How Important is physical intimacy in a relationship?

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How Important is physical intimacy in a relationship?

Ropeguy Ropeguy
I would describe myself as having a very, if not extremely high sex drive and am for certain in my peak years (I am 24 in a couple weeks). My situation is that my long time girlfriend has had her sex drive pretty much come to a screeching halt. She has told me that she feels the only reason to have sex is to make me happy (once every 2-3 months for about 2 years or more)and does not masturbate.
I have tried to reduce my sex drive in a number of ways including trying to reduce or eliminate watching porn/ reading erotica as well as trying to reduce how often I masturbate (daily is the usual) though this has made me more irritable and antsy and made my desire for her (and only her) just that much worse. I have even thought of going the medication route but I somehow think that will cause other unintended consequences.
I have also tried to see if maybe we could set up romantic play dates to maybe get things kick started though I could never get her interested in the idea after the first one. I do very much try and leave it alone, though lately I haven't been able to restrain my self asking about it on a day off.

Am I going in the right direction? Is trying to curb my high sex drive the right way to go about things? Would anyone have any suggestions how to help her get her sex drive back (she is a little overweight, has PCOS and pre-diabetes).
I honestly see myself being with her for the rest of my life (slowly working up the courage to ask her to marry me ) and the most important thing to me is that she is healthy, happy and her needs are fulfilled, however I just feel that part of our relationship is missing for the most part.
I thank everyone in advance for the votes, comments and suggestions.
Answers (public voting - your screen name will appear in the results):
Extremely important
OroNomi , PussyGalore , OhMy! , Purpleladybug , Lindz86 , LavenderSkies , cherryredhead88 , Airekah , Owl Identified , pinkzombie , RonLee , Epicurean , A Closet Slut (aka nipplepeople) , Valentinka , vegan.guy , AndroAngel , Nora , Bignuf
18  (21%)
Very important
~LaUr3n~ , Taylor , leatherlover , Selective Sensualist , Kindred , Darling Jen , The Nakanas , ToyTimeTim , Lady Venus , BBW Talks Toys , Envy , mrs.mckrakn , JPito , Emily! , Waterfall , celibacysucks , darthkitt3n , Redboxbaby , Onanist , ShanShan83 , KnK , onehotmomma , Hot'n'Bothered , joja , ZenaidaMacroura , Porfiriato , Shellz31 , meganthomas , Airen Wolf , Love Buzz , SexyTabby , Naughty Student , rdytogo , Lunacy Setting in , dhig , danesgoddess , Lummox , sbon , REDRUM , Mlee , BadassFatass , Brandi Rouxxx , null , *HisMrs* , mama2007 , Taylor Von , C4ss , Fluke , Cream in the Cupcake , Adriana Ravenlust , potstickers , NaturalWoman , Rossie , zracer , shySEXXaddict , sktb0007 , socalsusieq , LaLaLouise , SexyStuff , kokopelli
60  (71%)
Somewhat important
Dusk , Kayla , Sir , Destri , Anne Ardeur , lamira
6  (7%)
Somewhere in the middle
PassionQT
1  (1%)
Somewhat unimportant
Not at all important
Total votes: 85
Poll is closed
11/28/2010
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~LaUr3n~ ~LaUr3n~
Not everyone is a perfect match and it's apparent you guys are not and that is normal. If everything was perfect, there would be nothing to appreciate. I bet you love sex all the more when you get that special moment finally.

That said...I think it is VERY important, at least for me and my partner. Of course physical sides of relationships can not be the only good bond you have for a healthy strong relationship. BUT, I feel that it is a big part. Sexual compatibility isn't just about getting off though. It's about having the same desire to share your intimacy and love in the same way.

The biggest flag I see here is that she says the only reason to have sex is to make YOU happy. This is where your focus needs to be. If what you have been doing is making you more antsy, I say continue to masturbate etc. It seems that your sexuality is healthy and it doesn't need to be controlled if it isn't harmful to your life.

You obviously love this girl and would do anything to make this work. Have you tried to only please her during sex? Perhaps masturbate before you hope to have sex and then make it only about her so she sees that you don't do it just to get off yourself?
11/28/2010
Taylor Taylor
How much have you guys talked about this issue? Obviously you will want to talk about it in a caring and non-threatening way. If you don't eventually deal with the issue it may breed resentment in both people. I also don't think that trying to lower your sex drive will work, especially if it is causing you to be irritable.

Has she always had a low sex drive? Or is this something more recent? That can be helpful in pinpointing what is causing it. Is she on a medication that may loer her sex drive? if that is the case maybe she can talk to her doctor about switching to something else.

If you are both serious about the relationship (which it sounds like you are) you might try couple's counseling if you guys can't find a solution on your own. That may sound drastic to you, but it really isn't, and can prevent resentment that will come from leaving the issue unresolved
11/28/2010
Selective Sensualist Selective Sensualist
Has she been to the doctor to have blood work done yet? If she has, have her ask her doctor's office if they ran a TSH on her. If she hasn't had blood work done, encourage her to make an appointment. It is possible that she has a thyroid disorder called hypothyroidism. This is a common condition (particularly in women) where the thyroid fails to produce the hormones T3 and T4. These hormones are very important as they impact metabolism in every cell of the body. When your body does not have enough of these hormones, you can gain weight, have brittle hair and nails, feel sluggish, and lose your sex drive (as well as have many other symptoms). Some people have one symptom, but not another. Not everyone manifests the exact same signs of this disease. The only acceptable way to make a diagnosis is through a blood test.

A TSH test checks the level of thyroid-stimulating hormone in the bloodstream. When the thyroid quits functioning properly and does not produce enough T3 and T4 hormones, the pituitary gland in the brain starts pumping out thyroid-stimulating hormone to attempt to prod the thyroid gland into producing T3 and T4. So, if her test comes back with high levels of TSH, then she may have hypothyroidism, which is a treatable disease.

It is always a good idea not to assume that her low libido has an emotional cause without first ruling out any possible physical causes.
11/28/2010
Darling Jen Darling Jen
I think intimacy is very important! And that doesn't mean everyone should be making like bunnies all the time. It's that every individual needs their intimacy meter (if you will) filled in order to be happy and secure in a relationship. Love can still exist even if one of the partners is unable to have sex (recovering from surgery, high risk pregnancy, injury, distance apart, etc.) but that intimacy is still required to maintain a near-perfect balance. Even if that intimacy is just cuddling or kissing or pillow talk, it's all intimacy. So it's dependent on how much you're physically able to do and how much you individually need.
11/28/2010
ScottA ScottA
In a marriage relationship it's pretty important. I'd say for now continue to masturbate (so you are on more of an even keel), and try to figure out the sex thing out (why isn't she interested? Is it something she's willing to work on? What are her expectations for a marriage relationship? etc.)
11/28/2010
PassionQT PassionQT
What can you live with? What can you live without? I can't speak for anyone but myself. All I can say is that my husband and I are committed to each other. Been together 15 years. The sex was good in the beginning, not off the hook or anything, just sex.......but that isn't why we married each other.

Recently I've dealt with some physical issues that have just about killed off my libido. It's unfortunate, but that's life. He is still with me, he has said he will stay with me because he realizes it's not my fault. That's just the hand that mother nature dealt me. I have days when I feel terrible about it, but I only have so many "good" days, so we take advantage of those if the timing is right, which it seldom isn't! But that's commitment!

Also, my husband is bi and has a BF who is part of our non-traditional family. So his needs are met one way or another. I'm grateful for that. My ex ( I was 23 when we married and 24 when we divorced) didn't care about my physical problems, whether I was too tired after work, or upset about something. He was only worried about his needs, so that relationship quickly fell apart (it was wrong from the beginning, but that's another story).

Anyhow, FFW to today, I'm in a beautiful relationship, challenging at times, pretty much sexless, but there is intimacy, laughter, love, and respect. We both value that more than sex. But that's us. Others can't live without an active sex life, but never think that you are alone and that everyone else is out there screwing all the time. There's often an imbalance in sex drives. It's how that couple copes with it, how sensitive they are to the others' needs, how much they communicate openly about it rather than say "i don't want to talk about it", that will determine whether or not they can last.

I hope you find your path. Sometimes you don't know until you try it. Just keep the lines of communication open, even if it's a sensitive topic. Best of luck!
11/28/2010
Kayla Kayla
I think, unless this is something you really don't care too much about, this is probably going to breed resentment later on if you both got married. Even now, it's obvious that you'd prefer her sex drive to increase (which is not a bad thing, but you're going to get frustrated after, time-after-time, it does not increase.) That, or she'll feel so guilty about not having sex that it will cause problems.

Like PassionQT said, you have to figure out if this is something you can honestly live without. If you can, then it's worth learning to just masturbate and curb your sex drive. (She probably doesn't want to be nagged.) If not, well, then, you leave or find an alternative.

This is probably just on my mind due to reading it for Naked Reader Book Club, but "Opening Up", which is a book about open relationships, cites situations like this as the reason for opening it up. One partner has no sex drive and has no interest in having a sex drive, so they give the other partner the okay to have sex outside the relationship as long as they are emotionally still in the marriage/partnership. That is something to consider if it's up your alley.

Sidenote: You never mention if this bothers her or not. You mention that she does have issues with her sex drive, but the way you phrase it, it makes it sound like she really doesn't care about getting it back. If she does, though, it's possible it could be some of her medication if she's taking any. It also could be low self-esteem and tons of other things.

This is really something to sit down with your partner and talk about. Because if she's just as frustrated as you, it's worth seeking out how to fix it (with a doctor). If she's okay without the sex drive, it's probably best to consider what you'll do from there.
11/28/2010
BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
Is she on birth control, antidepressants or both? It could easily be one of those things. Especially if she's on something drastic like Depo Provera. If she gets it checked out and it's not one of those things, I would also recommend counseling.

I think EVERY COUPLE should go through counseling at one point or another. It's very good for all couples to:
1. have a middle party help them fine-tune communications.
2. have an open, judgment-free way to discuss issues/concerns.
3. have a mediator for those touchier subjects... like sex.

Good luck. Intimacy is key. If you're incompatible sexually, it will lead to resentments and affairs down the road if you enter into this marriage without addressing these issues.
11/28/2010
Jobthingy Jobthingy
Is she on any medications? Some meds can off set the libido.
11/28/2010
Destri Destri
I am in total agreement with those who have advised a medical workup. If she is anywhere near your age, she should have more of a sex drive, extra weight or not. Down the line, I do think that a lack of intimacy will become a problem in your relationship, and this is something the two of you need to get resolved before you marry. I commend you for your patience and caring. Most men would have been gone. I hope this works out for the two of you!
11/28/2010
mrs.mckrakn mrs.mckrakn
they say most couples problems are about sex or money. good luck ropeguy...wish i had words to help you.
11/28/2010
Lindz86 Lindz86
All I know is I too have a very high sex drive and can almost come to the point of depression if my mate and I aren't...well, mating. He is past his peak being in his 30s, and even though biologically I haven't quite entered mine(being 24), I feel like I've been wandering around waist deep in it for many years, and seem to have to masturbate daily as a result...as childish and selfish as it sounds, it has caused a few arguments-turned-full- blown-bouts because we both take things too seriously...I assume it`s my fault he doesn`t want to have sex with me (because we used to go at it at least 4 times a week), he knows it`s upsetting me and therefore can ruin his libido when he actually is trying...
It`s a tough situation to overcome and we are still working on it on a daily basis...good luck to you sir and if you find a way around this, please let me know.
11/30/2010
LavenderSkies LavenderSkies
It's extremely important to me.
12/04/2010
Porfiriato Porfiriato
Sometimes a couple's sex drives don't match up perfectly, it's just a matter of how important this aspect of your relationship is to you
12/04/2010
Shellz31 Shellz31
It's VERY important and I couldn't just forget my sex drive for a partner. If the sex was that rare (I'm not one to cheat) - but I'd find myself straying.

Is your girlfriend happy to have an open relationship so your sexual needs are fulfilled???? Don't forget - your needs, need to be met too.

I'd be careful - if the lack of sex is difficult for you now, in time you may end up resenting her for it if you stay and things don't get any better in that department.

Good luck with your decision.
12/04/2010
Shellz31 Shellz31
Quote:
Originally posted by Selective Sensualist
Has she been to the doctor to have blood work done yet? If she has, have her ask her doctor's office if they ran a TSH on her. If she hasn't had blood work done, encourage her to make an appointment. It is possible that she has a thyroid ...
I have hypothyroidism.
It didn't kill my sex drive but it certainly makes ya extremely tired and uninterested in a lot of things.
Even on medication, at times I still have a lack of interest at times with things I love normally.
I will have the odd day where I just don't feel or require play but it's not too often! I love my pleasure!!!

Ya can still suffer certain symptoms even if ya thyroid medication has your thyroid levels stable. I still suffer the cold at times and then other times I can be walking around in just a short sleeved top while everyone is rugged up. Fatigue and temps are my main symptoms.
Ohhhh and WARNING - I do have mood swings!
Hehehe.
12/04/2010
cherryredhead88 cherryredhead88
Quote:
Originally posted by Darling Jen
I think intimacy is very important! And that doesn't mean everyone should be making like bunnies all the time. It's that every individual needs their intimacy meter (if you will) filled in order to be happy and secure in a relationship. Love ...
This. ^ I voted extremely important, however, because for me I need physical intimacy. It doesn't have to be sex all the time, but I feel like being able to hold and cuddle and kiss and rub your partner is essential for any relationship. I can't be with someone and not be intimate.

That being said, to the op- I hope all is going well with you, and I think you have received a lot of good advice so far. Good luck!
12/04/2010
Ropeguy Ropeguy
Thanks to everyone who has posted suggestions. We have talked about this quite a bit and have taken some steps to work on things and learn a bit more. She has stopped her birth control to see what happens. As well we were reading online that one of the possible symptoms of PCOS is lack of sex drive.
For now I am making up for sex with cuddling whenever I can - though I hate it when she gets up right away in the mornings . It isn't a direct substitute, but it works well enough for me.
12/05/2010
Airekah Airekah
I am in a situation similar to this only I am a female with an insane sex drive and he is male, with a not even close to "normal"(in my opinion) sex drive. I have gotten to the point where I just don't even bother asking anymore. I just figure if it is going to happen, he will make it happen. We now have sex maybe once to twice a month. We used to have sex everyday when we first met but apparently that was because he was trying to impress me or something. It is extremely important to me to be in a relationship where I feel sexually fulfilled so I have taken an interest in sex toys... because without them, I would not get what I need.
12/07/2010
Persephone's Addiction Persephone's Addiction
Quote:
Originally posted by Ropeguy
Thanks to everyone who has posted suggestions. We have talked about this quite a bit and have taken some steps to work on things and learn a bit more. She has stopped her birth control to see what happens. As well we were reading online that one of ...
I've been on all sorts of different birth control over the past 12 years - and some of them KILLED my sex drive.
If switching that up doesn't help, it might be a good idea for her to talk to her doctor about it because it can be a symptom of an underlying problem with her hormones.
I hope things pick up for you!
I was in a relationship where my partner had a really low sex drive (about the same frequency that you talked about) and it eroded ALL intimacy because we didn't have a physical connection and I really need one. It can definitely cause problems.
12/07/2010
pinkzombie pinkzombie
It is extremely important. It makes me feel close the my partner.
12/07/2010
Ropeguy Ropeguy
Quote:
Originally posted by Airekah
I am in a situation similar to this only I am a female with an insane sex drive and he is male, with a not even close to "normal"(in my opinion) sex drive. I have gotten to the point where I just don't even bother asking anymore. I just ...
for me I feel the same way about not asking anymore, I am at least trying to not put any pressure on her and hoping that might help things too. As for sex toys- they help me out a bit as I would describe myself as a fairly kinky person, but they are a WAY better when used with a partner.
Good to know I am not alone in this.
12/08/2010
Mlee Mlee
i think physical intimacy is very important when in a relationship. To still feel the love and that you are still attracted to that person no matter how long you have been together weather it be a couple months or a couple years
01/25/2011
Epicurean Epicurean
I voted that it is "extremely important" in this situation in particular, because you are in a relationship where there is a clear emotional connection. I did a double take when I saw this post, because this sounds exactly like me and my last boyfriend, who I broke up with last month.

I've had an insatiably high sex drive my whole life, which lasted through the first year of my last relationship, then began to wane in the second year. I also felt like I was having sex to make my boyfriend happy and hardly ever masturbated. I blamed it on all sorts of things. I thought I was working too hard, that maybe I was just maturing, maybe it was just my hormones. Looking back, I realize it was a sign of a fizzling connection between us. Now that I'm single, my sex drive has suddenly popped back up out of nowhere.

I have two suggestions. The first is that when someone feels like they're being pushed into sex all the time, and that their partner is getting grabby and needy about sex, sex starts to feel like a chore. So definitely let her come around on her own time and don't push her about it, it'll just make things worse. I would suggest just masturbating on your own time, and doing things that are more cuddly and intimate with her, without sex being the end goal.

Secondly, I don't know anything about your relationship, so please excuse my forwardness, but I would really take some time to examine whether there are deeper emotional or relationship-related issues between you two. In my case, we just weren't a good match in some ways, and my low sex drive was a symptom of that.
01/26/2011
mama2007 mama2007
Quote:
Originally posted by ~LaUr3n~
Not everyone is a perfect match and it's apparent you guys are not and that is normal. If everything was perfect, there would be nothing to appreciate. I bet you love sex all the more when you get that special moment finally.

That ...
its important to me but my husband wont if i make him mad or anything cuz hes not in mood then
02/05/2011
newlady newlady
Quote:
Originally posted by Persephone's Addiction
I've been on all sorts of different birth control over the past 12 years - and some of them KILLED my sex drive.
If switching that up doesn't help, it might be a good idea for her to talk to her doctor about it because it can be a ...
I do think physical intimacy is very important. I used to be the one with little to no desire.(I have a very patient husband) I noticed an extremely enhanced sex drive about 6 months after going off all hormonal birth control.
We are now closer than ever before and much more intimate.
02/05/2011
Taylor Von Taylor Von
I agree with most these do the medical check first. Im 24 and my boyfriend is 34 and his sex drive is hard to keep up with. I was hardly horny EVER. My body itself just didnt get turned on very easy, if at all. I had to get off my birth control to figure out another issue and come to find..I stop the pills and started to ride. It is pretty crazy for months now it's me starting the fun. It has brought us closer in a differnt way but even tho it wasnt twice a day like he wouldnt mind we were still happy. There has to be a reason for this I thought I was normal to not ever want sex, I was wrong now i'm on the edenfantasy adventure. So many medications and medical issues can cause sex drive to be low. I would have a talk with her see if she is interested in looking at her situation-medications and medical issues that could be causing this.
02/05/2011
socalsusieq socalsusieq
I think sex is very important in a relationship. I have had relationships where there was hardly any sex. Both men and woman have sexual needs, and if they are not being met, there are high chances that the one being deprived will stray away and cheat on the other person. I know this from personal experience.
09/20/2011
Bignuf Bignuf
Quote:
Originally posted by Ropeguy
I would describe myself as having a very, if not extremely high sex drive and am for certain in my peak years (I am 24 in a couple weeks). My situation is that my long time girlfriend has had her sex drive pretty much come to a screeching halt. She ...
Sorry to say, if you are doing all you can to compromise your happiness BEFORE getting married, this will shortly end up in divorce and misery. DON'T DO IT. Marriage is a union of TWO LIKE SOULS to make it work and keep it happy. You should feel like you have found the ONE that will make you THRILLED to come home. You sound like you are already planning a GET AWAY. Do yourself and HER a favor. Find a parter who IS your right match and let her find hers. You are NOT a set and that is the huge reason for SO much divorce. Don't marry a zebra and be angry later that you don't have a stallion.
09/20/2011
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