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I've run into a certain pattern in my sexual behavior and it leaves me feeling somewhat frustrated and confused.
I really enjoy sex and affection, but some nights I just want to lay down by myself and sleep. I feel that sometimes as a male, I am expected to always be wanting and ready for sex, especially when my partner is wanting it. I've tried to explain that some nights I'm simply not in the mood, but it never seems to get through. I've experienced all types of reactions, from one partner thinking that it's because I'm not aroused enough by her, to others mocking me and asking if I needed candles and mood lighting.
I know asking "am I normal?" Is a slippery slope in the world of sex, but I'm approaching 27 years old and I still haven't been able to resolve this problem.
Thank you so much for this question.
The first thing I want you to know is that there is nothing wrong with you. Variations in sexual appetite are normal and are not consistent for any gender. We live with cultural myths that men are always horny, want sex all the time, and are willing to have sex whenever a partner suggests. This is simply not true and your situation is not uncommon.
Think of sex as a big chocolate cake. Some of us could eat slice after slice, always wanting more. Some of us can enjoy one slice and have our sweet tooth fulfilled for the next few days, or even weeks. Some of us don’t even like chocolate cake (Asexual) and that’s normal too! As long as you enjoy the sex you’re having, there is no physical or emotional pain, and you feel sexually fulfilled, you are ‘normal’.
The only problem you may have is with the company you’ve chosen. Sexual compatibility is extremely important when it comes to long term relationships and is the biggest deal breaker for most people. It seems to me that you’ve have had experiences with people who are perhaps incompatible with your desires, and instead of treating you with respect, they’ve mocked you via these harmful cultural stereotypes. A partner should never shame you or make you feel broken because your sexual libido is different from theirs. Most likely, those remarks were made to cover their own insecurity and shame surrounding their sexual desire.
My advice would be to communicate your sexual desires early on. Be open about what makes you feel sexually satisfied in a relationship and make your partner aware of your expectations. In doing this, you may avoid more of the sexist and harmful people you’ve been with before. However, if you do find yourself in that situation again, remind your partner (and yourself) that variations in sexual desire are normal, not matter your gender, and a partner should never expect you to have sex with them just because they want to.