Usually the initial attraction between any couple is sexual. It seems the heat of discovery and newness can keep a couple’s sex life very active for some time. As time passes the sexual relationship changes but not necessarily matures. That initial rush fades and the need to deepen or move on becomes stronger for the straight spouse, but not necessarily so for the secretly gay partner.
Whether you deepen into intimacy or move to the next rush, has a lot to do with your comfort with intimacy, sexual history, the way the couple views religion, and your beliefs about relationships. Certainly, in the vast majority of relationships the frequency of sexual play decreases as the length of the relationship increases.
This happens in genuine heterosexual unions also. It is a natural progression of aging, changing of priorities and having less time, especially if the couple now has children. But what happens in a relationship that the sex stops all together? Why does this happen? Are there others in sexless marriages? What can be done about it?
Intimacy is the big bad word here. Once the rush is gone, you have to discover who you are in bed with. Your partner is not a fantasy, but a person, with needs, wants, desires and their own opinions, and sex drive. Once the projection passes (projection is seeing someone as you want or need to see them rather than experiencing them as who they really are) you are in bed with a person, not just a body. For gay spouses, that can be rather terrifying. Lesbians can become traumatized, and gay men can literally begin to get physically sick and depressed.
Once a partner has ceased being a distraction they become a mirror for seeing ones self. Do you like your partner? Have you taken the time to find out who they really are? Many women and gay men complain that they feel like their needs and wants are irrelevant. In short they are objectified. Consequently, the partner begins to withhold sex. It is used both as a weapon and a punishment. There are usually reasons on both sides for a sexless marriage to evolve.
Lesbians however have a more difficult time withholding sex from their husbands. Gay men just become desensitized and may frankly reject their wives sexually. Withholding sex intentionally, or unintentionally to help make themselves feel better.
Here are some issues that can lead to a sexless union.
Withholding sex, consciously or unconsciously may often seem like a sign of a power imbalance in the relationship. With a gay spouse, this could be the gay person’s way of fighting with the inner turmoil of sharing such intimate contact with the opposite sex. Some gay men can be downright cruel. They will blame their wives for their lack of sex drive. They may begin to feel like the partner with less control who feels that their value is tied to sexual output.
Because they may no longer be able to perform sexually with a woman, they may use their withholding of sex to assert themselves. It may be the only way that they feel that they can stay in control of their body. If it is unconscious, then they may simply lose their desire for sex, or get sick. Some gay men may not be able to get or even sustain an erection for any length of time to allow penetration of their wives.
Having children are frequently a sex life killer. Not that gay men mind much. Sometimes their intent is only to have enough sex until procreation occurs successfully. Then they begin with all the excuses. Too tired! Not enough time! You are too fat, you are too pushy, and you have turned in to a nymphomaniac. Children need an incredible amount attention but gay spouse will find a loop hole to get out of having sex with their wife.
Anger is another great way to kill sex in a relationship. If the hurts and misunderstandings are not being addressed in some manner, they will show up in your sex life. A gay spouse may project and therefore always find something to seem angry about. Sex, at its most basic, is a form of communication. However, how can communication through sex happen when one spouse appears to be always angry or depressed?
If your gay partner has been sexually abused, this can also create major problems in the relationship. After the initial rush of the relationship, suddenly, things may be too hot, too much intimacy. This may spell danger. Sex may bring up anxiety, feelings of shame, guilt, inadequacy, terror, depression or dissociation. If your partner had mentioned a sex abuse history and you are noticing problems around sex, support them in seeing a therapist. Internally they may blame the abuse for their sexual orientation.Therapy is not a quick fix. However, it can help heal the some wounds. Depending upon what abuse happened and when, the partner may never completely recover. This is a major problem and one that you can not fix for them no matter how much you love them or how safe you are.
A very common reason that seems to lead to less or no sex is fear of rejection. The longer that you are with someone and the deeper you depend upon them the greater the ability to hurt and be hurt. For most people opening themselves in a very intimate way, while exciting can also bring up anxiety, fear and be unable to deal with the venerability that emerges. Gay men may feel that their true nature will show during sex and they may be rejected.
It is common to want your partner to know what you need when you need it without you having to say what that is. Gay men cannot let their wives know about some of their fantasies. So expressing sexual interest in the other opens us to possible rejection of the most subtle and unconscious kind. Two people, both fearful of rejection, may never get to sex because the possibility of rejection is too painful to risk.
Surprisingly, many people, both men and women, have never bothered to learn about sex. Good lasting sex with a long term partner requires patience, exploration and risk taking. If one or both partners are too shy, embarrassed or immature to talk about sex, this can lead to a sexless relationship. Many gay men got married to their high school or college sweethearts, with both parties having very limited sexual experience. Like most things in life, communication is the key to a happy, long lasting sex life and relationship.
The bottom line is that a sexless marriage may be a symptom of many things. It is definitely one clue that a spouse may have gay orientation. The longer the relationship the more effort that a couple has to take to make sure they are staying sexually alive. That also means that there is more chance for the secretly gay spouse to be found out. If you don’t use it you lose it. Is that one of the reasons straight spouses feel a lack of sexual esteem?