I wish I could be more interested in sex with my partner of 20 years

He is petrified of having his advances rejected, and I would like counselling to dispel negative thoughts related to sex. Annalisa Barbieri advises a reader

My partner and I have been together for 20 years; we have a child together. I met him in my late 20s, and our relationship has been the most loving of my life – he’s the only person to have accepted and loved me for who I am. But shortly into our relationship and over the years, I became increasingly uninterested in sex, although when we have it I thoroughly enjoy it. 

At first, I thought it was that I didn’t fancy him. Then I wondered if I couldn’t allow myself to be treated well – he had broken the negative pattern of relationships with men, where I wanted them more than they wanted me, and the more I was rejected, the more I wanted them. Perhaps I prefer sex with women, with whom I have had relationships in the past? Other thoughts include not liking my body, and interpreting letting go as losing control (I have always been more dominant in bed). I also cannot help but feel fatalistic about how my lack of interest in sex appears to be shadowing my mother’s experience, which I battle to reject but can’t shake off. 

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Alex Vidal