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Sudden Change in Sexual Appetite

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Me and my girlfriend have been dating for more than 9 months. We first had sex after three weeks of dating, and she asked me to have sex with her. When we had been dating for three months, she slowly started not wanting to have sex, and I even went a whole month without sex. She started taking birth control pills at the three month mark, so this might be why she acts like this.

But upon talking to her about it, she says that she loves thinking sexual thoughts and fantasizing about me, but when it actually comes to having sex she says that it makes her feel dirty. She herself doesn’t know why it makes her feel dirty, but she does, and she also says that she wants to have sex, but she also doesn’t want to have sex (like she likes the idea of having sex with me, but actually having sex makes her feel dirty). She has depression and is very self conscious about the way she looks. She thinks that she’s fat, I’ve told her multiple times that she isn’t but she still doesn’t like the way she looks.

She says that she loves me very much, and she wants to have a long time relationship.

So I’m asking if there’s a reason for her to be feeling dirty about having sex with me? (From Canada)

Sudden Change in Sexual Appetite

Answered by on -


I’d begin with asking your girlfriend to have a discussion with her gynecologist about the onset of her shift and taking the birth control pills. She’d want to rule out any medical causes before jumping into unraveling the psychological.

If it turns out the pills or a medical condition aren’t the issue, and it remains clear that your behavior with her isn’t the trigger (meaning you are not saying or doing something specifically that has been unacceptable to her), then I’d suggest she work with a therapist proficient in working with people with sexual inhibition.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Sudden Change in Sexual Appetite

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2019). Sudden Change in Sexual Appetite. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 29, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 9 May 2019 (Originally: 11 May 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 9 May 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.