Boyfriend Pressures Me into Sex

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I’ve been dating a guy for almost 2 years. He has a high sex drive. Although I very much enjoy sex with him, sometimes I don’t want to have sex. Reasons vary but usually it’s because my tummy hurts from my period or he’s was just being kind of a insensitive at dinner which never makes me want to share my most intimate parts or be so close.

When I don’t want to have sex he thinks I’m being mean to him & it’s not fair that he can’t have sex just because I don’t want to. Depending on the situation sometimes he’ll suggest that he’ll settle if I just give him oral sex as an alternative. Usually my not wanting sex causes a huge argument in which crying ensues & he inevitably gets pissed that I’m crying over nothing & calls me crazy. Sometimes to prevent this scenario from playing out, I agree to sex & just give in & lay there waiting for him to finish then clean myself up in the bathroom.

My question is, what’s the best way for me to tell him that I don’t want to have sex with out him getting upset & saying I’m being mean or having an argument about it?

I’ve tried explaining that certain behaviors of his make me not feel close enough to desire sex at the moment he wants it. He says I’m sensitive about his behavior & I’m being judgmental & picky about him. I’ve tried just leaving his house when I know I’m not feeling up to it. He gets upset that I left so soon & unexpectedly.

I’ve tried not seeing him on days I’m on my period. He thinks I’m staying away too long. I’ve tried saying gross things that will make him less frisky. He gets upset that I’m changing the mood.

A: If the issue is confined to sex, then it could be that you two have a major difference in sex drive. In that case, the two of you need to have a serious talk, when you are both calm and not in the middle of an argument, to talk about how you are going to handle that difference without hurting each other.

But, often, when a couple has issues around sex, there are other problems in the relationship. When you are in disagreement, is he able to compromise? Give in at times? Does he understand that a relationship is about give as well as take? Do you get warmth and support and help when you need it? Or is life pretty much on his terms?

If the issues around sex are a reflection of your relationship, I hope you will take a big step back. In that case, I don’t think there is anything you can do or say to influence how your guy thinks about sex. He seems to think he is entitled to it whenever he is ready. He doesn’t seem to care whether you are really willing. For that reason, I think you are asking the wrong questions. The question to ask is why you are staying with a guy who is so selfish and self-centered.

Sex with a loved and loving partner is an expression of intimacy and togetherness. Both people need to be interested for it to be more than simply a physical release for one and an ordeal for the other. Yes, sometimes sex is a gift we give each other when we aren’t totally into it. But it’s unfair for him to regularly pressure you when you don’t feel well or when you aren’t feeling particularly close to him.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 Feb 2014

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2014). Boyfriend Pressures Me into Sex. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/02/23/boyfriend-pressures-me-into-sex/