Sexplain It: My Girlfriend Has Zero Interest in Sex. Ever.

By | May 13, 2021

I’m Zachary Zane, a sex writer and ethical manwhore (a fancy way of saying I sleep with a lot of people, and I’m very, very open about it). Over the years, I’ve had my fair share of sexual experiences, dating and sleeping with hundreds of people of all genders and orientations. In doing so, I’ve learned a thing or two about navigating issues in the bedroom (and a bunch of other places, TBH). I’m here to answer your most pressing sex questions with thorough, actionable advice that isn’t just “communicate with your partner,” because you know that already. Ask me anything—literally, anything—and I will gladly Sexplain It.

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Dear Sexplain It,

I’ve been with my girlfriend for three years now, and I must say she is very cold in bed. She initially had no experience, but I have been trying to educate and teach her for so long, and all in vain. It seems like sex is the last thing on her mind, and she isn’t physically wired for sex. I enjoy dirty talk and mixing up positions, but she doesn’t. She does not enjoy the basic things in sex like neck or ear lobe biting, and instead of saying it gets her off, she says it tickles.

This issue is very annoying as I have a lot of urges she can’t satisfy, and sex with her is very, very frustrating. We can make out for hours but as soon as I touch her down there or simply penetrate, she cums. After that, she is no longer in the mood for sex. Then it’s up to me to finish myself without getting anything from her.

When I try to ask her what she likes in bed, she truly doesn’t know. She truly does not like sex. She just likes the intimacy of us being together. She has never masturbated or had any sexual thoughts. Is this normal? What can I do?

— Sexually Frustrated

sexplain it graphic


Dear Sexually Frustrated,

I don’t want to burst your bubble, but I think there’s a decent chance she’s pretending to have those orgasms in order to avoid having sex longer. I could be wrong, but that was my gut instinct when I first read your question.

Now, while some people avoid sex due to deep-rooted sexual shame or trauma, it sounds like your girlfriend is dealing with something different. You describe her as not being “physically wired for sex,” which leads me to believe she might fall somewhere on the asexual spectrum (along with 1-4% of the population, FYI). The Trevor Project has an abundance of information on asexuality available here, but here’s their basic overview:

“It’s important to remember that asexuality is an umbrella term, and exists on a spectrum. Asexual people—also known as “Ace” or “Aces”—may have little interest in having sex, even though most desire emotionally intimate relationships. Within the ace community there are many ways for people to identify.”

So, what do you do with this information? First, know that sexual people (like you) can be in healthy and happy relationships with asexual people, as long as all parties are on the same page about their needs, according to the Asexual Visibility & Education Network (another excellent resource for educating yourself). Based on your question, it sounds like your girlfriend might be open to certain intimate activities, such as making out, but it’s important that you two engage in some honest conversation about your needs and desires so you can both decide whether you want to move forward with each other. (This is true of any couple experiencing mismatched sex drives.)

It seems like you’ve repeatedly voiced your sexual frustration to your girlfriend, but I’d be interested in knowing exactly how you broached the subject. I showed your question to Jor-El Caraballo, LMHC and cofounder of Viva Wellness, and he sensed “a lot of judgment and criticism towards your girlfriend” and suggested that you “be more curious about [her] experience with sex and [her] sexuality rather than critical of [her] not being able to meet your needs.”

If you said something like “Why don’t you like X, Y, or Z? You’re making it hard for me to enjoy sex!” then she’s likely stressing the fuck out and feeling guilty—i.e., not in the best place to have an honest conversation about her needs! If you haven’t yet, I’d suggest saying something like, “I know you’re not quite sure what you like sexually, but if you’re open to it, maybe we could try some different things to see what you like and dislike.” If she’s game, the key is making these sessions pressure-free; they should be fun and explorative, not outcome-driven. If she isn’t, there’s nothing you can (or should) do to change that.

If the thought of navigating that conversation alone seems daunting, seeing a couple’s sex therapist might be helpful. A neutral third party can potentially help you find a way where both of your needs are getting met, as well as help your girlfriend better understand her own sexual identity.

But if therapy, compassion, and exploration don’t work—and they might not, especially if she is asexual and has zero desire for sex—then I’d consider breaking up (with mutual love and respect!). Sex is clearly an important part of your life. It’s an essential part of mine too, so I get it. If you two aren’t sexually compatible, then I’d try to find someone who is—and let your girlfriend find someone who’s better for her, too.

I think you’d both be happier.

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