Q. I love my boyfriend deeply and he loves me. The problem is that I am not physically attracted to him but he is to me. We are both in our sixties, but he has minimal sexual experience and regards fellatio as degrading to a woman and cunnilingus as gross. To be honest, sex is very boring with him so I have pretty much lost my libido, although I do occasionally use my vibrator. He is truly a wonderful man in other ways, but I would be happy if he lost his sexual desire. Is there any way to fix this issue? I won’t leave him, as I have had a lot of bad relationships and am not willing to end up in another crappy relationship with a weak man or end up in love with someone who doesn’t love me.
A. Sexual problems can exist in even the best of relationships. If by age 60, your man has minimal sexual experiences, his sexual hang ups have less to do with you and more to do with his own sexual history, how he relates to sex, the rules he places on sex and how he sexually inhibits himself and the pleasure of his partner.
However, the larger issue is the lack of attraction you feel for him. It’s a funny thing, when we feel strongly attracted to our partners, their habits, opinions and characteristics do not bother us nearly as much as they do when we feel unattracted to them. If you felt strong attraction, his avoidance of oral sex might not bother you as much as it does.
What I do not know is whether or not you always felt a lack of physical attraction for him or if this has developed over time. If this issue has been chronic, it’s not easy to suddenly feel attracted to him, however, if this followed a slow evolution, there is greater hope of gaining it back.
I’m not fully clear on what you want. On the one hand, because you lack attraction to him, you would “be happy if he lost his sexual desire”. On the other hand, you resent that he refuses to perform oral sex on you.
Do you see how this can seem confusing?
You wrestle with a conflict that is actually within yourself and has less to do with him. My sense is that you want a full, loving, sexual relationship but you’ve partnered with someone who cannot give you the whole package. By wishing away his desire, you also deny yourself any sexual pleasure at all (or the opportunity to work on it).
Consider whether or not this issue has come up for you in past relationships. Based on how you describe your relationship history, it sounds like you engage with partners that do not seem to be able to meet all of your relationship needs, wants and desires.
I think it’s important to get very clear on what you want. Decide on whether you want to to work on issues of attraction and sexual performance or not.It’s hard to find resolution if you do not know your direction.
Once you feel clear, share your thoughts and feelings with him. Let him know how important this feels for you. Create relationship goals for yourselves based on meeting both of your needs. Invite him to work this out with you. You both love each other deeply. Let love guide your conversations and actions.