How to ask about sex?

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Dear Guys,

Thank you so much for still being here to answer questions! I would love to donate just in general, but I am not able to right now, so whenever you are able to answer will be fine; this is not an emergency. What I need advice on seems like a very touchy issue: How to ask about sex?

I’ve been in a long term relationship—15 years— and our sex life has been fairly consistent with the normal ups and downs. I would be available for it every day if we could, but he has a lot of stress in his work, etc. I have never pushed the issue, but have tried being the one to initiate on occasion, but he’s never responded to that, so I just wait for him, and always let him know how much I enjoy those moments.

However, as of late—meaning the last couple of years—it has become almost a rare event, weeks or months between. And when we do have sex, it’s pretty much just get it done sort of thing, maybe 2-3 minutes. I know he takes Cialis because I came across the bottle about 3 years ago, but he hasn’t said anything about it; and it hasn’t increased anything about our sex life, although he continues to use it. And yes, I am certain he is not seeing anyone else.

I wanted to communicate about the issue, but not sure how to approach it without it offending him or hurting his feelings, as he definitely has that male ego thing. I know there are times that his back is hurting, or other things, but none of those mattered in previous years, and I have offered different positions to help. I know he’s older now, 67, and I’m 52, but I’ve also read so many articles on the importance of maintaining a good sex life from a health perspective as well as for the relationship. And there are times in the morning when he will apologize out of nowhere that he’s sorry he wasn’t feeling up to making love to me, even though it hadn’t been an issue the previous night, so he does seem to be aware of the problem. What would you suggest as the best approach to communicating on this issue, while not wanting to hurt or offend him? Thank you in advance.


Dear CJ,

Thanks for your question. And no worries on the donation. We still try to answer as many questions as we can, regardless of whether or not a question is accompanied by a donation. (It just takes longer.) Some people give donations because their questions are pressing.

Anyway, you bring up a sensitive topic, especially for guys. As soon as we reach puberty, one of our defining qualities is our overwhelming interest in sex. We do have other interests and goals, but what’s common to all men is how much we think about women and sex. It truly is every 7 seconds, and on some days more.

So you can imagine how a guy might feel when his drive begins to wane. Sure some guys see it as a natural progression, part of entering a new phase of life. But others see it as unsettling at best, possibly embarrassing, and at worst, threatening to their identity as a man. We don’t know exactly where your guy falls into this spectrum but he’s definitely dealing with some of these emotions. So you’re right to tread lightly here.

One other piece of this that strikes us, is your continued, and strong interest in sex. From our experience, a guy’s waning interest in sex often coincides with his partner’s diminishing interest. And it seems to us that this is where your issue lies? You still have a strong desire to be physical—you said you could do it daily—and his libido and  testosterone levels are diminishing. So the goal here is to meet somewhere in the middle, where you will both be happy and satisfied.

You don’t actually mention the frequency of your “sessions” but keep in mind that not many couples have sex daily after being together for a while. In fact it’s hard to say what the average is because the range varies so much.(You can find statistics all over the web. You might be surprised at the frequency, or we should say, lack of frequency of the average couple.) So, for you and your guy, anything regular would be a good place to start. This could be once once a week, once every two weeks, or some other agreed upon interval.

Your instincts are dead on here CJ. There is no easy way to bring this up. He already is in pain over it, so the minute you bring it up he’s going to feel like you’re attacking him, even if you’re not. (He’s already beating himself up over this, and you know this.) So the first order of business is to tell him how much you love him, and how much you’re attracted to him as a man. In fact, the best course of action is to slowly introduce the conversation over the course of many shorter conversations spanning many sessions, instead of having one big “sit down” where you air all your feelings. Maybe begin the conversation after a particularly, or relatively good session. Maybe tell him how great the sex was, and how much you enjoyed being with him, and then ask him what might have been different about that particular day, or time of day, to make him that much more interested. Gauge your follow up comment, or question, by what his response to you is. The good news is you have time. You don’t sound like you’re going anywhere no matter what happens, so this “conversation” can happen over the course of many months, or even longer.

We don’t recommend having a big “talk” because you’re more likely to shut him down. Get him talking when he feels good about himself and the sex. You might be surprised that once the floodgates open he will actually be relieved to start talking about it. And if the conversation feels positive, then also express how you’re feeling—in doses. But remember, we can’t say when exactly you should interject your feelings, issues, needs. That’s up to you. You’ll just have to feel when the time is right. We imagine there will be times where you just listen to him talk. Once you get the conversation going by introducing the topic into your pallete of conversation, you might find that things will begin to change. And at worst, you’ll at least have a better sense of what he’s going through and what to expect out of him. The issue could truly be just about sex, but it also could be something else beneath the surface.

Good luck,






6 Comments on How to ask about sex?

  1. The first time I had sex was about 3-4 days into me hanging out with this guy. Now I know some women have a “5 date rule”, but recently I’ve heard about a 90 day rule, (making a guy wait 3 months with no sex to see if he’s worth it) my question is does making a man wait for sex make you more girlfriend material? Like, had I waited 3-4 months before sleeping with this guy do you think he’d have more respect for me or is that irrelevant?

  2. @Linda…..It’s irrelevant as long as you don’t do it on the first night. Every relationship is different and every guy is different. A guy might stick around for three months waiting to have sex, but that’s no guarantee that after he finally gets it he’ll stick around. Guys typically know very early on if a woman is girlfriend material. But here’s the thing that your girlfriends don’t know. The final evaluation is always the sex. Meaning, even if a girl is perfect in every way a guy will still break up with a woman if the sex isn’t great. That doesn’t mean they won’t try a few times with the hope that it will get better, but even if a woman waits 90 days she’s not guaranteed of anything. Does this help?

  3. Hi Guys!
    So I met a guy online. He’s hot. Lots of flirting via text but we’ve only met up once. When I have initiated a meeting he’s flaked on me..stating kids, work, etc. as his reason to why he can’t make the meet up. Honestly, I’m just looking to have sex. He texts me like he wants me too. I even asked him whats up with him, if this thing we were doing wasn’t working. He told me he likes
    me and wants to get to know me…it’s just going to be a slower process…if I’m okay with that. What the heck does that mean!?! Guys, I just want sex, but I really want to have sex with him! What do I do!?!

  4. @Jssxpls……You try and be patient and go at his pace. You may have just met one of the few guys who is more interested in a relationship than sex. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. We’re sure he can be persuaded. Keep us posted.

  5. jssxpls // March 5, 2013 at 6:19 pm //

    Guys..but our first meet was hot…touchy-feely which I welcomed, cuz yeah, I was attracted to him and though we wouldn’t have had sex on the first date, I didn’t mind his touching of my leg, holding my hand, hugging me..(women everywhere are cringing at my level of comfortability! Lol…) So why not pursue the physical. Why come on strong only to not follow through? But his texts tell me differently…until I suggest we meet. Should I be assertive? Mixed signals are interfering with my sexual prowess!! (Lol…that’s funny!!)

  6. @Jssxpls……Don’t over think it. Be yourself. If you’re too much for him, trust us, they’ll be plenty of other willing and interested men. Keep us posted.

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