Love, sex and interminable pop-culture references

QuoteQuest: Love, No Sex

Sex without love is as hollow and ridiculous as love without sex.

hunter s. thompson

While I can’t speak for everyone, I’ve certainly had both of these.

The very easy thing to get out of the way is that the very first time I had sex, and the hundred-plus time afterwards, I was definitely having sex with love – that is to say, I was having sex with someone I was in love with. Sex was a big part of our relationship, and the same was true of my second relationship (which was also “sex with love”, although sex of a more adventurous variety). In fact, half the people I’ve had sex with have been people I’ve loved. I’m very lucky in that respect.

Sex without love has also been fun, although for a very different reason. Louise, Alicia, Lilly and snowdrop all had their reasons for sleeping with me (even if “I was horny and he’s got a dick” was the simple reason). All four were highly sexual people and the knowledge that there was no real commitment other than “satisfy this person” (and I did satisfy them, believe me!) both jarred with my monogamy-centred lifestyle and excited my own sexual self.

My aim was, and has always been and always will be, to ensure that anyone I have sex with enjoys it. Sex goes wrong every now and again – of course it does, everything does – but, if you can accept the person you’re making love to, you can accept the occasional fuck-up (and be aware of your own as well). I like to please – I’m desperate to do so – and so there is, in fact, a common thread here, no matter who I’m having sex with, or why.

Love without sex is different.

I’m in a relationship which is, to all intents and purposes, sexless. This may be slightly ridiculous to say when the relationship started during sex, but it is true. I’m still interested in sex (well, of course I am, I’m a sex blogger, silly), but they are not, or at least not any more.

I’m not entirely sure why – various reasons have been thrown about, ranging from health complications to relationship anxiety to depression to physical weakness to the way they put it the other day – “I’m just disgusted by sex, the idea repels me. It’s not you, it’s sex itself. I don’t like it any more.” To this point, we haven’t been intimate for weeks, and we haven’t had penetrative sex for years. I’ve genuinely lost count of how long it’s been.

I’m not going to press the point, though, as it’s a touchy subject – nor am I going to put them under any pressure. If they don’t want to have sex, they don’t have to, and I’m not going to try to change that, as it’s their prerogative.

My sex life now consists of pleasuring myself. Since I don’t have sex with anyone else, I’m not having sex at all, and with the strange ways my sexual desires manifest themselves being more apparent as a result, I control and temper myself with masturbation – although I don’t always get the time to do that either! I can easily slip into sexual fantasies or explicit half-dreams, but again, when I can’t actually do anything about it, it’s…

…well, yeah, it’s difficult, of course it is.

A cis female friend recently told me about a conversation she had where the other conversationalist (who I don’t know but is also a cis woman) was presented with the same situation – monogamous couple, no sex for boy – and straight-up said, “he’d probably just leave, that’s what men do.”

I could never imagine leaving. I completely, truly, deeply, one hundred per cent love the person I am with, and the fact that we’re not having sex doesn’t change that.

So, no, I don’t agree with Hunter S. Thompson.

Sex without love is fun.
Love without sex is possible.

I miss sex.

QuoteQuest, innit


  1. Sara

    > “I’m not entirely sure why – various reasons have been thrown about”
    > “I’m not going to press the point, though”

    You must have pressed the point multiple times if “various” reasons have been brought up.

    > “as it’s a touchy subject”

    The fact that you’re saying it’s a touchy subject implies that you are pushy.

    No means no. Why don’t you seem to get that?

    • Innocent Loverboy

      While I understand what you’re saying, I think you’ve made an assumption here (although maybe I didn’t make myself clear in the above post – apologies for that).

      I genuinely haven’t pressed the point. It’s not something we talk about very much, and when we do, it’s something they bring up, rather than me.

      I note that you question my use of the word “various”. Many, if not most, of their reasons have been brought up in one conversation: it’s not like I’m keeping a list?

      As I said in the post, it’s a touchy subject for them, ie. “sensitive subject”. I don’t bring it up because they find it difficult to talk about. Sex is only a very small part of our relationship – there are many, many, many other aspects of it which delight me at every turn – so it barely comes up (and, as I said above, hardly ever from me!).

      I’m perfectly aware that “no means no”. What were you envisioning – me trying to persuade them otherwise?

    • GOTN

      Blimey, Sara, this is quite a harsh and unrealistic take, when ILB has essentially said ‘they aren’t into sex, and we’ve talked about that, and I’m not doing to pressure them.’ Yeah, of course someone is always allowed to say no to sex. But in a relationship where sex has been part of it, and then *stops*, it’s not only legitimate but also entirely reasonable to have conversations about that. It’s more than possible to discuss relationship changes – multiple times – without putting pressure on someone, and in a long-term relationship I don’t think I’ve ever had a single issue/problem/question that has been solved simply with one quick chat and ‘OK fine that’s all good then.’

      Going off sex can be a sign of other things (for instance, I have gone off sex in the past when my mental health has been particularly bad), and a long-term loving partner who cares about you is probably going to want to discuss this – not just because expressing their own needs is important, but also because supporting you through what may well be a difficult thing is important too.

      I cannot imagine the hurt and sadness I would feel if I stopped having sex with someone who I had previously been sexual with, and they settled for ‘no means no’ then just *never raised it with me again.* ILB, I think your post is a really thoughtful discussion of the quote, and what comes across very strongly is how much you love your partner. It’s really interesting and moving to read about how your love is strong without the sex, and I wish you both all the happiness. x

      • Innocent Loverboy

        Thanks so much, GOTN – this entire comment is an incredibly accurate summary of what I was trying to say (in your own inimitable style, of course). I haven’t had any follow-up comments from Sara, but I hope she reads and understands what I was trying to say.

        I read your comment out loud to Jilly just now and she is very grateful, as well.

        As a side note, it was quite relieving to get this off my chest: I’ve made various allusions to this in the past, but it was nice to be able to say plainly, “I’m not having sex, and here’s why.”

  2. Storm Elliott

    I missed sex too when I was in a mostly sexless relationship for ten years. She didn’t want it for various reasons as well. I knew this going into it (the second time around at least). It must be difficult dealing with the change in your sex life. Pressure only seems to make the situation worse in my experience so good for you for not putting the pressure on.

    • Innocent Loverboy

      It is difficult… but this has been years, so I’m used to it by now!

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