Sexual Rejection

Show me someone who has never experienced disappointment when their person of sexual interest didn’t want to have sex with them.

Being turned down from sex is almost inevitable.

Session after session, clients tell me their partner not wanting to engage in sex with them is similar to death by a thousand cuts.  Sometimes these clients hear “no” for years, and then they stop asking.  The elixir of being wanted, mixed with self worth creates a sexual currency.  The act of sex begins to serve as validation, a sign the relationship is ‘healthy’, and that two people still love one another.  

Common Theme

These stories share the feeling of degradation and not being wanted.  It easy then to believe that if our partner does not desire us, we are then not good enough, not loveable, and not attractive.  When this theme overshadows a relationship, sex then becomes a huge *thing* that must happen.  Sex then soothes the wounds, and insecurities rather than being a fun, pleasurable, connecting, bonding, erotic experience.

The Dance

Unfortunately the dance of purser and distancer also can feed into relational issues ,and has a good chance of raising conflict.   The issue is no longer simply hearing your partner didn’t want to have sex last night, it can escalate to score boarding all the big and little things that make a person feel like their needs aren’t getting met.


What if we separated being wanted and desired from the other persons response in engaging in sex?  What if we knew we were desirable, regardless if our partner said yes or no to sex? And what if the answer to sex is irrelevant? Would relationships have more bandwidth to navigate what type of intimacy to engage in, how to enhance their erotic language, or even when would be a good time to engage when there is less pressure?

A sense of self isn’t culminated based on another humans answer to if they want to have sex with you in that moment.  Yet we expect our desirability to based on the response.  Sexual rejection is manageable once the sense of self is strengthened, and the relationship is then strengthened. 



Integrated Sex + Relationship Therapy acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today and emerging.  We acknowledge sovereignty was never ceded.

aboriginal and torres straight islander flags welcome to country