Reconcile Your Sex-Drive Differences
By Laura Snyder
One of the most common complaints among couples in the bedroom is when one partner wants sex a lot more - or a lot less - than the other.
Of course, it's rare that any couple is ever in perfect agreement over this. Desire can change - in a day, in a week, in a year or over the course of your relationship. Your mismatched sex drive might be a big problem or a small one, a long-term issue or a short-lived one.
But if you're willing to work at it, you can both be satisfied.
First rule: don't compare yourselves to past relationships or your ideas of what other people are doing. Trying to quantify "too much" or "not enough" sex won't help either of you.
Though it's easy to put the blame on your partner, start by first considering your role in the problem. Even if you think the only problem is your over or under-sexed lover, ask yourself some questions about what you want out of your sex life.
When did you first notice this difference in your sex life? If it's a relatively new thing, what changed? How much sex would you ideally like to have? How do you feel when you hear your partner isn't satisfied with your sex life? Can you talk about your satisfaction with your sex life without talking about much or how little you're getting it on? Without placing blame, what do you think might be causing the difference in sexual interest?
If you want more sex, think about why. Are you seeking the closeness it brings to the relationship? Is it a way for you to feel validated and loved? If you want less sex, could it be a physical problem or side effect or a medication? Are you trying to avoid something in your relationship? Are you just too stressed or tired?
Talk about it, but not in a way that threatens or blames your partner. No one wants to feel like they don't measure up or is some kind of deviant sex fiend. Approach this with a "we're in this together" attitude. If you can't do this - or you've avoided this problem so long it feels impossible to bring up - you might consider tackling the problem with the help of a counselor or therapist.
If you want more sex, explain why. Describe how important it is to making you feel close and connected, or tell him or her how you much you simply desire them. If you want less sex, be clear that just because you're turning down sex doesn't mean you're rejecting them. Assure your partner that you're attracted to them. Explain how you may feel pressured to perform.
Consider your sexual compromises.
Talking about it openly should help you figure out some middle ground you can meet (and mate) on. If you want it more than your partner, you may need to find ways to satisfy your desires in other ways. Could you get your fix for intimacy through kissing, cuddling and more foreplay? Listen to your partner's reasons for feeling unsexy and look for ways to overcome them. If you want less sex than your partner, look for solutions to the cause. Switch medications or find ways to manage your stress. Explain you need more time to warm-up sexually, or find ways to please your partner in other ways.
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