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A few years back, I remember reading a Humans of New York post on Facebook, in which a man explained complicated feelings for his girlfriend. The man revealed how torn he was in his new relationship. And he wrestled with whether or not this was a dealbreaker. Can this sexual attraction develop over time? Is there hope for us?
But the year-old says it's also the quickest way to help her relax and "focus completely on the present moment".
There are many reasons people have sex even when they don't feel like it — and the consequences can be good and bad, depending on why you're doing it, explains sexologist Kassandra Mourikis. The difference between having sex when you're not in the mood and sexual assault or coercion is consent. Sexual coercion involves behaviour that is not always criminal, but is usually abusive in some way.
Should you ever have sex when you don't feel like it?
For help you can contact RESPECTthe national body for supporting people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse. A desire to satisfy a partner or feelings of obligation are common motivations for having sex despite not feeling like it, explains Ms Mourikis. People can also seek to alleviate feelings of guilt or shame, or "sometimes they've just been taught it's their duty", she says. Lauren Muratore is a sex therapist and couples counsellor who sees people with regimented approaches to sex frequency.
While they communicate well, Jasmine says spending so much time together can lead to frustrations. People might also be motivated to earn income, or a desire to conceive.
Others believe — rightly or wrongly — if they don't have sex their partner might seek it elsewhere, Ms Mourikis says. Ms Mourikis says there are reasons to have sex when you don't feel like it that are supportive to your wellbeing and the relationship, and those that are unsupportive. Unsupportive reasons are when there is a negative impact on mental health and wellbeing, says Ms Mourkis.
While men also have sex without desire, Ms Mourikis says it's more common for women because in society they are expected to meet everybody else's needs before their own.
He's been seeing someone for two and a half years and says even if he's not up for sex, he still enjoys it because it pleases them. It can be two people being aware of their boundaries and being able to voice what they are happy to do, Mr Muratore says. Possible negative outcomes include your body experiencing a stress response.
That can lead to sexual pain and a cycle of avoidance. If having sex without desire is affecting you in a way that is unhelpful to you or the relationship, Ms Mourikis says it's worth interrogating. From there you can move forward by setting boundaries.
For example, "I'm going to honour and respect my 'no' when I don't feel like having sex" or "I will not engage with specific sex activities that leave me feeling angry", says Ms Mourikis. If you feel like the communication is not productive, you can consider seeking the support of a professional sex therapist or couples counsellor. Get our newsletter for the best of ABC Everyday each week.
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We explore why people have sex without desire, and the possible outcomes of doing so. Being pressured to have sex is never OK The difference between having sex when you're not in the mood and sexual assault or coercion is consent. The reasons we have sex without desire A desire to satisfy a partner or feelings of obligation are common motivations for having sex despite not feeling like it, explains Ms Mourikis. Sex without desire can also be about connecting with a partner on a deeper level.
When it's supportive vs unsupportive Ms Mourikis says there are reasons to have sex when you don't feel like it that are supportive to your wellbeing and the relationship, and those that are unsupportive. She says doing it because you feel like it's a duty is more likely to lead to resentment.
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She says it may also lead to: Avoiding any kind of physical and emotional intimacy; No longer finding sex pleasurable or satisfying; Feeling like sex is always a duty or a chore; Long-term negative effects on your mental health. She recommends journalling to realise what those boundaries are. Then it's time to speak to your partner. Ms Muratore suggests coming up with other ways to be intimate when you're not up for sex.
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For example: massage, making out or watching a movie together — whatever you both agree on. It's a process of negotiation, says Ms Mourikis. address. Posted 23 Aug 23 Aug Sun 23 Aug at pm. I've spoken to hundreds of women about sex.
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