Help, my long-distance mate has stopped being sexual with me, and now I'm insecure

Question

So! I've been in a long distance relationship with someone for a bit over 18 months now. We met through a group of mutual friends and started dating when I was still 16 and he was 25. Everyone in the group knew him as a horndog who'd love to RP and show off but that didn't catch my attention at all; it was his sweetness and personality overall. He was always a complete sweetheart and I began crushing on him almost immediately after we met.

After a year and six months of dating, he's still as nice and sweet, but I honestly feel like he avoids me sexually for some reason. Sure, we'd do lewd things while being friends and even at the beginning of our relationship but that quickly died off. It's been roughly about a year since he last tried to do anything lewd with me at all.

Some people might argue that our age difference could be the cause but, like I said, we've actually done sexual things before. Hell, we even got a handful of NSFW commissions back in the day. I've tried confronting him about this already but he'll always reply with something along the lines of "I'm never horny" and "I'm not a sexual person." If I bring up the things he used to do with other people (roleplays, camming, nudes, etc,) he'll reply with "I'd just do it to please them but it was never satisfying for me."

Now, I'd honestly love to simply believe him and move on. I want to trust him, but his friends just love to remind me all the sexual things he's done with them. As someone with trust issues, it's really hard for me to just nod off these things and ignore them completely. Their words linger in my head and I begin wondering: am I simply not enough for him? Is he still doing all these things behind my back?

I'm going to turn 18 in November and we're planning on going to a con together next year, and he's willing to pay almost everything for me there. I just have to put in for the plane ticket and my own food. I'm also going to stay in his place for at least 2 weeks and if we truly like each other in real life, then I might move in with him later on. He wouldn't do that for someone he's not interested in, right? I know for a fact he hasn't done something like this for anyone else, and this is also the longest relationship we've both ever had before. He means the world to me and I seriously don't want to ever lose him. 

What can I do to deal with my insecurities and accept that he's saying the truth? Please help me out, I'm afraid of ruining my relationship over this.

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Answer

Thanks much for your question; I can imagine very easily how confusing receiving those kinds of mixed messages must be for you. My best guess in this situation is that a combination of things is going on. I think your boyfriend might be going through a bit of a low libido period, as he claims, but I don't think that is the full story.

I also think your boyfriend might also have some internalized shame about being interested in someone who is your age. The legal system in many places looks down on this kind of relationship, so internalized shame is very common, to the point where people in intergenerational relationships can get kind of disgusted with themselves for being romantically or sexually interested in someone who is under the age of 18, so it's quite possible that he is remaining romantically and emotionally engaged while withholding sex for that reason. If that is the case, I would expect things to greatly improve once you are 18. Tell him you understand why being sexual with you might make him uncomfortable, and that you don't want him taking any legal risks he isn't comfortable with, but you just want to know the truth. If you say that though, make sure you can handle the truth. Don't attack him if he's honest with you!

My recommendation to you would be to take your boyfriend's word for it right now, but if you find out he's being sexual with others, then that is a conversation to have with him. To be clear, his friends aren't telling you about the sex they are having with him right now — they are telling you about things from the past, which is very different. It doesn't sound to me like he's lying to you, so you should be assuming good faith in him and trusting him unless you really have solid evidence to suggest that he is being dishonest.

As far as the low libido side of it goes, there are a number of things that could be going on with your boyfriend that would give him a lower libido. Perhaps your boyfriend has discovered that he is on the asexuality spectrum; that would explain why he was sexual before, when he felt like that was something he was supposed to be doing, but now is much less sexual. Perhaps he's under a lot of stress, and that is depressing his libido. Perhaps there is a medical issue going on, such as low testosterone. You might encourage your mate to see a doctor about his libido issue, if he also suspects something medical might be going on.

If it turns out your mate really has discovered he is asexual, you might have some tough decisions to make. Are you okay with your relationship being primarily romantic and only rarely sexually intimate, if at all? You will want to ask your mate about expectations in this situation: How does he see intimacy working between the two of you once you are IRL? Will you never have sex? Will he have sex with you to meet your needs, even if that is not something that he craves? Would you be okay with that? Would he?

As for the present, you might ask your mate why it is that he isn't willing to RP with you sexually right now, even if it is just to meet your needs for sexual intimacy. I certainly can understand how it might not turn him on, but I often RP with my mates even when I am not aroused, just to help get them off. It really isn't a sacrifice of any kind on my part, and it is one way for me to engage with them and share intimacy and make them happy, even from a distance, and even if it doesn't result in climax for me. Taking this all into account, I would encourage you not to feel bad for asking your mate for help getting off: "I know you aren't horny right now, but I really love you a lot, and I'm very attracted to you. I would love it if you could help me get off right now." It isn't like he's doing something he hates, he's just not super into it.

If that isn't a conversation you have had with your mate, it is one that you probably should, either now, or depending on the law in your area, after you turn 18. It sounds like you love each other a lot, but if sex is super important to you and nothing changes after you're 18, your relationship might not be sustainable in the long term, without concessions like you being able to have sex with other people.

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Viro the Science Collie

Viro Science Collie is a PhD virologist and medical writer, experienced in teaching, technical communication, and writing for the public. He has been active in the furry community since 2012 and has been happily and ethically non-monogamous for much of that time. His interests include non-traditional relationship structures, technology, biological science, and tennis.