I Have Sex Dreams, but Don’t Want Sex with My Spouse

Josh Spurlock


Torp says, “I am pre-menopausal and I don’t want to have sex with my husband. But, I have sexual dreams, so I know that my body still wants sex.” Read more to find out what Licensed Counselor and Sex Therapist Josh Spurlock says about the link between emotional and sexual disconnect in marriage.

About the Author

This article is based on scientific evidence and clinical experience, written by a licensed professional and fact-checked by experts.

Josh Spurlock, MA, LPC, CST is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Sex Therapists with over 10,000 hours of clinical experience. Josh specializes in Marriage Counseling and Sex Therapy. You can schedule an appointment with Josh for online counseling.

Video Transcript

(Transcript is generated by a software and may have discrepancies from the video.)


Welcome to MyCounselor Online. I’m Tori, and this is Asking for a Friend. In this video, we’re sitting down with Sex Therapist Josh Spurlock to talk about the body’s reaction to sexual desire. Stay tuned.

Josh Spurlock on Sex Dreams and Sexual Desire

There’s a good diagnosis that you’re already doing. Something doesn’t quite add up here. You have sexual dreams and a desire to connect sexually, but you’re not experiencing that in the context of your relationship.

As a sex therapist, what that information is going to indicate to me is that there’s a situational component to the low sexual desire.

If the diagnosis is a low sexual desire, we’re going to ask, why is that the case?Is that always the case? It sounds like there’s a sense of sexual arousal and desire that you’re aware of that.

Low Sexual Desire in Marriage

You don’t experience that in the context of your marriage, so I would zoom in on the marital relationship. What is the dynamic like between the two of you? Is there a sense that when we connect sexually, that we’re together? Does it feel like your husband’s attentive and attuned to you sexually? Does your experience within the sexual encounter really matter to him?

If not, there may be some things to work through in helping us have a better sexual dialogue with each other about what our experiences and needs.

Emotional Disconnect Creates Sexual Disconnect

I’m wondering if there is an extra-sexual kind of dynamic in the relationship. What I mean is a dynamic within the relationship that’s not directly sexual in nature, but is influencing your attraction to your spouse.

Sex is an emotionally intimate act between husband and wife. If I don’t like my spouse because of other experiences that we’re having in the relationship, I’m probably not going to like having sex with them. But, I’m going to have that longing and desire.

So maybe there’s a larger relational issue here where there’s a disconnect, and maybe you don’t feel safe or close. Maybe there’s an emotional disconnect of some sort, that is then translating into a lack of sexual desire for connection. By working through whatever that dynamic is, you then create space for feeling sexually connected with your spouse.

So there’s a few different pieces that are going on. I think you are right to recognize that there’s still a desire for sexual connection, and that it’s more about something pertaining to your relationship with your spouse, than it is about something biologically going on within your body, that would be relating to a loss of sexual interest.


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navigating sexual desiresexual disconnect in marriage