Motivational and inspirational writer, Bryan Hutchinson is the author of several books about life with ADHD including the highly acclaimed, best selling "One Boy′s Struggle: A Memoir" and the author of the hilarious eBook that went viral "10 Things I Hate about ADHD"

Is Sex important to someone with ADHD?

Not really. Physical sex that is, it is nearly irrelevant. You wouldn’t think so, because, well, we probably think of sex more than we think of anything else. However, we don’t think of physical sex that much, not in that way. Do you doubt me? Then read on.

Our inherent definition of sex is entirely different than what we think sex should be. I mean to say that what marketers, advertisers and movies, TV and magazines show us what sex should be, isn’t what we define sex to be.  And you know what – sex in of itself is uninspiring for someone with ADHD, and yet, for someone who doesn’t have ADHD, I have heard tell that that having sex, physically and emotionally, with someone who has ADHD can be the best sexual experience they have ever had, the first few times, that is. Have you heard this too?

I am not basing this article on any research or scientific facts. Take it or leave it, read it and think about it, that’s all. This all comes from the mind of Bryan; I am an ADDer, that’s my research. Even so, I’ve got you thinking, because, you know…

Sex is boring. We’d rather be doing something else while in the act of having sex, something more exciting, like, well, fantasizing about sex, putting together a good story about our sex life and while we do that we miss out on something important, the reality of sex. What’s the reality of sex… but first…

Now, just because sex seems boring to us while in the throes of passion, it doesn’t mean it’s boring for the other person. Why? Maybe it is because we are trying to reach a goal while having sex, and by trying to reach that goal we go all out for the other person, to please them, and many of us do get the other person where they want to go, but, did we get where we want to go? Usually not, and that’s why we see the actual act of sex as boring. We pull out all the stops for the other person, but, in our (usually wrong) estimation, that person doesn’t seem to take an interest in pleasing us.

What’s the problem? Why is sex unsatisfying? Are you sure you want to know? Remember, I am just telling you what I think here, no scientific facts, you can take it or leave it and it may not be the same for everyone… I am not going to present any neurons, biochemistry or brain scans. No pie charts.

Physical sex is unsatisfying because it can never seem to live up to our expectations! ADDer men may have porn collections that outpace their comic collections. And some ADDer women have more romance novels than they could ever finish reading. Why? They are not satisfying and the search will go on, until you find the one movie, book or magazine that is satisfying… some come close, but, never quite reach it. Does that even make sense? No, it probably doesn’t, unless you know the truth.  Sex, in of itself, will never scratch that seemingly ever enduring itch, oh, yes, you will scratch the itch of those you have sex with, indeed, quite well, at first and if that were all that would be important, well, then sex would never be boring.

Do you want to know the ultimate answer to solve this mystery? Our inherent definition of sex is something entirely different than we tend to realize. Some of us realize it, but not all. Sex is… love, compassion and ultimately caring for someone else. When we have love, the real kind of love, the kind that keeps you up until dawn just talking and getting to know the other person – that is what sex is and physical sex becomes an extension of that. Physical sex, alone, will never be satisfying until we care about the other person and stop worrying about whether they can give pleasure in a physical manner, because, the right person can, if you open up, let go and let them, by caring about them.

ADDers tend to have an expectation of sex that will never be met and can never be met, one reason is because we have lived through a life of not achieving our expectations and therefore give-up on having any real expectations that we want to turn into reality. We find it easier to relinquish wanting something because we don’t think we will get it anyway. However, when it comes to sex, too many continue to create and build on a fantasy no one person can ever hope to fulfill. Porn collections and romance novels will never fill the void, getting more of them is like a chocolate craving, the last bite is never enough because it isn’t quite as satisfying as one had hoped. And yet, the hunger for more chocolate continues.

Some are just looking for love in all the wrong places. Once you find it, sex is ultimately satisfying. There is no last bite of chocolate.


PS:  This post and the outstanding responses in the comments and emails were the precurser to my book Adult ADHD can be Sexy!

Larry Viggo May 9, 2009 at 10:58 am

Bryan,that is the first time in my life that an accurate description of how the typical ADHD person thinks about sexwas written. Awesome!!

Ken Kaye May 9, 2009 at 12:44 pm

I’m not sure it’s all that different for those who don’t have ADD. As a psychologist and a researcher, I’d need to rule out the possibility that you’ve attributed what you experience to your ADD, while actually making a perceptive observation that’s true of most other people as well.
Perhaps your post will elicit enough comments to lend weight one way or the other.

Jo in Carrollton May 9, 2009 at 2:47 pm

I think you summed up my whole life in therapy so far. Good job!

Frederick J Haiss May 9, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Amen to this article personally I prefer my wife never liked porn,it is more important gentle kisses through the day,loving opening doors for my wife,touching her,bumping to her in the kitchen thrills of sex and the unknown,we hyperfocus on the individual who we love dearly,hmm for me that is great,my expections are met by more curiousity than expections

Gina Pera May 9, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Very interesting reading to wake up to on a Saturday morning, Bryan! :-)

Here you offer an especially great bit of well-said wisdom for us all: “When we have love, the real kind of love, the kind that keeps you up until dawn just talking and getting to know the other person – that is what sex is and physical sex becomes an extension of that.”

The ADHD Partner Survey I conducted, among 164 partners of adults with ADHD, showed that about half had a great sex life (even after many years in the relationship) and about half had….nothing.

Oh, it usually started out well for that second half during courtship, though. But once the novelty-induced dopamine stopped flowing, the passion pooped out.

As you point out, it’s often not “having the thing” that gets a pwADHD’s juice flowing; it’s the anticipation. That’s the nature of the brain’s reward system: it activates in order to pursue the thing. Once the thing is had, the dopamine stops. And for people who already “low dopamine,” that can spell the end of interest in sex.

(In fact, I’ve heard from more than a few adults with ADHD and their partners that they stopped having sex on their wedding night — and wasn’t that confusing for the partners. It was that much more hurtful to find that their partner with ADHD was more interested in masturbating to porn online or having e-relationships — and, moreover, would never talk about it. It just was.)

It’s the same with shopping, gambling, and all the other reward-focused pursuits.

For many, though, medication does help them sustain an interest in physical/emotional/whatever you want to call it sex. It helps them to focus. It helps them to stop being distracted by every little noise in the room (or noise made by their partner). It also helps them to “dance” a little better, with give and take, instead of just focusing on themselves or their partners.

As for those who sustained a sex life, even after years together, sometimes that was a problem, too, as many pwADHD “self-medicate” with sex. When they feel happy, sad, angry, confused, etc., they want sex. It’s how they manage their feelings. Some ADHD Partner Survey respondents report their partners wanting (sometimes demanding) sex 2-3 times a day. For years. And one commented that she felt simply like the tree that the bear uses to scratch an itch.

Even within these two groups, there’s still a lot of variety. I suspect it’s the second group that the “non-ADHD” people say they had the best sex with. ;-)

So, as for the “typical ADHD person,” there just isn’t one. Sorry!! Even though all people with ADHD have dopamine issues in common, the way it manifests is too variable to draw any blanket conclusions.

Gina Pera, author
Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?

Clarissa May 9, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Hi, I think that the “boredom” during sex is more like distraction. Personally I am so distracted by every little detail of things (smelly armpits, spiders on the wall, scratchy blankets, etc.) and it is hard to just let go.

Also I agree that our minds are so imaginative that we have a better sex life in our heads sometimes, so the real things is more of a chore. Must be a way to translate that imagination into the bedroom though. :)

Marina November 21, 2011 at 1:16 am

Hey Clarisa
:mrgreen: :lol: :lol: :lol: Smelly Armpits, spiders on ceilings…oooh and scratchy blankets!! I have these thoughts go around in my head too :lol: during, before, after-well Im exhusted and have a sleep! :oops:
Here in Australia we have ceiling fans and so spiders and dust on the fan (which dangles above the bed) I tend to freak and change ‘positions’ I dont want a Daddy-long-legs spider falling on me during…ahem..coz then I certainly will be “DANCING” the crazy ninja dance i do when spiderwebs or anthing like that touches me, except naked. And it would be more like a jelly-wiggle :lol: :oops: wandered off topic again…um…what was I saying? :oops: sorry.

becky August 16, 2013 at 6:23 am

Haha that is me, too!! We have 2 little dogs that will be begging to get in the bed and is so distracting!! We’ll just put em in the bed to shut em up, & they’ll go to sleep, but then there we are doing it w/2 dogs in the bed…:/ And then my mind can’t stay on task anyway *sigh

Barbara Armstrong May 9, 2009 at 5:10 pm

I am ADD inattentive and, if I can use myself as an example, have never been particularly interested in sex particularly after the first few times. When the novelty wore off so did my interest.

Bryan May 9, 2009 at 5:40 pm

Thank you everyone for taking a moment to comment, sharing your experiences and opinions. Keep ‘em coming.

Gina, thanks for sharing the research information with us! Maybe you could provide a link or location where readers can find more information about the ADHD Partner Survey?

Gina Pera May 9, 2009 at 6:25 pm

Oh, I just remembered a phone call I received a few years ago. Actually, it was voice-mail message, and it went like this:

“Hi, I’m calling for Gina Pera, who wrote that article (whatever it was), and I wanted to ask her about this dopamine thing. Because I used to never be interested in having sex with women. It didn’t matter if it was the prettiest woman in the world, you could line them all up, and it wouldn’t do anything for me. Then I tried methamphetamine (!), and suddenly I had a sex drive. Then I read about this dopamine thing, and it all made sense to me!”

Not that I’d recommend methamphetamine as a way of boosting dopamine connections in the brain, because that’s more like taking an elephant gun to them. But, it was just one of those voice-mail messages you tend not to forget! :-)

Bryan, I’ve been slowly writing up the results of the ADHD Partner Survey at As I write on the blog, it’s not a scientific survey. But given the paucity of research in this area, it’s pretty darn interesting, IMHO. All research has its biases, and this one is that the respondents are those who sought a support group for help in understanding their pwADHD (who were mostly undiagnosed at the beginning of the relationship, which carries an impact all its own). Even so, many of these are in mostly happy relationships. So it’s a wide-ranging group.


Erich Brough December 2, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Thanks for some very informative stuff, Gina. And I notice people’s comments validate what Dr. Hallowell mentioned in one of his books with Dr. Ratey, that people with ADHD tend to either have a negligible sex drive (hardly any response), or a hyperactive one! I think what makes sexual relations such a particular challenge for those of us who have ADHD is our heightened fear of rejection/disapproval, connected to our distrust of others. I agree with Brian that when we actually get the message that we are completely welcomed and loved in the moment, we can be enormously invested in both the physical act of sex and the loving intention that is its deepest meaning.

Ben May 9, 2009 at 11:05 pm

I totally think sex is boring, but I’ve met other ADHD people who are way into it, so I can’t be sure that it’s an ADHD thing specifically.

Bryan May 10, 2009 at 10:27 am


I think everyone experiences things in their own way with or without ADHD. We can relate in a lot of areas, but, that doesn’t always mean everything is exactly the same-same. That’s why I enjoy hearing from everyone, to get your perspectives too.

Gina thanks! I sent a message out to the ADDer World Social Network members that you have posted your link here! I will also add it to the blog roll I keep up over there :)


Although we do have our faults, we shouldn’t take everything on our shoulders alone, either. Some are lucky enough to find partners who embrace our creative imaginations, even in the area of sex. Of course, think safety first :)

Barbara, oh dear, trust me, you are not alone. See my reply to Clarissa.

Fred, – very nice, indeed.


Melissa Raines May 10, 2009 at 9:34 pm

Bryan I found your artical about ADHD people & sex very very interesting . I’ll be honest , being an ADD woman myself , I am a very sentual, senstive , loving caring person . I am the type of ADD woman that it depends on how my day went , weather I respond sexually to my partner . Now my ADHD partner some times wants to make love right then & right there and I am the type of woman who needs time in order to be sexual aroused , there are alot of times when my partner is simply too hyper for me , my other big issue is the fact that my partner tends to tease me alot ( even when he’s just kidding) I do not view his joking the way he does . I often find myself turned off by his teasing and then my partner wonder’s why when he teases me for along period of time through out the day , that I am not exzactly in the mood the cuddle or be kissed. I hate the fact that I am this way , but I can not help it – do not get me wrong I enjoy making love with my partner but I often get aggrovated when my partner is souly focused on what pleases him and acts as tho my pleasure is not equal to his and should be paid attention to as much as his .

Bryan May 11, 2009 at 6:46 am

Hi Melissa,

Frankly, I don’t think any person enjoys being teased (not in the way you are describing). That’s just not sexy or an attractive trait. Actually, such teasing is a turn off for most, I would think. Don’t hate yourself for his conduct! That’s something we tend to do, those of us with ADHD, we blame ourselves and tell ourselves we bring on the joking and therefore deserve it and should ‘cowboy’ up. Sorry, in my opinion, it is thoughtless behavior and generally childish (no offense to children).

There is possibly another side to this, if slight, so called harmless teasing was part of the courtship between the two of you, he might not fully realize that the original effect has worn off and has become crude and unwanted. I assume you have told him?

From your description, his selfish behaviors sound rather unappealing too. Sounds like a serious discussion needs to be had. However, I would, if this is the first time, try to approach this in a non-defensive or aggressive way. Try perhaps a romantic setting. The romantic setting could demonstrate what does arouse you and use that as an example of how you would take pleasure in being considered and treated, as you are more than worthy of.

Just my thoughts, of course.


Belle May 11, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Thank you so much for writing this, but I think that the matter goes a lot deeper. I think you are not only describing sex but passion as well. The adder wants to have a passionate connection with their special one. We who have add often tend to struggle in life because the things we connect most with and gain actual enjoyment and memories from are those by which we can be passionate about and intensly passionate.
I find this true in my own life. I love and excel in areas where there is disctinct passion, ie drive. However all this said, thank you so very much for writing on this. I just lost my train of thought and the computer screen is making me sleepy even with my glasses on. This is an article more people need to read as well as the comments as it may change, challenge or reinforce their ways of thinking!! Good sex/ passion is like an amazing ‘oh shinny!!’ which cannot be forgotten about and is instead a continuous attraction and attention grabber!!

oceanmist714 May 12, 2009 at 1:02 am

Sex is very important to me, however it is extremely difficult for me to have orgasim, it seems I need complete consintration on thoughts of what turns me on. I’m not quite sure if this has anything to do with my add. Mabye its just me, I have had this problem my whole life, I am 44 years old. If anyone else shares this problem please share, Thanks much.

Nayssa August 29, 2012 at 3:47 am

Heya oceanmist714,


I am just like you in this area I am 35yr female and I still have major issues with orgasms. I also focus on the needs of my husband and forget about mine until he is done and sleeping…sigh wish someone would do some research on ADHD/ADD women and the affects it has on us sexually! OH OH even better have solutions!!

GOOD LUCK on your journey & please let me know what has/hasn’t worked for you!!

Dana May 13, 2009 at 5:32 am

Since we are on the topic of sex, I have a question for ADDers: Do you find yourself having vivid dreams in your sleep about having wonderful sex?
I do not mean fantasy. I truly mean that you are literally sleeping and you have a dream about being in a relationship with someone or having sex with someone? This may sound rather odd or crazy, but I have dreams of individuals that I have NEVER met in real who I am sexually involved with. There are times it is just purely physical and there are times in which I am deeply in love. I can not help wonder why I continually keep having these HOT dreams? Is this just my creative imagination working in overdrive to keep me continually stimulated around the clock? Or could there be another meaning behind these dreams?

Bryan May 13, 2009 at 11:11 am

WoW Dana, hopefully someone can answer those questions for you. Mums the word from me :-)

Before that questions is explored any (in case of graphic) further, please remember to keep any answers PG and if you want to discuss in more detail, we have an Adult ADHD section for 18 and older on our ADHD Social Network here:

Clarissa May 13, 2009 at 8:53 pm

Dana! Well, THAT is a good post. It’s very er, interesting and specific! I have had that same issue. My own answer is that my love-life just isn’t passionate enough. I am married, enjoy the sex with my DH, but it is relatively dull and has almost always been the case.

Before I met him I usually chose the wild, crazy, passionate (adhd?) guys, so I agree totally with Belle. I have wished many times that my sex life was more dramatic, and i am trying to figure out ways to work on that. My DH is a little shy about these things, so wish me luck. :)

Mel Taylor May 14, 2009 at 6:38 am

Interesting points to ponder here!

My roommate and I (he also has recently been diagnosed with ADHD) have discussed on multiple occasions how the idea of sex is much better than the reality of sex, and how sex is… well… boring. That led me to consider how there seems to be a disproportionately high ratio of ADDers in what is locally referred to as “the Lifestyle” by the leather and BDSM crowds. Is it because of our drive for high stimulation (pun! Oh noes!)? Is it just a strange coincidence? Is it because “vanilla” sex is just too boring, and we have a notoriously low tolerance for boredom?

Deb May 15, 2009 at 4:04 pm

Sex is just another thing for us to hyperfocus on. Why would anyone be surprised that we could have a problem with regulation of intensity here any more or less than anything else? This area in particular just has inherent dangers that make it different from overfocusing on something less taboo. It brings health concerns as well as social consequences if it crosses the line to addiction. For some, the trick is to find an appropriate outlet in a stable relationship instead of chasing a real life “American Psycho” existence. Bored? No….that is a choice that disrespects your partner.

Bryan May 15, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Hi Deb, just a little confused by something you mentioned… and maybe it is just that something is missing from your comment?

“Bored? No… that is a choice that disrespects your partner.”

If this statement is true, and taking into account boredom is a problem for many people with ADHD, a symptom actually, this would mean we are in control of what bores us and this symptom of ADHD is not actually a truth. Am I missing something in your comment?

However, if you mean we should respect our partners and put all of our effort and hearts into the relationship to find meaning and excitement in all aspects – I whole heartedly agree with you. Also, if it is a bad relationship elsewhere other than sex, then I expect it will affect the sexual experience too.


Shelley May 15, 2009 at 11:23 pm

I notice there has not been much discussion about sex and AD/HD medication. It is discussed at a good length in one of my favorite books, A.D.D. and Romance by Jonathan Scott Halverstadt.

Being a 26 year old female with ADHD diagnosed and medicated (Ritalin) at age 22, I can say medication has served to greatly increase my level of sexual satisfaction. A main reason is because it assists me in keeping my thoughts focused on the present moment. It also allows me the ability to prioritize sex in my daily life, even when other incredibly stimulating things such as a new job, new friendships, and/or exciting artistic opportunities arise. Thirdly, because I know change and newness are essential components in my life (because they ensure my brain receives enough dopamine to work effectively), I have discovered I respond well to what some people may consider “extreme creativity” in the bedroom. This allows me and my partner to continue experiencing change and novelty even in the course of a long-term monogamous relationsip.

Lastly, having a partner who is just as committed to creating an exciting and novel sex life is also essential for me. In the past, I have ended relationships when the sex was no longer novel (sometimes after only a few sexual encounters) or when my passion for my partner’s mind was not strong enough to compensate for a growing lack of passion for our bedroom activities. Being conscious of how my brain works in regards to sex and relationships has helped me make better partnering decisions and has fostered the kind of sexual and romantic relationship that works best for my unique ADHD brain.

I seriously cannot recommend the book A.D.D. and Romance highly enough. My own copy has been read at least four times, and has about an entire book of my own notes written in the margins. I refer to it often.

Bryan May 16, 2009 at 10:04 am

Thank you Shelley, you wrote that so very nicely! I can’t speak for the medication side of this; however, I agree with all else that you have written.

‘Being conscious of how my brain works’

This is very important for all of us with ADHD and indeed stands to reason this would also help us in this area of relationships too.

I will certainly check out the book you have mentioned and perhaps after reading it, I will also review it for others here on my blog. And if you like, you could respond with more details about the book itself.

Thanks for the continued input!


Deb May 16, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Sorry, Bryan, I hit the submit button by mistake and the last part got deleted:

“But if you have trouble staying in the moment, there are meds for that. Maybe you just need more practice!” (my attempt at a joke!)

What I meant was (thank you for asking), if we are talking about mature love, not in terms of personal gratification, that sex is a very important and multifaceted experience between two people that deserves a great deal of respect so that both partners have the best experience possible.

As a female, when I have heard guys say “sex is boring with her”, it usually means I’m just not that into her.

Obviously, in a long term relationship, sex is not a hit out of the ball park every time, but it should be the connection of two spirits that come together every time. You bring to it your whole being, everything you’ve ever seen or read, your imagination, your creativity, your sensuality, your undying love. An extension of everything you are and everything that relationship means to you. If you are not SUPPOSED to have wild fantasies while making love to your significant other – man, am I in trouble!

Frequency can be an issue here, sometimes its good to take a break, for health or emotional reasons. Its great to take an intentional break (that you both agree on). I half heartedly joked about needing more practice, and maybe more focused practice to stop the usual and make it special with a specific goal in mind that is talked about earlier in the day.

Just like all the other slices of life, good sex is not automatically there – for long – it takes conscious consideration (I refuse to call it work) to make it stay good.

But like you say, if someone is looking for love in all the wrong places, you can have an “American Psycho” kind of search for gratification that is fleeting at best-and for us it can take a dangerous turn.

Even if you are not a big believer in meds, they can make a difference for a lot of people, and if my mind were unable to concentrate enough to stay with it for how long it takes, you can be sure I’m hitting the Rx before bedtime. I think I would even ask for extended release – ’cause just in case there is a last bite of chocolate, I’m gonna get it!

Bryan May 16, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Hi Deb,

Gotta love your determination :)

Great comment with a lot of good insight.


PS: Joan says beautiful last sentence/paragraph!!!

Renee Adams May 26, 2009 at 3:41 am

While I agree about some portions -especially about the other person reaping so many benefits, I cannot say the boredom part has been my experience at all. But it is very disappointing when the other party does not respond with equal determination or zeal.

Bryan May 26, 2009 at 6:48 am

Oh Renee, that’s a very important point you bring up for many concerning sex and ADHD:

“But it is very disappointing when the other party does not respond with equal determination or zeal.”

Maybe I should write a post: “Stuck with a Yawner?” lol but, seriously, I am not kidding!


C.J. MacKechnie June 21, 2009 at 11:57 am

Have you made the comparison with those who are and have been medicated and those who are not?
I have not been medicated for well over 20 years and I can say that there is a big difference between sex and making love. I have the ability to hyper focus and my skin is and has always been hyper sensitive. The Sex act to me is preferred over anything else. I have been married for over 18 years to one woman and have had only one wife. With my wife sex has become more meaningful than early on. Hope this has not been to graphic.

jen June 21, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Umm…..TONS of people get bored with sex with the same person after the first few times….that’s why so many people cheat. I don’t think ADHD has much to do with it.

EQ July 3, 2009 at 3:15 am

HOLY *%^*IN SH** – You, whom I’ve never known, have just made me realize why I felt so odd ever since college. I knew I had ADHD. But I never made the connection with how I feel about sex. My ex-wife and I are still friends. But she always thought it was something wrong with her.
Thank you for this post.

Drew May 7, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Know how ya feel EQ! I wish that I had known all of this years ago. Maybe then the ex would not be the ex-wife. She made up her mind that I was a closeted gay man and chose to sever the emotional link between us. Counseling was a joke!!!! ADHD never came up in the conversations, so much for the Psych Svc Dept being free.

Thanks to you and Bryan for helping me better understand me.

Gina Pera August 2, 2009 at 11:16 pm

Great response, eh, Bryan? You articulated the experience of many readers, and in a most original way. Way to go!

Scott Hutson November 25, 2009 at 1:53 am

Byran,I just found this post today, from related artictles to your post about your upcoming book “Adult ADHD can be Sexy”. And of course, it caught my attn.(chuckle).I thought about it for few minutes, and this is one of the thoughts…..For me, It’s kinda like being in route, on a vacation I have been looking foreward to. The anticipation and excitement is one of the best parts! …..The thoughts racing through my mind, like skiing on perfect powder, launching my boat onto a lake full of trophy Bass, walking up stairs to our room at a secluded “Bed & Breakfast”, or whatever.I always know that We will enjoy ourselves when We get there! We will feel satified and looking foreward to our next “Trip”, when We return home exhausted…but glad We went!Scott.

Dana November 25, 2009 at 6:03 am

Bryan, I just had another ADDer moment…….I found this post, noticed that it was from May 2009 and I did not recall ever reading it.  Funny thing is that I came upon MY very own comment to this post and I totally forgot that I wrote a comment or even read this before!We can add this to your collection of answers on your other post titled, “YOU KNOW YOU HAVE ADHD WHEN……..”  After reviewing the response of each individual, it sounds to me as if there are some ADDer’s who find sex boring, but there is another set of ADDer’s that do not find sex boring.  Very interesting!My theory to this conclusion is that sex is only sex and NOTHING more when there is NO love, passion, connection, respect or deep emotions for the partner whom the individual is having sex with. This explains the reason for lack of excitement, intimacy, passion and AWESOME sex.  No wonder they are bored……On the other hand, the individuals diagnosed with ADD/ADHD who definitely have had the positive experience of enjoying AWESOME sex with dramatic results, never a dull moment, but extremely satisfying, passionate and mutually exciting for the other partner then HIGH FIVES TO ALL OF YOU!In my experience, what makes the difference between “boring sex” and “”mind-blowing sex”(Like the 4th of July fireworks!) is the INDIVIDUAL who you are with as well as your RELATIONSHIP.  There is no doubt in my mind that sex with someone I love deeply is far better than any experience on this earth and it does make an ABSOLUTE difference in how emotionally and physically satisfying the experience is.

Shauna December 7, 2009 at 6:22 pm

I am the spouse of an ADDer. We are currently separated and one of the main issues was sex. He didn’t want to touch me sexually. He was snuggly, and for the most part sweet but had little interest in sex. I would feel degraded when I was constantly turned down. My self-esteem suffered. He had gone off his meds because we changed our lifestyle – better eating, exercise, meditation just before we married but he soon gave it up after the honeymoon. I begged him to tell me why he didn’t desire me. He went to see a counsellor, one he’d been seeing for years before he met me, and he just came home and said we needed to split. I still have no idea why. Before he met me, he bedded many women in a one-night stand capacity. Sometimes we would encounter them socially and I would ask if he slept with them. He would lie and say no. My trust disintegrated. Why would he lie to me about his past? What would stop him from lying to me now? I still don’t know for a fact if he was unfaithful and I know most of you will say he was. The truth is we love each other very much but he just won’t talk and I am so hurt and confused, I don’t know what to do. I suggested couples counselling, seeing his counsellor together right at the beginning but he refused. He also took a brand new job, travelling, and is now finding out he doesn’t like it. He thought it would make him happy but it hasn’t. Can any of you offer some advice, no matter how much it may be difficult to hear? I really need to move on but keep beating myself up!

andrew January 17, 2010 at 4:11 am

I have ADHD but have never been interest in sex. I’m adult now, and would say I am asexual. Is this common with ADHD?

Tom February 21, 2010 at 10:09 am

Did you realy find it ? Or is this just an expression and a thought ? Please let me hope again

Bryan Hutchinson February 21, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Indeed I did, Tom… I think you will want to read my soon to be published new book :)

Jim April 30, 2010 at 11:21 pm

I have been married to adhd woman for 10 years. I have been very patient with her, and am still waiting for any type of intimacy. Intimacy is very uncomfortable for her, and honestly sex is just a chore she needs to put behind her. I feel the roles are reversed gender wise. I am the one who wants it to last longer and wants more foreplay, and she just wants to get it over with most of the time. It is sad it has turned into this and nothing seems to ever change.

Bryan Hutchinson May 1, 2010 at 10:04 am

You’re a good man Jim. Hopefully, my new, soon to be released book will be something helpful for your wife to read. It will be a few weeks, so please stay tuned. I will announce the release here and on our ADDer World network>

Nayssa August 29, 2012 at 4:10 am

Awww Jim thats so sad! I am a 35yr old female with ADHD and for me it got to be a chore and lost all intimacy when all my husband would do is take and never return the favor. He also wasn’t interested in adding any extra excitement or listen to my desires (he called me a pervert) That’s when I shut down and I started to take action into my own hands after I fulfill his need & he goes to sleep! (hehe no pun intended) Now he tells me I have a porn & masturbation problem umm…. No but to appease him I have stop all self activities but he still hasn’t upped his game! GEERRR what to do? I hope she comes around for you maybe a good sex therapist to find out whats going on in her mind to make her disconnect or could be a hormone issue? That is what I am going to do because If I can take care of my needs an he isn’t willing what other choices do we have?

Sim July 4, 2010 at 4:42 am

thank you for this post, it was a eye opener for me.
I always thought there was something wrong with me!

Andrew July 11, 2010 at 5:24 am

I’m not sure that I agree that your experiences can be generalised Bryan. My personal experience is that I have always been strongly oriented towards sex, it was often the only thing that kept me grounded. Certainly at my worst there were times when it was a token for love. As I leave my ADHD behind me though I find more and more that the innate sensitivity that overloaded me to the point of causing Too Much Information Syndrome
( my personal name for ADHD)- is a plus. In my worst times with ADHD I felt almost physically numb. In my recovery I find myself much more aware of physical sensation, and much more aware of the capacity that gives me to connect- at any level between holding hands and having sex. At 20 years married- my experience is that it just gets better.

I’m sure though, that the fact that we got through the hard years of the ADHD with our relationship intact adds a great deal to the experience. I must say that I certainly cannot thank the psychiatrist who missed the diagnosis in me for so many years.

Bryan Hutchinson July 11, 2010 at 7:25 am

Hi Andrew, I so completely agree with you, but one thing about a blog and as I have it in the welcome statement, these are my thoughts and opinions – it’s really hard to always write ‘only me’ ‘only me’ However, that’s what blogs are for and having a comment section allows others to relate their experiences, which is so very valuable, like yours too :)

Amanda May 11, 2013 at 12:59 am

Andrew –

Although you posted almost three years ago, it’s my hope that you might still peruse these posts. You say two things I haven’t heard yet. “As I leave my ADHD behind me…” and “In my recovery…”

What does recovery consist of? And now, three years later, do you still feel like you’ve left ADHD behind? Are you still symptom free?

I’d be happy to hear from anyone else on this, too.

Now about me. I’m new to this world. I’ve just entered into a relationship with a man who has ADHD within the last few months. He’s 47, I’m 42. When we first started talking, he told me he’s a serial dater. Considering that I consider myself to also be a serial dater, this not only didn’t concern me, I was happy to hear it. I think too many people are worried about being lonely or feel like they just must have SOMEONE in their life, and therefore they settle into a relationship that doesn’t really suit them. I am quite happy on my own and will not settle. If I can’t have a mate that truly suits me, I’d prefer to be alone. So a “serial dater” was actually a plus, in my book.

But I’ve started to wonder and worry. Will I be enough to hold his attention? And will the sex get better? (Among numerous other questions I have.) Since this post is about sex, and that’s precisely what I was looking for when I found it, I’ll try to stick to that topic.

For me, sex is a very important part of the relationship. I’ve always believed that if there is trouble in the bedroom, it’s a symptom of larger trouble in the relationship. Also for me, really satisfying sex is when my partner is quite obviously enjoying it like crazy. Although my main goal is to being him to fruition, so to speak, I want the journey to be incredible for him also.

Between he and I, we’re making this really difficult. Because I can tell that he is firmly focused on bringing ME to orgasm, rather than letting go and enjoying the moment. The minimal conversation we’ve had about this leads me to believe that he has always had this “block”.

So now it’s already one of those rock-and-hard-place things. *I* can’t achieve orgasm because he doesn’t seem to really be enjoying the sex. (He says otherwise, but I just can’t see it.) *He* isn’t really enjoying it because he’s too focused on “getting me there.”

It’s my hope that we can come up with things to try and maybe find one or two that work. Although I haven’t know him that long, we have had such intensely deep conversations and shared so much of ourselves with each other that I have already come to be very much in love with this man.

We’ve both tried to lay out all our warts from the beginning. At first, I didn’t have ANY understanding of what his ADHD was going to mean to the relationship. Like I said above, now that I’m reading and learning, I am starting to worry. But I just sent him a long email asking if he’d be willing to read some of the stuff I’m in the midst of reading, and discuss it with me. As wonderful as he is, I’m pretty confident that he’ll agree to it. (Hi, honey!) If we can keep the communication open and supportive, I think we stand a good chance at making this work. I really hope so, because this man is inCREDible!

Babble, babble, babble. Sorry. But also thank you. I feel better now.

Jan September 4, 2010 at 6:26 am

Wow, this is so comforting. So glad to find out that there are many others out there like me. I have always felt like such a fraud when it came to sex as I always had to fake it so I wouldn’t hurt the partner’s ego. And, because being a wife, well, sex came with the territory.

I truly could care less if I ever have sex again in my lifetime. I am divorced for the 2nd time (I am 61) and so love living by myself. I don’t have to think about the needs of another as it is difficult enough just dealing with myself. It has only been a little over a year since I have finally received treatment for my ADD (inattentive type – typical of females & one of the reasons why we don’t get recognized as often).

Even though I have been seeing Dr.s and therapists since 1983 it was only because I read “Delivered from Distraction” & then “Understanding Women with AD/HD” in late 2008 & early 2009 that it was finally realized (by me) that I have been battling ADD my whole life. So much for the “professionals.” March, 2009 I found a terrific female ADD counselor who specializes in Women with ADD. Wow! It’s like the curtain of my life just opened & I can see it all so clearly. The majority of the difficulties I have had throughout my life have been because of the effects of undiagnosed therefore untreated ADD. I can truly say that now knowing the answers to the “whys” I am at peace with myself. I’m not beating myself up anymore as I know I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got. Isn’t that all we can expect from anyone?

As Dr Hallowell states in his books – I’m not lazy, crazy or stupid – I’m just different. Well, I like being different.

April September 14, 2010 at 9:43 am

Well, in my experience, my ADD spouse is not focused on pleasing me at all during sex. I’m the one doing most of it while he lays there. So, no, I wouldn’t say it’s the best sexual experience ever.

I love my husband, but I find myself getting angrier and angrier because the few times we do become intimate, I get nothing from it. And, since getting married a month ago, it’s getting rarer and rarer. I feel totally unappealing and am pulling further and further away from him.

Instead he’s hyperfocusing on tents and backpacking and I just want to grab the laptop and toss it out the window.

Karry September 30, 2010 at 11:44 pm

I took several tests, and my Psychologist said that he is pretty sure I have ADHD, i won’t know until the results arrive. I have anxiety, my mind doesn’t stop going(even when I sleep, or try to sleep) and I absolutely have no desire for sex whatsoever. I hate intimate touching. It’s irritating and annoying. I’d rather be doing anything else in the world, I love my boyfriend also but I can get very frustrated about this. not only sex but a lot of other things match up to ADHD with me. :( I’m feeling very confused and kind of depressed because my boyfriend isn’t helping much. My parents are downright against me having ADHD, I feel isolated, so I’ve been reading as much as I can. I feel a lot better when I do read, though I’m still contemplating on whether I should take meds and go through therapy to fix my problem, because I am in the process of becoming a animator and I am afraid I will lose all creativity.

Erich December 3, 2010 at 6:08 pm

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that ADD can cause such extreme disruption in intimacy- it has that effect everywhere else! Karry, I’m no doctor, but I would urge you strongly to consider medication- it can change your life for the better, but you won’t know that until you take the chance. The stimulant meds *won’t* take away your creativity (at appropriate dosages)- they can *enhance* it by taking away the relentless stress of hyperthinking and under-remembering. Excess stress is a total creativity killer- I’ve proved that in my own life. If I had to guess from what you say, your ADD experience might be making you feel alienated and uncomfortable in your own skin, which would have a profound effect on response to all kinds of touch, sexual and nonsexual (ditto the kind of touches you grew up with). I hope you have, or can seek out, a really understanding and capable therapist that you can trust- it has made a huge difference to me in my ADD recovery- can’t stress enough how much it has helped me, and I would wish the same for you. All the very best to you and to everyone who feels so lost in the boggle of ADD, especially in this holiday season.

kylie December 21, 2010 at 8:25 pm

i am 23 year old girl with add, most likely combination of inattentive with some hyperactive tendencies. i would call myself a “chatty kathy” type of adder, as kathleen nadeau would say, in that i have a higher activity level than daydreamer/inattentive types but am hypertalkative rather than hyperactive. when i was an adolescent i definitely started acting out with high risk behavior especially being promiscuous. obviously, at age 23, nothing has changed. i have continued to have dramatic, short lived flings with many guys. i am always talking to several guys at once and most poeple would describe me as a “slut”. i was always pegged with that name growing up. anyways, this article peaked my interest because i have been trying to do some research on connections between add, women, and sex. not much there. i’ve always known that i have a problem and having been diagnosed with add recently. so i’m trying to see if there is any connection. this article was interesting to me because it made me realize i really don’t think i like the act of sex itself. it IS boring. i never want to finish and after ten minutes i’m over it! youd’ think some one who has had as many partners as i have would obviously love sex. i do enjoy it, but i would much rather come up with elaborate seduction schemes in my head than act on the ideas themselves. to me, sleeping with a guy is much more about the excitement and anticipation before the sex. i know if i do end up sleeping with him, then all of the fun has worn off. i’ve “conquered” him. also interesting is that i really only act on my impulses when i’ve been drinking. put some alcohol in me and i am TEN TIMES myself. much more hyperactive and impulsive and risk taking. condoms? no. but if any of these guys wanted to see me sober i would never do it. i’m too lazy and i know it will be boring. the interest is gone. anyways, i would really like to change this about myself. i don’t like it. i hate that i can’t connect with people.

Sherry February 6, 2011 at 6:00 am

Couldn’t be farther from the truth for me, a woman with adult Adhd. I LOVE sex; there is nothing else I’d rather do. I’m very sensual and always in the mood, plus I think the Adhd makes me very adventurous in bed. Sex is VERY stimulating.


Anita June 9, 2011 at 9:41 am

Hi Bryan,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, and being so honest. I am sitting here with broken heart, a couple of weeks after a break-up with my ex boyfriend with ADHD. Your blog helps me understand him so much better, and the way he might have viewed upon sex. Your views are your views, while his views are his, still there might be some patterns that you ADD – ADHD guys when it comes to sex.

Your article was an eye-opener for a woman who has no ADD, nor ADHD, and has had no previous experience with an ADHD guy before.

Your article helps me heal my heart a bit faster. Thank you!
Regards, Anita

Steve Krug July 16, 2011 at 6:25 pm

My feelings exactly. I current thinking about sex is similar to a gain/loss analysis. I think, “Is the satisfaction that I get from the time and effort put into sex worth the effort?” For years, the answer has been “no”. And I’m OK with that, but my non-ADDer partner is not. We’re in a holding pattern regarding this right now.

Before a few years ago, I was a sex addict, taking chances and trying to act out some fantasies. It ended on a night when I doped out on marijuana and barely made it home on my bicycle. After that, I have chosen less risky options for my sexual fantasies.

Rj July 17, 2011 at 3:25 pm

I too have ADHD. I do everything possible to avoid sex.
I have now gone through years of confusion over my sexuality due to not wanting sex with either sex, and am thinking perhaps I am A sexual. Seems from the above posts I am not alone. I feel a sense of relief that I seem to be similar to those who have the same medical issue, however am emotional to think that I may be alone because of my “no sex requirements”. Every relationship I have had since I first had sex has crumbled, it feels like a chore, I seriously can think of nothing worse than to be pressured to put out :( Here’s to hoping I will meet another like myself.

Lisa September 3, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Huh! I’ve been married for over 20 years, but only got my diagnose a few years ago. I don’t like having sex, it is totally boring. But I never connected this with my add until now. I always try to avoid doing things I don’t like, hence no sex in our marriage, I just can’t force myself to it any longer. My partner has given up, but we do love each other still and so far stay together… I just wonder what he’ll say when I tell him my add is the reason?

Bart October 6, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Hi, I just found this blog.

I am a 54 yo male with ADHD. Sex has always been an issue with me. Regular sex is completely boring for me and I try to avoid it. As with many people with our type of brain we can however hyper focus on things that attract us or find interesting. I have developed a ‘desire’ from my early years on and when that desire is indulged I become a very passionate, focussed and giving lover.
Unfortunately after a couple of years my partners start to object to giving in to my, innocent, desire and start to complain that I love the desire more than her (in a sexual sense) and sexual activity comes to a halt. So I indulge in my fantasies that as with many of you are often way more interesting and fulfilling than the real thing.

Reading this blog made things a lot more transparent. Thanx. Bart.

Marina November 21, 2011 at 12:59 am

Hi there Bryan

Thank you so much for this excerp. I am 34 and suffer with ADHD and was diagnosed at 21.

This information about getting that “itch” was perfect as I have always thought of it like that too. All my adult life (sexually speaking) I have gone out of my way to please please please…I have been with my partner for 2 yrs and he has been the ‘only one’ who has “opened me up”…as for porn (which I enjoy watching only with my partner) :lol: well I only end up watching a few minutes before we go for a ‘jolly-good-rodgering’ (sorry, tact not a strong point). But I have just read this info to him (while he was in the middle of work of course! I was just too excited to wait!) and although he was a bit concerned that I thought our love-making was “boring”, I was able to explain to him in a clear(ish) manner that no, for once in my life it wasnt!
And that because we have that ‘real love and caring love’ it is always truely special and WOWFACTOR!!!
So thank you so much your words were truely helpful to me. Not so much interested in the romance novels (but like writing novels with that little bit of romance or build-up in them-published 0…unfinished 5 at the same time).

Thank you so very much! I really thought there was something wrong with me…I thought I was a ‘nympho’ before, but with my partner its more than words can explain it. If you find that special person who can understand and be patient and connect all at the same time, hang on to them because I finally found my Mr-Right-For-Me!! :oops:

Ps. He proposed to me last night! We are getting married! (It will be my second marriage, :oops: but his first).

Marina November 21, 2011 at 1:40 am

I forgot to say I said yes…! Our love-making IS MIND-BLOWING! And he cant believe his luck, so he says :oops: 3-4x a day is wonderful. We connect physically, emotionally and mentally which had never happened to me before.

If I didnt have a BF back in the day, then I couldnt be bothered wasting my precious energy in anything sexual. Would much rather read a good adventure/who dunnit book…or put my brain to good use by trying to think out more plots for my pre-teen adventure(with a tiny bit of romance) novels. :mrgreen:

taylor December 5, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Oh LOL!!! And I thought the reason that I wanted sex so much is that we waited until we got married! :) Seriously, I could have sex every day and be the happiest 32 year old wife in the world. :) I’ve only known about my ADHD for the last 2 years though.

Stephy Sunshine December 14, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Bryan! Your fantastic! Ive been trying to find SOMETHING out there that made sence to me. Im ADHD im a…ahem virgin… but I dont really have a sex drive to real, I have more romance novels then I can read, (I just skip to the..ahem ‘good’ parts.) I had a crush on some one once and my fav part about the hole thing was the TENSION! I have such a vivid imagination that I changed what was real into more and well I liked it that way :) Its hard to explain, but youve done it so well :) Thankyou so much Ive always been ashamed of who I was and how im… well different, like how im inattentive, unsocial(like people have asked me out but its so boring and uninteresting I say no, and people are likewhats wrong with you?!?!! Dont like sex? And it’d be like no…. I like sex. Just not real sex:) strange really… But again thankyou :) im going to buy some ADHD books today in an attempt to learn more aboput myself…
Im looking at getting
:arrow: More Attention, Less Deficit: Success Strategies – By Ari Tuckman

Sophie kay November 10, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Hi Bryan,

Great topic!

When I was in my twenties I loved sex! The more I had sex the more I wanted. My sexual drive was driven by my partners appearance, I realize that is shallow but that’s what excited me. Now that I’m older I want more than just sex, I want the best of both worlds; someone who is attractive and someone who I connect on a deep emotional level. Unfortunately, I haven’t met someone with both of those qualities yet.

Angell January 6, 2013 at 5:16 pm

I came to this article and a few others because, for myself I’ve noticed sex was better before the medication. Which is an easy enough fix. But I also noticed in this article and the Gina Pera article is a missing factor.
Ones own relationship with sexuality and themselves. There are many different ways of being and expressing one’s self sexually. Culture and upbringing also play into this. All the different examples of what can happen in the mind of a person with ADHD has been expressed. I can very much relate to fear of disappointment.
However, I first became comfortable with my sexual style (if you will), before I ever knew I had such severe ADHD. Knowing how I preferred my sexual encounters to go, I built my relationships around that (in addition to all the non-sexuality factors) with upfront and open communication. Rather than getting into a relationship with someone then finding out we are not sexually compatable. For me a relationship with out sex is a friendship nice but different.
So I do find the humor in the fact since I’ve recently discovered how awesome medication has made the rest of my life when it comes to sex, I’m lost.
If I view this not as a delima but as something new to Lean about myself. I have choices, i can explore my sexuality with MeDs. Which may make it is possible to add a new dynamic to how I express myself or I might find I prefer my encounters better the way they where, an plan to be unmedicated. Maybe the key here for everyone is to not get caught up in how things “should” be and accept ourselves for who we are then work from there.
Just my random medicated thought for the day

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