Where to start when you haven’t had sex in months – or even years

Sexual intimacy just doesn’t seem to happen anymore.

Perhaps it’s been a month?

A few months?

Or maybe even a couple of years?

It’s more common than most of us realise.

We tend to think everyone else has a great relationship and sex life. We can think that there’s something wrong with us because we’re the only ones not doing it – or arguing about it.

But, you’re not alone.

Listen to the Podcast – How and where to start when you haven’t had sex in months or years

Sometimes sex stops suddenly. There’s an event, a turning point of some kind and that’s it.

Other couples notice a slow decline, until they can perhaps count on one hand the number of times it’s happened this year.

And there is counting. Because it’s always in the back of your mind – even though you try not to think about it.

Sometimes you think it’s when you had kids, but while that certainly didn’t help things, you probably noticed a decline before then.

Maybe you wish you could just understand why it happened. Hoping that will solve things.

The truth is, there are many reasons why sex stops – and it’s often a complex mix of things.

What’s really important to know is it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.

Perhaps you’ve been wishing this will just ‘fix’ itself, or wished that you could just get on with your relationship without sex.

Maybe you build yourself up, telling yourself ‘I know I need to do something about this – tonight’s the night.’ But then you forget or feel too nervous or just don’t feel in the mood anymore.

The longer you go without it, the more awkward and uncomfortable it can feel.

You remember a time when you loved making love, when you felt passionate urgency between you. But that feels so far away now.

You wish you could just want to ‘want to’ again.

But you don’t know how or where to start. And it seems like all the sex advice in the world can’t get you over that first hurdle.

Well my love, this is for you.

I’m sharing the first steps for reigniting desire and being intimate with a partner again.

There’s something I want to say about desire first though, because changing the way we understand desire can make a huge difference to your journey.

We tend to have an expectation that desire is spontaneous – that it will just arise spontaneously. And that’s our cue to then be intimate with a partner. We can think that ‘feeling in the mood’ is a pre-requisite for starting intimacy.

Science is now understanding that our sexual desire is actually responsive. That is, it arises in response to stimuli.

What this means is that we need to cultivate the conditions in which desire can respond. And for women, this begins long before we enter the bedroom. So that’s where we start. We want to build the house of our desire on a strong foundation.

Here’s how you can begin rebuilding your sexual intimacy…

1. Decide that sexual intimacy is important to you

You’re going to make change on this fastest if you feel like this is important to you.

Research shows us that there are two key things that keep passion in a relationship. The first is staying god friends, the other is making sex a priority.

While sex might not seem important to you at the moment, if it’s important to your partner, it’s important to you relationship.

And the truth is, sex really can bring you closer because of the beautiful cocktail of hormones and endorphins that sex helps you release. One of the key hormones released during sex is oxytocin, which helps you feel bonded and connected to each other.

So decide that having a loving, fulfilling sex life is important to you and your relationship. This mindset will help you stay motivated and taking action.

2. Share appreciation with your partner

When we’re not having sex, our partner can end up feeling unloved and undesired – contributing to increased tension.

When there’s tension in a relationship, we can find ourselves focusing on the things that annoy us about our partner and the relationship.

And that doesn’t lead to us feeling sexy. 

Sharing appreciation with our partner can help them to feel loved, appreciated and wanted. It can help your partner understand that your lack of desire isn’t a lack of love for them and contribute to more harmony and ease between you.

When you focus on the things you appreciate about your partner, you’ll feel more open and loving towards them.

Make a point of sharing something that you appreciate about your partner with them each day to build the love, connection and closeness between you.

3. Spend quality time together

If you’ve stopped having sex, it’s likely you feel disconnected to your partner on a couple of levels.

Perhaps you just don’t spend as much time together (or any) as you used to. With so much going on in your lives, you can feel like two ships passing in the night.

You might feel like you’re missing the emotional intimacy that helps you feel close to your partner. Maybe you only connect on practical issues now, not as lovers like you used to. 

Becoming close to your partner again requires that you spend time together. It’s important to make it a priority. This connection can then flow into the bedroom.

Small amounts of quality time together can make a world of difference to your connection.

Try starting with just 10 minutes a day where you sit down uninterrupted and just talk about how your day was.

You can also find more ideas for connection in my ebook: 10 Powerful Ways to Connect with your Partner.

4. Start with non-sexual physical touch

When you’ve stopped having sex, you may have found that physical touch gets avoided completely.

Maybe you pull away from affection because you don’t want to give your partner the ‘wrong idea’.

Perhaps you’ve stopped kissing passionately too.

We want to get that back. And we do it one small step at a time.

Physical affection helps build oxytocin, that hormone that helps you feel bonded and connected to each other. Oxytocin is also an important contributor to women’s lubrication and arousal.

Begin bringing non-sexual touch back into your relationship to build closeness and desire.

Don’t put pressure on yourself for it to ‘lead anywhere’. It may help for you to have a conversation with a partner about it.

You might say something like:

‘I really miss being physically intimate with you, but I need us to take this one step at a time. I’d like to hug you more, but I’m not ready for it to lead to sex at this stage. Is that okay with you?’

Try some of the following suggestions to rebuild physical connection:

  • When you next kiss goodbye, kiss on the lips… and linger a little longer than usual.
  • Hug your partner for no reason at all.
  • Snuggle up to your partner while you’re watching TV together.
  • Offer your partner a massage.
  • Invite them to the shower or bath with you.

5. Reestablishing your connection will be easier with support

Starting again when your sex life has been in decline isn’t easy, but it is possible.

Often, taking the first step is the hardest.

I want you to know you don’t need to do it alone.

Sexual intimacy just doesn’t seem to happen anymore.

Perhaps it’s been a month?

A few months?

Or maybe even a couple of years?

It’s more common than most of us realise.

We tend to think everyone else has a great relationship and sex life. We can think that there’s something wrong with us because we’re the only ones not doing it – or arguing about it.

But, you’re not alone.

Listen to the Podcast – How and where to start when you haven’t had sex in months or years

Sometimes sex stops suddenly. There’s an event, a turning point of some kind and that’s it.

Other couples notice a slow decline, until they can perhaps count on one hand the number of times it’s happened this year.

And there is counting. Because it’s always in the back of your mind – even though you try not to think about it.

Sometimes you think it’s when you had kids, but while that certainly didn’t help things, you probably noticed a decline before then.

Maybe you wish you could just understand why it happened. Hoping that will solve things.

The truth is, there are many reasons why sex stops – and it’s often a complex mix of things.

What’s really important to know is it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.

Perhaps you’ve been wishing this will just ‘fix’ itself, or wished that you could just get on with your relationship without sex.

Maybe you build yourself up, telling yourself ‘I know I need to do something about this – tonight’s the night.’ But then you forget or feel too nervous or just don’t feel in the mood anymore.

The longer you go without it, the more awkward and uncomfortable it can feel.

You remember a time when you loved making love, when you felt passionate urgency between you. But that feels so far away now.

You wish you could just want to ‘want to’ again.

But you don’t know how or where to start. And it seems like all the sex advice in the world can’t get you over that first hurdle.

Well my love, this is for you.

I’m sharing the first steps for reigniting desire and being intimate with a partner again.

There’s something I want to say about desire first though, because changing the way we understand desire can make a huge difference to your journey.

We tend to have an expectation that desire is spontaneous – that it will just arise spontaneously. And that’s our cue to then be intimate with a partner. We can think that ‘feeling in the mood’ is a pre-requisite for starting intimacy.

Science is now understanding that our sexual desire is actually responsive. That is, it arises in response to stimuli.

What this means is that we need to cultivate the conditions in which desire can respond. And for women, this begins long before we enter the bedroom. So that’s where we start. We want to build the house of our desire on a strong foundation.

Here’s how you can begin rebuilding your sexual intimacy…

1. Decide that sexual intimacy is important to you

You’re going to make change on this fastest if you feel like this is important to you.

Research shows us that there are two key things that keep passion in a relationship. The first is staying god friends, the other is making sex a priority.

While sex might not seem important to you at the moment, if it’s important to your partner, it’s important to you relationship.

And the truth is, sex really can bring you closer because of the beautiful cocktail of hormones and endorphins that sex helps you release. One of the key hormones released during sex is oxytocin, which helps you feel bonded and connected to each other.

So decide that having a loving, fulfilling sex life is important to you and your relationship. This mindset will help you stay motivated and taking action.

2. Share appreciation with your partner

When we’re not having sex, our partner can end up feeling unloved and undesired – contributing to increased tension.

When there’s tension in a relationship, we can find ourselves focusing on the things that annoy us about our partner and the relationship.

And that doesn’t lead to us feeling sexy. 

Sharing appreciation with our partner can help them to feel loved, appreciated and wanted. It can help your partner understand that your lack of desire isn’t a lack of love for them and contribute to more harmony and ease between you.

When you focus on the things you appreciate about your partner, you’ll feel more open and loving towards them.

Make a point of sharing something that you appreciate about your partner with them each day to build the love, connection and closeness between you.

3. Spend quality time together

If you’ve stopped having sex, it’s likely you feel disconnected to your partner on a couple of levels.

Perhaps you just don’t spend as much time together (or any) as you used to. With so much going on in your lives, you can feel like two ships passing in the night.

You might feel like you’re missing the emotional intimacy that helps you feel close to your partner. Maybe you only connect on practical issues now, not as lovers like you used to. 

Becoming close to your partner again requires that you spend time together. It’s important to make it a priority. This connection can then flow into the bedroom.

Small amounts of quality time together can make a world of difference to your connection.

Try starting with just 10 minutes a day where you sit down uninterrupted and just talk about how your day was.

You can also find more ideas for connection in my ebook: 10 Powerful Ways to Connect with your Partner.

4. Start with non-sexual physical touch

When you’ve stopped having sex, you may have found that physical touch gets avoided completely.

Maybe you pull away from affection because you don’t want to give your partner the ‘wrong idea’.

Perhaps you’ve stopped kissing passionately too.

We want to get that back. And we do it one small step at a time.

Physical affection helps build oxytocin, that hormone that helps you feel bonded and connected to each other. Oxytocin is also an important contributor to women’s lubrication and arousal.

Begin bringing non-sexual touch back into your relationship to build closeness and desire.

Don’t put pressure on yourself for it to ‘lead anywhere’. It may help for you to have a conversation with a partner about it.

You might say something like:

‘I really miss being physically intimate with you, but I need us to take this one step at a time. I’d like to hug you more, but I’m not ready for it to lead to sex at this stage. Is that okay with you?’

Try some of the following suggestions to rebuild physical connection:

  • When you next kiss goodbye, kiss on the lips… and linger a little longer than usual.
  • Hug your partner for no reason at all.
  • Snuggle up to your partner while you’re watching TV together.
  • Offer your partner a massage.
  • Invite them to the shower or bath with you.

5. Reestablishing your connection will be easier with support

Starting again when your sex life has been in decline isn’t easy, but it is possible.

Often, taking the first step is the hardest.

I want you to know you don’t need to do it alone.

2018-09-20T06:05:13+00:00 15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Jayne December 11, 2017 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    Great article. I think that intimacy in relationships tends to ebb and flow, and this article would be really helpful for all couples, not just ones who have lost touch.

    • admin December 21, 2017 at 8:08 am - Reply

      Yes, Jayne, you’re absolutely right. It’s normal to have ebbs and flows… It’s when it goes on for a long time that can cause tension and frustration.

  2. Jason Maxfield June 5, 2018 at 5:27 am - Reply

    This article assumes you are already in a relationship. What about the rest of us that aren’t? This isn’t even a topic on other sites. It’s hard to find information about this, it must be so rare. That makes me feel even worse for not having any relationship in the past 9 years.

    The worst part is, I’m a nice guy. And I see assholes always dating women. Those same women have been friends of mine when they get their hearts broken, and turn to me for guidance. At this point, I say, well maybe you should stop dating assholes when I tell you who and what they are and find a nice guy to date!

    Are women just this retarded? Always saying they want the nice guy and go for the bad boys and wonder why things don’t work out for them? It’s really stupid.

    • Isiah McKimmie June 8, 2018 at 5:32 am - Reply

      Hi Jason,
      I appreciate that not everyone is in a relationship and I do at times write articles for single people, in this case however, I’m writing an article for couples.
      Something to think about is that you’re just asked ‘Are women just this retarded?’ Perhaps that attitude is part of what’s keeping you single.
      Relationships and our patterns with them are complex. I suggest exploring your challenges with a therapist.

    • Jellybean August 4, 2018 at 6:40 pm - Reply

      The article not only assumes it’s for couples, it blatantly states it’s for couples that haven’t done it in awhile. So, yes, it is for couples, to help them spark their intimacy. This is actually not rare because it does happen, it just isn’t talked about that often and people are ashamed to even mention that it does happen.

      Also, it’s not an article to make single people feel bad about themselves. I don’t know how you feel that way, because If a couple hasn’t had sex in awhile feel like they’re in a hapless relationship, like they aren’t valued. This is just a good article to help COUPLES to repair their relationship.

      If you are a nice guy, don’t call women retarded when they aren’t interested in you. And if you did like someone, tell her.

      • Isiah McKimmie September 15, 2018 at 9:45 am - Reply

        Well said Jellybean.
        It certainly wasn’t an article to make singles feel bad about themselves – it just wasn’t written for people looking for a relationship. I hope you received value from it.
        Warmly,
        Isiah.

  3. Jason Tan August 13, 2018 at 7:38 am - Reply

    I feel like my wife doesn’t like the intimacy with me anymore, even holding hands. We haven’t had sex for months. She will tend to reject and find excuse to do other stuff. I don’t think she doesn’t love me. Just not as much and the priority is not on me. What should I do to improve our sex life?

    • Isiah McKimmie September 15, 2018 at 9:50 am - Reply

      Hi Jason,
      I’m so sorry you’re experiencing this. The first thing to do is talk to your wife and calmly tell her how you feel. This is something that you have to work through together. Hopefully when she understands how much this is hurting you, she’ll be willing to talk about what might be going on for her and take steps with you to change it. Therapy can help you work on this together.
      Warmly,
      Isiah.

  4. Joanna August 24, 2018 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    This is exactly what is going on in my life we had a baby and now sex is not happening whatsoever but even before then I started to decline 🙁 right now I just feel so sad and unwanted 💔

    • Isiah McKimmie September 15, 2018 at 9:48 am - Reply

      I’m so sorry you’re experiencing this Joanna. Many couples notice a big change after children, but often a slow decline prior to kids too. It’s really challenging, but I’ve helped many couples go on to have loving thriving sex lives again. Take one step at a time to rekindle your connection and remember that reaching out for support can make a big difference in getting things back on track.

  5. Janie Thompson September 25, 2018 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    This happened to us.
    We have a 12 year old boy who we adore but he loves being close to us. His room is within ours, his former nursey. Talk about a “co@l block”.
    I love him so,
    But when he feels frisky I often shy away feeling embarrassed. AND I DONY KNOW WHY!?! He is such an affectionate man, but doesnt push sex.
    We just feel we have turned into that old married couple.
    He just turned 49, am 46. know it’s important. So I mentioned it today.
    He was like “bring it on”. Using a smiley emoji.
    I feel to blame because I had issues in the past years with a declining labido.
    He has made subtle attemps but I have turned away. I had a man friend tell me “if he isnt getting it from you,
    He is getting it somewhere else”. Maybe that is true in some men but I know in my heart he adores me and our vows. He wouldn’t do that. I just know him.
    And we both have packed on weight. Neither of us feels sexy anymore.
    Thanks for tnis article and yhe advice. We do spend qt together and I show him love in other ways like having home colked meals ready and a clean turned back bed. He works hard for our family. I just can’t do the sexy thing anymore,
    It is almost like I feel that sexy 40 something girl is gone. And Im guilty and ashamed.

  6. Heather September 30, 2018 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    We haven’t had sex in a month and have been to sex therapy NUMEROUS times. My husband was a virgin and I wasn’t. We’ve been married for 5 years now. Well, we tried to have sex this morning and he lost his erection AGAIN. (We started with oral and that’s when he lost it). I cannot keep going on like this. Any suggestions? This cycle happens over and over and over. There are no underlying medical problems.

  7. Jay October 6, 2018 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    My live in bf of 8 years and I haven’t had sex in almost 3 months. We adore each other, always show affection and appreciation for one another but just can’t seem to get there. We both work a lot and are often stressed. He travels a lot for work so isn’t home all the time either. This doesn’t help & makes me feel insecure. I feel like if we aren’t having sex he may look elsewhere while traveling. He just never really makes the effort and it doesn’t seem to be a priority for him. I don’t feel desired sexually by him. I’ve brought it up numerous times & we’ve talked about it & said we would try. Unfortunately now I’m at the point where I become upset if the opportunity is there but I have to initiate it because he doesn’t see the opportunity. I can easily initiate it but I want him to initiate it to show me that he actually wants it.

  8. Cynthia October 15, 2018 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    We haven’t had so much as a passionate kiss in 1.5 years, soon to be 2. He says he’s hurting from our past and current issues and doesn’t feel good enough emotionally, and doesn’t have any confidence. I have been trying to make him feel better, and then he cheats on me (cheating to ME), by sneaking around with an ex and deleting messages, lying to me about it for months – and the worst part is I would still be fed lies to this day had I not found the evidence myself. Believe me I gave him plenty of chances to tell me the truth on his own, and then when I had surgery in the spring this year and needed his help more than usual I sense his deceit, so I asked once more bluntly “Is anything going on? Anything you need to tell me?” – “No” he said, no eye contact, reclusive. I knew. AND I WAS RIGHT.
    So, here we are, I’m recovering from his deceit and not even sure if I want to be with him anymore, especially so because we aren’t intimate at all, and I have often told him how much this pains me, he says he’s trying. I don’t want to hear “I’m trying” for the rest of my life and die any less happy than I want to. I want to have an honest relationship with free communication, no bullshit, and care/love for each other with passionate intimacy too. I’m not asking for a billion dollars or a six pack, or dinner made for me every night – just those few things…

  9. James December 8, 2018 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    I also haven’t had sex for about 8 months, which is nothing new. We have been married for 29 years. Some of those years were about the same. Every 3 months or so.I basically stopped trying to initiate sex and turned to pornography. It seems there always some excuse to not have sex. I clean house ,cook, give back rubs, the whole nine yards. On her 40th birthday we exchanged vows in front of family and friends. I wrote and preformed a song for her. Latter that night, nothing. So , right at the moment I’m contemplating what to do. I just cant continue. When I try to talk about it all she says is “I’m just tired”. She was diagnosed with depression but the meds are 400 a month, just can’t swing that much money. It does help to write this down . Still at a crossroads, don’t know where to turn for help.

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