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No sex drive, I’m not sure how to proceed anymore.
I have been in a relationship with my partner coming up five years. The first year/two years were perfectly fine, sex was good and I was happy to have it, and we would regularly. Before we started our relationship I was sexually assaulted, and it’s ended up haunting me for a long time. During our relationship, I started to say no because I felt like I didn’t have to do it when I wasn’t really into it, like I previously had to. That turned Into me often saying no. Occasionally it’d float back the other way and it’d be okay, and now it isn’t. I am going to therapy for my anxiety and depression, and I am not on medication. I don’t want to have sex. I think about it, but I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to be seen naked, or vulnerable. I don’t want to expose myself in anyway. I’m not sure if this is something to do with my mental health or if this is just how I am. This is extremely difficult for my partner, who is a very sexual person. I’m very sure this will be the end of my relationship if this isn’t something I can fix. Has anyone had an experience like this and can shed some light on how I’m feeling?
Welcome here. It is a good place to come to not only because there are some any here that have all sorts of experiences, but also because you can say things you might not do in ordinary life - you are anonymous here after all.
You gave a pretty good explanation in your post and it seems to me you said it all when you said:
I don’t want to be seen naked, or vulnerable. I don’t want to expose myself in anyway
Sorry to quote you like that but I really think that is the important part. No wonder you do not want to go down that path having been abused. Earlier in your relationship you may well have thought you had little choice but as time has gone one either you feel more able to say no, or the reluctance has become stronger.
Sex is part of so many things it can be hard to separate them all out. I'd expect your partner would have difficulty with you refusing, however if it was me a lot would be feelings of rejection as much as the sex.
Do you mind if I ask if you have told your partner about the assault? It can be a very hard thing to do as there are so many strong feelings, fear, and possible guilt being two. Not necessarily logical, but who is.
If you have a partner you can trust with your experience it does change things a lot. It gives understanding, rejection is no longer part of it, and gives an opportunity for your partner to support you - something most loving partners want to do.
If you can't talk with your partner is there someone else, parent, family or friend you can talk with who will care and understand? It makes a difference
I'd like to ask a similar question about your doctor and therapist. Have you talked about your assault? While treatment for depression and anxiety is a very sensible and necessary thing to do it is not the same as treating the reaction to a traumatic event. I've depression, anxiety and PTSD, and the treatments are not the same -though they overlap.
I'd not wish you to fall into the trap I did, which was to think I could get by all by myself. This did not work and as time went on my symptoms became greater and greater. When I did get treatment it was made much harder and longer because of this delay. Like you my libido dropped to zero, though my trauma was work-related and not an assault. I suspect being vulnerable and feeling isolated has a lot to do with it in either case.
OK, I've talked for a while and said a fair bit, would you like to come back and if you think this might be on the right track?