How Do I Cope When My Partner Doesn’t Want Sex

This is a resource for the things you can do to help you get through the pain and frustration of being sexually rejected. Being in a committed relationship with someone who doesn’t want sex, can’t have sex, or has a reduced sex drive is really tough. It’s completely understandable to be in a constant state of irritation over small things. It’s also really common to seek comfort in treats like food, alcohol, drugs, shopping for things like makeup or clothes, or become immersed in computer games, tv, social media, porn, or excessive exercise. Many people really shut down physically and close off from their sexual bodies completely. So let’s work on that!

Quick note: This resource isn’t a guide on how to talk to your partner about sex or how to directly explore the emotional impact on yourself and your relationship. I’ll talk about this more in another article. For now, this is just a down-and-dirty guide on how you can soothe yourself and use this painful experience to fuel some self-love and nurturing.

1. Alone Time

Feeling lonely and alone is painful but it makes sense. Feeling lonely and around another person or people can be really hard to understand. When we take time to be alone, we get to feel our feelings better and this is an important step in healing. Asking for alone time from a partner can be difficult, especially if they are aware that we are unhappy with them about something. I’ll talk more on how to have those conversations in another article but for now, the super easy way to ask for alone time is by saying it’s for a meditation practice. This brings us to the second tip.

2. Meditate

There are so many different kinds of meditation, it’s not all sitting still and trying not to think of things. While I’m a big believer in the power of sitting and training ourselves to have a break from thinking of things sometimes, my go-to meditation for coping with sexual rejection is one called RAIN. You can find out more about It takes a bit of practice but it’s worth it. It gives us a way to soothe ourselves from the feelings that are bubbling away under the surface.

3. Mindful Masturbation

When we are living with a partner and not having sex, our masturbation typically becomes fast and functional; done simply to alleviate some of the frustration. It could be stolen moments in the shower, or quick porn fixes while our partner is brushing their teeth before coming to bed! This can leave us feeling like we don’t deserve better and also lead to difficulties in enjoying longer sexual experiences in the future. Whatever you can say or do, to get some time to yourself to really enjoy your masturbation, do it. Yes, it totally counts as meditation.

Your sexual body is in deep need of some healing and the best way to do that is through your own sensual touch. There are tons of resources out there on this. Layla Martin has a load of free videos. Play some music (there are a lot of playlists on sacred sexuality, yoni/ lingam healing, and tantra that are great for this). Practice breathing into your genitals. I know this sounds really weird but imagine when you take your deep restorative breath in, you are directing it towards your sex organs. Imagine if you can the sensation of the breath entering and leaving there. Trace your hands over your body and your face, with love and tenderness. It’s so common for us to shut off and become numb when we feel sexually rejected and it’s totally OK if you’re not feeling much. Your body will be appreciating it deep down, even if you’re not registering it. When it comes to touching yourself intimately, before you bring yourself to orgasm, spend a little time whispering some nice things to yourself. This can be the things you’d enjoy hearing from a lover, something hot and exciting, or some sweet tender words of comfort that you may have. There is so much that we can do with solo sex magic. I’ll write more about this soon too.

4. Somatic experiencing

We talked a bit about how our bodies can shut down, become numb, and maybe even go off sex. We can find ourselves comfort eating or sabotaging our bodies. A great technique for reminding ourselves that we can give ourselves comfort and pleasure is this. Gather 3 objects of different textures. They don’t have to be anything precious. It can be a sticky note, a candy wrapper, a pen, whatever you have to hand right now. Designate one of your hands a receiving hand and one a giving hand. Select one object with your giving hand, close your eyes, and then for one minute trace that object ever so gently over your receiving hand. Then move on to the next for a minute and then the next. What this does is train our brain to feel safe wanting and receiving pleasurable sensations. If you like it, you can then move on to collecting things that might feel nice and interesting.

5. Become a nun/ priest

I don’t mean this literally (though I guess if you’re called…?) but more that you channel that vibe briefly. It’s the act of being intentionally celibate. You may have heard of elimination diets for food intolerances. Well, this is kind of like a juice cleanse for your sex drive. It’s often a lot easier to go without something if you’re in control of it and it’s for a finite period of time. Imagine being really stoic. Really disciplined. Focusing on everything else in your life but sex for 3 weeks. It’s important that this is not done to repress your sexual thoughts and feelings by shaming yourself or labeling them bad. And it’s not you lowering your sex drive to compensate for a lack in your partner. Be cautious too that you don’t do this to spite your partner if they occasionally do initiate sex during this period. Think of it more as a detox. A pause. An act of meditation. A conscious decision to have a break before you decide what your relationship with sex is going to be like. I’d recommend 3 weeks, to get the maximum benefit.

6. Start a new sexual relationship

When the 3 week cleanse is up it’s time to begin a new sexual relationship with yourself. Prepare your body in any way you usually would if you were planning on having sex with a new partner. If it’s in your budget buy yourselves some new underwear, new body lotion, or shaving soaps, or dig out some old favorites if you have them. Plan your solo sex date and romance the f**k out of yourself. You deserve it.

A final note. Relationship therapy to address this with your partner is always important but that doesn’t mean you can’t take care of yourself in the meantime. We often bury our heads in the sand while we wait for things to get better, for the right time, what these practices teach us is that every day there is an opportunity to hear the cry for help from our sexual bodies and meet it with love. Independently of our relationship to others.

For more resources on self-love practices and guided meditations to support you with sexual frustration sign up to my mailing list.

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