Health and relationships
The quality of your relationship with your partner (and with friends, colleagues and family members) affects both your mental and physical wellbeing. Similarly, how good you feel emotionally and physically can affect how you get on with your partner - perhaps even more than you realise. |[profileDataBundle id=1]| Improving your relationship quality can have a positive effect on your health, affecting related behaviours like exercising and drinking that can, in turn, affect how you get on. Of course, relationships go through ups and downs. But when we are unhappy or frustrated it’s easy to ignore what we know is good for us. Risky behaviours can provide an escape but sometimes we can fall into habits that are bad for both our health and our relationship. The good news is that, by taking stock and taking a good look at our patterns of behaviour, we can start making a few changes and things can start feeling very different. Have a look at the following questions and then share your answers with your partner. This can help you to assess the bigger picture and start changing some of the behaviours that could be affecting your relationship. Overall, how well do you feel on a day-to-day basis? Where would you score your physical health on a scale of one to 10, with ten being best it can be? Do you smoke? If so, how much, and at what times of day? What are your triggers for smoking? How often do you drink? Do you drink to unwind, to be social, or to shut things out? How well do you eat? Do you and your partner eat together – are cooking and eating well important parts of your relationship? Are you over or underweight? How do you feel about your body? How well do you sleep? –What, if anything keeps you awake? Can you see any patterns? Do you exercise regularly? How do you feel after exercising? How often do you have sex? Do you enjoy sex with your partner? Are you currently working? How does your work affect how you feel? If you have a bad day at work, what impact does it have on your home life? How do you know you are overstressed? What are the signs? What makes you feel good physically? What makes you feel good emotionally?   What next? Have a look at your answers. How does the overall picture look? Does it look good or feel a bit overwhelming? Are there any patterns you’d like to change? If you have any habits or recurring behaviours that aren’t serving you, look at the underlying reasons. Take it slowly – recognising the need for change is a crucial first step. Don’t try to change everything at once. If you are a smoker, that’s a good place to start. Consider cutting down, or just keeping a log of when you smoke and how you feel before and after. Start to notice what need you are trying to fulfil by smoking, and whether it’s working for you. If you want to eat better, start by introducing some small changes to your diet. Get a new cookbook or look up some recipes online. Experimenting with new dishes can be fun. Set aside some time to plan and cook a healthy meal with your partner – this one positive shared experience could be the first step towards getting out of a mealtime rut. Poor sleep, drinking too much and work stress are all issues that can contribute to how you get on with your partner, often leading to arguments. It can feel overwhelming to address these issues at once – a good place to start might be taking some regular exercise. It doesn’t matter what, so long as it is something you can enjoy that fits in with your work and family demands. Exercise can also have a positive impact on other areas of your life, releasing natural chemicals that improve your mood and make you feel happier. Adopting a more active lifestyle can improve your mental health, giving you a positive reminder you that the choices you make affect how you feel. Leading a more active life can give you a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and help you sleep better. It can improve your self-esteem and confidence, helping you feel more valued, and more attractive. Exercise and physical activity can give you something positive to strive for and commit to. It can help you to stop dwelling on problems and, in time, you may even start to enjoy it!   A word of warning! If this exercise has brought up any issues you find difficult to talk about, you may find it helpful to use some of the communication exercises and articles elsewhere on the site. If you have identified that you or your partner are drinking too much, you may need to seek professional help – looking at the articles on addiction on the site can be a positive first step.
Article | Health
5 min read
23 and disinterested in sex...
I've been with my boyfriend for 4 great years. We've been living together with his dad for 3 years now. When we first started dating I was 19 and he was 21. We would really only see each other on weekends or days off during the week. I moved in with him and his father due to an family issue I had with my parents. Through all of this we had a really healthy sex life. Shortly after our relationship began I went on the pill so we could stop using condoms as it seemed I had a mild allergy to them. Our sex life was strong and healthy up until probably a year ago. I started to lose interest in sex. And anything to do with sex. I didn't care to be touched or corested, didn't care to makeout or as my boyfriend calls it explore each other. Looking back, it's not that I lost interest in having sexual relations with my boyfriend, I realized I didn't care to find other men attractive or even have a desire to be with another man. I've had a history with depression. Ive thought it may play a role in this. But even when I know my depression isn't with me I still don't have a drive. My boyfriend and I looked into maybe I lost interest in sex because I wasn't keeping physically active. So I started going to yoga and it hasn't increased my drive. I dont have a lot of stress going on in my life. My boyfriend means everything to me and I know he's the one I want to spend the rest of my life with and one day have a family. But right now, it's a tough road. I know it hurts him when I tell him I'm not interested in sex, or he goes to touch me and I brush him off. I've considered it maybe being my birth control and do have an appointment made for next week to see my doctor. I just don't know what to do and it sucks knowing this may be the reason our relationship starts to break apart. Any advice is much appreciated!
Ask the community | sex, intimacy
“Feel lost and unwanted, need advice”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Ugh where do I start! Just want to say I'm so grateful to find a page where I can express myself without going to a therapist. So this might be long but I promise I have a point and I really need advice. So me and my boyfriend have been together for almost 2 years, talking for 3 years and living for one year together. SO at the beginning of our relationship as usual for many is, soft sweet, effort , sexy and loving. So here's my main issue almost 3 years later. My man is a humble guy. He doesn't like romance, lovey dovey or affection as much. But in the beginning he did. My man doesn't have a high sex drive like I do ! BOOM! I said it ! Now lets approach the problem. I LOVE affection , attention and effort and this my friend he is lacking lately. Now we have spoken about it for awhile since we moved in a year ago. We barely have sex now, it's once in a while type of thing, its starting to become a JOB! I swear ! I get controlling as well and lead on but damn I want to be treated like he wants me as well! He doesn't want to have sex around house , he doesn't like head on the spot, he doesn't like to try new things. Its like bust a nut boom go to sleep. And I'm a freak so yea ..... Now! I have an issue with this because we used to be jack rabbits in the beginning and he made me feel so good (Loving wise, sexy , and wanted in when we wasn't living together ). Now that we are its boring. No flowers, no gifts no love, barely sex. All he wants to do is smoke and chill after work (which is understandable he has a active job) But c'mon , I'm tired too, not to mention I am a mother, I have to cook, clean, make sure things are good in the house, work and deal with this mentally. So I'm tired too but how come I always want him. I crave him , I want him to have sex with me like he actually wants it! You know, that type of fifty shades crap! Little by little things he does is urking me now. and I get turned off so easily by anything. Him not brushing his teeth before bed yuck I don't want kiss him like how I used to, him leaving a mess in house, or him just tired all the time. Now for your mental info we have spoken about this shit always, and it wasn't till recently I had a mental break down. I couldn't take it anymore! Why can't the man I love show me affection and love? Why can't he have sex with me like he actually wants me? One time he yelled in an argument "I'M NOT THE ROMEO TYPE". I was like what the hell??! lol I don't want no soft guy like Romeo but damn I'm a hopeless romantic , give me something. It's likes we're roommates. And my daughter loves this man and sometimes I feel it's a job for him with that too, showing her love and affection. At times I'm like what have I done? Am I less attractive? Is he too comfortable? I'm feeling insecure now. I don't want to force a man to love me or have sex with me. I feel it's not natural to force someone to show love and affection the way you want them. It should be equal. Well you get the point, I'm tired of typing, lol. Please help.
Ask the community | sex, intimacy
“Friend with benefits advice needed ASAP!”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I didn't know where to post, so since my relationship is based on sex, here goes. I have a FWB who I really like. I think we are exclusive, text eachother every day (till I said we shouldn't) and have been fwb for about 6 weeks. We get along great. A couple of weeks ago I broke it off with him because I wanted more. A few days later called him up and asked if we could try again (FWB), provided he leave after & we don't text as often. I didn't want to get too attached and end up broken hearted, but changed my mind because I decided I am not ready for a serious relationship anyway. Yesterday he came over, but my 3 year old wouldn't sleep so after he waited for an hour, we decided to call it off & get together another night. I thought my kid was sick but she's not. So I want to ask him over tonight. Now I have always done the asking and he already drove quite aways to get here and back last night let alone the hour wait... But I really want to see him. I think about him alot and don't know if this can ever be more... in the meantime, should I ask him to come over again tonight or wait for him to ask? I don't drive so I have him here which is why I do the asking... But I don't want to seem desperate either.
Ask the community | sex
“No sex is affecting my self-esteem”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________  (I'd like to apologize in advance for this being so long. There's just a lot of background information that I think is important because I feel like some parts of my story are unique; I've been doing a lot of internet research, and I've haven't found someone in a similar position.) My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 3 and 1/2 years, and we've been living together for almost a year and half. We started having sex about 2 and 1/2 years ago. The core problem is that I feel like we don't have sex very often and it makes me feel bad. For the most part, this has been true our entire relationship. As soon as we started having sex (about 9 months after we started dating), the frequency of intimate activity dropped dramatically; when we were still fooling around (and virgins), he would want to do something 3 or 4 times a week. Now, we'll have sex/fool around/anything maybe once or twice a month. It makes me feel unwanted, fat, and ugly. My self-esteem is in the tank. Also, because I've talked to him about this so many times, now I feel kind of dirty or wrong for wanting to have sex. And, I feel helpless because, in my eyes, I can't do anything about it. He has always been the one to initiate sex. I became too discouraged to try anymore a long time ago because he either doesn't notice when I'm trying to initiate or (when he does notice) he doesn't want to have sex. I've tried every trick in the book to turn him on, but it doesn't matter. The one time I managed to initiate he couldn't perform. So, we only have sex when he wants to, and as a result, I feel like I can't even turn him on, which makes me feel worse. He doesn't feel bad about the lack of sex. I'm not sure if he doesn't notice it, or if he doesn't need it. He says he doesn't often masturbate, and I know he doesn't look at porn. He's so busy that he usually just stays home with me, so I know he's not having an affair either. Whenever I've talked to him about it, he's never given me a reason for not wanting to have sex. Once he explained that he feels a little self-conscious because things don't always .... "work" for me easily. I've told him that I don't care and that I just wish he would show me that he loves me and finds me sexually desirable (since he doesn't tell me that I'm pretty), but it doesn't matter. To me, it's not a physical need but an emotional one. To make things worse, the reason why I'm so hard to turn on is because I don't ever expect him to follow through. He likes to "tease" me, doing the same types of things he does when he wants to have sex but not follow through. He says he needs to touch me to get turned on, but that everything shouldn't have to lead to sex, so I shouldn't worry about it. But, I can't help but feel like he doesn't want me anymore when he touches me and doesn't get turned on. So, I don't know what to do. I can't remember the last time we had sex, and I'm starting to resent him. He tried to get us to have sex a couple of weeks ago, but I was still half-asleep, and he didn't even try to make things work for me. I feel like he's becoming a selfish lover, only concerned about his needs, which was never true before. I'm desperate. I can't go through the pain and humiliation of talking to him again. I've been trying recently, and I can't get him to have sex with me either. Since I clean up after him and take care of him (which is another story), I feel like a roommate or a mother, not a girlfriend. The whole situation makes me feel terrible about myself, and the plain truth is, we're not really that compatible in terms of our interests, hobbies, etc. either. I'm starting to question whether or not I can be with him for the rest of my life, which has always been the plan. What should I do?
Ask the community | sexless, confidence
“My wife only gives me oral sex, nothing else“
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   We've been married over ten years. We love each other. Everything else is really really good. We get along, we laugh, we spend time together. We're literally soul mates.The wife will give me a bj a couple times a week and she is really really good at it. There are no problems here. I'll admit I have a really high libido, I'm strongly in the mood at least once every day but usually twice. I'm really happy with activity every day though, but our average frequency is more like every other day... unless something crazy comes up. Sometimes it's every day if things are going really good (low stress times). But again, I'm ok with every other day. I don't really enjoy masturbating any more because I would just prefer her. I do not look at porn either, no interest in that at all. No interest in other women either. She has told me she is horny about once a day. If she hugs me with any sexuality at all it's an instant erection. She likes how she makes me excited so easily. She told me it makes her feel confident and know that I'm attracted to her, which is an understatement. She's very very attractive too. She has people come up to her and flirt all the time. Here's the problem. This has been going on for quite a while now. She rarely kisses me more then 10 seconds. She may let me kiss her neck and breasts, but lips... not much. She'll let me touch her body everywhere... except her vagina. That's very very rare. And if she does let me touch there it's for less then a minute. And she will not, under any circumstances, have intercourse with me. Ever. I have talked to her about it... ALOT, and she says my size scares her... that it hurts her. I don't think I'm a monster down there. I'm about 8" depending on how excited I am. Interestingly, if I masturbate it's barely 6 inches... She's the only thing that excites me really. She has also told me I am bigger now then when we met... she might be right because I swear I used to be about 7 before, and it seems bigger. When she does oral on me I might be a little over 8 sometimes at the peak of it right before I finish when it's really intense. She also says she literally loves giving me bjs, she really enjoys it and I don't think she is lying. She also tells me it's enough pleasure for her just doing that for me. If I say I want to thrust more (I say it other ways, many other ways, dirty or sweet or clean or naughty whatever)... anyways, if I say I want to thrust more, implying I want to have intercourse, she'll let me do it orally instead. Even kinda rough and deep, whatever I want orally just no intercourse. I prefer the feeling of being completely inside whenever we do things and she can do that (deep throat) almost all the way, almost the whole time she gives me oral. When it comes to oral she does it almost anyway I want it. With oral, she will do almost anything I want. That isn't a problem at all. She is just worried I will want the same kind of feeling with intercourse, but I told her I would control myself and not try to push it in like that all way. She says she will eventually try it (we have before, we used to all the time), but she's been saying that for months now. I think it is the combination of lack of affection and no intercourse that is really bothering me. If it was just the no sex, but we kissed a lot more I might accept her reasons. If we had sex and didn't kiss I'd probably still be worried. If she let me pleasure her down there and we kissed I'd believe her reasons. Unfortunately, it's all three... little kissing, very little pleasure for her, and no intercourse. I'm sorry if this is coming across pornographic that's not my intention I assure you. Everything else I've read is always men saying they cannot get any oral sex or any sex at all... One thing I read was a guy saying his wife constantly gave him oral all the time, but maybe that was a joke. I'm wondering if there are people who are going to say I'm really lucky that the only thing I have to do in my sex life is get incredible oral sex almost every other day. Maybe I am? I'm just really bothered by what is NOT happening. I want to be intimate with my wife again. I tell her, we talk about it. She assures me it's just my size that scares her. That it will hurt, but I say I'll be as gentle as I can be. She always open to doing the bjs as described above, no problem. But never anything else... again: little kissing, very little pleasure for her, and no intercourse. I do try to do these other things often... very often. But I'm always pushed away in one form or another. I'm really bothered by this. Am I crazy? Do I actually have it really good and I'm just trying to have my cake and eat it too here? Should I worry? Why do you think things are like this? Does anyone have experience with this? Any advice would be appreciated. Maybe I need to hear how I should quit complaining? Maybe I need to hear what people think is wrong here?  Oh, and sorry for the novel of a post. I felt I really needed to spell it all out honestly to the random people on the Internet.
Ask the community | sexless, intimacy
“Caught my partner watching porn”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I dont know what hurt me the most. The fact i thought i knew him and thought he wasnt like that, the fact he KNOWS i dont like it and ive told him it would really hurt me or the fact he told me not to come round and pick him up and instead he'd wait for the car and meet me at mine in an hour (well now i no why he didn't want me to turn up!) Walking in on him last week really shocked me. His face when he slammed his laptop down and ran to the door and almost stopped me from coming in was wierd!! And i am SUCH a fool! Immediatly i thought porn but even though he had no pants on i still reminded myself not to assume as ironically its our 1 year anniversary next week n i thought he may be booking something. Ha!! Anyway, i asked him if it was good (i was actually only joking as i didnt see the toilet roll until after id asked it) n he said no not really n i nearly broke down in tears. Anyhow long story short i stormed out n drove home with my phone in my bag assuming he'd be ringin or txtin asking why i left but NOTHING. It took me 20-25minutes to get home n then wen he did txt he had a go at me!!! So when i phoned him (really upset and shouting) he initially said he did it for me. Later when he admitted he didnt know why he did it i then got him to admit that actually he was lieing about "doing it for me". He claims he cant remember me telling him how much it would hurt me and says its the first time he's ever done it. However im finding it hard to believe that its such a coincidence that the first time he does it since being with me is the time i walk in on him doing it. I dont know what to do. Its our anniversary on Friday n ive only just started being able to put my arms round him n let him get close in bed and kissing and this happened last wednesday! We have good sex n he does very nice things for me but the fact he obviously doesnt listen to me or care about my feelings means i'm struggling to get over it. How can i trust he wont do it again?? Please help!
Ask the community | pornography, trust
“I can't get my girlfriend to be sexually active”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Hi, I'm a 25 year old man with some issues with my girlfriend. I'm posting here because I don't know if I'm crazy or if my girlfriend is. Or maybe we both are. I'm a deployed vet of 2011 and before then I was single for roughly 2 years and had not had sex in that long until January 2012 when I met my current girlfriend. We used to have sex so often it was great. I started working my old job that I had before I deployed and even as hard as it was I always made time for sex. I know that in some people they become "too tired" from work to have sex but I'm not one of those people. I still find her to be the love of my life and every day she comes home from work I'm so happy to see her. I always figure she'll want to lay with me and talk, kiss, and eventually have sex but lately this just hasn't been the case. I don't find myself to be too selfish about the sex, I don't beg for it and I try not to get mad, but when it starts being once maybe twice a week I get frustrated, start having trouble sleeping, and I'll even sleep on the couch because when she makes me stop I don't even want to be near her. Now why I think I may be wrong for wanting sex so often is because right now I'm unemployed and looking for a job so while I'm not doing much, so I think about her more and when she finally comes home I just want her, but like I said, even when I was working I wanted her daily. She has complained to me a lot that she is fat, as much as I could tell her she's not. I've heard that women who are insecure of theirselves are less sexual, like they think their man will judge her by that? She does randomly get touchy and grabby and even sexual but it seems to only be while I'm busy on the phone or playing with friends online like she's looking for that thrill. For the past two monts she started playing an mmo videogame she used to play, maybe it was to allow me to play my video games more I don't know, but now that she's playing it again, it just seems to be all she really wants to do is play. I've told her before that I don't like her playing it because it seems to take time away from our relationship but it starts arguments that don't get solved. I guess as couples get older they become less sexual and eventually resort to routine and hobbies to stay busy, I think I'll always want sex. What scares me is that life is so long and I'm only 25 and I want sex this much. How am I supposed to stay with this person when things are already getting rough a year and a half into the relationship? I've had to do things just to keep my mind off her because the last thing I want to do is push her away because of my feelings. I'll go on a drive or mow the lawn or even masterbate when it's been long enough. Also she's shown serious signs that she wants to have kids within the next 2 years and I've told her were not ready, especially with me unemployed. I've seen dozens of guys through google search with my problem and I've even gone on sites where the woman says HE won't have sex with her and its annoying to read that there are so many people refusing sex. I'm nearly 100 percent certain she isn't cheating and fulfilling her sexual needs elsewhere because she told me from the very beginning that she is a bit clingy and gets attached easily which I was ok with. I know her complete work schedule and I know when she's stuck at work for another half hour, were always talking and she nearly never gets out with friends and when she does she tells me. I feel like she's just happy touching me randomly and giving me only a couple kisses here and there. She spends almost all her time playing her game and I feel like she doesn't need me anymore. I haven't really served a purpose to her lately. It is weird though, whenever I'm gone for the night she tells me she misses me and she'll even send me nude pictures through text. This is probably all jumbled and confusing but I'm tired and can't sleep, I'm hoping someone can help me. Just an hour ago she turned me down so I got frustrated when she turned me down and fell asleep, and I came to this website. I've read that simply ignoring your girlfriend will frustrate her and make her more likely to have sex with you but I don't want to play stupid games to get what I want and I don't want to make her miserable just to get sex. There are people out there who complain that they get sex from their partner now only 1 or 2 times a month. I'd go insane or leave her. Someone help me.
Ask the community | sexless
“My man has low sex drive, but looks at porn”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Hey everyone I'm having a tough time with this lately, and I would appreciate any constructive input you may have. I've been with my man for four years now and we recently got engaged a few months ago. Our first year together our sex life was great and frequent, but beyond that it has pretty much fallen off the map. I've brought it up to him a few times, keeping my cool but still showing my concern. He claims his libido is low, and that often he's tired, his body can't get to that point of intimacy, etc. I've been the one to try and initiate, but 99% of the time it goes nowhere. Needless to say I'm very frustrated. I'm 24 and he is 36. I don't want to seem like I'm being pushy with the whole situation, but it seems that nothing ever happens. He really doesn't cuddle/spoon/etc. all that much either. I know sex isn't the end-all, be-all of a relationship, but it shouldn't disappear and should be a part of a healthy loving relationship. So I've been (hopefully understandably) concerned for a while now. Just to give you an idea, we've only done it four times in the past two years. Yikes, I know. Sometimes I don't know how I've dealt with it. I believe I have been beyond patient what any normal person should. He has a nice demeanor and laid back personality, but I've learned that a lot of things are "all about him" and talking to him about my issues can be like talking to a brick wall (I feel like I don't get anywhere), so the whole scenario is very confusing. That being said, I began to suspect he wasn't telling me everything. I've learned of his lies before, so lying wasn't out of the question. So a couple months ago (after dry spells with no end in sight), I looked in his phone history and bam. There it was. Porn. Son of a bitch. I began to shake and lost my appetite. And I cried too (still do sometimes). When your partner makes excuses why there is no intimacy and it seems that they don't even try, then you find out they've been looking at porn all along, it just hits you like a ton of bricks. It's pretty much a slap in the face. Last night, I was so worked up about it that I finally decided to ask him. I stayed calm and took the route of giving him a chance to come clean (if he was into porn, not sounding confronting or accusatory), hoping he would see I was keeping it low key and that he could talk to me about it and how it makes me feel. He knows I don't like that stuff and he's said he isn't into it either. But I sat there and pretty much teared up inside as he lied straight to my face. Funny thing is, among the things he said in our discussion about porn, he said "If someone feels they need to hide something like that, they probably shouldn't be doing it in the first place" and that it would be disrespecting to their partner to lie about it (among other things like that). Hmmmm... So I went to sleep last night absolutely broken up that he felt perfectly comfortable lying to me about this issue. He said I should be able to trust him, but I really can't now. I feel like my next step would just to flat out tell him that I know, that last night was the calm before the storm. I'm setting myself up for him to be extremely pissy and defensive, but being as he lied about it I don't think he has anyone to blame but himself. Well I could go on longer about this, but I guess I'll stop there for now. I actually could hardly sleep last night having watched the man I love fabricate that elaborate lie right in front of me (he's very articulate and very believable if you don't know any better). Running off my frappuccino right now, hopefully I'll sleep a little better tonight. I don't agree with porn in my relationship and he knows and has said he feels the same way. When it pretty much replaces the sex, that is crossing the line. I can't help but feel I've lost part of him.
Ask the community | sexless, pornography, rejection
“My boyfriend isn't physically intimate”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I'm really hoping someone can give me some kind of input on a situation in my relationship that feel completely at a loss about. We've been together nearly three years (I am 30, he is almost 40). Compared to my previous relationships I've always found our sex life a little odd. With my previous boyfriends we always did it at least a few times a week, they would never turn me down, would pester me for sex when I didn't want to - and they always seemed happy to be doing it. I have a wonderful, close and loving relationship with my current boyfriend. But there is a real issue with sexual intimacy - I've been teling myself that it's a minor thing and I can deal with it, but the truth is that it's starting to become a problem. Even when we first started seing each other We only had sex occasionally, it was always me that initiated it, and whilst we were doing it he honestly never seemed to be enjoying it that much. He would get an erection without much trouble, but never seemd to "lose himself" like I'm used to guys doing, and he would never ejaculate inside me - he would always have to finish himself off by masturbating. once made him climax thrugh oral sex and he said that was "the first tim that's ever happened". The situation now is that we hardly ever do it at all, which he seems unbothered by - he'd rather we spent time togethher watching films, or talking, or hanging out with other frieds - which is fine, but sometimes I crave phyical intimacy. I have tried all sorts of things to address this: I asked him what he would like to do in bed, but he just answered that what we do is fine. I have tried to speak to him aboout the issue, aware that I need to be sensitive about it, but he always seems to find a way too change the subject, or laugh it off, or act like he doesn't get what I'm talking about. I've suggested a bit of roleplay or bondage or some other games - but he says he's "not into that". I have loads of sexy lingerie but he doesn't seem excited by it. I even bought chocolate body paintonce and he just ate it on toast! Food excites him more than I do! I don't think there's any problem with my technique, as my previous partners always seemed more than happy with it, I've learned some good tricks over the years if I do say so myself! Even if there is a problem, I can't get him to tell me. The only things that do seem to excite him sexually is pictures of certain celebrity women (not porn, he doesn't seem to like actual porn, just pictures of them in short skirts, lingerie etc or just films with certain actresses). I don't see how I can cater for that as I can't make myself look like Katy Perry if I just don't! At least if he was watching porn I could try and copy some of the scenarios! But it just seems to be about looking at beautiful women. He also enjoys going to lapdance clubs on stag nights with friends - but when I tried to do a lapdance for him he just laughed at me and said: "What are you doing?!" It all seems to be about looking at women, rather than actually having sex with them. I do feel I look as good as I can do - I used to model part time until a couple of years ago, I workout regularly, eat healthy, look after my skin and hair etc, get chatted up by other men, so I think I'm probably OK looking (small chest but that's another issue)!, He tells me he thinks I'm attractive and compliments my looks a lot, so logically I guess he must find me attractive on some level, though the fact he isn't affected in any way by the sight of me in lingerie and stockings does make me feel a little unattractive. I've got to the point where I really need a second opinion because I'm at a complete loss of what to do.I feel quite upset because I love him, and our relationship is so good in every other way - we can talk honestly about anything except this. I feel like I'm failing somehow because I can't help him to enjoy a sexual relationship. I love him, but I really miss having someone who couldn't keep their hands off me,and who loved having sex with me. I feel like having that intimacy would make our relationship complete - but as it is, we're floundering. Does anyone have any ideas - I feel like I've tried everything. Even if I could get him to properly engage in a conversation about sex that would be a start!
Ask the community | intimacy, sex
“Boyfriend gets mad that I don’t initiate sex“
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ My boyfriend and I have been friends since we were 12 (20 years) and have been dating for the past 2 ½ years. In the time we’ve been together, he has rejected my sexual advances EVERY TIME except once. I take it bad and am unable to try again for months when this happens, all the while he gets upset saying he is tired of always initiating sex, and wants me to do it too. I tell him I can’t because every time I get the courage back up to do it, I’m rejected (he’s too tired, had a stressful day, has to get up early, etc.) and as result, I don’t have the self-esteem or courage to try again for a while… the whole cycle starts over once I do try. When I get upset about being rejected, he tells me I’m trying to make him feel guilty and/or start drama (which is NOT the case, drama was not the outcome I wanted – sex was!) and we end up in a fight over it. Then he doesn’t touch me for days/weeks and says it is because the fighting/drama turned him off. So, we only have sex when he feels like it, he wants me to initiate, I get rejected every time I do, so I rarely try… repeated for 2 ½ years now. It has taken a major toll on my self-esteem/sexuality. I’m starting to think it’s a control issue on his part… thoughts? Ideas to break the cycle? I should have been more clear that we have a good sex life... He just initiates it every time. We don't go at each other twice a day like we did the first year, more like 2-3 times a week, and he is very touchy/affectionate with me but if I happen to be in the mood and try to initiate something, he always has an excuse not to do it. He was all over me Wed., Fri., & Sat. But this morning, I tried to start something and he there wasn't time (there was time for a quicky!) if it had been the same time, on the same day, but he was the one initiating, he would have made time. If he didnt complain that I never initiate sex, I would think he just prefers to be the one who starts it. I've also thought that maybe he enjoys turning me down. What I don't understand is, if he wants me to start it, why turn me down when I do, insuring I won't have the courage to try again for months? He just says I have bad timing and i should try more so I catch him at the right time (by right time, he means the right time for him). It's so frustrating. 
Ask the community | sex, rejection
“My boyfriend doesn't want sex”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________  I've been with my boyfriend for almost 7 months now. We love each other and get on amazingly well. However...he doesn't initiate sex with me. In the day he can be all over me, hugging and kissing me,holding my hand, saying how pretty I look and how attractive he thinks I am. This is all very well but I wish he'd show it in the bedroom! When we do have sex (usually initiated by myself) he finds it difficult to have an erection for more than ten minutes. I feel this is the root of the problem and is why he doesn't initiate sex with me. We've spoken about this many times trying to get to the root of the problem but with no luck! The funny thing is that throughout the day, he has no difficulty getting erect, but when it comes to having sex...this is another matter. A big problem now is that when I feel in the mood for sex I tend to fantasize about other people, including one of my exes who I was very sexually active with. I feel guilty for doing this, but find it difficult to fantasies about my current boyfriend as we hardly have sex!!! Please can someone offer me any advice about how to talk to my boyfriend about sex, how to make out relationship bit more spicy and whether I'm a bad person for fantasizing and thinking about my ex sometimes!! My relationships at the moment is going brilliantly in every department apart from this... I'd really appreciate your comments, Thanks.
Ask the community | sexless, intimacy
Sex tips for more intimacy
When you’re no longer in the first throes of romance, it’s normal for sex to fall off your list of priorities. You’d be exhausted if you tried to maintain the levels of the early days! But if sex disappears too far off the radar, you might need to spend some time rebuilding intimacy with your partner. Check out the tips below for some good ideas that could help you get that spark back. Get nostalgic Talk about when you first got together and share memories of the early days. Recapture some of that spark by recreating fond moments. Visit an old haunt, get dressed up for dinner, or just set the alarm 20 minutes early so you can have a cuddle before work. Get competitive A pillow fight or even a heated game of Scrabble is not only fun, but can make your relationship feel more exciting. Do something daring Anything from watching a scary movie to skinny dipping on holiday can get your adrenaline flowing. A shared feeling of vulnerability can help bring you closer. Flirt As the years pass, some couples feel more like friends than partners. Try to be bolder in your displays of affection and let your partner know you still find them attractive – flirting reminds you of the sexual connection you share. Talk more The more you have open conversations, the more comfortable you’ll both be raising issues around sex. The closer you feel to each other, the more intimate you will be. Make nice gestures Compliments, buying their favourite food at the supermarket, or texting during the day to tell them you’re thinking of them can all help remind your partner of the affection between you. Don’t make it all about sex Not all moments of intimacy and affection have to lead to sex. If your partner only associates affection from you as an attempt to have sex, then intimacy can break down. Think about your surroundings A messy bedroom, harsh lighting or dirty bed linen won’t help get you in the mood. Have a tidy up and do your best to create a romantic atmosphere you can both relax in. A few candles and a home-cooked meal might help. Touch Oxytocin, a chemical in our bodies responsible for bonding in relationships, increases when you touch someone. It’s thanks to oxytocin that something as simple as holding hands or giving your partner a peck on the cheek can help build intimacy. Have realistic expectations Nobody has a Hollywood relationship. While it may look like all your friends are enjoying fulfilling sex lives, no one ever knows what goes on behind closed doors. Analysing other relationships will only set you up for disappointment - instead, try to focus on what your partner does do for you, not what they don’t.
Article | sex, intimacy
3 min read
Fancying and flirting with other people
This article was written by Prof. Janet Reibstein, a psychologist and Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Exeter. The views expressed in this article are not necessarily shared by Click or OnePlusOne.   Unsurprisingly, many couples argue about flirting and fancying others. You don’t start affairs without fancying. It’s a firmly held belief that partners should command each other’s sexual attention. But how far that ‘attention’ extends is not well defined; it's not always clear what constitutes an ‘affair’. When does fancying someone else or giving off sexual signals in a relationship even without physical contact, constitute danger or betrayal? But clamping down unnecessarily courts a different sort of disaster. I once was on a forum with a clergyman, who gamely confessed that women assumed that because he was a married vicar, that that meant he wasn’t sexually alive. When he flirted, they were shocked. Plaintively, he cried, ‘I may be a married vicar, but I still have eyes, and I’m not dead from the neck down! I’d never have an affair but these are two different things!’ It’s my reading – of both research and clinical data — that what seems at stake around flirting are two things: whether you are ‘enough’ to keep your partner and insecurity about the relationship’s future. We’re deluged with sensuality in our culture, reminding us that most are still alive from the neck down and most have eyes to see others - who are also sexual. So, that’s part of normal interactions. And if we like the person we’re talking to, and he or she also pleases our senses, that inescapably confirms our own sensuality. If we try to ignore this (the vicar would argue we can’t), it might mean we also ignore our basic sensuality. That affects our partnerships. In Esther Perel’s book, Mating in Captivity, she cites research showing that over time most couples get into a sexual rut, and argues that couples can redress this partly by making their sex lives conscious and deliberate. One way, she recommends, is to observe each other’s sensual effects on others: to give permission to flirt. As you do, you become aware of your own power to attract as well as your partner’s. It does mean we need to be alert to boundaries though. But what are acceptable ones? Boundaries make people secure. By establishing them, you make things explicit, agreeing what makes you secure, and why. Talking about boundaries clarifies why you’re scared, what sets it off, and why. You reassure each other, redefining activities that might have set off feelings of insecurity in the past but don’t have to any more. For instance, if your ex-boyfriend’s flirting led to infidelity, you are likely to feel threatened when your partner flirts. But if you are reassured of his fidelity to you and that he still finds you attractive you may find over time that ‘flirting’ needn’t mean ‘affair’. By being open, you also undermine the damaging role secrecy plays in flirting. Talking intimately about sensuality can also invite sensuality into the relationship. Talking to establish boundaries can reassure both of you that there’s nothing concealed, or to conceal. Flirting is undeniably dangerous: it can be heady and therefore lead to a wish for more. The implication of shared sexual desire for another does challenge a committed partnership and so as it grows there is usually a wish for concealment. But if you conceal or exclude your partner from your activities with others you might fancy, two things happen: firstly, you are signalling something suspicious is occurring and secondly you are defining your flirting as unacceptable to the partnership. When Perel suggests openly flirting she’s pointing to a couple talking honestly with each other, finding a way to bring into the relationship excitement that occurs outside it. That can’t happen with secrecy. That’s why talking and reaching common understandings is central to establishing boundaries. Central are the ‘meanings’ of flirting or fancying. If the meaning you give to your partner’s attraction to someone else is that they are less attracted to you — you’ll feel threatened. If the meaning you give to flirting is betrayal, trust in your partner and your future together will be undermined. But if, as the vicar suggests, fancying others means you’re sensually alive while still a faithful partner, you can feed sensual life back into your relationship.
User article | flirting, cheating, sex
4 min read
Being in a sexless relationship
A 'sexless' relationship is defined as one where sex happens 10 times or fewer per year. However, research shows that many couples aren’t even achieving that. Studies repeatedly show that married couples of all ages who are happy with their sex lives also report higher levels of relationship satisfaction. Most relationship therapists agree that not having sex when you want to makes people unhappy, causing feelings of frustration, depression, rejection, self-doubt, difficulty concentrating, and low self-esteem. Sex and research When psychotherapist Brett Kahr carried out a sex survey of 19,000 people in the UK in 2007, he found that 32% of people have sex less than once a month and that 21% of women and 15% of men do not have sex at all. Research from the sociology department at Georgia State University suggests that about 15% of married couples have not had sex for around six months to a year. Denise Donnelly, who led the study, answered the following question: "Can people in a marriage (or in a long-term relationship) that has become sexless rekindle their sex lives?" Some do. But once a marriage has been sexless for a long time, it’s very hard. One or both may be extremely afraid of hurt or rejection, or just entirely apathetic to their partner. They may not have been communicating about sex for a very long time (if ever) and have trouble talking about it. Couples who talk over their sex lives (as well as other aspects of their marriages) tend to have healthier marriages, but it’s hard to get a couple talking once they’ve established a pattern of non-communication. There are mixed opinions about what to do to rekindle marital sex. For some couples, it may be as simple as a weekend away from the kids, taking a vacation or cruise, or just having some time off, alone. Others may need help in re-establishing communication and may seek professional assistance. Reasons we go off sex Some of the most common reasons for decline in sex in long-term relationships are: Depression Stress Alcohol Female sexual dysfunction Erectile dysfunction Male mid-life crisis Menopause Ageing Infidelity Online infidelity Pornography Low libido Negative body image Children Pregnancy Monogamy and monotony Unresolved conflict   Too busy for sex? There are various health problems that can affect your sex life, ranging from back pain, insomnia, arthritis, migraine and asthma. However, with a third of British couples spending only 30 minutes of quality time together each day and a culture of longer working hours, tiredness, household chores and childcare can all make it easy to fall out of the habit of having sex. If you’re in a sexless relationship and want to try to get the ball rolling again, the following tips may help: Talk about it. It can be tricky to bring the subject up, so find a moment when you’re both relaxed and unlikely to be interrupted. In the first instance, just talk about how you’re both feeling and establish where you’re at with things. Does your partner feel the same way as you? Listen to your partner. Your partner might share some things that you find difficult to hear. Try to listen with an open mind as this will make it easier for you to find solutions together. Figure out what you want. What would an ideal sex life look like for you? What about for your partner? See if your desires match up and have a think about where you might need to compromise. Take the pressure off. Give yourselves time to work things out and accept that progress is likely to be slow. Celebrate the little things. If holding hands at the cinema is a step forward, then let yourself be happy about it. It may take months of getting used to back rubs and kissing before you can start to feel like sex is OK, so enjoy each little milestone. Make time for each other. Set some time aside to spend together, doing something you both love doing. Shared positive experiences like this can start to increase intimacy without being focused on sex. Seek support. If you don’t know how to get things moving on your own, a sex and relationships counsellor can help you both get to the bottom of the issue and start to find practical solutions.    References Donnelly, D., and Burgess, E. (2008). The decision to remain in an involuntarily celibate relationship. Journal of Marriage and Family 70(2):519-535 Kahr, Brett (2007). Sex and the Psyche: The Truth About Our Most Secret Fantasies. Penguin, London. Suzi Godson: www.suzigodson.com
Article | intimacy, sex, decline
4 min read
My partner doesn't want to have sex
Lots of people come to our forums because the sex in their relationship has become infrequent or stopped all together. It can be very worrying when your partner seems to lose interest in sex, especially if you had an active sex life beforehand, and you may find yourself wondering if there’s something wrong.If you feel like your partner is no longer making an effort, it’s easy to fall into a vicious cycle where neither of you initiates sex - you stop trying because you think they have. So, what should you do? Research shows its normal for sex to decline in a long-term relationship, but that doesn’t have to mean you give up trying entirely. The fact that you’re worrying about this at all is a positive sign. While there is some evidence to show that sexless relationships are at an increased risk of breaking down, the bigger risk factor is actually indifference to the situation. You’re thinking about this, you’re worrying about it, and you’re here reading this article. That means you care. And, when you care, you’re more likely to make positive changes. Lots of couples get on just fine without sex. For many people, sex may not be the most important thing in a long-term relationship.  For others, however, sexual intimacy is the most important differences between friendship and romantic relationships. It’s what binds us together with our partners. It relieves stress in our busy lives, reminds us that we are loved, and makes us feel attractive emotionally close to each other. Why doesn’t my partner want to have sex?   There are lots of reasons why your partner is avoiding sex anymore and these may only be temporary. Possible reasons include:  Tiredness from work or looking after children. Wanting a change from the usual routine. Perhaps sex has become too familiar, or unexciting. Loss of confidence - people can lose sexual confidence if they’ve gaining weight, or are dealing with stress, depression, or emotional problems. Conflict between the two of you. If you have unresolved differences, these can get in the way of the desire for intimacy. Physical or medical conditions, which may be undiagnosed. Whatever the reason, sex can be a delicate issue. Be kind to yourself and be sensitive to your partner when discussing it, but keep in mind that indifference will not help the situation. It’s important to address the issue. Here are some things that might help: Talk about it. Dealing with relationship issues almost always starts with improving communication. Give your partner an opportunity to talk about how they feel and what they want, as well as talking about your own feelings. Have a date night. Get dressed up and have a romantic night out – or in – to remind yourselves of why you love spending time together. Ban sex for a while. This may seem counterproductive, but it can take the pressure off while you and your partner rediscover your intimacy. Try some non-sex sexy things. Take a bath together, or give each other a massage. Have a conversation about trying new things in bed. It might feel strange at first, but it could be fun to open yourselves up to new ideas. It’s OK to inject a little humour into these conversations! Look after your body. Getting in shape and eating well can help you feel more self-confident and energetic, which is never a bad thing for your sex life. Don’t force yourself. Sex is not an obligation, and if you’re too tired or just don’t feel like it, it’s better to wait another day. When a couple gets used to each other, it’s natural for sex to become less spontaneous. Scheduling sex might feel unromantic, but it can be fun to have something planned from time to time. Book a quiet moment with your partner and plan to have some physical affection even if you’re not in the mood for sex when the time arrives. As you work things through, be prepared for it to take some time. Keep talking, and celebrate the small victories. Try to set resentment aside, and avoid putting pressure on your partner.  Above all, have fun and try to make a little bit of extra effort… just like you used to.
Article | rejection, sex
5 min read

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