Whether you have just entered a new relationship or been in a long marriage, you will likely come across this issue. In fact it’s the most common problem couples face. Mismatched libidos can be a relationship deal-breaker.
In a perfect world every couple would have the same or similar level of libido. Unfortunately this is not the case.
The truth is that in most relationships, partners have different sex drives. More often than not very different ones.
Is there a way to deal with it? Yes and no. There are absolutely ways to handle different sex drives but it depends on some factors.
I am going to be honest. It may ruin the relationship or marriage. However by working openly together with your partner, it may even make it better.
It’s important to emphasize that your wills and devotions to each other will be the key. It will determine the outcome of your relationship.
How much sex should a couple have?
I think everybody has googled it once or twice in their life. We need a comparison so we can be relaxed or actually stressed out. We want to know the magic number, don’t we?
Ok, just to have a base then we can move on. Studies shown that couples in their 20s and 30s have around twice a week while people in their 40s and 50s once a week. That’s an average.
The real question is – and you must be 100% honest with yourself – what are your sexual needs? What is your magic number?
Let me tell you this. I know a lot of people out there saying now “That’s not important” or It’s not about numbers”.
Yes, sure. But whether we like it or not, sex is an essential part of any relationship. We do know our magic number. Everybody does. Perhaps we don’t dare to share it.
Why? Don’t tell me that you have no idea how many times you would like to have intimacy with your partner. I am sure you have a rough number in your head.
First of all you must be aware of your own needs otherwise how will you communicate it to your loved one? Don’t be prude on this, it’s your need. A basic one.
You may also want to explore if you and your partner are actually a good love match.
So what if you and your partner have different sex drives?
Talk about sex
People are raised different ways. They come from the other side of the world, with different cultures, backgrounds and religion. I get it, I really do. Nonetheless your partner is your family now, you spend most of your time with them. You will have a long life together. Don’t you want to enjoy it?
Then talk about sex. It’s a sensitive subject but open communication around bedroom issues are essential. Forget about taboos.
People often misunderstand this though. When you talk about sex, you are talking about feelings and intimacy with somebody that you whole-heartedly love.
You need to understand each other to be able to help one another. At least mentally you need to be a match so you can solve problems in your sex lives.
Dealing with significant different sex drives in a relationship
What are significantly different sex drives actually mean? If you want to have intimacy with your partner five times a week but she is even reluctant to have it once, then I would call it significant. There are things you can try:
To be wanting to make love is more than just physicality and chemistry. Typically men are the ones who just need to basically satisfy their own physical needs. How sexy that must be for a woman, right?
No, not so much. Men often get surprised why their girlfriend or wife does not desire them. Let’s look at some examples:
→ You just came home from work and want to do it
→ In recent weeks you have not taken care of their emotional needs at all
→ You are always busy and the only time you pay attention to your partner is when you want to have sex
→ There is no sweetness or kindness from your side
→ No little surprises or presents like you used to do
→ You have been stressed and frustrated lately
→ Not helping at all with the house chores
→ You are ignorant and cold
→ Even if you make it to the bedroom, you don’t arouse her nor you foreplay
Looking at the list above, do you really expect her to want to have any intimacy with you? Have some self-reflection before make any judgement.
Set the mood and get intimate
Think outside the box a little. Do something that is unusual. Maybe play some music your partner likes. Draw a bath or and light some candles. Prepare a romantic dinner.
Help your partner to forget about the stress of the world. Turn their mind off of ordinary. Show them that you can take good care of their needs. Provide a pressure free environment.
Don’t focus on sex but perhaps long foreplay, sensual touch and sexual teasing. Sometimes quality time means more than sex.
Yes I know, not a very sexy suggestion. But before we go on let me share with you a quote from Dr. Carol Rinkleib Ellison – sex therapist and clinical psychologist.
Spontaneity actually is the outcome of a series of incremental steps in which one thing leads to another
Just think about it. Is your sex life really that spontaneous? For instance when you are still in the dating phrase, you plan a lot of things. Where to go, what to do and so on. One of it is sex. You admit it or not, it’s already on your mind – where and how you can do it.
Even when you have been in a relationship or marriage for long, things get naturally planned out. For example usually you have intimacy on Friday evening as a celebration of the end of the week. After a while it becomes a routine.
It seems to me that lot of couples already scheduling sex but perhaps without realizing it. So why not give “scheduled sex” a try?
Why can scheduled sex work for couples with different sex drives?
The one with the lower libido can prepare for it. It’s not going to be an “unpleasant surprise”. Therefore it may even have a positive effect on the mood and the anticipation.
On the other hand, the one with the higher sex drive is waiting for it to happen. It creates a good atmosphere in their mind.
The person will probably be even more gentle and giving than usual. Most importantly he or she does not need to be afraid of rejection.
Planning sex can bring out the best from both parties. Don’t rule it out. Be open and go for it.
Seek professional help
As time passes and you have gone through a lot together, you may want to consider turning to a therapist before you call your relationship or marriage off. I know that still many couples frightened of this but you would be surprised what a good coach, counselor or sex therapist can do for you.
As I always say – asking for help is courage, bravery and strength but definitely not weakness.
Make or break
Ultimately it all comes down to this. Can you and your partner deal with different sex drives in the relationship? Let’s get real.
For example, your libido is very high, therefore you would like to have him 4 times a week but he only wants you once or max twice in a fortnight. Is that solvable?
According to experts, yes but only in one condition. You both need to have the will to make it work. The two of you must make compromise, in a way that is still comfortable. Sex therapists strongly advice the following:
Both parties needs to meet at least 50% of their partner’s needs.
What does that mean if we look at our example? First of all, as mentioned earlier you must be aware of each other’s basic sexual needs. So, the one with the higher libido needs to drastically reduce their number. It actually needs to be halved.
For the one who has the lower libido, the number needs to be doubled – so basically instead of having sex once a week changes to twice. Theoretically, according to the “equation” both of their needs are met.
It all sounds great, right? The question is how satisfying this arrangement is for everybody? How much pressure it creates for them? Is it enjoyable and manageable on a long run?
Most importantly, it must be a mutual agreement and both of you must make equal effort. Not surprisingly, if only one of you has the will, then the relationship will be completely out of balance. That’s not healthy nor fair.
Now the tough part. Even though the relationship is pleasant in general, if both or one of your needs are unmet it will create unbearable situation after a while.
If there is no willingness, no understanding from any of you regarding your different sex drives, you need to consider breaking off the relationship or marriage.
For piece of mind, for your mental and physical health.