Sometimes, you just don’t want to have sex. Maybe you ate too many nachos. Or you’ve been totally overwhelmed at work. Perhaps you’re not super into your date/partner. Maybe literally nothing is wrong and you’re just not horny. There are a whole host of reasons you may feel like shutting the sultry down.
Of course, for every time that you’re not feeling the heat (for whatever reason), there will come a day when your date or partner would rather just go to sleep than sleep with you. Though your knee-jerk reaction to getting rejected may be to feel upset or angry, try to remember that someone not feeling up for sex isn’t a rejection of you or your rockin’ bod. There are a million reasons someone may not be feeling the heat, and it’s important to be respectful of their boundaries. It’s never OK to pressure someone into getting it on, no matter how long you’ve been together or how hot they are.
Though feeling turned down or turning someone down isn’t exactly something to look forward to, changing the way you see sexual rejection, will change the way you think of sex — for the better that is.
Why sexual rejection hurts and how to make it better
Because sex can be so intimate, it’s easy to take sexual rejection personally. Someone ignoring your touch or not taking up your initiative can feel like they don’t think you’re attractive anymore or that you’re growing apart. (While in reality, your partner may not be up for a hookup because they’re thinking about their tax returns or nervous about an upcoming family dinner.)
Someone not wanting to have sex doesn’t mean they don’t “like” you, or that they’ll never want to have sex with you.
Think about it as “Redirection” not Rejection
[Note: if you’re out with a creep or your partner is being totally pushy — it is always OK to end the conversation/completely reject them/not worry about coming off as tactful or sexy. No one is allowed to make you feel pressured or uncomfortable, and if something is being too aggressive, you can always tell them to GTFO, in those words. Consent is of utmost importance.]
However, if you’re super into your date you’re just not into having sex right now, here are some ways to say, “It’s not happening.” (That are a little more tactful than, “It’s not happening.”)
- I love when you kiss my neck like that, do you think we could just make out for a while?
- I’ve had a really amazing time, but I think it’s time I call it a night.
- I’m not feeling up for that tonight, but I’d love to watch you masturbate.
- Can we keep it above the belt tonight?
- You know, I have a ton of versatile toys that you may find super enjoyable. You can use whatever catches your eye.
- Do you mind if we just snuggle up and talk for a while? I feel like we haven’t really connected in so long.
- You are so attractive to me, and I am going to devour you the next time I see you.
- I’m not super up for it now, but I’d love to have some morning sex.
- You’re welcome to watch some porn next to me, I love seeing you turned on.
- Let’s take a hot bath together and just hold each other.
And if your date is the one that’s not feeling it.
- That’s totally cool, would you want to watch a movie?
- Is there something else you’d like to do? Back rub? Sexy shower?
- Would you like to masturbate next to each other?
- Want to grab a late-night snack? I saw a Taco Bell close by.
- Let me know if you’re ever feeling up for it.
- Do you want to snuggle for a bit or do you need some space?
- I’m feeling super horny, can I masturbate next to you or in the bathroom?
- Thank you for telling me how you feel, I love that we can be so open and honest with each other.
- That’s OK! I’m feeling pretty tired myself.
Open communication is an essential part of any relationship — whether you’re married for 10 years or in the middle of a one-night thing. Active and enthusiastic consent is another important part of having sex. This means not only going along with having sex when someone else wants to but having sex with someone because you both really want to and are actively excited about it.
You never need to feel like sex is expected, an obligation, something you “should” do or “supposed” to do. If for whatever reason you’re not feeling 110% in the mood, you are completely allowed to slow it down, switch it up, or completely call it off. Not wanting to have sex with someone is more about you than it is about them. You get to listen to your body and mind and do what’s right for you.
Griffin Wynne is a non-binary writer, artist, and plain seltzer drinker. When they’re not discussing sex in the ~digital era~ or crying to the Dixie Chicks, Griffin enjoys camping, reading, used clothes, and documentaries about cults. They’re a Capricorn King, a genderless cowgirl, and a ’70s mama who is always down for dollar oysters and road trips. Griffin uses they/them pronouns and has the same birthday as Kyle Richards.