first started dating, he was quite up front about his difficulty to have sex, as he unfortunately was a victim of sexual abuse when he was a young teenager. He also was up front about reassuring me that with his exes he always had sex, and that he was experienced in it all. For the first 12 months or so I kept trying to initiate sex and he kept ignoring it, or just generally rejected me. So I decided to talk to him and just reassure him that I was fully supportive and would take it as slow as he wanted. But this didn't change anything between us.

With my sexual frustration at all time high, after the 12 months or so, I said to him that I was going to leave it totally up to him to come to me when he is ready. Another 12 months later and nothing has changed, actually it has become worse. We probably fool around once a week or even once a fortnight.

Before dating my boyfriend, the longest I went without sex was about 2 weeks. I also called it off with a guy who was essentially a friend with benefits and we had the BEST sex of my life, he just didn't want a relationship and I did.

Im reaching out for a bit of help and advice as to how I should approach the situation again as I really really would like to have sex. The situation is particularly delicate due to his past sexual abuse. Should I suggest we or he see a councillor/therapist? Or what if he just never wants to have sex? Should I suggest that I could have sex with other guys? Im open to any and all suggestions.

I'm a bit stuck as I really love my boyfriend and see a future with him, but sex is so important to me to be able to be completely happy.

Hope anyone can offer words of advice or even just open chat with me.


13 Replies 13

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
WOW what a very delegate situation. I think the first thing that must be done if you love this boy to bits and you see a future with him, that is a house,children,mortgage and so on I think you and the boy need to talk about him going to a psychologist to work through his sexual abuse issues. I can speak from experience I have been sexually abused as a young man of 15-17 and it really affected my life and I only got help last year,I am 54 years old. I have a wounder full wife that is really understanding. So I can only re inert ate that he needs to go to a psychologist to help him through his issue. As for having sex with other guys, in my opinion this would be a big NO NO, this would turn your partner off you, in fact he may think that you have betrayed him,so in my opinion do not even go down that path.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi there,

So I am probably more like how you describe your boyfriend in some ways. Sex becomes a minefield when me and a boyfriend want different things.

It sounds like you haven't had a good conversation since fairly early on and what has happened in between is him avoiding or rejecting it somehow. Is that right?

It would be good to be able to have that good honest conversation again, I can hear how you love him and all the good bits and that it is this one thing. I have always known that is where my past boyfriends have been at.

The trouble is what happens next, it gets harder to be just with him as the frustration builds up over years, so I wonder what he wants or would accept on that front - you used to have a friend with benefits. If I were him (which I am not) I might worry that if you were to be with someone else that the relationship would end because you like them better, I have had that happen a couple of times.

So as complicated as it all gets I think knowing what possibilities (like a list of them) could resolve this for you is important, and finding a way to sit down and talk through together is important too (which is easier said than done). Perhaps he will be willing to give more a go, or something else.

I agree with the last poster that sometimes a psychologist can help, in my case though that hasn't been so. I can't say for sure that for me this is the result of the sexual assault when I was a teenager. I am happy to muck around for hours, love a chick flick in his arms, can do anything in my dreams, but the reality is what it is (disappointing) and that is hard to admit to myself let alone anyone else even if they love me to bits. I decided that I may be better off making the most of what works and is comfortable and not try to force it to be what it isn't.

Happy to chat about all this if it helps.

All the best.


Community Member
Hi mate, it sounds like you aren't having no sex, but just not the sex that you want to have (you mention fooling around, without wanting to get into details). I think Rob is right, it's time to have the conversation. In my opinion, open relationships are the road to ruin, but I do know guys who have been together years that seem to manage it ok. With others it seems to just breed distrust and jealousy. With my long term relationships I've found that sex becomes less important the longer you're together, it's just one part of a relationship, but it sounds like it's a deal breaker for you so you need to talk about it with him.

Community Member
Hi there, I think I need to tell you many heterosexual relationships
are sex free or at least infrequent for a variety of reasons too. I imagine one
partner having been sexually abused would be right up there as one of them. One
of the thoughts that went through my mine is perhaps your partner is not truly gay.
I mean you wrote he was sexual with previous partners but was he enjoying it.
Was he abused by another man, perhaps he thinks he’s gay because that was his
introduction to sex.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Peter raises a few myths that I find unhelpful. So I want to be clear about my thoughts as a survivor of sexual assault and as a Social Worker.

Sexual abuse does not influence what your sexuality is.

Sexual abuse as an introduction to sex brings all sorts of things to work through (I know, it happened to me) All that guilt, shame, fear is about the abuse not your sexuality, it is not your fault, and not ok that it happened. Once you are untangled from the manipulation and abuse life does go on and things get better.

You don't have to have sex or even enjoy it to identify as gay, just like with a straight identity, there is way more to it then that.

There is an enormous variation between people (and of all sexualities) of how much, and what they are wanting. More often then not the reasons are just that we are different.

Lastly, we need to be careful when drawing conclusions or making assumptions that we are not blaming the victim or supporting the messages and threats given by a perpetrator - I've found that is the big problem with the myths and the things people say to me.

That said,

What is being asked about here are relationship issues. I've indicated above that I have some things in common with the story of livetogive's partner, what people say here could help me too. Relationships are something that both straight and gay have in common. How do you have that difficult conversation with a partner? I'd love to hear from someone who has. How do you work through other options and figure out what is right for both of you and your relationship? Again, I would like to hear about that too?

Gruffudd, you wrote “Peter raises a few myths that I find
unhelpful”, after re-reading my post I find just one thought of mine that may
been “unlikely” and that was my thought of a person thinking they were gay if
that was their introduction to sex. I was in no way attempting to blame the
victim nor was I supporting the messages and threats given by a perpetrator. My
wife and I have not been intimate for over two years because of health reasons
and I have been close friends with two females who suffered sexual abuse as
children. One of those female went on to be quite sexually permissive while the
other was the opposite. Being abused as a child, teen or as an adult either sexually,
emotionally or physically has as many outcomes as there are people to suffer
them. My advice to anybody not happy in a relationship is simple. If you can’t
change the relationship with counselling or conversation then you must make a
decision to accept or reject the situation. Stay in or leave the relationship, make
the decission and be happy with your choice.

This issue is a biggie...especially for me. I've seen this scenario from both sides. I was abused by my father at an early age and was violently raped by someone I loved as a 21 y/o. I recently ended a 3 yr relationship with my ex due to his rejection of me sexually. (this wasn't the only cause) The thing is, intimacy isn't just about sex, and vice-versa. And sexual abuse isn't about sex, it's about power.

In every relationship there are power struggles, not just sexually either. This situation screams of control issues. My ex only initiated sex 6 times in 3 yrs; leaving me confused and very frustrated. I tried initiating, but this created a look of fear on his face that eventually made me step back and leave things up to him. I'd try and discuss sex and intimacy but this ended up in arguments where he displayed anger and avoidance tactics. After looking back over those years, it seemed the times he initiated were times he felt safe and happy.

The kicker though, was understanding our relationship as a whole. It was identifying the problem areas which were about control and power. While ever he had control of initiating, I was left powerless. Once this worked, he began asserting his dominance in other areas. When we split up, there was nothing left for me except helplessness.

I'm not saying this is what's happening in your situation, I'm saying it sounds as if refusing sex gives a sense of control and power that survivors of abuse struggle with. The only thing I truly own in this world is my body. If that's invaded against my will, no matter what the circumstance, control and 'choice' is stolen.

I feel more in control when I initiate and please the other. If giving pleasure is a way of ensuring my safety, or at least the impression it's working, then it's not really about my partner, it's about me.

This is an important thread...I'm glad I had a chance to contribute...Dizzy x

Community Member

Hello again everyone!

Thank you so much for your responses, was a bigger response than I thought 🙂

So just with some things about our relationship that I mentioned, we fool around, so that means no intercourse. We do other sexual acts, and I do enjoy this, but usually it just feels like its teasing me as traditionally these acts are seen more often than not as foreplay to intercourse, so I generally feel very frustrated emotionally and sexually. This also leads me to a greater feeling of being sexually dissatisfied as it is just reminding me of what I want, but cant have.

Obsessed - I definitely do see a long future with him, we are just about to move into a place on our own, and we are currently saving to buy a house together. It is everything else that happens in life that I am completely happy with and loving every second of, but I get really sad and confused when it doesn't translate to the sexual side of our relationship.

Gruffudd - Yes, for nearly our entire relationship I have felt sexually rejected and that it has generally been avoided. I am also worried about what the future holds for us based on my feeling of an imbalance between our emotional connection and our sexual connection. I don't really know where he sees our sexual relationship going, or if he is just happy the way things are now (very very minimal sexual interactions). By all means, I don't want to go off to find a sexual partner with or without his approval, as it is HIM that I want that with, which is again heightening my frustrations. Do you mind me asking what kind of sexual relationship you have with your boyfriend? Is he similar to me, and you would be similar to my boyfriend? So you don't really need or want sex, or even enjoy sex? You don't have to say anything on the matter if you don't like. Would love to chat about it with you Rob. Cheers!

Justinok - I completely understand and agree that a sexual relationship between people changes over the years, and has its ups and downs, the issue for me is that there hasn't really ever been one with us. Our fooling around (things other than intercourse) was most frequent at the start of our relationship, but that has faded over time to being very infrequent

Egghead - Nope.. he is definitely gay 🙂 No doubt in my mind about that. It is true though, when he says he had sex with previous partners, he may not have been enjoying it, but only doing it to make them happy for the fear that they would leave him if he didnt..

Community Member

pt. 2.

Gruffudd - I have the feeling that yes, he just might not enjoy sex, possibly as a result of what happened to him. Before he could experience it on his own accord, and take things slowly and do it with someone he trusts, it was all taken away from him and forced on him. I cant even begin to imagine the pain and trauma that this has caused for him in his lifetime, which is why I am trying to be as supportive as possible.

The hardest part about trying to learn from all of this and move forward will be how to approach the conversation. He is not one to ever talk about anything. He doesnt like chatting things through be it something from work, or friends or anything like that... so when I have tried to talk with him in the past he just gets very angry and verbal so I just shut down the conversation because I dont like making him angry or upset. I get that that sort of conversation would bring up a lot of unfavourable memories and thoughts, but I guess sometimes you need to take a step backwards to take two steps forward.

Thanks so much for your contribution Dizzy, it is actually very helpful. I had never thought about the power struggle being something to consider. Like you said, discussing sex and intimacy brings up anger and rage and avoidance, and this is exactly what my boyfriend does. Do you think there is some way I could bring out his assertiveness sexually, as I am more than happy to allow him to initiate and really take control of the situation, but this is something I cant control so I may not be able to embrace it or work on it as it may be all up to him?

I do get the general feeling that he doesnt like things if he isnt in control, be it sexually or emotionally or anything like that. That is the reason I tried to talk to him and said that I would leave it up to him to come to me to initiate the intercourse so that he can hold that power and that control of the situation so he would feel safe and confident, but unfortunately it has just never happened.

I think the best path for me is to talk to him about the possibility of seeing a therapist to try and talk it all through. I have no idea how I might even start the conversation, or what to do if he does get angry and try to avoid the conversation. I guess part of me also is scared that this may bring a threat of the end of our relationship which I really do not want, and really would not let happen though.

Thanks again everyone for the help, even just talking really helps.