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Ask Shan Tell'emJET Love

Love Advice: Sexless in Love

Dear Shan Tell’em,

I have a girlfriend whom I love very much. She’s been by my side for two years, despite me dealing with my own demons so to speak. Just about everything about our relationship is cool, except for the fact that we barely have sex. When we do, I’m the one that initiates it. It seems like she loves me, but isn’t attracted to me physically. I don’t feel desired. In the beginning, we couldn’t keep our hands off of each other. But since moving in together, it won’t happen unless I do something. I’ve asked her about it and she just tells me that she does desire me. I love my girlfriend and I don’t think she’s cheating, but I don’t want to be in a sexless relationship. 

Signed,

Sexless in Love

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Dear Sexless in Love,

You mentioned that you two couldn’t keep your hands off of each other in the beginning of your relationship. Like many couples, things are usually hot and heavy at that time, but after the honeymoon phase wears off, your sex life calms down a little bit. Question. Who was initiating the intimacy back then? If you were, perhaps your mate was simply responding to your lead. It doesn’t mean that her desire has changed, it just means that she’s more passive when it comes to sex. If both of you were initiating the sex, then I would take note of that, but not think too much into it.

There’s a big difference between being denied sex and having a mate who does not initiate it. No one wants to feel like they’re begging their mate for sex, but that’s what it feels like when you’re constantly being denied. Are you being rejected? If you were no longer being intimate, then there would be a little more cause for concern. Aside from medical issues, spiritual obligations and/or stress, sex should still be happening in your relationship. When it is not happening, it’s usually a symptom of a greater issue within the union. From what you’ve described, it just sounds like your mate is simply the more passive individual.

Before you jump to conclusions, think about the possibility of trusting what your mate told you. Try communicating again to her how important it is for you two to connect intimately. I’d also encourage you to think about why this is an issue for you. Do you view your mate initiating sex as a means of validation? Have you had relationships in the past where your mate did not initiate sex and you found out down the line that something else was at play? Often we have ideas of how relationships are supposed to be and when they do not meet our standards, we think something is wrong.

If your mate isn’t denying you sex and your relationship is strong, I suggest having a conversation with her that clearly communicates how her actions (or lack thereof), make you feel. Then be done with it. This doesn’t sound like a deal-breaker to me, Sexless. But dwelling on it could turn it into one.

Good luck and I wish you the best.

Got a question for Shan Tell’em? Email us at digitalpitches@ebony.com or simply comment in the section below! And don’t forget to join us on Twitter every Wednesday at 2PM CST for a live discussion on love and relationships. Keep up with the conversation via the #AskShanTellem hashtag. 

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Shantell E. Jamison is a Chicago-based writer, radio personality, and cultural critic. She’s also JET Magazine’s Digital Content Editor. She’s been featured on WBEZ 91.5FM, “The Monique Caradine Show,” Vocalo 91.1FM, KDKA Newsradio 1020AM, WBGX 1570AM, WYCA 102.3FM, Chicago Now, The Grio, The Black Youth Project, The Gate Newspaper and “Launching Chicago with Lenny McAllister.” Her debut book, “Drive Yourself in the Right Direction: Simple Quotes on How to Achieve Your Best Self” is available now at Amazon.com.