How to say no to sex without hurting your partner’s feelings

Sex can be both an easy and difficult thing to approach when you’re in a relationship. Hopefully by now you’ve worked out what sort of relationship you have with your partner, and that it includes more than just sex. But what happens when you’re really not feeling it or don’t want to? How do you let your partner down without hurting their feelings?

Explain why you’re saying no

You don’t have to give a full blown essay on why you’re saying no. If you’re simply not in the mood or too tired, then communicate that with your partner. Explain you’re not feeling too good or have had a long day. Hopefully they’ll understand and not push you into doing something you’re not in the mood for.

Nothing to do with them? Make that clear

Sometimes saying no to sex can cause confusion in the other person. They might start looking for reasons why you’re saying no – wondering if there’s something wrong with them or questioning whether you’re still attracted to them. To avoid this, communicate your reasons so they understand what is going on inside your head. Put them at ease by reassuring them that you love being intimate with them. 

Connect another way

You know your partner and how they feel loved. If sex isn’t what’s on your mind right now, find other ways to connect with them. Is there something they like from you that’s not just sex? Can you show affection in another way? Maybe a back rub (oh yes) or even a conversation that makes you both laugh a lot together?

Suggest another time

Lift up their spirits with an IOU or, “how about tomorrow night?” Explaining that the timing isn’t great and suggesting another time gives you both something to look forward to.

The key is good communication! Not being in the mood every now and again is perfectly normal and shouldn’t put a strain on your relationship. If it does, this may be an area to work on together. Always communicate and don’t let things bottle up!



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