Sex life with partner has fallen into a lull

Hi there, first time poster here. I’m a cis woman and I’m writing in because my sex life with my partner (cis man) has fallen into a lull.

We’ve been together for almost two years, living together for the past two months. Since maybe six months ago, I feel like we’ve kind of lost the joy in sex. I got a Paragard IUD about nine months ago and I generally really like it, but it’s made my cervix more sensitive to deep penetration- my partner is on the larger side, so it can cause discomfort. We have the ohnut toy which we occasionally use, but it can still be hard to find a comfortable angle in certain positions. I think that this caused us to start having sex in the same ways a lot of the time. I also had a stressful situation at work for half of this year, which probably didn’t help my libido.

Somewhere along the way, it became difficult for my partner to last as long as usual during sex. In the past, we’d have about 15 minutes of penetration most of the time. For the past few months, my partner has had increasing difficulty lasting even 5 minutes. He spends a lot of sex “in his head” trying not to cum, which isn’t fun for him or for me (I can tell he’s distracting himself). I really like to orgasm in the cowgirl position, but it’s especially hard for my partner to not cum in that position. This leads to him telling me to stop or slow down very frequently, which is frustrating for me because I lose my rhythm. I feel like penetration ends right as I’m getting to peak arousal, and we’re still having very formulaic sex because it just doesn’t last long enough to switch positions more than once or twice. Frankly, sex has stopped being very fun for either of us. There was a night recently where we went on a date and when we came back, we started having a really hot time—porn, lingerie, lots of foreplay, etc. But then when he started to penetrate me, he came within a couple of minutes. I suggested he try to keep fucking me but it was very uncomfortable for him so we stopped. It was very frustrating for both of us.

We’ve talked about this more recently and acknowledged that things haven’t been great for either of us. He feels a lot of performance anxiety, which ends up being a self-fulfilling prophecy. On my end, I don’t really look forward to sex anymore because it just hasn’t been very hot or fun. I’ve suggested that he try masturbating a couple hours before we have sex, but he seems hesitant. I’ve also suggested that we get out of the habit of orgasm being the end of sex, so we plan on trying that (at least on nights where neither of us is too tired), but he’s told me that when he cums too early, he feels such shame and embarrassment that it’s hard for him to keep feeling into the sex we’re having.

I feel like we’re in a vicious cycle where we both have negative feelings about sex, which leads me to be disinterested in it and him to have anxiety about it. I’d love any advice on ways to break the cycle and start having fun, hot sex again.

Lulls can be the worst! It’s great you and your partner are having an open dialogue about all of this though, that alone can be really hard for a lot of folks. And it’s great that you all are acknowledging that you don’t have to cum to have good sex! I think that puts a lot of pressure on folks.

Have you all tried just having non-penetrative sex? Using toys and masturbating together can be a lot of fun, and it’s easier to ease off if you want to delay orgasming as well, just more control. Changing positions might help, then switching to your favorite when he feels he’s about to cum could also work, but I get that disrupts the flow of things.

Has your husband talked to anyone like a therapist about this? Or even you both unpacking some of the shame and embarrassment he feels and why he feels it? Working through that shame, talking it out, could even look like “hey, if you cum, that’s perfectly ok, but then I would like you to focus on my pleasure after.” Rather than feel shameful, focusing on your pleasure after he cums is not only a distraction from his negative thoughts, but also a way to remind him that there is no shame in making your partner feel good, which he’d be doing.

Also I think focusing on not orgasming is a good thing, and could include new things as well. Are there any kinks or things you all have wanted to try out? Even just telling each other what you want to do to each other, or kissing new parts of the body, can be a turn-on. Focusing on intimacy vs. the physical action of an orgasm is one of the best ways to get out of one’s head when it comes to performance anxiety.