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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:31 am 
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Hi guys, I'm new here and I'm sure you guys get a ton of posts about sex but I have nowhere else to turn, so I hope I get some help here.

I've been with my bf of 4 years, and about half a year into the relationship he got hooked on pain pills. Ever since then I haven't been sexually satisfied even though he's been clean and on suboxone for a year and a half. He doesn't have a problem getting an erection and even orgasms when we do have sex, but he doesn't ever initiate or want it. I try not to pressure him and will go sometimes for even a month before I can't take it and either ask for it outright or make a move on him. And even when we set a date to have sex, he always tries to get out of it by falling asleep early on the couch or just acting like he forgot about it. I've had numerous talks to him about how important it is for me and how it feels like we're just really good friends cause the sexual spark isn't there. And I understand that he just has a low libido right now cause of the meds. But the thing is, when we do have sex he enjoys it.
I'm super proud of him for staying clean and wouldn't want him to get off of subs when he's not ready. But there HAS to be a way to have a somewhat normal sex life. I love him with all my heart and am pregnant with his baby right now. But I have a need to be intimate with him and I'm just not getting enough of that. How are any of you managing to keep your sex lives alive, or do you guys just go without? I just can't picture a loving relationship, no matter how perfect, with no sex. I feel like it's such an important part of staying together.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:15 am 
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really guys? I get 18 views and no one is willing to help? This was a last ditch effort to find some kind of solution. I've looked up past posts in many different sites. There aren't that many answers except for him to get on even more meds to higher his testosterone levels and I don't that.I'm feeling hopeless. Any tips at all???


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:17 am 
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Hi there ddrkim--you know, sometimes you do have to wait a little while, even 24 hours or so, before you get responses to posts. And especially in the wee hours of the night/morning, there's often very little posting activity--plus I think there are generally more active members who READ a lot more than they post, but I think I can understand your sense of urgency about this. I'm no doctor or expert of any kind on this but I have heard some guys say that they suffered from very low libido on sub and were able to get improvement in that area by going to a lower dose. I don't think you mentioned what dose your guy is currently on but if it's a pretty high dose (I'd consider anything above 8 mgs to be high) it's possible that is the problem. Let me say I really think it's great how supportive you sound of your BF and his treatment process--that's wonderful. Not everyone is as understanding as you seem to be. Anyway I think the best advice I can offer is that your BF should talk to his doctor about this issue and inquire about whether or not lowering his dose is likely to help and if it seems appropriate to try that at this point in his treatment. Also, to try to answer some of your questions....not everyone on sub experiences reduced sex drive. And I think some people experience it at first but then get over it, as is often the case with many medications' side effects. I also wonder if your BF may be distracted by stress or anxiety or extreme fatigue or something along that line that might result in his seeming disinterest in lovemaking--you know, like being overworked by his job or something. The only other thing I can think of is...well, it sounds like you are pretty happy and satisfied with the relationship and even with the sex, it's just that you want it more often and you wish he would initiate it at least sometimes. That's very understandable, but....since it seems like it's good once it gets going...maybe you can compromise on the initiation issue since that seems to be the big obstacle--maybe if he reassured you that he likes it when you initiate an encounter, then you might feel better about initiating more often? I can definitely see why always having to be the initiator could be difficult but....if that is really the only thing causing the problem and he actually does want you to initiate...maybe you can learn to live with that and just initiate more often...just in case lowering his sub dose doesn't help or isn't an option. Ideally of course, he would be willing to make some effort into initiating at least sometimes but like I said, if everything other than the issue of initiating the sex is good....then maybe you can live with being the one who initiates for now. I have heard that practically all (if not all) longterm couples experience some dead periods in their sex lives at some point or another over the years, so your problem certainly isn't unique. But really, I say one first step would be him talking to his doctor about his dose. As I said, I'm no expert, and everyone is not exactly the same in their reactions to sub, but from what I've heard other guys say about it, people have found that going to a dose well below 8 mgs (like 4 mgs or maybe even 6) solved the problem of low sex drive entirely. But if he's already on a dose of 4 mgs or less I don't know if going lower would help or if it would be advisable either. Anyway I wish you and your BF luck with this. It's great that his recovery is going so well otherwise and hopefully this problem too will be resolved.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:44 am 
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Hello ddrkim86 and welcome to the forum. First I want to say KUDOS to you for supporting your partner in his remission/recovery. I think it's great of you to stand by him and his sub treatment. It's more important than you may know to him.

Sexual side effects aren't unusual in men (and sometimes in women as well) with opiate replacement therapy. When it comes to men, many have found that if their hormone levels are tested they are found to sometimes be low. Often they are then put on some type of testosterone replacement therapy (like Androgel) and that can sometimes help.

The other thought I have is related to his dose... do you know what dose he is on? It's possible that his dose is a bit high and if he lowers it (to a level that his cravings are still under control) that some of these side effects will start to subside.

If you know what dose he's on, maybe you can give us that info and we can give you our thoughts on it before he goes running to the doctor for testosterone tests.

I hope this helps.

(Oh and like Auto said, sometimes the forum is pretty quiet between 2-7 am. And the views of a topic include those of unregistered guests, too, who don't even post. I'm sure you'll get many more responses as the day wears on.)

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:55 pm 
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Thanks guys, for the replies.
I don't know the exact dosage he takes. But I do know he takes the new form, those strips, and only about a third of it each time. So 2/3 of the strip a day: once in the a.m. and once in the p.m.
From the sounds of it, it seems like I just have to get used to it? I know initiating sex is all I have to do, but there's more to the story. Like, in the past 3 years he's probably initiated once or twice. The rest was all me. And I might come off as pouty, but as a woman it really brings you down. Even if I know the problem isn't me. And there's the whole ordeal of practically begging for sex every time. And like I said before, it's not like we have sex every time I ask. I guess what bothers me the most is that he claims he enjoys it once we get going... And he knows that it would mean the world to me if he wanted it enough to make a move, why he can't get himself to put himself in the position to get turned on? I want the brutal truth from you guys cause i don't know if he's just making me feel better by saying that he has fun having sex. Is it that he doesn't get ANY pleasure from sex? If that was the case, I can understand why he would avoid it since it would be a chore for him. I just really wanna know what's going on in his head. Hoping you guys can pound it in my head somehow, cause according to him "i'm beating a dead horse".


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:07 pm 
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I hear what you're saying about how the situation can feel like rejection. I know it's hard, but try to remind yourself that it isn't about you and it isn't personal.

Check out the side effects category - I think there's a thread there called "Low Testosterone". It's mostly men discussing their sexual side effects issues, but I think if you read it, it may help you out. It sounds like he's on a reasonably low dose of sub (2-3 mg), so likely dropping his dose isn't the issue. So it could be that he has low testosterone, possibly from the opiate use. It might very well be worth seeing a doctor about - no specialist needed. It's just blood work that your family doctor can order. And if it can fix the problem, isn't it worth looking into?

What also caught my attention in your post was the way you said he described how once he gets into it he enjoys it. I've heard many women on suboxone say the very same thing. I find that interesting.

I hope this helps. Good luck with it and let us know how it all turns out.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:33 pm 
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Thanks again, hatmaker, for your help.
Another quick question: If my bf were to wean off of subs successfully, would his testosterone levels get back to normal eventually w/o some sort of treatment? If it's something that can be waited out, I'd rather do that than have him take some shots everyday or something.
And also, have you known anyone who have successfully come off of subs without any withdrawls? I can't seem to find any successful stories anywhere. Just need confirmation that it is possible, I guess. My bf has been on it for a year and a half and was wondering how much longer it would take to fully get off of it.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:58 pm 
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IF he needed testosterone, it comes in a gel form that he would just put on every morning. No shots or anything too inconvenient. I really don't know about it returning to normal after tapering off sub. Check that thread out - it's here: http://suboxforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=1525. I'd bet it talks about it.

When someone stops suboxone, it will cause withdrawals, so anyone on it will need to taper off of it. If done right - very slowly and small dose reductions at a time, it can be done with much less discomfort than tapering too fast or stopping at too high a dose. BUT - that said, everyone is different and some people have a harder time than others. Try not to listen to the horror stories. Just remember, we were NEVER able to taper off our DOC, but we can with sub. And with our DOC if we stopped cold turkey, we couldn't get out of bed. With sub, we're able to get up and out and about and sign onto a forum and tell people how we're doing. In other words, most people will tell you it's not as bad as full agonist/"regular" pain pill withdrawals.

I hope this helps a bit. Keep asking away if you need to.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:41 pm 
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IMO he really is enjoying the actual sex, it's just that the low libido aspect is interfering with the initiation process.
I feel that Sub has lowered my libido, too, but it doesn't prevent my from actually enjoying it when I do it.

Another thing I want to throw in is that I beleive it's a cultural myth that men are supposed to initiate sex. After over 2 decades of marriage and talking to many women over the years I would say that it's a 2 way street a best, and in reality women often have to initiate to get their needs met. I understand that it's all you at this point and you're not happy with that. But please don't despair. Give him some more time to adjust, and encourage him to get his hormones checked. Men have this kind of testing done all the time, and the doctor won't bat an eyelash.

Hopefully, some of the men here will chime in. But to be honest we don't get a ton of posts about sex and they might be a little reticent

It's great that you're so supportive of your bf. I think you will be able to work this out.
Take care,
Lilly


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:24 pm 
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I was going to PM you Kim but I guess in the interest of perhaps helping others that may read this, I'll just man up and come clean by posting to everyone. I actually had/have some direct experience in this area - both during active addiction and I'm sure now. Back when I was in active addiction, I was also married and went though what it sounds like your BF has. At the urging of my then wife I was tested and did find out that my levels were pretty low. I don't remember the exact numbers anymore. I do remember the "normal" was a rather wide range but I was pretty far below the bottom end - perhaps around 100????? Anyhow, I did not know a whole lot about any of this back then (I was in denial about my addiction to begin with) and didn't understand a lot of it. I didn't even guess that my drug abuse might be the cause.

Here is what I have come to find out. I can't speak for women but very clearly opiates very often drop testosterone levels in men to really low levels. There have been research studies that have proven this. I guess if there is a good thing, I can answer your question about it coming back. It is actually somewhat amazing how quickly levels return to normal after opiates are stopped. I'm willing to bet that if your BF came off of Sub and stayed away from all other opiates (and does not have other conditions going on) he would be horny as hell within a week. It really does come back that fast. How do I know? Use your imagination. On top of that, I have heard from many others who report the exact same thing.

The thing is, while stopping Bup/Sub very likely will return things to normal for your BF, it is one hell of a price to pay. There are no two ways around the fact that coming off Sub is not easy. It most certainly will involve some levels of withdrawal. It may drag on for months. He may have something called Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS), he may suffer depression and anxiety, may have trouble sleeping. And even with hormone levels back to normal, imagine what all of these things might do to his interest in sex - not to mention his life. Then there is the whole relapse issue. While he is likely doing very well on Sub, that may come to a quick halt if he stops treatment.

I have no way of suggesting what the best course of action here is for you. Obviously I don't know everything that is going on. I can just tell you that if it were me, I would likely opt to stay on the Sub and try testosterone replacement. The doctor I saw was very willing to provide it to me. The thing is, I ended up getting divorced so it didn't as much matter. I'm at a place in my life where not being horny all the time is actually a plus as I don't have a GF and don't much want one (perhaps it's all related?). I do have to say that I pretty much could care less about sex these days. I have no doubt my levels are still very low. Again, if I stop my Bup for a few days, things change around very quickly.

It sounds like you already know this, but let me reinforce to you that this is not about you. This has nothing to do with his attraction to or love for you. Not at all. My [ex] wife could not at all understand that. And I sort of more understand now, although that's a whole other story that I'm not going into. Anyhow, don't start thinking it's related to you - it most certainly is not.

I think you really should talk with your BF about all of this. It is not likely to change on it's own. He will either need to stop Bup, or get to a lower level (it sounds like he is taking ~10mg a day) If he could get to 4 mg he "might" feel better. Otherwise, testosterone cream, gel, shots, whatever, might make the most sense. Viagra or the like will certainly take care of any plumbing problems but it won't increase his desire.

Hope that helps.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:29 pm 
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OK Lilly, I accept your challenge. I will talk about sex, even though I am turning 15 shades of red right now.

While on Suboxone, or any other opiate for that matter, my sex drive was pretty low. Like has already been mentioned, I enjoyed the hell out of it when my wife and I would get together, but I just didn't seem to have a great desire for it. While on opiates or Suboxone, we probably would have sex once a week? Sometimes once every 10 days? If it wasn't for her initiating sex, it would have been even less. I remember a few times going almost a month without sex, but I was snorting a shitload of OxyContin at the time.

But now, after being off Suboxone for 10 months, my sex drive has returned with a vengenance!! Not long after I quit sub, maybe a couple of weeks, I started to notice it. Somewhere around the 1 month mark I needed to have sex EVERYDAY! My awesome, super duper wife was ALWAYS accomodating. This went on for a good while, maybe a couple of months or so. It is returning to normal, I guess if having sex every other day or every three days is normal that is.

BTW, I'm 43 years old.

I sure hope this helps you because if it didn't, I just embarrassed the hell out of myself for nothing!! :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:33 pm 
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I know what you are talking about from the other side. I've been on suboxone for a while and i'm 31 years old I talked of no issues with suboxone but now you mention it this is one. I don't hardly ever feel like having sex. And i know its the medication. Its certainly not my wife because she is one sexy woman. I think for me the hardest part is getting in the mood for it, but once i actually start fooling around i'm ok. Honestly i think you should talk to him about it and try to get him in the mood for it(force him). I gotta say if my wife didn't talk me into it we probably would have sex only once a month. But i know we need to. I know you've tried talking to him,etc. Maybe it will come back once he gets on a lower dose. BTW how much is he taking a day. Cause i'm at 6mg. Although i have gone ct from opiates and everynight i got a visit from the nocturnal emission fairy for several weeks. After you quit i think your sex drive comes back 10x.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:34 am 
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First, I'd like to thank everyone for their responses. It really does help a lot hearing from others other than my bf going through the same thing.
I talked to him about getting his testosterone levels checked and he agreed. Meanwhile, I guess I just have to do the initiating. I found that physically making the move shows more results than setting a date to do it lol. So it's just something I have to get used to. I also found some natural ways to increase testosterone levels, so hopefully that'll work. Otherwise, he'll have to turn to the gel that you apply everyday. We were trying to avoid things of that nature cause it'll be one more thing he has to rely on to live a 'normal' life. But glad there is a solution anyway! Thanks again for all your help, guys!! :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:11 pm 
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I can share from experience that while I was on sub I didnt have it in me to have sex. My poor wife complained all the time about it so I would try to please her here and there. It did get to the point I couldnt get an erection also. So to please my wife I would resort to other ways to please her. I am sure I dont have to get real graphic for you to understand.

I know my wife felt terrible and took it that it was her.. it wasnt her at all. It was my active addiction that didnt allow me a sex drive. To answer your question about when off of the sub did my sex drive come back. HELL YEAH it did. It did take a little time for it to return but I didnt have to resort to yet another medication for it to return.

Before I went on sub my sex drive would come and go. When it was on it was ON. But when it wasnt, it wasnt. I did have a hard time reaching climax while on dope but my wife didnt complain about that part, it was to her advantage.

So... All I can say is be patient. Your boyfriend if fighting for his life. Since he has been on sub for three yrs I doubt that even when he finally (if thats is in the picture at all) weans off his drive will come right back. I did take a different approach to get sober so I cant say how long it will take. I did make a few attempt to wean off and did make it completely off sub a few times. I think the longest was three months before I went back on suboxone. During that time I was either in acute wd or paws.. hard to tell the difference so sex was the last thing I wanted. I didnt want anyone to touch me at all in fact. My skin would break out in chills at the slightest touch.

I just wanted to tell the truth here .... Do realize that your bf is fighting for his life right now. SUb is so much safer then shooting dope.. of course I am assuming a lot here saying that was even his problems but please try and not take it personally. Maybe instead of expecting him to come to you.. you take the bull by the horns. If he cant preform the ask for what you need. Sex is a part of any relationship. Exp when still in the bf/gf mode. If you love him.. learn what you can about addiction like your attempting here. Learn what you can do. Go to al-non yourself for support. Most of all, understand that its not you but the drugs that he has to ingest.
Good luck


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:03 pm 
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Hi ddrkim. Im a guy who's gone through the same thing. I was on pain pills for about 4-5 years and my sex drive was always there. Im no expert, but I always noticed when on pain pills I could go forever. On Suboxone, I don't last as long and it's played on my mind. I love my wife and want to see her satistifed, but he's on the right track. If he hasn't had his test checked, I would do so. In fact, I've been thinking about doing so as well. Quick question, is he out getting active??? I used to bodybuild and loved it. Of course I also used PED's, which I've also given up and wouldn't tell anyone to go near them. Also, as men, as we age, our testosterone decreases which test is the catalyst for our sex drive. My next visit to my Doc, Im going to have him check my test levels. Im only 32.

birdie makes a great point that he's fighting for his life. Look we're guys, we love sex. It will come around. I've changed over and have just started trying the film so we'll see if that makes a difference. I also have anxiety issues and that doesn't help. All in all, it doesn't hurt to have your testosterone checked and in fact, in my case, I think it's a good idea as I've used exogenous testosterone and other things for the gym. What may help is some natural supplements like DHEA, Horny Goat Weed, and a good Tribulus Terrestris supplement. Tribulus really works well and you can get it at any health food store. One of the more expensive ones is from Nutrex called Vitrix, and let me tell ya, that stuff WORKS. Good luck.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:23 pm 
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Hey Kim me and my g/f are going through the same issue. My sex drive is just not there at all. For a while it was causing serious problems in our relationship. I have invested in male enhancement pills. At the moment I am taking longinexxx and that helps me a lot it can be taken everyday for libido maintenance. I have been making the first move for sex lately and actually want to initiate it, it is a bit expensive though but there is something else that has worked very well it is called libido max they sell it at GNC and it is very cheap and had worked wonders for me. Good luck with everything.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:38 pm 
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im not going to comment much on this but i did have something to say. i am female and my sex drive is 5000000 times better off of pain pills and on sub, its more normal i suppose then it was on pain pills. as for men, i know that a while ago my boyfriend took like a tiny piece of my sub and couldnt get off for 2 days. now he was never addicted to opiates and it was once in a lifetime im going to try this tiny bit and see what happens, kinda moment but at the same time i wanted to let you know that he had a similair reaction and it lasted for two days, he couldnt come for anything and it took him a while to get hard. so i cant imagine if he were on sub for a long period of time.


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Sorry, i'm also new to the forum and have been on suboxone for nearly 3 years now, I have work in 10 minutes so I'll only give my slight bit of insight on this topic.

I am a male, I have a girlfriend for 3 years and I've been on opiates/suboxone for the entire time I've been with her, and I never have a real desire for sex. Not that I won't have sex, but I wouldn't think of going out of may way to do it. It is 100% to do with suboxone and not you, so don't get insecure about it. I have quite a libido off of opiates.

Good luck and stay well, I hope everything goes well.

Sincerely,


Peter



EDIT: Also, you do regain libido on lower doses of suboxone. If you go from 8MG 2x a day to 4MG 2x a day, you will experience energy and libido boost. I know this from personal experience.


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I'm so glad i read this post. I thought it was just me. I am a 41 yo male on suboxone for a serious heroin addiction. Before my addiction I had a healthy sex drive and good sex life. Not so much after addiction and while on suboxone.

I plan on having a talk with my dotor next visit.


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Well it is possible that he is just not into you anymore and has nothing to do with the sub. What!!!!!! Yes I said it....Have you gained a few pounds? Do you talk non stop......perhaps he found out you were blabbing about his non sex life on an internet forum......or perhaps now that you are pregnant and have bitched so much about what he doesn't do ......he doesn't beleive it's his baby therefore doesn't want to touch you till the paternity test says it's his baby. Not sure how someone gets pregnant if they don't have sex?

Perhaps you might remember that he has a deadly disease that can kill him unless he takes his medicine but of course you can't becasue it is about you being sexually satisfied. Have you tried introducing a good looking friend into the bedroom for a 3 way to see if that helps......if it works then it is you that is the problem is not him. I am glad I could be here to help you see things from a different perspective. I know that everyone will laugh out loud.........because they should. I am a clown.

We hate it but beleive me I think he loves you more than anything and it really is hard to have desire on this medicine. I know for me it has been. Some of us have talked about it in the past and we use Cialis or Viagra.......I have found that if he is stable enough if he can lower his dose below 4 mg you should see a change. In the meantime.....believe me many men find it very attractive for the woman to initate. I hope you can find the answers you need and it is good that he has recognized it and is willing to take action. Good Luck and don't get mad at my midnight silliness.

Jim


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