Your partner saying “no” to sex can be a seriously troubling thing. It can send you into a downward spiral of self-doubting thoughts: What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with our relationship? What if I’m not desirable enough?
Before you blame yourself (don’t!), Shape sexpert Dr. Logan Levkoff is here to help; it could be something physical or medical (think: erectile dysfunction) or an emotional, political, or spiritual thing (maybe he or she just isn’t ready or wants to wait until marriage). But the thing is, you won’t know what the reason is until you talk it out. Talking about sex can be scary (even with a partner you trust in and care about), especially when it’s about what you want in bed, your partner’s porn habits, or the fact that they don’t want sex. But as Dr. Levkoff says, the only way you can reap the deepest emotional, physical, and sexual rewards of a relationship is by letting yourself be vulnerable enough to bring up the tough stuff during pillow talk. We bet you’ll be glad you did.
And, really, don’t stress if your partner wants to take their time going all the way. The average number of partners for adult men between 25 and 44 is six, and it’s only four for women. So if you or your partner are conservative when it comes to sex, relax. You’re not alone.