Sex Talk

In Love but not Sexual

Q from a male, senior from the University of Maine: wants to know…

I'm in a relationship that has lasted almost a year. I feel I am in love with my girlfriend but I am not sexually attracted to her. We have even talked about getting engaged and I'm wondering if our relationship can last without the physical part being there.

Dr. Caron's Answer: It sounds like you have a nice friendship going with this woman. However, I don't believe you can have a long-lasting romantic relationship with someone you aren't attracted to. What is interesting is that your question is almost the reverse of what many people worry about who say, "All we have is sex, sex, sex - Is that enough of a basis for a long term relationship?" I guess I'm wondering what you would like in a relationship. Do you wish it were different? Have you ever experienced sexual attraction to another person you were involved with? I am also concerned about why there is no attraction? How does your partner feel about this? Is she okay with the relationship as it stands? or does she feel rejected? What are her expectations for the future? Again, I am referring to sexual attraction, not sexual activity; you can have one without the other. I think sometimes people avoid the sexual part to avoid intimacy or connection: Since you know you won't be that close, you can protect yourself - keep yourself at a physical and emotional distance. I also wonder if part of your lack of sexual attraction for your partner concerns a fear of sex itself. Have you experienced some type of trauma or hurt feelings around sex? I think you are right to ask yourself now if this lack of sexual attraction is going to be a concern for the future. Ignoring it will not make it go away. These are just some of the issues you may want to look at with a professional. Talking with someone you can trust will give you the perspective you need to make important decisions. Including your partner in these conversations will be essential. Good luck!

© 2008, Sandra L. Caron

*    *    *

It is not sex that gives the pleasure, but the lover. - Marge Piercy

American teens have the worst of all worlds...Our children are bombarded and confronted with sexual messages, sexual exploitation, and all manner of sexual criticism. But our society is by and large sexually illiterate. Faye Westheimer

Dr. Sandra L. Caron is a professor of human sexuality at the University of Maine. To submit a question to Dr. Caron or chat with your peers visit Got a question for Dr. Caron? Visit and ask away! Get a guaranteed personal and confidential response to your question: or E-Mail

Contact Us | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement
Menstuff® Directory
Menstuff® is a registered trademark of Gordon Clay
©1996-2019, Gordon Clay