Thursday, April 18, 2024

How to say ‘No’ to sex with your partner without hurting your relationship

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Adetunji Matthew
Adetunji Matthew
I’m Adetunji Matthew, an Economist, Social Media Manager, software Developer/Marketer Sales Consultant, and Ecompreneur. I’m popularly known as “Matt” As an artist and designer, I aim to create something brilliant daily. Eager to learn more, I use my free time to get better at w hat interests me, whether it's researching, teaching, or even something entirely new.
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A guide for when you are not in the mood for love-making.

Turning down sex should be as simple as saying “nah, not today” but in reality, in a relationship you might hold back due to guilt, manipulation, coercion or pressure.

Sexual rejection has potential to harm your connection if you do not handle it with care, but so does “maintenance sex” that couples engage in without being in the mood for sex.

Misconceptions such as women thinking that men will always want their bodies whenever they get the greenlight, and assumptions about matching sex drives can make the moment emotionally charged coupled with inconsiderate rejection.

To avoid sending your spouse into a whirlwind of insecurity, and ruining your ‘no sex’ time feelin guilty and apologising, here’s how you do it:


Become aware of what you want and why you don’t want sex right now. Simply say “no” because you don’t owe anyone an explanation for saying ‘no’, unless you want to.

Maintain eye contact

Leave no room for your partner to assume that you need some help getting in the mood when you are simply not feeling it. Look them in the eye, be direct and talk in a serious tone. Moreover, this is someone you are having an intimate relationship with, feel free to be honest. “Hey, I’m not up for sex tonight,” can be a starting point.

Maintain touch when turning them down

Let them feel that you still love and desire them despite not wanting to get between the sheets with them. Playing with their hair, rubbing their back or a mini-making out session should fend off feelings of rejection. Studies show that rejection from a partner hurts longer than the pleasure from them saying yes.

Encourage other activities

If you feel up to other forms of connection, let them know you want to watch a movie, or break in a glass of wine or to talk about your day, cuddling, watching a movie, and any other activity you feel up to in the moment. You can suggest the activity for a later date.

I’m sorry, I’m sure this is disappointing, but I really just need alone time right now. I love you very much and hopefully this weekend we can ___.”

You can also suggest other sexual activities you may want to try.


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