“My partner doesn’t stop! There doesn’t seem to be a time when he (or she) doesn’t feel like sex, and I just can’t keep up!”

Does this sound like a familiar situation?

Sex drive in a couple may differ for a variety of reasons. For example, sex drive is found to be higher in men due to the higher levels of testosterone hormone present in their bodies. Testosterone in women was linked to more desire for masturbation (Van Anders, 2012). Hormones, social situations that a person may be individually experiencing and even psychological factors can all contribute to the differences in sexual desire.

In a relationship, partners won’t always have the same level of sexual desire. In the beginning of a relationship, it is likely that sex will be more frequent. However, as a relationship progresses, there may be some discrepancy in the desire for sex, with one partner wanting more sex to feel completely satisfied, than the other.

How can someone deal with a partner who approaches them often for sex, when they don’t feel like doing it themselves? The unwilling partner may find themselves making excuses to back off from sex, such as not feeling well, feeling tired, or being on their period. Apart from that, it can lead to arguments and disagreements, leaving a person frustrated and inadequate.

Varying sexual needs in a relationship will require that the couple makes a compromise, and come to an agreement as to how to keep both of the individuals satisfied sexually while not making the other feel pressured into giving sexual gratification if they don’t want to. It is possible to achieve a middle-ground.

Making time for sex: Try and negotiate how many times sex will happen. If one partner wants it 5 times a week, and the other only once a week, maybe both parties can agree to 3 times a week. Find a middle-ground so that both partners are happy (Brown, 2018). Allocate time for it if needs be. Knowing that you are expecting to have sex in the evening may also leave room to experiment with flirting during the day to build up anticipation.

Sexual communal strength:  Sexual communal strength refers to both partners’ motivation to satisfy the other’s sexual needs. Being high in sexual communal strength means being highly motivated to meet your partners’ sexual needs, without expecting reciprocation. It is good practice to make sure that satisfying your partner is coming from a place of care, and not obligation (Muise, 2015).

Be honest: Communication is key in a relationship. Make sure that you and your partner speak openly and honestly about this issue. If possible, read up on the subject to get informed, and possibly get a hormone test to rule out any hormonal imbalances. If the situation persists, a professional licensed sex therapist might be able to help you understand what is happening, and find ways of bringing harmony back into your sex life.

Brown, D. (2018). Sexual Desire Discrepancies and What To Do About It. Retrieved 26 December 2019, from https://drgarybrowntherapy.com/sexual-desire-discrepancies-and-what-to-do-about-it/

Muise, A. (2015). When Your Partner Wants To Do It—But You Don’t. Retrieved 26 December 2019, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-passion-paradox/201504/when-your-partner-wants-do-it-you-dont

Van Anders, S. (2012). Testosterone and Sexual Desire in Healthy Women and Men. Archives Of Sexual Behavior41(6), 1471-1484. doi: 10.1007/s10508-012-9946-2

Becky Faenza is one of the Triage Officers that form part of the Triage Team with Willingness. She is a University graduate, with a B.A Degree in Philosophy and Psychology, and also a Higher Diploma in Psychology (H.DIP).