Do you think you might be suffering from a sexual desire discrepancy? Are you even sure what that is?
In an instance, where one member of a couple experiences more or less sexual desire relative to their partner,
Is among the main reasons for couples to seek therapy.
Even though low sexual desire is the most common sexual problem, desire discrepancy is considered more
distressing due to its dampening down the romance in a relationship.
Usually, we think that men have a higher sex drive, however, 60% of the time the woman has a higher sex drive than the man.
What is the difference between Sexual Desire & Desire Discrepancy?
Sexual desire can be conceptualized as a feeling of wanting to engage in sexual activity and desire discrepancy
occurs when one partner’s desire is higher or lower than his or her partner’s. Sexual Desire Disorder
Some partners don’t view desire discrepancy as a big problem.
Many partners respond to an invitation for sex with a “meh” or “not tonight honey.”
Others argue that “no one ever died from not having sex.”
But lack of enthusiasm may be a problem for your partner, and a significant stressor in your relationship down the road.
And, lack of sex or infrequent sex synchronization is not something that should be passively accepted or dismissed with a shrug.
The Benefits of Sex
Let’s review why orgasms are beneficial for reasons other than just pleasure.
Partner play and touch are hugely important to sustain relationship satisfaction.
It frequently ranks in the top four things that contribute to couple satisfaction and happiness, so ideally it should be kept in the mix over time.
- It is healthy
Having sex increases testosterone levels, which helps you gain muscle mass and lose fat.
It keeps your immune system humming.
And the more you do it, the more you want to do it, as it enhances libido.
Sex causes the hormone oxytocin to surge to five times the normal level; this releases endorphins, which alleviate pain.
Prolactin is also released with orgasm, facilitating restful sleep.
Sex two or more times a week lowers blood pressure and can cut the risk of heart attack or stroke in half.
- Being affectionate and enjoying being close is good modeling
Couples having alone time and enjoying touching and kissing around the house are modeling affectionate, pleasant contact as being “normal”.
- Overall stress reduction, both physiologically and emotional
- Decreased depression and anxiety
- Improved self-esteem
As we move through relationship stages, our sexual compatibility may change.
Our needs tend to change over time as we age and our relationship matures.
It turns out that almost all couples at various times in their relationship experience some challenges around sexual compatibility.
These struggles can occur at any time: while you’re dating, living together, married, postpartum, and other stages later in your life together. When Sex Becomes A Chore
All too often, while providing intimacy coaching I hear some version of,
“When we first met we couldn’t get enough of each other, but now things are so very different.”
Well, guess what? Change happens.
This is completely normal during the course of even the best of relationships, but this doesn’t mean you have to give up on having a fulfilling romantic life.
But if you’re thinking having sex once a month isn’t enough or that three times a week is too much, you’re off base.
It’s completely normal. The frequency between couples is all over the place!
How To Overcome Sexual Desire Discrepancy
- Start a conversation
First and most importantly, you need to create an environment where you both feel safe, even though you may be feeling some fear about discussing sex.
That is completely normal.
To help make it safe, be aware of the tone of your voice and the words you use.
You can’t sit in judgment of your partner, blaming them, criticizing them, and expect to make much progress.
- You set your normal
Talk about what you both want in the bedroom.
What number could be reasonable for both of you given your schedules, energy level, and emotional capacity right now?
- What is the right number
There is no “right” number of times to make love, other than what works for you as a couple. Period.
- Medical Conditions
There may be some physiological issues that men and women may need to address.
Hormone changes, particularly for women, can drastically change their desire and create dryness that makes sex uncomfortable.
This can be most prevalent with postpartum and into menopause years.
Perhaps you or your partner suffer from low estrogen, low testosterone, erectile dysfunction, impotence, vaginismus, frequent UTI’s, or other medical conditions.
If you suspect these issues to be at play for you, consult your healthcare provider.
If you plan on working on your sexual relationship together, then it might help to playfully consider having a doctor date.
- Initiating Sex
As a couple, it’s important to talk about how you like to be approached and what works for each of you.
Most men feel stimulated (particularly with visual stimulation or thinking of sexual moments) and then their body responds with an erection.
For women, it’s most often the opposite.
Women need physiological arousal before they feel turned on and get their brain to play along.
There is also a stronger desire for emotional connection for women.
Therefore, it may take women more time and more emotional and physical contact to get turned on.
While men oftentimes are “ready to go” it doesn’t work that way with most women.
Feeling obligated to have sex isn’t sexy.
Having sex and not enjoying it isn’t sexy either.
Stop having sex if you don’t want it.
Sex isn’t always spontaneous; sometimes, kick-starting your sex life requires focusing on arousal over orgasms and just enjoying the moment and the buildup.
I tell couples that for many people, sexual desire doesn’t always emerge at the start of sex but, oftentimes, more toward the middle.
You need to commit to generating some kind of arousal (through kissing, making out, dancing, reading erotica, or watching porn) that may lead to desire.
Be willing to generate arousal and see where it goes.
So, know that once it starts it doesn’t always have to end in sex.
Sexual compatibility is one of the most important aspects of a relationship.
Know that it changes over time, but it’s important to communicate where you’re at with your partner and where you would like to be.
With a few conversations, time, and attention in this department, you both can be more sexually satisfied.
Oh, and sex can be more fun too!