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The Lack of Sex in a Relationship: Why It Happens & What It Means

When you’re in a relationship, sex is something that you both expect will happen. What does it mean when there’s a lack of sex in a relationship?

Lack of Sex in a Relationship

When you’re in a new relationship, it’s all about the sex. It’s constant, multiple times a day with the person you like. You’re pretty sure this level of sexual chemistry will never come to an end. But then, with time, you notice the lack of sex in a relationship issue.

Listen, this isn’t always the case, you do have some couples who are hot and heavy for each other until the end of time. But for the rest of us, it’s usually the first case. And still, there’s nothing wrong with your sex life winding down a bit. People have kids, go to work, and this all takes a toll on your sexual drive.

What it means when there’s a lack of sex in a relationship

But, if you’ve noticed a severe lack of sex in the relationship, something that’s completely out of character, pay attention to it. Sometimes, it can be a dry spell. Other times, there can be a serious reason behind it.

[Read: 15 signs that show your sex life is perfectly well-balanced]

No, it doesn’t mean your partner is cheating on you *though it is an option*. But it does mean you should communicate with your partner and find out what’s going on. So, before you think about the worst-case scenario, let’s look at all the reasons why there’s a lack of sex in a relationship.

#1 Sex isn’t a priority. Today we don’t spend much time at home, hanging out. Instead, we’re either at work, coming home from work, going here or there. When it comes to sex, it becomes the last thing we think about. Are you making sex a priority? If you’re not, it’s time you started making more time for intimacy. [Read: How to make time for sex in your busy schedule]

#2 You’re not on the same sexual level. In relationships, couples can vary when it comes to their sexual drive. It’s normal for one person to have a higher sexual drive than the other. If the person who has a high sex drive puts pressure on their partner, it can make them avoid sex. It makes the person feel like they’re being chased down, and that isn’t a turn on.

#3 You are both stressed. Welcome to being an adult. I wish we didn’t have all these obligations that stress us out, but we do. And if two people are stressed, it can negatively affect their sex life. If you have stressful lives, start compromising and making time for each other in the bedroom. [Read: 12 easy ways to keep sexual intimacy alive and kicking]

#4 You’re in a dry spell. There are some periods in your relationship where you’re not going to have as much sex; it’s normal. Maybe you got a new job and are stressed out, or you have been arguing lately, and this can create a dry spell. If it is a dry spell, make sure it doesn’t become an endless desert. [Read: The naughtiest ways to get over a sexual dry spell overnight]

 #5 You had a negative experience. Maybe you wanted to spice things up and try out BDSM or have a threesome – completely normal. But, those experiences didn’t turn out that well and slightly traumatized you both. It can discourage you from having sex because you haven’t moved past that incident. If that’s the case, talk about it.

#6 One of you struggles with performance anxiety. For some people, sex is a breeze, but for others, it can be a nightmare. Performance anxiety is a serious issue that makes people feel anxious and stressed out about sex. They’re worried about finishing too early, not being good enough. When those thoughts dominate your mind, there’s no way you want sex. No matter how much you like the person in front of you. [Read: How to overcome sexual anxiety and perform!]

#7 You feel disconnected from your sexual self. It’s not always about your partner. In many cases, people are disconnected from their sexual side, and it affects intimacy. If you don’t like how you look naked or have other insecurities about your body, it’s difficult to be open with your partner sexually. So, naturally, you avoid sex. 

#8 Your sex life has naturally slowed down. You’re used to the sex you were having in the beginning, but maybe your sex life is now just coming to a regular pace. In the beginning, couples are usually having sex like rabbits. But for many, that’s not something sustainable. If you were having sex three times a day, and now only once or once every couple of days, that’s completely normal.

#9 There’s a physical or mental health issue. Do you or your partner suffer from a physical or mental health issue? This impacts your sex life. If you’re on a new medication, it can have severe side effects, one being a reduction of your sex drive or inability to have an erection. So, look at what’s happening to you and your partner outside of the bedroom.

#10 You think they’re cheating on you. If you feel your partner is cheating on you, then you’ll struggle with having sex with this person. And if you do have sex with them, it’s not for the right reasons. Your mental state has a huge influence on your sex drive and whether or not you even want to have sex. [Read: Should you ever forgive a cheating partner?]

#11 There is a real issue behind it. If you’ve read through this list, and nothing seems to click with you, then there’s a chance the lack of sex is a mask of something much more serious. If there’s an underlying issue, discuss it with your partner. You cannot fix your sex life without fixing the underlying issue first.

[Read: Don’t accept these 15 common sex myths as facts]

There are plenty of reasons why there’s a lack of sex in a relationship. What you need to do is not jump to the worst-case scenario. Instead, figure out what’s going on.

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer, and the creator and author of her short stories on TheLonelySerb. She completed her first degr...
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