G&STC's Director talk with HuffPost Relationships about 10 Common Reasons For A Sexless Marriage, According To Sex Therapists

Check out G&STC director, Jesse Kahn, and Therapist, Liz Afton, talking with Kelsey Borresen at HuffPost Relationships about 10 Common Reasons For A Sexless Marriage, According To Sex Therapists

  • You’re under a lot of stress

“When you’re stressed, sex may be the last thing on your mind. You’re busy worrying about crippling student loan debt or taking care of the kids — not getting busy. Chronic stress can lead to elevated levels of the hormone cortisol in the body, which can mess with your sex drive.

“Whether it’s about children, work or finances, stress can play a huge role in reducing sex drives, reducing desire to have sex, reducing the energy we have to have sex and reducing the time we have available to have sex,” said Jesse Kahn, sex therapist and director at the Gender & Sexuality Therapy Collective.

Being overly stressed or fatigued can make sex feel “more like something you have to do rather than a pleasure activity,” Chavez added.

During these busy or overwhelming times, consider scheduling sex instead of waiting around for the mood to strike.

“Sometimes, sex needs to be planned,” Kahn said. “Which may require us pushing back on the false narrative that sex needs to be spontaneous.”’

  • You have mismatched libidos

“It’s normal for a couple’s sex drive to fluctuate over the course of a relationship, meaning you and your partner may not always be (or ever be) on the exact same page sexually. But if you can talk openly about your different levels of desire and reach a compromise that works for you, mismatched libidos shouldn’t pose a major issue.

However, if left unaddressed, tensions may arise and give way to periods of sexlessness. Often, the higher libido partner feels rejected when their advances are denied and he or she may eventually stop initiating. The lower libido partner can feel put-upon by all of the requests or feel inadequate because they think they can’t meet their partner’s needs.

“Sometimes [mismatched sex drives] are managed and it’s working for everyone. And sometimes it’s not being managed,” Kahn said. “When the issue goes unmanaged — and I don’t mean ‘solved,’ not all issues need to be or can be solved — we start to avoid the conversation entirely and then avoid the activity as well.”’

  • You have sex-related performance anxiety

Fears about not being able to perform (getting or maintaining an erection, giving or having an orgasm) can cause so much anxiety leading up to sex that it becomes easier for some couples to just throw in the towel altogether. The misguided thinking is this: If I don’t try, then I can’t fail.

“While thinking and talking about sexual anxiety and sexual functioning issues can be difficult and filled with a lot of shame, there are a lot of ways to navigate both and continue to have sex,” Kahn said. “Silence feeds shame and shame feeds anxiety.”’

  • You’ve grown bored with each other

“Early in the relationship, the sex is new so it feels hot and exciting. Over time, though, couples can grow accustomed to the same routine, which may lead to a sexual malaise. But know that your sexuality (and your partner’s) is constantly evolving, and there are always new things to try and discover, Kahn said.

“When we stop being curious, stop allowing for growth and start assuming, sex can become mundane,” Kahn said. “Try refocusing on eroticism and ask yourself what turns you on, what makes you feel pleasure, and what makes you feel desired. Exploring ways to increase curiosity, excitement and playfulness in your sexual lives can modify a rigid repertoire.”’