Sexual dry spells happen. Here’s how to get through them
By: Bruce in Southern California
Not too long ago, I went through a long period without having sex. The exact duration escapes me but I’d peg it somewhere around seven months. Honestly, it was the longest period I’ve ever endured.
It started for me soon after I broke up with Mike, a wolfish guy I had been seeing last year. During our short courtship, we spent little time going out because inside, we were too busy [rhymes with “trucking”] like rabbits.
Related: Gay wolves: Learn all about them!
I think that was part of the problem – our relationship was based mostly on the physical. Other than admiring one another’s bods, there just wasn’t a whole lot we had in common.
Ever have one of those?
After we split, I entered this period where I simply wasn’t getting any – not even a little. It probably didn’t help that my standards had become artificially inflated, comparing everyone else to him. I mean Mike had it all; the hairy chest, scruffy face and a considerable sized banana tucked in his pocket.
No, I wasn’t waiting for Alex O’Loughlin (yum!) to come strolling through my door. And I wasn’t holing myself up like hermit. I went out on dates during this period of time. In fact, at least once a week. That wasn’t easy because many times I didn’t want to.
But the vibe I was feeling with the different men I’d meet just wasn’t there. Part of me wondered if I had entered a period of depression. You know sometimes you can experience a dysphoric mood and not even know it. My therapist didn’t think that was the case and suggested all of us go through these periods.
I have straight, female friends who’ve shared with me they’ve gone YEARS without getting any. Can you imagine that? It’s like being OK without going to the doctor for an annual checkup.
And that’s just not me.
Being sexual is just part of who I am. No, I’m not some “skanky hoe” as some of my friends call each other. But sex has always been a big part of my adult life. I’m not ashamed to say that.
But during that dry spell, I just didn’t feel like finding any ol’ pipe to drain, metaphorically speaking. Oh, I could have. A quick tap on a hook up app or a short visit to a bookstore would have settled the urge.
I just didn’t want to.
Something was going on deep inside of me that felt empowering but scary all at the same time. Then, somewhere around the three-month point, I started to wonder if I had become unattractive.
Uh-oh! Now things had become serious. “No wonder you aren’t getting any. You’ve turned ugly!” was the tape playing in my head. It got to the point that I started avoiding mirrors.
That’s when I decided it might be a good idea to seek out the guidance of others. In my quest for insight, I spoke to three gay sages. Well, OK maybe not sages but certainly wise to me.
Here’s what they shared that helped me get through:
1. Don’t fight it
Chris, an older gay man (late 60’s) offers services at my local Unitarian Church. He used to be a monk but parted ways with the religion when he turned 40, saying he was tired of the BS.
I found his advice to be interesting. Apparently, monks spend a lot of time engaging in mindfulness, focusing their energy and attention inward. While they’re doing this, they choose to abstain from the wants and desires of everyday life.
When I asked him how to deal with my carnivorous libido, my gay spirit zen shared the following:
Acknowledge the desire but don’t try to fight it. The more energy you give trying to push it out of your mind, the more powerful it becomes.
And what wanting to jump all over the hot, sexy guy I see working out at the gym – any advice there?
If you want to hit on him and see if he’s game, there’s nothing wrong with that. But sometimes the fantasy of who he is versus the reality conflict. Ask yourself if you really want him or the fantasy.
Suddenly, that made a lot of sense. By not fighting my desires, they became less powerful. And Chris was absolutely right about the fantasy stuff.
Ever see a commercial for McDonald’s where they show a big, juicy cheeseburger? Don’t they look amazing? But then when you go to get one at the drive-through, you find they aren’t the same (not even close).
2. Spoon buddies
Glenn, a friend of mine who also happens to be a neighbor is a gay man in his late thirties like me. He’s involved in a serious relationship right now and I have a feeling it won’t be long before his man pops the question.
I know for a fact that he went through a loooong dry spell before meeting his current boyfriend. When it was going on for him, he mentioned it here and there but it didn’t seem like a big deal.
I asked him how he coped:
It’s all about the physical connection – touching. Sure, releasing all of that pent up energy feels good but when you think about it, what most of us really crave is intimacy.
Uh huh, and?
So what I did was spoon with my buds. Remember when you would come over to watch a movie and a group of us would curl up on the floor and stream Netflix? That was part of my coping. Didn’t you think that was kind of fun?
Glenn was right. Before he settled down with his man, several of us would gather at his place occasionally and spoon. And the best part was that it wasn’t really “sexual”.
Yeah, here and there a hand might touch someone’s junk and sure feeling up on a woody was cool but it never went to the next level. I know you may not believe that but it’s true.
Did people do things privately when I wasn’t around? Sure, I suppose that’s possible. I just wasn’t part of it – and wouldn't want to be.
The point is sometimes, just having physical contact that involves holding and touching can make all the difference in the world. Plus, it satisfies some of the craving stuff.
In turn, this allows a person to be more focused in other life areas. Which leads to my final sage.
3. Focus like a laser
The last man I talked to was actually my ex, Mike. Yep, the guy I broke up with. We agreed to meet at a coffee shop because I knew better than to visit at his home.
See, he’s a Scorpio and I’m a Pisces and if you know anything about Scorpion men, you’re likely aware they’re extremely sexual!
As we sat drinking house blends and gazed into one another’s eyes, I straight out asked him if he’s been “active” (so to speak). And I think he could tell the way I asked the question wasn’t from a place of carnivorous yearning or crazy possessiveness. Instead, I was genuinely curious.
Not much. You can’t fabricate what we had in the bed. I’ve learned to savor those times together and replay some of it in my mind. Don’t get me wrong – I haven’t been abstinent. Maybe twice since we broke up last year?
I wanted to know more without letting on of my predicament.
I threw myself into work and channeled a lot of that unused sexual energy into creative projects. The marketing campaign I recently wrapped up would never have been possible had I not done this. I learned that by storing some of my horniness deep inside, I could use it in powerful ways.
Once our coffee time was over, we parted ways. But not before my ex pulled me close planted a ridiculous, DEEP kiss on me that suddenly reminded my beanstalk that it was still there.
Being the confident man that he is, he looked at me and said:
That’s right baby – it’s like that.
And you know what? That was hot. Woof!
Where are things now?
Just last week, I finally hooked up with someone. It wasn’t fireworks or anything. But it was mildly intense. Our rendezvous happened quite by happenstance.
He was walking down one side of the street and I was walking down the other. We cruised, paused and then made our way closer.
You’ve experienced that, right?
I didn’t ask a lot of questions and neither did he. But what we did do was find our way to his apartment, which happened to be around the corner.
It was fun. What we did I’ll leave to your imagination.
The point is the end to my sexual dry spell wouldn’t have occurred had I not heeded the words of the three sages.
So my best advice if you are trying to survive a sexual dry spell? Try not to fight your urges, find some buds to spoon with and oh yeah, direct some of that libido energy into a creative project.
Before you know it, you’ll be back in the game again. More important, you’ll learn some things about yourself in the process.
PS: In case you’re wondering, I didn’t stop releasing during my dry spell. That’s why nature made high quality silicone lube! 🙂