There may come a point, in any relationship, when libido reaches an all-time low and sex becomes (almost) non-existent.
The reasons can range from differing sex drives between two people, to being overworked and exhausted, to having children or just not having the time.
It can shatter self esteem and make even the strongest person emotionally drained.
Often, there's no one to turn to for advice.
On Reddit, thousands are submitting their sexless stories to the sub group 'Dead Bedrooms', some of which are utterly heartbreaking.
But it's not all doom and gloom because while these people might be having problems in their relationship, they are able to look to the internet for help.
And the internet - as always - is offering its support.
We aren't married yet, wedding is set for December 2015. We are still renting as the area we live and work in is so expensive that nothing short of an inheritance will be enough for a deposit. No kids yet either and sex happens about once every three and a half weeks or so. Not super dead but it's currently on life support.
I'm only 25 and I know if I stay then we will get married have kids and sex will stop forever. Eventually at 35 I'll realise that divorce isn't an option as I'll end up with nothing and probably kill myself because its the easy way out.
I know I'm unhappy, I know it will get worse and I just don't know how to leave. Hell I've never even broken up with a girl before!
And the internet answers...
"Here are your choices: Horrible end or endless horror. Easy pick," says strandedship.
"Don't walk, boy. Run and don't look back. It's not really only about you. It's about saving lives - your life, her life, and lives of kids that you'd have that would grow up in an unhealthy environment."
My husband and I have been married for about three months now, and we only knew each other in person about a month before that. We had chatted online and Skyped so when we met I thought his lack of interest in me (sexually) was just jet lag, or shyness.
When we began having sex, it happened about once every three days, and after a month of so it devolved into once every week. Now we have sex about once every two weeks and nothing I do seems to help. I dress up in sexy lingerie, and give him massages. He tells me that anything I do that is sexually "overt" turns him off.
Our marriage is already having a lot of problems and I don't know what to do. Lately he just goes out to the bar and I stay home, he comes home when the bars close.
I don't want to be a failure at this, I feel like I am extremely undesirable to him. I have a really high sex drive and if I masturbate without asking his permission he gets upset. But I know that if I do ask it will just disgust him. I want to fix it, but I feel like the ball is in his court.
What should I do?
"Why not take a break?" says RR_4150.
"Put the marriage on hold and move out. Move in with a friend or your mom, but just get out of that house. Move gradually back toward an intimate relationship, step by step."
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Sex Tips For Overly Busy People
Hi. I'm 23 and my boyfriend and I have been dating for 6 years and living together for 8 months. Lately I feel like my libido has been becoming more of an issue and I don't know what to do. We love each other. We're affectionate to each other.
I'm very attracted to him and I'm fairly sure the feeling is mutual. I just am very rarely 'in the mood'. The only time I every get horny is on my period or right before which isn't very conducive to sexy times.
He's always been super patient and understanding but he's brought it up a few times now that he wishes/thought sex would be more frequent living together (we've been kind of long distance before living together).
I agree with him that I thought it would also. I'm fairly certain that the problem is my hormonal birth control that I'm not. The few times that I've been off the pill or before my IUD I was super horny all the time.
The problem is, I'm terrified of going off my birth control and we don't particularly like condoms. I do not want a kid right now and going without birth control would scare me every time we had sex.
Any advice at all for improvement? I really wish I wanted sex more but at best I'm apathetic. I'm typically more good to go first thing in the morning but work and sleep make it difficult to do it at that time.
The internet's response?
"Two things. First, I'll be sympathetic - hormonal birth control can absolutely wreck libido. Get it changed or get rid of it. Yes, condoms suck, but if you don't want a kid you use one," says marriedscoundrel.
"Now here's where I'm not sympathetic. 'We're affectionate to each other. I'm very attracted to him and I'm fairly sure the feeling is mutual. I just am very rarely in the mood.'
"F*ck everything about this. We're human beings with free will. There's no such thing as 'I wish I could...' Either you do it or you don't. I don't see anything in your post but excuses.
"I can wake up tomorrow morning and say I'm not 'in the mood' to go to work... sure I woke up on time, I've got gas in my car, the highways are clear... but oh man I ate too much turkey and I just don't feel like working.
"You think I can call in to work and say 'sorry, I'm not in the mood to work today'? Fuck no. They're going to say get your ass to work and do your job. If you don't feel like it, we'll find someone who does.
"When it comes to the sexual aspect of your relationship, make no mistake, you are failing. Because you 'don't feel like it'."
Very happily married for seven years now, we're each others best friends. But three kids between 2 and 5 obviously hamper things, and our work schedules are pretty much opposite. I work early in the morning until late afternoon, which is when she starts work.
Sunday morning is pretty much our only sexy time, and that's only if the kids cooperate. Even then, its rarely more than a quickie. When we used to sleep naked and wake each other up at anytime for sex, with pretty enthusiastic participation from either party, it's a little upsetting to think how far we are from our younger days.
Basically we're down to a couple of times a month at best, or we could go 6 to 8 weeks without at worst.
The reason I'm posting is that I want to broach the subject with her, but want to do it right. We talk about pretty much everything but sex. She's a very reserved lover, nothing kinky about her. She's quite shy about talking about this kind of thing, so I don't want to embarrass her and possibly influence what should be a pretty honest conversation.
I love her very much, and would never consider leaving her. How do I talk to her about this without making it weird?
JohnathanTuttle says: "Coming from a guy in a very similar situation to yours (only with a 14 and an almost 18 year old), who is quickly coming up on nine months since the wife and I were last together... I don't have an answer, but don't you stop trying to find one.
"You could just try cuddling up to her some Sunday morning with no ulterior motives and mention that you miss being with her - yes, you know the kids and the schedules and all, but you just miss that together time. See if you spark a conversation from that."
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The 13 Best Sex Toys For Your Most Adventurous Friends (Or Yourself)
Sex and relationship expert, Tracey Cox says that in an ideal world, all high sex drive people would go out with high sex drive people and all low desire people would do likewise.
"Believe me, your sex lives would be a lot simpler if you did," she tells HuffPost Lifestyle.
"Studies suggest one in three marriages in Britain and the US struggle with problems associated with mismatched desire – I’d put that figure a lot higher."
So how can people with 'dead bedroom' syndrome get over their dry spell?
"There’s lots that can be to done to keep both of you sexually and emotionally satisfied," says Tracey.
"But there’s one crucial piece of advice which makes all the difference here: you must stop blaming each other.
"It’s not the low sex drive person’s fault they’re not foaming at the mouth at the sight of a hot underwear advert, and it’s not your fault if you are."
Things you can do to make your sex life better, according to Tracey Cox:
:: Act on small impulses. There’s new evidence to suggest you’ll never feel desire as strongly as your higher-sexed partner does, which means it’s pointless waiting for it to happen. Have sex at the ‘flicker’ stage, rather than waiting for the fire to develop.
:: Increase your sexual IQ. The more you understand about your body’s desire cycle, the more chance you have of working out what triggers a response.
:: Accept responsibility. While it’s true the person with the low libido is often seen as the ‘cause’ of the problem, it’s also true they tend to set the pace for the amount of sex in the relationship.
:: Keep a sex diary. Write down any erotic thoughts and what triggers them. Keep track of how you’re going with any of the techniques suggested here. The more you know about your responses, the better able you are to manipulate them.
:: Make time for solving the problem. Set aside time for trying things which could work (taking a bath, reading a sexy book).