bad advice club: I love my boyfriend but the sex is boring beyond belief

5 mins
06 Jun 2023
bad advice club: I love my boyfriend but the sex is boring beyond belief

Woo's resident agony aunt Chanté Joseph gives a reader advice on whether or not to end a relationship because her partner is bad in bed

image Team Woo

words Chanté Joseph

I’m Chanté – writer, presenter, internet addict. I write a lot about relationships, internet trends and being the best, most delusional version of yourself. So welcome to the Bad Advice Club: I’m here to give you some loving advice on your life problems. Listen, I am by no means perfect, but I think that makes me ideal to assist you in navigating tricky issues because nine times out of 10, I’ve been there! Bad advice, bad decisions – these are the twists and turns that make life sweet. So let’s ride it out together: I have some gems to drop, so don’t be shy and send in your stories, woes, dilemmas.

I love my boyfriend, but the sex is boring beyond belief, and he doesn’t want to switch things up. Not to sound like that Lily Allen song but I have the best partner - super sweet, considerate, my mum loves him, he looks after me and is really so, so generous. But there’s a catch - sex with him is so painfully vanilla, it’s basically just five minutes of missionary. Even when I try and teach him what I like, he can’t seem to retain that information. I’ve checked and he seems to be icked out by sex toys, is dead set against me opening our relationship (even just for no-strings sex) and wouldn’t be caught at a sex party or experimenting with kink. I love him a lot and sex is such a small part of long-term relationships, really, but I can’t cope with his unwillingness to give me pleasure or even experiment. Do I just have to accept this if I want to be with him?

As women, we tend to compromise a lot; we often give people so much grace that we wouldn't extend to ourselves. We tend to be glass half full people in relationships because finding a solid person can feel like such a rarity, so we hold on tight to people who are mostly good, sometimes out of fear. This lands us in positions like yours where you feel like you “can’t cope” with your boyfriend's behaviour but feel resigned to “accept this” because he has other nice qualities. I’m sure your boyfriend is a wonderful man, but the main question I have for you is: how great can someone be when they’re comfortable creating an unbearable atmosphere for you because they’re too stubborn?

At some point, you must ask yourself, despite how much you love this person, when do you stop the self-inflicted pain of muting an important part of your happiness because your boyfriend is incapable of compromise? Saying you “can’t cope” is serious; you have to hear yourself out and listen to how you feel. You’ve acknowledged that perhaps he cannot give you everything you need, so you have been kind enough to suggest alternatives that he still shoots down. I think a final conversation is due: be completely honest about what it is that you need him to do and express how agonising it is to be ignored.

"Saying you can’t cope is serious; you have to hear yourself out and listen to how you feel"

Also, invite him to dig deep into his reservations about sex. Is his unwillingness really just a lack of confidence? Perhaps he feels inexperienced, and there is a fear of trying and then still letting you down. Maybe his lack of knowledge about his sexual desires makes him feel insecure, and as a result, he is denying your pleasures. This outright refusal to experiment or look for alternatives feels more than just selfish; it feels like he has something that he needs to address within himself.

Hopefully, if he has the space first to figure out and pursue his desires, it could make him feel better about giving you that same pleasure. However, from your message, it seems like he doesn’t really want to explore, and if this is what you want, then you have to consider whether this is the right relationship for you.

"Perhaps your partner feels sexually inexperienced, and there is a fear of trying and letting you down"

This situation is more than sexual compatibility; this is someone you share an intimate relationship with who knows that you have needs that can absolutely be met without significant compromise, but he simply refuses to do anything for you. So to your question: can you be happy without a sexual spark? It seems you already know the answer to this. As much as he is a generous man who you do love, his resistance to supporting your sexual desires will probably not be contained in that specific part of your relationship. It probably indicates deep-rooted behaviours that can potentially cause longer-term issues.

Ultimately, being with him seems like you will have to accept this. It falls to you to decide if feeling this emptiness in your life for the sake of a relationship is really worth it. You only live once and you have a choice to not be a victim of your circumstance, so take life into your own hands.

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