Sex Drive, Bed Death, & Dealbreakers

I want to add something to my response to the question about how to keep passion from waning in a long-term monogamous relationship. There were a few great comments in that thread, and I particularly want to echo what babygrrlfemme said: “Don’t be ashamed to make hot sex a priority in who you date!”

Man oh man. I should absolutely add that to the list: it’s okay to make sex a priority. It’s okay to ask for what you want (though you usually have to figure out what it is you want, first, which can be a barrier), and sex – or lackthereof – is a perfectly acceptable dealbreaker in a relationship.

That was a hard thing for me to learn, but the four-year LBD relationship taught me this lesson hard. I definitely understand that there is more to a relationship than just sex, and at a certain point, sure, sometimes sex isn’t an option for various reasons – and perhaps I’ll have to deal with that, if/when that happens in a long term relationship for me.

But meanwhile: my sex drive is high, and I want to find someone who will match me in that, someone willing to make sex a priority, someone who wants to experiment and explore. Friendship, intellectual compatibility, emotional communication – all that is important, of course, but the major difference between a lover and a friend is that sexual relationship – and because I am monogamous in my relationships, who I chose to partner with has got to be sexually compatible, pretty much all the time. I expect that relationship to have ebbs and flows, sure – but flat-out no-sex, especially for YEARS? No way. Absolutely a dealbreaker.

Published by Sinclair Sexsmith

Sinclair Sexsmith (they/them) is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queers" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). ​Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, and they are the current editor of the Best Lesbian Erotica series. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert, and they live outside Seattle as an uninvited settler on traditional, ancestral, & unceded Snoqualmie land.

8 thoughts on “Sex Drive, Bed Death, & Dealbreakers”

  1. muse says:

    I'm so with you on this one, Sin. a lesson learned hard.

    To quote an early email exchange with Lee, when I was in jaded, never-going-to-make-that-mistake-again "laying down the law" mode:

    I've decided recently that it's not worth my while to date vanilla, even though I can do that happily, for the most part. Sexual creativity and uninhibited expression is just such gorgeous thing, when allowed to flourish. I won't live without it.

    I had decided to be up front about my kink so that I didn't waste anyone's time. all I can say is, my candor's worked out awfully well for me so far.

  2. Jan says:

    hot May banner, Sinclair!!

  3. love the new May banner and 'here here!' to the last paragraph!

  4. Essin' Em says:

    I love the new banner! It's so true :)

    And I agree. I have quite a high sex drive, and can't imagine being in any kind of relationship with someone and not having sex. When I was with J, we only saw each other (at least in the fall) once or twice a month, and we'd have sex pretty much 20 out of every 24 hours.

    Lower sex drive is fine, but not being at least fairly sexually active? I agree; total deal breaker.

  5. Petite Etoile says:

    Sex is so much a part of my relationships (both long-term and more casual) that I can’t imagine going without it.

    I’ve seen a lot of my friends (straight, bi, lesbian, what have you) head toward minimal sex relationships and, for some of them, it works. But so often it becomes this little resentment. So I’ve taken to owning my sex drive, enjoying it and being very open about the fact that I enjoy sex. It’s just one more way of owning my own body. I figure that way, it’s out in the open and hopefully discussions happen sooner rather than later.

    And, may I echo, VERY nice banner. Just lovely.

  6. Natascia says:

    Amen, son! For a long time, with an ex, I was made to feel like (or made myself feel, really) wanting hot sex and often was not a legitimate demand and I was a perv for wanting it (that was actually her nickname for me) now I'm happy to be one.

    Slap my ass, throw me down, choke me, and fuck me silly, please? And I'm no longer afraid to ask for that. Yay!

  7. Susannah says:

    Yeah…I’ve definitely learned this lesson. I had an amazing submissive for three and a half years – we were compatible in every way – except for sex drive. We really worked well together on both a vanilla level and a kink level…except he had zero sex drive. Oh, he didn’t mind it, and never once complained when I took what I wanted and used his body…but it was never an urge for him – a desire.

    It never felt like a rejection, because this was not just about me – he never had ANY sex drive – no real interest in it, didn’t watch porn, didn’t masturbate to any sexual fantasies (but merely for “stress relief” as he put it).

    Eventually, he was officially diagnosed with Asperger’s, which merely confirmed our understanding of how he was wired.

    And eventually, I had to release him as my need to be sexually desired (and even pursued) was not being met.

    It was incredibly hard because he was absolutely my best friend and so much else was great in the relationship.

    We’re still great friends, three years on, and I’m finding great sex elsewhere, yet not yet in the form of a committed partner.

    Someday the planets will align…

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