Chapter 6: ADHD and Sex — Peaks and Valleys In the Bedroom

ADHD and sex

 

Now we arrive at Chapter 6 in this virtual book club, Peaks and Valleys: ADHD in the Bedroom.  That is, ADHD and sex. Sex in the extremes — all the time or never. Before we get to Taylor J’s personal essay based on that chapter, I’ll share the chapter’s opening.

“What’s the group consensus on ADHD and sex?” new support-group member Jennifer timidly asks. “We’re against ADHD and for sex,” quips Dave.

Some members joke about their sexual woes, but it is gallows humor. Of course they aren’t so much against ADHD as for well-managed or even acknowledged ADHD, not to mention being against the devastating impact it can have on a couple’s sex life—and a person’s self-esteem.

Dave’s wife refuses to consider an ADHD evaluation (despite three of her immediate family members being in treatment) or the fact that her sensory sensitivities and distractibility make her more anxious than amorous.

The part that really bedevils Dave? They enjoyed a great sex life prior to their marriage, and then the passion went out, “like turning off a lightbulb.” Now, he’s only half-kidding when he says, “It’s death by a thousand nights of silent rejection. It’s enough to inspire really bad poetry.”

To be sure, many support-group members aren’t suffering from sexual starvation. Almost one in five ADHD Partner Survey respondents report having a great sex life, including many in long-term partnerships. This seems significant, given that most survey respondents had sought a support group because they were experiencing significant partnership challenges. Moreover, almost half say their partner is a skilled and considerate lover. “Sex is not a problem,” says one. “If only everything in our life could be this easy!” Other survey respondents, however, report more deflating scenarios.

Is It Hot In Here?

By Taylor J

ADHD Money woes nearly destroyed our marriage. ADHD-fueled driving certainly gave us gray hair early in life.

Sex, however, is not an area that has been a…. problem for us (thank you, Jesus!), in the ways chapter 6 is describing.

Gosh, I’m blushing right now. Is it hot in here?

I’m sorry. I spent the first seven years of our married life impulsively blurting out private things that Dr. Math (my husband) didn’t want repeated in public. So, please be patient if I stutter and stammer over this topic. We’ve been married nearly eleven years, and I think we can say we’re still…um…quite happy with the way things are going in our love life.

Not everyone feels the same way. And that’s an important point: Nothing about ADHD affects the people who have it in the same way. As Gina emphasizes repeatedly:

ADHD is a variable syndrome, and the people who have it are individuals.

Nonetheless, inattention, hyperactivity, and distraction still have a habit of sneaking into the bedroom for many people.

Sex: No Thinking Required?

There’s a common myth (you know you’ve heard it!): Sex is fueled by “animal” instincts, and a man needs no stimulation to actively engage in it.

Yet, our more basic brain functions that control arousal—like fear, pleasure, aggression, and sense of smell—are managed by our Executive Functions. If ADHD is a factor in your life, then those Executive Functions may work erratically in any setting, including the bedroom. Gina offers various examples of how this might play out:

  • Spacing out during love making
  • Rushing through to the end before we lose focus
  • Suddenly thinking about other things (like a movie, or that checkbook that needs to be balanced)
  • Or simply never “getting around to” sex at all—that’s right, a sexless marriage

Chapter 6 lists some  nicknames for these dysfunctions:

  • The Energizer Bunny!
  • The Do-Me (but I’ll never initiate) Bunny!
  • The Indifferent (can we get this over with?) Bunny!”
  • and lots more!

It’s gallows humor, though. One in three respondents in the ADHD Partner survey report that they have sex between “once yearly” and “never.”  Many partners of adults with ADHD complain about their sexless marriage. If sex is going to happen, it’s up to them. And sometimes there is rejection.

Gosh, that makes me sick on my stomach. (And don’t forget, class, that ADHD isn’t real, is a big-pharma conspiracy, and would be fixed if you had better self-control!)

ADHD and Sex: So Much Harmful Advice…

I know one friend who said she simply could not pick the right type of lingerie that “turned her husband on.” He thought his lack of sexual response was all her fault, and she spent a small fortune trying to find just the right skimpy outfit please him. Meanwhile, her self-esteem plummeted as she felt she was basically unattractive; her husband later turned to pornography.

Even though Dr. Math and I are both in the “Energizer Bunny” category, I’ve been pregnant seven times in nine years. (Yes, you read that correctly.) On birth control. Five different kinds of birth control.

But hey, if birth control is effective 99 times out of a hundred, just calculate how many times you’d have to make love on perfectly functioning birth control to get pregnant once. Multiply that by seven. Subtract that from the number of days in nine years. Welcome to my favorite side-benefit of ADHD in marriage.

The really sad thing is, I’ve heard all of these extreme sexual behaviors normalized at one point or another, in various church marriage classes, with the teacher claiming they were gender-specific!

  • “Ladies, you know your man is visual. You need to do everything you can to keep his attention—like lingerie, or even learning a lap-dance—or his eyes will rove somewhere else.”
  • “Yeah, ladies, even when you really don’t want to, remember that some guys need a lot of sex. Even if you’re thinking about balancing the checkbook while he’s kissing your neck (cause we all know that women have wandering minds), remember that he needs you to be available whenever he’s in the mood.”
  • “It is the man’s job to be the initiator and your job to be receptive and warm.”

…With Such Harmful Potential Consequences

Can you imagine the shame that these (ignorant, uninformed) teachings would bring to an ADHD marriage? Especially a sexless ADHD marriage?

  • “Oh no, I’m just not visually appealing enough.”
  • “Wait, I have to initiate sex all the time because he doesn’t—does that mean I’m stepping out of my role as a woman?”
  • “Hey, I really like sex—why is this guy saying I shouldn’t? Is something wrong with me?”
  • My husband’s not initiating. Is something wrong with him?”

Many religiously oriented people turn to a pastor or other spiritual advisor, for marital or sexual problems. If ADHD isn’t recognized by the spiritual community, then the “cure” can often be worse than the disease.

Sometimes the situation is not much better in the mental health profession.

Discussion Points:

For this chapter’s reading:

  • Have you seen distractibility, hyperactivity, or inattentiveness in your sex life?
  • How have you mis-read those problems in your ADHD partner? For example, did you think you weren’t attractive enough? Caring enough? Skilled enough?
  • How have other ADHD-related challenges affected your love life? For example, when we’re worried about grocery money, it can be hard to focus on amorous activities.
  • If you are struggling in a sexless marriage, how has that affected your self-esteem? Does knowing that ADHD might have something to do with your ADHD partner’s lack of interest change your perspective?

Thank you, Taylor J.

Your comments are always welcome!

—Gina Pera

 

You, Me, ADHD Online Book ClubRead More in The You, Me, ADHD Book Club Series:

And now for the preview of the chapter-by-chapter lineup: the book’s table of contents.  Chapter titles appearing as hyperlinks correspond to an essay in the Book Club. Click to read. 

We stopped at Chapter 20. Would you like to submit your own essay to the Book Club?  We welcome it!   “Finding Your Voice” is an essential part of slowing your ADHD Roller Coaster.                              

Part One

From the Tunnel of Love to the Roller Coaster: Could Your Partner Have ADHD?

Section Introduction

1    Who Has a Ticket to Ride? Spotting ADHD’s Surprising Signs (this post)

2    Laying the Track’s Foundation: What Is ADHD, Anyway?

3    Deconstructing Your Coaster: Why Each Is Unique

4    Financial Loop-the-Loops: “It’s Only Money, Honey!”

5    Driving While Distracted: The Roller Coaster Hits the Road 

6    Peaks and Valleys: ADHD in the Bedroom (this post)

7    More Mystifying Twists and Turns

Part Two

Roller Coaster Whiplash and G-Force Confusion: How Many Plunges Before You Say, “Whoa!”

Section Introduction

8    First Plunge: Explaining the Inexplicable

9    Second Plunge: Managing the Unmanageable

10  Third Plunge: Breaking Down in Illness—Or Through to Truth

Part Three

Your Relationship and the Art of Roller Coaster Maintenance: Four Success Strategies

Section Introduction

ADHD Relationship Success Strategy #1: Taking Care of Yourself

Introduction: The Amusement Park’s Emergency Room

11  Strategies for Right Now

12  Solving ADHD’s Double Whammy

ADHD Relationship Success Strategy #2: Dealing With Denial

Introduction: Roller Coaster? What Roller Coaster?

13  Psychological Denial: The Fear Factor

14  Biological Denial: Not Unwilling to See—Just Unable

15  New Ways to Broach “The Conversation”

16  More Solutions and Strategies

ADHD Relationship Success Strategy #3: Finding Effective Therapy

Introduction: Calling in a Consultant to Help Retrofit Your Ride

17  Why the Wrong Therapy Is Worse Than No Therapy

18  Therapy That Works for ADHD

19  More Solutions and Strategies

ADHD Relationship Success Strategy #4: Understanding Medication’s Role

Introduction: Tightening the Brakes on the Roller Coaster

This post from Jaclyn at The ADHD Homestead touches on a range of issues within this section on medication

20  Making Connections Between Brain and Behavior

21  Rx: Treatment Results That Last

22  Maximizing Lifestyle Choices, Minimizing Rx Side Effects

23 Catch Your Breath and Take Five

Appendix A:

Adult ADHD Evaluation and Diagnosis

Appendix B:

“But I Heard That…”: More Background for the Unconvinced

Appendix C:

Three Views from Decades on the ADHD Roller Coaster

Resources

Endnotes

Index

Your story in a comment below will help others—as well as yourself.

Please feel free to respond to the discussion even if you haven’t read the chapter (but I recommend that you do!).

—Gina Pera

 

30 thoughts on “Chapter 6: ADHD and Sex — Peaks and Valleys In the Bedroom”

  1. I started dating my ADHD partner, she had been divorced for a year. She had informed me that she wasn’t looking for a short term relationship. She disclosed that her marriage of 20 years lacked trust and dishonesty. That her ex-husband was a cheater and wasn’t attentive to her needs. When we started dating, she mentioned that she possibly had ADHD but was never diagnosed. I stated “you have similar behavior as my ADD/ADHD students”. This did not go over well with her but we moved passed this. The first year was amazing, although her symptomatic issues would show-up at times; forgetfulness, hyper focus arguments and being distracted. The bedroom was open for new adventures and excitements. The second year her ADHD behavior begin to show-up more often. She would be cleaning the kitchen and stop in the middle of that and start cleaning the bathroom. Something that should of taken an hour now has turn into 3 hours; from jumping from one task to another. Mentioning this cause another argument. Wherever, she started yelling, i would go home. This caused me to pick my words carefully when speaking with her. I noticed she behaved this way with family and friends. I started to see a pattern, when she calms down she is apologetic and quiet. However, by the end of year 2, her sexual excitement was little to none. She no-longer initiated sex as she did in the beginning. I mentioned to her on several occasions that something has changed and it wasn’t me. She had an excuse for not initiating, missed nights and oral. This conversation ended with me being hypersexual and not being understanding of her emotions. She stated “I’m going to do better i will make more of an effort”. This do better and effort was little to none as far as change. Now, when we do have sex it a quicky season; 2 minutes of kissing and hurry before she mentally disappear and dry up. As a man, this is like sleeping with a warm blow-up doll. Her behavior has changed, my sexual excitement towards her has changed, which sadden me because she is a beautiful person. I have become tried of initiating and being rejected during the prelude. Its like playing emotional and mental double dutch with yourself. Having conversations around this never ends well. She believes are sex life is good. She states “good sex isn’t counted by how many times but that moment”. That statement brought me to the conclusion that we are not on the same page. Third year in, we decided to spend a week in Mexico to rekindle are relationship. The same uninterested sexless behavior at home was now in Mexico. The morning we were to leave, she asked if i was interested in a quicky, i just said wow. She turned this around and blamed me. I told her the amount of money we spent “Hard Rock Resort”, we did not take advantage of the ambiance and romantic things the resort had to offer. We spent day and night doing activities and running around. This was not the kind of vacation we planned before we arrived. If i would of known this a less expensive stay would have been in order. We discussed medication, she said she could not take no medication because she has diabetes. So that off the table. Later on in the year, there grand-daughter had a birthday party at a water park. He ex-husband was laying in a lounge chair with female friend. My partner blurted out to him, “Oh you know how to cuddle now”. He laughed and introduced his female friend. She yelled and told his female friend “he’s going to cheat on you watch him”. The female friend laughed and said were okay. I apologized and told my partner to stop your grand-daughter and everyone is watching. She stated, “fk them”. The ex-husband said i wonder why i was cheating. He stated, “for years everything revolved around your feeling and behavior”. You a great caregiver but I’m not in a of a mother but a partner that takes more of an emotional interest besides the 10 minutes you are willing to give. How can you be upset with me, you blamed me for all your faults and behaviors, you should be happy. I looked at my partner, over the last two years she had been saying these things to me. I saw him later that evening and apologized. He said i was once you 5 years ago. I was with her for 20 years after the first 3 years i was catering to her behavior and feelings. She is a great women but she has some major issues that makes you question yourself. I asked him about the ADHD and he did not know what that was. He said good luck and he was more happy today then he has been. I discussed this with her and she denied it all and he was the problem. At this point, I’m still involved with her but this is more then i can handle. This relationship is making me passive, which i believes works for her. I have begun to spend less time with her because some days i just don’t feel like the roller-coaster. I realized she use her kindness as a way for you not to look at the behavior. I spoke to psychologist, she stated that people make ADHD to be some horrible thing and its not. However, an undiagnosed individual can burnout there partner and if they are not willing to get treatment. Get read for the ride. Interestedly, she said that individuals that stay in these relationships usually struggle with some form of trauma themselves or they found some other way to couple. I told her that her ex-husband told me she is a great women as long as you have another women to have something more with a emotional meaning. She said, if she isn’t willing to get treatment and these problems are effecting you emotionally and mentally then get out of the relationship.

  2. Thank you Gina P so much for your responses to all I wrote. It helped immensely and I ordered your book. I look forward to reading it. God Bless

  3. My wife and I (lesbian) have been married for almost 6 years. She always wants to avoid talking about sex with me. We have almost divorced a couple times and this last time I moved out. She wanted me back and dropped a bomb on me that she masturbates (she is horny constantly) all the time and watches porn for our 6 years. She hates that I have a high sex and says that’s all I think about. Which makes no sense. First she tried saying that that I was terrible in bed then it was it was her and that her mind is constantly going and she can’t relax – it’s not me but it’s her.
    All she wants to do is do home improvements for me. She knows we lack sexually so she accuses me of cheating because she knows she is not being intimate ever with me and avoids me.
    I am trying to read articles to try and find ways to get her to talk to me – answer simple questions- so I can get some mental clarity, but I am so lost.
    We are on a wait list for marriage counseling. I asked her about sex therapy and she wants to see if we can fix us without but I ask one question and she goes off automatically “that’s all you think about” … help … please … any advice would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Jessica,

      You don’t mention other potential signs of ADHD, only this issue with sexual intimacy.

      ADHD could be a factor, but it’s important than you learn more.

      When someone with ADHD has “low insight” to their behaviors, they can sometimes find all kinds of rationalizations for it. But the rationalizations don’t go to the core of the matter — ADHD-related issues around self-management, planning, coordinating….and other behaviors that are conducive to regular sexual intimacy with a partner. And the rationalizations often lean toward blaming their partner with nonsensical explanations.

      You need more than articles online or random books, if you think there are other reasons to see ADHD as a factor. I recommend that you read my first book. https://amzn.to/3KQgFRC

      Good luck!

      Gina

  4. My spouse has ADHD. He’s addicted to alcohol and that’s how he’s coped. His physical addiction to alcohol has now made his life more difficult than the ADHD, he’s on month two of sobriety after the last ER visit (three in one year) This round, I’ve made it pretty clear will be my last go with him. This requires I have a ton of patience with everything that comes out when he isn’t drinking. ADHD goes into full effect. And we go from having sex 3-4 times a week to him having raging boners but not wanting to have anything to do with sex. He told me he went 9 months without Cumming once… I love him more than I have any man. No matter what we go through, I’m willing to go through it with him… however… I’ve come to realize sex means more than I thought it did to me in a relationship. I’m worried this will be what leads to a break up which is crazy considering everything on our plate… I tried to talk to him about it, it ended with me feeling like I was hypersexual.

    1. Hi Taylor,

      Developing an alcohol addiction isn’t “coping” with ADHD. It’s compounding the problems.

      So, even though you might perceive that “alcohol now has made his life more difficult than the ADHD,” it sounds like untreated ADHD is what left him vulnerable—and exacerbated his dys-functioning thanks to alcohol.

      You write that “I’ve made it pretty clear will be my last go with him”. And you also write, “No matter what we go through, I’m willing to go through it with him.”

      I encourage you to learn all you can about ADHD. Read my book, for example, and understand that treatment is often best approached with teamwork.

      Good luck,
      g

    2. My wife takes Vyvanse and she has graduated to 2 pills a day and I noticed when she is off of it … she is worse and worse over the years, even in her sleep. My wife uses the alcohol sometimes but she has realized is and curtails it. I don’t want to give up on her but it can be mentally exhausting.

    3. HI again, Jessica,

      Okay, so now you say that your wife is taking Vyvanse. That means she has already been diagnosed with ADHD.

      Taking 2 pills a day of Vyvanse means nothing without knowing the dosage, how it was decided to increase the number of pills daily, etc..

      You say she is getting worse. Has her prescriber ever invited you to provide feedback?

      Jessica, the unfortunate truth is that most “medical treatment” for ADHD is a hot mess. If we leave it up to the MDs and PhDs, we risk a lot.

      Think of ADHD as a team sport. https://adhdrollercoaster.org/adhd-and-relationships/chapter-12-solving-adhds-double-whammy/

      Again, I encourage you to read my book. Yesterday, if not sooner! 🙂

      Don’t wait until you are worn down to a nub and perhaps falling ill to depression, anxiety, or a physical illness.

      best,
      Gina

  5. When we were married the lovemaking in sex and affection was perfect very into the love language of touch now years later there’s hardly if any affection, let alone sex I have feel RSD in extreme ways which ignites my preoccupied attachment tendencies and she has dismissive tendencies. I’ve tried many different routes being a clinician retired law enforcement officer and military veteran I have come to basically feel floundering and no where to turn

    1. Hi Todd,

      It might be that your clinical training is making things harder for you. 🙂

      When we misinterpret why something is happening, we have more difficulty solving the problem.

      “Preoccupied attachment tendencies” and “dismissive tendencies.” Doesn’t that explain what something “looks like” rather than the cause?

      I would ask….you have ADHD, I assume. Are you pursuing evidence-based treatment? Is your wife on board with collaborative strategies?

      Study after study points to troubles in the rest of life dampening things in the bedroom.

      g

  6. I have such a feeling of relief right now! I’ve suspected for quite a while my husband is an undiagnosed ADHD. The qualities that attracted me to him, his challenges (constantly losing keys- the hours spent looking for things!) Impulsivity! He just brought a new puppy home without discussing with me (we have 4 young children and a dog already) and I’ve JUST gained some freedom with our youngest in pre-K 3 days/week so finally some time for me, and poof! It’s gone!

    He is a big gesture person with a child like idea of what would make me happy. There are of course elements that don’t sound like him- he is a money wiz and incredibly successful before selling our business. An entrepreneur whose idea of hell would be working at a desk in a cubby for someone else.

    He woke up the other day and just started a business. Our love life is passionate (when we have it) but its not him that doesn’t want it, its me! I’m so stressed and annoyed from all the chaos and frustration and lack of mindfulness and not feeling heard when I ask him to clean up after himself, to put away his tools, to not leave things laying around wherever he last used them, the last thing I want is sex.

    It breaks my heart and this entire thing is ruining our relationship. Historically, the blame has been placed on me but I am hoping that he will read some of Gina’s book and be willing to explore this possible cause for some of our issues and how he can take ownership and control over certain aspects of his life.

    1. Hi Lia,

      I’m grateful that our “book club” series has been helpful to you. There’s nothing like validation to bring a person out of the fog and into clarity.

      Please be sure to read the money chapter in my book. I acknowledge at the very beginning that some ADHD partners are fantastic money managers. That’s the thing about ADHD: The people who have it aren’t clones but individuals. And they have various manifestations of this highly variable syndrome called ADHD — not to mention all the rest of personality.

      Please be sure to read the book before you even begin to look for a mental-health professional. Trust me on this. Self-education is mandatory. The mental health field is all over the map when it comes to legitimate conditions and modalities.

      it sounds like you have much going for you. ADHD treatment might make a big positive difference. But only if it’s done appropriately.

      Good luck to you!
      Gina

  7. I wonder if some women (especially those with ADHD) confuse their craving for dopamine with love in certain relationships. I’ve seen otherwise intelligent, rational women lose their heads and become completely obsessed with unavailable or unsuitable men after a great sexual encounter. Could women with ADHD and a natural shortage of these neurotransmitters be particularly susceptible to sexual obsession, like they are to spending money, eating and other typical stimulating behaviors? If so, an awareness of this tendency could help women avoid falling into this trap. Would stimulants help them return to a more rational, cool headed assessment instead of being blinded by good sex? Anyone aware of any research?

    1. Hi Cassidy,

      Oh yes, not only women but men with ADHD are vulnerable to “self-medicating” with attraction, sex, romance, etc. And not only women and men with ADHD but humans in general. 😉

      But I would say that women and men with poorly managed ADHD might be more vulnerable around being less able to “stop and think” about the quality and wisdom of being in the relationship.

      I can’t point to any research; romantic and sexual attraction, of course, is a very difficult thing to measure.

      But anecdotally….oh yes. 😉
      best,
      g

  8. While I didn’t see DH in any of the “bunnies” presented in this chapter, his ADHD has definitely found its way into our bedroom. The biggest way is the “domestic fallout” we’ve experienced. The quote by Elena on page 77 summed it up nicely for me: “You just lose the energy for it somehow. Then, once you go a long time without intimacy–meaning months and even years–and on top of that your partner causes so much chaos, it’s difficult to care for your partner in other ways, too.”

    I joke with DH that his doing the dishes is the best kind of foreplay, but it’s true. It’s that vicious cycle mentioned in this chapter–he acts like a jerk towards me (not helping at home), which makes me less inclined to be intimate, then he continues to act like a jerk because he’s not getting affection. Not to mention, if he helped out more, then I would have more time AND energy to give him. I tried to explain this to him just in terms of how men and women are different and need to be loved differently (not mentioning ADHD at all), he scoffed at the idea and blamed me for lacking warmth. (yep, there’s that blaming thing)

    The other issue we have that is definitely ADHD related is that he never comes to bed at a reasonable hour. He is on the computer or playing video games or watching tv, often falling asleep on the couch. Then when he finally makes his way up to bed and I’m asleep, it’s just too late.

    Here’s something I wonder if other ADHD couples experience: When we are on vacation, there is much more physical intimacy than when we are at home. I wonder if because when we’re on vacation, there are fewer responsibilities and his distractibility is less of an issue?

    1. Hi Deb,

      I bet you speak for many here.

      As for your last point/question, yes, I think some ADHD-challenged couples do experience a revitalization in their physical intimacy when on vacation — perhaps it’s the lack of all the distractions at home, or the novelty.

      best,
      g

    2. My wife does the blaming a lot, saying I’m not being compassionate, that I hate her and she will never been good enough for me. These comments are from simple questions or comments like “maybe you should get back to doing your breathing and meditation. It seemed to help you before.” My wife will sometimes never get out of bed and play her game on her phone. She will act child like a lot which makes the sexual desire go away. I don’t want to have sex with someone that is walking around like they’re 12 yrs old. I try to be positive about everything she does (glass half full not half empty). Having other people experiencing similar things makes me feel better but I am still trying to just get answers out of her that is leaving me feeling like I’m going nuts in my head sometimes.

    3. Jessica,

      I’ll tell you again. You need to learn about her ADHD symptoms. Otherwise, you will just keep asking questions and remaining confused.

      You cannot ask someone with ADHD whose symptoms are poorly managed to explain things to you. They don’t understand themselves!

      You’re not going to “get answers” — unless you read my book. Seriously. This is the “gold standard” book on Adult ADHD, endorsed by a long line of preeminent experts. I’m not another Internet self-promoter claiming ADHD expertise. I actually have it. 🙂

      Do it!

      g

  9. Hi Penny,

    You got the exact right product by Reviva – it is fine for inside or out.
    Full doctor approval.
    Let me know how it works for you
    because it’s been a miracle for us.

    Blessings,

    Joy

  10. My husband and I both have ADHD but I feel we are well matched in terms of sex drive – when we have sexual obstacles it usually has more to do with our schedules than with interest. More recently, my husband seems to feel that he is often “tired” and that that gets in the way…but again, that’s probably a scheduling issue. Maybe an age issue…but at least for us, probably not an ADHD issue. We’ve just always been compatible in that way. I think the only exceptions have been when one of us has expedited a bout of depression.

  11. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this is just one more big area where lack of mindfulness can spell disaster — especially for the ladies. If your mind is wandering, sex becomes tiresome and frustrating. You need to actually BE PRESENT, and that’s hard for so many ADHD folks.

    For us, it was much more problematic early in our relationship, before my husband’s ADHD diagnosis. And it wasn’t the sex itself, it was the melodrama that surrounded it, to the point where I avoided it as yet another social failure. Now that we’ve learned more about ourselves, we’ve learned it’s a two-way street and if there’s a problem, it’s not just one person’s fault.

    Honestly, though, I’d recommend mindfulness meditation to all those mind-wanderers out there. It helps in every aspect of life where having your mind miles away can cause problems.

    1. Hi Susan,

      Definitely, porn is a problem for many people with ADHD. So are videogames and any other activity that creates over-the-top dopamine release. Over time, it takes more and more “stimulation” to register in the brain.

      So, I don’t know if I’d say PIED is the “culprit” but rather poorly managed ADHD that leads to dysregulated behaviors. For some people, abstinence from porn and masturbation for weeks (or even months, if the habit is a long-held one) can help the body return to homeostatis. But if the person never had a “normal” homeostatis to begin with, that’s another matter. Maximizing ADHD treatment, and helping the person to develop new coping strategies, might be required.

      I hope that answers your question.
      g
      g

  12. Oh hell. This isn’t an ADHD problem with him, the problem is with the non-ADHD spouse (me). In the first months of our relationship we were pretty well matched….that is, until I had to go back to work.

    He’s on SSI, sleeps whenever he wants, gets up whenever he wants, does whatever he wants…you get the picture. I had to commute 2 hours a day – 5 days a week. I had a stressful boss at the time. I’d come home tired, stressed and low on energy. He *tried* to be understanding. I *tried* to be accommodating. It made for some pretty crappy sex.

    Then we both got older and sex started taking more of a back burner for him (it was already there for me). Went to the doctor this week and found out the pain (and blood) I was getting from having sex was the result of menopause. Oh whee. Now I’m going to try topical hormones, but who knows if they will work.

    I guess the biggest “complaint” I could have about his performance is that he always does the exact same things. Nothing very innovative unless I suggested it. At this point, I don’t even care. It’s gotten to be a nice weekly time to be together and if it doesn’t happen, I con’t care much either.

    That all sounds like we don’t have a very good relationship, but that is far from the truth. We love each other dearly and sex it just one part of our lives together. So I’m not complaining much, but I kind of miss my youth as far as sex was concerned, but whatever.

    1. Hi Penny,

      I can empathize with your situation after menopause
      With no way to have sex,
      So unbearably painful.
      I looked for and bought every lube on the planet and HRT inside and out. Nothing worked.
      BUT I found a Cure!!
      Hydralonic acid Gel in a syringe
      (3 mil ) intravaginslly
      Everyday for a week and 2 x week after that. Supplemented by refined coconut oil lube.
      Reviva makes a good HAGel
      It works it really does!

      It also eems to have a bit of an aphrodisiac effect on me, oddly.

      Good Sex really helps the ADHD relationship. Hope you get that back.

    2. Reply to Joy – I couldn’t find the product you mentioned above. I found: Reviva Labs – Intercell Night Gel with Hyaluronic Acid, but this seems to be for the outside skin. Do you have a link to it? Where to you buy it? I was looking on Amazon.

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