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Different Sex Drive Than Your Partner? Here’s How to Manage it by Lyn Geist (Psych2Go)

Posted on August 16 2018

You mustn’t force sex to do the work of love or love to do the work of sex.—Mary Mcarthy

Sex is a topic people get all funny talking about. For many it is awkward and uncomfortable, for some it is embarrassing, and for others, it is soul-baring and they are left feeling exposed.

Regardless of how it makes you feel to talk about it, there is one thing we all have in common regarding sex, we all do it. Of course, just like every rule, there are exceptions and we’ll save those for another time. Right now, let’s discuss the human sex drive.

A Little Sex. A Lot of Sex. What is Normal?

First, it is important to understand that having a healthy sex life is a basic human need. Not everyone has the same level of desire for sex, and that is perfectly normal. Some people do not have a sex drive at all. They are hypersexual.

Your sex drive may be low and interest in sex isn’t high on your list of priorities whereas mine may rank right up there with breathing. Neither of these is a problem by themselves. The problem comes into play when you and your partner have very different levels of desires.

Stereotypes suggest that men have high sex drives and are ready to jump into bed, or into the backseat, or onto the office desk, or wherever else they may be when desire takes over. These same stereotypes also say that women are rarely in the mood, or always have headaches, or just have sex to make their partner happy. These would be false

I have talked with women who complain their partner just doesn’t seem interested. They would like to have sex every day, but they are lucky if their partner is agreeable once a month. This puts the relationship in a very delicate position. The person with the higher sex drive is often left feeling undesirable, neglected, and unloved.

Neither of you needs to feel guilty for the level of your sexual desire. You do need to communicate your desire, your needs, and your wants on both ends of the spectrum and find a solution agreeable to you both.

Increase Their Desire or Lower Yours?

If you are the person with a lower sex drive, there may be some things you can do to increase your interest in sex. Think about what it takes to really get you in the mood and share that information with your partner.

Maybe you prefer a nighttime rendezvous in a candlelit room but before 11 pm because you are usually exhausted by then. Perhaps the prerequisite is that the kids be asleep for the night, or after you have had a minute to relax with a glass of wine. It could be as simple as your partner taking a moment to look into your eyes, touch your face, and pull you close, making you feel wanted.

Whatever it is that puts you in the mood for sex, you need to communicate that to your partner so he or she will know how to set the stage and increase the likelihood of a positive encounter.

If you are the partner with the higher sex drive, make the extra effort to create

the kind of atmosphere your partner describes as arousing. It may not be as easy as going to bed and sliding over to their side for a little meet and greet. It’s great for the higher sex drive partner, but the lower sex drive partner likely doesn’t have a lot of fun and winds up feeling used. That situation is not conducive to a good time and resentment will begin to build, which is exactly the opposite effect you are looking for.

Alter Your Focus

When we focus on one thing obsessively, it becomes our state of mind. Everything begins to revolve around that one thing, in this case, sex. Sex, sex, sex. When, where, how, and will it happen again, and what do I have to do to get more of it. Stop the cycle. Stop talking about it, stop focusing on it and think about yourself. Think about your whole self. What things make you happy, fulfil you, make you feel good? You are more than a sexual being.

Take up jogging or another exercise. The endorphins that are released during exercise boost the mood. Have you heard of the “runner’s high”? It is a feeling of exhilaration produced by the release of endorphins during intense exercise. It is also a great stress reliever.

When you focus more on yourself, it takes the focus and pressure off your partner and this may be just enough for their libido to perk up.

Focus on being near each other without thinking sex is imminent. Hold hands and create moments that keep you close to each other.

Relax…It’s Not About You

She wants to have sex and you don’t or he does, and you aren’t in the mood. It is normal and very common for couples to have different sex drives. It is also common for the person with the higher sex drive to feel rejected, unattractive, and unloved.

It is hurtful to be rejected repeatedly and not take it personally, but it isn’t about you. More than likely your partner’s lack of interest is not something they choose. If given the option to increase their sex drive to match yours, they would take it.

It is not easy to always be the buzzkill at the party. Especially when you don’t mean to be that way. Expectations get in the way of reality at times. One of you aren’t wrong and the other right, you just have an incompatibility on a sensitive issue.

The best way to handle this sensitive topic is through communication. Express your wants, needs, and desires to your partner. Be sensitive to each other’s feelings. Understand each other’s point of view and make a plan that works for you both.

Are you able to communicate with your partner about sex?