Is He Too Embarrassed to Have Sex With Her?

Name: Anonymous
Age: 43
State: Alaska
Question: I met someone on a little over a month ago, and we have gone on six or seven flawless dates. He seems to be a great match – smart, funny, self-sufficient, well-rounded, etc.  The only issue so far is that other than a quick kiss and a warm hug at the end of the night, he hasn’t initiated any physical affection whatsoever.  I have a history of becoming physical too quickly, so I was letting him take the lead, but I’m beginning to wonder what’s up.  Last night I asked if I could snuggle up to him when we were watching a movie, and he agreed, but didn’t put his arm around me, etc.  Just sat watching and enjoying the movie.  My friends think perhaps he has ED, or maybe he’s ashamed of his size (he’s overweight).  I’m not sure what to do…Make the moves on him? Talk to him about it?  Let it just play out? It’s only been a month, after all.  I really like this guy, and it’s clear he really likes me too.  Any thoughts would be welcome!


I think the only thing you can do is try to start a conversation. I do agree that both his weight and possible ED play a part. That’s part of the reality of dating men in their forties and older.  Everything isn’t as automatic anymore. And, yes, men have body issues, too.

I think the conversation should begin with you expressing a need for affection first. Then work up to the sex. It could be that he’s just not terribly affectionate. Whatever it is that is holding him back , you have a right to know. Sitting there and waiting for it to play out seems like a waste of your time. If he shuts down, then you need to decide what your personal tolerance level is for something like this.

This poses an interesting question, though.

Could you go without much sex in your relationship as long as there is a continuous supply of physical affection? Conversely, could you deal with a relationship where you have an active sex life, but little to no physical affection beyond sex?


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28 Responses to “Is He Too Embarrassed to Have Sex With Her?”

  1. Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

    Hey guys…

    It’s okay if you want to write comments. In fact, I’d like it if you did. I need to maintain some sens of normalcy over the next several days and could use the distraction.


    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    • Howard Says:

      At 35 there is a tipping point. Whatever gender dynamic or stereotype that may have carried the day before, has to change. Absolutely take the initiative. I believe your guy has faced significant rejection regarding his weight. Talking about it can work, but it’s a poor substitute for actually doing. Don’t ask if you can cuddle up; just do it. Don’t ask if you can kiss. Let eyes meet, get closer, and let lips touch. he will take over at some point, and to him it will feel like he initiated rather than you. Nibble his ear. Run your hand thru his hair. Hold his hand while you walk. Even the Michelle Obama arm lock at the guys elbow will work! You have to make him feel like he is a man again, and your protector. Trust me, you don’t want to be his therapist, just his precious baby. He will love you for it!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  2. LostSailor Says:

    Something is definitely off with him. It could be a variety of things; there’s really not enough information to judge here. It’s not just about sex. After 6 or 7 dates, if there’s any real chemistry, there should at least be some serious making-out going on, even if you haven’t bedded one-another.

    The OP didn’t say how old the guy is, which could be a factor. ED can strike guys at almost any age, depending on medical conditions, of which being overweight is one, but there is usually a more serious underlying cause, such as diabetes. But it’s a little unusual if he’s in his 40s. Depends on how overweight he is. It could be body issues, but if a woman is into a guy, is affectionate, etc., most guys will still forge ahead.

    My suspicion is that it’s something else. One thing I’d want to know if what his relationship experience is. Ever married? No LTRs or few romantic partners?

    But Moxie is right, if it’s going to go anywhere, a conversation will be in order. I’d suggest testing the waters first, since perhaps all he needs is just a little encouragement: OP should initiate a make-out session herself and see how he responds–he may just be one of those guys who needs a big green light. If he doesn’t respond–and she’ll know right away–then it’s a segue to that conversation.

    As for Moxie’s question, could I go without much sex in a relationship if there was still other physical affection? No, not really (assuming there are no physical or medical barriers to having sex). I’ve been there. It was called the last four years of my marriage. But by the same token, just having lots of hot, monkey sex and no other physical affection beyond it would be pretty empty, too. A good relationship is all about balance.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

    • Anonymousse Says:

      Yeah, Ive been there too. The no sex in a marriage deal sucks, and it beats desire right out of you. If this guy has bad experiences of rejection and controlling behaviour from a previous partner, then hes likely unwilling to take the risk, particularly if SHES holding back. If hes waiting for a sign and shes waiting for him to make a move, then they are literally deadlocked. Talk to him and find out what the deal is.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  3. John Says:

    I don’t think bringing up the topic is a wise thing to do. It will make him more conscious. I agree with LostSailor’s comments. Just take the lead and initiate a makeout session. I dont think thats being too forward. Then once that happens, maybe he will make more of a move. Talking about it at this point is the nuclear option and will stop this relationship in its tracks.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  4. Alan Says:

    Maybe he’s gay.

    Anyway it’s time to fish and cut bait. Invite him to dinner and pull the old “change into something more comfortable” routine circa 1966 (where that isn’t a ratty old t-shirt you got at a corporate team-building exercise).

    play this to set up the mood:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    • Angeline Says:

      Hahaha! Thanks to the ‘team building t-shirt’ comment, now I’ve got this video stuck in my head:

      Since you’re in Alaska, I’m going to make a gross generalization, and ask if maybe he’s just horribly inept at sex, as in, possibly a virgin or close to it? I don’t think I’d go right to ED. Maybe he got burned badly before by making a first move and the girl went nuclear. I totally agree with the above poster who said to initiate on your own, rather than ask for a snuggle or a kiss, just go for it. At some point, surely he will respond. If all the rest of it is great, and it sounds like you really like him, then he’s worth the effort to draw him out in this area. Maybe rent a fun, sexy movie (not outright porn at this point). All I can think of off the top of my head is “True Lies” – something fun, not a dreary, sappy chick flick – and touch and kiss and make a move. Hopefully it will be a very short term problem that you can laugh about later.

      If it continued, I’d be really wary – would you be comfortable always being the initiator? I did that the last few years of my marriage, and it got to be soul-sucking.

      As to the other questions, I would not be happy with either scenario – lack of sex or lack of touching and affection. Unless of course something happened to my partner, I’d stick by him if there was some kind of injury or as we get older and things don’t quite work like they used to. And I’d hope he’d do the same. My guy and I have talked about marriage, but have ruled it out for kids’ college obligations – neither of us wants the other to get stuck for college bills should something happen, but we’re headed that way someday. And we’ve talked about health issues. Other than that, I don’t believe there’s an acceptable reason to cut your lover or spouse off. Figure out what’s bothering you, whether inside or outside the bedroom, and deal with it. Don’t waste time you could be having happy, sexy fun. It don’t last forever, folks.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  5. sj Says:

    It’s always hard to know when you get such a snippet of information, but I’m betting he’s inexperienced, or he’s had negative experiences. The “snuggling” event in particular strikes me as odd….it’s fairly routine, even for a high school kid, to put an arm around a girl when she’ so obviously open to the gesture. For him to miss the opportunity to act on that tells me he’s either oblivious or just really nervous and afraid of screwing something up. Dont know enough to know which.

    Neither one means he’s an instant dump candidate…it just means he may be more of project than you first thought. Only you can decide if the eventual payoff will be worth the investment.

    On the relatinship question:
    Could you go without much sex in your relationship as long as there is a continuous supply of physical affection? >>> Absolutely not. Sex is part of the connection, and an integral part of being together as a couple. No sex = serious issues and serious actions, barring the medical barriers discussed above.

    Conversely, could you deal with a relationship where you have an active sex life, but little to no physical affection beyond sex? >>> For me, this would be easier. But more than “physical intimacy”, I need emotional intimacy. We’ve had periods of frequent sex, but our emotional connection drifted away. Those were tough days. Eventually, the lack of connection became enough of a barrier that the sex got bad, and we had some serious bumps as a couple. Work – and I mean WORK – at fixing the underlying issues restored the connection, and the sex came back. Not easy, but worth it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

    • LostSailor Says:

      Absolutely agree, sj, on the requirement for emotional intimacy. Without it, there is nothing in a relationship. In a LTR, if there is lots of sex without emotional intimacy, then it’s just a connection between human dildos and fleshlights. I didn’t bring it up because Moxie’s question was about sex and physical intimacy. For the OP, it’s far too early for these questions to arise; they’re not even at the swapping spit stage…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  6. Craig Says:

    I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions as to what’s going on here. How the hell do you jump to the conclusion that it must be erectile dysfunction? That seems to be a popular go-to rationale for women when men don’t try to jump their bones. And body image issues? Yeah we indeed have them too – but never to the extent that it stops us from wanting to get our dicks sucked at the earliest opportunity. So you can eliminate that as a likely explanation. If he’s on Match he must want a romantic connection. And if he’s on the 7th date with the OP, I assume he must like her to some extent. Maybe the dude is just shy.

    I wouldn’t advocate talking about it as the first recourse. That’s a very female solution. But it’s not typically how men prefer to operate. Did you ever notice that men hate the words “We need to talk”? That’s because we hate having talks. I say the next time you guys are hanging on the couch, start something and see what he does. The next time a kiss or hug happens, stick your tongue in his mouth and/or grab his junk. I’ve never said no to either when it’s been done to me. If he doesn’t react positively, then there’s a problem – and that’s when you have to have a talk whether he likes it or not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    • sj Says:

      Agreed, with this one add: don’t start what you are not prepared to finish. A kiss is one thing, but there had better be some form of sex offered if you’re grabbing at his crotch.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

      • Angeline Says:

        Yes, yes, yes! to this. Be SURE you’re ready to go the whole nine yards if you make an overt sexual move. Someone who did a bait and switch might very well be why he’s holding back now.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  7. PhillyGal Says:

    My last relationship had lots of physical affection, but not nearly enough sex. I haven’t been very sexually active compared to most people my age. Most dudes (so you’d think) would LOVE that. Woo-hoo! No hang ups from previous guys! Unfortunately, my ex BF was insecure and it really freaked him out that I wasn’t more experienced. So if I didn’t like something he did, it was because something was “wrong” with me. Which eventually led to our sex life dying completely.

    Now when it came to hand-holding, pecks on the cheek, hugs, etc? He was AWESOME. But the sex wasn’t there. Obviously, other problems added in to this relationship coming to its inevitable end. However I need affection AND sex. I know that now.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  8. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    I don’t think talking this out is a good idea. Not because “talking is a woman thing” but because talking is not likely to yield a productive outcome. If the problem is “ED” or closet homosexuality, or innumerable other physcological reasons. he’s not going to admit that to you just because you ask. Assuming you get an answer at all and don’t destroy your relationship by asking, you’re likely to get a “innocent reason.” And, to me, the innocent explanations, are not plausible.

    Closet gays always have girlfriends. Why? Because women, being women, do not see anything unusual about a guy who doesn’t really seem really driven sexually because women typically aren’t really sexually driven. They may question it (like the OP) because they know, intellectually, that “guys should” like sex” but they don’t feel it; and they they tend to forgive “feminine” behavior in men and bend over backwards to find justifications and explanations for what is otherwise patently odd behavior. By way of example, if someone wrote in to Moxie and said my boyfriend is smart, funny, self-sufficient and well-rounded but he likes to run around town stark naked. The advice wouldn’t be: why don’t you fire up a conversation about it? Because the behavior is so obviously odd that you don’t need an explanation. You wouldn’t even wriite in. That’s how I look at the “guy who doesn’t want sex.” As a guy, there is no “innocent explanation” for it; there has to be something wrong. He’s not necessarily gay, but there is something. And, you’re not going to find out “why” simply by asking.

    More importantly, do you really need to know “why?” I think it bothers you more that he’s “odd” and not so much that you feel you’re missing out on a physical relationship. That’s my view, though I could be wrong. But, the bottom line is that if YOU’re happy with having a non-physical relationship with this guy, or a really slow one, then be happy – who cares about the personal preferences of a bunch of strangers on the Internet. You will join the ranks of the many “happy” couples who don’t have sex for one reason or another. If you’re not happy with that, then this is not a man that is going to fulfill you sexually, regardless of what he tells you. I guess my point is: be honest with yourself about why you’re concerned. Don’t worry so much about him.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

    • Really Rosie Says:

      I tend to agree with DMN. I have a “friend” who is like that. Even though I knew of him through mutual friends, I saw he was on Match (looking to get married according to his profile) and we got together several times. I could barely get a kiss out of him. We did the movie at my house thing and we actually watched the movie. I have basically thrown myself at him but other than a couple kisses, nothing. (I usually can get my man pretty easily.) So my conclusion is that either he’s just not that into me or he’s closet gay.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  9. M Says:

    I dont think the best way to fix this is to talk about sex to a guy who you’ve been going out with for a month and who has only kissed you once. Can you see how that might be too much too soon for him? Its like taking someone who’s only had their learner’s permit a short time out on the autobahn to drive. In time, they’ll be fine, but this is not the time for that.

    This is a time for action. Since you are the one who wants things to move faster and you have a history to getting physical sooner, you need to take the lead here. A lot of guys who are like that may only be that way because they are nervous – it has nothing to do with fear of intimacy or anything. If you show him you want that, he will probably be happy with that, and after you do something a few times, he will probably start to take the initiative. If not, then that’s the time to talk to him about it. If you do talk to h im at that point, do NOT bring up his weight or ED, it will only make him feel worse. Whatever he says, dont make a big deal out of it. If one of those is a problem, then be accepting of it and tell h im it doesnt bother you. That will raise his confidence which it sounds like it might be all he needs to get going. With that said, there is a chance he’s just not a physical person. If so, you need to ask yourself if thats something you will be ok with.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  10. offensivedan Says:

    This one’s easy. Dudes’ gay or he just sees you as a friend. Next time, take his hand and put it on your breast. If he takes it off or does not lead to anything–there’s your answer. Forget all this talking nonsense. Actions speak louder than words.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Oh, Alaska. Where the odds are good but the goods are odd.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  12. Eliza Says:

    If you are with a normal, physical and emotionally healthy man, that has a natural connection with you–none of this should be occurring. He obviously has some issues, whether it’s homosexuality, lack of confidence, feelings of rejection or an intense fear of not performing, hence ED, whatever it is–this early on in a relationship–you should just run, not walk in the other direction. It’s a red flag. It shouldn’t be this much work initially…it’s either there or not. Chemistry and the ability to act upon one’s desire. I love alpha males, not sure why it seems tougher to find these types of men. Where are they?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  13. Trouble Says:

    I have a history of jumping too quickly into the physical side of relationships. And, it’s led to some bad decision-making on my part about men. After a lot of therapy and quite a few conversations with my guy friends, they advised me to slow down physically and not take things so fast.

    It was really hard. I think I’d come to think of my sexuality as a commodity that I had to trade, fairly early, for a guy’s interest. Reprogramming that behavior took a lot of work and it definitely exposed some of my deepest insecurities about my own worth.

    So, having been through that, here’s my take on it: I wouldn’t assume anything with this guy…my husband didn’t kiss me until we’d gone on several dates. He’s super shy, and it took him a while to work up his confidence and actually close the deal. 7 dates in a month is a lot…it suggests that the guy is interested in you. But, maybe he’s more traditional than the norm these days, or is shyer than most.

    If you’re interested in him, rather than jumping to conclusions, why not wait and see what happens? As long as he’s calling you and wanting to spend time with you, he’s demonstrating interest. If you want to speed things up, reach over and hold his hand, or say, “I really want to kiss you right now.”

    Try not to worry. I experienced something similar, my husband is NOT gay, and we have great sex (and lots of it). He’s just very reserved and doesn’t like to get physical until he knows someone well enough to feel comfortable.

    It could just be something similar with this guy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  14. Erin Says:

    Trouble have not seen you here in awhile and I have wondered how you were doing. So glad everything went off as planned with your Marriage to J. I had been thinking about you in March and wondered. Congratulations to YOU and J and I wish you both every happiness in the world as your share your lives together. So Glad for YOU and YOUR HAPPINESS as you so deserve it!!!!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    • Trouble Says:

      Thanks, Erin. It’s been a huge change in both of our lives, but I love it.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  15. OP Says:

    I’m the OP and it turns out he’s just not that into me. Said he’s not feeling “swept away by us,” but that he thinks I’m swell, and if I still want to hang out with someone who thinks I’m awesome, then great, but otherwise if I need him to be “the one,” I should move on. I moved on.

    Did I mention he’s an actor? So yeah, he’s probably gay. Ha ha.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

    • Reality Check Says:

      Yeah, he’s not that into you, so he must be gay. Heh.

      Feel free to “Dislike” at will.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  16. Jayla Says:

    I hope she just straight up asked him what the deal was and told him she was physically attracted to him.
    If you wanna know something just ask. That simple.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  17. Gorb Says:

    I’m guessing he’s not gay.

    I’m also guessing he’s lonely, or despite the fact that he himself is overweight, he’s just not sexually into the writer.

    I’ve dated women I didn’t find attractive, and while I was able to do things from time to time, I was basically not interested in sex (with her). I even tried to fakae it for a while, but it was obvious enough.

    This happens a lot more than people want to believe. Women put it down to erectile dysfunction, being gay, etc. –

    But especially if the guy is not a guaranteed case for these things (fat, older, etc.), in almost all cases, it’s not because he’s gay or has a problem.

    He just doesn’t want to have sex with you. And that’s something that women never, ever want to admit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  18. I know I'm late on this... Says:

    He COULD be a real-life version of the 40-year-old virgin. I’m not saying this to be offensive to him, just that if he is that shy and seemingly uninterested then he may not either know how to initiate sexual conduct or feel comfortable doing it. I’m a male, and I hadn’t had sex until my mid-20s, and aside from being as old as he was I could see myself in the description you rendered.

    I think he needs some encouragement, and the best way to do this would be for you to take the lead. One day I pretty much just sacked up and took the lead myself and it worked out – it just takes a move like that to realize that girls actually are waiting for it to happen, even if it’s not clear. If he’s overweight and a virgin, then he definitely needs to have you take the lead. Don’t ask him about it outright – he may take it as an attack if he’s fragile and self-conscious. You need to try to initiate it yourself first, and if he is still unresponsive then you should then have a chat about why he doesn’t seem interested. Try to get it done first by all means necessary, and if it still doesn’t happen, then it’s time for a chat.

    I know I’m late and this has probably already come to pass, whichever avenue you decided to go down, but better late than never I guess.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • I know I'm late on this... Says:

      Just read your post… he must be gay. If that was seriously his mindset I don’t understand why he would have seen you up to a 7th time.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

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