Love and Relationships

[Two Pronged] I think my boyfriend is no longer sexually interested in me

Margarita Holmes, Jeremy Baer

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[Two Pronged] I think my boyfriend is no longer sexually interested in me
'I always make the first move and there are so many times that he would reject me, like he’d tell me something to make me get off him'

Rappler’s Life and Style section runs an advice column by couple Jeremy Baer and clinical psychologist Dr. Margarita Holmes.

Jeremy has a master’s degree in law from Oxford University. A banker of 37 years who worked in three continents, he has been training with Dr. Holmes for the last 10 years as co-lecturer and, occasionally, as co-therapist, especially with clients whose financial concerns intrude into their daily lives.

Together, they have written two books: Love Triangles: Understanding the Macho-Mistress Mentality and Imported Love: Filipino-Foreign Liaisons.

Dear Dr Holmes and Mr Baer:

I’ve been bothered by what’s happening between me and my boyfriend lately. We’ve been together for almost two years now. Before I moved in his apartment, our love-making sessions were very frequent. But now, I can sense that he’s not sexually interested in me.

I know that he loves me but it makes me feel bad about myself cause I feel unwanted. Since then, I always make the first move and there are so many times that he would reject me, like he’d tell me something to make me get off him.

I just noticed that lately he’d comment on how hot some girls are. And after I moved in, he put me on a rigorous diet and work-out scheme to make me look “hot”. He says it’s for my health but I know he just wants me to be like the girls whom he deems ‘hot”. 

I don’t have the courage to talk to him about it cause he’ll just say, as he always does, that I’m a sex maniac. He doesn’t understand that to me, it’s not just about doing the deed but also a form of expressing our love for, and acceptance of. each other. It also makes me feel secure about myself, that he is still attracted to me. I am really confused about this. I don’t know if this is just a sexual problem or a relationship problem.



Dear Helen,

Thank you for your email.

In most relationships, the period up to marriage is when both parties are on their best behavior, showing each other their best qualities and trying to suppress their worst. As the relationship matures, they tend to relax, become aware of what each likes and dislikes, and generally reach a compromise, tacit or otherwise, over how the relationship works best for the two of them. All being well, they may get married; if they fail to reach a mutually acceptable compromise however, they usually break up.

If, Helen, you apply this to your own situation, you can draw a few conclusions. Your relationship was initially going so well that you and your boyfriend (let’s call him Pete) felt comfortable enough with each other to decide to live together. Now, there were three options: to move to his place, for him to move to yours, or to get a new place together.

You chose the first, which may have been a pointer to the future. Once Pete had you under his roof, in his apartment, he began his “health” campaign to mold you into his ideal of a hot woman. You presumably went along with the diet and workout routines because they were in fact good for you, although you realized that was not Pete’s real reason for encouraging you to do so. However, the great sex you had both enjoyed previously began to wane and when you raise the subject with Pete, he simply accuses you of being a sex maniac.

It is a fact of life that the frequency of sex generally decreases over time. The novelty wears off, life intervenes, familiarity and the aging process replace the original urgency and intensity. This usually takes place over a period of many years however so it is potentially a red flag that it has occurred so early in your relationship with Pete.

You say that a healthy sexual relationship is something you desire and this is a totally reasonable aspiration. If Pete though is already trying to transform you into someone else, the girl of his fantasies, and the sexual element of your life together is inadequate at such an early stage of your life together, this suggests that his experiment with you is not working. You therefore need to ask yourself if Pete is the right guy for you.

All the best,

JAF Baer

From Our Archives

[Two Pronged] My husband and I barely have sex. I think he might be gay.

[Two Pronged] My husband and I barely have sex. I think he might be gay.

Dear Helen:

Thank you very much for your email.

There are three points where I agree with what Mr Baer says above: (the early period of your living in) is when both parties are on their best behavior, showing each other their best qualities and trying to suppress their worst; As the relationship matures, they tend to relax (and their true-er selves may come to the fore…not because they were hypocrites before, but because this is human nature.

When love is new, you tend to be in a better mood and are willing to do many more things to make your beloved happy. frequency of sex generally decreases over time; again, not necessarily because of anything sinister, but because of factors which can be reasonably explained by various psychological, sociological, anthropological, and even economic theories (or facts).

His calling you a sex maniac, and apparently more than once, is reprehensible and, in my opinion, might be reason enough to leave him. This is especially so IF he has no redeeming qualities and if he does not apologize and really mean it when he realizes (usually only after you tell him so) that this sort of phrase said in his sort of tone is something only mean, manipulative, and malicious people say.

However a few things I disagree with, both with Mr Baer and possibly with you, are the following:

The reason he put you on a rigorous diet and exercise regime could very well be that he wants you healthy, so you can live a longer life together. That you become “hot” might be a welcome “by-product”/side effect but that is not the original reason he put you on such a regime.

There’s only one way to find out – by having a no-holds-barred (albeit gentle) conversation about it. But both of you seem uncomfortable about initiating uncomfortable conversations, so this will take some conscious effort. Because you are writing to us, and not Paul, it is only you we can encourage to take the first step.

Another difficult conversation is the kind of sex you want and need. In terms of frequency, who initiates, and the message you hope it brings across. As long as you don’t insist on penile-vaginal (or anal) penetration, frequency and initiating sex is something Paul can do if it is important to him that you be happy. What these two need is mainly the willingness to do it,…an erection, however, is not a matter of will, but needs some extra oomph to happen (just as lubrication usually also needs the same).

This brings us to the third aspect you miss in the sex you have with Paul: “not just about doing (it), but also …a way …make me feel secure about myself, (Because it shows) that he is still attracted to me.

This is a lot to ask a guy who knows you are unhappy with your relationship, but doesn’t really know why. Expecting him to make love to you in a way that makes you feel secure, proving he is still attracted to you might be asking too much of him right now, especially if he too feels insecure about giving you the kind of sex you need.

Sometimes people just want to have sex to relax, to laugh and /or forget about the demands your world (or partner) places on you. Sometimes people only want orgasms (to get, and hopefully also to give, them) that help release tension. In other words, not for deep emotions, but for pure and simple lust.

Albert Camus once said: “You can only live with those who free you, who love you with an affection that is as light to bear as it is strong to feel. Today’s life is too hard, too bitter, too anemic for us to undergo new bondages from whom we love.”

Unless you can communicate with each other in a loving, accepting, non-threatening way. You may be at cross purposes and not even know about it. Maybe talking honestly to him, will encourage him to be more honest with you too, and can be the first step for each of you to understand how to give the other what they want and, perhaps even exploring if this is what they want to do at this time in their lives.

Honest conversations are often scary; but their rewards are immeasurable. So how about it, Helen? Do you want your dream relationship enough to initiate such conversations?

Write us again, please, if you want help in doing this.

All the best,

MG Holmes


Please send any comments, questions, or requests for advice to

From Our Archives

[Two Pronged] Am I addicted to sex?

[Two Pronged] Am I addicted to sex?

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