What To Do When Your Partner Rejects You Sexually

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By Oluwaseun Bamisile


Does your partner reject you sexually but don’t know what to do? This article contains information that can help you navigate this situation.

The first section explains several reasons your lover may refuse you sexually. Afterward, we will discuss when sexual denial is considered excessive in a relationship.

The third section, however, offers various tips to deal with this problem.

Lastly, this article has an FAQ section, answering common questions about this topic.

Reasons Your Lover May Reject You Sexually

Reasons Your Lover May Reject You Sexually

When your partner rejects you sexually, it can be challenging and emotionally demanding. However, while every relationship is unique, this section discusses various reasons your partner may deny you sexually.

1. Physical Health Problems

Physical health issues can significantly impact sexual desire. Fatigue from work, stress, or other life obligations can cause your partner to feel exhausted and less interested in sex.

To give more detail, when an individual is stressed, their bodies produce higher cortisol levels, as indicated by verywellmind.com. However, to meet the increased demands for higher cortisol production, the body uses sex hormones.

This decreases interest in sex, causing your lover to refuse sexual advances.

Besides, certain medical conditions, such as hormonal imbalances, erectile dysfunction, and chronic pain, can reduce one’s libido.

2. Mental Health Issues

Mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and so on can significantly reduce someone’s sexual desire. For example, anxiety can create a sense of unease, making it hard to focus on sexual intimacy.

Depression, on the other hand, is a known libido killer, as stated by Time Magazine. In fact, Time Magazine suggests medications like antidepressants can have side effects that include a reduced sex drive.

3. Past Experiences Or Trauma

As stated by several sources, past experiences of sexual trauma, abuse, or negative sexual encounters can have long-lasting effects on survivors. Therefore, if your partner has experienced any form of sexual trauma, it can result in a significant decrease in sexual desire.

According to ncbi.nlm.nih.go, trauma often leaves deep emotional scars and creates a sense of fear, anxiety, or shame around sexual intimacy. Hence, individuals who have been victimized may experience flashbacks, emotional triggers, or difficulty trusting others.

This can impact their ability to engage in sexual activity comfortably with their partners, causing sexual denial.

4. Relationship Dynamics

The dynamics in a relationship can have a significant impact on sexual desire. For instance, unresolved conflicts can create tension and reduce the urge for sexual intimacy.

Moreover, mindbodygreen.com implies a lack of emotional connection can also contribute to sexual rejection.

Furthermore, if one or both partners’ emotional needs are unmet, it can create a barrier to sexual desire.

Additionally, dissatisfaction with the relationship can lead to a decline in sexual interest. Relationship discontent can stem from various factors, such as a lack of communication or decreased emotional intimacy.

5. Body Image And Self-esteem

Psychologytoday.com states body image issues and low self-esteem can significantly impact one’s sexual confidence and desire.

Hence, if your partner is insecure about their body, it can lead to a decrease in sexual interest. Societal pressure, media influence, or past experiences of body shaming can contribute to those feelings.

Besides, low self-esteem, whether due to body image or other aspects of identity, can hinder the desire for sexual intimacy.

When Is Sexual Rejection Considered Excessive In A Relationship

Occasional sexual refusal can happen in any relationship due to various factors like stress. However, when it becomes a persistent pattern and impacts your satisfaction in the relationship, it can be considered excessive.

Moreover, excessive sexual denial often involves a lack of communication. Hence, if your partner consistently avoids discussing their reasons for declining sexual advances, it can cause concern.

The lack of communication can lead to misunderstandings, resentment, and feelings of isolation.

Besides, too much sexual rejection can damage someone’s self-esteem and overall well-being. Constant rejection of sexual advances can leave the rejected partner feeling unattractive and undesirable, as hinted by drcarolministries.com.

It can affect their self-confidence and create feelings of inadequacy. Over time, this can have a negative impact on the emotional well-being of both partners and cause strain in the relationship.

How To Deal With Your Partner’s Sexual Disinterest

How To Deal With Your Partner's Sexual Disinterest

While this situation can be frustrating, it is important to approach it with empathy and patience. Here are some tips to consider when navigating this situation.

1. Communicate Openly And Non-judgmentally

As we all know, honest communication is an important factor in any relationship. Hence, when dealing with this problem, first initiate a conversation with your partner in a calm and non-confrontational manner.

Choose a suitable time and location for an uninterrupted and relaxed discussion. Furthermore, use “I” statements to express your feelings and how their rejection makes you feel.

For example, say, “I feel hurt and unwanted when my sexual advances are denied.” However, avoid making assumptions about your companion’s feelings or actions and placing blame on them.

While expressing your feelings, allow your partner to share their perspective openly and honestly. Listen attentively and show empathy towards their reasons for denying you sexually.

2. Avoid Blaming Yourself

When faced with sexual refusal, it’s common to take it as a personal failure. However, according to symmetrycounseling.com, you don’t want to take it personally as it can damage your self-esteem.

It’s vital to recognize that sexual desire can be influenced by various factors. So, avoid blaming yourself, and remember that sexual rejection is not solely a reflection of your worth.

3. Respect Boundaries

Respecting boundaries is a crucial aspect of navigating and dealing with sexual rejection constructively. Everyone has the right to say no to sexual activities, including your partner.

Thus, while it’s important to address sexual refusal, it is equally crucial to prioritize consent and respect your lover’s choices.

Remember, consent should always be the foundation of any sexual interaction!

4. Focus On Intimacy Beyond Sex

Most people would agree that sexual intimacy is an important aspect of a romantic relationship. However, it’s essential to know that intimacy goes beyond just the physical act.

During times of sexual rejection, it can be helpful to prioritize and nurture other forms of intimacy. These include non-sexual physical touch, like hugging, cuddling, or holding hands.

Moreover, spunout.ie suggest being open to mixing things up and trying something new to bring sexual energy. Furthermore, explore fantasies and desires with your partner in a non-judgmental and consensual manner.

Discover new ways to bring excitement and variety into your sexual experiences together. However, ensure everyone is comfortable with what you decide to do.

5. Consider Seeking Professional Help

If the sexual rejection persists, consider seeking the guidance of a couples therapist or a sex therapist. Also, if you feel the underlying issues are complex and challenging, you can seek professional help.

These professionals can provide a neutral perspective and help you navigate the challenges you’re facing. They can also offer tailored guidance and strategies to address the specific dynamics and issues within your relationship.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Do You Know If Your Partner Isn’t Into You Sexually?

When your partner stops initiating sex or any physical intimacy, they might not be into you sexually anymore. Another indicator is when you try to initiate sex, and they deflect your advances, as suggested by thelowdown.com.

2. Is It Possible To Overcome Sexual Rejection And Restore A Satisfying Sex Life?

Yes, it is possible to overcome sexual rejection and restore a satisfying sex life. It often requires open communication, professional help, patience, and a willingness to explore new approaches.

3. Is Sexual Compatibility Essential For A Successful Relationship?

Sexual compatibility is important for many couples. However, it’s not the sole determinant of a successful relationship.

Emotional connection, communication, trust, and shared values contribute to a successful relationship.

4. Should I Take My Partner’s Sexual Rejection Personally?

It is important not to take it personally when your partner rejects you sexually. Doing so can cause low self-esteem.

5. How Should I Communicate With My Partner About Their Sexual Disinterest?

Approach the conversation with empathy and a non-confrontational attitude. Choose a calm moment, and express your feelings without blaming.

Furthermore, encourage your partner to share their perspective. Finally, active listening and avoiding defensiveness can facilitate productive dialogue.


Dealing with sexual refusal from your lover can be an emotional-draining experience. However, it is important to know that several factors can contribute to this situation.

These include mental health issues, past sexual trauma, and self-esteem issues. Regardless of the cause, you should approach the issue with empathy and understanding.

Gladly, this article provides several tips to navigate this situation. We also discussed when sexual rejection is too much in a relationship.

We hope you have found this article beneficial. If so, we kindly ask you to consider sharing it with your friends on social media platforms.

If you’re interested in reading more articles on related topics, we encourage you to visit our Relationship page.

References And Further Reading

  1. growingself.com – When Your Partner Rejects You Sexually
  2. pleasurecentredsexology.com.au – How To Deal with Sexual Rejection
  3. spunout.ie – What to do if your partner doesn’t want to have sex
  4. symmetrycounseling.com – How to Deal with Sexual Rejection from Your Partner
  5. mindbodygreen.com – How lack of connection can affect your sex drive.
  6. verywellmind.com – How Stress Can Cause a Low Sex Drive
  7. apa.org – Stress effects on the body

About the Author

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Oluwaseun Bamisile

Oluwaseun is the Lead Content Editor at Ilifeguides.com. He holds a National Diploma in Computer Science (currently studying part-time for his Higher National Diploma). An internet geek with a love for automobiles, he writes relationship articles, travel guides, and general life hacks on the site.

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