Women Are Sharing Reasons Why They Stopped Having Sex In Their Relationships And The "Icks" Are Very Icky

    "Basically, broken boundaries gave me the irreversible ick."

    The National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior found an overall decline in all sexual activity for Americans from a study they conducted from 2009-2018. We’re all out here having less orgasms and I wanted to understand why.

    As adults, we learn to lose the fairytale idea of unconditional love in our relationships. It's understood that an adult relationship should always be conditional on our safety and satisfaction from it. Your sex life may or may not be a major contributing factor in that, but only you can decide that for yourself.

    photograph of a happy couple ripped in half

    Out of the total 1.2K comments responding to Reddit user u/Gilded_Violet asking the r/AskWomen community: “Women who stopped having sex with your partner during the relationship, what was your reasoning?” — I highlighted the 18 most relevant, important, and/or outrageous reasons why women stopped having sex in their relationships:

    Reader discretion: some of these entries include mentions of SA and childhood SA.

    1. "He stopped engaging in any kind of non-sexual physical intimacy. Wanna cuddle on the couch? Time to get groped. Need a hug after a long day? I must be looking for a good f**k. It was a big turn off."


    "My partner had no concept of the value or reasoning for platonic affection. His words to me when I asked him were, 'Why would I do that?' As in, why would he engage in affection that couldn’t lead to sex. It seemed like an unfulfilled action to him. I cried... After a brief breakup and a LOT of talking, he has come to understand and value platonic affection. He even got really sad when he realized he’d never known any other type of affection besides sexual from people either.

    We are both doing better and there are WAY more cuddles now."


    2. "I didn't love him anymore and it took me three years to admit it to myself."

    couple sitting with their backs to each other, and the woman looking visibly upset

    3. "I didn’t stop intentionally and at the time I had no idea why I didn’t want to have sex with him anymore. In hindsight it was because our relationship was deteriorating and I am wired in a way to be incapable of wanting someone sexually unless I have a close, healthy emotional bond with them. I had way too much resentment and a parent/child dynamic for me to want him...I just didn’t realize that was the reason at the time."

    "...for everyone who sees themselves in my comment - please go research demisexuality. You aren’t weird or wrong for being this way :)."


    4. "He cheated. The thought of touching him grossed me out after that."

    A woman and man sit at a kitchen table, The man looks down at his phone and subsequently ignores the woman — The woman looks insecure and hurt as she looks at him, hoping for some attention

    5. "Started with my husband rejecting my initiating for years. He said it was work-related stress and then it morphed into performance anxiety (ED) - none of which he shared with me despite me begging to understand what was going on for him..."

    Depressed young woman lying on bed, her husband sitting in foreground

    6. "He made me carry all the mental load of the household and basically became another child I had to worry about and manage."


    "Nothing sexier than a man you have to nag to brush his teeth, eat vegetables, and drink water."


    "Turns out our brains really don't wanna be sexually attracted to someone we're parenting and they just shut that shit down. Who'da thunk."


    "This is so unsexy and unattractive. I understand."


    7. "He doesn’t like sex. I used to be bitter and angry because I assumed sex was necessary. I came to learn through counseling and self-reflection that my trauma and past sexual history didn’t define my libido or relationship..."

    Sad girlfriend sitting on bed edge, holding her legs after fight, her partner is lying in bed in background, his face is lit by smart phone

    8. "He put everything else before me: his job, his golf buddies, his preferences of how to spend his time on weekends. I purposely cut him off from sex and let him know that if I’m not a priority to him, then sex with him isn’t a priority to me. He found sex elsewhere."


    "Omg I know. I left an ex five years ago now because he became increasingly emotionally abusive and we fought constantly, and for some reason he was shocked when I broke up with him. Like, my dude, I’ve been so unhappy and telling you for at least a year now, how is this a surprise to you??"


    9. "He was watching so much porn that he didn’t want to have sex with me."

    A frustrated woman sitting on the edge of the bed, while her unconcerned boyfriend in scrolling through his smart phone, lying behind her

    10. "I got tired of feeling like a sex doll. Sex was always all about him and I didn't even feel like a person when he had sex with me, just a thing that existed so he could get off."


    "I went through the exact same thing. He was always very aggressive, didn’t care what I wanted to do, sex was over as soon as he got off, and he wouldn’t accept any kind of affection afterwards. It got so bad, sometimes I’d get so emotionally overwhelmed after sex, I’d cry. It sucked, I’m sorry you experienced it too."


    "Paired with the sex being unsatisfying. Even after I COMMUNICATED the things I didn't like. Constant nagging for anal. It got to the point where I didn't feel like a person."


    11. "Kids. Absolute exhaustion, undiagnosed PPD, carrying the full mental and physical load of home life. Stress: work, financial, relationships, kids..."

    woman holding a baby in bed, while she looks visibly stressed and tired

    12. "Hormonal birth control killed my libido and I was just flat-out uninterested in sex."


    "Happened to me, too. I took a new birth control pill containing only progestogene and my libido completely vanished. I did not even masturbate or felt like sexual being at all. Looking back it was really weird but it felt so "normal" that it took a few months for me to notice what was going on. My relationship ended over this, but it was probably for the better."


    13. "I felt disgusted by him. He did not know what hygiene was. His room smelled disgusting, he always had bad breath and refused to brush his teeth..."

    Two bamboo toothbrush in bathroom with towel, body cream and flowing water

    14. "I am a survivor of childhood SA at the hands of my father. I’m currently in trauma therapy. I also live with my partner of seven years. Our sex life has changed since my trauma therapy has intensified. Going into the details of my childhood trauma has made it very difficult for me to be physically intimate with my partner even though I love and trust him."


    "I'm going through something kind of similar. I'm not in trauma therapy yet. But a few months ago I had to deal with some stuff with my abuser that I haven't had to deal with since I was a child. It brought up a lot of trauma and my CPTSD has been a lot worse since then. Every time I try to feel sexual, it triggers my PTSD and I freak out. I can't even do anything myself, it's just too much. I'm trying to get my shit together and get in therapy."


    15. "He stopped acting aroused around me. Like seeing me naked he wouldn’t bat an eye. He never attempted to touch me more then a slight ass squeeze as he walked by. Basically felt unattractive."

    woman sitting at the end of the bed, looking like she's thinking about something, while the man lays in bed rubbing his face

    16. "I’m pregnant and the thought of having anything near my insides when I’m already full to bursting is very unappealing. I’ve tried convincing myself to get into it and I just can’t get there."

    Pregnant woman covering her eyes with hands while laying on sofa

    17. "For me with my ex-husband, it was lack of intimacy. If I hugged him, he would want to plow me down. He watched too much porn. Sex was violent. I'm sorry, but I don't want to have my face mashed onto a pillow while he mimicked the "moves" he saw on porn, not to mention being treated like an object."


    "It was almost impossible to have intimacy without it turning sexual, just a hug, just a kiss without any expectations. By the end I started to recoiled every time he tried to touch me, because I knew WHY he was trying. When I refused to be touched, he would say things like: 'Come on, I just want to hug you.' He would, for like 15 seconds and would start groping me, hands down my pants, my breasts, etc. It just felt so dehumanizing…this is why I hate massages now. So many men will confuse a « high sex drive » with their desire to connect and their inability to tap into meaningful emotions (horny is not an emotion).

    The thing is that my ex was not a horrible person, he was just so disconnected that he couldn’t fathom the idea of just hugging/kissing/complimenting me for the sake of it. It was sooo transactional. Mixed with the entitlement that he felt towards my body and having his « sexual needs met » I was just done. What is weird is that I knew he felt hurt every time I refused, and that made me sad, but as I told him: if the only way for you to feel love, to boost your self esteem, to connect, to say 'I love you,' and to be told 'I love you' is through sex, then every relationships will feel emotionally neglectful."


    A lot of the stories these women shared are retrospective and didn't realize or recognize what to do at the time. If you can relate to any of their experiences, share how you handled your own experience and any advice you would give to others in the comments below.

    Note: Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.