As great as sex is, there are times when one partner or another partner in a relationship just isn't down to bone. Saying no to a committed partner should be as cut and dry as simply saying you're not in the mood but in reality, there are almost always negative side-effects to turning down hanky-panky.
For many guys, sex is inextricably intertwined with our sense of self and well-being. We often need sex more for the validation it provides than for release or simple physical pleasure. When partners' libidos aren't in sync, lots of ugly shit can start to get dredged up- especially if there is a massive disparity between them.
The partner who is saying 'no' often feels as though they are making their partner feel rejected or that they aren't being a good partner to their frisky companion. What's worse, they are, on some level, correct! That isn't to say they are being a bad partner, only that the partner seeking that physical validation often does feel somewhat rejected on a personal level. If a pattern of approach and rejection starts to form, things can spiral out of control really quickly.
If you've found that you and your partner's libidos aren't quite jiving up, the worst thing you can do is to assign blame. There are lots of reasons why a person might not be down to fuck in any given moment. The important thing is identifying and addressing those reasons in a mutually satisfying way.
Why Doesn't My Guy Want To Fuck Me?!
Aside from the chance that your partner is asexual (more on this later), chances are that your partner actually does want to fuck you, just not always at the times you want to fuck them. Here are just a few reasons why a guy might not be DTF at a drop of the hat:
1. Emotional Stress
Stress can have a huge impact on a guy's libido, in either direction. Some guys respond to a hard day at work with an increased urge to let off some steam by fucking- most go in the other direction.
This is especially true for guys who tend to have a lower sex-drive under the best of circumstances. Often guys like this view being approached for sex as just another layer of stress because of the mixed emotions that come with telling your partner no.
That mix of emotions often includes feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and fear of abandonment by a partner who's tired of being turned down on the reg. For guys like this, stress can be a major drain on their emotional reserves and being approached about sex only drains them more.
2. Physical Stress
Whether it's being exhausted from a physically demanding job, being run-down by a hard day at the gym, or simply having a nagging headache, there are many physical stresses that might cause a dip in a guy's libido.
The next time your partner turns you down for sex, take stock of how they were acting before-hand. Did they seem generally run-down, sluggish, or out-of-sorts? Did they happen to mention that their trainer really worked them hard at the gym that day? Have they been fighting off a cold for the last week? Are you both not as young as you used to be?!
It is especially important to be understanding of our partner's physical limitations when we are involved with guys who might have lingering physical ailments. Chronic inflammation or arthritis, for example, can have your guy frequently and unexpectedly feeling like shit and in no shape to be getting freaky between the sheets.
Whatever the cause, sometimes the answer to your dilemma is as simple as, "just being too tired". The important thing to keep in mind here is that this is a common reason why guys might turn you down for sex that has nothing to do with you. I'll repeat that: It has nothing to do with you!
3. Unresolved Issues
One of the most infuriating things about being human is our occasional inability to say what we really think or feel. In an ideal world, every relationship would be a safe place where either partner can freely express their feelings without fear of negative consequences.
Spoiler Alert: We don't live in a perfect world.
In the world we do live in, people bury their emotions and set aside their gripes for the sake of maintaining harmony in their relationships. We do this with good intentions and it is often a reasonable way to go, but sometimes those pent-up feelings can manifest in undesirable ways.
If your partner has suddenly become aloof, either emotionally or physically, you might want to check in and make sure things are OK and ask whether they need to air something out or not. Sometimes a gentle prod in the right direction is all it takes to get your partner to open up.
4. Your Partner Simply Doesn't Like Sex
Asexuals are people who simply don't feel sexual attraction to other people. This doesn't mean that they are not romantic or that they don't require the companionship that comes from a romantic relationship, only that sex simply isn't a driving force in their biology or psychology.
The problem here is that many ace people have spent their lives confused about what they are and many don't even realize they are asexual until well into adulthood, often after they have been in committed relationships for a long time.
Being a sexual partner to someone who is ace is hard on both parties. All of those feelings of guilt and fear of abandonment are magnified for someone who actually doesn't want sex at all because it isn't just a passing lack of mood that is causing them to say no- it's a part of who they are. That makes the stakes seem much higher every time they say no and that avalanche of stress and negativity can start to snowball into full-blown complexes.
There are no simple, cookie-cutter answers for couples who find themselves in this situation. The best thing you can both do is to learn more about what it means to be asexual, seek out answers from others in a similar boat, and find the path that suits your relationship the best.
If you are understanding and respectful of each other's differences and can talk and act like adults, you should be able to find a way through and you will only be stronger as a couple for it at the end.
How To Politely Say "No"
Now that we are familiar with the common issues that lead to low sex drive, let's look at some of the more constructive, diplomatic ways we can tell our partners we aren't in the mood.
The main thing to remember here is that if you are saying no, you are saying no. There is nothing that should compel you to do something you don't want to and a good partner will respect that. That being said, it's a two-way street and you need to meet your partner half-way if you want to maintain your good partner status!
Acknowledge Their Desire For Intimacy
When your partner approaches you for sex, they are often looking for an emotional connection as much as a physical one. Even if you aren't in the mood to do the actual deed, you should do something that encourages and validates your partner's desire for intimacy to avoid making them feel rejected.
Often, words won't be enough to do the trick. It's one thing to tell someone you love them and want them, it's a whole other thing to actually show them in a way that they can feel it is true. The sting of rejection is strong and it takes more than words to soothe it, sometimes.
If you are too tired or not in the mood to get down, you could suggest something less taxing for you but still fun for them. Maybe a little mutual masturbation might be fun, or a nice, mellow prostate massage could be offered up instead of banging. These are extremely intimate acts that build closeness without being quite as taxing as full-blown fuckin'.
Your response doesn't have to be sexual, either. There are plenty of ways to build intimacy that aren't physical. You should know better than me what makes your partner feel closer to you. Examine those things and try to manifest them in times when your partner is seeking sex but you are simply out of the game for the time being.
Bringing It All Together
At the end of the day, people's sex drives don't always jive up and dealing with that challenge is a huge part of having a healthy, adult relationship. The key to making it through to the other side is to be understanding of each other's needs and doing what we reasonably can to address those needs without denying our own.
If you can work toward that middle ground and find ways to work around the issue, you'll find that there isn't even an issue at all. A little bit of empathy, flexibility, and a willingness to compromise is all you ever really need to get through any relationship issue- sex is no exception!