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When sexual needs don’t match

I recently received this email from a reader of my article "Are you sexually frustrated?": "I am 23, and I've been in a relationship with a girl for almost 4 years now, we're both virgins.

I love her and I intend to marry her. I feel the need to be physically intimate with her (which, but of course, is very natural), whereas she is not interested, even for a make out. (It's been almost 8 months when we last made out.) I feel really very frustrated.

We talked it out, yes, and found out that we just have very different physical needs. She does not feel the need to have sex right now, however, she understands that I might have urges, and encourages me to do it with a prostitute.

She tells me that she's cool about it. However, I hate the idea of paying for sex. As evil as I may sound, I have thought about doing it with a friend of mine, who has the hots for me (I am an attractive guy, and I know it.)

We even made a date of it at her place last week, but I ended up cancelling because of all the guilt involved. I really love my girl, but I am tired of being sexually inactive. Please advise. When sexual needs don’t match Dear friend: Thanks so much for reading my article and for writing. I can see why you are in such distress. Touching, kissing, hugging and physical demonstrations of love are not only necessary, especially between two people in love; it is something very natural for humans. Your sexual cravings are perfectly natural as well (the unhealthy thing would be not to have them).  Regarding your girlfriend: Her attitude towards sex and intimacy now is reflective of what your relationship will be after you get married, unless she starts doing something now to change her attitudes and behavior towards intimacy and sex.

In other words, expect a sexless marriage and a relationship without physical demonstrations of love once you get married if that is what you are experiencing now. It would be interesting to know if your girlfriend was she always like that, even at the beginning of the relationship. I can understand that, maybe for cultural and religious reasons, she would not want to have sex "right now".

Does she envision that her sexual appetite will change once you get married? These are topics you need to thoroughly discuss before jumping into a long term commitment such as marriage.  You, in the other hand, have a decision to make and basically have three options:

1) either you wait to have sex when you marry your girlfriend (you say you are "intend to", whatever that means) and pleasure yourself with masturbation while you wait;

2) wait to have sex with your girlfriend after you marry her but have sexual experiences outside your relationship while you wait (which I gather the mere thought makes you feel too guilty to act upon this option);

3) try to get your girlfriend to open up to the idea of having sex in the near future or at the very least, be intimate, which may or may not include sex but definitely includes touching, hugging, kissing, cuddling, caressing, holding hands, looking into each other's eyes, massaging, being romantic, etc.

Regardless of your decision and the outcome, you need to have a more in depth conversation about this topic with her and keep that communication open and ongoing until you both meet your needs.

Otherwise, the relationship is doomed and you will lead a life of continuous sexual dissatisfaction within the context of your relationship with her, which will not hold in the long term.  I am concerned because your girlfriend is not even interested in basic intimacy, like kissing, which is a fundamental part of any sentimental relationship.

She may be emotionally shut down to the idea of sex and intimacy due to past emotional or sexual trauma or the pressures of religion and culture. It is worth finding out what the causes of her aversion to sex and intimacy are so you are better equipped to deal with them and make decisions based on facts, not conjectures.  Good luck! Photo:

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