Sometimes we find ourselves in relationships with people who have different sex drives from us. Sex drive is the libido, meaning the enthusiasm or interest that a person has in engaging in sexual activity. Sex drive varies from person to person and can also be affected or changed by a lot of different factors. These factors can be physical, psychological, social, or cultural and will not necessarily affect one’s sex drive all the time.
Why Should You Care About Different Sex Drives?
Sex is an important part of a relationship for the majority of people. Generally, a satisfactory sex life contributes to the overall happiness each person gets from their relationship. The frequency of sexual intercourse between partners in a relationship varies from one relationship to another. Some couples might have sex twice a week and some couples might have sex twice a month. It depends on the sexual needs of the individuals in the relationship and finding the right balance for them.
Having a higher or lower sex drive than your partner may cause some conflict between you two. Frustration may bubble up and tension can begin to build. However, there are many ways to deal with a mismatch in libido and these are some examples:
1. Open Communication
The first step to solving most issues in a relationship is communication. It is important that you both know how the other feels and that you both feel safe enough to express yourselves to each other. By doing this you will both be more able to empathise and understand where your partner is coming from which will ease the tension that has built up between you. Let your partner know what sex means to you apart from the physical side. At times people who experience their partner as not wanting to have sex may think that they are not attracted to them anymore or that their feelings about them have changed. In reality, there are multiple reasons to why someone’s sex drive can fluctuate over time, and it may have nothing to do with their partner. Do not be afraid to let your partner know what your needs are and how you feel about the intimacy level of the relationship. As long as no one is judged or shamed for the way they feel, communication can only improve the situation.
A relationship is all about finding the balance that will allow both people’s needs to be met in the best possible way. Finding a middle ground that is comfortable for both will help to ease the situation. You might find that planning the frequency of sexual intercourse or the best times/days to have sex may help you both. It is also important for both people to be willing to be flexible around each other’s needs.
3. Sex and Relationship Therapy
If you and your partner are finding it difficult to have open conversations about your sex life, a sex therapist will be able to help. Sometimes having a neutral third party to help you navigate this aspect of your relationship can assure that neither of you gets hurt or upset in the process. You or your partner may find it difficult to express yourselves or what you’re feeling, and a therapist can help with this. A therapist may be able to see the underlying issues regarding your different sex drives are, that are affecting this sexual disconnect and help you to become aware of them yourselves.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Lisa Laspina is a Trainee Gestalt Psychotherapist who is currently working with Willingness. She is reading for a Masters in Gestalt Psychotherapy.
Whitbourne, S. (n.d.). The secret reason why sex is such an important part of relationships. Psychology Today. Retrieved March 5, 2022, from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201707/the-secret-reason-why-sex-is-such-important-part-relationships