There’s this common misconception that all men are sex-crazed.
That women are somehow the gatekeepers of sex and men only need the green light and they are good to go.
It’s probably not helped by old myths like, “men think about sex every seven seconds”. I mean, as soon as we stop and properly think about it, that is clearly absurd.
In fact, research shows on average men think about sex more like once a day — so it is far from being the only thing on his mind.
That’s why there are plenty of reasons why, and plenty of occasions when, men do not want to have sex.
If you think that a guy doesn’t want to sleep with you, I know it’s easy to automatically take it personally. You may even be feeling rejected.
Although it’s tempting to jump to conclusions, it’s important to logically look at a guy’s actions, as well as what he is telling you, to work out what’s really going on.
In this article we’ll run through 15 key questions you should be asking to get to the bottom of things. It will probably depend on whether you are already in a relationship with this guy or not.
Some of these questions will apply to you more if you haven’t slept together yet and others if you have, but you feel like he doesn’t want to sleep with you anymore.
Why he doesn’t want to sleep with you: 15 questions to find out the truth
1) Has he told you he’s attracted to you?
One of the first things to eliminate is whether you have been receiving some mixed signals from him, which have misled you about his overall intentions.
Ok, he may not have literally said to you “I am attracted to you” — as many of us aren’t usually quite so direct.
But there will be other indications in what he says to you. If he likes you, he will likely compliment you to let you know that he finds you attractive.
Maybe he says you have beautiful eyes, or he says that you look super hot in that new outfit.
Sometimes it can be tricky when we’ve been spending a lot of time with someone, and we don’t really know where we stand. Are we just friends, or does he want more?
He may just really like you as a person, but that doesn’t automatically mean he wants to take it to the next level and become sexually involved.
2) Does he flirt with you?
Some people are admittedly hopeless at flirting, so it’s not a total deal-breaker if he doesn’t always flirt with you.
Having said that, flirting is a way that we signal to potential partners “hey, I like you”.
It’s a reflection of the chemistry between you, which distinguishes a potential romantic partner from a regular friend. It’s like a little code we put out there to test the water and see if someone is interested in us too.
Of course, some men seem to almost habitually flirt, even when they have no intention of taking things any further — they are just looking for an ego boost.
On its own, flirting may not be enough to tell if he’s sincerely interested. But it will give you a stronger idea of whether he’s attracted to you.
Do you have a crush on a guy and have been hoping something would happen between you two for a while?
Maybe you tried to initiate something already or put yourself in a situation hoping it would just happen — but it didn’t.
If you haven’t received any obvious signs that he’s attracted to you, he may not see you in a romantic way and so doesn’t want to have sex with you.
3) Is he being physically affectionate?
Society puts a lot of emphasis on sex but we need to remember that we build intimacy in lots of other ways too.
We create strong physical connections with partners through touch in general — which includes things like cuddling and kissing as well.
If he is affectionate with you, even though things aren’t progressing further, it shows he is interested in you romantically.
Although you will probably still be wondering “ok, but why is he waiting to sleep with me?” This is reassurance that things are heading in the right direction.
He may just want to take things slow and build upon that intimacy, rather than rushing into anything.
4) Does he still ask you out and try to spend time with you?
Dating is a bit like test driving a car (please forgive the slightly crude analogy). We want to make sure that something is right for us before we make a purchase.
It’s the getting to know one another period and either of you can back out at any time.
We may go on a few dates with someone and then realize that they are not the right fit for us.
If he’s no longer asking you out or pursuing you, perhaps for him, things have fizzled and he doesn’t want it to progress any further. It’s also possible that he was looking for something casual, but realized that you are not.
If a man isn’t looking for a relationship and thinks that having sex will make you get attached, he might distance himself to avoid the situation.
But if he is still making an effort to spend time with you, the problem is unlikely to be that he’s just lost interest.
5) Is he dating other people?
Sex often takes things to the next level when you’re dating.
Despite how much modern-day culture has normalized sex, it is still a significant move. If you’re not exclusive and he’s dating other people as well as you, he could be keeping his options open.
He may not be ready to make the commitment that he thinks having sex will bring.
6) Does he prefer to take things slowly?
You can often get a sense of what a guy is looking for from his general character and demeanor.
He may be the type of man who would rather take his time and let things progress slowly and don’t feel in any rush to jump straight into bed.
Depending on his own attitudes towards sex, he could prefer to really get to know you and connect on an emotional level first.
Of course, plenty of guys don’t see sex as a big deal, but for others, it still isn’t something they take lightly. Far from being a “bad sign”, it can be quite the opposite.
If a man makes it clear he is attracted to you and is enjoying being with you, the fact that you haven’t had sex yet can show that he thinks a lot of you.
He respects you, and likes you too much to rush into sleeping with you — so is prepared to take his time.
In fact, how do you know a guy only wants to sleep with you?
He’s more likely to be pushy about getting you into bed straight away, without wanting to get to know you first.
7) How long has it been?
Everybody has a different time scale for how long they wait until having sex with a new partner. There is no wrong or right, only the right time for you.
Your idea of when is the right time could be different from his. It may be too soon for him to have sex.
One of the reasons why sex can be a real minefield is that we all have different expectations. We bring into a relationship our previous experiences, which impact our view of what is “normal” or not.
It’s also good to realize that every single relationship is different.
In the two long-term relationships that a good friend of mine has had — in one, he waited 5 months before sleeping with his girlfriend, whilst in the other, they actually slept together on the first date.
Moral of the story: there are no rules on when you should be having sex.
8) Has he recently gone through a breakup?
Are there any telltale signs that he’s carrying around some relationship baggage?
Maybe he talks about his ex a lot or you know there’s still some ongoing drama there. Some men aren’t ready to have sex when they don’t feel emotionally available.
He may not be over a previous relationship yet or if he got badly hurt, he could be apprehensive about moving too quickly into something new.
9) Could he be feeling shy or insecure?
Have you ever felt nervous about having sex?
I’m going to take a wild guess and say that will be a resounding yes from everyone.
Surely, we all have?
Where sex is concerned, it’s very common to feel shy, uncertain, and insecure — especially when we really like someone.
We might worry about our bodies and what we look like naked.
We could be nervous about how we will “perform” or stack up compared to previous lovers. We may even worry about how experienced we are.
And if you think that guys have some kind of studly confidence that women don’t, you’d be very wrong. In fact, research has shown that men feel more troubled about their body shape than women — with 80% of men obsessing over flaws compared to 75% of women.
If you think he could be feeling a little insecure or shy, try to reassure him. A little bit of flattery can go a long way.
10) Does he know you want to sleep with him?
It might sound an obvious point but have you made it clear through your words and actions that you want to have sex?
Sometimes when we know how we feel, we assume that it is obvious to others — when it’s really not. Men are not mind readers.
This idea that guys enjoy the chase can create expectations that he should be the one pursuing a physical relationship, not you.
Particularly if you have been playing hard to get or not giving a lot away, how is he supposed to know that you want to take things to the next level.
Have you tried to initiate sex between the two of you or have you been waiting for him to?
Maybe he actually does want to sleep with you and is trying to be respectful, isn’t sure what you want, or doesn’t know how fast to move.
11) Are you coming out of the honeymoon phase?
Up until now, we’ve mainly been looking at reasons why your crush or someone you’ve only recently started dating may not want to sleep with you.
If you’ve been thinking, yeah, but why does my partner not want to sleep with me? The following questions will also apply to you.
Our sex life changes over time in a couple.
In the early stages, you might have felt like you couldn’t keep your hands off one another but maybe now it feels like your partner hardly ever wants to have sex.
Even though that can leave you feeling frustrated or wondering whether he’s still attracted to you, it is perfectly normal for a sex life to drop off after a while.
In fact, one survey found that over half of couples who were together for longer than six months experienced a decrease in sex frequency.
Those feel-good hormones that flood us in the beginning naturally start to fade, life gets in the way and we may stop making such an effort when it comes to sex in the relationship.
12) Do you have different sex drives?
The vast majority of couples will have some difference in their sex drives. The real question is how much of a gap there is between your libido.
How interested we feel in sex at any given time also changes depending on our fluctuating hormones and what’s generally going on in everyday life.
Although it’s true that sexual desire is typically higher in men, it’s also perfectly normal for a woman to have a higher sex drive within the relationship.
If you do have very different sex drives, you will need to try and reach a compromise so that you both can feel happy and satisfied sexually.
13) Is he going through a difficult time?
There are plenty of emotions that may make him feel not particularly in the mood to have sex.
If he is tired, annoyed, busy, angry, stressed, overworked, unhappy, or even depressed — it’s likely to impact his libido.
I’m sure you can think of times when you haven’t wanted to sleep with someone and it had nothing to do with them and everything to do with how you were feeling.
It probably didn’t seem like such a big deal to you at the time, because you knew you were just tired.
But when we’re on the receiving end, and it feels like someone is rejecting our advances, we feel way more sensitive about it.
14) Have you been getting on?
For most people, sex isn’t something that they can independently file away into a totally separate compartment. That means how you feel about someone will often impact your sex life together.
If emotionally things are a little strained between you, it’s understandable that things might not be clicking in the bedroom either.
How has the relationship been in general? Are you getting on well, laughing together, and having fun?
If you’ve been arguing a lot or not getting along, then him not wanting to sleep with you could be a reflection of those tensions.
15) Could there be something else going on that you don’t know about?
It’s worth considering that you may not have all the facts before you try and make any definitive conclusions.
He could be struggling a bit in that department and doesn’t want to tell you.
While estimates vary wildly, research does suggest that most men will experience erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives.
And it’s certainly not something that only affects older guys either. One study found that 26 percent of men under 40 have had to deal with it.
Certain common medications can also affect his sex drive — like painkillers, antidepressants, antihistamines, blood pressure meds, and more.
It’s obviously important to approach this kind of thing delicately, as it will most likely be a very sensitive subject for him.
If you do suspect this could be the problem, tread carefully, as he could be feeling a bit embarrassed.
Try to gently discuss it, without making him feel worse. Let him know that you support him and there’s medical help if he feels like he needs it.
What to do if a man doesn’t want to have sex?
Be clear about what you want, then give it some time or space
First things first, if you’ve realized you haven’t been very clear that you want to sleep with him, be sure you’re giving off the right signals.
If neither you nor him have made a move yet, don’t be afraid to initiate sex yourself. He could be waiting to see that it’s definitely what you want.
If on the other hand, you think you could have come on a bit too strong, backing off a bit might help.
That doesn’t mean going cold on him in some attempt to silently punish him, it just means pumping the brakes a little to allow things to progress at a slower speed.
Being too pushy about sex will only make things worse. Whenever we feel tense, we’re unlikely to feel particularly in the mood.
I know it can feel like a super vulnerable situation to be in, but that’s exactly when our egos are more likely to come out to try and protect us — and only do more damage in the process.
So rather than being moody, withdrawn, or manipulative, try to be understanding and open. And of course, ultimately respect his decision not to want to sleep with you right now — regardless of the reason.
Things may become clearer or issues resolve themselves with a little time and patience.
Talk to him
A lot of us can feel really uncomfortable discussing sex.
It’s clearly an intimate subject and we may feel exposed to revealing things about ourselves.
But sex is also a totally natural part of life, and just like all aspects of a relationship, we do need to be able to openly discuss it with our partners.
Pick your moment and try to start a conversation about it. Let him know how you’ve been feeling and ask him how he feels.
Focus on other aspects of building a relationship
Sex is just one part of the puzzle of a relationship.
Right now, the sex part is probably heavily on your mind but that can also create extra pressure for both of you.
Rather than having tunnel vision about sleeping together, turn your attention towards having fun together in other ways.
Spend time together, do activities, have deep conversations, show affection and intimacy in other ways.
You might just find that sex naturally flows when you take the pressure off a bit.
Either way, you are strengthening your bond, which will help your relationship or budding romance in the long run.