What do you do when there’s a significant difference between your sex drive and your partner’s?
I have a long history of sexually incompatible partners. Not necessarily that I didn’t want to be compatible with them – I definitely did! But there were always issues, such as my wanting sex more than they did, or them wanting sex more than I did – or them wanting sex more with someone else. (That one’s always painful.)
In my current relationship, our biggest disagreement – always – is that I can’t bring myself to want sex as often as she’d like to give it to me. All in all, this isn’t a bad problem to have, really, and it sure beats the problem I had with my ex (who only wanted to have sex about once a month… Well, with me at least).
Even worse is that it’s not even that I don’t want to have sex with her. She’s the best I’ve ever had, by far. I just have so much stress from everything going on in my life that it can be hard to unwind.
From my experience on both sides of the spectrum, I can provide some insight into the complicated situations that arise when your sex drive doesn’t really match up with your lover’s – and offer some tips that may help to fix the problem.
Be patient, Sexaholic.
Sometimes your partner won’t want to get down to business – and in some cases there’s really nothing you can do but wait. While sex is a wonderful stress reliever, that definitely doesn’t guarantee that she’ll be able to unwind enough to get into the mood. And, as I’m sure you probably know – sex when you’re not aroused can be incredibly painful.
Make sure to get her warmed up first.
This is probably my biggest tip, one that will get you the furthest – turn her on before you try to play! It should be self-explanatory, but sometimes when one partner is accidentally doing something that the other partner feels is “seductive”, it can create tension. This tension makes it even more difficult for the less-driven partner to get in the mood.
Try giving her a massage.
In addition to having an extremely calming effect (which can make it easier to arouse her), many women are actually aroused by receiving a massage in the first place. I know I can be – although occasionally, if I’m not in the mood, I just get ticklish. It’s a turn-on for some people, but not for me.
I have a confession: Sexting is my guilty pleasure. Getting a well-crafted dirty text message when I’m not able to follow through with it is a tease – which is incredibly sexy to many women. Obviously, don’t get her in trouble if she’s working or if she shares a phone with a family member, because that can just cause more stress. Also, make sure you don’t start off too dirty – the goal is to tease her until she’s begging for it when she gets home.
Try spicing things up.
Fact: Every woman has some type of kink or fantasy. Some women may not be so inclined to share them with you, but there is definitely something that gets her juices flowing and her thoughts rolling into the gutter. The trick is to find this secret fantasy and exploit it for your sexual benefit.
Consider telling her “no” sometimes.
This sort of goes hand in hand with the sexting tip. You always want it more when you can’t have it, therefore it might be that all it takes to get her in the mood is to tell her she can’t have it every now and then.
Obviously if you shoot her down every time, she’ll eventually stop trying, but playing with the control of the tease can have a wonderful effect on the sex drive of both parties. Just think of how much more you want it every time she’s not in the mood. It’s reverse psychology 101!
Never, ever force the issue.
Believe it or not, sexual abuse is a real issue, even in committed lesbian relationships. While we may feel that we “deserve” our partner’s body whenever we decide, that’s simply not true. Consent needs to be given on a case-by-case basis or you run the risk of traumatizing your partner and making them even less likely to submit to your sex drive in the future.
On the same note, there’s the idea of “taking your business elsewhere”. There’s this idea that humans aren’t meant to be monogamous – and to some extent, I agree. However, the people who make those arguments based on our baser animal instincts forget one simple fact: The majority of “monogamous” animals are different than the majority of “monogamous” humans. Animals that mate for life actually do mate for life – never having another partner.
However, when humans use the term “monogamy”, it’s referencing “from this point forward”. Very few people actually have the same romantic partner for their entire life – but a far greater number of people have one exclusive romantic partner at a time.
If you and your partner do have an open relationship, this can be a grey area – obviously if you’re allowed to sleep with other people
My advice doesn’t really pertain to you as much, but you should still consult with her before you go looking for someone else to fill your needs. Just because you have a relationship free from jealousy doesn’t mean you have the right to go sneaking about.
For the partner who isn’t in the mood, you have tasks to do, too.
First of all, you shouldn’t simply shut your partner down if they’re in the mood and you’re not. If at all possible, try to explain to your partner why you’re not susceptible to arousal at that time – whether you’re in pain, you’re exhausted from work, you have too much stress on your mind, et cetera.
If you tell your partner what’s going on that’s keeping you in your clothes, she might be able to address the issue. Even if she isn’t, it’s a safe bet that she’ll allow you to vent to her, possibly in order to cash in the “brownie points” later. Let her!
At least try to get in the mood.
This one can be tough sometimes, especially if the issue that’s hindering your libido is something like tiredness or physical pain. But if you don’t have a truly legitimate excuse to deny your partner, you should at least be giving her some pointers to get the ball rolling, and try to be receptive to her attempts. It won’t always work, but as Wayne Gretzky once said – “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Try to compromise.
If you don’t want sex because you’re too tired or you have too much work to do, consider “compromising” with your partner and telling her that you’ll give it up the next day – and then do your best to follow through on this promise.
If you don’t want to receive sex, but you’d be willing to give it to your partner – let her know this! I know some women get more satisfaction from giving than they do from receiving, but for any woman who consents to having it both ways – some pleasure is better than no pleasure.
Don’t intentionally turn her on unless you’re willing to give her some.
I understand that sometimes we can unintentionally cause a great deal of frustration to our partners, through no direct fault of our own. Maybe you were wearing the yoga pants and sports bra you love because they’re comfortable, but your girlfriend loves them because of the exposed skin and tight fit – try to be courteous of these “mismatched needs” when you can.
This is an entirely different story than intentionally causing your partner frustration, though – take it from personal experience. My ex had “this look” that she used to give me to signal that she wanted to get lucky – and then at some point she started giving that look to me randomly, and then wondering why I’d want to stop what I was doing and make love to her.
From her end, it was “harmless fun”, as she enjoyed the idea of teasing without following through – but from my perspective, it was cruel and torturous. Don’t be that person.
So what have we learned today?
Just like with any other aspect of your relationship, compromise and open communication are the keys. You need to be accepting of her wants and needs, and she needs to be accepting of yours.
If you have honesty and trust you can be assured that this issue can be improved. It won’t happen overnight, and it takes a solid effort from all people involved, but differences in sex drive are usually one of the easiest relationship problems to work on.
If, for some reason, you two are absolutely not able to reach a satisfactory compromise through these tips, you may need to seek out therapy, or to take a break from each other. This can be a painful process, but if you’re truly not compatible – you’re not compatible.