Our sex drives don’t match!
This is normal!
But when one partner is usually the ‘initiator’ and/or the other feels pressured and harassed by the other’s advances, this can lead to tension, resentment and sometimes destroy the relationship.
While mismatched libidos are completely normal and not a sign the relationship is failing, it’s also not something to be swept under the rug.
Let’s consider some common reasons sex drives can fall out of sync.
What kind of sex are you having?
One of the reasons sex can fall off the menu is because the kind of sex being offered is not satisfying to one or both partners. Consider this:
- When you have enjoyed sex in the past, what made it good?
- How do you know when / if your partner is enjoying sex?
- Do you know the top three things your partner longs for from you?
- If you could put a microchip in your partners' head containing 3 things you want them to know, what would be on it?
- Learn to talk about the kind/s of sex you like to help increase incentive again.
If talking about sex feels too hard or too awkward, I have dozens of strategies for you in The Desire Series
Sex drops off after a baby. Parents are tired, sleep deprived, irritable and all touched out. Touch becomes more like a practice in factory farming than anything that resembles intimacy and connection. It’s normal for sex to decline for a period of time after a baby, but getting it back on track after that is a co-created project between all partners involved. When you’re ready to get back on board, talk about it, set time aside for it to make sure you’re feeling relaxed and explore. It may not look like it did before, but it can come back with a new twist - and that is also perfectly normal.
Keep your mind on the job
Are you one of these types who’s thinking about everything except sex – during sex? If so you’re not alone, and it’s also a very debilitating problem. The antidote is to reduce the racing thoughts by not paying attention to them. Notice them, just like you may notice yourself breathing, but you spend most of your day ignoring it. You can choose to ignore your racing thoughts, just like most of us ignore our breath. Focus instead on what you can feel in your body. This may be really hard at first but with time it becomes easier.
Over time, levels of the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone tend to decline. Drops in these hormones can hinder desire and sexual function and trigger vaginal dryness, less firm erections and other complications for ‘penis in fill-in-the-blank’ style sex or other kinds of penetrative sex. Despite the hype, hormone changes are rarely the entire problem, so check with your doctor if you think hormones are affecting you. But do not be surprised if your doctor’s knowledge of sex problems beyond hormones is zero!
Fact, most doctors receive little to no sexual pleasure training and are not able to give useful sex and pleasure information. I work with couples of all ages to help fill the gaps that sexual medicine does not even come close to.
Talk about what sex means to you
After a while, the higher libido partner may feel resentful about the situation. The truth is, in a consensual sexual relationship, the lower libido partner controls when sex happens. If you’re inclined to suffering in silence and not rocking the boat, you’re making it worse. Describe what’s going on for you, really listen to each other, and do not be afraid to seek out the services of a qualified sex therapist or coach. The reason you’re struggling with this is because you haven’t yet developed the skills to manage it. The only difference between seeking help with our gardening skills and seeking help with our sex lives is one thing – stigma.
Everyone struggles with sex at some time in their lives. In a culture where neither sex skills nor relationship skills are taught and valued, it makes sense that we struggle with them. If you experience difficulties in these areas it's not your fault AND help is available.