I'm young professional - recent grad, same as my boyfriend. Neither one of us has communicated what the other needs and I'm not sure we know how. He is a not a very sexual person and I am, and that has put our relationship in jeopardy. He just doesn't seem interested in me anymore and that is causing all our arguing. I do love him and want us to work through this. I have been talking to other guys that show interest in me just to get that feeling that someone does still find me attractive. Can you help us or give us any advice?
Sexless in Seattle
Seems to me you two need an intervention. That's code for therapy.
What your partner is feeling is important for both of you to understand and believe it or not, he may be as baffled by his decline in interest as you are... there are many possible sources for his change in sexual appetite.
Perhaps you had an episode of infidelity prior to his decline? Infidelity is a serious threat to one's libido. Or maybe there are some unresolved conflicts that are causing him to harbor feelings of anger or resentment toward you that he is not skilled enough to communicate to you directly, so he opts instead to cut out sex. That, after all, has gotten your attention.
In some cases, the desire-meter drops because of outside life stressors such as new jobs, recent moves, or family conflicts unrelated to your relationship. Going back further, there is also the possibility of childhood trauma or sexual abuse that makes it difficult to be vulnerable, period (whether it's sex, or talking about feelings!) Lastly, what comes to mind is good ole homophobia. Some men experience a lot of shame being sexual and have internalized negative messages about sex between men, and the conflict between one's mind ("gay sex is bad") and one's body ("but I desire this, and it feels good") can wreak havoc on an otherwise healthy relationship.
As you can see, there are many reasons we experience a decline in sexual interest. To begin investigating this more effectively, I do suggest you find yourself a good therapist who is skilled in relationship counseling and has experience working with gay men (which admittedly is not easy), so that you can open the lines of communication about this. Oh, and if you're serious about making this relationship work, I'd put a hold on your efforts to prove to yourself you are desirable to other men. You will not only compromise your efforts to improve your relationship, you are also perpetuating a pattern of needing others to prove your worthiness (or desirability).
by Michele O'Mara, LCSW