Here we explore The Truth About Sexless Relationships and start to understand the different types of advice that is out there and what research and psychoanalysis has to say when we look to understand Sexless Relationships.
Another purpose of relationships is understanding the other person and not just agreeing with them because it sounds and feels good.
Not many know what MGTOW means and how this is effecting modern relationships. I myself have criticisms of the premise of Men Going Their Own Way, but you always have to listen to individuals in communities that are not your own to come up with truer understandings of them and not just have ideas about them that are just founded on your biases that are based on little to no facts.
I found a MGTOW Coach and his channel is called Ronin Man where he speaks about sexless relationships.
I’m going to answer some of the questions he has and talk about some of the points I disagree with him on and input the science of psychoanalysis and relationships into his ideas about sexless relationships.
I recommend that all of you watch his video. It’s about an hour long and really listen and try to understand what he is saying even if you don’t agree with him.
A core purpose of a meaningful relationship is understanding the other person who you will inevitably disagree with and learning how to disagree with them without being destructive while also being open to learning something new because they most likely know something you don’t that is valuable to your life.
I hope to be able to sit and talk with Ronin Man one day to talk some of this out because even in his own video there are things he says that we don’t have the context for and it wouldn’t be right to make a final judgment on his ideas.
Also, another purpose of relationships is understanding the other person and not just agreeing with them because it sounds and feels good. If you just agree then you’re just ignoring your own needs to satisfy them while at the same time satisfying your desire to not have responsibility. We see this a lot in relationships.
Be curious, listen critically, listen thoughtfully and listen openly.
How do Sexless Relationships Start? 1:30 – 1:55
Rinon Man: “Sexless relationships don’t start like you think. It’s insidious. They start one way and end up another way and the person doing it doesn’t even realize what the end result of this action is.”
The Ronin Man is correct that it is rare that one starts a relationship with the goal of having a sexless relationship. Sexless relationships most commonly develop because of negative feelings such as resentment and anger as the relationship progresses.
One common and not spoken of problem is that often what happens is that a person in a sexless relationship will repeatedly find themselves in sexless relationships no matter who they are with. They are either the person who repeatedly rejects or is repeatedly rejected. Individuals don’t go out and seek to reject or be rejected, but they keep finding themselves in this situation.
This is what psychoanalyst call The Unconscious Agreement or The Repetition Compulsion.
- The repetition compulsion is that you are compelled to repeat the patterns of old unconsciously and you repeat the patterns of old because those patterns are comfortable because they are familiar.
This quote is from Dr. Zeitner a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst.
Dr. Zeitner (2012) explains that the absence of sex shows a, “significant limitation in closeness
In actions, this means an investment in the pushing away of the other person through limiting intimate contacts such as kissing, smiles, hand holding, and sex. This isn’t necessarily conscious or unconscious, but a mix of both.
“…and frequently negative feelings about the self and about the physical body.”
So, what are some of the excuses that people use to limit sex? A lot of people will say that they have gotten fat, they’re older now so their libido is low, they’re on their period, their tired or any other number of excuses. This is what Modern Psychoanalyst call the Narcissistic Defense.
- The narcissistic defense basically means that we will attack ourselves, calling ourselves old or saying that we are tired, instead of dealing with the problems in the relationship and our own problems that are effecting the relationship.
“Unconscious conflicts in one and usually both partners often abound,”
- The Unconscious conflicts in oneself is talking about the history and mental health history of each individual person. We have scientific literature that shows that we repeat the relationships we first had in our new and current relationships which is another part of the repetition compulsion.
Even popular culture has caught onto this idea when we speak about girls with Daddy Issues and boys who are Mamma’s Boys. Those are silly titles to serious maturational deficits.
“…even when the ejection of sexuality from the relationship has become an unconsciously agreed upon solution to attenuate intimacy and sometimes anxiety in the relationship (pp. 82).”
- Another psychoanalytic understanding is that people get together to solve their psychic conflicts. This is why good girls always go after the bad boys for example and they always try to fix them or good men go after bad girls and try to save them. This is the Savior complex.They’re trying to fix something in their mind’s past in the present.
So, the unconscious conflicts that individuals have within themselves creates much tension and anxiety within the person and within the relationship. The sexlessness of a relationship is used to reduce and devalue sex from the relationship because intimacy brings closeness and the majority of our unconscious conflicts have to do with closeness and the anxiety closeness creates.
This then brings us to anxiety.
- Anxiety is not a feeling. When you say,”I feel anxious,” you are using that word incorrectly. Using the word “anxious” is actually a way of not describing what you are really feeling, but to describe a state of being that you are in. Just as you cannot feel asleep, but you are in the state of sleep.
When you are anxious you are experiencing a state of anxiety and that state of anxiety is used to shut down any type of communication about what is going on. It’s a biologically useful and constructive state to have because you can’t just always vomit what is going on with you, but we inevitably take it too far where it becomes destructive in our lives and relationships.
Why Sexless Relationships Develop: The Unconscious Agreement
Let us answer why sexless relationships develop.
The individual in a relationship who is rejecting sex is creating distance and communicating some negative feeling towards the other person in the relationship.
The individual in the relationship who is being rejected also creates distance in the relationship by not exploring and dealing with that rejection.
The person who is rejecting sex will say, “If I push you away, I don’t have to talk about the problem so agree to not ask me.”
The person who is being rejected then says, “Okay sounds great, if I don’t constructively explore why you’re pushing me away and use excuses as it would be rude to ask you about not wanting to have sex I won’t have to deal with the unsaid problems in the relationship.”
The deal is made and your relationship is sexless. You both agreed to this.
What is Gained in a Sexless Relationship?
There is legitimate pain in being rejected, but it’s not the whole story.
Not having to deal with the initial and continual rejections will give the rejected person a great excuse to leave or stay in a relationship because they can become the victim. There is legitimate pain in being rejected, but it’s not the whole story. The rejected person immediately takes the position of not being responsible for the relationship falling apart because they aren’t the one rejecting sex and intimacy.
It’s a trick. If I don’t ask then I am not responsible for the relationship lacking sex.
The person rejecting is also making themselves a victim and trying to walk away from the responsibility of a relationship. To push one away sexually is you not taking responsibility for the destructive feelings and thoughts you are having and just acting them out in a way that shuts the other person out.
There is no innocent person in a sexless long-term relationship. If this is happening 3 weeks or 3 months into a relationship, make the constructive choice and be responsible and walk away because that person isn’t close to being ready for a committed relationship.
7:54 – 8:19 Useless Counselors
Ronin Man: “There are a lot of counselors that want to take your money and they want to have you guys talk about this and talk about that and it’s going to fix it. I’m not against counselors and I think it’s possible there can be a counselor that can uncover this stuff and somehow repair it, but your best option as a guy is probably to get out of there at that point.”
You’re not there to save the relationship necessarily when you go to a proper relationship specialist.
Ronin Man lets us know that there a lot of counselors who want to take your money aka rob you and have you talk things out and possibly uncover the issues to fix them.
I’m going to surprisingly agree with Ronin Man here even though I am a Modern Psychoanalytically trained psychotherapist that much of couple’s counseling isn’t worth it.
I’m going to give you 2 major reasons why.
- The couples go to counseling when it’s too late.
This is the #1 reason couples counseling doesn’t work. A lot of couples come in when someone has already moved out, they decided they don’t want to be together, the cheating has gone on for too long and happened way too many times and there is nothing you can do about it and most of the time people go into couples counseling so they can blame the couples counselor for the relationship for failing apart or to have an ally so they can say, “See the counselor says that this relationship is no good.” They’re not there to work on the relationship, it’s not useful.
- The Therapist’s Training is Incomplete
Most psychologist and counselors don’t realize and would hate to realize and admit that too much of the training they get, of the non-psychoanalytical training counselors get, is to “help” the male in the relationship understand and communicate as a female would without helping the female learn to communicate and understand how the male communicates. This is a major problem that isn’t going to be fixed by the American Psychological Association or by institutions of psychology, but has to be remedied by each individual counselor.
Ronin Man is more correct than most will give him credit for, but his solution for men is to just leave the relationship.
It’s a free country. You can leave a long-term relationship without trying to understand what happened. You will just find yourself in another relationship that is too similar to the one you’re leaving because you didn’t put any work into yourself or understanding why the relationship ended the way it did or why you were attracted to them.
One misconception about working with a proper relationship specialist is that you’re paying money to go to them to save the relationship. That’s the goal the Family and Marriage Counselors have in mind for you and I don’t recommend going to someone who immediately is going to force the counseling the way they want it to be or to force an outcome.
You’re not there to save the relationship necessarily when you go to a proper relationship specialist. You’re there to understand your part in the destructiveness of the relationship, your partner’s part and how to never repeat that again. You’re there to break the repetition compulsion.
If within that learning and understanding you both see that what would be most constructive is for you two to work on your relationship and build on it, then that’s what you do. And if even one person doesn’t want to be in the relationship, we can explore why not and then move accordingly. And if both want to work on the relationship you have to do the same thing and explore why to make sure they aren’t remaking the same mistake. No answer should be taken at face value.
8:00 – 8:19: Just Leave
“I’m not against counselors and I think it’s possible there can be a counselor that can uncover this stuff and somehow repair it, but your best option as a guy is probably to get out of there at that point.”
This is my critique Ronin Man’s advice for people when they find themselves in a sexless long-enough relationship.
You will find yourself in another relationship unless you put some work in. Even if it’s just some thoughtful reflection with yourself, your buddies or with a specialist individually.
You’re have to break the cycle.
9:06 – 9:44 Meaningful Relationship
“The sex is only a small part of it. What actually disappears when the sex disappears is pretty much everything. Love disappears, all positive emotions disappear, little cute text disappear, smiling across the room disappear. These little things that make life meaning or they make a relationship because that’s why you’re in a relationship. You want to be with someone who makes you feel good and you make them feel good and you want to share thing. That’s why people have relationships right.”
Ronin Man caught onto an important word when it comes to relationships in general, but really hit what a sexless relationship is a symptom of. A sexless relationship is a relationship where each individual and hence the relationship has no meaning.
You have to ask yourself a couple questions when you’re in a relationship that is sexless or even one that’s going right.
- What are the common goals you two have together for the relationship?
What are you guys working towards?
But before you answer that, let’s dig even deeper.
- Are you sure those are your common goals or is one just following the leader?
A lot of guys become the plow horse for a woman’s goals. They sponsor her life and never get anything because they never ask and never fight for their needs. They will make up excuses such as, I work too much so I don’t have time and energy for me.
That can be true in reality, but that’s a garbage excuse because you can make some changes, you’re just investing in not changing because if you do start asking for what you need you’re going to be responsible for attaining and maintaining those needs.
At the same time, you’re going to have to see your spouse for who they really are and one fear we have is that our spouse may not be able to give us everything we need. So, we choose to have nothing instead of risking not getting what we need and seeing the limitations of our lover.
This is the same thing with women who just support their husband’s career and never ask or fight for what they want until it’s too late. It’s a great way of protecting them and yourself. You live in the delusion of safety.
- What are your individual goals for yourself that enhance yourself and hence your relationship?
Who are you? Why? Where are you going? How come? How are you getting there? Do you know the type of person who you should be in a relationship with that can inspire you to attain those goals?
- Are the individual goals of your partner something you see as worthwhile?
You can have sex with just about anyone a few times. But you won’t have sex with someone in a long-term relationship that you don’t find meaningful. You also won’t have sex with someone long-term if you find your life meaningless.
16:57 – 17:39 Getting Used to Sexlessness
“The problem is that you get used to it. When you get treated badly it just becomes a normal thing. It’s like, “Okay, this is the way I’m treated.” It’s difficult to see.”
No no no no. “Getting used to it” is just an excuse both individuals in a relationship give and everyone just buys it. It’s a garbage excuse and it’s a promotion of one’s own nihilism. It’s the same nonsense excuse as if someone was in a sexless relationship, you brought it up and the person who doesn’t want to have sex says, “It’s just the way that I am.” They don’t want to change and it invests in having a meaningless relationship and shows how the individual understands themselves.
This is again part of the unconscious agreement the two individuals made in the relationship to not have meaningful sex or a meaningful relationship so they don’t have to deal with their own mental health issues or the issues in the relationship.
If you believe this excuse when someone tells you it or if you give this excuse to yourself, you’re investing in having no sex while making believe you’re making progress in the relationship by having the solution of “getting used to it.”
21:30 – 21:51 Person’s trauma history didn’t show up at the start so they can’t mean anything later in the relationship.
“The person who is shutting down the sex is totally controlling the sex now. When you date a lot of woman you will have a lot of woman who do this and when you sleep with a lot of woman there are certain women who use this. I don’t know what the reasons is there are many things. A lot of people blame it on low libido or something like that. Maybe they worked in a bar or some situation where they were damaged sexually because they maybe got abused by clients or maybe they had some situation when they were younger with their father. There can be many of million of reasons but none of those mattered in the beginning but all of a sudden they matter see what I’m saying? So they don’t really matter because they were there in the beginning.”
When you learn more about the deeper parts of who you are with you will be forced to know about the deeper parts of yourself that you will most likely not want to deal with so you will run.
This is the part where The Ronin Man and I disagree the most and where I mentioned earlier that he may had had something in mind when he said it and we don’t have the context for fully understand what he means by it.
But let’s say he means exactly what he said.
It’s imaginative and wishful thinking that everything should be easy and the person should be or can be upfront about everything about them by the time you sleep with them and if they’re more complicated than they showed they were on the first date that this is a irrelevant and it doesn’t count.
It’s as if you got together with someone who has heart disease, but the symptoms weren’t showing and later on the symptoms showed up and you tell them it doesn’t count. Your genetics and how you ate your whole life before I knew you and all that doesn’t count because you didn’t sign up for these problems.
This is part of our narcissism of wanting the person we are with to be who we wish them to be and not who they are. I wrote and made a video about this that I’ll post down below.
People are severely complex for the better and for the worse. If you agree with the idea that if a person’s trauma history causes problems later in the relationship and that since it showed up later it shouldn’t count, then you’re not suited for a long-term relationship because you don’t want to deal with what is an essential part of a long-term relationship.
My question is what is the cut off date for showing all the issues? Is it 3 months from the start of dating? Is it after spending 48 hours in total with a person that their trauma history and life experiences don’t count? When and why?
You get to know the other person at a deeper and deeper level and at those deep levels, you will find a lot of things that aren’t going to be to your liking. Just as they get to know you deeper and deeper they will find your past history which influences your current actions that they won’t like.
Also, dealing with the complexities, especially the negative complexities, of another person in a long-term relationship forces you to look at your own complexities and most people don’t want to do that so they either say that it doesn’t count or they leave to start a new relationship which inevitably starts off shallow.
Serial daters don’t have the ability to deal with the complex feelings of themselves or the other. Without this basic tool, you won’t be able to create or find meaning in a relationship or in your own personal life that will propel you into long-term satisfaction.
Don’t confuse accomplishments with satisfaction. You can be a miserable billionaire.
23: 08 – 23:20 Why do crazy people stay in relationships like this since there is nothing left?
“Everything from jokes, humor, caring, giving. Everything is shutting down and it’s crazy that everyone is staying in these situations because there’s nothing left.”
This relationship is a delusional safe space for both partners.
Plenty is left in the relationship!
Both individuals get to be victims, they get to complain and never have to take responsibility for the problems within themselves or their relationship.
The person who rejects sex will say that the other doesn’t communicate with them, they’re distant or they just want sex.
The person being rejected can pretty much say the same thing. That the rejector doesn’t communicate with them, they’re distant and don’t ever want to have sex.
You’re right that there is nothing meaningful left, but this kind of relationship is a delusional safe space for the minds of the two people.
They are committed and invested in doing this dance with this other person. They’re use to it, they’re familiar with it and it won’t change so they think they have control over it.
I agree with you that there is nothing constructive left, but that dance is pleasurable.
46:00 – 46:15 “No Sweetie”
“I do want to warn you about one thing. I remember the first time this one girl declined me for sex and she said, “No sweetie” and she never said sweetie before that and she had a big smile on her face. And I think she was really angry and really resentful and enjoying saying no to me. And so I remember this big smile came across her face and I was like ‘that’s interesting’. So if you’re hearing the words sweetie or honey a lot and getting no sex that’s another sign that something is seriously fucked up.”
This is a brilliant insight that the Ronin Man had as he talked about his girlfriend.
Understanding how much pleasure someone gets from rejecting you from sex will open up your eyes about how brutal life is in general and how negative people really are. This is what it means to Kill you with kindness.
The smile and calling him sweetie, this is what is supposed to be nurturing and good, this is the hostility and destructive force in this situation.
Other examples of this are those who will always cook you awesome and fattening meals and say they just want to make you feel good or those who work 70+ hours a week your whole relationship and say that they’re doing it to make sure you and the kids can have anything you want.
It’s all an investment in the murdering of a relationship. This is killing people with kindness, goods and services all in the service of cutting connections.
Sexless relationships are a clear symptom of a meaningless relationship.
In the end, there is a lot of theory and you can come to my office and we can dig in forever to understand what is going on. We can go back to your mom and dad and your first memory and all your dreams and all of that and it’s wonderful and it’s great.
But, at the end of the day if the relationship is meaningless and you don’t see a way of having a meaningful relationship or if you or the other person doesn’t want to invest the work to have a meaningful relationship you need to Leave your Meaningless Relationship. As I mentioned in my video and article about leaving your meaningless relationship, if I gave you the key which gave you the chance to get out of Hell, would you or wouldn’t you take it? Why or why not?
Sexless relationships are a clear symptom of a meaningless relationship. The best thing to do is to figure out just enough of what is going on to make a good enough decision. You don’t have to know everything. You don’t have to know that your mom did this on February 19th when you were 7 and you react that way.
It’s good to know and useful and helps you break that repetition so you never do it again, but sometimes you need to think a bit more short term than that and get out of a bad situation today so tomorrow you can work on yourself and find someone else that’s as good as you and has the same values as you do and who will inspire you and actually see you as you and actually have a meaningful relationship that’s full of sex.
Not sure what to do or think about what you’re feeling? If you’re curious to know more about your sexless relationship here is my Guide: 14 Differences Between Toxic & Loving Relationships. This will walk you through the different parts of these kinds of relationships so you can identify what you or one of your loved ones is experiencing so you can Fix Your Fate instead of letting destiny choose for you.