Dear Ms. Wai – Does Sex Deplete His Qi?

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Dear Ms Wai,

This is kind of awkward to talk about and I just want to know if anyone else has experienced this? And any suggestions as to how I might begin to resolve this if it can even be resolved?

My Chinese husband believes that every time he ejaculates he loses Qi. So he doesn’t want to have sex too often. He believes everyone is born with a certain amount of Qi that can be lost and this kind of Qi can’t be replenished.

I don’t want to disparage his beliefs but it means we don’t make love as often as I would like.
We have been together for about 6 years and in the beginning (Like the beginning of most relationships) our sex life was amazing. It has absolutely dwindled since the second year. At the moment that’s totally fine because we have a 6 month old baby and I’m not at all interested in sex right now due to exhaustion but one day I will be.

There is more to our relationship than just sex and I do feel loved and cared for but I also miss this kind of intimacy. I know sex sometimes fizzles out in long term relationships but I don’t want it to be like this.
I don’t think it is because he isn’t attracted anymore and I don’t think it’s because he is too tired etc. It also isn’t because of the baby because this was an issue before we even thought about having a child.

In this case it seems to be due to this specific cultural belief which is why I am writing to you Ms Wai.
He just absolutely believes that he will be shortening his life span and decreasing his energy.
I’ve tried to talk about this with him but it’s a delicate topic and I don’t want to cause a fight over it. He makes me feel guilty and greedy that I would expect him to expend so much of his energy. Also I always feel amazing after we have sex so maybe I really am stealing his Qi?

I also have a small insecurity that worries me. I sometimes wonder if the Qi loss is just a handy excuse and maybe he isn’t attracted to me anymore? Does anybody else’s Chinese partner have this belief?

Could you please ask the other ladies who write on this site as well if that’s ok? I don’t know anyone else with a Chinese husband or boyfriend well enough to ask them about this.

Also just to clarify I’m not even expecting like crazy sex every day. Even just weekly or even fortnightly would be amazing! He is just so rarely up for it. I don’t even try to initiate sex anymore because the rejection is really hard. I know everyone has different libidos. I love him as is. I guess I just want to know if this qi loss thing is something other Chinese guys believe.

I’m guessing this is not the kind of question that fits wwambam but if you could let me know if you think this is a real or common belief I’d be so grateful.

Thank you, With appreciation from a Qi Thief.

Is he really worried about his Qi or is there something else going on?

Hey Qi thief, no apologize needed. Here on WWAMBAM we talk about everything in a multicultural relationship, sex included!

There is some cultural beliefs that a mans Qi is depleted when he ejaculates, but it is more of a “traditional medicine” style thought than a belief by the majority of the men in China. If your husband was feeling unwell and run down for weeks, then saying he couldn’t ejaculate might be a suggestion from a traditional doctor. But a healthy young man usually doesn’t worry about it.

If it really is a Qi belief, you can just show him the millions of studies about how good it is for the male body to ejaculate (lower risk of prostate cancer, longevity, higher sperm quality, less stress etc.) and how modern science proves that for a healthy man more ejaculations are a good thing.

You say you have a small insecurity about it showing his lack of desire for you, but I think you weren’t totally honest. I think you have a BIG insecurity about this. And why wouldn’t you? Sex is a big part of a relationship and it is only natural that his lack of desire has you thinking it means more than just bedroom stuff. It’s totally natural to be worried about that.

While it is less rare for a man to lose their sex drive (compared to a woman) it still happens. There can be both physical and psychological reasons for that. For the physical reasons you’d need to get him to go to the doctor and get his testosterone checked (which maybe he won’t be willing to do). But for psychological ones perhaps you can work on it together.

It seems the most common reason to kill a man’s sex drive is stress. Both in and out of the relationship. Is his job stressful? Does he have family drama he is trying to help? Those are common factors for outside of the relationship.

But perhaps it is more personal? You say you’ve been together about 6 years now, and you have your first child, which means you are past the youthful days of dreaming of big things. Perhaps you aren’t living the life he had hoped you would be (big house, fancy cars, high ranking job etc) and he thinks he is failing you somehow. Maybe he feels like if you married someone from your own country you would be rich/successful/whatever by now. Maybe you are having discussions about your future, about which country to live in and where to educate your child. Maybe some of these things are giving him pressure and the added pressure of pleasing you in the bedroom just turns him totally off.

Ultimately you’ll need to talk to him about it, but carefully. Adding more pressure and expectation to a sensitive topic like sex can only make it less desirable. He already knows the lack of sexual satisfaction and probably (hopefully) feels a bit guilty about it. You can’t bully him into wanting more. So when you bring it up, be sensitive but determined.

And one more thing, you do need to look at your relationship, really closely and critically. Sometimes a man’s lack of sexual desire does signal his lack of desire for the relationship. Do you really have a good relationship and this is the only problem, or is there something else that could be going on? Only you can answer those questions and again this would require an open talk between you two.

You asked for help from the readers and I’ll do the same thing! What about you other ladies? Has anyone come across someone so stubborn to hold onto his Qi at the sake of alienating his wife? What have you done to get an ambivalent man interested in sex again? Let’s hear it in the comments.

Do you have a question about your multicultural relationship? As Ms. Wai at

Ms Wai

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