Your Call: We’re in Love, So Why Does the Sex Feel Mechanical?

We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call on the letter below by leaving your advice in the comments section. 

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Dear Em & Lo,

My boyfriend and I have been together for more than 3 years now. We met and quickly fell in love. He left his current girlfriend for me and we had what I would call the best first year. I was a virgin when I met him and despite not knowing anything about sex, our sex was passionate and amazing. However, everything seemed to go downhill from then.

The 2nd year and the 3rd year we started to get in a lot of arguments. We broke up frequently. He cheated on me once and slept with another girl when we broke up, and I think we have been very confused about our relationship.

We’re together now and I think we have been much more honest and open with each other about our problems. I finally had the courage to speak about our sex and I explained to him that I didn’t feel ‘loved’ when we had sex anymore. When we have sex these days it usually feels very mechanical and unsatisfying. I’m very confused about whether this is a “fixable” matter. I love him and have no doubt that he loves me and I don’t understand why sex would feel distant and unsatisfying with the one I love. I don’t think it’s a matter of technique. To be honest I don’t think better techniques would make me feel loved or satisfied.

Em & Lo, what do you think? Do you think it’s too late? Do you think we should break up and start over with someone else? And most importantly, what’s going on with our sex life!!?

— Going Through the Motions

What should G.T.T.M. do? Leave advice for her in the comments section below.



  1. Sex seems to be a major factor in this relationship . A True love relationship has to be built on much more than sex . Ask yourselves what else there is in the relationship beside sex . Kissing , cuddling , foreplay are the key to good sex . many women say that snuggling , cuddling , kissing and caressing are more enjoyable to them than just penetrative sex , post sex loving too . Sex is a game for two and both need to be inventive ; just going through the motions of different positions every time can become monotonous and boring .
    I think you should split up and meet new people .

  2. I’m afraid loving each other is not the only thing you need to have a good relationship. Lots of other things need to be right as well.

    Only you know what might be at the root of the ‘mechanical’ sex; but do you think it stems from both of you, or from one of you? How are you both in terms of physical affection outside sex? How often do you laugh together, in and out of the bedroom? How often do you feel a welling up of affection and admiration for him, and he for you? How often does each of you initiate sex? Is one of you more active in bed while the other is constantly passive? Are you trying new sexytimes techniques every now and then? Do you ask him about his fantasies, and vice versa?

    Only you know if you’re happy about the answers to these questions. But you don’t have to stay together if things aren’t right – don’t settle for something which has become uncomfortable just because it’s the first long term relationship you’ve been in.

  3. Your identifying the problem as sex when the sex may only be a symptom of a bigger problem in the relationship. From your letter it appears the sex started to go downhill as the other problems in the relationship increased. If the underlying problems in the relationship can’t be fixed, the sex will probably remain less than satisfying.

  4. no big help, i know… but did i write this letter in my sleep!? eegad, i second the question!

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