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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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I need some help. My girlfriend and I haven't had sex since

Resolved Question:

Hi, I need some help. My girlfriend and I haven't had sex since April 2011. She doesn't want to have sex till marriage now. We have been together for 4 years and I want to be with her but having sex has consumed my mind and it's all i think about and it's effecting my work and school life. I masterbate but its not helping. I am considering cheating.what should i do?

Added additional: I am 33 and never married also I didn't have a lot of sex in my teens and twenty's.

is this something you can answer?

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 5 years ago.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

Do you anticipate a marriage to this woman soon? I ask because if there was a short time line between now and having a wedding and then having sex, there are some things one can do to handle the feelings of deprivation you have. If you DON"T have a wedding date set for the near term, then I'm concerned that you and your girlfriend have seriously different core values and beliefs that really strain your sense of compatibility. You said you had sex in April but stopped. What happened, exactly?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Dr Michael,

Thanks for you response. I can give you some more background on this. There is no wedding date and no time table. My girlfriend is Pakistani and her parents don't know of me yet. The last time we had sex was April 2011. In August 2011 i brought up saying we need to have sex. She said she didn't want to have sex anymore till marriage because she had an "experience" when she visited Pakistan last January 2011 and she doesn't feel it's right to have sex till marriage. We are still affectionate kissing but no act of sex involved.

Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 5 years ago.
Here is the problem: There is little hope that you can really quell your desire to have sex with your girlfriend. This is because you have had a prior history of sex, know what it feels like, and you've had sex with your girlfriend. There is a classic theory paper in psychology from the early 1960s that deal precisely with your issue. It is called, The Appetitional Theory of Sexual Motivation by Kenneth Hardy. He basically says that once people have experience with something that is a normal, behavioral experience, that is highly rewarding or reinforcing, it is very difficult if not impossible to prevent the 'appetite' or desire for it in the future. So married people who divorce who had active, happy sex lives have a nearly impossible time trying to abstain from sex with their next partner---assuming they want to. Your brain has sort of been 'rewired' now because of your prior learning experiences--and given the fact that you have no time line for 'relief' from your feelings of deprivation, there is really little anyone can do to help you not want sex.

You can do a couple of things. One is to talk to your girlfriend about going into couple counseling with you to at least talk about this issue. Explain that perhaps you can 're frame' or better understand and 'accept' the status of your relationship and nonsexual, or she might find some reasons to cope differently with the episode in Afghanistan in Jan. 2011. So some shift in attitudes on one or both of your parts might occur through counseling. The second thing you can do is explain to your girlfriend that you unfortunately, hold very different values about sex than she does and it has become such a strenuous obstacle that it is now affecting your feelings about the relationship and you 'don't believe the relationship can really continue as it does now, into the future'. Something has to change in terms of her interest or willingness to have sex, or it may actually be the case that you have to both find partners who share common core values and beliefs.

Some guys would attempt to change their girlfriend's mind about sex by changing their patterns of affection. That is, if you know what she will allow you to do, you can do all these things for a longer duration of time, focusing exclusively on her, and her level of stimulation, arousal and pleasure. She likes kissing and perhaps back rubs, but what about body rubs or allowing you to caress and touch and rub her in her private areas? What some guys do is try to increase her interest and willingness to engage in more intimate sexual behavior by increasing her pleasure and arousal levels significantly---under the assumption that it will make it harder and harder for her to not 'want more' i.e., more intimacy and possible movement toward having an orgasm. This isn't exactly the most honest or genuine way of persuading your girlfriend to have sex i.e., put her into an increasingly intense, internal conflict between her intellectual decisions about sex, and her emotional desires, but it does tend to work. Guys have to be willing to forgo much pleasure for themselves and spend time learning more about what is arousing to women, and focusing exclusively on their girlfriend's interests, what gives them pleasure, increases their arousal, etc. This of course might be a process that takes several weeks or months of study and practice on the guy's part.

The final approach to the problem is to be upfront with your girlfriend and tell her that since you differ so greatly on fundamental core values about sex, it may be time to reconsider your relationship. It might be a good idea to back away from having an exclusive relationship with one another and date other women and men, with the idea that you could still agree to have this relationship as your primary or most important relationship----at least until the two of you decide whether to get married or not. (Now, I don't know if you want to marry this woman or not. ) This would probably generate a keen distress reaction from your girlfriend and put her in an intense conflict about your relationship, but this is what she may need to experience. She may suggest getting married or agree to sex, etc., rather than agree to changing the nature of your relationship. Under no circumstances would I suggest you try to secretly start sleeping with another woman because your girlfriend won't have sex with you---this is the worst possible decision.

What do you think?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I totally agree with your options and I will take these approachs.

thanks again

Added: a part of me was thinking is she testing me? seeing if sex is more important then her? don't know just thinking out loud. Have to have the conversation with her.

Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 5 years ago.
If she is testing you, I think you've passed!!!! My heavens, you have been patient.

Good luck with this relationship. It is a GOOD THING that your girlfriend has strong values and beliefs----shows character. I realize that in this area of sex, it is a value that is very hard to live with long term, however.

Please let me know if I have overlooked any aspect of your original question. Please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen. Thanks.!!
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