I’ve been in a relationship 3 years and got engaged not too long ago. A bit of context is that everything else in our relationship is strong, but when one thing is not right it just seems to overshadow everything. Our sex life has been up and down and I’ve been struggling of late. I guess there are 2 main issues I’m dealing with :
- this is my first relationship of any kind. I’ve always had a kind of anxiety around full sex. Have always enjoyed the idea of being more submissive and doing bdsm stuff. I told this to my partner at the very start and she was cool with it - we were both happy to play around and see what happened. For the first 2 years or so we only did intercourse a few times, for the most part this was okay for me but over time it became clear it was an issue for her. Looking back at this period is hard for me. I really enjoy sexual experiences with my partner and have usually found it easy to get hard, however if I know there is an expectation on her part that we will try for the full thing, I often lose it. I think on my part, this is a mixture of at times just preferring to do outercourse, and at times wanting to do intercourse but being worried about letting my partner down and losing it. While my desire for intercourse has grown over the course of the relationship, it is very hard to admit to myself and my partner that there are times when I would prefer to do something else instead.
About a year ago I did some counselling to talk about my issues. On the whole it was helpful, we have had sex more often in the last year and honestly I have found it far more enjoyable than what we did before. I have felt much closer to my partner also. However, there have been dips along the way and I do have a lot of anxiety a lot of the time about things going wrong. This makes me pull away or ask just for outercourse. My partner is struggling with this, the fact that we have had periods of big success over the last year has left her confused as to why there are times I just can’t or don’t want to, and I get that. I started doing Mojo a few months back ( I stopped the counselling about 6 months ago ) and found it helpful at first, but there are still issues I have. If I don’t get hard in the first few minutes then I lose confidence, the whole situation becomes less sexy and I am just worried about what my partner is thinking. Whenever we do do it, suddenly life is amazing but things are a bit of a rollercoaster and at the moment I am in one of my worst ruts. Can’t understand why at times it has been so easy and I’ve felt so connected and great with my partner. Definitely dwelling too much on the past and future - I love her so much and hate to feel like I am hurting her more than I am benefiting her.
- the other thing to say is that we both work in the same place in a highly pressurised and stressful job. We are not in exactly the same department but still see a lot of each other and have the same stresses, difficult customers and managers. We work late and when we come home often just want to have our own space and decompress. I personally find my drive to be quite low a lot of the time after the work day and this adds to my feeling that I won’t get it up if we go for it. We have also spoken about if working together is really the best thing long term and if we see ourselves too much as colleagues. It may be hard for me to admit but maybe my desire for her goes up and down and maybe our working life is a part of this - we are so many different things to each other and it does feel harder to make time to just be romantic and have fun.
I am feeling quite confused at the moment, I know long term I have made huge progress. I want sex more than I did in the past and have been having more success with my partner in the last year, but right now just feeling quite low. My partner is low about it too and I know she just wants to get to the next time we do it - it feels hard because she wants me to take the lead but I don’t want to let her down. Equally I know avoiding sex is bad and just reinforces it as a danger in my brain.
Feels great to get it all out there and if anyone has any thoughts at all I would be so appreciative.