- Dr. Love in the Media
Former Energizer Rabbit
April 17, 2000 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
My boyfriend is really in love with me. . . he tells me all the time and want to marry me etc (I am only 20 and don't want to marry for another 7 years at leat. . . he understands this).
When we first started dating I drank a lot and was hence a energiser rabbit when it came to sex.
After about 6 months of dating I totally stopped drinking and gradually also lost my sex drive.
He is very understanding and says that if I don't want sex then thats alright with him. But I know its not. . . he loooves sex. There are other issues here, such as him lying to me. . . not about anything serious, just little white lies, which end up really hurting me, I have told him this but he says that he would never lie about something important. I also realise why he does lie, his mother is very nosey and controlling.
There is also an issue of personal hygene and his appearance. He is quite good looking but takes not pride in what he looks like. Also missing a shower or forgetting to brush his teeth means nothing to him. Then he wonders why I don't want to kiss him.
I am not sure if I love him, I think maybe as a friend only. but I don't want to hurt him by telling him these things. please help. Thanks
The first thing you said in your letter is that your sex drive dwindled right after you stopped drinking. You seem to make a link between the two events, and I wonder why.
If anything, alcohol, by depressing the central nervous system, cuts down on a person's sex drive and performance. True, alcohol lowers a person's inhibitions, which means that he or she may feel freer sexually, but sensations and performance are definately diminished by alcohol, as I said. If your sex drive diminished after you stopped drinking, then I would wonder why.
If I had to guess, I would say that when you stopped numbing yourself with alcohol, then your unconscious mind took over and numbed you in its own way by cutting off your sexual feelings. Numbing you to feelings is an unconscious form of protection.
What do you need to be protected from? For one thing, his lies. If you feel that he can't be trusted, then the last thing you would want to do is to surrendor to him sexually. One way to protect yourself is to become numb sexually. No desire. No sex. No letting go. No risk.
It is also possible that your unconscious mind is protecting you from your own anger. Instead of owning how angry you feel to be lied to, your mind seems to be cutting off from feelings of anger. Instead you are numb. You don't feel anger, and you don't feel sexual either.
Basically, I would be treating the lack of desire as a symptom of a deeper issue. That he lies and that you don't feel safe enough to let down your guard.He needs to be working in therapy on his habit of lying.
Meanwhile, you need to examine why you would want to be involved with someone who lies to you. Realize that the unconscious draws us to people who meet deep needs inside ourselves. I know you are thinking, why would I need to be lied to? If you've been reading my column for a while, then you know that we recreate what's familiar to us. If you felt that your parent(s) lied to you, then choosing a partner who you can't trust feels right at home for you. Keeping your distance and cutting off sexually would also feel right at home.
If I were you I would figure out why you need to be with a partner who you don't feel safe with. I would also be asking myself what do I gain by staying with someone who keeps me feeling numb and cut-off sexually. When you figure this out, then you can begin to work on healing the wounds that have led you to this choice.
Unless you do this work, you will find yourself unable to trust others and to have normal sexual feelings. Let me know what your soul-searching yields.
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